Monday, August 19, 2019

  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
John-Paul Pagano found this amazing article at Hanan Ashrawi's Miftah that claims Israel steals the organs of children.

Helping the victims of disasters has become now an occasion for launching public relations campaigns or achieving hidden political and military objectives. People still fall victim to earthquakes, disasters, occupation, oppression and terrorism. They also fall victim to campaigns which use their tragedy to achieve other purposes which have nothing to do with the value, importance, sanctity and dignity of human life.

After the Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom wrote about the Israeli army killing Palestinian youth in order to harvest their organs, there were other media reports about Israelis stealing Ukrainian children in order to harvest their organs. Once again there are documented reports from Haiti that organs are being stolen by Israelis without international justice intervening to put an end to such criminal practices against innocent vulnerable people.
The author, Bouthaina Shaaban, is a media adviser to Syrian dictator and mass murderer Bashar Assad.

Today, Peter Beinart defended Miftah and its head, Hanan Ashrawi, in a meltdown performance on CNN, pretending that there is no real problem with a group that publishes pure antisemitism sponsoring the trips of US members of Congress.

Rich Lowry asked Beinart, quite sensibly, whether Ashrawi should be held responsible for antisemitism and support for terror that has published many times. Beinart didn't answer that, even though any NGO would be held to a much higher standard than Miftah is.

Even funnier, Beinart went to Twitter to defend Miftah - and instead of linking to their fake apology for posting the original blood libel article I found, he linked to their attack on me that justified the blood libel article as just part of Palestinian "open dialogue."

The disclaimer at the opening of the “News and Analysis” section clearly states that, “The views represented in [News and Analysis] are solely those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of MIFTAH, but rather fulfill its mandate for open dialogue.”
The entire reason Miftah justified the blood libel posting back in 2013 is because, to the people who work there, antisemitism is part and parcel of their lives.  Claims that Jews drink Christian blood, steal organs of Haitian and Ukranian kids and and control the media are what Palestinians are taught all the time. This is why they are so tone deaf to these articles - because they don't see anything wrong with them!

Hanan Ashrawi is of course responsible for how her NGO acts. People like Beinart who praise her in light of repeated outrages like this are clearly on the side of the antisemites.

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From Ian:

A Misunderstanding About Anti-Semitism
Only diseases can have cures, and anti-Semitism is not a disease: It is a perfectly normal human reaction to an anomaly that has persisted for just over 2,000 years, ever since starving Jews migrated in great numbers to food-rich Roman Egypt and its splendid capital of Alexandria, where they quickly outmatched the local Greek-speaking elite not only in Greek philosophy but also in Greek athletics—and in business too, no doubt. The Greeks reacted not by competing harder, but with murderous mob attacks. Thus, anti-Semitism was born, already so fully formed that nothing has been added by all the anti-Semites in history ever since. That the Jewish side of the story is well known through texts by Josephus and Philo, while the original denunciation of the Jews by then-famous philosopher Apion is lost (except for the bits quoted by Josephus as put-downs), proves just how right Apion was: Primitive Hebrew shepherds and peasants arrive, and in no time at all they take over everything, even Greek philosophic literature, in which Philo now occupies 10 volumes in the Harvard’s Loeb Classical Library and Apion has none, zilch, and nada. (Loeb was a Jewish banker, of course.)

What infuriated the Greeks was that the Jews stubbornly preserved their identity, even when they threw away their Bedouin robes to sit in togas to debate Aristotle and “continue” Plato’s writings, even when they abandoned Hebrew for Greek in their daily lives, and even when they exercised in the gym just as naked as the Greeks—and walked off with the prizes. By the time Philo paid a call on the Emperor Gaius—aka the colorfully murderous, pan-sexual Caligula—to ask him to fire his anti-Jewish Governor Aulus Avilius Flaccus and stop the riots, two of the five quarters of Alexandria, the New York City of the Roman world, were mostly Jewish. Gaius, incidentally, joshed Philo about the weirdness of not eating pork, but did recall A.A. Flaccus, who ran into a sword upon his return—an early case of undue Jewish political influence.

Apion & Co. were unpleasant but not irrational, because the extraordinary success of Alexandria’s Jews certainly had no straightforward explanation. They should have been at the bottom of the queue, not at the top, considering that ambitious and well-educated Greeks were arriving in the city all the time, and that many of the indigenous Egyptians were already very well educated urban folk (the rubbish heaps of just one of their small towns, Oxyrhynchus, have yielded the fragments of many literary scrolls).

