Friday, February 15, 2019

From Ian:

David French: America Chooses Morality over Money to Support Israel
America’s long support for Israel — often in the face of fierce criticism from key allies and painful economic reprisal from the Arab world — represents an enduring, bipartisan commitment to moral clarity in the Middle East. For the quarter century following Israel’s founding, it was subjected to repeated, genocidal threats to its existence. It has served as a homeland for the Jewish people even as Arab nations rendered life intolerable for more than 800,000 of their Jewish citizens, sometimes destroying communities that existed for centuries. Israel took in hundreds of thousands of refugees, receiving them as the world’s only Jewish state.

When the attempts to invade Israel and destroy it with brute military force ended (for now, at least) with the signing of the Camp David accords, terror campaigns continued and escalated to a point that the United States (or its more anti-Israel allies) would never tolerate. Even today — with all its military might — its citizens live under a terror-threat level experienced by few other nations, and (unlike other nations) it exists in the midst of a region full of people who express feelings of outright hatred for its right to exist. Not long ago, an ADL survey found that a full 74 percent of citizens of North Africa and the Middle East harbored anti-Semitic attitudes.

Moreover, it faces a unique level of international hostility, with the United Nation Human Rights Council condemning its actions far more than it condemns all other nations combined. There exists a concerted international effort to boycott Israeli companies and academies, divest resources from Israel, and sanction Israel. Many of the founders and leaders of the BDS movement hope ultimately to eradicate Israel as a Jewish state.
WSJ: Why Do So Many American Politicians Support Israel?
American attitudes toward Israel have been shaped far more by debates among non-Jews than by the influence of Jewish organizations. The most important reason public officials support Israel is that the public does. In fact, approval is at a 17-year high, with 74% of adults reporting a favorable opinion.

Public support for Israel is not a new phenomenon. Surveys conducted between 1947 and 1949 showed that nearly three times as many Americans sympathized with Jews over Arabs in the conflict in former Mandatory Palestine.

American approval for Israel has deep historical roots in the Christian understanding of America. Leaders of Puritan New England predicted the demographic return and political revival of the Jewish people in the biblical promised land. In 1845, John Price Durbin, a Methodist who served as chaplain of the Senate and president of Dickinson College, insisted on "the undoubted fact of the restoration of a Jewish state in Palestine."

In 1891, the evangelist William E. Blackstone presented a petition to President Benjamin Harrison calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Ottoman Palestine. Americans who signed included Supreme Court Chief Justice Melville Fuller, future president William McKinley, titans of industry and finance like John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, and the editors of dozens of major newspapers.
It Is Anti-Semitic to Oppose Israel's Right to Exist
Israel should be challenged and scrutinized in the same way as any other country. Yet other countries, no matter how they came into being or how they behave, do not have their legitimacy or right to exist questioned or their outright destruction called for. Anti-Zionism should not be conflated with mere criticism of Israeli policy. Anti-Zionism rejects the very idea of a Jewish state.

Zionism is the belief in the right to self-determination of the Jewish people (a right guaranteed to them by international law) in their historical and spiritual homeland, Israel. It acknowledges the Jewish people as indigenous to the land and Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, although all citizens, including Israel's 20% Arab population, have equal civil rights. For most Jews, Zionism is core to their identity.

Had a Jewish homeland been set up anywhere else, for example in Uganda, then the accusation of colonialism would have legitimacy. But in the Land of Israel, where Jewish people are the Tangata Whenua - a Maori term that means "people of the land" - accusations of colonialism are made to delegitimize the Jewish presence in their ancestral homeland.

Anti-Zionism has become the new form of anti-Semitism. The state of the Jews has become the Jew of the states. Yet Zionism is not just an idea but a reality whose elimination would mean 6.5 million Jews facing the prospect of ethnic cleansing and a return to homelessness.

Melanie Phillips: The unique disorder of hatred now destroying the Left
Although her fellow Democrats denounced her, their reaction has been wholly inadequate. A statement signed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats called on Omar to apologise for her “hurtful” comments.

“Antisemitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception,” Pelosi said. “Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject antisemitism in all forms.”

