Wednesday, February 20, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: An odious political symmetry
We are being led to believe that a fearful political symmetry is developing which has to be avoided at all costs, exemplified by the seven MPs who resigned the Labour whip on Monday.

The seven MPs – Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker, and Ann Coffey — said they were resigning the Labour whip to sit as independent MPs in protest at two issues: that the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is facilitating Brexit rather than pressing for the second referendum that they want to see take place; and that he has failed to tackle the antisemitism displayed by hundreds of Labour members.

The latter is undeniably true. Luciana Berger, the Jewish MP who has endured sustained abuse and threats from both inside and outside her Liverpool Wavertree constituency with death threats and taunts of “filthy Jew bitch” and “a Zionist extremist who hates civilised people”, said the party was “institutionally antisemitic”.

As if to prove the point, the very next day Labour MP Ruth George astoundingly suggested that the seven MPs – most of who aren’t even Jews – were in the pay of the State of Israel. After an outcry, George deleted her comment and apologised, saying she had “no intention of invoking a conspiracy theory”.

But she did. You can’t just apologise such jaw-dropping antisemitism away.

That Labour is now institutionally not merely vilely antisemitic but extremist and tyrannical, having been captured by the hard left who pose a danger to the entire country if the party were ever to be elected to government, is demonstrably the case.

But astonishingly, an attempt is being made to draw a parallel with the Conservative party. Just as Labour has been captured by extremists, goes the argument, so too have the Tories from the other side of the political spectrum.
Jews Must Not Embrace Powerlessness
To many observers, Israel’s military strength, thriving First World economy, and democratic institutions seem to mark it as a conventional Western power—albeit one located in the Middle East. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Zionism that gave birth to Israel was a radical and revolutionary movement not only to return the Jewish people to sovereignty in their ancestral homeland, but to eradicate the narrative of victimhood that had come to define the Jews of the Diaspora after centuries of oppression and second-class citizenship. That is why Israel is one of the greatest progressive success stories of modern times.

Thus, it makes sense that many left-leaning pro-Israel activists are making valiant efforts to create a space for Zionist groups within the American social-justice movement. On the surface, the fit is an obvious one. Formerly disempowered Jews, who had been oppressed for thousands of years and had lost millions to the Holocaust, now have agency. No longer at the whim of tyrannical regimes, Israel is a powerful, if small, nation-state where the Jews can finally exercise the same rights and privileges as all other peoples.

Yet, as these well-intentioned pro-Israel groups are discovering, intersectionality—the new framework for social-justice movements and the religion of the progressive left—is inherently irreconcilable with Zionism. Pro-Israel groups will fail in their attempts at inclusion precisely because Israel did not fail in its efforts to reverse the condition of the Jew in history. Within the social-justice movement, there is no place for an ideology or an identity that is premised on the idea that Jews will no longer be victims.

In a recent article in the New York Times, columnist Michele Alexander suggested that the only reason Martin Luther King Jr. had been supportive of a homeland for Jews in his day was that “he recognized European Jewry as a persecuted, oppressed, and homeless people.” King would never, she argued, support Israel today.
In 2016 Bernie Sanders pushed the Democrats on Israel. Is he now mainstream?
This may be hard to remember, but three years ago it was a big deal when Bernie Sanders criticized Israel in public.

During a debate in New York City with Hillary Clinton, Sanders generated headlines when he said the United States should care about Palestinian rights. Sometimes, he added, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was wrong.

“In the long run, if we are ever going to bring peace to that region, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity,” the longtime Vermont senator said at the April 14 Democratic presidential primary debate. “There comes a time when we pursue justice and peace that we will have to say Netanyahu is not right all the time.”

During the campaign, Sanders also described himself as “100 percent pro-Israel.” He spoke about living on an Israeli kibbutz when he was younger and defended Israel’s right to self-defense. But he also broke norms on Israel.

Sanders was the only major candidate not to speak at the annual convention of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby (he offered to appear on video, but AIPAC said its doesn’t do that). For a hot second, his director of Jewish outreach was a co-founder of IfNotNow, a millennial Jewish group that is deeply critical of Israeli actions (and takes no “unified stance” on Zionism, the boycott Israel movement or the “question of statehood”). He said Israel’s actions were “disproportionate” during the 2014 Gaza war and overstated the number of Palestinians who were killed.