There was only one logical explanation for Apion and all anti-Semites ever since: The real reason Jews stayed away from the wide-open temples in which all decent folk publicly gathered to worship the gods with sacrifices, libations, and hymns was to conspire in their secretive and literally godless synagogues to do in the gentiles, conniving and conspiring to defraud them of their just rewards while pretending to mumble incomprehensible prayers in their weird tongue.

The obvious remedy against the perpetually conniving Jews was simply to keep them out—a humanitarian solution actually, for no violence was needed. And for two millennia after the Alexandria riots, countless towns, many cities, and some entire countries did just that.
StandWithUs: The rise of Antisemitism in New York City.
Antisemitic incidents are up by 82 percent in New York City. Blind hatred must be stopped!

The Australian: Albanese needs to show some spine (click on the twitter link)
The examples of anti-Semitism emanating from Corbyn and his crew are legion, but just a few examples should suffice. He once defended a blatantly anti-Semitic mural depicting hook-nosed bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the poor. He suggested renaming Holocaust Memorial Day “Genocide Memorial Day”. He placed a wreath on the grave of Black September terrorists. Last month, the BBC aired an explosive documentary detailing Labour’s abject failure to deal with anti-Semitism within its ranks.

The revelations led 67 Labour members of the House of Lords to write an open letter declaring: “The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews). This is your legacy Mr Corbyn.” Labour member Trevor Phillips, Britain’s former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, laments that his party “presents like a textbook case of institutional racism”.

Nine Labour parliamentarians have quit in disgust, citing Corbynista anti-Semitism among the reasons. Politics, they say, makes strange bedfellows, and none has been stranger than the endorsements Corbyn has earned from the likes of Nick Griffin, the former leader of the fascist British National Party, and David Duke, ex-leader of the Ku Klux Klan and perhaps America’s most infamous racist. We can also add, unfortun­ately, Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese to the list.

According to this newspaper, Albanese has met Corbyn at least three times in less than two years, posing for friendly selfies with the hard-left British Labour leader. “Talking politics and progress — and a bit of cricket,” Albanese captioned one of the photos. He should take a cue from some of his fellow social democrats abroad and distance his party from its British cousin, pronto.

Last year, Israeli Labor suspended all official relations with its British counterpart. In a sternly worded letter to Corbyn, then-leader Avi Gabbay acknowledged the “long history of friendship” that had existed between the two parties stretching back to prime minister Harold Wilson. But “the hostility that you have shown to the Jewish community and the anti-Semitic statements and actions you have allowed as leader of the Labour Party UK” along with “your very public hatred of the policies of the government of the state of Israel” led him to the conclusion that “we cannot retain relations with you … while you fail to adequately address the anti-Semitism” within Labour ranks.

New documentary gives a glimpse into the mind of Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Toby Perl Freilich, who directed the documentary, Moynihan, with Joseph Dorman, spoke about what moved her most when making this film, which had its Israeli premiere on Sunday at the DocuText Festival at the National Library. DocuText continues until Thursday.

This brilliant, engaging movie is currently available on iTunes, Amazon VOD and several other platforms (see note at the end of the article). It focuses on Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (1927-2003), a US Senator, UN ambassador and scholar who was a maverick intellectual and used his mind to try to better the lives of the poor. While it touches on his personal life, particularly his childhood and how it impacted his work, it is not a biography of the man but rather an incisive look at his ideas and ideals.

“He always understood that there were people who were going to fall through the cracks. He felt that government needed to be there to catch them with a safety net... He was interested in how policy affected people, how government could help them. Someone once asked him why he switched from academia to politics,” she said. “He said it was the other way around, that he had come to academia through politics. His academic work was always rooted in the real world.”

  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

This week is the 50th anniversary of the burning of part of the Al Aqsa Mosque by a crazed Australian Christian, Denis Michael Rohan.

Every year the Arab media claims that Jews and Israel were the ones who set the fire. On this half century anniversary, get ready for some serious incitement.

Hamas is starting by declaring that this Friday they this week's theme for the Friday "March of Return" demonstration is dedicated against the "Judaization of Jerusalem," with the 1969 arson as exhibit A.

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When I first got into the game of fighting against BDS in the early 2000s (simply called “divestment” back then), I became fairly dogmatic regarding the superiority of political victories over legislative and judicial ones. 

