Monday, December 22, 2014

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The year is winding up and it is time to look over what we did over the past quarter.

As usual, we were quoted in a number of media outlets, like Algemeiner, Arutz-7, Breitbart, Jerusalem Post and The Tower. But let's look at some of the more important posts.

In October, a photo went viral on anti-Israel media showing a Jewish man screaming at an Arab woman. We showed the reason he was screaming - she had stolen his book of Psalms, and we showed the video of the event. (So far, our edit of the video has over 140,000 views.)

An anti-Israel libel was stopped in its tracks in 24 hours.

This quarter I spent a lot of time - 43 posts! - on showing, conclusively, that UNRWA teachers are teaching antisemitism and hate. UNRWA, while not officially acknowledging my posts, has been working overtime to hide the evidence I found. Moreover, I showed how UNRWA teachers were supporting terror and denying (or supporting) the Holocaust on social media and how UNRWA's major arguments against its critics were filled with falsehoods. The information is bubbling up to the mainstream, slower than I like but it is happening, and I am told that not only is my research being discussed at the highest levels of UNRWA but it is also making an impact with funders.

I also discussed how the history of a simple stamp says volumes about Palestinian nationalism, or the lack thereof.

I debunked a claim in two news outlets (The Daily Beast and the International Business Times)  that the IDF sexually abused children. Tellingly, neither of them bothered to correct the false story.

I proved lies and deceptions in The New York Times a few times.

I proved Amnesty International's anti-Israel (and pro-Hamas) bias.

I was part of a group that showed that a "journalist" killed in Gaza was a terrorist, causing UNESCO to remove its tribute to him.

I revealed, over and over again, systematic antisemitism in the Arab world as well as Iran.

While Haaretz published countless pieces about how awful the draft "Jewish State" law was, I actually published the text so people can make up their own minds.

I showed that a B'Tselem "human rights" volunteer has a problem with Jews. 

And this is only a small percentage of the things covered this quarter. My general rule is that if you don't learn something new from every one of my posts, I have failed.

I now have over 12,400 Twitter followers and over 3000 Facebook "Likes."

I am not the only person blogging at EoZ, though.

Mike Lumish has a nice fan base willing to get into long discussions on his thoughtful Sunday columns.

PreOccupied Territory's humor columns are often confused with reality. It is a hard job to satirize the Middle East when the truth is so utterly crazy.

And Ian does an incredible job with his twice daily linkdumps, never missing any important story and making my life difficult as I try to find original items to blog that he hadn't already covered.

All of this takes up a lot of time and money. 

 So if you find this blog to be an invaluable resource, as thousands of daily readers do, please consider donating to keep things going. The PayPal buttons on the right hand sidebar of this main page are the easiest way to donate or (better) to create a monthly subscription. Otherwise you can send Amazon gift cards.

As always, thanks for your support!

Former Finnish MP says Chabad spies for Israel

From Verkko Uutiset (Finland):

Ex-MEP: Helsinki sold city center property to spies and state terrorists

Esko Seppänen says that the Sea Customs Barracks should not be sold to Jewish groups.

"I'm not an anti-semite," Esko Seppänen says.

The former MEP Esko Seppänen criticized the City of Helsinki’s decision to sell the old maritime customs barracks to the cultural organization Chabad Lubavitch. In Seppänen’s view, the Orthodox Jewish organization could spy on Finland, being close to the Israeli secret service Mossad.

"The international funding that the Finnish branch of this association enjoys, the City of Helsinki has been selling real estate to its members’ for cultural pursuits – and possibly also for the organization’s synagogue activity – straight from Finland’s parade scene at the Presidential Palace and in the immediate vicinity of the Government," Seppänen, writes in his blog.

"Former Marine Customs property offers a great location, for example, for the interception of messages of the telecommunications of the Finnish State and capture."

Seppänen believes that the Mossad represents “state terrorism.” For this reason, the Sea Customs Barracks will in the future also be an attractive target for anti-Israeli terrorist attacks, he says.
This is not the first time that antisemites have accused Chabad members of being spies.

