Sunday, July 22, 2018

  • Sunday, July 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

On Sunday, over 1000 Jews visited the site of the Holy Temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to commemorate the anniversary of their destruction.

9 of them were detained by police for the unpardonable crime of praying or bowing.

Here's Arab video of the Jews peacefully strolling on the Mount, as well as praying outside of it.

This is of course too much for darlings of the liberal West.

Not only did Hamas and Islamic Jihad condemn these visits, but the Kingdom of Jordan issued a formal diplomatic complaint against allowing Jews to exercise freedom of religion.

The Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv presented a diplomatic protest note to the Israeli Foreign Ministry thison Sunday morning "expressing the Kingdom's strong condemnation of these violations and demanded an immediate halt," the Jordanian minister of information, Jumana Ghneimat, said in a statement.

Ghunaim condemned what she described as the "continuous Israeli violations and provocations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially the provocative incursions of extremists and settlers that took place today in large numbers on the sanctuaries of the Al Aqsa compound under the protection of the Israeli police. Such condemnatory and reprehensible practices, which are protected by the Israeli police, violate the sanctity of this holy place and provoke the feelings of worshipers and Muslims all over the world."

She added, "This is a violation of all international conventions that emphasize the need to respect places of worship for all religions," she said.

The irony of banning Jews under the pretext of respecting religion is apparently lost on the Muslim world and its Western supporters.

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  • Sunday, July 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
This video was going around social media. Note the tweet:

Someone asked me to look at it, and it was immediately apparent to me that the woman had a knife - she is chasing a man at the start of the video and she is later seen with her arm up in a stabbing position in case anyone comes near. That would explain why someone was trying to chase her with a chair, to keep out of arm's length, and why someone tried to stop her with his car.

A little research and I found the story, from 2016,  with another angle of the video showing the woman (who is not old at all)  trying to stab multiple people in the street while they throw things at her to keep her at bay:

A female Arab terrorist on Sunday tried to stab civilians and succeeded in wounding one victim in the coastal city of Rosh Ha'ayin, located southeast of Tel Aviv, before being neutralized. The stabbing has yet to be officially classified as a terror attack.

The incident took place on Hamalakha Street in the city, where a female Arab suspect with two knives was arrested.

She had tried to stab passersby and lightly wounded one woman aged around 30. The victim was fully conscious and received treatment from Magen David Adom (MDA) medical teams.

Video from security cameras at the site show how civilians rushed to try and apprehend the Arab woman and prevent her from continuing to stab, and one driver tried to knock her over with his car to stop her. Witnesses report she shouted: "I'll kill you!"

According to the police, a security guard in the city's industrial region overpowered her, knocking the knife from her hand without opening fire. She had another knife in her bag.

Police noted that the stabber is being investigated to understand her motives.

Yet the anti-Israel lie kept getting far more retweets even after I exposed the truth than beforehand!

Anyone who has the slightest actual knowledge about Israel knows that 20% of Israelis are Arabs. The idea that Israeli Jews chase random Arab women for no reason is ludicrous. Yet that is what is easily believed by 2000 people so far, from a Twitter user who is not even very popular.

This is modern antisemitism in action - people willing to believe the most absurd lies about Israeli Jews without the least bit of critical thinking, swallowing lies that take seconds to debunk. 

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Friday, July 20, 2018

  • Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I will not be blogging until Sunday afternoon because of Tisha B'Av.

Meanwhile, here is something I wrote about it a few years ago.

It was not that long ago that Jews cried real tears for the Temple - and not only once a year. Countless Christian pilgrims visiting Jerusalem chronicled the heartbreaking sight of Jews gathering at the Kotel, then known then as the Wailing Place of the Jews, every Friday.

