Tuesday, April 23, 2019

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Iran's MehrNews is pushing selling Iranian oil, under the name of another company, saying that buyers can make a nice profit and not be noticed by US sanctions authorities.

In this report, advantages of purchasing Iranian oil from IRENEX are compared with those of conducting direct negotiations with Iranian oil ministry.

1. Purchasers’ info not disclosed

At IRENEX the purchasers’ data remain confidential and they are not even introduced to the brokers’ and brokerage networks. Each purchaser is provided with a code and does the sales under it.

2. Lower prices

The prices of the offered crude oil and gas condensates at IRENEX are lower than Brent and the international market. For example, at the fifth round of oil offering at IRENEX, crude oil was offered 14 percent lower than the time international Brent prices i.e. purchasing each 35,000 barrels of crude oil from IRENEX would bring a purchaser a profit of $500,000.

3. Payments in rial

The payment mechanism at IRENEX is rial-based which lets the foreign investors to remain safe from the sanction. At IRENEX, foreign investors have the chance to purchase oil and cooperate with Iranian private sector i.e. the Iranian private sector, who is capable of exchanging foreign currencies to rial easily, buys oil at IRENEX and delivers it to foreign investors. The Iranian side returns the earned money to Central Bank of Iran (CBI) afterwards.

4. Exports destinations unlimited

Oil buyers can export the purchased cargoes to any country across the globe, except to the Zionist regime.

5. Small cargoes

Oil and gas condensate are offered in 35,000-barrels cargoes at IRENEX, which are small ones and allow the private companies to take part in purchases. Presented cargoes by the oil ministry are larger and no company can participate in that market. At IRENEX, the buyers can receive their cargoes both through maritime routes from Kharg Island or via Iran’s land borders.

6. Participation in IRENEX easy

Iran’s oil ministry merely sells oil to known and identified purchasers or companies with good reputation and background, while at IRENEX, the only required document to enter the market is a reliable guarantee.
IRENEX can be a golden opportunity for both Iranian and foreign investors with spot or long-term agreements.
The sanctions are clearly making Iran nervous enough to set up a shell company to sell oil. The question is whether the US can find companies that try to skirt the sanctions by going through Irenex.

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  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Andrew Ross, a professor and director of NYU's American Studies Program, came up with a novel and utterly bizarre reason why Arabs should control Israel.

Writing in The Nation, he notes that Arab labor had, and has, been often used to build buildings in Israel and in the territories. He essentially calls this tantamount to slavery.

There is nothing optional about this kind of employment. Technically, it may not be forced labor, but when the few alternatives offer little more than a starvation wage, it is certainly not free labor. 

The idea that the general wages in the territories are "starvation wages" is not borne out by any facts, of course. It is a simple assertion meant to evoke feelings of hate for Israeli Jews. I have yet to find a single case of a Palestinian starving to death, not in Gaza and certainly not in the West Bank, although the accusations of Israel starving them are made so often that, like any Big Lie, they are accepted as truth.

If Palestinian wages are "starvation wages," then it is a miracle that Jordanians aren't dropping like flies of starvation, because they get paid on the average only 78% of what those starving  Palestinians make.

Ross is part of the tradition of lying propaganda meant to evoke hatred for Israeli Jews.

Moreover, Israeli wages are close to triple Palestinian wages. If Israelis were trying to squeeze all the value they can from the Arabs, why would they pay such a large disparity in wages - they can get the same workforce for half the cost!

Logic (and economics)  is clearly not Ross' strong suit. Like so many other articles about Israel in The Nation, the only important information is that Israelis are evil and there are some facts that can be cherry picked to pretend to prove the point. (He states flatly that Israel expelled 750,000 Arabs in 1948, a complete lie.)

As so many academics do, Ross wants to break new ground in finding reasons for readers to hate Israel. So he makes up an entirely new theory and pretends it is one that the bad guys (Israelis and Americans) have been using forever:

How does that long record of labor contributions feed into the debate about a single, democratic state on the lands of historic Palestine? Should those who build countries acquire rights within them? This proposition lies at the heart of the labor theory of property that drove settler colonialism (both in the United States and Israel): If you “improve” the land through your labor, you could rightfully claim it....If and when “final status” negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are revived (admittedly, a big “if”), all the claims for past injuries and wrongs will still be on the table; restitution for 70 years of lost property, compensation for moral suffering, the right to return, and so on. These debts must be repaid. But the creation of a new kind of unitary state with full citizenship for all will require transitional as well as reparative justice. The political equity earned from the long inventory of Palestinians’ compulsory labor ought to be part of that reckoning.
According to this academic fraud, people who were and are paid to do work  - and who generally moved their families to be closer to where they can make higher wages, as so many did before 1935 - are actually exploited and deserve to be compensated today as if they were slaves.

