Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Latest in the series...

Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

Here is part 18A.

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  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Over the past week there have been a number of protests in West Bank Arab towns over a new social security law.

Late last week the Palestinian Authority Minister of Local Government, Hussein al-A'arj, shocked all Palestinians by referring to the leaders of the protests in Hebron as being "settlers from Kiryat Arba."

I have never seen such anger in Palestinian Arab media over an insult. Apparently you can call someone's mother a whore before you can call someone a "settler."

Fatah in Hebron demanded that al-A'arj be fired and said he would not be allowed into the city. Prime minister Rami Hamdallah ordered an investigation.

Under pressure, al-A'arj issued an apology: "My family and my dear people, our heroic people, especially in the province of Hebron. I declare to you, as your brother, Hussein al-Araj, the minister of local government. The statements I made were specific to a particular person and came in the context of public concern and the social security law. This was only meant to respond to one single person who abused, harassed and threatened the government and senior officials....If you understand my words I offer my apologies for each individual and family and the family of my family, and I regret that my words have been twisted by those who have other agendas."

Which is not a very good apology.

The ministry issued a contradictory apology, saying that he was referring to a number of protesters, not just one.

And no one is forgiving him for his unprecedented insult. Activists in Hebron are threatening to expose embarrassing information about him unless he is fired. The Palestinian NGO Network is demanding he be fired. So does the PFLPEditorials are calling for his dismissal.

It doesn't help that al-A'arj means "the lame."

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From Ian:

Netanyahu: Israel's crushing fist will reach any place
Israel's “crushing fist” will strike all who seek Israel's destruction, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, during a visit to the Israel Aerospace Industries division that manufactures and develops the Arrow missile.

“Let our enemies who seek to destroy us know that Israel's crushing fist will reach all those who seek our harm, and we will hold them accountable,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister visited the site following the successful test of the Arrow 3 missile on Tuesday. Netanyahu said that Israel has among the strongest and most advanced defense and attack capabilities in the world.

His comments came a day after the head of Iran's air force, Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh, said that Iran's armed forces “are prepared for a war that will bring the crushing destruction of Israel. We are ready for the day when we will see the end of Israel."

During his visit to IAI, Netanyahu expressed appreciation to the US for its cooperation and assistance, including in the development of the Arrow missile.

“We will continue to successfully develop the most advanced weapon systems in the world to ensure the security of Israeli citizens and the security of the State of Israel," he said.

JPost Editorial: Balancing Act
Israeli commentators and officials have stressed that Israel is not at war with Syria and does not want a war there, but Bashar Assad’s fragile state is the playground of Iranian forces, where the Shi’ite Islamic Republic is trying to establish itself on Israel’s border and continues to transfer advanced weapons to its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, in Lebanon.

The key to preventing a further escalation seems to be impressing on Vladimir Putin’s Russia that it needs to abide by promises to keep Iran from becoming entrenched on Israel’s border and stop weapons supplies from reaching terrorist organizations that openly threaten Israeli civilians.

Israel cannot allow Iran to act without a response. On the one hand, the Jewish state needs to take action to maintain deterrence and prevent the situation from deteriorating into a form of war of attrition – similar to the situation that has developed with Iranian-sponsored Hamas in the South, where rockets are regularly launched on the Negev from Gaza. On the other hand, care needs to be taken to avoid an escalation that can quickly get out of control.

Syria barely exists as a state, but Russia is keen to maintain the calm there to help Assad keep control – while Iran, already overstretched, also does not seem keen on an all-out confrontation with Israel.

Jerusalem has to continue to make it clear that Iran does not enjoy immunity and that Russia’s presence is no guarantee for it to act with impunity.

Israel has a responsibility to perform a delicate balancing act, weighing firm action to protect its citizens while trying its best to avoid an unwanted escalation in the conflict.
JCPA: A Single Strategy for Two Fronts
The firing of an Iranian missile from Syrian territory on January 20, 2019, toward the Hermon, which was crowded with tourists, was a particularly dangerous and serious event. According to senior IDF sources, the Iranians were preparing this response for quite a while.

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis stated that it was a major decision taken a long time ago by the Iranians, and the firing of the missile was an Iranian attempt to attack Israel.