No apology can ever expunge the evil of antisemitism. For this doesn’t merely cause hurt or offence: it directly adds to the demonic discourse that continues to make Jews both within and outside of Israel the target of murderous hatred. Requiring an apology is to help the antisemite get herself off the hook with a mere slap on the wrist.

If that. In Tablet magazine, Yair Rosenberg said Omar deserved “dialogue not denunciation.” He hailed Omar’s “genuine self-awareness” when she reflected upon being accused of antisemitism in 2012 after tweeting: “Israel has hypnotised the world; may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

But this “self-awareness” merely consisted of saying she could identify with her Jewish critics because experiencing antisemitism was like experiencing “white privilege.” Well no, it’s not; there’s no comparison.

She made no acknowledgment that she had perpetrated malicious incitement against the Jews. Indeed, straight after the “unequivocal” apology for her latest barb about sinister Jewish influence, she doubled down on her bigotry by “reaffirming” the “problematic role” of AIPAC as a political lobby.

This is an individual who clearly believes that Jews are a manipulative force controlling the world. And yet certain liberal Jews want to “move forward” now that she has “apologised” – and even to open up a dialogue with her.

The proper way to “move forward” with antisemites is to remove them from public life. Yet Omar will remain on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Melanie Phillips: Crazy world antisemitism, Faustian pacts, revolutions eat their own
Please join me here in discussion with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired about the latest goings-on in our crazy world. We were talking about the remarks by an official from Human Rights Watch who was peddling conspiracy theory and antisemitism, and the enduring nature of “Jewish conspiracy” theory. We discussed whether Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was making deals with political “devils” through his alliances with sundry nationalists, populists, autocrats and worse. We talked about the great controversy that has boiled up in America over an apparent slide from abortion to infanticide. And we mused over how revolutions always eat their own.

From Ian:

Gerald Steinberg: Mutual Recognition Never Happened, Palestinian Leaders Are Stuck in 1948
In the Israeli election free-for-all, the prospects for peace with the Palestinians will get some attention, but without engagement from the other side, there is little to discuss.

At the same time, many Israelis are aware of the need for a change to the “temporary” status quo, which has lasted 51 years. The fundamental question that remains unanswered is: how will Israel continue to be Jewish and democratic if millions of Palestinians are included indefinitely? Although Israelis are wary of the “ultimate peace deal” that U.S. President Donald Trump promises to push after the election, it adds to the momentum for rethinking the issues.

For most Israeli political parties, the two-state formula (very few Israelis think a “solution” is realistic) has run its course, without yielding any results. Proposed in 2002 by then-U.S. president George W. Bush and grudgingly accepted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009, the hope was that the Palestinians would finally accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state, in exchange for their own sovereign nation.

But this never happened – Palestinian leaders are stuck in 1948, still hoping to reverse the creation of Israel altogether. Dreams of returning to the 1949 armistice lines, including re-dividing Jerusalem, are obvious non-starters. They are also busy fighting each other, with Hamas in control of Gaza and Fatah governing the West Bank. At the same time, terror and incitement continue, and Israelis are not convinced that the two-state approach will improve the situation (most think it will make things worse). The “international consensus” that presses Israel to take all the risks, while exempting the “powerless” Palestinians from any responsibility, has no traction here.

In this political vacuum, a number of civil society institutions are discussing alternatives, in part to pre-empt the Trump plan. After a hiatus of a decade or more, think tanks are publishing maps showing which parts of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) should be annexed to Israel for pragmatic, security, historic or other reasons, and which areas should be relinquished, and under what conditions.
The Key to Middle East Peace Is Getting Palestinians to Say "Yes"
The necessity for the Palestinians to make peace with Israel as a prerequisite for the establishment of a Palestinian state isn't arbitrary or the result of inherently "unfair" imbalances of power. It is a reflection of the reality that the Palestinians rejected the UN partition plan of November 29, 1947, establishing two states, in favor of open-ended war. This rejectionism continues to this day.

The Palestinians have been given multiple opportunities to reverse their historic own-goal and accept statehood many times since then but have always broken off talks at the moment of truth, refusing the very independence they claim to pine for if the price is to end their conflict with Israel. Martin Indyk, President Obama's special envoy on the Middle East, told Al Jazeera in 2016: "We have [Israeli Prime Ministers] Barak and Olmert offering the Palestinians 95-97% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, and they didn't take it." Since 2014 the Palestinian leadership has refused to negotiate at all.