From Dwight's American Magazine, Volume 3, 1847:
I have said how proud and prosperous looked the Mosque of Omar, with its marble buildings, its green lawns, and gaily dressed people, some at prayer under the cypresses, some conversing under the arcades ; female devotees in white sitting on the grass, and merry children running on the slopes; all these ready and eager to stone to death on the instant, any Christian or Jew who should dare to set his foot within the wails. This is what we saw within. Next we went around the outside till we came by a narrow, crooked passage, to a desolate spot, occupied by desolate people. Under a high, massive, and very ancient wall was a dusty, narrow space, enclosed on the other side by the backs of modern dwellings, if I remember right. The ancient wall, where the weeds are springing from the crevices of the stones, is the only part remaining of the old Temple wall; and here the Jews come every Friday, to their Place of Wailing, as it is called, to mourn over the fall of their Temple, and pray for its restoration. What a contrast did these humbled people present to the proud Mohammedans within! They were seated in the dust, some wailing aloud, some repeating prayers with moving lips, and others reading them from books on their knees. A few children were at play on the ground; and some aged men sat silent, their heads drooped on their breasts. Several young men were leaning against the wall, pressing their foreheads against the stones, and resting the books on their clasped hands in the crevices. With some, this wailing is no form; for I saw tears on their cheeks. I longed to know if any had hope in their hearts, that they or their children of any generation should pass that wall, and should help to swell the cry, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, that the King of Glory may come in!" If they have any such hope, it may give some sweetness to this rite of humiliation. We had no such hope for them; and it was with unspeakable sadness that I, for one, turned away from the thought of the pride and tyranny within those walls, and the desolation without, carrying with me a deep felt lesson on the strength of human faith, and the weakness of the tide of brotherhood.

From Home Life in the Bible, 1881:
Among the impressive sights of Jerusalem for the traveller, none perhaps is sadder than the Wailing-place of the Jews, which affords probably the only example of national ceremonial mourning in the world. The resident Hebrews assemble every Friday at the base of the wall of their ancient Temple in the Valley of the Tyropean, and with prayers and tears bewail before God the fallen glory of his chosen people. The formal lamentation consists of chanting certain appropriate portions of Scripture, such as the words of Isaiah: "Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity forever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste" (Isa. lxiv. 9—11); and those of the Psalmist: "O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance ; thy holy temple have they defiled ; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place. O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us ; for we are brought very low" (Ps. lxxix. 1, 6-8). This touching custom is very old; and during periods of foreign oppression the Jews maintained it only by paying a heavy tax for the precious privilege of touching and kissing the stones of their once glorious sanctuary. In the reign of Constantine the expelled race were allowed to enter the city only once a year to wail over the ruined Temple.
From The Church of England magazine, 1869:
A very striking sight is the wailing ot the Jews at the Temple wall, which any traveller may witness on a Friday afternoon about four or five o'clock. There is a narrow passage along the west side of the Temple area between what are known as Robinson's and Wilson's arches. The wall rises to a considerable height, and the lower part is formed of very large stones, which are supposed to bo remains of the Temple. They are much ruined, and the grass and herbage grow in the shattered crevices of the once neatly-joined masonry. In these crevices the Jews place little scrolls of parchment, on which are written prayers to the messiah to come and deliver them. Before this wall are gathered a throng of Jews: most of them are women, who wear long mourning veils of linen over their heads. Some are close to the wall, kissing the sacred stones and watering them with their tears. Others are seated on the ground, reading passages of scripture to one another from the Lamentations of Jeremiah and penitential psalms. All seem to be absorbed in deep and genuine grief. At one end may be seen a party of rabbis rocking themselves backwards and forwards in almost frantic grief, reciting in a wild chant psalms and passages of holy scripture, which are responded to by several boys in a sort of chorus.

A mere century ago, Jews keenly felt  a personal bereavement of the loss of the Temple. They sobbed and wailed over the fact that the beautiful Temple, the symbol of their nationhood as well as their faith, was being desecrated daily, that the Holy of Holies was being treated like a playground, or worse. The Wall symbolized the loss of Jerusalem and the millennia of exile of the Jewish people.

We should be crying today as well - for the fact that we no longer cry.

The triumphant words of Colonel Motta Gur, exclaimed in 1967, that "הר הבית בידינו" -"The Temple Mount is in our hands!", seems like a cruel joke today. It was in our hands - for only a matter of hours. In what can only be regarded as a modern Jewish tragedy, Moshe Dayan decided to hand the keys of the Temple Mount to the Waqf of Jordan.

Now, as before, Muslims continue to do whatever they want in Judaism's holiest spot - but the tragedy is multiplied, because now it is Jews who are stopping other Jews from ascending and it is Jews who are allowing the defilement of our holiest space to continue.

The Kotel, formerly a bitter symbol of destruction, now is characterized as a plaza of victory. Yet it is merely a retaining wall for a platform upon which is found Judaism's holiest spot. The focal point of Jewish yearning has never been the Wall - the Wall has always been, and remains today, a stark reminder of the loss of the Temple. The focus is only a few meters beyond the Wall, to a place that continues to be desecrated every minute of every hour of every day. The Kotel is not a place to celebrate - it is a place to mourn that continuing desecration..