By firing the missile toward Israel, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards tried to give Israel the same signal that it received from the terror organizations in Gaza several months ago. Then Hamas changed the rules of the game from what they had been since the cease-fire agreement brokered at the end of Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014. Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza presented a new equation, according to which “fire will be answered by fire.”

Iran is adopting the same policy: every Israeli attack on Iranian targets inside Syrian territory will be met with an Iranian response firing toward Israel.

This is the strategy of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, who is trying to ignite a war of attrition on the northern border, comprised of brief clashes, similar to those Israel has been experiencing on the Gaza border since March 30, 2018.

Israel made the mistake of coming to terms with the general change in the rules of the game that was imposed upon it by terror organizations in Gaza. This mistake has been interpreted as weakness and has had ramifications on the northern border. Gen. Soleimani reckons that he will manage to change the rules of the game also on the northern border by firing missiles at Israel.

By Daled Amos

Since Tamika Mallory's connection to, and adoration of, Antisemite Louis Farrakhan is well known, her Antisemitic attacks on Jews and Israel -- and her recent refusal to address those concerns -- are not surprising.

But she is also a disciple of Al Sharpton. Mallory joined the staff of Sharpton's National Action Network when she was 15 and later became its youngest-ever executive director.

Mallory with Sharpton in 2010. Politico. Credit: Colby Hamilton Fair Use.

Like Farrakhan, Sharpton also has a history of inciting hatred.
  • 1987 Sharpton pushed the Tawana Brawley hoax, where a 15-year-old black girl claimed she was abducted and raped by a group of white men. Sharpton deliberately singled out Dutchess County prosecutor Steve Pagones, a young prosecutor and accused him of racism and of having participated in the attack on Brawley. Pagones sued and won a $345,000 verdict for defamation against Sharpton, Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason. Sharpton refused to pay and Johnnie Cochran paid for him.

  • In 1991: When a Hasidic Jewish driver in Crown Heights accidentally killed Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child, antisemitic riots erupted. At the funeral Sharpton blamed the "diamond merchants" (Jews) with "the blood of innocent babies" on their hands. Sharpton went further, mobilizing hundreds of demonstrators marching through the Jewish neighborhood, chanting, "No justice, no peace." Rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, was surrounded by a mob shouting "Kill the Jews!" and was stabbed to death.

    But Sharpton's comments go further than that. The Forward quotes comments by Sharpton that would rival Farrakhan in their racism and history revisionism:
    The world will tell us he was killed by accident. Yes, it was a social accident...It’s an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights...Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid...All we want to say is what Jesus said: if you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffe klatsch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’. Pay for your deeds...It’s no accident that we know we should not be run over. We are the royal family on the planet. We’re the original man. We gazed into the stars and wrote astrology. We had a conversation and that became philosophy. We are the ones who created mathematics. We’re not anybody to be left to die waiting on an ambulance. We are the alpha and omega of creation itself...We will win because we’re right. We will win because we’re strong. God is on our side. [emphasis added]
  • In 1995, the United House of Prayer, a large black landlord in Harlem, raised the rent on Freddy's Fashion Mart, owned by a white Jewish owner who was forced to raise the rent on his subtenant, a black-owned music store. Following the ensuing dispute, Sharpton got involved and raised tempers, warning "we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business." Sharpton's organization, National Action Network, set up picket lines. Customers who entered the store were spat on, cursed and accused of being "traitors" and "Uncle Toms." Going further, some protesters shouted,"Burn down the Jew store!" while simulating striking a match with Sharpton's colleague Morris Powell saying "We're going to see that this cracker suffers". On December 8, one of the protestors entered Freddy's, shot 4 of the employees and set the store on fire, killing 7 employees. [emphasis added]Like Farrakhan, Sharpton acted the demagogue, picking a target and focusing on it relentlessly, whether it was Pagones or the Jews. Sharpton fabricated accusations against Pagones and the Jews with no basis in reality -- but the hatred deliberately generated by those accusations did its job, energizing his followers and victimizing his targets.
This is what we see now from Sharpton's disciple, in the way Mallory thinks about both white people and Jews.
“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 [Wruble, another leader], 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.’… They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.” [emphasis added]
For her part, while Mallory refuses to condemn her mentors, she claims
“I don’t agree with everything that Minister Farrakhan said about Jews or women or gay people,” said Mallory. “I study in a tradition, the Kingian nonviolent tradition. [emphasis added]
Actually, she agrees with Farrakhan quite a bit, claiming that "white Jews" contribute to white supremacy.