(h/t Tundra Tabloids)

Israel haters really upset at donations of Israeli food to the poor

Yesterday, a number of British groups held their "IsrACTION Day:"

The day was a smashing success, with scores of bags of food donated, based on what the Facebook page shows:

Who could have a problem with the idea of Zionists coming together to buy non-perishable Israeli goods, in coordination with local food banks and supermarkets, and donating them to the poor?

Well, for one, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign writing in Palestine News Network:

To counteract the widespread revulsion at Israeli massacres that has led millions to shun Israeli produce, the UK Zionist response is to exploit the misery of the homeless and the hungry to promote Israeli produce.

Many of us with a roof over our heads and enough to live on have taken a decision to boycott Israeli produce; being homeless or having to rely on food banks limits a person's or a family's options. SPSC understands that homeless shelters and food banks have a duty to accept the food in order to help their needy clients. We also know that the sort of people who dedicate their time to helping the victims of this Government's austerity drive are likely to be opposed to injustice abroad as well as at home.

SPSC asks citizens to deny any propaganda publicity to these pro-Israeli campaigners, the supporters of homelessness and hunger for Palestinians who come bearing Israeli foodstuffs. It is part of their effort to defeat the Palestinian call for BDS and their struggle for freedom. Supporting the manufacture of homelessness and hunger in Palestine; exploiting homelessness and hunger in Britain to sanitise the perpetrators, the Israeli State.

Unfortunately, at least one liberal Jew (proudly quoted by SPSC in the article just mentioned) also came out against the initiative, with a screed in the Times of Israel that included this little piece of insanity:
Nobody, as far as I am aware, has bothered to ask the food banks what they need. The general attitude seems to be, let’s dump a load of lokshen noodles on it and they should be grateful. Naftali Bennett meets Marie Antoinette: let them eat Bamba. (That is an absolute lie.)

...And far from making the poor self-sufficient, they are giving arbitrary Israeli produce to food banks who will find Yarden hummus about as much use as shekel coins – and that is no doubt the organisers’ next ‘charitable’ initiative.

So what is the point of IsrACTIONday? It provides an admirable opportunity to vilify opponents. The BDS movement has (ridiculously) been urging food banks to boycott donations of Israeli produce. The Friends of Israel groups immediately pounced on this as evidence that not only do anti-Israel organisations want to gas the Jews, they want to starve the poor: a smear about as undignified as it is wilfully inaccurate.

Sussex Friends of Israel is even using the day to stoke controversy within the British Jewish Zionist community, demanding aggressively of pro-Israel pro-peace group Yachad: “Are you supporting IsrACTIONday? If I don’t get a clear yes or no answer I’m going to slaughter you tomorrow!
I don't see Yachad on the list of sponsors so I guess they will need to call the police for fear of being slaughtered by those evil right-wing Zionists.


12/22 Links Pt1: EU Gives Hamas Green Light to Attack Israel; The price of Israeli restraint