Israel cannot make peace on its own, nor can it be expected to accept the creation of a hostile, armed state on the doorstep of its major cities without a viable peace agreement. Unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood would be rewarding the Palestinians for continuing to say "no."

Evelyn Gordon: Gaza’s self-inflicted health crisis shows why peace remains a fantasy
Gaza’s health system is on the verge of collapse, Israeli defense officials warned last week. Their report echoed an international aid agency’s findings that Gaza hospitals are severely short of doctors, especially specialists, and lack 60 percent of necessary medications, including basics like painkillers and antibiotics. Entire hospital departments have closed due to the inability to offer treatment, and patients with cancer, diabetes or renal failure are simply being sent home.

You might think this situation would prompt at least one of the Palestinians’ two rival governments to take action. But you’d be wrong.
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The Palestinian Authority, which repeatedly proclaims itself the sole legitimate government of both the West Bank and Gaza and is recognized as such internationally, receives billions in international aid to provide for humanitarian needs in both places. It ostensibly budgets 150 million shekels a year ($41.3 million) for medical supplies for Gaza. But it hasn’t paid this money in months.

Yet this same P.A. has no trouble finding $330 million a year to pay salaries to jailed terrorists. Evidently, paying terrorists is more important to it than its people’s health.
Dr. Martin Sherman: 2019 Intelligence Assessment- implications for Gaza
Last December, I was excoriated by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, for reaching what I consider to be an inescapable, fact-based conclusion that, “Eventually, there will either be Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev. In the long run, there will not be both!”

Accordingly—since there appears little chance of the Palestinian-Arabs in general, and the Gazans in particular, morphing into something they have not been for over hundred years—for anyone who favors the option of Jews remaining in the Negev, there is little option but to reconcile oneself to the lamentable fact that “The solution to the problem of Gaza is its deconstruction—not its reconstruction.”

Indeed, I would be intrigued to hear what my detractors have in mind for Gaza and how they envisage the fate of the hapless enclave in, say, ten to fifteen years from today. For already, its unfortunate inhabitants are in dire straits, with most of their natural water sources polluted, with raw sewage flowing into the streets, and with electrical power available for only a several hours a day.

Significantly, this grave situation has been precipitated despite the fact that Gaza has received one of the world’s highest levels of international aid and massive flows of humanitarian merchandise from Israel, which have, almost invariably, been promptly expropriated by Hamas. Ominously for the people of Gaza, this aid appears to be diminishing, making the future seem even bleaker than the present.

  • Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

The problem is, the antisemites won. There's now more talk about the nefarious, insidious "Jewish lobby" than about the antisemitism behind people blaming it on all their problems.
The blaring headline at The Guardian reveals that "Pro-Israel donors spent over $22m on lobbying and contributions in 2018." Sounds like a lot, right? 
16 paragraphs about how influential Jewish money is in Washington.

Then, in the MIDDLE of paragraph 17 
we learn that the amount spent by the pro-Israel lobby (including millions from the not pro-Israel J-Street) is dwarfed by dozens of other causes, not even reaching the top 50, as I've noted elsewhere.
How's that for context? 16 paragraphs on the Jewish $22 million and a bare mention of the nearly billion dollars from other causes, most of which spend far more.
Even the numbers about the pro-Israel lobby are deceptive in the Guardian piece. Because the amounts they are mentioning are being given by Americans, not by foreign countries. As opposed to the FAR greater amounts spent by foreign countries directly to lobby Congress, much huger amounts than the amount given by Jewish Americans. 

Israel is #3, but much lower that Gulf nations, South Korea, Japan.
 So why does The Guardian choose to write such a large story on the Israel lobby that, in context, is a small percentage of the money spent influencing the US government?

It means that the haters of Israel have won. Omar's antisemitic tweet seems to have brought a backlash against her but it has turned the antisemitic meme of outsize Jewish influence on American politics into mainstream thinking.
The Guardian reporter obviously knows he is doing this since he included part of the context - but buried it where no one would notice.