Mallory has openly expressed her distrust white women as well
“We’re not really interested in hearing white women talk about how much they want to work with us, and how much they want to be allies, and how much they appreciate us, and all those great things. We don’t want to hear that, because we continue to see — in places like Alabama — and as we approach the State of the Union, we’re dealing with a megalomaniac as president of this country and white women are largely to blame for that. They are largely the cause of it. White women have been voting the wrong way.”
And on the other hand, contrary to her claim of following the Kingian tradition -- Mallory seems to fall short. In 1968, Reverend King condemned the identity politics Mallory advocates:
The response of some of the so-called young militants does not represent the position of the vast majority of Negroes. There are some who are color-consumed and they see a kind of mystique in blackness or in being colored, and anything non-colored is condemned. We do not follow that course. [emphasis added]

Putting aside Martin Luther King's well known positive feelings about Israel, we can only wish that Mallory was capable of emulating Reverend King's refusal to sink to identity politics that fuel the hate and divisiveness we see today.

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  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Middle East Monitor:

A controversial Israeli blogger posted pictures of what he says is a recent visit to the Qatari capital of Doha, sparking a wave of anger on social networking sites.

Israeli blogger Ben Tzion, who is of Russian origin, published photographs of himself in the famous Souq Waqif in Doha, and another in the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Wahab Mosque.

Activists said their anger was raised when they were informed that Tzion delivered a Hebrew prayer for “love, peace, and respect between Jews and Arabs” in the mosque.
Tzion has previously caused controversy by visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and historical landmarks in Egypt and Kuwait.

Here's Ben Tzion's post from the mosque where he said that he prayed the Jewish Mincha (afternoon) prayer for "peace, love and respect among the Jewish and Arab nations."

Ben Tzion also visited a famous souq and posted these:

 Here's one of many angry reactions, from Qatar Youth Against Normalization's Twitter:

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  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ammon News:

Chief of the Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (CARC), Haitham Mesto, Monday reiterated Jordan's rejection of Israel's unilateral move to open and operate an airport in its current location in the south, unless it meets international criteria and the Kingdom's interests.

Mesto said that Jordan's rejection comes as the airport, near the southern city of Eilat, is in breach of international criteria regarding the respect of the sovereignty of the space and territory of other countries when operating the facility.

As far as I can tell, Jordan is concerned that airplanes landing in the new Ramon Airport will violate its airspace, since the airport is very close to the border with Jordan.

Here's the hypocrisy. Jordan's King Hussein Airport is just about as close to the border as Ramon Airport is. If Israel's new airport threatens to violate Jordan'a airspace, then Jordan's airport does the same to Israel.

Jordan is simply trying to irritate Israel even though there is little reason for airplanes landing at Ramon to violate Jordanian airspace.

Interestingly, while the 1994 Jordan/Israel peace treaty says that each nation will respect the airspace of the other, Israel does allow planes to overfly Israel en route to Jordan as a separate agreement - an agreement Israel can easily drop.

If Jordan decides to make a stink over this - and I cannot find anything in international air agreements that Israel would be violating, as the kingdom claims -  it can lose far more than it can gain.

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.

Monday, January 21, 2019

From Ian:

The Reverend Martin Luther King was a Zionist
When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, You are talking anti-Semitism”

More exact words were never said, and they were spoken by the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.

However, the quote didn’t come from a letter, as long believed, but were spoken by him.

Martin Luther King Jr. whose life and dream we celebrate today, was a great leader for civil rights. Unlike today’s “Civil Rights” leaders who seek divisiveness and handouts, Dr. King dream was a post-racial society where people were judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.

Also unlike most “Civil Rights” leaders today, Dr. King was a supporter of Israel and the Jewish people. In recognition of MLK day many Jews will post a letter supposedly penned by Martin Luther King called “Letter to a Zionist Friend,” but the story of the letter is a hoax.

During his lifetime King witnessed the birth of Israel and the continuing struggle to build a nation. He consistently reiterated his stand on the Israel- Arab conflict, stating “Israel’s right to exist as a state in security is uncontestable.” It was no accident that King emphasized “security” in his statements on the Middle East.