We used to gather three times a year at that location. All personal differences dissolved during each Chag. The festivals were national celebrations, a family reuniion, the happiest times of the year.  That has been lost.

Why aren't we crying? Why have we lost sight of the tragedy that still exists, today, in the Har HaBayit? At the very moment of the culmination of Jewish national aspiration for 1900 years, during the giddy and emotional high of finally returning to the epicenter of our forefathers' yearnings, we faltered. We acted as if we really were not masters of our own land. We failed the generations before us. The millions of tears of those who cried at the Kotel for hundreds of years are wasted.

Giving up the Temple Mount was not an act of peace. Instead, it was a guarantee for perpetual war. Because we did not take control of this supremely important place, we now are in a position of bargaining for our own capital - as if it doesn't really belong to us. Even with political sovereignty, we are still acting as if we need to get permission from others in order to assert our rights.

It is of course a wonderful thing to see Zechariah's prophecy come true, with children playing on the streets of Jerusalem again, to see the Hurva resurrected, to see Jews return to the center of their universe - but today's Jerusalem has a cancer in its very heart. A cancer that is spreading.

The tragedy is even keener than it was before 1948, before 1967. The tragedy today is our own fault. The Psalmist asks"?מי יעלה בהר ה' , ומי יקום במקום קדשו,"Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord? and who shall stand in His holy place?"   How can we answer that question today without tears?

Yet we have forgotten how to cry. We have masked our bare, painful emotions with intellectualism and secularism. We have discarded our hearts and act as if we can survive with only our brains.

We cry at movies, at sports events - but we don't cry on Tisha B'Av. As much as we should be weeping for the loss of the Temples, we should also be weeping at the loss of our ability to internalize that loss.

We need to look at the tears of the Yerushalmi Jews of old and understand their source. Because the tears of loss are necessary to  give us the strength to win.

I wish my Jewish readers an easy and meaningful fast. May this be the last Tisha B'av we observe as a day of mourning.  

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From Ian:

David Singer: Trump and Putin may attempt a return to pre-PLO and Hamas days
The 1964 PLO Charter said: “This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area..." Good idea.

When Security Council Resolution 242 was passed on 22 November 1967:
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was not the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs - having only being so appointed at the 7th Arab League Summit held in Rabat in October 1974.

Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) (“Territories”) were Jordanian citizens and possessed Jordanian passports following these Territories being unified with Transjordan on 24 April 1950 and subsequently being renamed Jordan.

The PLO was expressly not claiming territorial sovereignty in the Territories or Gaza - article 24 of the PLO Charter proclaiming:

“This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.

No additional Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – was contemplated.

Hamas had not been founded.

Resolution 242 still contains the only internationally agreed formula for peacefully ending the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

A conference to resolve this long-running conflict in accordance with Resolution 242 - co-chaired by America and Russia – would see Israel and every Arab State in the area attending but would exclude non-States PLO and Hamas.

Such a conference now looms as a possible Trump-Putin initiative - putting Trump’s unannounced “ultimate deal” on the backburner.

Going back to 1967 could indeed be the key to resolving the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Caroline Glick: Who is betraying America?
When Putin endorsed Israel’s position that the 1974 Syrian-Israeli disengagement agreement must be implemented along the border, he told the Iranians that in any Iranian-Israeli war in Syria, Putin will not side with Iran.

Time will tell if we just averted war. But what we did learn is that Israel’s position in a war with Iran is stronger than it could have been if the two leaders hadn’t met in Helsinki.

And this is exceedingly important.

Trump is being condemned for adopting a conciliatory tone towards Putin while employing a combative tone towards the Europeans and particularly Germany at the NATO summit. This criticism ignores how Trump operates in the international arena.

Trump views his exchanges with foreign leaders as separate engagements. He has goals he wishes to advance with China; with North Korea; with Russia; with Canada; with Mexico; with Europe; with Britain; with US Arab allies. In each separate engagement, Trump employs a combination of carrots and sticks. In each engagement he adopts a distinct manner that he believes advances his goals.

So far, unlike Obama’s foreign policy by this point in his presidency, none of Trump’s exchanges have brought disaster on America or its allies. To the contrary, America and its allies have much greater strategic maneuver room across a wide spectrum of threats and join adversaries than they had when Obama left office.