So, yes, Omar's antisemitism has won. Left-wing social media is exultant over this "exposure" of Jewish power over Washington and how anyone against Omar is by definition a racist, misogynist and Islamophobe. 
The haters won. 

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.

Last year, Linda Sarsour -- who in the past has assured us that “nothing is creepier than Zionism” and has only praise for Louis Farrakhan -- went so far as to advise Jews on Antisemitism at a panel assembled by New School:

Now, the ever-helpful Sarsour is advising Jews on who they should and should not support. And who they must not support is The Forward.

We live in a world where antisemites are free to advise Jews who to follow and who to support and what to believe, if you don't want to be a target, and especially if you want to be welcomed among progressives. Just remember how Women's March proudly shunned Jews, until there was pushback.

Keep in mind that Sarsour is a fan of Louis Farrakhan, who among the vile things that have spewed from his mouth over the years, has helpfully advised his own followers on the need to distinguish between the "good" Jews and the "bad" Jews:
[Y]ou and I are going to have to learn to distinguish between the righteous Jew and the Satanic Jews who have infected the whole world with poison and deceit.
Sarsour has previously assured us that feminism is "incompatible with Zionism."
Now Sarsour has decided that criticizing antisemitism is incompatible with being a progressive.

But at least we are getting a good laugh out of it:

Among the "shailos" (halachic questions) so far, under the hastage #AskRabbiSarsour:
o Do you still say Kaddish for Hamas terrorists that blow themselves up?
o What bracha do you make upon seeing Louis Farrakhan in all his might and glory?
o How long should you wait between hanging out with PFLP terrorists and Hamas terrorists, 3 hours or 6?
o If I have limited funds and can only donate to help either a terrorist or a leading voice for bigotry, who should I support first? Farrakhan? Or Rasmea?
o Does donating to Ethiopian-Israelis count as supporting Jews of color, or does that make me over issur Zionism?
o I accidentally bought Israeli produce. May I donate it to the intersectional poor, or is that assur according to hilkhot BDS?
o if I purchased a book written by a progressive who went off the path and became a, lo aleinu, conservative, should I burn the book with my chometz?
The last 3 are under the hashtag #DearRabbiSarsour.
Less than 24 hours and already we have a breakaway.

Maybe we should ask Rabbi Sarsour...?

(EoZ: As far as I can tell, my contribution to the #AskRabbiSarsour hashtag has been the most successful:)

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.
  • Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Just this week:

Palestinians throwing stones at cars on a road smashed a car's window near Hizma on Monday.

Another car was damaged from thrown stones on Route 446 on Wednesday.

On Thursday Arab terrorists hurled rocks at vehicles on the road between the communities of Yiftah and Nahal Amos in Gush Etzion. A bus and a car were damaged.

Also on Thursday, a car windshield was smashed on the road between Adam and Hizma, and police were attacked with four Molotov cocktails at Qalandiya crossing.

Gaza hasn't been quiet either. A number of incendiary balloons were launched on Tuesday near Ofakim.

The mainstream media, and even the English language Israeli media, barely mention these attacks. But stone throwing at vehicles have killed many people. The intention is the same - to kill Jews.

Yesterday, Hamas held an "AskHamas" session on Twitter. When someone asked how they can justify attacking and murdering Israeli civilians, they said it was a natural "reaction" to Israeli actions. And this is how Palestinians feel as a whole - all Jews are considered to be fair game, and they claim that international law justifies it. (It doesn't.)

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.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA-USA had a fundraiser over the past week with the slogan "Palestine is my Valentine." This is the graphic they use:

It is a very pretty graphic, but it seems not to quite capture the authenticity of the Palestinian experience.

I decided to take a graphic or picture of my choice from the front page of, the official Fatah website, and make a logo out of that. Luckily, there was a wonderful example of Palestinian graphics design - the logo for the 54th anniversary of the first Fatah terror attack. (Although I did add a heart, to make it more lovable.)

I think it is more authentically Palestinian, no?

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.
From Ian:

Maajid Nawaz (March 8, 2017): I'm calling out the loons who make Israel bashing the mother of all virtues
Soon after London Fashion Week concluded, Israel Apartheid Week began. Another week, another obsessive focus on Israel.