It's like saying that Seattle residents are enslaved by Microsoft because they can generally expect to be paid 70% more by the software giant than they can at other jobs in Seattle on average ($118K/year vs. $69K/year.)

As with all anti-Israel arguments, it doesn't stand even the slightest scrutiny. But this 'academic" is not interested in the truth. He doesn't welcome people who point out that his logic and facts are wrong, leading to incorrect conclusions.

No, Andrew Ross is just another propagandist, but he hides his hate behind academic gobbledygook, hoping that no one calls him on it.

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From Ian:

Jason Greenblatt: Care About Gaza? Blame Hamas
Hamas has left Gaza in shambles. Life there is difficult, sad and abnormal. Only buildings with generators actually maintain steady power. The lack of power affects everything from preserving fresh food to treating sewage. If a person in Gaza falls ill, he is likely to find trained medical professionals unable to help because of the lack of equipment and medicines. The people there — even the talented and educated — can’t find jobs. The store shelves are empty. The shoreline, which in many other places in the Mediterranean would be filled with beach resorts, is covered in the raw sewage and debris from successive wars. The cost of conflict is seen in all aspects of life in Gaza.

If you ask why such hardships exist in Gaza, the answer will almost always be the same: the Israelis.

Really? The Arabs in Israel generally live normal lives and, in many cases, thrive. In fact, Arab citizens of Israel live freely compared with Arabs in many other countries in the region. The Palestinians in the West Bank are largely progressing in stable cities and communities. Educated workers are finding jobs (though there is much room for improvement — something the Trump administration has tried to help Palestinians with, only to be blocked by the Palestinian Authority). Trade both with Israel and abroad is providing employment and possibilities. Infrastructure has progressively improved. Power is available 24 hours every day in most communities.

Why are others moving forward while Gaza sinks further into despair and disrepair? Because Hamas, the de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, has made choices. Hamas professes violence and the destruction of Israel as a method of gaining a better life for Palestinians. This “defense” of Palestinians has led to the problems experienced today: a decimated economy, hundreds killed in violence each year and one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Hamas is to blame for Gaza’s situation.

The countries of the world have attempted to help the people of Gaza repeatedly since 2007, when Hamas violently seized power there from the government led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Donors have offered to build the infrastructure and the economy, but are set back years every time Hamas and other terrorist organizations fire rockets into Israel. Hamas has instigated three wars with Israel since 2007, each time leaving its infrastructure in greater disarray.

Jonathan S. Tobin: Who denied the Palestinians an independent state? Not Israel
According to The New York Times, the re-election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has left Palestinian families seeing “no light at the end of the tunnel.”

A feature published on the front page of the paper, Monday, focused on the despair felt by Palestinian families over the current stalemate in the peace process. They know that the Palestinian Authority that rules over their cities, towns and villages is horribly corrupt and unable to reach a peace deal with Israel. And they understand that Israelis have no more faith in the prospects of peace than they do.

The piece shows that some Palestinians are rethinking the ideology that has fueled a century-long war on Zionism. But they fail to mention a basic fact that defines the current situation: The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly rejected compromises that would have given them the statehood they claim to want. It’s interesting that nowhere in the 1,000-word article does The New York Times make note of this fact.

This omission speaks volumes not only about the ignorance and obtuse nature of the criticism of Israel that emanates from the paper, but also about the chattering classes and foreign-policy establishment that take their cues on the Middle East from its pages.

Arabs living in the West Bank have good reason to distrust their current leaders. In a few moments of rare clarity on the situation that are mentioned only in passing, some of the piece’s sources admit that life was better for them before the Oslo peace process that created the Palestinian Authority.
Khaled Abu Toameh: The Persecution of Palestinians No One Mentions
In Lebanon, Palestinians have long been facing discriminatory and "Apartheid laws" that deny them basic rights, including access to dozens of skilled professions, health-care and education services. According to some reports, thousands of Palestinians have been fleeing Lebanon in recent years as a result of the dire economic conditions and government regulations that deny them basic rights.

In 2015, a Saudi court sentenced Palestinian artist and poet Ashraf Fayadh to death by beheading for "apostasy." Later, however, the court overturned the death sentence and replaced it with an eight-year prison term and 800 lashes. The "evidence" against Fayadh was based on poems included in his book Instructions Within, as well as social media posts and conversations he had in a coffee shop in Saudi Arabia.

Palestinian leaders do not seem to care about the suffering of their people at the hands of Arabs. Yet, these same leaders are quick to condemn Israel on almost every occasion and available platform. Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are so busy fighting each other (and Israel) that they seem to have forgotten about the Palestinians in Arab countries, being killed, wounded and arrested every day.