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: EU Gives Hamas Green Light to Attack Israel
The EU court's decision represents a "severe blow to the Palestinian Authority and Egypt," according to Palestinian political analyst Raed Abu Dayer.
Any victory for Hamas, albeit a small and symbolic one, is a victory for the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist groups, and causes tremendous damage to those Muslims who are opposed to radical Islam.
Hours before the EU court's decision was made public, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar announced that his movement would never recognize Israel, and that Hamas seeks to overthrow the Palestinian Authority and seize control of the West Bank.
The EU court's decision also coincided with a rapprochement between Hamas and Iran. Now, the Iranians and other countries, such as Turkey and Qatar, are likely to interpret the EU court's decision as a green light to resume financial and military aid, including rockets and missiles, to Hamas — not only to Gaza but to the West Bank as well — to support those Palestinians whose aim it is to eliminate Israel.
Europe doesn't care about dead Jews
As long as Europe maintains its prejudice against Israel, Israelis will have little reason to believe that further concessions will win them Europe’s favor.
Instead, they will continue to shrug their shoulders and rightfully recall that the “goyim” are always against us and will remain so despite the Palestinian terrorism that will inevitably follow the next concession.
At the same time, Europe’s obsession with Israel leads Palestinians to view Europe and the international community, their institutions, and the various pro-Palestinian non-governmental organizations they fund as tools and forums which can be utilized to force Israel to meet their demands outside of a negotiated peace. With Europe as their advocate, they can win concessions – as they did with the 2005 disengagement, the 2010 settlement freeze and the recent release of 78 terrorists – before negotiations even begin or merely for participating in negotiations. There is no need for them to relinquish their quest for Israel’s ultimate destruction, or cease acts of terrorism and indoctrination, incitement and funding of terrorism.
Even more disturbing than the negative consequences for the prospects for true peace is the unspoken, but readily apparent disregard for Jewish life implied by these European resolutions and actions.
Israel’s security concerns are real. A century of Palestinian violence against Jews is not a mere excuse that Israel conjures to avoid Palestinian statehood or other concessions. Europeans, however, are unfazed. Even as Palestinians plow their cars into pedestrians with encouragement from Palestinian Authority institutions, European officials do not even attempt to explain why Israelis shouldn’t worry about the concessions they demand. They want Israel to give the Palestinians what they believe the Palestinians deserve, even if unaccompanied by a termination of violence on the part of the Palestinians. If that results in more dead Jews, that is none of their concern.
How the State Department Annually Perpetuates Palestinian Misery
This constitutes an UNRWA commitment to update its human resources manuals, nothing more. There is no mention of UNRWA's refusal to use U.S. or Israeli terror watch lists to ensure any commitment to combat terrorism.
The unreality is compounded by the still more ludicrous statement that the U.S. "notes with appreciation efforts taken by UNRWA during the course of 2014 to strengthen the Agency's neutrality compliance, including but not limited to the development of social media guidelines for official UNRWA communications…"
Whether the UNRWA spokesman crying on camera while being interviewed constitutes "neutrality compliance" is unclear, as is the celebration of the recent Jerusalem murders of rabbis on  the Facebook pages of UNRWA teachers [EOZ link]. Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect UNRWA employees, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian, to express neutrality. But if that is the case, then the Framework's endorsement of "UNRWA's human rights, conflict resolution, and tolerance education program" may also be questioned, or at least its implementation.
But a deeper look at the document and the background of the American commitment to UNRWA suggests another vast disconnect. The framework states "All U.S. foreign assistance programs are required to demonstrate performance and accountability, and clearly link programming and funding directly to U.S. policy goals." How prolonging the Palestinian "refugee" issue through the permanent institutionalizing of UNRWA serves U.S. policy goals is mystifying.
Beyond that, UNRWA officials at the top continue to defend the Palestinian "right of return," in speeches as well as on official web pages, not to mention its pervasive promotion in UNRWA schools. How does promoting the Palestinian ideology that they are entitled to return to places once occupied by parents, grandparents and great-grandparents which are now in Israel, and in the process transform Israel into a Jewish minority state, serve U.S. policy, much less the cause of peace?

Fake "Child Victim" of the Day

On July 30, PCHR reported:
- At approximately 18:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a motor cart in Bani Suhaila. As a result, 4 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were killed: Mohammed Shawqi Mustafa Abu Hammad, 26; Ahmed Ismail Mohammed Abu Hammad, 31; Mohammed Mustafa Ismail Abu Hammad, 14; and Muhannad Ashraf Ismail al-Qarra, 17.
Muhannad al-Qarra was, of course, considered one of the "children" killed mercilessly by Israel during the war.

I turns out that he was an Islamic Jihad terrorist, whose obituary was just published.

In that obituary we find that he eagerly became a member of Islamic Jihad's Saraya Brigades even though he was under 18. His family had many mujahadeen members.

During the war al Qarra transported weapons to the terrorists in different areas of Gaza.

His brother Mohammed reminisces how much Muhannad would talk about ejecting all the Jews from the land.