This was largely due to the nature of boycott and divestment activity at the time, which consisted of anti-Israel organizations seeking to get a civic institution, such as a college, municipality, church or business, to boycott or divest from the Jewish state through strategies that tended to involve trickery (like getting organizational leaders to pass anti-Israel motions before members knew what was going on) and moral blackmail.

Back then, members of such organizations tended to get enraged once they realized what was about to be done in their name.  This meant the most effective ways to counter BDS votes was to activate those members and help them organize to defeat unwanted political measures.  While conflicts generated by turning divestment into a political matter (usually accompanied by an organizational vote) gave the boycotters the public show trials they craved, their inevitable defeat left BDS looking more and more like a loser.

In many cases, ongoing defeat within a category of institution helped immunize other organizations from the BDS virus.  For example, food coops are no longer targeted by boycott activists since a string of defeats helped establish the fact that the coop movement should not be taking political stands on controversial issues unrelated to their missions.  In contrast, when wronged members of the still-only boycott-embracing food coop decided to challenge that boycott in court, they nearly faced catastrophe in the form of harsh court-ordered punishments against them (which have fortunately since been overturned).

Over the course of many years, however, I’ve been convinced by other activists that legal remedies are sometimes warranted, given the changing nature of boycott-related activism. 

For example, Kenneth Marcus (now in a position to do something about rising levels of bigotry directed against Jews and Israel supporters on campuses) pointed out how Israel haters engaging in brutish campaigns against their opponents use their own lawyers to scare administrators away from punishing students who engage in gross violations of campus rules.  Under such circumstances, it would be malpractice if our side didn’t challenge those same administrators with better lawyers insisting schools enforce their own rules for civil behavior.

Similarly, anti-boycott legislation at the state and federal level serve two important purposes: (1) demonstrating that, far from being widespread, support for BDS is marginal compared to support for Israel demonstrated by the votes of overwhelming numbers of democratically elected representatives; and (2) creating a counterweight to BDS activity taking place way above the level that can be challenged effectively by local, grassroots activists (such as attempts by the UN to create and implement a blacklist of Israeli companies).

But even if some circumstances warrant legal/judicial and legislative activities, I continue to be circumspect about how quickly our side should reach for those arrows.  Going to court is tricky, with decisions creating precedents that can be long-lasting.  It is also time consuming, and by the time matters are resolved by a judge or jury, the battle may have moved to entirely different ground.
Laws passed to fight BDS can also be double-edged swords.  To take a high-profile example, Israel’s law to bar BDS activists from visiting the country has generated bad press for the Jewish state that needs to be compared to the damage that might have occurred had those activists been allowed into the country.  Legislators tend to be motivated by a desire to do something in the face of perceived crises and be less concerned with the consequences of the measures they vote in once enacted. Recent controversy generated by banning two anti-Israel congresswomen from Israel also shows how the worthy fight against BDS can get entangled with domestic politics, both in Israel and in the US.  
Given the growing and increasingly dangerous anti-Israel project, its continued attempts to take over major institutions and its support by powerful actors (such as national governments and major non-governmental institutions), counting on grassroots activists to save the day is unrealistic.  But where and when to appeal to higher authority (such as a judge or legislative body) needs to be thought through and risks balanced against rewards before a strategy is pursued.

If we consider grassroots activism, lawsuits, and legislation as just three of many weapons we have at our disposal, then the issue boils down to how to choose which one(s) to use and how they will be deployed to help us achieve our goals.  In other words, it requires us to cultivate not a political or legal mindset, but a military one appropriate when someone else has been waging war against you for over a century. 


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From Ian:

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Israel is the sole sovereign of the Temple Mount
If I were Israel's ambassador to Jordan, and I were called in for a dressing down over Israel's actions on the Temple Mount and over Israelis ascending the site to mourn the destruction of the First and Second temples on the annual Jewish fasting day of Tisha B'Av, I would remind the official doing the dressing down that we Jews worshipped the one God at the temple that was located at the site over 3,000 years ago. Islam is only 1,409 years old.

I would remind the official that in classical Arabic, Jerusalem is referred to as Bayt al-Maqdis, meaning "temple," and that this is further proof of the falsehood that prevails today among the people of the region, according to which a temple never existed on the site.

