Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Makor Rishon reports that Shuaa Masarwa Mansour, the Arab mayor of Taibeh, in central Israel, was recently interviewed by that paper about COVID-19 and the reporter noticed that he has a map on his wall showing all of "Palestine" without Israel.

Also, above his head in his office space are the "keys" that symbolize the Palestinian "right of return" to destroy the Jewish state.

This is an Israeli mayor who is openly advocating a position of destroying Israel.

When Makor Rishon asked for explanations about the map, the mayor answered: "Qalqilya's governor and city council members came to greet me when I won the election, and brought me this gift of a map of Palestine. They see Taibeh residents as one people and an integral part of Palestine, so they brought it as a gift."

That's fine - but he chose to display it in his home.

Many Israeli Arabs are patriotic citizens of Israel. When a prominent Arab mayor openly shows his anti-Israel positions, he can give ammunition to those who claim that Arabs should not have full rights in Israel, and that hurts everybody. 

(h/t Yoel)

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

From Ian:

Vivian Bercovici: Can Israelis See the Peace Through the Pandemic?
COVID will come and go, but the Abraham Accords have the potential to reshape the geopolitical reality of the Middle East and beyond. These accords further isolate Iran, Qatar, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Hezballah, and other extremist states and groups in the Middle East.

The UAE has embraced this new relationship with unbridled enthusiasm, engaging every sector of Israeli society. Their boldness is forging a path forward, and other nations are following.

In these Days of Awe, I hope that all Israelis take note and make or do a “cheshbon nefesh.” We must see through our collective rage at the government, which is obscuring what should be celebrated: a new, promising era of peace.

I understand the anger and share it. A second medieval lockdown is infuriating and will wreak havoc on the well-being of too many Israelis. But it will pass. Perhaps this peace is permanent.

Among the matters I will contemplate when taking my personal cheshbon nefesh will be gratitude to all who worked to bring about this peace and recognition. And I will work hard to manage my anger at the transient people and things.

Gamar Chatima Tova, we say when greeting one another in these Days of Awe. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year.

How Denmark, Sweden, the U.N., and the EU Got Suckered Into Funding a Terror Organization
The arrests in December 2019 of 50 suspected members of the sizable terrorist infrastructure of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Ramallah, which was responsible for the terror attack in which teenager Rina Shnerb was murdered and her father and brother were injured last summer (Aug. 23, 2019), exposed the significant magnitude of PFLP terror networks and their capacity to strike within Israel. Perhaps more ominously, it also exposed the self-deception under which many left activists operate in Europe and the United States.

PFLP funders see or pretend to see the delegitimization activity performed by PFLP-affiliated organizations as peaceful/nonviolent actions that are unrelated to the terrorist operations of the PFLP. This hypocrisy reached a new peak in a letter sent recently by the European Union’s representative to the Palestinian Authority, who guaranteed the Palestinian NGOs, many of which are affiliated with the PFLP, that the EU will keep funding them in spite of their affiliation with organizations that have been formally designated by the EU as terror organizations—a promise that came after the NGOs refused to commit to avoid such affiliations.

The PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, EU, Australia, Canada, and Japan. Back when its terror unit was still called “The Red Eagles,” PFLP won world attention because of its involvement in plane hijackings (Leila Khaled, who took part in two such attacks, is a member of the PFLP politburo and of the Palestinian National Council), and the massacre it carried out in Israel’s Lod airport in 1972.

The PFLP’s current terror arm, the “Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades,” operates from a headquarters in Damascus, where it maintains operational cooperation with Iran and Hezbollah. The PFLP has active cells in many governorates of the Palestinian Authority with dozens of active members in Judea and Samaria. Through these terror arms, the PFLP perpetrated some of the most despicable terror attacks, including the murder of Israeli minister Rehavam Ze’evi (October 2001); six suicide bombing attacks during the Second Intifada that left 13 people dead including the Nov. 1, 2004, suicide bombing attack in the crowded Carmel Market in Tel Aviv that left three dead; and the attempt to murder Israel's former Chief Rabbi Ovadya Yosef in 2005 (Salah Hamouri, who played a key role in planning the attack is a prominent activist in the PFLP-affiliated, so-called “human rights” NGO Addameer).

In November 2014, the PFLP carried out the vicious murder with axes and guns of five Jewish worshippers while they were praying at the Har-Nof synagogue in Jerusalem, as well as a policeman who tried to stop the attack. The attack was carried out by two brothers who were related to a former PFLP terrorist and the PFLP took responsibility for and praised the attack, though some sources dispute this. The PFLP performed numerous rocket attacks from Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and participates in the operation room that led the terror attacks from Gaza in the many rounds of conflict that have taken place since.