It had been ten years since I’d been to the U.S. Consulate. And of course, that meant my 10-year passport had expired. This would be the first time I’d be visiting the new embassy, where we could now receive consular services, and I felt a little excited about that, as you do for any new and positive experience. And there could be no doubt that the longed for embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem had been a positive deed by Donald J. Trump that brought lots of joy to Israel.
How different than the last time I renewed my passport, at the old U.S. Consulate in “East” Jerusalem. How different, in fact, from any other time I had to visit that awful place. The consulate had been dingy and gloomy and gray. The wait was long. You felt afraid as one of the few Jews in a waiting room, surrounded by Arabs. The clerks, too, were Arabs. They were, in general, impersonal, patronizing, and unhelpful to the small number of expat American Jews there to receive consular services.
I had particular reason to be afraid when visiting the old consulate. Especially after what happened to me on a visit there during the early 80s.
I was 22 or so. The U.S. Consulate wasn’t a place a Jewish woman went to on her own. It was place with a significant Arab presence and a Jewish woman doesn’t go to a place filled with Arabs, on her own. Not then. Not now.
But my husband couldn’t go with me and I really had to go right then, on that day. So we decided I’d go by cab, and come back by cab. I’d literally step out of the cab straight into the entrance of the consulate, and then call a cab to do the same in reverse once my business was accomplished. I’d never be outside on the street in that all-Arab, therefore dangerous-for-Jews neighborhood. Neither my husband nor I were thrilled, but we really had no choice.
I called for the cab and made my way to the consulate. I paid the taxi driver, and stepped into the entrance of the consulate, as planned. But as I began to go through the security check, the guard decided it was time to take off for lunch. He asked the Arab gardener, who’d been pruning rosebushes in the consulate courtyard, to spell him while he took his break.
It happened so fast that I had no time to react or protest. I didn’t have time to process what this meant: to feel the shock and enormity of what had happened, the lax laziness of the U.S. Consulate security, the lack of caring for Jewish American citizens seeking services there in the early 1980s.
And then it got worse. Much worse.
The Arab gardener gestured to me to hold my arms up, indicating that he wanted to pat me down. This had certainly never been a part of going to the consulate, as scary as it always had been. And that’s when I got the hell out of there, my consular business be damned.
As luck would have it, a young Jewish man was leaving right as I was hurrying out of the building, my heart pounding, flushed and upset. Seeing my distress, this kind person offered his assistance. Because he was wearing a crocheted skullcap, and because of his kindness, I decided to trust him. Seeing how shaken and upset I was, he insisted on driving me all the way to my home.
I couldn’t avoid going back to the consulate, after that, no matter how frightening it was to go there. It was a necessary evil as a dual American Israeli citizen. But I never went there alone, again.
It wasn’t only women that were in danger at the old consulate. It was small children, too. We used to have to bring our children there, in person, in order to register them for social security numbers when they were born. Ditto for passports. Eventually, the consulate waived that requirement and we were able to do these things for our children by mail, but it was just a frightening place for Jews to be, in general.
What a difference, this time, going to the new U.S. Embassy. It is a bright, clean new building in a wide open part of Jerusalem. The security guard, an Israeli Jew, was friendly, and spoke to me in Hebrew. There were no long lines for services where I had to stand outside in a hostile neighborhood, or sit in a waiting room surrounded by hostile people who likely itched to kill me. The clerk who waited on me was polite and efficient, rather than patronizing and cold.
My business there took fewer than ten minutes and then I was outside once more, looking at the modest dedication plaque announcing the date of the embassy opening, and adorned with the names of the president, the vice president, and Israel’s U.S. ambassador.