The most famous line from the letter “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking Antisemitism,” was uttered by Dr. King, just not in any letter. Over the next day or two, you will read various posts containing the letter— most of the text does not include the words of the great Civil Rights Leader. The good news is, however, is it does contain his sentiments.
On MLK Day, the Future of African-American and Jewish Relations Hangs in the Balance
On this Martin Luther King Day, the future of African-American and Jewish relations hangs in the balance.

The explosive controversy around National Women’s March leaders like Tamika Mallory refusing to apologize for their love of Louis Farrakhan — or to affirm Israel’s right to exist — is disturbing enough. But The New York Times’ decision to feature Michelle Alexander’s op-ed, “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine,” signals the opening of a new line of attack against our community.

Michelle Alexander has superstar credentials. She taught the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School and clerked for Justice Harry Blackmun at the Supreme Court. Today, she teaches “social justice” at Union Theological Seminary. Her 2010 bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, argues persuasively that the post-1960s “war on drugs” cemented African-American males’ status deep in the new underclass, a condition of racial inferiority reminiscent of the post-Reconstruction Jim Crow era. But she implies that much of our current racial crisis is the result of white racists — and immoral white liberal politicians in league with them. During 2016, she urged African-Americans and white progressives not to vote for Hillary Clinton.

James Foreman, Jr., son of a civil rights icon and himself a Yale Law professor, just won a Pulitzer Prize for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. His central thesis in may ways reinforces Alexander’s argument — as he has acknowledged. Yet Foreman has criticized Alexander for downplaying the role of exploding black violent crime during the 1960s and 1970s in creating a political crisis over drugs, for flirting with the idea of an alleged white-racist political conspiracy when many African Americans also supported a harsh crackdown on crime, and for inflaming black-white polarization at a time when cross-race and cross-class alliances are needed for prison reform.

In her New York Times broadside, Alexander paints a picture of Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinian territories as the greatest human rights crime of our time. There is no mention of Arab armies repeatedly invading Israel, of Palestinian terrorism, of the corrupt Palestinian Authority’s refusal to negotiate a peaceful two-state solution, or of the genocidal Hamas. Worst of all is her shameless revision of Martin Luther King’s history to re-imagine him as a late-blooming critic of Israel.

King was a man of peace and a humanitarian, sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians. But he knew — from first to last — the difference between right and wrong in the Middle East.
MLK honored by American Zionist Movement
The American Zionist Movement commemorated Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., noting his support for the Jewish people and the State of Israel, on the national holiday named in his honor.

"Dr. King...is famously remembered for his 'I Have a Dream' speech, delivered at a moment and in a place where not only the country, but the world heard his message and joined in his commitment to build a better life," the organization's statement released Monday read. "Theodor Herzl, the founder of our modern Zionist movement in 1897 was also a dreamer who famously proclaimed, 'If you will it, it is no dream.'"

King was a supporter of Israel during the Six-Day War, and vociferously condemned antisemitism. The statement from the AZM included King's statements in support of the Jews.

"I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews, because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all," King said.

"Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity," King said. "I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy."

"Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality," King said.
PreOccupiedTerritory: It’s Time To Appropriate And Distort My Legacy For Your Political Agenda by By the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (satire)
You don’t seem to need the encouragement, but now that my birthday has come around again, so has a boost in the apparent drive you have for taking my words and shoehorning them into your ideological box. Yay.

My entire ethos revolved around achieving equality for all Americans, regardless of ethnicity. The non-violent protest movement I had the privilege to lead resulted in a moral credibility that even today, more than forty years after I was murdered, people want to invoke. Even if my views on their pet issue prove the polar opposite of theirs. Such an honor.

Take “Palestine.” I made it plain on multiple occasions that hatred for Israel serves as a poor mask for hatred of Jews. But that doesn’t stop self-proclaimed human-rights activists or New York Times op-ed columnists from pretending I’d change my pro-Israel stance if only I knew the truth. I know the truth, folks, and the truth is that giving credence to unceasing slander of Israel as if it commits some unique evil and therefore deserves unique, existential opposition, stands against everything for which I fought and bled. I should not need to spell this out.