For many left-wing organizations in the West, cooperation with the PFLP comes naturally. It is a reminder of the “glorious” era when the Soviet Union was a superpower competing for global dominance against “the corrupt capitalist West” (this vocabulary is still often used by PFLP). When the Soviet bloc collapsed, these groups had to find a new cause célèbre around which to unite. The PFLP was among the first groups to understand the potential of recruiting softer anti-Israel elements into its networks and to leverage those elements in order to gain financial support from naïve international donors.
I was on a plane hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. Why did a public university invite one of them to speak?
The most distressing and disheartening thing, 50 years after this horrible experience, is that the world has not eradicated this type of terrorism. As recently as January 2020, the PFLP (through Palestinian NGOs) receives financial support of millions of dollars from European countries, the United States, Canada, Japan, UN-OCHA and UNICEF.

In theory, San Francisco State University President Lynn Mahoney is correct in stating that a university is a place where different ideas are presented, discussed and analyzed so that individual conclusions can be drawn. But does that justify giving an unrepentant terrorist a forum to address the students?

What will she teach them? The proper way to hijack an aircraft, based on her success in 1969, and what mistakes to avoid based on her failure in 1970?

When I was a student in university, I often faced new ideas that ran contrary to my beliefs. But these perspectives were presented by knowledgeable, respectable academics. Some were Nobel Prize winners. None were terrorists.

Neither Mahoney, in her published response, nor the university indicated that anyone will be presenting an opposing view, one that is against terrorism and radicalization. I cannot imagine how Mahoney, or any decent person, can claim Khaled’s presentation will be an educational experience.

SFSU is no stranger to anti-Semitism. They have prevented the presentation of pro-Israel and Jewish ideas. In fact, SFSU had been recently sued by Jewish students who claimed that they were victims of systemic anti-Semitism. Not long ago, SFSU prevented then-Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat from speaking at a public event, and San Francisco Hillel was excluded from a fair on campus.

Inviting Leila Khaled to speak is a dishonor to all those who suffered at her and the PFLP’s hands – and glorifies terrorism, which is unacceptable. (h/t Zvi)
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Instagram, Al Aqsa University of Gaza posted a video animation of a potential Palestinian museum.

The text accompanying it is more interesting than the video, though.

The Palestinian Memory Museum project designed by the students Fahmy Daher and Islam Al-Haddad in an interior design course at Al-Aqsa University. The project reviews the memory of the place in a visual narrative that employs drama to present the Palestinian narrative in an effective and convincing way to the world in confronting the Israeli narrative that our enemies succeeded in establishing through the Holocaust museums that are spreading In more than 60 countries in the world.
They actually seem jealous of the Holocaust, because they want to be the world's greatest victims. But they look at the Holocaust not as a historic genocide of millions of people but as an excuse for Jews to get a state.

(h/t Petra, Imshin)

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  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Dr. Abdul Sattar Qassem writes in Al Majd:
Is there anyone who argues that the Zionists will not establish a large, modern settlement with advanced industrial and scientific potential in the Khyber district, north of Medina? I see that the Zionists have completed plans for a modern and huge settlement city in place, and implementation is only a matter of time. Certainly, there are those who disagree with me in this regard, but time will suffice to reveal this secret if the Zionist entity remains on the political map of the world. I see the experts of the Zionists who specialize in planning cities and settlements have been busy developing their designs for years. The Zionist politicians looked ahead to where political matters are heading in the Arabian Peninsula, and that the rulers of Saudi Arabia must establish strong relations with them...

Is it reasonable for the Zionist entity to establish normalized relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without the agreement between the two parties stipulating Zionist privileges in the old Jewish residential areas? Scenes of the ruins of Khaybar, Bani Al-Nadir, and Banu Qurayza are still in front of us today, despite the recent developments in Khaybar, and the Zionists certainly have accurate details about what remains of the Jewish fortresses and some of the farms that they owned. If they are demanding the Noble Sanctuary on the grounds that their father Abraham, according to their religious data, has laid his foundations, then they will certainly demand historical sites before them and the whole world.

The question that should be asked is: Why have the Saudis preserved these sites as they are and did not make changes to them that take an Islamic character? There is a mosque in Khaybar and a new market with many shops, but it is empty of residents, as if it is waiting for new invaders who are not of Islam or Arabism in anything.