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Egypt's National Council for Women is a governmental organization to deal with women's issues.

One of its 28 members is Rania Yehia, who is also a violinist and a professor at the Egyptian Academy of Arts.

She wrote an article in Albawabah News which says that "Democracy in our case makes our country weak" and that political freedom is a "Jewish tool to take control over the people as mentioned in the first Protocol of the Elders of Zion."

Political freedom, she writes, is a means to control the people and disassemble them from within, and weaken the government and the state and create chaos, so that the Jews can control everyone.

At least Yehia is not controlled by the Jews. She just thinks about how to counter their plots night and day.

(h/t WC)

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  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
TruthOut interviews Temple University Professor Emerita of English, American Studies and Women’s Studies Carolyn L. Karcher, who has just edited a book about Jews who used to be Zionists and then decided that they were to moral to allow Jews the right to self-determination.

The book is called "Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation."

Since Judaism is a topic I take seriously, I was curious as to how these people - mostly members of Jewish Voice for Peace - look at Judaism.

The answer is given by the author in the interview:

What is entailed in reclaiming Judaism from Zionism exactly? Could you tell me what it means to “reclaim Judaism from Zionism” as it pertains to this book, in particular?

As I see it, ethical precepts lie at the heart of Judaism: pursue justice, love the stranger, love your neighbor and repair the world. Obviously, all of these ethical precepts are violated by Zionist policy toward Palestinians. And so, what happens when Judaism is married to (or hijacked by) Zionism is that the protection of the Jewish people, the physical survival of the Jewish people, takes precedence over the religion’s ethical teachings.
This professor defines Judaism as a series of cherry-picked brief ethical statements, the last of which is not even in the Torah: "pursue justice, love the stranger, love your neighbor and repair the world." 

This is pre-school level ethics. These "progressives" idea of Judaism does not go beyond what a five year old could understand.

I'm reminded of a joke:

On a transatlantic flight, a rabbi sat next to an astrophysicist. The scientist said that he felt that there was no reason to study the Torah in depth, because it can be summed up with the idea of "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you." Everything else beyond that was a waste of time. 

The rabbi replied that he didn't see the purpose of studying astrophysics in depth either, because it could all be summed up with "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are."

To boil down Judaism to a series of ideas no more sophisticated than a nursery rhyme  is offensive to any serious Jew. Tens of thousands of Jewish scholars have pored over the source materials and commentaries on Judaism - its laws, ethics, philosophy - for millennia. Ethical questions have been debated and argued over, with arguments that span generations. And these arguments are anchored in Jewish texts and history that in many ways gave the Western world the ethical framework that we are so familiar with.

That is not the only offensive thing Karcher says in that brief section. When she says that "the survival of the Jewish people takes precedence over the religion’s ethical teachings" she is saying that the survival of the Jewish people is not an ethical idea to begin with! 

Karcher and her JVP buddies look at real Judaism as an impediment to their puerile versions of "morality." After all, Abraham and Moses and David fought wars; God punished entire nations - but that version of Judaism holds no moral weight to these moral lightweights.

For her, and presumably her co-authors, there is only one moral imperative, and it is the kindergarten version of morality. They are showing not only ignorance but also breathtaking arrogance.

The questions that come up in real Judaism, and in real world Zionism,  are not the pre-school level precepts JVP pretends they are - but how to balance competing ethical rules.

How to treat Palestinians while still protecting the lives of Israelis?  Do you choose to attack a house with a terrorist inside from the air or from the ground, endangering more troops? Do you open the border on Jewish holidays when there is a history of attacks on those very holidays?  Do you allow online incitement to go unchecked or do you arrest the ones who are advocating murdering Jewish civilians? Is it moral to abandon Jewish nationalism to give way to Palestinian nationalism? Is a 1% chance for a major terror attack enough to inconvenience 1000 people? Is administrative detention a moral choice sometimes? What is allowed in espionage?

These are hard questions. Israel has ethicists as well as rabbis who grapple with these sorts of issues. The IDF has moral codes based on these decisions, and the Israeli court systems apply them to every situation.

No Zionist claims that Palestinian Arabs do not have human rights. Not one. The questions of how to deal with this population of people, some of whom want to destroy you while others want to just live in peace with you, are what every thinking Zionist has to consider.

Those taking the moral high road, pretending that they have the only moral viewpoint yet don't have the slightest grasp of Judaism or ethics are the immoral ones.

It is not ethical to decide that Israel is wrong and then finding "ethical" arguments to support that position, while purposefully ignoring the arguments that would make you uncomfortable. It is an insult to the very idea of ethics. It is an insult to generations of Jews who take their faith seriously. It is an insult to Israelis and Zionists who struggle with where to draw the line for competing ethical directives. It is an insult to the very field of ethics. The cover of her book, showing a Torah whose teaching are directly in contradiction to her "Jewish ethics," is offensive and insulting, as is the title.