I have never been a fan of Donald Trump. But looking at his name on the plaque at that moment, I thanked him in my heart for following through on this particular promise—the promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem—after the failed promises of so many presidents before him.
I feel I have to say this: the current political climate is so bad that you can’t say anything good about Trump or his administration in public without being misunderstood and viciously attacked. People say the worst sort of things about Trump. They say he’s responsible for what happened at Tree of Life. They say you can’t believe him when he says or does good things because of the bad things he has said and done. They say that even if he is good for Israel, we have to hate him because of all the bad stuff he has done.
But I don’t care about these vultures and the things they say. I don’t care about their vicious attacks on me, and I’m completely unaffected by the plethora of mainstream media articles that use any old thing to smear Trump—the silliest, most baseless accusations possible.
I don’t live in America, and I don’t have to play that game. I don’t have to be on this team or that. I can use my head and judge each action for what it is.
I can recognize that when Trump talks about grabbing women by the pussy or says there are good people on both sides, he’s being ugly, crude, loutish, and worse. I get that the pussy comment is abusive and exploitative of women. I get how wrong it is to suggest that there are good people among far right white supremacists, that he said what he did because these men are part of his voter base.
There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s vast wealth has corrupted him to a large degree. That he uses people for his own ends. I don’t even like everything he has done in regard to Israel.
But I don’t believe in damning the good.
Here is what I believe: all those in public office are corrupt to some degree. The only thing we can do then, is support their actions when they do, in fact, do good. Because if politicians want to stay in power, they must bend to the will of the people. And so it is in their best interests to fulfill that will, to do what we, the people, want them to do.
Since this is what I believe, deep down, I don’t care how many far left liberal Jews and non-Jews castigate me for speaking my mind. I will say it anyway: moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a good and positive thing. I am grateful that I never have to go that scary place in “East” Jerusalem ever again, where I feared for my life and safety, every time I had to access the services I am entitled to receive as an American living in Israel.
What happened to me in the early 80’s should not have been the case. I should never have been made afraid to access my civil rights, then or on subsequent visits. No American should be scared to spend time in what is, essentially, a little piece of America. It made me feel ashamed of America for treating its citizens in such a shabby manner, for treating Israel like that, all those years.
It is a Jewish principle to have hakarat hatov, to recognize and acknowledge the good. It is a lot more important than the phony protestations of “tikkun olam” that leftist Jews and Jewish organizations bandy about, a complete misunderstanding of a kabbalistic term. They wrongly presume the term has something to do with social justice, which it most emphatically does not.
Hakarat hatov, is not a kabbalistic term. It is an everyday kind of thing, a part of your demeanor. You watch for, and actively acknowledge the good things in your life. It may be something God does for you, or just acknowledging the goodness of creation. It may be something good that a neighbor does for you, a small kindness. It’s a way of life. A watchfulness: always watching for and recognizing when something good happens.
I have hakarat hatov to Donald Trump for the embassy move and that is a very Jewish attitude to take.
We don’t have to hate everything Trump does because we hate some or even most of what he does. It’s fine to acknowledge the good, and there is good to acknowledge. It’s more than fine to acknowledge these things. It’s necessary. And it’s Jewish.
And so I thank you, Donald J. Trump, for moving the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, to a part of the city that is safe for all its citizens, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, alike.
This is the true spirit of America, and the true spirit of America’s greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel.
No one should fear to come to the embassy.
And now, no one ever will.

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moneyBnei Brak, February 20 - A local man has followed the lead of the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, insisting that unless Doha agrees to supply him with all his petroleum needs and with suitcases full of currency, he will not grant his estranged wife a Get, news reports indicate.

Menashe Nussbaum, 38, increased his demands in ongoing negotiations over a religious divorce from his wife Miriam, 35, this week, in addition to custody of the couple's four children and possession of most of their joint assets as conditions of granting the Get, or document of severance. An attorney for Mr. Nussbaum told reporters that upon seeing the success of Hamas's threats to inflame the situation in Gaza further unless supplied with fuel and cash, and the Israeli government's accession to that demand, his client decided to take a similar tack. Under Jewish law, a divorce must have the husband's consent; without the Get, Mrs. Nussbaum is still legally married, and may not remarry, leaving her in personal limbo. The couple wed in 2005.

"It only makes sense to play the hot hand," explained advocate Oded Sheister. "Regardless of the merits or, even success, of my client's other demands, if the Israeli government is going to cave to extortion and allow Qatari funds and resources to reach a genocidal terrorist organization, well, why can't he have a piece of that action? He might as well try, considering his moral standing, despite the less-than-ideal tactic of holding out on giving a Get, is still better than that of Hamas. So we're waiting for Bibi's answer on this."

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Nussbaum stressed that although withholding a Get, even as legal leverage, constitutes psychological and emotional abuse, she and Mrs. Nussbaum have no objections to the husband demanding Qatari largess as part of any final arrangement. "We don't mind that a bit," stated Rina Lazarus. "If he can shore up his ability to pay alimony and child support by such methods, that's fine. The Israeli government has shown it's willing to provide cash conduits to even the most heinous parties, so as far as this tactic is concerned, more power to Mr. Nussbaum."

Experts called the move legally sound but setting a troublesome precedent. "The next recalcitrant husband might take this as a green light to be even more like Hamas, given how Netanyahu treats them," cautioned Natan Flywheel. "And I can't fault the reasoning, but I'm wary of Get-refusers launching incendiary kites at Israeli communities as a tried and true method of getting Bibi to facilitate shipments of cash to them."