Notice how the terror groups have been only slowly admitting how many of their members were killed, waiting until months after the meme of Israel killing mostly civilians was embedded in the world's consciousness. This is exactly what they did during Cast Lead as well, and I predicted on the first day of the war that it would happen again.

(h/t Israellycool and Judge Dan)

Video: IDF soldiers give food to hungry kids in Hebron

From YNet Hebrew:

IDF paratroopers' hearts went out to two Palestinian children who approached their post on Sunday asking for food.

One of the soldiers, Corporal Oren, told his friends about the two children, and they didn't hesitate before giving most of their lunch to the children, even giving them some snacks as well.

"After talking to our friends, it was clear to us we couldn't let those kids keep looking through dumpsters for food, while we had extra food," the corporal said.

Normally, IDF soldiers meet Palestinian children when they riot, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the troops. But after hearing the kids' plea: "We're hungry, we have no food at home and we're looking in dumpsters for something to eat," the paratroopers decided to give them a loaf of bread, meatballs, fruit, vegetables, hummus and snacks they had bought for themselves.

"One of the children told me he already searched through all of the dumpsters around. I told them to wait a few minutes until I got back," the soldier said. "We went out to them and sent them on their way with food and drink."

Before meeting the children, Corporal Oren wrote on his Facebook page that the pillbox he was stationed at was pelted with stones. "We were preparing to disperse the crowd, which was continuing the massive stones onslaught against us. I was preparing one of the crowd dispersal measures we had," he wrote. "At that moment, my sergeant noticed a little girl standing outside her house, between us and the rioters. He told me to cease fire and that I wasn't to fire until we made sure the girl is safe inside her home. During that time we were exposed to the stone throwers and were hit a lot and hard, but at no point did we even think to do anything while innocent children could get hurt."

He went on to say: "I hope the two stories I told you - as someone who is out on the field experiencing things without mediation - helped paint a certain picture of what soldiers deal with every day. Next time you hear someone in Israel or abroad slamming the IDF, saying we're not a moral army, you're welcome to send them my way."

Officials at the IDF Judea and Samaria Division said this was a local and independent initiative taken by the soldier, and that he received no orders to help the children. They added that the Palestinians often use children to set up a trap for IDF soldiers in order to film them attacking the kids after they provoked the troops.
By far the most popular video I've ever uploaded was a similar one of IDF soldiers in Hebron giving food to two little kids who hug them.

(h/t Yoel)

"India may end support for Palestine at the UN"

From The Hindu.com:

In what could amount to a tectonic shift in the country’s foreign policy, the Modi government is looking at altering India’s supporting vote for the Palestinian cause at the United Nations to one of abstention.

Two sources within the government confirmed to The Hindu that the change, which will be a fundamental departure from India’s support to the cause of a Palestinian state, was under consideration.

“Like other foreign policy issues, the Modi government is looking at India’s voting record at the United Nations on the Palestinian issue,” a government source told The Hindu. The change only needs an administrative nod, the second source said.

Despite the growing defence and diplomatic ties with Israel, the UPA government, which junked traditional ally Iran to vote with the United States at the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005, had baulked at making any change in India’s support to the Palestinians.

Even former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s government, which invited Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to India in 2003, did not amend India’s voting record at the U.N.

India’s stance at the U.N. has been an irritant in Indo-Israeli relations, with Tel Aviv frustrated that close bonds had not resulted in any change in the stance on Palestine.

A senior Israeli interlocutor told a visiting Indian External Affairs Minister some time ago that New Delhi treated Tel Aviv like a “mistress” – by keeping the bilateral relationship away from the public gaze. This re-examination of India’s voting stance will come as sweet music to Israeli ears just as it will raise concerns in West Asian capitals about the future course of Indian foreign policy.
Just the publication of this story will probably bring unprecedented Arab and Muslim pressure on India not to change its stance.

But if India truly changes its stance, especially when the EU is in the midst of mindlessly becoming more pro-Palestinian, it would be huge.