The Torah says sometimes you have to go to war. The Torah says you must prioritize the lives of your people over your enemies. "Loving the stranger" does not include people who want to murder you.

In truth, the "ethics" espoused by Karcher and JVP are unethical and immoral.  All the proof we need is Karcher's statement that protecting Jews and the Jewish people is not an ethical imperative, but "tikun olam" is - the immoral idea that one should prioritize others before your own people. Taken to the extreme, Karcher's stated "ethics" would mean that she must fly to Gaza to try to save Palestinian lives ("love the stranger") while her own daughter starves to death ("physical survival of the Jewish people.")

When your morals are that simplistic, they are not moral.

Karcher, and her JVP friends, should be ashamed.

If they had any real sense of morality, they would be.

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  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Most of the reports about the Arab League meeting held on Sunday in Cairo say that it accomplished two things the Palestinians demanded: $100 million a month to make up for the funds that the PA refuses to receive from Israel, and a rejection of the Trump "Deal of the Century."

But Palestinian sources are saying that things are not quite what they appear.

The invitation for the special session said that it was meant to be an explicit rejection of the expected US peace plan. The final statement did not mention the US or the plan explicitly as Abbas demanded; it was watered down to say that the Arab league would not accept any plan or deal that does not comply with "international law, resolutions of international legitimacy and the principle of land for peace." It also mentioned the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state in line with the 2002 Arab peace plan.

Arab media understood this to be tantamount to a rejection of the Trump deal, but the statement did not go nearly as far as Abbas wanted.

Sources say that Bahrain didn't even want the word "deal" mentioned in the final statement.

Interestingly, the final statement mentioned compensation for Palestinian refugees but not return.

The final statement was also watered down by Lebanon which added demands that Israel give up the Shebaa Farms and other areas that Hezbollah demands, even though the UN certified that Israel withdrew completely from Lebanon. In addition, it  demanded that Palestinian leaders to get their act together, "calling on the Palestinian factions and forces to speed up the completion of national reconciliation."

The Hamas/Fatah split is nearly 12 years old now.

As far as the monthly $100 million that the League pledged to make up the budget shortfall, it sounds like these are more empty promises, which we have seen many times in the past. Arab pledges to help Palestinians are often not backed up with actual cash. Sources say that "many countries may not be committed to these (payments)  because of their financial crises or the absence of a political decision to provide support for Palestine."

In the end, the meeting was the usual platitudes of support for the PLO but in reality all Abbas got was empty words.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

  • Monday, April 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Iran is trying to spin the recent flooding that killed at least 70 (and according to some, more than triple that number.)

Spin can only go so far before it turns into not caring about thoe who died.

From Tehran Times:
Issa Kalantari, chief of the Department of Environment (DOE), told Khabaronline that rainfalls have economic benefits for the country twice as much as agriculture sector. While DOE chief regretted the casualties caused by the flooding he highlighted that the benefits of the floods are 10 times more than the losses they inflicted upon the country.

The flood waters would bring back wetlands and rivers to life and revive Zagros forests, and also recharge surface and groundwater resources, Kalantari added.

Mohammad Fazeli, an official with Energy Ministry, also said that floodwater can play a role in dissolving chemicals in farming lands.

The increase in the amount of water after floods will promote industries and tourism in flood-hit regions, he added.

Fazeli went on to explain that while floods have destructed infrastructure, and damaged houses, farming lands, crops and livestock in the short-term, its long-term benefits outweigh the losses.
Just imagine a Western leader saying this! Imagine the loved ones of the dead being told that the deaths were all worthwhile because of the groundwater levels.

What  a sick society.

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From Ian:

David Collier: Why the mainstream is to blame for the antisemitism crisis
Antisemitism spread through the left like a tsunami through city streets. It may have entered via radical minority groups on the fringes, but as it hit the shore, there were no defences in place. Nothing to stop anti-Jewish sentiment moving from constituency to constituency. For decades, the mainstream has flirted with anti-Zionist activism. They have justified racist boycotts and supported the demonisation of the ‘Zionist’. They stood silently, as people wearing keffiyehs, turned every meeting into one that spread lies about Israeli actions.

Even staunch opponents of antisemitism will begin each sentence with a statement suggesting they ‘don’t support the Israeli government’. Sending an unspoken message that implies those demonising Israel are right. That Israel is indeed guilty of all it stands accused of. The mainstream allowed for the image of Israel as pariah to spread – so when antisemitism hit – there was no way to stem the tide. Anybody who stood up to shout down antisemitism, was accused of defending the indefensible.