I would present to Amman's envoy official Jordanian maps drawn prior to 1967, which have the words Mount Moriah written on the site of the Temple Mount, to its southeast the words Solomon's Stables, its south, the Valley of Josaphat, to the east of the mount, the Tomb of Zechariah and the Tomb of Absalom are listed, and to its west, Mount Zion. I would show the official these maps, and then I would note the following Arabic proverb: "A liar needs a good memory."

I would remind the official that while his country's 1994 peace agreement with Israel afforded the Hashemite Kingdom special status on the Temple Mount, Amman was not made sovereign of the site, because the sole sovereign of the site is Israel.
Jpost Editorial: No need for UNRWA
UNRWA – which employs more than 30,000 workers – has no motivation to end the “refugee crisis.” And since UNRWA’s mandate to resettle the Palestinian refugees was rescinded in 1965 without a serious reform, the numbers will keep on growing, to be used as a political tool against Israel.

The PA has reason to be concerned about UNRWA’s future, but it plays a double game, and it is time it is called out. On the one hand, the PA claims to represent the State of Palestine (which has observer-state status in the UN. and is recognized by more than 135 UN members), yet on the other hand it protests that the Palestinians continue to be refugees.

Alongside the status of perpetual refugeehood, UNRWA also perpetuates a culture of entitlement. Instead of fostering self-sufficiency, it is undermining the Palestinians it professes to care for. And that is without relating to the hate-filled nature of the education being received by Palestinian children, which deprives both the Palestinians and Israelis of hope for peace in the future.

UNRWA needs to be drastically reformed, with the aim of later closing it down and moving responsibility for the relatively small number of genuine refugees to the auspices of the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. The Palestinians themselves would be the first to benefit from UNRWA being revamped. UNRWA has done nothing to build a sustainable, peaceful Palestinian state. On the contrary. The report containing allegations of serious flaws could be the wake-up call the UN needs to reexamine UNRWA’s status. It’s time for the absurdity to end.

In Argentina, France, and Elsewhere in Europe, Attacks on Jews Are Judged by a Separate Yardstick
Indeed, a good two years before the Rue des Rosiers attack, following another terrorist outrage against a Jewish institution in Paris, Raymond Barre, then prime minister, acknowledged this reality. On October 3, 1980, a powerful bomb exploded near the entrance of the Reform synagogue on the Rue Copernic, wounding nearly 50 people and killing four: specifically, three Frenchmen and a young woman who turned out to be an Israeli tourist.

Interviewed on French television after the attack, which was blamed on far-right extremists but was more probably the work of Palestinians, Barre committed what those of a more generous disposition might describe as an unfortunate slip of the tongue. “This odious bombing,” he said, “was aimed at striking Jews who were going to the synagogue, and it hit innocent French people who were crossing the Rue Copernic.”

However distasteful, Barre’s remark was inadvertently enlightening. When Jews are in the crosshairs, an act of terrorism that might otherwise generate appalled outrage and swift police work could be rationalized if not excused. Some such thinking has left an indelible mark on governmental, judicial, and law-enforcement responses to anti-Semitic terror both in France and elsewhere in Europe. If it can be boiled down to a single principle, it is this: when it comes to the victims of Islamist-inspired terrorism, Diaspora Jews are innocent, but not as innocent as others.

Today, as then, terrorists can (and do) make the same calculation. Over the last decade in France, eight Jews have been killed by Islamist terrorists, three of them small children gunned down at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012. This has occurred amidst an atmosphere of rising anti-Semitism in the country and, with it, a broader tolerance of extreme violence directed at Jews.

Of course, terrorists have struck at many more general targets in France during the same time period, but these are seen by politicians and the media unambiguously as attacks on France itself, and not “merely” as attacks on Jews who happen to be living in France. This practical distinction between Jew and non-Jew, which has licensed bloodshed in the past, will no doubt do so again.

  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The photos accompanying many of the news stories of Israel neutralizing three heavily armed terrorists at the Gaza border show nothing but sympathy for the terrorists.

Relatives of the terrorists are shown as mourning their deaths in at least three major news sources:




Photos are often more important than the text of a story. The causal browser of news sees mourners and assumes that the relatives who died were unjustly killed. 

The headlines from VOANews and France24 don't help matters - they imply that Israel just randomly killed Palestinians.

All of these photos were taken by Mohammed Salem at Reuters. The scenes look posed and contrived to me.

(h/t Tomer Ilan)

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  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here are six basic facts about Israelis, and one about Palestinians, that are hardly mentioned in the media or universities. That refusal to report on the truth causes a major gap in Western understanding of the conflict.