(h/t Yoel)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A small anecdote that illustrates the honesty of anti-Israel "journalists"

I came across an English article from 2012 by Charlotte Silver, who has written for Al Akhbar, Electronic Intifada and Al Jazeera.

Check out this piece of amazing historical revisionism:
Beersheba – the Hebraized name of the Arabic Bir al-Sabah – translates to English as “the well of the seven.” This is in reference to the city’s location which allows for easy access to underground aquifers that flow from the Hebron hills.
Wow! Beersheba is a Hebraicized version of the ancient Arabic name!

I guess that Abraham and Abimelech conspired to rename it in Hebrew from the ancient "Palestinians" who lived there at the time! '

But don't be too surprised. The same kinds of people pretend that Tel Aviv, built on sand dunes and vineyards, was originally an Arab village named "Tel- ar-Rabi" - a completely fictional place.

1882 map

Chanukah video night #6: Hanukkah Song Mashup - Dance Spectacular! - Elliot Dvorin

The year in ElderToons

As the year comes towards a close, and it gets to be the time I ask for donations, I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane. (Hey, magazines do it all the time.)

Here are some of the cartoons I made this year:


And, my personal favorite:

If you enjoyed my posts, videos, cartoons and posters this year, why not make a donation to EoZ? Just use the PayPal button on the sidebar of the main blog page, or send me an Amazon gift card.

12/21 Links: Intellectuals in service of Palestinian propaganda; Parkour on top of Al Aqsa Mosque

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: Intellectuals in service of Palestinian propaganda
Petition urging European parliaments to support statehood only reinforces rejectionist approach and drives further anti-Semitism.
What exactly goes through the minds of intellectuals when they sign a petition that urges European parliaments to support the Palestinian Authority's demand for statehood?
But what the hell qualifies them to poke their long noses into political issues and developments?
After all, the Palestinians have time and again rejected the offer of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
After all, they've rejected the formula of two states for two peoples time and again too.
After all, Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear, recently too, in an interview with Akhbar Alyoum, that his opposition to a Jewish state is a direct consequence of his demand for the right of return.
After all, this appeal to the European states and United Nations is not designed to promote a peace settlement, but to dodge the formula of two states for two peoples instead.
Netanyahu: We will not ignore even one rocket from Gaza
Israel's safety is the number one priority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday, regarding a rocket from Gaza that landed in Israel on Friday and an IAF attack on a Hamas cement factory on Saturday in response.
Speaking during a Hannuka candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said "I want to thank you soldiers for your contribution to Israel's safety. Israel's safety comes first. I won't allow even one rocket, and that is why the IAF responded to the rocket and destroyed a cement factory that was making cement to repair tunnels that were hit during Operation Protective Edge. Hamas will be held responsible for every escalation. We will protect Israel's safety. Happy holidays to everyone," he said.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also spoke on Saturday evening saying that Israel will not tolerate a new "trickle" of rockets from Gaza.
"Last night's IAF airstrike in Gaza, which was in response to Friday's rocket attack, was on a factory making cement that would be used to build tunnels. It is a clear message to Hamas that we won't put up with a 'trickle' of rockets on our citizens. We hold Hamas responsible for what happens in the strip, and we know how to respond to the attacks if they don't know how to stop them," Ya'alon said.
Young Boy Recites Song on Hamas TV: The Jews Are Barbaric Apes, the Most Evil of Creatures
In a recent Hamas TV children's show, a young boy recites a song titled "I Do Not Fear the Gun," in which he says: "Oh sons of Zion, oh the most evil of creatures, oh barbaric apes, Jerusalem rejects you and vomits your filth." The show aired on Al-Aqsa TV on December 5, 2014

Hamas and its European allies (Mike Lumish)

Writing in Arutz Sheva, Ari Yashar tells us:

The EU's New Best Buddies
Hamas, in both its military and governmental branches, has been temporarily removed from the European Union's list of proscribed terrorist groups as the result of a technical legal blunder.