Khaybar was the most important site for the Jews in the Arabian Peninsula, which is about 168 km north of Medina, and many of its buildings are still standing, especially the famous Marhab Castle, which was the seat of their famous strong leader Marhab, who was destroyed by Ali bin Abi Talib, may God be pleased with him. The Khayria palm plantations still exist until now, and it is considered one of the largest oases in the Arabian Peninsula. The eyes of the Zionist Jews are on the sites of the Jews of Medina and its environs, and they will work to rebuild it, and because of the slogan that Muslims constantly chant: “Khaybar Khaybar, O Jews, Muhammad’s army will return,” which is the slogan that Muhammad’s army will liberate Palestine from its sea to its river. When Khaybar is rebuilt, the Zionists will have responded to the slogan with a new painful reality. Then the Muslims must imagine that the army of Muhammad, peace be upon him, will come from Yemen as a conqueror, given that Yemen is the only Arab country in the Arabian Peninsula qualified to fight and restore the dignity of Arabs and Muslims.

The Zionists will work to reconstruct Khaybar and the various sites in which the Jews were present, to become tourist places that attract tourists from all over the world. There will be modern thriving tourist areas that will benefit the Zionists and Saudi rule. The present and destroyed monuments will remain, and the Zionists will restore what can be restored from the homes of the Jews and their security and military institutions, and the Marhab Castle will be a vital center for the new settlement, and the farms will turn into rich gardens that tourists like to access and reside in.

No one is surprised what I say. The Zionists had planned the city of Jerusalem and designed the parks, official and unofficial institutions, museums, bus and car stations, etc. before 1948. They used to summon experts in city planning from Europe at high wages to serve the purposes of settlement in the Holy City.

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From Ian:

MK Orit Farkash-Hacohen: UAE-Israel partnership will advance peace in Middle East
This moment also allows us to face common threats with a united front. Not surprisingly, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and members of the anti-Israel delegitimization campaign came out against peace and normalisation.

The UAE’s decision to abolish its Boycott Law, as well as the Arab League’s decision not to condemn the peace deal, serve as strong messages: the days of boycotts are behind us; now we stand ready to join hands against terror, extremism and aggression.

History teaches us that mutual acceptance is indispensable to advancing reconciliation in our region. When recognised and given assurances for their security, Israelis feel more ready to take risks and make concessions for peace.

Those who genuinely wish to promote peace should invest in legitimisation, understanding, and dialogue. In contrast, those trying to divide us by building walls of hate, alienation and lies should be denounced for what they are: extremists or detractors of peace.

Last week’s ceremony was history in the making; now it is our shared goal to rise to the occasion. We must strive to build partnerships to advance our region, bring additional countries to join the circle of peace, including the Palestinians, and confront extremists and aggressors. Together we can do it.

MK Orit Farkash-Hacohen is Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and a member of Israel’s National Security Cabinet

Yisrael Medad: Reversing a century of Pan-Islamic anti-Zionism
There are several convincing factors as to why Israel, its supporters – both Jews and non-Jews, as well as all men and women of reason – should be satisfied with the signing of two arrangements for peaceful relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and Israeli and Bahrain.

One of them is the historical handicap the conflict between Arabs and the State of Israel and its Zionist character has been cast for a century. Indeed, the frame of reference of the "Palestine conflict" has always been one that includes the entire Muslim world. That world's identification with and sympathy for the "plight of Palestine" is now, in a sense, dissolving.

What was the historical backdrop to that phenomenon?

As Suleiman Mousa, writing in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, notes that already in July 1922, at the time of the Haj: "A Palestine delegation arrived in Mecca to explain to the king [Hussein ibn Ali] the dangers inherent in the policy of the Jewish National Home. The British government of Palestine, perturbed at the activities of the delegation, sent a letter to the Hijaz government refuting its complaints and claiming that the Arabs in Palestine were faring well and prospering. The Hijaz government refused to accept this statement and insisted that the Balfour Declaration should be canceled."

The head of that 1922 delegation was Abdelqader Al-Muzaffar, who had led previous Haj pilgrimages to Mecca. Its members sailed to Sudan and from there to Jeddah, arriving on July 11. It established pro-Arab Palestine committees at all the stops and sought meetings with leading political and religious personalities. Their theme was "Defend Al-Aqsa."
Alexander Downer: Trump has changed conversation on Israel at last
This change in the Middle East is, to say the least, dramatic. It is a geo-political realignment. The Arab states which recognise Israel and trade with Israel have the great advantage of being able to tap into the things that Israel does really well, not least innovative technology and medicine.