I had this dream once – you may have heard me describe it, or read a transcript of the description. You know, the one about wanting people to be judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. To have it bandied about in support of identity politics or intersectionality constitutes a grievous insult, but another truth is that the people doing the bandying about don’t really care for truth, or my aims. They just want to score political or rhetorical points, and, well, citing Dr. King will give you quite the cudgel. So what if he wouldn’t agree with you or your goals? A mere technicality. The same attitude had anti-abolitionists quoting Scripture to defend the institution of slavery.
IsraellyCool: That Time Marvel Dealt With Arab Discrimination of Jews
As a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this comic strip – apparently from Marvel Superhero’s Contest of Champions (1982) – puts a smile on my face.

Or perhaps it is a grimace. Either way, it just goes to show how things have not changed much in 37 years.

But there was an optimistic ending: according to a thread on Reddit, he later saved her from falling with his flying carpet and they fought side by side.

Meanwhile, Marvel need to make a Sabra movie, starring Gal Gadot!

Latest in the series...

Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

Here is part 18..

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.3
  • Monday, January 21, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
There is an unwritten rule in journalism to avoid making Palestinians look bad collectively.

Israelis, sure. Settlers, certainly. But Palestinians? No, they must be given every benefit of the doubt.

The last PCPSR survey of Palestinians showed that they support a return to an armed intifada that would target Jewish civilians.

This support for terror was across the board:

Support for an armed intifada is higher in the Gaza Strip (60%) than in the West Bank (51%), among the youth between the ages of 18 and 22 years (65%) compared to those whose age is 50 years or higher (55%), among holders of BA degree (55%) compared to the illiterates (44%), among men (57%) compared to women (52%), among students (63%) compared to laborers (47%), among the religious (62%) compared to the somewhat religious (49%), among those who oppose the peace process (81%) compared to those who support the peace process (41%), and among supporters of Hamas (76%) compared to supporters of Fatah (36%).
Yes, 41% of those who say they support the peace process also support murdering Jews. 

Previous surveys asking about support for specific terror attacks showed that the numbers go up when Palestinians are asked if they support the attacks on Jewish civilians in Israel.

Previous surveys also show that the number who support killing Jews who live in Judea and Samaria are much higher, in the 80-90% range.

This is a society that supports terror on the whole. By under-reporting this, the media is implicitly blaming only Israel for the problems in the region.

The truth needs to be publicized, even if it makes Palestinians look bad. The media has an agenda and that agenda does not include facts.

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.
From Ian:

After rocket fired at Golan, IDF bombs Iran caches, intel sites, bases in Syria
Israeli fighter jets targeted Iranian weapons storehouses, intelligence facilities and a training camp near Damascus during a massive overnight bombardment, the Israel Defense Forces said Monday, accusing Iran of firing a missile at Israel a day earlier.

In addition, the Israeli Air Force bombed a number of Syrian air defense systems that fired on the attacking fighter jets, including a Russian-made Pansir S-1 battery, the military said.

“During the attack, dozens of Syrian surface-to-air missiles were fired, despite the clear warnings expressed [by Israel] to refrain from attacking. As a result, a number of Syrian air defense batteries were also attacked,” the IDF said in a statement acknowledging the attack. The public confirmation was in line with a recent departure from Israel’s previous silence about such strikes.

According to Russia, four Syrian servicemen were killed in the Israeli strikes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said at least seven other pro-regime fighters were killed, likely Iranian or Shiite militia troops.

The Israeli army said its series of airstrikes on Iranian targets was in response to a surface-to-surface missile that was fired by an Iranian militia at the Golan Heights a day earlier and intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery. According to Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, the missile attack was aimed at the popular Hermon ski resort, which was full of visitors at the time. Military officials, however, were more circumspect about the target of the missile, saying it could have been either a civilian or a military site on the Golan Heights.

The Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported Monday that the missile carried a nearly half-ton warhead.

The missile attack on the Golan appeared to come in retaliation for an alleged Israeli strike earlier Sunday against targets in the Damascus International Airport and in the town of al-Kiswah, south of the capital.
IDF: Iranian troops fired missile at Israel as a warning against future attacks
The Israel Defense Forces on Monday said the missile that was intercepted over the Hermon ski resort the previous day was launched by Iran in a “premeditated” attack aimed at deterring Israel from conducting airstrikes against the Islamic Republic’s troops and proxies in Syria.