Trump’s opponents’ obsession with bringing him down has caused great harm to his presidency and to America’s position worldwide. It is a testament to Trump’s commitment to the US and its allies that he met with Putin this week. And the success of their meeting is something that all who care about global security and preventing a devastating war in the Middle East should be grateful for.
Melanie Phillips: Institutionalizing antisemitism in UK’s Labour Party
The Jewish leadership has always been nervous about linking Israel with antisemitism, believing that Israel merely “complicated” the issue. But today, it is the issue.

Now British Jews find themselves caught up in an internal Labour Party war over it. The real agony for them is that the climate in Britain has deteriorated to such a point that Labour feels licensed to treat British Jews – as Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has said – with unprecedented contempt.

They plan a continuing campaign to get Labour to adopt the full IHRA definition. But that is to continue avoid confronting the elephant in the room.

This is the fact that so many on the progressive side of politics have swallowed the Big Lies about Israel. And that includes a dismaying number of British Jews themselves, who do things like recite kaddish for Hamas terrorists killed by Israel to prevent them murdering Israelis.

These Jews for Injustice against Jews who demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel provide cover for Labour’s new antisemitism. This stretches far beyond the Corbynite hard Left; it is in fact the default position for most of liberal and left-wing society.

The real task, therefore, is not to adopt the IHRA wording. It is to start telling the British public that virtually everything they hear about Israel from the media and intelligentsia is a lie; that anyone who supports Palestinianism is endorsing the most profound and demonic kind of antisemitism; and that Israel stands unambiguously for law, justice, truth and human rights, and that those who vilify it are themselves repudiating all these things.

Will British Jews finally step up to the plate and start saying all this? Unlikely. Why? It’s not just their timidity. They first need to start believing it themselves.

  • Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The sheer amount of lies about the Nation State of the Jewish People law prompted me to create this....

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From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: Stop funding UN agencies that welcome the PLO
Last month, two UN agencies, whose membership is limited to sovereign countries, gave a “member state” seat to the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Under a law passed with overwhelming and bipartisan support in Congress over two decades ago, that means these UN bodies can no longer get taxpayer funding.

Yet US contributions continue — along with money to two other UN organizations the Palestinians joined in recent years.

Continuing to pay a total of $40 million a year for these agencies flouts US law and undermines American credibility. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been commendably pressing for UN reform, but Turtle Bay may sneer at such demands if the US isn’t even following its own legally mandated restrictions. Moreover, it encourages the Palestinian Authority to continue its campaign of “internationalizing” the conflict.

The law bars any congressionally appropriated money from going to UN agencies that accept the PLO as a “member state.” It seeks to deter the PLO from using the UN, where it enjoys an automatic majority of support, to purport to confer upon it the status of a sovereign state that, in turn, would be used by the Palestinians to present Israel with a diplomatic fait accompli, and completely remove any pressure on the Palestinians to make any compromises.

Once the Palestinians join such organizations, they hijack their agendas, and turn these organizations, already heavily biased against Israel, into platforms for nakedly anti-Semitic agendas.

Khaled Abu Toameh: U.S. consulate cancels visit to Nablus following Palestinian protests
Palestinians boasted on Thursday that they had forced the US consulate-general in Jerusalem to cancel a visit by its officials to Nablus and the nearby town of Sebastiya.

The Palestinians said the visit of the US delegation was canceled following protests by various Palestinian factions and figures.

The Palestinian Authority leadership has been boycotting US administration officials since President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.

Nasr Abu Jeish, a senior official with the Palestinian People’s Party, formerly the Palestinian Communist Party, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that the visit to Nablus was called off after representatives of various Palestinian factions protested outside the Palestine Securities Exchange offices in Nablus.

The US delegation was scheduled to visit the offices of the Palestinian Securities Exchange in the city and tour Sebastiya.

Abu Jeish said the Palestinians were opposed to the visit because of the US administration’s “bias” in favor of Israel and “attempts to impose the ‘deal of the century’” on them, referring to Trump’s yet-to-announced plan for peace in the Middle East.
US indicates readiness to work with Hamas if it ends terror; Hamas says no
The Trump administration indicated it was prepared to work with the Hamas terror group which controls the Gaza Strip if it first recognizes Israel’s right to exist and renounces violence.

US Middle East envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, together with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post late Thursday that the US and other countries were prepared to offer humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Strip, but were stymied by Hamas’s commitment to fighting Israel.