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is mostly spearheaded in the West by people who have little to nothing attaching them to the Middle-East conflict.

Nothing, that is, beyond the fact that belonging to the hard-left and not supporting BDS has become the equivalent of claiming a love for fashion, while hating haute couture. Though unlike haute couture, BDS is an inelegant and simplistic solution to a protracted and incredibly complicated problem. But who cares for detail when you have a fabulous placard to wave?

The lazy analogy that BDS rests on is with South African apartheid. But unlike apartheid-era South Africa, Arabs make up 20 percent of Israel’s full citizenry. Most of these Arab-Israeli citizens are Muslim. There are mosques on Israeli beaches. Alongside Hebrew, Arabic is an official language of Israel. An Arab-Israeli judge has even impeached and convicted former Israeli prime minster, Ehud Olmert.

And though many problems with integration persist – as they do with minority communities across the West – when surveyed 77 percent of these Arabs expressed an overwhelming preference to remain Israeli, rather than become citizens of a future Palestinian state.

The reason is obvious, Israeli-Muslims have more freedom of religion than other minorities – and even other Muslims have in all other Middle-Eastern countries.
How Chelsea Clinton became a defender of the Jews on Twitter
When Ilhan Omar got in trouble earlier this week for claiming that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee pays politicians to support Israel, plenty of Jewish lawmakers took to Twitter to denounce the comment as anti-Semitic. But one of the highest profile people who took offense at the statement was neither Jewish nor a politician.

“We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism,” Chelsea Clinton tweeted.

And the former first daughter didn’t stop engaging with the conversation there. After Omar released an apology, Clinton thanked her and said she was looking forward to speaking to the Minnesota Democrat. (Clinton had said in an earlier tweet that she was contacting Omar to set up a meeting.)

Later Clinton was exceedingly polite in responding to a rude troll who had written that she “isn’t even Jewish she’s just ugly” by educating him about anti-Semitic stereotypes.

“The ugly Jew is a vile centuries old anti-Semitic trope so next time, please just go straight to ugly and leave out the rest,” she wrote.

Clinton, who is expecting her third child with her Jewish husband, investor Marc Mezvinsky, also used the incident as a way to call out Republican Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Steve King for what she called “anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

Clinton stands out because she is among the highest-profile non-Jews — J.K. Rowling also comes to mind — to consistently call out anti-Semitism on Twitter. And as seen with her arranging a meeting with Omar, she gets results.
In rare vote, House sends a message on anti-Semitism to Ilhan Omar
The House on Wednesday unanimously passed a broad condemnation of anti-Semitism days after Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., received widespread criticism over her comments on Israel.

The language, which does not mention Omar by name, was approved 424-0 using a legislature procedure that lets the minority party make a last-minute motion to change legislation just before it's passed. The procedure almost never works for the minority party, in part because the minority usually tries to make radical changes to the bill that the majority quickly rejects.

On Wednesday, however, Republicans used the so-called "motion to recommit" vote to call for the addition of language to a resolution that states it is in the "national interests of the United States to combat anti-Semitism at home and abroad."

"With an unfortunate rise in anti-Semitism and attempts to delegitimize Israel, the United States House of Representatives must emphasize the importance of combating anti-Semitism and reject all movements that deny Israel’s right to exist," the amendment states.

The sponsor of the language, Rep. David Kustoff, R-Tenn., indicated the language was aimed at Omar, who has been criticized by both parties for comments they say amount to anti-Semitism.

“This horrific anti-Semitic tone being taken by some Members of Congress must come to an end," Kustoff said. "The language I offered affirms the United States’ interest in combating anti-Semitism at home and abroad, something my colleagues on both sides of the aisle should and must support. I am proud to stand today in solidarity with my Jewish community as this hate has no place in our country."

H.J.Res.37 - Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.
Amash R
Massie R

---- NOT VOTING 5 ---
Allred D
Dingell D
Kinzinger R
Quigley D
Ryan D

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
"Benjamins" are, of course, slang for $100 bills since Benjamin Franklin is pictured on them.

But there is another link between Benjamin Franklin and antisemites - the so-called "Franklin prophecy."

