Tuesday, May 21, 2019

From Ian:

Rashida Tlaib and the Trojan horse of antisemitic tropes
After seeing the weak condemnation following Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s latest revisionist comments about the creation of Israel and the Holocaust, everything I have been warning about has finally come to pass. I have been concerned that the overly strong backlash to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic tropes would unintentionally help enable more antisemitism, because it felt as though Jews and their allies were putting the cart before the horse, and losing sight of what truly drives mainstream left-wing antisemitism.

Antisemitism from the Left is mostly caused by its inaccurate perception of Israel as an oppressive imperialist state. The irony is that this mainstream left-wing sentiment is actually rooted in what might be the most harmful antisemitic trope of them all: simply lying about Jews harming others, similar to the blood libel used against Jews in the middle ages. These modern-day blood libel tropes and other false accusations used against Israel, unlike Omar’s recent tropes, are actually much more systematic and dangerous to Jews because of their mainstream use in the left-wing political world.

While people have been focusing on Omar’s vile antisemitic tropes, they largely ignored that Omar: supports the anti-Israel boycott movement; has claimed Israel is similar to Iran in not being a democracy; surrounded herself with antisemites like Linda Sarsour; covers for Hamas; and constantly lies and misleads about the Jewish state and the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While we all should be condemning antisemitic stereotypes, we need to not lose focus on what’s the main cause of systematic left-wing antisemitism. The strong condemnation of Omar unintentionally gifted left-wing antisemites with a Trojan horse that gave them the green light to say whatever they want about Israel, as long as they avoid classical antisemitic tropes.

There is no better example of this being true then by the lack of pushback from Democrats on Tlaib’s recent comments. We must never forget that what drives most of hate toward Israel are the constant lies, propaganda, double standards, disproportionate focus, demonization, and as Rashida just showed in her recent comments, a revisionist version of history.
Virginia Lawmaker Connected to Anti-Semitic Groups
A member of the Virginia legislature and former volunteer for Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) is connected to multiple anti-Semitic organizations and is the son of a Hamas fundraiser.

Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D.)—who received sympathetic national coverage this week after alleging harassment for his Muslim faith at a town hall—has supported multiple virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organizations, once speaking at a Hamas-affiliated conference.

Samirah is a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use economic and political pressure against Israel. In a 2014 Facebook post, Samirah urged friends to support the BDS movement while Israel was "most exposed."

As a student at American University and then Boston University, Samirah was an active member of Students for Justice in Palestine. He credits the organization with helping convince students that "Israel REALLY sucks."

SJP relies heavily on American Muslims for Palestine, of which Samirah is also a part, for funds and logistics. According to 2016 testimony from Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, "AMP is arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine."

AMP's founder and president is Hatem Bazian. He also founded SJP. Bazian has a history of deeply anti-Semitic comments and conspiracies. In 2004, Bazian spoke at a fundraiser for an organization the U.S. Treasury determined was fundraising for Hamas.
Al Sharpton admits to using ‘cheap’ rhetoric about Jews
Al Sharpton appealed to Reform Jews for a united front in facing down anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of bias, and acknowledged his role in stoking division, recounting how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow reprimanded him for his “cheap” rhetoric.

The civil rights activist and MSNBC host reportedly has expressed regrets privately to Jewish leaders for the incendiary rhetoric that helped fuel the deadly Crown Heights riots in 1991. But Monday’s remarks at the Religious Action Center’s Consultation on Conscience were the closest he has come in public in acknowledging his role.

The invitation earned criticism for seeming to rehabilitate a figure at the center of a number of anti-Semitic clashes in the 1990s. After the accidental killing of a black child in Brooklyn by a car driven by a member of the Lubavitcher rebbe’s entourage, African-American protesters targeted religious Jews in the Crown Heights neighborhood.

Yankel Rosenbaum, a graduate student affiliated with Chabad-Lubavitch, was stabbed to death in the rioting.

Sharpton also was accused of inciting the violent firebombing of a Jewish-owned clothing store in Harlem in 1995.

Without mentioning the Crown Heights riots specifically, Sharpton said he could have “done more to heal rather than harm.” And he said that all the public criticism he received paled next to the rebuke from Coretta Scott King, who was known for her closeness to the Jewish community. It appears to be the first time Sharpton has publicly shared the tale.

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
In Jordanian news site Sawaleif, Dr. Hussein Omar Touqah who is called a "researcher in strategic studies and national security" discusses a set of strategic principles that Israel has supposedly adopted.

There are a lot of them - 62, to be precise. But they include some interesting items.

For example, "28: recruiting many Jewish spies to work for arms manufacturers, in the United States and Europe and Russia. "

Similarly, "29: Recruitment of many Jewish spies to work with telecommunications companies, mobile phones and advanced communication networks and expand Intel's spying on mobile phones."

We also have supposed strategies of recruiting Jews to be major air force pilots in the US, and to infiltrate military strategy institutes worldwide, to infect them with Zionism.

I like this one: "Exploitation of the Arab weapon after its capture by Jewish hands and attempts to develop, improve and reuse it by the Israeli army, as happened to the Soviet tanks, which were fitted with Jewish guns and resold. "

It doesn't sound like a strategy to me, and I don't think Israel has to do that anymore, but I'm not an expert.