But there’s more to it than that. Those Arab states now working with Israel have changed the balance of power in the region away from Iran. This is a far more significant change in the architecture of the region than President Obama’s JCPOA agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. That agreement was temporary and, of course, could easily be breached by the Iranians. Whether it would be is another question. I doubt Iran would be so foolhardy under any circumstance to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

On the other hand, Israel, with a small population but a mighty defence force, will be an invaluable ally for those Arab states which fear the power of Tehran.

So where does this leave the Palestinians? This is not good news for them. It does demonstrate that for much of the Arab world there is a good deal more to worry about than the plight of the Palestinians. The Gulf States are deeply concerned about the power of Iran, they have to wrestle with COVID-19 and the global economic meltdown, and they have internal political challenges to deal with. A relationship with Israel, their ties with America and their broader links with the rest of the world are going to matter a great deal more to them than a Palestinian population not willing to engage constructively in negotiations with Israel.

So the conversation in the Middle East has changed. The Palestinian leadership would be wise to recognise that. Its strategy for the past few decades has run out of puff. Continual condemnation of Israel, resolutions through United Nations bodies, demonstrations outside Israeli embassies and so on have yielded nothing. It is time the Palestinians came up with their own peace plan, decided to engage in negotiations with the Israelis and take advantage of the new relationship between several Arab states and Israel.

Who knows whether the US administration will be able to pull that off after the elections in November? But if we’ve learnt anything over the past four years, it is a mistake to underestimate the Trump administration when it comes to creative diplomacy in the Middle East.
  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Sky News Arabia surveys Sudan's attitudes towards peace with Israel.

It notes that Khartoum was the warmest capital for the Jews in the Muslim world, bit that all changed in 1967 when it hosted the famous Three No's Conference. Only four years later it nationalized the properties of the Jews, forcing hundreds of them to emigrate in search of a new home, leaving behind families whose name was associated with industry, commerce and art.

In the past year there has been a heated debate about Sudan's relationship with Israel. The Sudanese were surprised when the head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, met Bibi Netanyahu last February. Since then, the debate about the interests that Khartoum could gain from peace with Israel has been a hot topic, despite Sudan's pro-Palestinian position. 

Journalist Al-Nur Hamad views the issue of relations with Israel as a breaking of the psychological barrier that has been preventing Sudan from dealing in a realistic way with Israel, as it has seen in Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain. Establishing relationships is, for Hamad, "a major starting blow in the direction of restoring the lost Sudanese identity."

Hamad admits that "Israel has its transgressions, but some other countries have their transgressions, which if Sudan took it as a reason for hostility, then we would find ourselves with a long list of enemies." 

While the Palestinian issue has been the focus of Sudanese attention for decades, the vast majority of the new generation of youth seemed indifferent to having a relationship with Israel, and some of them, such as Mahmoud, who is a second-year university student, did not even know the details of the Palestinian issue.

Mahmoud says that "the most important thing for me is for his country to establish foreign relations that achieve the interests that my generation of youth expects."

One of the remaining Jews in Sudan, Abu Bakr Mustafa Israel, was born in the 1990s. He expects peace to open new hopes for his generation of Sudanese Jews, and to restore to them the golden era that his ancestors had in different Sudanese cities, before things turned upside down.

Israel recounts part of his bitterness. He tells Sky News Arabia: “Despite the unique state of tolerance that characterizes the Sudanese society, political changes cast a negative shadow over the overall lives of the remaining Jews in Sudan. My father had to change his name in order to be able to join the Military Academy, and then became a senior officer in the Sudanese army before he retired and died later.

Israel hopes that peace will create a new reality for the future of its children, so that they do not have to change their names in order to enter a job, as their grandfather did before.

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  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Aiman Dean, known as Ramzi, was a member of Al-Qaeda who turned into an agent for Britain's MI6 and later an author.

He was recently interviewed by Russia's Sputnik where he discussed, among other things, the relationship between Al Qaeda and Hamas.

Arabs always ask why Al Qaeda never attacked Israel directly. The terror group always talks about liberating Al Aqsa and Palestine from the Jews, yet it never appeared to do anything to help. 

According to Dean, the reason was because there was a secret agreement between Hamas and Al Qaeda. Hamas asked Al Qaeda not to do any attacks against Israel in exchange for terror training so Hamas terrorists could do the attacks themselves.

In the late 1990s Hamas sent a small number of operatives to Afghanistan to get trained in new sophisticated bomb-making techniques. According to Dean, all the suicide bombings by Hamas from 2000 to 2003 used Al Qaeda technology, where the explosive capacity of bomb belts were doubled and the triggers were changed from electronic, which was error-prone, to a more easily created manual trigger that would explode with only a light blow on the suicide belt.