After Hamas filed an appeal against its terrorist list standing, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg published its decision on Wednesday, with Hamas being removed due to claims that the group's inclusion in the list was against EU procedures and without sufficient evidence. 
The court said in a statement that Hamas's inclusion was based on "factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet" as opposed to sound legal judgments. But it stressed that Wednesday's decision to remove Hamas was based on technical grounds and does "not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group."
They are trying to soft-pedal this move.  The Europeans know damn well that Hamas is a terrorist organization that calls specifically for the genocide of the Jewish people directly in its founding document.  So as they ease Hamas into social and political acceptability in the West they need to pretend like its not really happening.

They remove Hamas from the terror list, but because this will make some people - most notably Jews - rather uncomfortable they pretend that Hamas was only kind-of removed from the terror list, and even then only for technical reasons.  Besides, they tell us, Hamas will probably end up back on the list sometime in the future, anyway... maybe.  Also, they assure us that they have maintained the freezing of Hamas assets in European lending institutions, so really nothing has at all changed.

Except things have changed and here is why.

What we are witnessing, essentially, is the open introduction of Hamas into the social and political European mainstream.  Such a move is fully in keeping with the rise of "Eurabia" as described in Bat Ye'or's Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis.  That is, close economic and political ties between Europe and the Arab world is changing the nature of European society in ways highly detrimental to Jewish people throughout the world.

This is, in fact, nothing less than the wholesale betrayal of the Jewish people by the European governments.  The EU insists upon a two-state solution while pressuring the party that has accepted two states for two peoples (Israel) and putting no pressure on the intransigent party (the Arabs).  This has been Obama's and the EU's modus operandi for many years, now.

Israel agrees to two states.  The Palestinian-Arabs say "no" and refuse to negotiate, thus irrationally causing the EU and the US to pressure Israel to accept what it has always accepted since the 1937 Peel Commission.  It says something about how twisted and topsey-turvey EU and US foreign policy is viz-a-viz the conflict.  They place all pressure on Israel, despite the fact that Israel agreed to two states long ago, and they place no pressure on the intransigent party.

It simply makes no sense from a geopolitical standpoint.  Heck, it makes no sense from a perspective of normal human decency and basic rationality.

But, then, the very idea that the EU would remove Hamas from its terror list also makes no sense from a perspective of normal human decency and basic rationality.

Here is a tid-bit from the Hamas charter that is actually part of one of the hadiths:
 The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.
They have talking rocks and trees who yammer for the blood of the Jews and, yet, somehow, this is alright with our European allies?

My favorite parts, however, have to do with these bizarre paranoid fantasies and conspiracy theories concerning the Freemasonic Lodge and other such old-timey men's associations.  Here is a bit from article 17 of the charter referring specifically to the Masons and the Rotary Club:
These organizations have ample resources that enable them to play their role in societies for the purpose of achieving the Zionist targets and to deepen the concepts that would serve the enemy. These organizations operate in the absence of Islam and its estrangement among its people. The Islamic peoples should perform their role in confronting the conspiracies of these saboteurs. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.
In any case, this is a very important moment because it is the moment, historically, wherein the European Union is openly welcoming Hamas into their network.  They may see a good strategy in poo-pooing the move but we need to be vigilant concerning the meanings of such diplomatic gestures and we must not be afraid to get into their faces about this kind of thing.

The EU can befriend Hamas or it can befriend the Jews, but it certainly cannot befriend both.

Oh, and by the way, this is Hamas' opinion of the Jews:
With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. 
Again with the Freemasons!

One of my dearest friends from college is 33 degree Master Mason of Irish descent and I am pretty sure that he is not running around sabotaging societies, nor doing anything for "Zionist interests."  In fact, I am pretty sure that what they mainly do is business networking and community / charitable efforts.

But, who knows?

Maybe the EU is right to side with Hamas over the Jews.  They may lose their Freemasonic constituency - to the extent that their is any such creature - but why should they care?  I feel reasonably certain in asserting the idea that the Freemasonic Lodge, whatever its past glories, no longer plays much of a role in European politics.

But, then, neither do the Jews.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.