According to the Israeli military, the missile was an Iranian-made medium-range model that was fired from the outskirts of Damascus at approximately three in the afternoon. Conflicting reports emerged about the intended target of the missile, with some politicians claiming it was the Hermon ski resort and the IDF saying it could have been heading to either a civilian or a military area.

The attack came shortly after the IDF allegedly conducted a number of rare daylight airstrikes nearby.

In response to the missile attack from Syria, which was intercepted before it breached Israeli airspace, the Israeli military launched three waves of airstrikes that targeted first Iranian sites in and around Damascus, and then Syrian air defense batteries, which had fired on the Israeli fighter jets that had attacked earlier, the IDF said.

Israeli troops on Monday remained on high alert in the north. The Hermon ski resort was closed to visitors, but no other special safety instructions were given to residents of the area.

Military spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said the three response sorties destroyed a number of Iranian intelligence sites, training bases and weapons caches, including one of the Islamic Republic’s largest depots near the Damascus International Airport, which triggered secondary explosions.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor reported that 11 pro-regime fighters were killed in the Israeli raids. Of those, according to Russia, at least four were Syrian military personnel, apparently killed in the strikes on the country’s air defenses.

On Monday morning, the IDF released video footage of its airstrikes on Syrian air defenses, including on social media.
IDF: Iran fired missile from Syrian area we were promised Iran had left
The missile that was fired into the Israeli Golan Heights on Sunday and in response to, the IDF struck multiple targets throughout Syria, was fired from an area near Damascus which Israel had been assured was empty of Iranian forces.

“The firing of the missile yesterday, a launch that could have killed civilians, was fired by Iranians out of Damascus within an area that we were promised that there would be no Iranians,” IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis told reporters Monday morning.

According to the Israeli military, the missile was an Iranian-made medium-range model that was fired from the outskirts of Damascus. The launch which came at approximately three in the afternoon came about an hour after Israel allegedly struck targets in Syria in a rare daytime attack.

“The bottom line is that such a missile fired by Iranians from an area where there they are not supposed to be is an Iranian attempt to attack Israel, to endanger civilians lives and military targets.”

According to him, the fire was carried out by Iranian command and not by Syrians or local militias.

"This was planned in advance as an attempt to deter us from continuing to act against them in Syria," Manelis said, stressing that the missile launch on Sunday and the Iranian targets struck early on Monday showed just how deep Iran’s entrenchment in the war-torn country is.

"This is the third time that Iran has tried to attack Israel in the past year, he said referring to past events in February and May when rockets were launched by Iranian troops towards Israel, adding, "Iran is exploiting Syria, and Syria is paying a heavy price for facilitating Iranian actions.”

By now, the rise and decline of the Women’s March – once hailed as the most important mass political movement in a generation – is well documented.

Interestingly, it was a piece of investigative journalism by the online publication Tablet that pulled the thread which began the unraveling.  Rumors of anti-Semitism within the national leadership of the March had been a staple of criticism of the organization’s leadership, as were questions regarding how those leaders were dealing with the millions of dollars earned through sponsorship, product sales and donations. But the detailed Tablet story added the names, dates and quotes needed to create a groundswell that couldn’t be swatted away as the work of racist critics by the March’s flawed and corrupt leadership.

I’m guessing most readers are aware of the sponsor withdrawals (some public, some quiet), failed attempts at explanations and apologies, too-weird-too-late shots at adding Jews back into the leadership fold, that led to movement’s main event (a March on Washington) declining precipitously this year.  But I’d like to focus on a dynamic that Divest This readers are well aware of: how the infiltration of a high-profile, fast-moving, progressive organization by anti-Israel activists always leads that the host’s corruption and ultimate demise.

I wish I could find the quote where one of the women who began the March talked about how the organization’s openness to new blood and eagerness to include diverse names and faces left them vulnerable to predators.  For if you look at the three women who have become the flashpoint of controversy regarding the March, you can see that their agenda was not to move the fight for women’s rights forward, but to channel the momentum created by others towards their own political ends.

Phyllis Chesler highlights how little the agenda of the March has to do with issues specific to women.  Women obviously make up half the planet’s population, so a focus on immigration, economic justice (whatever that means), and international affairs is going to impact women as well as men.  But the point Chesler is making is that the concept of intersectionality (which links every injustice with every other) is so broad and amorphous that it allows anyone to claim the mantle of feminist leadership regardless of which issues they are actually fighting for.