Dean - almost defensively - added that Al Qaeda was in fact busy targeting Israelis and Jews outside Israel, listing the 2002 synagogue bombing in Ghriba, the 2004 Taba bombings, an attempted anti-aircraft missile attack against an Israeli plane that took off from Kenya that would have killed 300, and the bombing of two synagogues in Istanbul that killed over twenty. 

The former terrorist added that the other reason Al Qaeda was not interested in directly attacking Israel and leaving that to Hamas was because "Al-Qaeda was preoccupied with the head of the snake, which is the United States of America."

Both Hamas and Al Qaeda have roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, so none of this is too surprising - except that the only evidence of direct links has been circumstantial up until now. In 2007, Osama Bin Laden cut his ideological support for Hamas and by 2009 Hamas was fighting with Al Qaeda elements in Gaza. 

In the Sputnik interview, Dean was asked about what other nations and organizations Al Qaeda cooperated with besides Hamas. "The biggest relationship that existed was with Iran and I say it frankly. Then there was Qatar, and there were also relations with Sudan, and to some extent there was cooperation with Yemeni intelligence, and there was also a relationship to some extent with the Pakistani intelligence," he answered. 

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  • Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Jewish Voice for Peace tweeted a Twitter thread claiming that the General Mills factory in Atarot "is displacing, exploiting & stifling Palestinians."

The "evidence" given for this is laughable, but Israel-haters don't care much about facts.

What follows is a litany of half truths and selective facts that have nothing to do with the General Mills Pillsbury factory.

Pillsbury opened in Atarot in 2002, just after Israel built its apartheid wall around the whole zone. The wall & its checkpoints, visible from the 160 businesses they encircle, are a constant reminder of how Atarot helps Israel dominate Palestinian lives, livelihoods & land.
The security barrier was build to stop Palestinian suicide bombings that was killing hundreds of Israelis a year, not to show Israel domination over Palestinian lives. 
The Pillsbury factory also employs Palestinians, a fact General Mills leaned on in its PR statement after the UN determined that the factory’s operations violate international law. But Palestinian settlement workers endure exceptional exploitation, precarity & restrictions. Because the Atarot Industrial Zone ravaged & suppressed pre-existing Palestinian agriculture & small businesses, local Palestinian workers—often the immediate descendants of the rightful owners of the land—have no choice but to labor in factories like Pillsbury’s.

 Palestinians' jobs can be grueling & unsafe—and, under Israel’s apartheid legal system, they often have fewer labor protections, lower wages & negligible benefits compared to Israelis in the same workplace. In an occupation-strangled economy, they accept this to survive.
50% of the Pillsbury plant's employees are Palestinian Arabs. And Palestinians who work in Israeli industrial zones generally make double the salary they could make in their own communities. It isn't like they have no choice - they eagerly choose to work for Israelis. 

Are their jobs without worker protections? Israeli law says that they must be afforded the same protections as anyone else. It is true that some Israeli bosses take advantage of some Palestinian workers, but there is no evidence that General Mills does - in fact, General Mills Middle East was named one of the Best Places to Work in Asia

The chasm between Palestinian & Israeli workers in Atarot has only widened during COVID-19. Ex: due to fear of checkpoint closures—and to union bust—a manager forced Palestinians to sleep in a trash-sorting plant in squalid & infectious conditions while Israelis went home.
I don't know how true that Haaretz article is, but it has nothing to do with General Mills.
Pillsbury increases Atarot’s heavy pollution, which exceeds “permissible levels” 2/3 of the year. Many Palestinian locals have respiratory issues from flour inhalation. One said “when they pour the flour [in outdoor mixers], the flour… overflow[s] into the house.”
Atarot's pollution problems from 2016 all came from cement manufacturers, not flour. Only this year the Ministry of Environmental Protection temporarily closed two factories in Atarot for air pollution - but not General Mills.

As far as the anecdote of Pillsbury flour spilling into houses, this is absurd. There are no houses adjacent to the factories.  It was a typical statement that would not be checked by anti-Israel NGOs.

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Monday, September 21, 2020

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: International Law for Just One Nation
Like a drunk looking for his keys under the lamppost, the authors invariably attach great weight to every scrap of evidence in favor of their arguments, while discounting or entirely ignoring contrary evidence. Both authors, for example, give almost conclusive weight to the International Court of Justice’s Advisory 2004 opinion in the Wall case, where the Court opined that territory can be deemed “occupied” even if it had no prior sovereign. But the ICJ opinion was, as the authors are aware, “advisory,” and thus not legally binding. As a formal matter, the ICJ’s opinion deserves no more legal weight than the quality of its legal arguments. On this point, it made none, but rather cited the numerous U.N. resolutions that had said the same thing, all solely in the context of Israel.