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From Ian:

Honest Reporting: Breaking the Silence’s Discredited Spokesman Slanders the IDF
The, an Irish media outlet published an opinion piece by Dean Issacharoff, the spokesperson for Breaking the Silence, a highly politicized organization that collects anonymous testimonies of Israeli soldiers of alleged and most often unsubstantiated misdemeanors or “war crimes” that it presents to a mainly foreign audience as a means of fighting Israel’s “occupation.”

As journalist Jake Wallis Simons recounted back in 2013 when he conducted interviews with BtS staff:

It was only a hunch at first. But later, the bias of the organisation became clearer. During a break between interviews, I asked Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of the organisation, how the group is funded. It was with some surprise that I learned that 45 per cent of it is donated by European countries, including Norway and Spain, and the European Union. Other donors include UNICEF, Christian Aid and Oxfam GB. To me this seemed potentially problematic.

As is the case in all democracies, the IDF is an organ of the state, not a political decision-maker. If the goal of Breaking the Silence was simply to clean up the Israeli military, it wouldn’t be such a problem. Instead, the aim is to “end the occupation”, and on this basis it secured its funding.

It appeared, therefore, that these former soldiers, some of whom draw salaries from Breaking the Silence, were motivated by financial and political concerns to further a pro-Palestinian agenda. They weren’t merely telling the truth about their experiences. They were under pressure to perform.

Indeed, I later discovered that there have been many allegations in the past that members of the organisation either fabricated or exaggerated their testimonies.

Issacharoff himself was found to have fabricated his own testimony in 2017 after an Israeli legal investigation concluded that his claims that he assaulted a Palestinian man during his military service were false.
PMW impact: Swedish and Norwegian MPs to seek funding cuts to PA
Following Palestinian Media Watch Director Itamar Marcus' recent briefings before members of parliament and government officials in Norway and Sweden, MPs from both countries said they would seek changes in their governments' funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Marcus provided numerous examples of the PA's escalating antisemitic messages, and its hate education to children, and detailed the PA's policy of financially rewarding imprisoned terrorists and families of purported "Martyrs."

Marcus discussed the PA's payments of salaries to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and allowances to families of dead terrorists, the so-called "Martyrs," with government officials. He called on MPs in Norway and Sweden to follow the example of their Dutch counterparts and set the stage for a Europe-wide uniform 7% reduction in donor funds to the PA, unless and until the PA stops its "Pay-for-Slay policy" of paying salaries to terrorist prisoners, released prisoners, and families of dead terrorists.

Appalled that Norwegian humanitarian aid could be used to reward terrorists, Norwegian MP Ingjerd Schou commented:
"I do not think it's a good idea to give any funding to prisoners... We have to use Norwegian money to make peace. We should reinforce all the good activities."
[Norwegian Parliament, Jan. 29, 2019]

Upon seeing Marcus' documentation, Swedish MP Mikael Oscarsson immediately responded:
"We want to do as they've done in the Dutch parliament to cut the funding to the PA [by 7%], because we need to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority." [Swedish Parliament, Jan. 31, 2019]

Amazon Drive is hosting terrorist content. Here's what Jeff Bezos should do about it.
Terrorist groups usually find ways to exploit the ever expanding services offered by major online platforms and tech companies, and Amazon Drive is no exception. Designed for storing and sharing photos, videos, PDFs and other forms of content, it has been adopted by the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other organizations as a stable and reliable platform for disseminating their content. They upload it and then share the links to it with followers and sympathizers, primarily using the encrypted messaging app Telegram — terrorists' "app of choice."

Amazon Drive, established in 2011 and previously known as Amazon Cloud Drive, can store subscribers' photos, videos and other files for access from mobile devices, desktops or Amazon Fire devices. According to the Amazon website, "All photos, videos and other files you upload to Amazon Drive are securely and privately stored in your Files and your Amazon Photos library."

While Amazon has guidelines for its many platforms, including specific bans on terrorism, "bigotry, hatred, or illegal discrimination," or the use of its services by anyone who is "the subject of U.S. sanctions or of sanctions consistent with U.S. law imposed by the governments of the country where you are using Amazon Services," it has not been proactive in removing terrorist content.

Terrorist activity and content on Amazon Drive is the subject of a new report by my organization, the Middle East Media Research Institute and its Cyber & Jihad Lab, documenting how ISIS and other groups like it have been using this free service. The examples in the report include Amazon Drive links to content such as videos by ISIS, audio messages by its leaders, and official newsletters and other content created by the group, its secondary media organizations and its supporters.