This one comes straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: "4: Achieve divisions and  disruption of the Arab regimes and engaging in side wars or internal coup attempts."

Just another day in Arabic media.





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  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Amnesty tried to get some more interest in the Nakba site they created that apparently didn't get enough traffic to justify its expense, and I responded:




Of course, Amnesty didn't respond.

Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor chimed in:


Sarit Michaeli of B'Tselem responded to him:


Once she joined the thread, I decided to ask her directly if B'Tselem supports the basic human rights of Palestinians born in Arab countries to become citizens, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Michaeli didn't respond. Because she can't.

The unofficial position of B'Tselem, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and other NGOs is that the nonexistent "Right of Return" for all future generations of Palestinians is more important than the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. There is no legal or moral justification for that position, and they don't apply it to any other group of people in the world. They know it is indefensible, and their position helps prolong the suffering of stateless Palestinians.

Yet these NGOs, who pretend to "speak truth to power," cannot admit the truth - that Palestinians should be covered by these conventions and their Arab hosts should offer them citizenship after being in their countries for decades. This is the only defensible position for a human rights organization to take - but if they said it, Palestinian "leaders" (as well as Lebanese and others) would angrily retaliate, possibly kick them out of their areas, and threaten them.

So they must go along with the Palestinian position to keep Palestinians miserable and stateless. And they will refuse to answer any questions about it because it reveals that they care more about politics than Palestinian human rights.

It is pretty embarrassing, when you think about it. If only a major reporter would ask these questions from these NGOs that they can't ignore, we can learn a great deal about the hypocrisy of "human rights" NGOs.




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From Ian:

PMW: Fatah posted offensive Holocaust video after Al-Jazeera condemned and removed it
On May 18, 2019, Al-Jazeera journalists produced an offensive report on the Holocaust. It accused Israel of “having benefitted the most from” the Holocaust, questioned the numbers killed in the Holocaust, and said it was the Jewish control of the media that created so much focus on the Holocaust even though the Jews were just one group among many who were murdered by the Nazis. The report was so offensive that Al-Jazeera itself condemned it, removed it from their website, and suspended the journalists:

“Al-Jazeera stated today, that it has taken disciplinary action and suspended two of its journalists over video content produced on the Holocaust... Dr. Yaser Bishr, Executive Director of Digital Division, stated that Al Jazeera completely disowns the offensive content in question and reiterated that Al Jazeera would not tolerate such material on any of the Network’s platforms.”

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party was upset that Al-Jazeera removed the video. Fatah criticized Al-Jazeera’s actions as benefiting Israel, and decided to post the entire offensive Holocaust report on its Facebook page.

Posted text: “Al-Jazeera TV did a favor to the occupation (i.e., Israel) and erased the video. Let’s publish it again.”
[Official Fatah Facebook page,
May 20, 2019]

Palestinian Media Watch has reported that Holocaust denial, trivialization, and distortion are all common themes of the Palestinian Authority and its leaders.
MEMRI: MEMRI Translates Antisemitic Video On Al-Jazeera Network Stating Israel Is Biggest Winner From Holocaust And Uses 'Same Justification' To Annihilate The Palestinians; Following Broad Media Coverage, Including Crediting MEMRI, Al-Jazeera Fires Journalists, Announces 'Bias And Sensitivity Training'
On May 18, 2019, AJ+ Arabic, an online media platform run by the Qatari Al-Jazeera Network, posted a video it described as "the story of the Holocaust" on Twitter and Facebook. The video, titled "The Gas Chambers Killed Millions of Jews – That's How the Story Goes. What Is the Truth behind the Holocaust and How Did the Zionist Movement Benefit from It?" was narrated by Muna Hawwa, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian who lives in Qatar and works as a producer for the Al-Jazeera Network.

In the video, Hawwa claimed that the number of Jewish Holocaust victims remains "one of the most prominent historical debates to this day," and added that some people believe that Hitler supported Zionist ideology. The "much-regurgitated narrative of the Holocaust sorrows," she said, paved the way for Jewish immigration to Palestine. Although she stressed that "denouncing the Holocaust is a moral obligation," Hawwa added that Israel is the biggest "winner" from the Holocaust and that it uses the "same justification" as a "launching pad for the racial cleansing and annihilation of the Palestinians." She went on to note that the ideology behind the State of Israel had "suckled from the Nazi spirit," and concluded: "So how can a Palestinian denounce a crime that has become the flip side of his own tragedy?" Shortly after its publication, the video could no longer be accessed on Facebook.

On May 19, media, including in the Arab world,[1] began reporting that Al-Jazeera had suspended two journalists over the video, but not before it had garnered 1.1 million views on Facebook and Twitter,[2] and that the video "drew strong criticism after the US-based non-profit Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) tweeted an English translation."[3] Al-Jazeera said that it had suspended two journalists over the video and that the video had "contravened its editorial standards." According to Al-Jazeera, Yaser Bishr, executive director of its digital division, said the network "completely disowns the offensive content in question" and would not tolerate such material on any of the network's platforms, and that he had also announced a mandatory bias and sensitivity training program.[4] The following is a transcript of the clip.
Expert: Al Jazeera Holocaust Denial Video Reflects Widely-Held Views in Arab World
Holocaust denial or minimization, Cohen pointed out, was common in the Arab world, as reflected in the Al Jazeera video.