Israelis desperately want peace and to be accepted as a normal nation in the Middle East. This is an understatement. Israelis have made serious sacrifices for peace with Egypt and with the Palestinians. But their yearning for peace is not at the expense of the security of Israelis. Security of the citizens is the overarching desire of every conceivable Israeli government, and is more important than any peace plan that does not fully guarantee security.

No one in Israel wants to rule over Palestinians. As much as is possible, Israel has tried to avoid that - by withdrawing from Gaza and allowing Palestinian autonomy in Area A and to some extent Area B. But the alternative of fully withdrawing from the territories is generally considered to be worse. Gaza shows the worst case scenario of unilateral withdrawal.

Almost no one in Israel wants to go to the 1967 lines. It is obvious that the human cost of doing that is unacceptable. Pretty much everyone agrees that some territories will always remain under Israeli rule, perhaps with land swaps. Framing the question as whether Israelis are "against the occupation" or "for the occupation" is deceptive, since the vast majority are against fully controlling 100% of the territories and a vast  majority are also against dismantling the homes of half a million people. Spinning either position as "pro" or "anti"-occupation is simply not to report the truth.

Israelis deserve human rights as much as Palestinians do. Israel wants to provide as many human rights for Palestinians as possible without compromising on the security of Israeli citizens, who also deserve human rights. The line between the two is in flux. When threats are reduced, restrictions are (or should be) reduced as well. All of Israel's security measures that upset people (like the separation barrier) have been put in place to save lives. "Human rights" advocates who ignore Israeli lives are not interested in human rights.

Racism exists in Israel, but it is no worse than the racism in other Western countries. Arguably Israel is far more tolerant than most Western nations towards Muslims. The Palestinian issue is not a race issue at all from Israel's perspective - it is a security issue.

Israel can do better. Israelis admit that. In general, it strives to do better, even in the face of vicious world opinion. Even when no one will notice. Western armies study Israeli methods of warfare while minimizing casualties of civilians/human shields because they are so good at it, but no one is perfect.  No one in Israel wants innocent Arabs to die.

Palestinians have had 25 years since Oslo to teach their children peace, but they have done the exact opposite. Violence has been reduced not for any moral reason but because terror is seen as counterproductive at this time. Palestinians still teach their people that violence is a legitimate, moral option, and that terrorists are heroes.

People who ignore these facts are not interested in peace. People who say that Israel must make all the concessions are not serious about peace.

People who ascribe the lack of peace to a lack of will on the part of Israelis for peace are pretty much accusing Jews of being evil.  Calling Israelis "Nazis," calling Zionism "racism" or accusing Israel of "apartheid" are not serious arguments, and people who insist on those designations are only interested in demonizing the Jewish state. They are either antisemites or hopelessly deluded.

But if the West would report on these basic facts, then the number of people who are susceptible to the antisemitic arguments would fall dramatically.

Everything I am writing here is obvious to all Israelis, Zionists and to anyone who has spent any time in or seriously researching Israel. But practically everything I'm writing here is generally not mentioned in Western media reports on Israel or in textbooks.

That gap between the truth and what is being reported is a major impediment to peace.

The real story is not hard to uncover. But the fact that it is so hard for an average Westerner to understand these seven points based only on the materials easily available is a scandal.

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  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Palestine Bulletin described the events concerning the disturbances around the Kotel in Jerusalem that led to the 1929 pogroms in Hebron and elsewhere.

Here is a summary published on August 20, 1929, of the events so far up until the 19th:

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

  • Sunday, August 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here's  yet another example of egregious antisemitism in a mainstream Jordanian news site.

Rachid Hassan writes in Ad Dustour:
One of the greatest rituals of Hajj - and all of them are great blessed rituals - are the sacrificial rituals and throwing stones.
The rite of stoning the devil is a call to Muslims at all times and places and even this hour....The devil is today the Zionist enemy who occupies the land and desecrates holy sites, and appropriates Al Aqsa, and practices the dirtiest kinds of debauchery and immorality in the areas of the first Qiblah, the second of the two mosques and the third holiest shrine...

The stoning of Satan is an invitation to Muslims, wherever they may be, to support Jerusalem, to crawl to Al Aqsa, to cleanse it of the abomination of the enemy, and to purify all Palestine from the barbarity of the Jews who filled the land with injustice, and to cleanse this land.