On Friday Hamas rejected the offer, dismissing the US envoys as “spokesmen of the Israeli occupation.”

“International donors are conflicted: Should they try to help the people directly, at the certain risk of enriching terrorists, or withhold funding to Hamas and watch the people it is supposed to govern suffer?” the Americans wrote.

“There are engaged, interested parties with resources who are ready to get to work. Yet without real change accompanied by reliable security, progress is impossible,” they said in the opinion piece. “If Hamas demonstrates clear, peaceful intentions — not just by word but, more importantly, by deed — then all manner of new opportunities becomes possible.”

  • Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
In an ignorant critique of the new Nation State of the Jewish People law in a Palestinian newspaper, the author ridicules the idea that there are a Jewish people altogether, saying that it is merely a religion.
Has there ever been a religion in the world with "people" of its own ?! If it is true that the followers of any religion form a nation, the nation is above the peoples, nationalities and ethnicities.
The modern concept of "people" is linked to a geopolitical and legal entity, and to form ethnic groups or nationalities, which does not apply to any religion at all including the Jewish religion
This is a constant theme of Palestinian political theorists, because they know quite well that if Jews are a people, then they were in the area before Arabs were.

The logical fallacy is that Judaism is only a religion, when in fact it is both a faith and a nation.

Before the rebirth of Israel, everyone knew this. A couple of books from the 19th century:

The world always knew Jews formed a nation and were a people, beyond a religion.

And if the Jewish people require a home, where would it be?

The illustration at the start of one of these books shows it clearly:

"Palestine to Illustrate the History of the Jews."

The land that was called Palestine by most of the world was also recognized as the homeland of the Jewish people by most of the world before Zionism.

The other irony with this author claiming that members of a religion cannot be members of anything other than a religion is the entire concept of the Islamic 'umma, or community.

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  • Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Elie Trabelsi, a prominent Tunisian Jewish businessman, published on his Facebook page a set of photos showing Arabs desecrating an old Jewish cemetery in Sousse  and cooking a barbeque.

He was outraged, and he also pointed out that it was against Tunisian law.

The good news is that the Tunisian police actually took this seriously. The mayor of Sousse,  Tawfiq al-Oreybi. says that they are investigating and that the police will take appropriate action, stressing that desecrating a cemetery is unacceptable. 

Sousse police arrested 6 men in the cemetery, but it doesn't appear that they are the ones pictured here. Apparently the cemetery has turned into a hangout.

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.

  • Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Palestine Press reports that about 60,000 people crossed the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge between Jordan and the West Bank last week.

30,718 people went to Jordan and  29,010 came the other direction, according to Palestinian police.

This was considered an average week, the statement said.

Palestinian police arrested 57 people on criminal charges for people crossing in both directions.

Israel has control over this and the other crossings to Jordan, and yet the fact that it allows so many people to freely move in both directions every week is at odds with the image that Palestinians and anti-Israel activists want to show the world.

For example, Gisha, the NGO that is concerned with freedom of movement for Palestinians, doesn't even publish statistics on how easily they can travel between the West Bank and Jordan on their Graphs page - only statistics about Gaza.

This sort of selective reporting is a way to obfuscate, rather than reveal, the truth.

If Gaza was not controlled by an Islamic extremist terror organization, the statistics on Gazans traveling to Egypt and through Israel to the West Bank would be much, much higher. But that is another fact that must be hidden from the world by NGOs that supposedly care about Palestinians but whose reports reveal they really only care to attack Israel.

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

  • Thursday, July 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
As the world freaks out over Israel calling itself a Jewish state, stating Hebrew is the official language, declaring Jerusalem as its capital and other parts of the new Basic Law , here are the first four articles of the constitution of "Palestine:"

Palestine is part of the large Arab World, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation. Arab Unity is an objective which the Palestinian People shall work to achieve.

The Palestinian People are the source of all power, which shall be exercised through the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities, based on the principle of separation of powers, and in the manner set forth in this Basic Law.

Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine.

Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.
Arabic shall be the official language.
I bet there was not a single op-ed that called this document "racist" when it was adopted in 2003.

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From Ian:

PMW: Cheering Palestinians hang and burn effigy of Donald Trump
Palestinians from Abbas' Fatah party held an anti-America rally in Nablus, to express support for Mahmoud Abbas' rejection of the American peace proposal. The highlight of the rally was when a giant Donald Trump doll hanging from a noose was brought in front of the crowd, who cheered as Trump's effigy was then ignited and burned.