“The Arabs have a few theories about the Holocaust,” he said. “First that the Europeans didn’t want the Jews, so they paid Hitler money to get rid of us. The second theory is from the Islamists — that it was Allah’s punishment, because we didn’t accept Islam, or because we sinned, Allah punished us with the Holocaust. The third theory, which is that of Mahmoud Abbas, is that we collaborated with the Nazis so we could have a state.”

Such beliefs, Cohen claimed, were nearly ubiquitous, with “90 percent” of Arabs holding such opinions.

A common saying in the Arab world, he said, is “too bad that Hitler didn’t finish the job.”

Also popular, he continued, was a quote falsely attributed to Hitler: “I didn’t kill all the Jews, I left some alive, so they will know why I killed them.”

In addition to Holocaust denial, the Al Jazeera video propagated conspiracy theories about Jewish power, saying, “The victims of the Nazis — who were following Hitler’s orders — exceeded 20 million people. The Jews were part of them. So why is there a focus only on them?”

Hawwa attributed this to “Jewish groups” with “financial resources, media institutions, research centers, and academic voices that managed to put a special spotlight on the Jewish victims of the Nazis.”

She then reiterated a popular but false story about Zionist collaboration with the Nazis, and said, “The persecution and the suffering — the much-regurgitated narrative of the Holocaust sorrows — paved the way for the Jewish immigration to Palestine.”

She then charged, “Israel is the biggest winner from the Holocaust, and it uses the same Nazi justifications as a launching pad for the racial cleansing and annihilation of the Palestinians.”

“The main ideology behind the ‘State of Israel’ is based on religious, national, and geographic concepts that suckled from the Nazi spirit and its main notions. So how can a Palestinian denounce a crime that has become the flip side of his own tragedy?” she asked.

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
A tweet from far left Mairav Zonszein:




First of all, she gives incomplete information from the NYT article she is indirectly referring to:

Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful. In a 2018 European Union survey of European Jews, 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem; 89 percent said the problem has become worse in the last five years. Overall reported anti-Semitic crimes in Germany increased by nearly 20 percent last year to 1,799, while violent anti-Semitic crimes rose by about 86 percent, to 69. Police statistics attribute 89 percent of all anti-Semitic crimes to right-wing extremists, but Jewish community leaders dispute that statistic, and many German Jews perceive the nature of the threat to be far more varied. Slightly more than half of Germany’s Jewish respondents to the E.U. survey said they have directly experienced anti-Semitic harassment within the last five years, and of those, the plurality, 41 percent, perceived the perpetrator of the most serious incident to be “someone with a Muslim extremist view.”

...a number of surveys show that Muslims in Germany and other European countries are more likely to hold anti-Semitic views than the overall population. The 2015 Anti-Defamation League survey, for instance, found that 56 percent of Muslims in Germany harbored anti-Semitic attitudes, compared with 16 percent for the overall population. Conservative Jews see the political left as unwilling to name this problem out of reluctance to further marginalize an already marginalized group or because of leftist anti-Zionism.
But more bizarre is Zonszein's assertion that the far right support anti-BDS legislation.

Just last week, MEMRI issued a report on posts it found in six pro-BDS Facebook groups, totaling 135,000 members, and it identified many members of these groups who are explicitly white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Sometimes the groups themselves host antisemitic articles.

User Larry DeVore,[26] posting on the group "Boycott Israel… Support BDS," shared a meme by Philip E. Taylor, with the text by the author "TALMUD = 'JEWS OWN EVERYTHING' IT SAYS IT RIGHT HERE IN THE ZIONIST BIBLE (TALMUD WRITTEN BY CRIMINAL RABBIS) SO IT MUST BE TRUE!" The meme states: "Jewish Holy Book, Talmud. Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat, 348, that property of other nations belongs to the Jewish nation, which consequently is entitled to seize upon it without any scruples. An orthodox Jew is NOT bound to observe principles of morality towards people of other tribes. He may act contrary to morality, if profitable to himself or to Jews in general."
Devore also posted a video to the same group, titled "Jewish Kabbalistic Occult Ritual Child Murder throughout history." Although the video has since been removed from YouTube, the content of the video is made clear by a comment by Leanore Morris: "My GOD no wonder people hate the Jews with them killing children not their own but gentiles or Christians and most of them being either young child or baby this is shit."

Some examples of neo-Nazi posts on the personal Facebook pages of members of these BDS groups:






The BDSers love to claim that they hate white supremacists and Nazis, but the Nazis who support BDS are welcomed into their spaces. In their view, Nazi philosophy is preferable to Zionism and is welcome to be posted.

Funny how that works.

(h/t @kweansmom, @ru_chana)





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By Forest Rain

The Eurovision is one of the largest events in the world. Larger than the Super Bowl, the Eurovision brings together 200 million viewers every year. The Olympics and the World Cup are the only events that have more viewers.

Bottom line is – even if you have never heard of the Eurovision, it’s HUGE.

Last year Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision, bringing this year’s competition to Israel. Like the Facebook relationship status “it’s complicated,” there were many reason it was very problematic to bring the Eurovision to Israel.

And yet, despite numerous, enormous challenges, the Eurovision was a phenomenal success. Here are 3 of the major reasons why:

1. Israelis are excellent hosts 

We love a good party and having fun-loving guests from abroad is always a welcome event. Many Israelis (myself included) who are not Eurovision fans, got excited by the idea of bringing one of the largest parties in the world to our country.