Award-winning Lebanese author/writer, Ayad Mowsley, invoked the antisemitic "Franklin Prophecy" in an  article in Al-Binaa newspaper today, and wrote an entire article about it last month.

Like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, it is a forgery, pretending to be the text of a speech Benjamin Franklin gave at the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

It reads:

There is a great danger for the United State of America. This great danger is the Jew. Gentlemen, in every land the Jews have settled, they have depressed the moral level and lowered the degree of commercial honesty. They have remained apart and unassimilated; oppressed, they attempt to strangle the nation financially, as in the case of Portugal and Spain.

For more than seventeen hundred years they have lamented their sorrowful fate — namely, that they have been driven out of their mother land; but, gentlemen, if the civilized world today should give them back Palestine and their property, they would immediately find pressing reason for not returning there. Why? Because they are vampires and vampires cannot live on other vampires --they cannot live among themselves. They must live among Christians and others who do not belong to their race.

If they are not expelled from the United States by the Constitution within less than one hundred years, they will stream into this country in such numbers that they will rule and destroy us and change our form of Government for which we Americans shed our blood and sacrificed our life, property and personal freedom. If the Jews are not excluded within two hundred years, our children will be working in the field to feed Jews while they remain in the counting houses, gleefully rubbing their hands.

I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude the Jews forever, your children and your children’s children will curse you in their graves. Their ideas are not those of Americans, even when they lived among us for ten generations. The leopard cannot change his spots. The Jews are a danger to this land, and if they are allowed to enter, they will imperil our institutions. They should be excluded by the Constitution.
Arab antisemites love this; it has been quoted by Fatah and Osama Bin Laden. I've quoted it in Arab media before.

It's been around for a while, at least since 1934, debunked as early as 1938.

Franklin was a friend of the Jews and contributed money to the Mikveh Israel synagogue in Philadelphia.

The Franklin Forgery shows that it is impossible to actually stop antisemitic myths. Haters will reprint them forever, no matter what the facts are, and gullible haters in waiting love to eat it up.

(h/t WC)

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.

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Arafat Irfaiya is the monster that raped, murdered and mutilated a beautiful 19-year old girl last week because she was a Jew living in Eretz Yisrael. He is guilty of crimes against the Jewish people, and he should be executed for them.

There is a law in Israel that prescribes the death penalty for crimes against the Jewish people committed during WWII or “the period of the Nazi regime.” The limitation to the Nazi period is illogical and should be removed. Murdering Jews, qua Jews, in 2019 is not different than doing it in 1943. Murdering them in order to try to destroy the Jewish state is a crime against the Jewish people no less than deporting them to Auschwitz.

Military courts can impose a death penalty for crimes committed in the territories, but unfortunately the site of the murder was just inside the Green Line, so the trial will be in a civilian court.

The leniency shown by the Jewish state to murderers motivated by “nationalism” – Palestinian Arab Jew-hatred – is remarkable, including almost Scandinavian-style prison conditions, regular salaries paid by the Palestinian authority, and often early release as part of political deals or as blackmail for hostages.

This is stupid. The smiles often displayed by Palestinian Arab terrorists like Irfaiya as they are sentenced testify to the fact that they see themselves as victorious despite their conviction.

Keeping these creatures in prison is expensive, provides an incentive for hostage-taking – you may recall that in 2011 one Jewish soldier, Gilad Shalit, was exchanged for 1027 terrorists, many of whom were guilty of murder – and, thanks to the Palestinian Authority’s payment system and the adulation they receive in Palestinian society, probably encourages further terrorism rather than deterring it. When they are released, they often return to terrorism. In 2015 it was reported that six additional Israelis had been murdered by prisoners released in the Shalit deal.

Every time – and there have been many times – that a Palestinian Arab terrorist commits a particularly horrible murder, there are calls for the imposition of the death penalty. And every time, it doesn’t happen.

There are numerous objections to the death penalty in general. But in this case, and in most cases of Palestinian terrorism, they don’t apply. There is no doubt of Arafat Irfaiya’s guilt; there is physical evidence, including DNA, plus a confession and reenactment of the crime. 