The ‘it is just to stop criticism of Israel’ excuse has been given some level of legitimacy by major political players across the spectrum. Does this sound like ‘conflation’? Of mixing up antisemitism and Israel? Yes? Good, because it was meant to. Anybody today who suggests the two issues are entirely separate understands *NOTHING* about antisemitism at all. Which is at the heart of the entire problem.
Antisemitism as anti-Zionism

Antisemitism is embedded in the roots of anti-Zionist activism. Hitler wrote that Jews promote Zionism only because they ‘want a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues’. Early opponents of Zionist activity frequently relied on anti-Jewish hate with tragic and devastating consequences. Those seeking support to oppose Zionism, found fertile ground in the sewers of global antisemitism. And the best part about antisemites? You can say whatever you like about the Jews and it will be believed.

Anti-Israel activity is a pyramid of lies. That is not to say that the Israeli state doesn’t overstep or make mistakes. It simply means what it says – most of what Israel stands accused of – is entirely false. And this trend is not new, it has been drip-feeding for as long as Zionism has been active. Sometimes, during conflicts such as 2014, the drip turns into a flood, but even during relatively quiet moments, the tide continued to rise. Another article in the Guardian, another documentary on the BBC, a few more viral videos – or a singer attacked for performing in Israel. The daily news feed that paints Israel as some type of pariah state was spread throughout the mainstream. Like spreading kindling in the dry forest.

Daniel Pipes: More Academic Malfeasance
Did you know that that the War on Terror actually "is a war for natural resources – and that terrorism has little to do with it"?

So argues John Maszka in his book, Washington's Dark Secret: The Real Truth About Terrorism and Islamic Extremism (Potomac, 2018), as summarized in the publisher's blurb. If you were curious how this "Terrorism Scholar" (his capitals) and professor of international relations at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, would pull off so implausible a thesis, you might want to dip into the book.

A sentence, however, on p. 54, might give you pause: "Islamophobes such as Daniel Pipes insist that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim."

Okay, you might ignore the predictable "Islamophobe" silliness; but where did that statement come? Wherever did I "insist that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim"?

A search of the archive at DanielPipes.org turns up 5 article titles and 6 blog titles including the words "moderate Muslim"; also 2 and 3 titles, respectively, with the term "moderate Islam." In all, the term "moderate Muslim," turns up 619 times there and "moderate Islam" 1,270 times. That adds up to nearly 1,900 references.

You will find so many of my articles on this topic that there is even a collection of them in a "Bibliography – My Writings on Moderate Muslims." In addition, a favorite, standing slogan of mine, "Radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution," shows the centrality of moderate Islam to a strategy I have long held for defeating Islamism.

By teaching in Abu Dhabi, Maszka spreads crackpot American ideas around the world. A UAE national responded to his errors by writing me, "Unfortunately, with Islam still so largely unknown in the West, some academics manipulate facts and ideas for career purposes. Emirati institutions urgently need better quality control."

  • Monday, April 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Professor Jason Hill wrote a provocative article in The Federalist where he makes a case for Israel annexing all of Judea and Samaria.

There can be no such thing as legitimate “Palestinian Territory” in a geographic region legally seized in a defensive war instigated by a foreign aggressor. The purpose of war is always to vanquish the enemy. The losers of the war cannot make demands on the victors that the victors themselves would not have been put in the position of meeting had the adversary or enemy not forced the victors into making it in the first place.

Israel was forced into a war, which it won. It was then expected to renounce and repudiate the consequences of its fairly won war by capitulating to the conditions of its vanquished enemy, which included, among other self-sacrificially undertaken goals, granting statehood, autonomy, right of return, and the ultimate elimination of Jewry from the region.
... Not all cultures are indeed equal. Some are abysmally inferior and regressive based on their comprehensive philosophy and fundamental principles—or lack thereof—that guide or fail to protect the inalienable rights of their citizens.

Given the voting patterns of Palestinians—towards Islamicism and terrorist organizations for the most part—that openly advocate and work for Israeli and Jewish destruction and annihilation, a strong argument can and ought to be made to strip Palestinians of their right to vote—period. The regional hostilities towards Israel in the Middle East are such that Israel must take those threats seriously. It must work for a coalition of forces to neutralize them.
The blowback has been vicious - and richly ironic.
A coalition of activist student groups, including the DePaul chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, United Muslims Moving Ahead, DePaul Socialists, Students Against Incarceration, College Democrats and Lambdas, banded together to call on DePaul to condemn the professor and ask for an apology.
“We, the students of DePaul University call upon the administration to censure Professor Hill for his heinous statements against marginalized communities,” the student coalition said in a statement. “His comments create unsafe and uncomfortable spaces for everyone, especially Palestinian and Muslim students […] We are not only seeking censure, but for Professor Hill to commit to racial sensitivity training and to release a public apology for his immoral conduct.