Normally the contest is held in the host-nation’s capital however Jerusalem was a problem, not just because of BDSers who objected to this recognition of our eternal capital but also because of religious Jews who were deeply disturbed by the idea of breaking the Sabbath on a nationwide scale, by approval of the Israeli government (Eurovision rules dictate that the final is held on a Saturday and the dress rehearsal for the final is on Friday). “Remember the Shabbat and keep it holy” is fourth out of the 10 Commandments and while individuals are responsible for their own choices, a national choice of this type is not a trivial decision. Tel Aviv, Israel’s New York, was happy to be the compromise. The city is known for its festivities during Pride month and is used to holding events that don’t adhere to religious norms. We were ready to party, in a place and manner appropriate for the people who wanted to attend, without disturbing too much other parts of our population!

When we learned that many fans were reluctant to come due to the high prices of tickets and lodging individuals initiated a movement to host guests in their homes, free of charge. We wanted people to come, feel at home and celebrate.

Israel can be confusing. Signs don’t always have English on them (other times there is English but the instructions aren’t clear). The city of Tel Aviv recruited and trained volunteers to provide support to tourists in different languages, answer questions and provide friendly guidance. The more stories that came out of individuals taking advantage of naïve tourists, the more people stepped up to show the kind, friendly and generous side of our country.

2. Israelis are unstoppable

One week before the Eurovision, after contestants had begun to arrive and were busy rehearsing for the event, terrorists from Gaza bombarded southern Israel with 600 missiles. Not one missile. Not 10 or even 100. SIX HUNDRED.

What would your country do if it was hit by one missile?!

After the horrific Bataclan terror attack in 2015 the French government instituted a state of emergency for three months. Neighboring Belgium imposed a security lockdown on Brussels from 21 November to 25 November, including the closure of shops, schools, public transportation and advising people to not congregate publicly. How do you think France or Belgium would have responded to a massive missile bombardment?

Israel decided that if it is necessary to go to war, we can always do that later. The weeks following that attack were full with Israel’s Memorial Day for IDF soldiers and victims of terror, Independence Day and then, the next week, the Eurovision. The terrorists were not going to ruin our fun, we can go to war after our guests go back home.

This too was not an easy decision. When you have citizens under attack, terrified children, homes and businesses ruined and especially when there are casualties (four Israelis died) it is very, very difficult to set that aside, particularly for those who were under bombardment, huddling with their children in shelters.

Israel didn’t go into lockdown. Celebrations were not cancelled. On the contrary, Israel put on the most spectacular Eurovision ever.



3. Dare to Dream

200 million people saw Israel at her best. Beautiful video “postcards” of Israel were created as introductions for each of the contestants. Tel Aviv’s Charles Clore Park was turned into a Eurovision village with giant screens so people could experience the show together, even if they couldn’t afford to buy the tickets.

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the dress rehearsal for the final.



The rehearsal is exactly the same as the final and serves as backup footage, in case there is a problem in the broadcast of the final. The dress rehearsal is the event where the judges give their points for each performance (the final is opened for public voting and the results are a combination of the scores on both nights).

The production was mind-blowingly fabulous. It was like the opening of the Olympics but in a cozy atmosphere that made everyone a part of the show. History of the Eurovision and Israel’s part in the contest was woven together with cosmopolitan showmanship and touches of the Israeli story – our diverse people, our land, language and even a touch of the journey of Jews from Ethiopia returning to Zion.

Gali Atari won the Eurovision in 1979, when it was held in Jerusalem, after Israel had won the year before. In 2019 she stood on the stage with other Eurovision winners and together, along with an audience full of non-Jewish foreigners, sang the same song – Halleluiah.

This year, Israel’s contestant Kobi Marimi was not expected to do well. The song chosen for him was not well received but when he took the stage the most Israeli of emotions overwhelmed everything else.

Love.

To the Israelis in the crowd liking the song no longer matters. He was ours and the whole country was focused on him. The crowd who had previously bounced and clapped to other songs was suddenly full of people on their feet chanting his name: “Kobi! Kobi! Kobi!”



We were there for him and he was there for us. He poured his heart into the song and it didn’t matter at all that he wasn’t going to win. What mattered was that everyone saw a night that was like no other.

Dare to Dream, this year’s Eurovision slogan, is just another way (albeit less powerful) to express the guiding principle of Israel, the most fundamental of Zionist ideas: “If you can dream it, you can make it real.”

France’s contestant Bilal Hassani, a gay Muslim man, danced and sang about self-actualization, no matter what others think of you or hurdles need to be overcome. Other songs had the same message. The Eurovision itself is about inclusivity, tolerance, diversity and being who you dream to be.


 
Did the Europeans recognize the irony?

The descendants of those who tried to exterminate our grandparents came to our home, to perform on our stage, to inspire their audience with the message that is the essence of who we are.




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  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Recently, the US announced that the first part of the "Deal of the Century" - an economic plan to help Palestinians - would be unveiled in an economic conference in Bahrain next month.

Not surprisingly, the Palestinian Arab leaders are rejecting even attending the event:

The PA Social Development Minister, Ahmed Majdalani, also a member of the PLO’s executive committee, said: “There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop. Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel.”

PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayeh said, “The cabinet wasn’t consulted about the reported workshop, neither over the content, nor the outcome nor timing. Any solution to the conflict in Palestine must be political … and based on ending the occupation.”

Palestinian businessman Bashar Masri also said he is rejecting the invitation: “I will not participate in this conference. We reaffirm that we won’t deal with any event that is not within Palestinian national consensus. We Palestinians are able to advance our economy away from foreign interventions.”

Saeb Erekat said, “attempts at promoting an economic normalisation of the Israeli occupation will be rejected.”

Interestingly, no one is saying that an economic plan to help the Palestinians has any strings attached. No one is saying that they must accept Israel's existence or "occupation" or give up the "right of return" or on their claims to Jerusalem as a condition to accept what is presumably a multi-billion dollar plan to help all Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank.

In real terms, there is no downside to attending the conference or in accepting what would presumably be billions of dollars from their fellow Arabs.While the details have not been released, it can be presumed that some of the funds will be earmarked for things like a water desalination plant in Gaza and improvements in the Gaza power plant - things that would not only directly improve lives but that would also provide jobs and capital for other projects.

The only concessions in this scenario are from Israel, which would have to loosen its restrictions on some dual-use items being brought into Gaza in order to realize these sorts of benefits.

We have a strange situation where Israel wants to help improve the lives of Palestinians more than Palestinian leaders want to.

As with literally every Middle East peace initiative, the main hurdle is the Arab honor/shame culture. In January 1952, an article in a periodical called New Outlook quoted an Arab refugee whose words sound a lot like that Palestinian leaders are sounding like today:

You also learn in the Middle East the force of another truth, which is that we can’t buy friends merely with our dollars. An Arabfarmer at the refugee camp of Aquabet Jabar, near Jerico, reminded me of this truth. A calm, dignified man in his early 40s, he had lived in the camp for nearly four years, having fled there with his family from an ancestral farmstead near Jaffa during the Arab-Jewish war.
“You Americans may offer me money,” he said without rancor, “but I will not accept it. You may build me a skyscraper but I will not live in it. You may offer to train me for another occupation but I will not learn it. I want only justice—the right to return to the dunams where I and my father and his father have tilled the soil.”

There is a fundamental difference between 1952 and today, though. In 1952 there was still the possibility of Israel allowing a significant percentage of Arabs to return to their former homes as part of peace negotiations. Also, Israel's very existence was shaky and Arabs could home it would implode economically or through another war (the same article describes the economic problems in Israel in detail.)

Today, Israel's existence is not in jeopardy. "Return" is not a remote possibility. It is no longer a point of honor to insist on an impossible "justice" at the expense of the lives of millions of Arabs of Palestinian origin.

What we are seeing today is not the honor/shame mentality but the abuse of the honor/shame dynamic by the Palestinian leaders, as quoted above.

The farmer of 1952 would not have said those same words had he known that by 2019 his grandchildren would still be insisting on "returning" to his father's farm near Jaffa. It is not honorable to damn your family to eternal suffering and statelessness for generations in the vain hope to achieve the impossible. Honor would demand that you do the best with what you can, where you are, and build your life rather than insist on a solution that literally can never happen.

Palestinians don't refuse help from UNRWA or from Qatar or from the EU. Their pride does not extend to refusing charity that prolongs their suffering - it only stops them from accepting money that could end it. Because their leaders do not want to help their own people, but to use them a pawns to demonize Israel, just as Arab leaders have done for decades.

This is changing in the Arab world. Rich Gulf states that had previously sent lots of money to Palestinian leaders are now willing to end the temporary solutions and fund something permanent - something that would accept Israel as a fact in the region. Palestinian leaders are not willing to accept Israel in that way, even today.

Those leaders, who have failed their people so much, are weaponizing the honor/shame culture in order to keep their people in misery in the vain hopes that one day the pressure will destroy Israel.

This is the fundamental fact that Gulf Arab leaders have grasped, and this is what needs to be understood among Palestinians themselves. It is not honorable to damn one's descendants to more suffering - it is shameful. The positions and actions of Arafat and Abbas have not safeguarded Palestinian honor, rather it has shamed them for sacrificing the well being of their own people.

Palestinian leaders have co opted the language of honor in vain attempts to destroy Israel. It is way past time that they are shamed for their immoral actions that even their fellow Arabs recognize have only hurt the people they pretend to lead.




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Monday, May 20, 2019

From Ian:

Hen Mazzig (L.A. Times): No, Israel isn’t a country of privileged and powerful white Europeans
Along with resurgent identity politics in the United States and Europe, there is a growing inclination to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of race. According to this narrative, Israel was established as a refuge for oppressed white European Jews who in turn became oppressors of people of color, the Palestinians.

As an Israeli, and the son of an Iraqi Jewish mother and North African Jewish father, it’s gut-wrenching to witness this shift.

I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews. I am baffled as to why mainstream media and politicians around the world ignore or misrepresent these facts and the Mizrahi story. Perhaps it’s because our history shatters a stereotype about the identity of my country and my people.

Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, was not established for just one type of Jew but for all Jews, from every part of the world — the Middle East, North Africa, Ethiopia, Asia and, yes, Europe. No matter where Jews physically reside, they maintain a connection to the land of Israel, where our story started and where today we continue to craft it.