It is often said that the death penalty is not a deterrent, and this may be true in the West, especially in places like California, where the probability of a death sentence being carried out in a reasonable time is almost zero. In the Middle East, however, there are cultural factors that have the opposite effect. In our region, not executing a murderer is a sign of weakness, a signal that the victim’s family or tribe is too weak to preserve its honor. And a tribe without honor is a tribe whose members can be murdered with impunity. Failing to impose the death penalty actually has the opposite of a deterrent effect – it encourages murdering Jews.

Since 1967, Israel and the Jewish people have undergone a continuous loss of honor relative to their enemies, as they have made a series of unrequited concessions (starting with the surrender of sovereignty over the Temple Mount). With Oslo the pace of the concessions – and the concomitant terrorism against Israel – accelerated greatly, and there are beginning to be murmurs that still more is about to be expected of us.

If we wish to survive as a Jewish state, the pendulum must be forced to swing back the other way. I believe that a comprehensive policy to regain the initiative – and our honor – is needed. A small part of it would be to actually punish terrorists in proportion to their crimes. Executing Arafat Irfaiya would be a start.

But only a start. How did it come about that there are so many like Irfaiya? Why did two young Palestinian Arabs viciously slaughter five members of the Fogel family including a 3-month old baby girl?  Why did another Palestinian Arab teenager climb through a window and stab Hallel Yaffe Ariel to death in her bed? Why have there been hundreds of terror attacks against Jews by Palestinians in the past four years, many by perpetrators who are not known to be directly associated with traditional terrorist groups?

The answer is not complicated. When Israel invited Yasser Arafat back from exile and allowed the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as part of the Oslo accords, one of Arafat’s first actions was to decree that every institution in the territories under his control – schools, mosques, summer camps, newspapers, radio and TV – would teach violent hatred of Jews and Israel. Every anti-Jewish trope was included, from traditional Muslim “apes and pigs” slanders to memes borrowed from European antisemitism. Terrorists who murder Jewish women and children are treated as military heroes who have carried out successful “operations.” The project was continued by Mahmoud Abbas after Arafat’s death, and in Gaza after the Hamas takeover. Its effect has been to paint Jews as vermin that it is not only permissible, but laudable, to kill.

At some point, Abbas introduced the policy of paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons (if they should be killed during their attacks, the stipend is given to the family). Despite threats from the US and Israel to cut payments to the PA (the US has already reduced aid to the PA in accordance with the Taylor Force Act and PM Netanyahu has promised to start deducting equivalent funds from import duties collected on behalf of the PA), the PA continues to pay terrorists, which Abbas has called his top priority. Salaries are proportional to the length of prison sentences, which means that they are proportional to the severity of the crime.

The combination of the coordinated program of indoctrination, plus financial incentives for terrorist acts, has bred several generations of monsters like Arafat Irfaiya.

What this means is that the leaders of the PLO and Hamas, who have programmed the murderers and who pay them, are also guilty of murder. Indeed Irfaiya and the other monsters are no more than hitmen. The root of the problem is planted higher up.

We have a long road to travel to recover from the errors we’ve made since 1967 and since Oslo. But we have to start small.

As a first step, let’s hang Arafat Irfaiya and go on from there.

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.
From Ian:

PMW: Gruesome Palestinian “ethical” dilemma: Should rapist murderer be recognized as hero?
It sounds absurd, right? The current "ethical" dilemma facing the Palestinian Authority is this:

A Palestinian man, Arafat Arfiah, murdered 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher last week. Israeli reports stated that Arfiah had not only murdered Ansbacher but raped her as well.

This possible rape presents the Palestinian Authority with an absurd "ethical" dilemma. The PA supports and pays a salary to anyone who is imprisoned for "fighting the occupation." This means that the PA pays a salary to anyone who murders an Israeli in a terror attack, and that the PA-funded Prisoners' Club provides legal representation to the terrorist in the Israeli court system.

However, rape is considered by the PA a "criminal act" and not a "nationalistic act" opposing "the occupation," and therefore a rapist is not entitled to any support - legally or financially.

Thus, according to PA "ethics," it is fine and even heroic to stab and kill a 19-year-old Israeli woman for "Palestine," but it is unacceptable to rape her. So when a Palestinian rapes and murders, like Arfiah did to an Israeli 19-year-old last week, what is the PA to do?