The stoning of Satan must be translated into daily action, practiced by Arabs and Muslims, especially the Palestinian people, in confronting the Zionist enemy. The Great Satan, and its ally Washington, which supports this devil, and unleashes its madness to destroy the sanctities and the disenfranchised, and shed blood .. 
He is saying that it is an Islamic obligation to kill all Israeli Jews as symbolized by the Hajj ceremony to stone the devil.

As usual, there is no negative reaction in Arab media on blatant antisemitism and calls to ethnically cleanse Jews from the Middle East.This is the sort of Jew-hatred that Arabs are taught from childhood.

And it is not only tolerated but supported by Western leftists.

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From Ian:

Dems and Jewish Groups pick wrong side on Omar-Tlaib
Who can forget the embarrassing vote to reinstate language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at the 2012 Democratic National Convention? Convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to call a voice vote three times before declaring it for the "Ayes." Anyone who heard the catcalls knows it was at best a tie, nowhere near the two-thirds votes required to make the change.

Some congressional Democrats are trying to fight the anti-Israel forces typified by Omar and Tlaib. The 41 Democrats who visited Israel this month is an example. Democrats on July 23 overwhelmingly supported a resolution which said BDS "promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation, which are destructive of prospects for progress towards peace."

But Democrats have been afraid to take Omar and Tlaib head-on. Not only are they scared of their base, they’re fearful of antagonizing American Muslims, a voting bloc they have begun to woo. That is why their effort in May to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, again sparked in reaction to Omar, was rewritten and watered down so as to be meaningless.

If American-Jewish organizations wish to help Israel, they’d encourage Democrats to go further in their efforts to push back against Omar-Tlaib. AIPAC, the ADL, the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and all the others who see their job as defending Jewish interests should be encouraging Democrats to isolate this hateful duo and cut them off from the rest of the party.

Instead, they’ve strengthened Omar and Tlaib by giving moral backing to the position that these two should have been admitted to Israel regardless of their agenda, that it was Israel that was in the wrong. But Israel was right. It acted sensibly, stopping a propaganda-fest from being carried out on its home turf.

The House vote condemning BDS was 398-to-17. Five voted present. Two of the nays were Omar and Tlaib. This is a fight U.S. Jewish groups can win. Once they stop putting the ball in their own net.
JPost Editorial: Confronting Democrats
The decision to bar Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel is a story that combines political interests in Washington and Jerusalem, the BDS movement, the future of bipartisan support for Israel in the United States and much more.

On the one hand, it is a decision that has the potential to create irreparable damage to Israel. Still today, members of the Democratic Party recall Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “insult” – as they call it – to President Barack Obama when he spoke before Congress in 2015 against the Iran deal. Many refer to that moment in time as the breaking point in ties between the party and the Jewish state.

The decision not to let Omar and Tlaib into Israel – on Friday the government agreed to let Tlaib cross into the West Bank to visit her grandmother but she has decided not to – could be remembered as another moment like the 2015 speech.

By reversing an earlier decision to let the congresswomen in, Israel – in one fell swoop – aligned the entire Democratic Party behind its two most radical and extreme members. It essentially gave Tlaib and Omar a gift they could not have imagined – propelling them to a status that even the mighty country of Israel is afraid of what they would do if allowed inside its borders.
Republicans: 'Attention-grabbers' will not hijack bipartisan goodwill from Israel trip
The decision by Israel to bar Reps. Rashid Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) due to their support for the anti-Israel BDS movement has generated international deadlines while at the same time sparking further partisan divide and debate. The controversy over the congresswomen, however, comes shortly after of a visit to Israel by 72 fellow members of the US House of Representatives that seemed to highlight rare public goodwill between Democrats and Republicans, as well as the broad bipartisan support that Israel still enjoys among lawmakers.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said “all members should visit Israel if they come with open minds, open eyes and open ears – ready to hear all sides.”

He told JNS that “coming to Israel and seeing it for themselves transforms every member from simply believing that the United States should support Israel to feeling the strong bond the United States has with Israel.”

McCarthy led the Republican contingent of a visit to Israel that wrapped up this week, sponsored by the American Israeli Education Foundation (AIEF), a division of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Both Omar and Tlaib rejected the AIEF-sponsored tour.

Despite their known hostility towards the Jewish state, Israel initially permitted Omar and Tlaib to visit the country “out of respect for Congress.” However, after it emerged that the two congresswomen’s visit would be one-sided and include only meeting with BDS groups, some with ties to terrorist organizations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed course.