The likes of Women’s March activist Tamika Mallory, Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill and, more recently, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) falsify reality in their discussions of Palestinians’ “intersectional” struggle, their use of the term “apartheid” to characterize Israeli policy, and their tendency to define Israelis as Ashkenazi Jews alone.

I believe their misrepresentations are part of a strategic campaign to taint Israel as an extension of privileged and powerful white Europe, thereby justifying any and all attacks on it. This way of thinking signals a dangerous trend that positions Israel as a colonialist aggressor rather than a haven for those fleeing oppression. Worse, it all but erases the story of my family, which came to Israel from Iraq and Tunisia.

What Israel Can Teach the U.S. about Religious Pluralism and Tolerance
To many Americans, the fact that Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, like its maintenance of a separate school system for its Arab citizens, seems foreign, if not downright unsettling. But, argues Megan McArdle after a recent visit, it gives the country’s minorities something hard to find in other Western countries:

I spoke to Shadi Khalloul, a Maronite Christian activist in the Galilee who is working to revive Aramaic as the daily language of his community. He doesn’t want his community’s children to attend a separate school system for Arabs, true, but that’s because he wants a separate school system for their own identity.

Many governments that constitute themselves along ethno-religious lines oppress minorities, of course. But if a country protects the civil rights of minority citizens, as Israel generally does, it can offer the one thing that an aggressively secular liberal state can’t: easy preservation of the minorities’ own particularist identities, which tend to be lost in aggressively secular liberal nations as the minorities are more or less forcibly assimilated. . . . Israel is able to accommodate [such minorities] more tolerantly not despite its particularist self-definition but because of it. . . .

[T]he United States, a country that espouses tolerance as a prime virtue, has recently been struggling with how far to accommodate ancient and obdurately illiberal faiths—as when we catapulted almost immediately from “legalize gay weddings” to “force Christian bakers to make [gay couples’] wedding cakes.”

Thinking about the unrepentant ethno-religious identity of Israel, and of many Israeli minorities, and indeed of our own traditionalists, forces us to explore the limits of our self-proclaimed tolerance for dissenters. Which is why we need to grapple with that very different way of looking at faith.
Shmuley Boteach: 75 Years Since Elie Wiesel Was Sent to Auschwitz
Seventy-five years ago this week, Elie Wiesel was deported from Sighet, Romania — a small town in the Carpathian mountains — at the age of 15. Within three days, he would arrive at Auschwitz, where his mother Sarah and baby sister Tziporah were instantly murdered. Elie’s story of survival in the hell of Auschwitz, along with his father Shlomo — who would later die at Buchenwald just before the war’s end — would become one of the most famous Holocaust memoirs of all time, equaled only by the diary of Anne Frank.

Visiting Sighet and seeing Elie’s childhood home — today a museum — is a sobering experience. I was there to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the deportations and subsequent slaughter of the local Jewish community, which also saw 90 percent of Romanian Jewry annihilated.

In 1944, Sighet had about 27,000 inhabitants. A staggering 12,000 were Jewish. Then, in the space of just four transports taking place between May 16 to 22, 1944 (Elie Wiesel was on the final transport), the entire Jewish community was gone. Disappeared. Vanished. A few days later, upon arriving at Auschwitz, the vast majority went up in smoke, literally.

Over the past few years, I have visited many of Europe’s Holocaust death camps and killing fields with my family. I have done so for my children to know what happened to our people. I have come because I am certain that the six million want us to come — and they demand to be remembered. I have come because I am a Jew, and part of my identity is understanding the great triumphs and unspeakable tragedy of my people. And I have come despite how it is has made me feel toward God.

Elie Wiesel believed that the victims had the right to spar with God, show defiance at His seeming indifference, and express righteous indignation at His apparent abandonment of the Jews of Europe. Others misguidedly tried to find a reason, a purpose, or a meaning behind something so utterly senseless.

  • Monday, May 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
For the anniversary of Israel's membership in the UN, the foreign ministry of Germany sent this message:

Seventy years ago today, on 11 May 1949, Israel was admitted to the UN as a full member. That’s a whole human life ago. On this occasion, the Federal Government would like to reiterate once again today in New York that Germany stands, also in the UN, shoulder to shoulder with Israel, whose security and right to exist must never be called into question by anyone anywhere. 
Nevertheless, Israel is still being denounced, treated in a biased manner and marginalised inappropriately in UN bodies to this day. This state of affairs is painful and unsatisfactory, and especially since the UN is at the heart of the multilateral, rules-based order and vital to international security and peace. 
We will continue, including as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, to support Israel’s legitimate interests, to help strengthen its representation in the UN and to do our utmost to oppose any attempt to isolate or delegitimise Israel.
The PLO's Saeb Erekat was not happy that Germany pointed out the bias that the UN has against Israel.

Erekat claimed that Israel's membership to the UN  was conditional on the implementation of the Charter of the United Nations, accepting the "right of return" for Palestinians.

He's made this claim before and it is not true.