Mahmoud Al- Aloul, Abbas' deputy who is seen as Abbas' choice to succeed him as chairman of the PA, participated in the anti-US rally. Strikingly, in one of the pictures that the Fatah of Nablus posted on its Facebook, PMW has noted that Al-Aloul raised his hand in a "V" sign for "Victory" to Trump's burning effigy.

Official PA TV news also broadcast the burning of Trump's effigy stressing that this was to counter the US peace proposal:

Official PA TV newsreader: "In opposition to the attempts to eliminate the Palestinian cause and to [US President] Trump's deal, masses of our people in the Nablus district participated in the central rally that was organized by the Fatah Movement at Martyrs (Shahids) Square in the center of the city."

Official PA TV reporter: "The official and popular Palestinian protest is strengthening, opening the way for future activities, given the attempts to harm the symbols of the [Palestinian] cause and its red lines."

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul was also interviewed by PA TV, and stressed the anti-American focus of the Fatah event:
"[The rally is being held] because the public understands the weight of the pressures to which [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are being subjected by the US. It wants to execute its deal, which it called 'the deal of the century,' and which President Mahmoud Abbas is standing firm against and rejecting - he and the Palestinian leadership - most decisively."
Melanie Phillips: The hysteria over Helsinki and the real threat to the free world
Just as he did with Kim Jong-un, another formidably dangerous foe, he therefore flatters him in public as a kind of feint in order to cement what he’s doing behind the scenes in making him an offer he can’t refuse. It’s a negotiating strategy.

That also explains the difference between the way he approaches Putin or Kim Jong-un and the way he treats the EU, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. He holds the EU and Merkel in contempt as weak and relatively powerless; there’s little if anything he wants from the EU, except for them to pay more towards their own defence. He does, though, want a good deal with the UK; hence the way he tempered his criticism of Mrs May’s catastrophic Brexit negotiating strategy with more emollient language, in order to convey his message that he wanted to deal with an independent Britain and not with an EU proxy.

Trump’s personality flaws – his self-obsession, his lack of attention span, his thin skin against criticism, his inability to speak carefully and accurately – are plain for all to see. The crucial point, however, is not what Trump says, nor the content of his character, but what he does and what he achieves.

And here’s what Putin said that was potentially so significant. For his remarks suggested that he would support Trump’s attempts to defang both Iran and North Korea. If Trump turns out to have succeeded in detaching Russia from Iran over Syria and from China over North Korea, that would be a huge step towards defeating two of the most evil and dangerous regimes in the world.

Seen in this light, the reaction of the media and political class to the Helsinki press conference was not just hysterical and disproportionate and a display of near-pathological hatred towards Donald Trump, but a malevolent undermining of the most promising attempt for years to tackle some of the major threats to the peace and security of the world.
Melanie Phillips: Crazy world Brexit, Helsinki, Labour, Tommy Robinson
Please join me here as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired the mass hysteria breaking out all over the place: over Britain’s Brexit impasse, President Trump’s Helsinki press conference, Labour Party antisemitism and the jailing of Tommy Robinson.

Caroline Glick: Trump Was the Big Winner at Helsinki Summit
In their remarks, both Putin and Trump said that they are committed to Israel’s security. Putin said that he accepts Israel’s position that the 1974 disengagement of forces agreement between Israel and Syria must be implemented. The agreement bars Syrian military forces from deploying to the border with Israel and limits their deployment in the area adjacent to it. Trump stated outright that the U.S. supports Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from entrenching its forces in Syria.

Both leaders also expressed their admiration and respect for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

These remarks were significant on two levels. First, they reduced the prospect of war by communicating key messages to Iran and Hezbollah.

Trump’s statement that,“the United States will not allow Iran to benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS” dovetailed a statement by National Security Advisor John Bolton ahead of the summit. Speaking Sunday with ABC News, Bolton said, “I think the president has made it clear that we are there [in Syria] until the ISIS territorial caliphate is removed and as long as the Iranian menace continues throughout the Middle East.”

Iran will understand the remarks of both men to mean that the U.S. will fight with Israel in any war with Iranian-controlled forces in Syria to ensure their withdrawal, just as they fought with their allies in Syria to defeat ISIS.