The group of students called the article “racist, anti-Palestinian, xenophobic, sexist, and Islamophobic.”
So Students for Justice in Palestine, which espouses a one state solution eliminating the Jewish state and the Jewish right to self determination, is upset over a professor arguing the exact mirror image of their beliefs against Arabs instead of Jews!

They argue that his position makes not only Muslims but "everyone" uncomfortable - the same people who shout down any speaker who supports Israel, who place fake "eviction" notices on the doors of Jewish students, and who force all students to go through mock "checkpoints."

All Professor Hill did was write an article. These people picket, protest, threaten and scream at Jewish and Zionist students (and often worse) - and they feel threatened?

Even more ironic is that Professor Hill is black. Apparently, according to the "woke" crowd,  black people are not allowed to hold any position different from what the predominantly white SJP and Socialist groups want them to hold.

The people who are screaming "racism" are the racists who believe that people of color who don't agree with them must be fired or censured for their opinions.

Rest assured, these mostly lily-white "progressives" are trying to silence a person of color. By accusing him of racism, sexism and xenophobia - and the article was none of those things - their only goal is to strip Dr. Hill of his rights to free speech. Only certain types of speech are acceptable to these so-called "progressives."

Real anti-racists should welcome a person of color speaking his mind when it goes against the conventional wisdom. Racists want to shut such a person up.

Now we know that the DePaul chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, United Muslims Moving Ahead, DePaul Socialists, Students Against Incarceration, College Democrats and Lambdas are against free speech.

They support persecuting people of color who disagree with them.

By their own definitions of the terms they use so often when accusing others, these "progressives" are racists and fascists.

(h/t Andrew Pessin)

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Finishing up discussion of the origins of the Left-Right split on Israel, there are two types of problematical reaction from two different audiences when confronted with information like the history presented in Robert Wistrich's From Ambivalence to Betrayal.

The first reaction comes from those whose political disposition is liberal or otherwise left-leaning who might acknowledge this history but relegate it to the past or to a non-mainstream fringe that has little to nothing to do with them.

For those who primarily label themselves "liberal" or "progressive," this is a problem for "The Left." And for Israel supporters who consider themselves "Of the Left," the history outlined in Wistrich's book is something you might encounter on the "Far Left," a marginal group that they claim no one listens to or cares about.

Paired with these attitude is the suspicion that attempts to brand liberals and Leftists as anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic is really just a tactic of the real enemy of the Left: the Right (or, more frequently, the "Far Right") which is just interested in cherry picking facts and stories from the darker side of the Leftist political tradition in order to smear progressives in front of Jewish and non-Jewish Israel-supporting audiences.

This suspicion is nurtured by genuine anti-Israel Leftists who insist that anyone who not doesn't hew to their agenda is not just a "Progressive for Everything but Palestine" (i.e., a traitor to Progressive values), but probably a closet conservative/reactionary/Republican/Likudnik just posing as a liberal in order to make "true liberals" like themselves look bad (claims which basically accuse liberal critics of the Israel bashers as being not just hypocrites, but liars and frauds).

But while we can dismiss the self-serving positioning of the Israel haters, we cannot pretend that conservatives do not try to draw political advantage by portraying anti-Israel opinion within the Left as being more widespread than it actually is.  And then there is the phenomenon of lifelong liberals who justifiably lash out against anti-Jewish attitudes within their own tradition who, unable to get genuine Israel-haters to respond to their accusations, turn their wrath on more moderate liberal voices that should be seen as friends, rather than foes.

So where to begin to untangle such a mess of accusation, divisiveness and suspicion and is there a solution that can lead to genuine understanding (not to mention constructive interaction leading to successful action)?

Well first off, we need to acknowledge that diminishing suspicion between Left and Right involves coming to grips with the Left-Right paradigm that defines (and, in my opinion) over-defines nearly every aspect of our political discourse.  I say "coming to grips with" vs. "eliminating" since it's unrealistic to expect a framework so widespread to be put aside after nearly two-and-a-half centuries of use, especially since this Left-Right framework is useful, providing as it does a meaningful way to fit positions on a range of political subjects into a belief system imbued with important human values. 

Which acknowledging that the Left-Right axis we use might be meaningful, we need to avoid shaping every issue in a way that focuses entirely on our most extreme differences, especially with regard to subjects containing large areas of agreement (such as support for Israel).

Even with this even-handed backdrop, I need to point out that those embracing a left-leaning worldview have the most heavy lifting to do since, for better or for worse, it is their tradition that is being co-opted and corrupted by ruthless totalitarians. 