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Houthi leader Mohammed al-Emad attacked the people of Yemen and their origins.

Al-Emad called the non-Houthi people of Yemen donkeys, and said they should go to their ancestors in Israel, because the donkeys are Jews.

Al-Emad claimed that the true people of Yemen are those whose ancestors came from Muhammad He said: "You are a donkey race, the race of the Jews, and you have no honor, dignity, or pride."

 The video was widely condemned and denounced by a number of different members of Yemeni society and Yemeni and Gulf activists and media.

But no one was bothered by the antisemitism. No, they were truly insulted by being called Jewish, beyond being called donkeys.

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  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

By any objective measure, Palestinians in Lebanon are treated far worse than those who live under "occupation" - even in Gaza.

They are banned, by law, from holding jobs in dozens of fields including law and medicine.

They are banned from owning property.

They are forced to live in terrible "refugee" camps, in pitiful conditions, and they need a permit to leave their camps.

Even within the camps, they are banned from building new buildings or additions on buildings.

They are banned from owning businesses.

They cannot ever become citizens.

They have a 67% poverty rate.

This is all institutional discrimination. It is so bad that over half of the Palestinians registered by UNRWA as living in Lebanon have left to live in Europe or elsewhere.

The Palestinians who cannot leave say that living in Lebanon is like living in prison.

The European Union claims that "human rights are at the heart of the European Union's external action and the EU reaffirms its role as a leading global proponent of the promotion and protection of human rights. "

Last year it issued a report on the human rights situation in Lebanon - and it did not mention one of the facts listed above.

Its summary of the human rights situation in Lebanon says "Lebanon generally upheld and preserved respect for human rights and the rule of law and undertook some important key reforms."

The EU, of course, doesn't hesitate to condemn Israel when it is perceived as doing something that the EU disagrees with, like cutting payments to the PA that go to terrorists or allowing Jews to build houses in their homeland.

The hypocrisy is only fully seen when we compare how the EU describes Israel's human rights record towards Palestinians and how it ignores the blatant discrimination and oppression of Palestinians in Lebanon.

It isn't only the EU, of course. No one calls on artists to boycott Lebanon because of how it treats Palestinians. No one says not to buy Lebanese products. 

Based on this EU report, one can say that there is a conscious effort to suppress news about how Lebanon mistreats the remaining 200,000 Palestinians who live there. This is more Palestinians than the number who live in Area C, under Israeli rule, who are in the headlines constantly.

Lebanon's direct oppression of Palestinians is consciously downplayed and ignored. Israel's much better treatment of Palestinians is highlighted and condemned, daily. 

The only conclusion one can come to is that the people screaming about human rights for Palestinians aren't really concerned about human rights for Palestinians.

They only want to use that issue as a bludgeon to go after Israel.

What is the reason why they are obsessed with blaming Israel beyond all logic and facts while ignoring the abuses that Palestinians undergo in Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world?

Apparently, those who pretend to care about human rights of Palestinians are really more concerned about denying the human rights of another people.

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  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Palestinian dictator Mahmoud Abbas defended continuing to pay terrorists in the wake of Israel reducing the amount of taxes paid to the Palestinian Authority by the amount they pay terrorists and families of terrorists.

"Israel is claiming that the Palestinian Authority is transferring money to terrorists," he said. "So I say we do not want to receive this money and every penny we have will be transferred to the families of the martyrs."

"Even if we only have 20 or 30 million shekels (about 9 million dollars), we will pay them to the families of the martyrs," said the leader of the Fatah terror group, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Mazen.

Promising money to families of terrorists is a life insurance policy that encourages terrorists to want to die during attacks on Jews.

Also, yesterday, Abbas met with a delegation from J-Street and Democratic members of Congress. He told them how much he wanted peace and how the "peace process" is in danger - because of Israel.

He went on to blame Israel for everything, and described "Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories,", Israel's "ongoing attacks on Islamic and Christian sanctities in the occupied city of Jerusalem," and how the PLO is trying to stop these alleged attacks (meaning, things like Jews visiting Jewish holy sites) by going to international institutions and courts.

He answered questions, but I cannot find any transcript of that, and J-Street doesn't even admit when it meets with Abbas, for some reason.

The photo above shows J-Street leader Jeremy Ben-Ami asking a question from the group that includes Abbas and Saeb Erekat, under the smiling face of Yasir Arafat.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Wafa reports:

The European Union slammed Israel’s recent decision to withhold part of the Palestinian tax revenues.

Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio station, Communication Officer at the European Union (EU) Shadi Othman slammed the Israeli government’s decision to deduct $138 million from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

The EU, Othman added, emphasized the need for Israel to respect the agreements signed with the Palestinian side and refrain from taking any unilateral action on the Palestinian tax revenues, which should be transferred in full to the Palestinian Authority.

Commenting on the EU’s follow-up this Israeli decision, Othman noted that the EU has maintained contact with its member states, urging them to put pressure on Israel, so that it refrains from implementing its decision.

I didn't see any statements on the EU External Action page or on their Twitter feed about this, but Othman is a spokesperson for the EU.

I also couldn't find a single time that the EU condemned the Palestinian Authority "pay to slay" program. (The details have been presented to various EU nations by Palestinian Media Watch.)

Which means that the EU tacitly supports the Palestinians paying part of their budget to terrorists.

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From Ian:

Ben Shaprio: On January 29, Two Hate Crimes Occurred. The Media Only Covered The Fake One. Here's Why.
On January 29, 2019, Chicago Police opened a hate crime investigation into the alleged assault of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett, who is black and gay, alleged that two men approached him at 2 a.m. in Chicago, where they shouted “f*****” and “n*****,” tried to wrap a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him. He also told TMZ that the men shouted, “This is MAGA country.”

The story received unending press. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), tweeted, “The racist, homophobic attack on [Smollett] is an affront to our humanity.” Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called it a “modern-day lynching.” Congresswoman and Fresh Face™ of the Democratic Party Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed anyone who questioned the story, tweeting, “The attack was not ‘possibly’ homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack.”

The media ran with the story. Good Morning America hosted Smollett, where he maligned anyone who asked questions as a racist and a homophobe. CNN’s Brooke Baldwin stated, “This is America in 2019.” Celebrities parroted their support for Smollett, with many blaming President Trump and Vice President Pence for the attack.

The story was a hoax.

That same night, a Jewish man in New York was beaten by three thugs. Nothing was stolen. The attack was caught on video.

Outside of a report in The Jerusalem Post, the story received virtually no attention.

This isn’t the only story of anti-Semitism in New York. Not by a long shot. Two weeks before that beating, a Jewish man, 19, was “violently assaulted” as he walked past a local laundromat by a group of teenage black males. In December, a 16-year-old Jewish teen spent a week in a hospital after being beaten by two other teens; witnesses said that the teens screamed “Kill the Jew.” The NYPD categorized the attack as “gang related” rather than a hate crime, angering Jews in the area. This weekend, vandals shattered the window of a Chabad in Bushwick as the rabbi and his family slept inside.

Ben Shaprio: How Do You Define Anti-Semitism?

Rich Lowry: Ilhan Omar’s Big Lie
The Left distorts what happened in El Salvador in the 1980s.

In a viral exchange at a congressional hearing last week, the new congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who is quickly establishing herself as the most reprehensible member of the House Democratic freshman class despite stiff competition, launched into Elliott Abrams. She accused the former Reagan official and Trump’s special envoy to Venezuela of being complicit in war crimes.

“Yes or no,” she demanded, “would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, if you believe they were serving U.S. interest, as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua?”

Omar was cribbing from the Left’s notes on U.S. Latin American policy, and doing it badly. She made much of the 1981 El Motoze massacre in El Salvador. The idea that Abrams is somehow directly implicated in this bloodcurdlingly awful event is completely absurd. He was assistant secretary of state for international organizations in the Reagan administration, then became assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs on December 10, 1981. The massacre occurred the next day. Unless we are to believe the El Salvadoran military unit took his change of jobs as a green light to indiscriminately kill villagers (which unfortunately was not a new practice), Abrams obviously had nothing to do with the massacre.

Nonetheless, the Omar attack is an opportunity to examine the premises of the Left’s narrative on Reagan’s policy in El Salvador, which supports the persistent attacks on Abrams as a “war criminal.” To paraphrase the famous Mary McCarthy line about Lillian Hellman, every word in this narrative is a lie, including “and” and “the.”

In what follows, I rely throughout on Russell Crandall’s book The Salvador Option: The United States in El Salvador, 1977–1992, a fair-minded, factual account that’s a marked contrast to the tendentiously left-wing material that dominates online.
Hypnotizing the World: Omar Has Ties to Radical Anti-Israel, Anti-American Group
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) has ties to a group that includes numerous radical anti-American and anti-Israel activists on its board of directors.

Notes of support posted to the controversial congresswoman's door include a message from the organization Witness for Peace. "Keep up the good work!" the note reads, signed, "Witness for Peace Columbia Team :)."