Then there is Putin. Putin’s statement of support for Israel’s security and peaceful relations between Syria and Israel also sent a signal to Iran. Whereas Putin has worked with Iran to enable Assad to survive and restore his control over territory previously controlled by rebel forces, Putin will not cooperate with Iran if it chooses to remain in Syria and face Israeli and perhaps U.S. forces in battle.

Putin may or may not help Israel in such a war. He may or may not work with the U.S. But he will not fight on Iran’s side.

While it is unlikely that these statements will suffice to convince Iran and Hezbollah to withdraw their forces from Syria, it is clear enough that the summit reduced the prospects of war in the immediate term.

And again, if that was the only thing accomplished at the summit, its importance would be incontestable.
Trump/Putin Summit. Trump is Right on Russia! And More

  • Thursday, July 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is from Professor Eugene Kontorovich's written testimony to a congressional committee on national security on July 17.

He first goes through the legal arguments that no international law is violated by Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights.

But then he digresses and discusses the issue of the "experts" that are against the US recognizing this annexation, and how very wrong these "experts" have been on Syria.


Even discussing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan purely from a legal perspective goes sharply against the grain of consensus among Middle East experts. The conventional view is that Israel must at some point return the Golan Heights to the Syrian Arab Republic. Many will likely argue that recognition would harm U.S. relations with the Arab world, or be “destabilizing.” Thus in closing, a few observations are in order about the value of the accepted wisdom in these matters.

.... Less than a decade ago, the conventional wisdom of the foreign policy establishment was that Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria in a peace deal. Not only would an Israeli withdrawal make peace between the two countries, the story went, it would get Damascus to break its alliance with Iran. The views of Amb. Martin Indyk in a 2010 New York Times op-ed were typical:

Today, nothing could better help Obama to isolate Iran than for Netanyahu to offer to cede the Golan. . . Netanyahu must make a choice: take on the president of the United States, or take on his right wing. 
 This position was standard. Indeed, never were experts more confident that Assad was a partner for peace than in the years just prior to his campaign of systematic ethnic cleansing and gassing of his own population.

In 2009, a blue-ribbon panel that that included Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chuck Hagel, Lee Hamilton, Brent Scowcroft and others released a report about the “last chance” for peace. Among other things, it recommended that the U.S push for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan to "fundamentally transform the regional landscape and ultimately detach Damascus from its uneasy strategic partnership with Iran.”

 In the same vein, Richard Haass, the head of the Council on Foreign Relations, painted this rosy picture:
Israel's security could be further buttressed by demilitarizing the territory returned to Syria. Technology could provide early-warning systems. Peacekeepers (possibly American) could be stationed there, much as they are in the Sinai to buttress the peace between Israel and Egypt. And the Syrian leadership is sufficiently strong that it could live up to security commitments.”

 Today, every aspect of the assumptions behind these suggestions has been entirely discredited.

Firstly, Assad is not and never was a peacemaker. The notion that he would abide by a deal with Israel any more than the countless ceasefires, chemical weapons agreements and treaties, and basic international commitments that he has flouted in the past seven years strains credulity.

Second, his alliance with Iran is not a bad relationship he stumbled into, but rather his greatest strategic asset. Iran has ensured the survival of his regime and family when most others countries would turn away in disgust: that is not an alliance he would give up for the Golan.

As for peacekeepers in a possible peace deal, the U.N. peacekeepers already stationed in the Golan fled their positions at the outbreak of the civil war. The demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria – the fruit of earlier diplomatic accords - has been remilitarized by both Assad and rebel groups. Nor have U.S. allies in Syria, such as the Kurds, been able to rely much on direct U.S. backing when the going gets tough.

Thus the peace deal widely favored just a few years ago by leading policy experts would have expanded Assad’s power and threatened Israel – for naught.

The profound and demonstrable error of the foreign policy consensus in these matters – from Jerusalem to the Golan – is something that must be taken into account going forward. It suggests that in charting future policy, the U.S. should not be guided by the same hollow certitudes. In the wake of these serious misjudgments by leading Middle East professionals, it would behoove the U.S. to look in totally different directions for solutions. Just as many said “now is not the right time” to move the embassy, a similar refrain will be heard about the Golan. But now – in the wake of falsely positive predictions about the nature of the Assad regime and falsely negative ones about the consequences of moving the embassy to Israel – it is the right time to seek entirely new paradigms in these matters. Recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan is a start.

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