As I have written previously:

The easiest way to find out is to read the text of the resolution accepting Israel itself:
Having received the report of the Security Council on the application of Israel for membership in the United Nations,

Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,

Noting that the Security Council has recommended to the general Assembly that it admit Israel to membership in the United Nations,

Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it "unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a member of the United Nations,"

Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 and 11 December 1948 and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the Ad Hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions,

The General Assembly,

Acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,

1. Decides that Israel is a peace loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;

2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.
While the resolution "recalls" UNGA 181 and 194 there is no conditional language in this resolution at all. The actionable part of the resolution is unambiguous. Beyond that, the preamble explicitly notes that Israel clarified - at length - its interpretation of those resolutions in a number of now obscure UN documents (here and here, among others.) Abba Eban was, as usual, masterful in explaining Israel's position, and his explanation is referred to in this resolution just as the UNGA resolutions are. The language of the resolution seems to accept Eban's words as being just as important as the texts of the earlier resolutions themselves.

Erekat is lying to the government of Germany.




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  • Monday, May 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


While I could spend weeks listing everything I loath about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) “movement,” if there is one quality they possess that I both despise and admire it is their relentlessness.
This is a term you hear quite often in discussions of the behavior and activities of Israel’s enemies. For week after week, month after month, year after year they are at it – smearing the Jewish state with every conceivable accusation, from stealing land to swiping organs. And whenever they hit a wall, they lick their wounds and show up yet again to repeat their campaigns over and over until they get what they want.
We’ve seen this on college campuses where years of rejection of divestment motions by student governments was finally overcome when the BDSers simply packed those bodies with their own supporters for the sole purpose of getting their squalid little measures passed.
Yes, by the time those votes were taken, no one took them seriously as actually representing the opinion of the student body, and administrators were only too happy to tell these “representatives” that they had no plans to ever act on their demands. But, giving credit where credit is due, our foes kept at it until they got what they wanted.
You saw this also in places like the Presbyterian Church where our opponents simply waited decades for members who stood against boycott and divestment targeting Israel to die or leave the church, providing them an opening to get divestment made the policy of a smaller, more politically homogenous institution. As much as I despise those who have bent that organization to their will, regardless of the cost to the others, you’ve got to admire the stick-to-it-of-ness of those whose only purpose in life is to see an end to the Jewish state.
One of the things contributing the BDSers’ persistence is the fact that they have clear-cut enemies to attack: Israel and its supporters (or even anyone who dares to not think ill of the Jewish nation). With such well-defined targets in their sights, and a lack of any restraint, the Israel haters can continue their campaigns year in and year out, regardless of how many times any particular campaign might fail.
I suspect that it is a lack of a comparable enemy that keeps our side from attacking our opponents as relentlessly as they assault us. After all, the dream of even the most fervent friend of Israel is that the Jewish state eventually lives in peace with those around them. Given that, is it any wonder we cannot muster the will to persistently smear those we want to live in peace with for years and years on end?
That said, there are missions Israel and its supporters have taken on that demonstrate we also have a streak of relentlessness that can and has paid off.
For example, the German government recently declared BDS to be a form of anti-Semitism and ended any funding for organizations associated with that propaganda campaign. Other European governments have also (albeit slowly) opened their eyes to the fact that the money they give to the Palestinians is either being wasted or invested in hate indoctrination (or in buildings named after murderers).
These successes on our side cannot simply be attribute to Europeans waking up to fact that were obvious for all to see during years they sunk money into corruption and incitement on the part of Israel’s “peace partners.” Rather, it was the result of the relentless work of people on our side, notably groups like NGO Monitor and Palestinian Media Watch which have, for years and years, exposed those who would rather not see the truth to facts they cannot ignore, and lobbied to get governments and non-government organizations to live by their principles by rejecting BDS.
In this case, the enemy was not Muslims, Arabs or Palestinians but a specific group: BDS supporters, who in no way can be considered people we can ultimately live in peace. Having such a deserving target allows our own relentless campaigns to take root and pay political dividends.
You can see similar positive relentlessness in the success of groups like AIPAC which has spent decades cultivating strong relationships between Israel and members of the United States congress. These relationships helped Israel weather storms (most recently during the Obama administration) and stand as a bulwark against present attempts to turn the Democratic party against the Jewish state. Time will tell if AIPAC’s work will stem that particular tide, or if we will need to find some additional ways to relentlessly pursue our just cause.



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From Ian:

PMW: The figures show that the PA financial crisis is fake

The Palestinian Authority is currently facing a financial crisis. The crisis is self-induced and caused as a direct result of a decision by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to drag the Palestinian economy into an abyss, in order to preserve the PA's policy of encouraging terror and rewarding terrorists with generous salaries.

The sole reason for the economic crisis is the refusal of the PA to accept the tax revenues that Israel collects and transfers to the PA. These tax revenues - over 8 billion shekels in 2018 - account for, on average over the last five years, 50% of the PA's annual operating budget.

The PA is refusing to accept the taxes due to the decision of the Israeli Security Cabinet, taken in February this year after the murder of Ori Ansbacher, to deduct 502 million shekels (in twelve equal deductions each in the sum of approximately 42 million shekels) from them. The amount the government decided to deduct is the amount that the PA publicly admitted that it paid in salaries and various benefits to imprisoned terrorists and released terrorists in 2018.