In any case, the ICJ opinion was only issued in 2004, further discounting its value, for both legal and sociological reasons. Under basic principles of international law, the law that would govern Israel’s presence in the West Bank is the law as it was understood in 1967, not subsequent interpretations. Moreover, by 2004, and indeed, much earlier, the question of occupation of non-sovereign territory had become entirely synonymous with the question of Israel and the territories; it could hardly be treated as an abstract legal question. On the other hand, both authors entirely ignore the Cession of Vessels and Tugs for Navigation on the Danube case, which was decided before 1967, and would thus state the law as it was when Israel took control of the territories. That case held that the territory that was not under the sovereignty of any state could not become occupied. That means that the West Bank, which was not under any sovereignty when Israel ended Jordanian control, could not be deemed occupied. Dinstein’s failure to acknowledge this precedent, which goes contrary to his conclusions, is a particularly odd lapse given that he cites Danube Tugs as authority for other propositions of occupation law.

Yet even these authors, who largely track the conventional U.N. consensus on these matters, try to take seriously the fact that they are dealing with legal texts. Many readers will be surprised that both authors agree that the broad and undifferentiated treatment of Israeli settlers as “illegal” lacks any basis. In the commonplace understanding, any Jewish presence across the Green Line is ipso facto illegal. This is the view that animates groups such as Peace Now and Btselem, who condemn every individual Jewish-inhabited housing unit. But the authors note there is simply no colorable basis in Art. 49 for such a comprehensive ban: it does not prohibit the nationals of an occupying power from moving to or living in the territory. Rather, it regulates certain actions by occupying powers to move its population there. In particular, it requires acts of “transfer” by the occupying power, a term which the authors interpret sweepingly, but still excluding clearly private actions.

Thus, both authors agree that Israelis who purchase land in private transactions, or move to land they had prior title to, cannot conceivably fall within these prohibitions. Dinstein also points out that “so called ‘outposts’”–settlements established in the face of opposition by the Israeli government–would have to be considered legal under international law, precisely because they are illegal under Israeli law.

Yet neither book takes these points to their logical conclusion. They agree that “transfer” must refer to movements of people caused by official government action, but in practice they interpret causation in a “but for” way, rather than a more direct causation of the kind typically required by criminal prohibitions. That is, to say that “transfer” occurs when Israel makes it possible for its citizens to move to the West Bank, or does not discourage residence there relative to other places, is to interpret a ban on transfer as a requirement of discouragement, which appears nowhere in the convention.

Nonetheless, it is important to note the gap between the somewhat more limited version of the rule conceded by these authors and the absolute ban assumed by the international community and pro-Palestinian NGOs. It is an odd coincidence that the legal interpretation of the obscure Art. 49(6) adopted by so many happens to be entirely congruent with Palestinian political demands and negotiating positions.
Thomas Friedman’s Folly
Friedman, like his newspaper, routinely applied a double standard to Israel (that he imaginatively recast as a “unique double dimension”). He preposterously claimed that when Israel no longer was “judged by standards applied to no other country,” it meant that “something very essential in Israel’s character and the character of the Jewish people has died.” He declined to say what double standards revealed about journalistic integrity.

Returning to the United States as a Times columnist who could lacerate Israel at will, Friedman believed that there was “no hope for peace without a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank.” Yearning for a “total Israeli withdrawal” to pre-1967 lines, he warned that without a two-state solution, “Israel will be stuck with an apartheid-like, democracy-sapping, permanent occupation.” Echoing a trope favored by his colleague Anthony Lewis, he feared that “scary religious nationalist zealots” might lead Israel into the “dark corner” of a South African future of apartheid.

But Friedman’s dark fantasies about Israel unless it obeys his peace proposals reveal nothing more than his frustration that the Jewish state does not heed his advice for a return to its pre-1967 borders. That, of course, would heighten its vulnerability to new waves of Palestinian terrorism. He remains as he was as a Brandeis undergraduate: yearning for Palestinian statehood and furious at Israel for its determination to rebuild a state within its ancient Jewish homeland.

To be sure, Friedman is hardly alone at the New York Times. In an editorial (Sept. 17) celebrating the normalization of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, the Times reiterated its hackneyed insistence that “a true Middle East peace deal” requires “an accommodation” (a two-state solution) with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But even a cursory glance at the refusal of Palestinians under Yasser Arafat to accept a peace that would have given them the entire West Bank and Gaza for their own state would suggest otherwise. Thomas Friedman and the New York Times are a perfect match for the blame-Israel-first prize.