Claiming that Wistrich's history of ambivalence and hostility towards the Jews and their state is part of the Left's DNA (and thus unchangeable) is both inaccurate and unfair.  But denying that it has been part of the Left's tradition since the birth of that tradition would be equally inaccurate.  And denying its relevance to the current debate (or relegating it to a marginal fringe) is not going to stop the totalitarians from continuing to use the language of the Left to continue to attack the Jewish state on the way to their real goal: The dictatorship of themselves.

These would-be totalitarians have their heroes and stories (the revolutionists of yore who used the language of progress to pave the way for their own total rule) which propels their world view and dictates their actions (which explains why they can ignore their own illiberal behavior and allies, since such questioning is of no concern to a revolutionary vanguard whose only goal is power).

But Progressive Zionists have their own heroes and stories to turn to: including those courageous liberals who stood against Communism, even while being accused of hypocrisy, class treason and every other imaginable crime.  And then there are the founders of the Jewish state itself who were as much creatures of the labor movement as they were committed Jews and Zionists, commitments that provided them the faith and courage to overcome enemies far more ruthless than the lame, faux-liberal BDSers we confront today.

And as the many liberal Zionists it has been my pleasure to work with (and the many more I have never met) come to this understanding and fight this fight, it is the obligation of those not holding a liberal world view to distinguish friend from foe and support progressive allies (or, at least not denigrate them), in their fight for the soul of the Left.  For it is the huge overlap between Left and Right with regard to belief in and support of the Jewish state that defines our strength, not the shrill and self-serving arguments of those who fall outside this consensus.

And to give us all some perspective (and perhaps an ounce of humility); consider other traditions that have historically grappled with their own relationship to Jews, Judaism and – most recently - Zionism.  Christianity, for example, is now split between growing Evangelical churches whose devotion to Israel is second only to that of American Jews and dying Mainline Protestantism (Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.) who maintain - at best - an ambivalent attitude towards the Jewish state which frequently descends into hostility (although not yet outright betrayal).

Or look at America's mainstream conservatives dedicated to Israel's safety, security and success who can win at the ballot box vs. the "Blame Israel First" Buchannanist Right that can barely manage to maintain itself as a cult of personality.

And even within the Progressive tradition, who would you rather associate with: the Israel-loving American industrial Labor movement that gave us safety and fair wages for workers (not to mention the weekend) or the self-righteous, ends-justify-the-means tradition represented today by pro-BDS "Leftists" which has spent much of the last two centuries delivering nothing but tyranny, death and despair?

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From Ian:

MKs to Macron: Don’t lecture us - tell the PA to stop paying terrorists
France should be protesting the Palestinian Authority for rewarding terrorism and not Israel for trying to curb it, MKs said Monday in response to the diplomatic row over France officially protesting the Israeli policy to freeze payments to the PA.

Likud MK Avi Dichter, who is behind the bill stopping tax and tariff transfers to the PA equaling the amount it spent on payments to terrorists and their families, asked, “How can [French] President [Emanuel] Macron not have a word to say about the Palestinian law requiring them to pay salaries to terrorists, and then come and complain about this law?”

Israel enacted the Deduction Law earlier this year, months after its approval by the Knesset with broad support. The law requires the Defense Ministry to present the security cabinet with a report on how much the PA paid terrorists in prison or the families of terrorists who were killed, and for the Finance Ministry to deduct that amount from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects for the PA. Palestinian Media Watch estimated that the PA spent at least $138 million on terrorist salaries in 2018, based on publicly available PA budget documents.

“What would the French President say if it turned out the PA was paying a NIS 12,000 monthly salary to the mass murderer Carlos the Jackal, who is sitting in a French prison after receiving a life sentence for terrorist attacks?” Dichter asked. Carlos the Jackal –whose real name is Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez, a Venezuelan terrorist serving a life sentence in France for attacks killing 14 people and injuring 150 – was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Dichter added: “We will strike terrorists everywhere… In the war on terrorism, a country that doesn’t count the money will count dead bodies.”

Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP) MK Bezalel Smotrich called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “aggressively reject the French hypocrisy and send Macron to press [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] to stop paying salaries to terrorists.

Abbas Wants a Humanitarian Crisis
Abbas is doing two things: first, he is telling Israel, and his own citizens, that he is not going to budge when it comes to the raison d’etre of his regime, which is terrorism, not the well-being of his people. This is an excellent opportunity for the world to learn the basics of what Abbas and his cohorts are all about, but Abbas knows from experience that outside of Israel, nothing he does is ever seen for what it is. Abbas knows from experience that he can do no wrong in the eyes of the international community, which continues to fund him despite his regime’s constant incitement to terror, his despotism, his blatant human rights abuses, the lack of rule of law etc. His regime is, after all, one of the most lavishly funded terrorist regimes in the world. Second, Abbas is taking this opportunity to create a humanitarian crisis that will garner support internationally – especially after he turns down Trump’s peace plan, as he is expected to do – and which he can then use to show the world how much his people is suffering. Even though the crisis is of his own making, Abbas knows that the world will buy any lie that he peddles. It always has.