The refusal of the PA to receive the remaining amount of tax money was made clear immediately after Israel's decision to deduct the funds, as explained by PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki:
PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki: "It was agreed yesterday in a meeting with His Honor the President [Abbas] to send an official message to the Israeli side, according to which we will not agree to accept any partial amount of the tax money that is to be officially transferred to the Palestinian side. This message has been conveyed to the Israeli side in a clear manner." [Official PA TV, Feb. 21, 2019]

Greenblatt: PA Can Pay for Health Care But Prefers to Pay Terrorists
Greenblatt began his attack with a tweet in which he shared a Palestinian Media Watch report showing how PA officials were receiving medical care in Israel because the Palestinian Authority was depriving its own citizens with the right to get proper health care by denying them the option of getting treatment in east Jerusalem.

“Good report for all who think the PA ended medical care for Palestinians in Israel. What about everyday Palestinians? The PA can pay hospital bills if it doesn’t give $ to terrorists for its “pay to slay” program. Dig deeper folks, not all is what it seems,” Greenblatt tweeted with to a link to a PMW report.

The tweet generated controversy, with Israeli reporter Barak Ravid asking, “Why did the U.S. stop funding Palestinian hospitals in east Jerusalem that are the only place in Palestine that can give treatment to cancer patients?”

Greenblatt replied: “The PA incurred bills @ the hospital & assumed someone else would pay. We want those patients to receive the best care, the PA could easily pay its own bills to the hospital by ending incentive payments to terrorists/their families & use the $ to care for their ppl.”

Later Greenblatt provided an exclusive statement to Israel Hayom, elaborating on why the U.S. shared no blame for the bills.

“Despite the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to pay the health care bills of its own people, members of its senior leadership — even individuals who have threatened terror attacks on Israel – continue to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals. This just goes to show the hypocrisy of the Palestinian Authority’s position. Senior Palestinian officials and terrorists are taken care of, while ordinary Palestinians are put at risk. Anyone seeking to blame the United States for this situation needs to review the facts,” Greenblatt told Israel Hayom.
NGO Monitor: Letter to the Editor of The Washington Post (Unpublished)
Re: Have the Palestinians received ‘more aid than any group in history’? (May 8, 2019)

Many assertions in “Fact Checker: Have the Palestinians received ‘more aid than any group in history’?” Glenn Kessler, May 8, are uncertain or incorrect. Although other countries such as Syria or Kiribati (a tiny Pacific island) receive bursts of aid in response to immediate crises, the scale of assistance (estimated at $1.7 billion annually) to the Palestinians and the sustained flow year after year is far beyond any other recipient. In addition, in calculating an average amount, the $79 per capita listed by the World Bank for 1993 is clearly incorrect – UNRWA (the unique agency created in 1949 to promote the Palestinian cause) alone provided double that amount. Furthermore, the USAID and the World Bank estimates are based on official Palestinian claims for the combined West Bank and Gaza population, while evidence suggesting a lower population raises per capita aid calculations by twenty percent. In addition, the comparison with Israel, a democracy and US ally, mistakenly labels grants to repay defense loans, including for relocating military bases under the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, as general economic assistance. In summary, the evidence supports concerns regarding the high level of sustained aid provided to the Palestinians.
Ex-Fatah prince, East Jerusalem lawyer indicted for attempted terror attacks
Former Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade Commander Zakariya Zubeidi and east Jerusalem lawyer Tareq Barghut have been indicted in the IDF West Bank Courts for attempted terror attacks in which they allegedly fired on Jews in the vicinity of Ramallah in the West Bank.

The indictment of each man is explosive.

Zubeidi at one point has been considered among the most powerful strongmen in the Palestinian Authority and was given amnesty for his role as one of the leader's of terror during the Second Intifada.

Barghut is a well-known lawyer for Palestinians, is certified as an Israeli lawyer and his arrest and the arrest of his wife in February led the entire legal community defending Palestinians in the IDF West Bank Courts to strike, bringing the entire system to a halt.

While not unprecedented, it is highly unusual for Israel to arrest top Fatah officials or a lawyer for Palestinians, who are generally considered off limits.

The announcement came from the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agnecy) on Monday which said, “Intelligence gathered by the Shin Bet pointed to the involvement of Zakariya Zubeidi and Tareq Barghut in a series of attacks in the Beit El area.”

The two were arrested on February 27 during an operation by the agency and IDF forces at the end of the night of another attack which had been thwarted by the security forces due to earlier assessments on the ground.

Barguth has been employed as an attorney in the PA’s Ministry of Prisoner’s Affairs and there have been indications that part of what led to his arrest was internal Palestinian tensions, possibly leading to a fellow Palestinian informing on his alleged double-life as a lawyer and a terrorist.

  • Monday, May 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
When the Iceland band Hatari was announced to have received 186 points in Eurovision, members displayed Palestinian banners - which was against the Eurovision rules.



But one of the members of the BDSM-themed band had leather straps wrapped around his arm that look suspiciously like tefillin, the straps attacked to leather boxes that Orthodox Jewish men put on during prayers every weekday.

Hatari:

Tefillin:


In previous videos for Hatari, I see someone wearing straps around his arm sometimes - but never in a way that resembles tefillin:


Only in Tel Aviv do we see any of their members with more than three wraps around one of their arms:


It could be a coincidence, but given their animosity towards Israel and the Jewish state, I'm not so sure.

Incidentally, Madonna was appropriated the symbol as well in one of her videos, which is assumed to be due to her following Kabbalistic influences:





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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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