David Collier: Canadian research house EKOS spews a twisted anti-Israel survey
Ekos Research Associates is a social and economic research company in Canada run by Frank Graves. They have just put their name to some rather vicious anti-Israel propaganda. Lies, manipulation and EKOS

Long before anyone in the UK knew who I was, I put a comment under a Tony Greenstein blog pointing out a truly glaring factual error. Greenstein’s response was to delete my comment. This type of action speaks volumes and this event was part of my awakening into understanding the real danger these people pose. Who deliberately lies but those that set out to deceive?

Their need to spread lies is the key reason behind their refusal to engage or debate. It is why they block people like me on social media. We have nothing to fear from the truth – they most certainly do.

Which brings us to their methods. One of the more intelligent ways that they spread disinformation is through twisting surveys. They have long understood that if you ask the right question, you will get whatever answer it is you are looking for. A skill they have just put to good use in Canada. According to a recently published survey carried out by EKOS almost every Canadian thinks Israel should be investigated for war crimes:
84%? Almost nothing is ever as high as 84% and certainly not Canadian animosity towards Israel. We know this is not true – so here is how they did it. A story of how Ekos Research Associates put their name to anti-Israel propaganda. The bad, the nasty and the even worse

Ekos Research Associates were commissioned to conduct an online survey on Canadian attitudes towards Israel by three groups – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV), and the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine-Israel (UNJPPI).

UJPPI have a FB page with 184 ‘followers’. Their Twitter account has 132 ‘followers’. Their posts and tweets generally remain unsupported. Of their last 15 tweets, two received a single like, the other 13 got none. Their Facebook page is equally dormant. Their blog has numerous outrageous posts, even coming out in support of Linda Sarsour.

  • Monday, September 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Tehran Times, which is the "voice of the Islamic revolution," has an article titled “'New world order pledged to Jews' 80 years ago."

The opening paragraph:
Most Zionist diplomacy takes place in secret, through corruption and blackmail (euphemistically called “lobbying”). But sometimes it is deemed appropriate that some statement be written down by some government representative in support of Zionism. The Goyim who write these statements may think them of little consequence, but Zionists know very well how to capitalize on them.

Yes, we have an antisemitic writer here. He gives credit to someone who had written a book called "Mein Side of the Story." 

In case you are interested, the main part of the story is based on a forgotten 1940 letter written by Arthur Greenwood, member without portfolio in the British War Cabinet, who wrote to the Jews of the United States that when victory was achieved an effort would be made to create a new world order based on the ideals of "justice and peace." The letter was meaningless - after all, Great Britain did all it could to block a Jewish state - but the words "new world order" make some people go crazy. 

Iranian English-language media is one of the few places you can see neo-Nazi literature accepted as normal journalism - and the only reason is that the Iranians and neo-Nazis share a hate of Israel.

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  • Monday, September 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Hamas and Fatah plan to meet in Turkey to discuss  - yet again - a unity agreement and having elections, according to reports.

The Secretary  of the Central Committee of Fatah, Jibril Rajoub, confirmed that there is a desire to hold general elections soon.

The meeting between Rajoub, representing Fatah, and leaders of Hamas, would be aimed at discussing "joint leadership."

The last major joint meeting was held on September 3 in Beirut. 

Rajoub did some remarkable spinning in statements to Palestine TV. Instead of admitting that the Palestinian cause is no longer of interest to much of the Arab world and that the Palestinian leadership can no longer set the agenda for the Arab world at large, he said that for the first time in its history the decisions of the Palestinian Authority have become independent and far from any regional influence or pressure, .

Rajoub claims that legislative elections will be held first, then the presidential elections, and after that the Palestinian National Council (the parliament of the Liberation Organization) will be formed according to agreed mechanisms, without indicating specific dates.

There have been plans for "unity" and elections for over a decade now, and they never pan out.

Palestinian legislative elections were last held in 2006, while the last presidential elections were held in 2005.

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From Ian:

Ed Husain: The irreligious West doesn't grasp the significance of the Israel peace deal
When signing the Abraham Accord, the Emirati Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, said “with the grace of God, sir” to President Trump. Then, speaking in Arabic, he addressed the Middle East from the White House in which he proclaimed the God of Abraham for love, compassion, hope and prosperity. The prophet Mohamed, a descendant of Abraham, honoured Jews and Christians as believers in the one God of Abraham. This common heritage moves the rug from under the feet of the extremists and the Iranian government. The Jews and Christians are peoples of the Middle East for they are the inheritors of Abraham, too.