“[T]he itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it,” he said in a statement.

  • Sunday, August 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Too crazy for satire. From Tehran TImes:
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement gave a televised speech on Friday on the 13th anniversary of the “Grand Victory” during the ‘Israeli’ 33-day July 2006 war on Lebanon.

Over the speech, Nasrallah said “if Israelis intrudes into Lebanon, all their war tanks will be destroyed. In the past, Israel wanted to destroy Hezbollah movement, but today, the movement has turned into a major power in the region.”

Nasrallah told Zionists, “I warn you not to come to Lebanon, if you start a war with Lebanon, everybody will eventually see your final annihilation in a live televised broadcast. The 33-day war revealed the real face of the Zionist regime. Today, the Israelis have lost their confidence that they will be able to defeat Lebanon.”

Nasrallah added that Hezbollah movement has always been after peace and stability in the region, and today “Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the ones who want to wage war in the region.”

Anyway, the most important part of Nasrallah speech was about the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the foreign threats against it.

“Now that American officials have retreated from their previous threats about attacking Iran, we are on the verge of making a historic achievement. Any war against Iran will burn the whole region into pieces; attacking Iran, as a member of resistance, means attacking all members of resistance.

With these statements, Nasrallah gave very serious warnings to the enemies of resistance, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and UAE who are constantly trying to cause tensions and start wars in the region.

Nasrallah threatened that if the enemies pose any danger to Iran, other members of resistance, including Hezbollah will not remain silent; rather, they will support Iran and target the intruders.

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  • Sunday, August 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

I initially thought that Rashida Tlaib only wrote her letter asking to visit her grandmother with the proviso of not promoting boycotting Israel with the expectation that Israel would refuse, thereby making her into a martyr of sorts.

But since then news articles indicate that Tlaib buckled under pressure from extremists who hated the idea of her visiting the West Bank without a political agenda.

The New York Times reported "A storm of Palestinian criticism on social media denounced Ms. Tlaib for selling out the cause in exchange for a glimpse of her grandmother, and a few hours after gaining Israeli approval, she announced that she would not come after all."

Outrageously, the story has since been changed and this section is no longer in the story (the original story is archived here.)

Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem Post also notes the initial negative reaction to Tlaib's decision to go, and her about-face:

Some Palestinians criticized Tlaib (D-Michigan) for writing a letter to Interior Minister Arye Deri requesting permission to visit her relatives in the village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa, west of Ramallah.

Tlaib’s letter drew criticism from several Palestinians, who took to social media to express their opposition to the congresswoman’s request to visit her relatives in accordance with Israeli preconditions.

Her critics did not like Tlaib’s pledge not to promote boycotts against Israel and called on her to reject Israeli preconditions. “Why didn’t she ask her grandmother for her opinion about the Israeli preconditions?” asked one Palestinian on Facebook. “Her grandmother would have surely said no.”

The uproar apparently prompted Tlaib to backtrack, saying she will not allow the Israeli government to humiliate her. 

The Washington Post also noted the reactions of Palestinians to the news that Tlaib might quietly visit:
For many Palestinians, the fact that Tlaib accepted these terms was itself an affront, a humiliating compromise in which she was made to forgo her opinions to see her loved ones.

“Israel is the oppressor and its racist attitude towards Palestinians is established policy,” Nour Odeh, a Palestinian journalist, wrote on Twitter. “Rashida should have known better. She should have acted with more dignity & pride.”

NPR reports this as well.

It seems that Tlaib really did want to see her grandmother, but she did not have the conviction to stand up to her critics from even further left. She sacrificed visiting her "sitty" to avoid unpleasantness from a few Palestinian extremists.

Tlaib likes to present herself as a champion for leftist causes, as someone who stands up to pressure. But when the pressure comes from her own side, she is gutless. Her justification for her about-face is pure politics, and her own grandmother is paying the price for her cowardice.

This is a perfect example of how leftist politics works nowadays. Even far-left politicians cannot deal with criticism from their own left. They will conform to the desires of even a fringe on social media so as not to be outflanked. This is how the Democratic presidential candidate debates have turned into an exercise on who can appear the most "progressive" and even the most outrageous ideas are accepted by most candidates in fear of being criticized by the fringe.

Speaking truth to power means standing up not only to your political opponents but also to your political allies. That attribute is woefully rare in American politics nowadays, on both sides of the political spectrum.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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