What can Israel do about this cynically self-inflicted crisis, which is being created by the PA out of a desire to prioritize the murder of Jews above all — other than exposing the potential crisis for the fraud that it is?

Israel should use this situation to create, or rather widen, the existing rift between the PA regime and its citizens. Citizens in the PA do not enjoy freedom – least of all political and religious freedom – nor a high standard of living and the regime’s latest move serves as an excellent example of the blatant disregard, bordering on contempt, which the PA leadership has for its own people. Israel should communicate to the citizens of the PA that the regime that rules them — on a mandate that expired a decade ago — does not have its best interests at heart, but only peddles in death and destruction. Not only the death and destruction of Israelis but of its own citizens. It might be a welcome opportunity to point out to those citizens that choosing a different path than that of Abbas — more terrorism, more death — leads to poverty and overall decline and that it is up to them to try to forge a different path.

The results of such Israeli communications will not be impressive at first. It is almost impossible to undo decades of terrorist indoctrination. But the situation presents itself as a welcome opportunity to at least begin. It is up to Israel to make the best of that opportunity.
Arab League pledges $100M per month to Palestinian Authority
The Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority to make up for funds withheld by Israel over Ramallah’s payments made to the families of Palestinian terrorists.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Arab League in Cairo on Sunday as part of a diplomatic effort to rebuff the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, which American officials indicate could be released this summer.

Abbas said, “The Arabs need to be engaging actively at this critical time.”

Abbas says the Palestinians reject the deal and demand Israel fully withdraw from all occupied territories.
Palestinian Official Threatens to Retract Recognition of Israel
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ second in command, Fatah Vice Chairman Mahmoud Aloul, said on Monday that if the peace process remains on its current course the PA will cease its security cooperation with Israel and retract its recognition of the Jewish state.

“The leadership is preparing to retract its recognition of Israel and cease its security cooperation with the occupation forces,” Aloul said during an interview with the Shehab news agency on Monday, April 22.

Aloul placed the blamed for the state of the peace process squarely on the United States, saying, “The American administration has decided to escalate the situation in the region following the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and is actively encouraging the Israeli settlement enterprise. Now Israel is preparing to annex parts of the West Bank.”

“Because of these events,” he continued, “the status quo upon which the relationship [between Israel and the PA] is based may soon disappear. The [PA] leadership is expected to announce that we will not accept the continuation of the situation, and will announce drastic measures soon.”

According to Aloul, these measures were being planned by Abbas in cooperation with other Muslim nations, among them Turkey. According to Aloul, Abbas plans to meet soon with the leaders of Muslim and African countries in order to gain support for his upcoming moves.

  • Monday, April 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Last month, a paper was published in Third World Quarterly entitled "The violence of culture: the legitimation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine" by two British academics, Aneta Brockhill
 and Karl Cordell. Here is the key point:
 At the heart of the paper is an examination of five key cultural practices that are central to legitimising occupation in the Israeli consciousness. First, discursive delegitimisation of Palestinian identity by negating the existence of such identity and the denial of (historical) Palestinian presence in the land. Second, discursive deconstruction of the Palestinian right to the land by the employment of legal and religious claims to the occupied land. Third, the depiction of the Palestinians as ‘terrorists’. Fourth, the dehumanisation of Palestinians and, finally, the ‘naturalisation’ of the language and landscape of occupation. We argue that, collectively, these practices constitute acts of violence built into a long-established structure of cultural norms, narratives, normative beliefs and practices.
How did they figure out that this is what Israelis think? Did they do a survey? Did they interview random Israelis? Did they put out a call on a website for Israelis to help out their research?

No, of course not. Here is what they did:
40 in-depth semi-structured elite interviews were carried out with personnel of various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and grassroots peace organisations in Israel and the West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian parties’ politicians, Palestinian and Israeli academics, all with direct knowledge of the Israel–Palestine conflict. 
They interviewed people whose funding and jobs and careers are dependent on their demonizing Israelis. These interviews, they say,  determine "empirically" that Israelis are unfeeling monsters whose accurate narrative denying a historic Palestinian people is effectively a form of violence against Palestinians.

For example they interviewed Nurit Peled-Elhanan who repeated her lies about how Israeli textbooks are biased against Palestinians.

There are lots and lots of untruths in this paper. When the methodology is flawed, the entire paper is worthless.

But it is deemed good enough to be published in Third World Quarterly.

The social sciences truly allow anyone to prove anything they want if they use the right buzzwords.

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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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