The Quran confirms the Jews’ claim to Jerusalem, recognising Joseph, son of Isaac, and the twelve tribes of Israel, while claiming Abraham’s other son, Ishmael, as the ancient father of the Arabs. This deeper history and theology will be key to making the Jewish state acceptable to the world’s 1.8 billions Muslims. And when the radical Muslim mind can accept Jews and Israel, it can stop hating the West and modernity. Israel is therefore our first line of defence. Already, the absence of riots and mass protests in Jakarta, Karachi or Cairo suggests this Abrahamic narrative cannot be easily refuted.

Rather than chase Christians away, the UAE is constructing the Abrahamic Family House, a vast compound housing a church, synagogue and mosque. A new Jewish community is thriving in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with kosher restaurants and food on planes to make Jews feel at home again in the Arabian Gulf. Jordan and Egypt, who also have peace treaties with Israel, are now considering this new model of reclaiming God and Abraham.

For too long, Palestinians and many other Muslims have been fed the falsehood that Jews are outsiders and occupiers. British diplomats and politicians are yet to understand this new zeitgeist, or encourage other Muslim nations to sign up the Abraham Accord. Will they now change course?

Khaled Abu Toameh: Arabs: "Palestinians Repeat the Same Mistakes"
At this pace, Palestinians might wake up one morning to discover that they no longer have any friends in the Arab countries at all.

"The Palestinians failed to establish their state. They failed because they did not want to establish a state. Here I mean the political leaders, some of whom still insist on repeating revolutionary phrases. The establishment of a Palestinian state will be a burden on the Palestinian leaders and will prevent them from practicing corruption.... The Palestinian Authority is no longer suitable to represent the Palestinian people." — Iraqi writer Farouk Youssef, Al-Arabiya, September 19, 2020.

"Israel did not destroy Syria; Israel did not burn Libya; Israel did not displace the people of Egypt; Israel did not destroy Libya, and Israel did not tear up Lebanon. Before you Arabs blame Israel, take a look at yourselves in the mirror. The problem is in you." — UAE Islamic cleric Wassem Yousef, Twitter, September 16, 2020.

"Palestinian leaders failed to invest in opportunities. They failed to take strategic decisions and chose [instead] to forge an alliance with Iran." — Saudi writer Yusef al-Qabalan, Al-Riyadh, September 18, 2020.

The biggest losers, of course, are again the Palestinians -- who are quickly losing the sympathy of a growing number of Arabs.
The Second Intifada: A defining event that reshaped the nation
And the main lesson for Israelis from the Second Intifada, he said, “is that if you do not control the territory, you can’t fight terrorism.” The intensity and lethal nature of the Second Intifada could only happen, he argued, “because we did not control the territory.” Another key lesson the public took away from the rampaging violence, said Amidror, today a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, is that it “is impossible to trust the Palestinians.” Amidror noted that the intifada broke out “after we had an agreement with Arafat. This wasn’t the First Intifada, where there was nothing between us and the Palestinians beforehand. We were after the Oslo Accords when we let them back into the territory. This led to a dramatic loss of confidence in them.” Amidror said that a key operational lesson learned from the violence is that force is not the only way to deal with local uprisings, and that force – the “stick” – must be combined with “carrots” in the form of economic benefits and enhanced personal security. Amidror, who stressed that he is not a psychologist, said that what remains in the minds of Israelis two decades after the eruption of the Second Intifada is “the sense that in the final analysis our security has to be in our own hands,” and that this “cannot be compromised in any way.” Asked if this was not something obvious to most Israelis even beforehand, he replied: “We had illusions. Oslo was built on the premise that we could work with the Palestinians.” Amidror argued that this premise was embraced by the politicians who negotiated the Oslo Accords, but was never accepted by the security establishment or “professional echelon,” of which he was a part at the time in his role as head of Military Intelligence’s research division. “We said this won’t work, and the reality turned out to be even more difficult than we imagined.” As to the intifada’s long-term impact on the Palestinians, Amidror said they realize now that if they initiate violence against civilians, they will “pay a much heavier price than we will.” “I think they now understand that if they use violence we will respond in a much stronger way because our capabilities are so much greater, and that if they pass a certain line we will respond with great strength, so they need to keep things below that line,” he said. Amidror said the Palestinian Authority now also understands that the only guarantor keeping Hamas from taking over all the territories is Israel.


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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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