Similar infiltration of progressive groups by anti-Israel activists is so well documented as to almost be a cliché.  When the Occupy Wall Street project popped up a few years ago, one of its most well-known features was lack of leadership and direction.  This was intentional, given that Occupy wanted to avoid hierarchy, relying on consensus to decide what would happen next (even if that turned out to never end in a decision). 

The Israel haters would have none of this.  As usual, their involvement in consensus building involved insisting that any consensus that did not embrace their agenda represented treason to the progressive cause (defined – by them – as an unquestioning embrace of the anti-Israel project).  And so an organization that could barely rouse itself from camp somehow managed to march on a single consulate – guess which one – increasing suspicion of the entire project (which eventually made it easier to shut the whole thing down).

Infiltration of other people’s institutions can be seen wherever progressive politics is ascendant, notably college campuses where intersectional coalitions somehow always include support for BDS.  BDS champions insist that this is simply a matter of justice, but as I’ve noted before, intersectionality seems to have ended up a one-way street where feminists and gay rights activists (to pick a couple of examples) must embrace an assault on Israel while shutting up about the abominable plight of women and gays everywhere else in the Middle East save Israel.

Why must everyone in a college intersectional coalition – including feminists and gay activists – submit to the will of mostly male, mostly straight BDS leaders far from campus?  Because the boycotters are ready to do anything, including destroying any organization they join, in order to get their way. 

Within the Women’s March you are seeing a similar drama play out as predators who have taken over a project they did not start seem ready to see it go down in flames rather than free it from enslavement to issues of their choice. 

I suppose it is good news that so many women are voting with their feet by abandoning the national organization and either running events of their own or exploring other ways to make womens’ rights a higher priority in the US and around the world.  But if any of these other groups find themselves taking off, best they learn a lesson on how to protect any institution they build from those who are ready to join it for the sole purpose of turning it towards different ends.

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  • Monday, January 21, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

I was struck by the first paragraph of this recent article in Quartz:

Palestine has some of the highest rates of mental illness in the world. A quarter of Palestinian adolescents have made suicide attempts; about 23.2% have post-traumatic stress disorder (according to a survey of 1,369 over three years) compared to around 6-9% in the US; and the Palestinian territories have by far the highest levels of depression in the Eastern Mediterranean region. 

I looked up the sources for these statistics and every single one is suspect -or outright wrong.

Did a quarter of Palestinian adolescents attempt suicide? No. In one specific town, 25% of teens seriously considered or made plans for suicide, according to a survey. Bizarrely, slightly more students reported having made plans for suicide than those who reported seriously considering suicide, which makes no sense and points to serious problems with the survey methodology.

Do 23.2% have PTSD? No, that survey was only of adolescents who were already mental health patients. Even the study that was quoted says "The findings in the below studies need to be considered with caution due to weaknesses in study design, such as the use of self-developed and unverified questionnaires and measurement tools that are in need of further validation."

Moreover, the questionnaires themselves used in that study point to the idea that students who respond are lying. For example, 35% of youths surveyed claimed that they had experienced Israelis searching their house in the previous year, during the height of the intifada.

A back of the envelope calculation, assuming six people per household, would indicate that the IDF searched over 100,000 homes in a single year.

That is physically impossible.

The other findings are equally ludicrous: 15% reported being beaten in the previous year, 6% said they were used as human shields, 14% said their houses were taken over by Israeli soldiers while they were inside. Again, none of this makes sense even at the height of the violence. But it is reported as fact and is the basis on conclusions of how Palestinian youths are traumatized.

It is more likely that many Palestinians are conditioned to respond to surveys the way they want the world to think, not what really happened.

The rest of the Quartz article is an interview with a Palestinian psychiatrist who claims that things are actually worse than the survey says - that Palestinians are so traumatized that you cannot claim they have PTSD because their trauma is ongoing, there is nothing "post" about it. And she is talking about today, not during a wave of terror, when the only time most Palestinians see an Israeli soldier is when they go through checkpoints. The doctor uses Gaza as an example, but these surveys were all done in the West Bank.

The honor/shame dynamic is not considered in these surveys and articles. "Experts" and people who take surveys want to give an impression more than they want to tell the truth, because the truth is often shameful but blaming all problems on Israel is honorable.

(h/t Bill)

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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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