The note appeared the same week Omar attacked Elliott Abrams, a Jewish-American and longtime diplomat who served in the Reagan and Bush administrations. Abrams is now the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela. Omar has sided with the socialist government in Venezuela, accusing the Trump administration of leading a "U.S.-backed coup" against Nicolas Maduro.

Witness for Peace got its start fighting the Reagan administration's anti-communist policies during the Cold War, specifically the group opposed funding the Contras in Nicaragua. Abrams, who Omar called "Mr. Adams," pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, and was later pardoned.

"Faith-based peace activists founded Witness for Peace in response to the U.S. funding of the Contras," its website states. In 1984 "Witness for Peace activists across the country organized events to resist Reagan's war on Central America," the group said.

Omar attended a delegation sponsored by Witness for Peace to Honduras in November 2017. She returned to the Minnesota House of Representatives calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Honduras, a position shared by the radical group Code Pink.

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Three Weeks in Palestine and Lebanon, book published in 1834 in England by a Christian society, that reveals not only the antisemitism of Jerusalem's non-Jewish inhabitants but also that of the author:

Lower down is the Jewish quarter, presenting nothing but filth and wretchedness. Wanting to purchase some wine, we heard that we might get it there ; so we went in search, making it an excuse for prying into the Israelitish dwellings. They seemed evidently afraid of letting us know that they had any in their possession: at length, after several denials, we entered a miserable house, in which were two or three dirty unveiled women, and one old blear-eyed man, who, after talking among themselves, apparently about us, whether we might be trusted, brought out a small quantity with great caution. Poor wretches!—everything about them exhibited signs of depression and misery: outcasts from the common rights and sympathies of men—oppressed and despised alike by Mahometans and Christians—living as aliens in the inheritance of their fathers—what an awful lesson of unbelief do they hold out! 
The author sees Jewish deprivation as vindication for the truth of Christianity:
It was, I think, the Prince of Condé who said that while a Jew existed, he was a sufficient refutation of all the arguments of infidelity; and most truly did he speak. I never behold a Jew, carrying with him as he does the evidence of eighteen centuries to the truth of Christianity, without a feeling of gratitude towards him, and a forcible impression of St. Paul’s exclamation—“ Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but towards thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be out olf.” They form a proof the rejection of which by any candid mind I cannot comprehend: here it came with tenfold force. 

This is one of the consequences of the rebirth of Israel that is often forgotten now. Before 1948, especially during the Holocaust, there was a lot of Christian opinion that the Jews' suffering is a fulfillment of their destiny for rejecting Jesus. That was the opinion of mainstream Christianity for centuries in Europe. The founding of the modern State of Israel was an actual crisis for Protestants in America because it simply didn't fit in with their absolute knowledge that Jews deserved to be suffering.

However, in 1834, it was axiomatic that Muslims mistreated and despised Jews.

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  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Mondoweiss notes a book that came out last year by Jimmy Carter adviser Stuart Eizenstat. If his description of the book is accurate, then we have even more evidence that Carter is an antisemite.

Weiss writes:

What I did not know till I read the new book, “Jimmy Carter, The White House Years,” by his former top domestic policy adviser Stuart Eizenstat, is that Israeli settlements also bedeviled the Carter administration. From the beginning of his presidency in 1977, Jimmy Carter determined that the settlements were an obstacle to peace because they stood in the way of a Palestinian homeland, which he wished to help establish in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Carter and his secretary of state Cyrus Vance and national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski repeatedly hammered the Israeli government to end Jewish colonization or at least freeze it.

Carter failed miserably in this aim, overwhelmed by a new force he had not accurately reckoned: American Jewish organizations. “I will commit suicide before I abandon Israel,” Carter promised Jewish congressmen when they met with him to express concern about his policy. But Carter could not abandon a parallel commitment to Palestine; and Eizenstat says that Carter believes that taking on Israel and its American lobby cost him his job.

“From the New York primary [in March 1980] onward, I believe Carter was left with the view that New York Jews had not only defeated him in the primary but were also a factor in his loss in November,” Eizenstat writes.
That is, to put it bluntly, ridiculous.

First of all, Weiss is (as can be expected) not telling the whole story. One major reason New York Jews voted by a 4-1 margin for Ted Kennedy over Carter in the primary was because the US (mistakenly, according to this article) voted against Israel in a major UN Security Council vote a week before - a resolution demanding not only that Israel stop settlement activity but that Israel dismantle all existing settlements, including in Jerusalem. It was a farce of a resolution, completely one sided and given Carter's antipathy towards Israel, it seemed to the Jewish community that Carter was certainly capable of pushing such a resolution.

But in the end, Carter won the nomination.

In November, Carter did lose New York, and practically every other state as well. 

In New York, Carter lost by a margin of 51-41%, but Jews still voted for him, 45-39% (15% for John Anderson.)

If 20% of New York State voters were Jews (a generous estimate), then even if Carter would have received 85% of the Jewish vote, he still would have lost. And even if he had carried New York, he would have lost the election in a landslide anyway, 399-90 electoral votes.

If Carter really does blame Jews for losing the election, then how can he be considered anything but an antisemite?

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From Ian:

PA deletes Jewish history from key sites in Judea and Samaria
The Palestinian Authority is violating its agreements with Israel by trying to redefine historic sites and nature reserves in Judea and Samaria, Israel Hayom has learned.

The Oslo II Accord, as well as subsequent agreements, grant the Palestinian Authority limited control over certain landmarks and nature reserves in Judea and Samaria at the discretion of Israeli authorities and only if the PA commits to coordinating the administration of the areas with Israeli forces.

The 1995 agreement, which has been only partially implemented, says that "the two sides shall each take appropriate measures in order to protect Nature Reserves, Protected Natural Assets and species of animals, plants and flowers of special breeds, as well as to implement rules of behavior in Nature Reserves."

But recent steps taken by the Palestinians suggest that PA officials have been flouting those provisions.

As part of this rogue behavior, the PA has recently placed a sign at Arugot Stream, which runs from west to east in Judea, calling it Al-Kanub Reserve. The sign states that the EU and the U.N. help support the administration of the site.

The PA has also set up a new website called Mahmiyat (which means nature reserves in Arabic), which provides tourist information on the various landmarks in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The descriptions obscure the Jewish links to those landmarks dating to biblical times.
PMW: Abbas to inflict humanitarian crisis on Palestinians, after Israel penalizes PA for its support of terrorists
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has officially announced that the PA will refuse to accept all tax money Israel transfers to the PA if Israel deducts the amount the PA uses to reward terrorists. This PA policy will lead to a grave humanitarian crisis for Palestinians.

The Israeli Cabinet announced yesterday that Israel will be deducting 502,697,000 shekels/year - $139,638,000 - from taxes to be transferred to the PA. This is the amount reported exclusively by PMW that the PA paid in 2018 in salaries to imprisoned and released terrorists. This sum does not include the PA's financial rewards to families of dead terrorists, the so-called "Martyrs," or to wounded terrorists. The deduction will be made in 12 monthly portions of approx. $11,636,500 million/month - almost 42 million shekels/month.

Information obtained by PMW from Israel's Ministry of Finance in response to a request based on Israel's Freedom of Information Act, shows that the taxes Israel collected and transferred to the PA in 2018 amounted to $2.2 billion (8 billion shekels) - an average of $186,121,569/month (670,037,651 shekels) - while PA payments to terrorist prisoners, released prisoners, and families of dead terrorists in 2018 averaged at least $204 million/year (732 million shekels/year), or $17 million/month (61 million shekels) according to PMW calculations.

Earlier this month, Abbas declared that if Israel deducts a sum equal to what the PA spends on rewarding terrorists from next month's transfer - approx. $11.6 million according to the sum announced by the Israeli Cabinet - he will refuse to accept the entire remainder - approx. $174.5 million/month - that the Palestinian population needs to keep the economy functioning:
Shamima Begum: Manchester Arena bombing 'justified' because of Syria airstrikes, Isis teenager says
The Manchester Arena attack was “justified” because of airstrikes that have killed civilians in Syria, Shamima Begum has claimed.

The 19-year-old, who is pleading to be repatriated from a detention camp in Syria, told the BBC that it was “wrong that innocent people did get killed” in the 2017 atrocity.

But she compared the Manchester bombing to the "women and children in [Isis territory] being killed right now unjustly with the bombings", adding: "It’s a two-way thing really because women and children are being killed in the Islamic State right now and it’s kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it’s retaliation so I thought ok that is a fair justification.”

Isis claimed responsibility for Salman Abedi’s bombing, which killed 22 victims including young children, with a statement that claimed it was in response to "transgression against the Muslims".

Almost identical wording citing the international coalition has been used for Isis statements claiming numerous terror attacks across Europe since spokesman Abu Muhammed al-Adnani called for global atrocities in 2014.

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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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