The chairman of the PA-funded Prisoners' Club Qadura Fares explained the twisted PA values and the resulting dilemma:
"The director of the prisoners club, Qadura Fares, told Haaretz that Irfaiya's family has not asked his group for any legal aid. 'If there will be such a request, we will consider it and send a defense lawyer to review his claims,' Fares, said. 'If it turns out there really was a sexual assault, we will pass on representation. That would make the case a criminal one, as far as we're concerned, and we object to anyone committing a criminal offense trying to pass it off as a nationalist act.'"
[Haaretz, Feb. 13, 2019]
Ruthie Blum: Crime and Punishment, Israeli-Style
Still, nobody took to the streets to demand that Nahmani or any of the others be put to death. Why? What is it about a murder committed by a terrorist that differentiates it in the Israeli mindset from one perpetrated by a “regular” criminal?

There are two answers. One has to do with the collective memory of the Jewish people. Eichmann’s much-publicized execution, which was carried out a mere 17 years after the Holocaust, constituted a statement — to the victims of Nazi atrocities and the rest of the world — that the Jews would never again be dragged to the slaughter for being Jews. Well, Arab terrorists slaughter Israelis for being Jews.

Nevertheless, until now, no Palestinian terrorist has met Eichmann’s fate.

It is a sorry situation that might even have continued to be accepted by most Israelis if terrorists were actually punished for killing Jews, rather than rewarded by their leaders and hailed as heroes by their peers for doing so.

Which brings us to the second, more pragmatic reason that Israelis place terrorists in a different category from other criminals.

While serving time in Israeli prisons, where they band together to study the Koran and plot additional attacks, terrorists and their families receive a hefty stipend from the Palestinian Authority’s Martyrs’ Fund. The PA recently acknowledged that its annual “pay-for-slay” budget was NIS 1.2 billion (approximately $33 million) in 2017 and 2018.

Terrorists also know that their incarceration is possibly temporary, due to what has come to be called “prisoner swaps,” which is a disgusting euphemism for the exchange of an innocent Israeli, dead or alive, for hundreds of Palestinian would-be “martyrs.”

Thus, Ansbacher’s killer will be in clover for his brutality and has the hope of being let out of jail at some point.

Has the Peace Process ‘Prevented Palestine’? Joel Singer vs. Seth Anziska
Joel Singer, a veteran Israeli peace negotiator, critically reviews Seth Anziska’s book, Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo, forcefully rejecting Anziska’s central claim that the peace process has ‘prevented Palestine’. Anziska replies to Singer in this issue of Fathom here.

Seth Anziska’s revisionist book, Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo, tells an alternative story to the conventional wisdom regarding the political road that led from the Camp David Accords to the Oslo Agreement (with a detour to the intervening 1982 Lebanon War, which appears to not completely fit organically within his story). As someone who was deeply involved in both ends of this political history, as well as in some other, similar developments in between, reading the book sometimes gave me the feeling that the events it describes belong to some alternate reality.

The book’s main thesis can be summarised as follows: A Palestinian state should and could have been created in 1978, when the Camp David Accords were negotiated. In late 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made his historic visit to Israel and offered to make peace with Israel in return for full Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had conquered and occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War, provided that Israel also agreed to recognise the right of the Palestinians to their own state. Thereafter, in September 1978, US President Jimmy Carter invited Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Sadat to a summit meeting at the presidential retreat, Camp David, in an attempt to achieve a comprehensive agreement that would include both an Israeli-Egyptian bilateral peace treaty and an agreement to allow Palestinian self-determination. Begin, however, decided to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state (or to ‘prevent Palestine’ in Anziska’s shorthand) and, therefore, he shrewdly devised an alternative idea — a plan for Palestinian autonomy. In Camp David, Begin twisted the arms of both Carter and Sadat and, as a result, the Camp David Accords reflected Begin’s autonomy idea, rather than an agreement to establish a Palestinian state. According to Anziska, this unfortunate outcome of Camp David has continued to haunt all subsequent political plans and agreements related to the Palestinians, all the way through the 1993 Oslo Agreement. In other words, all of these later developments, Anziska argues, have been contaminated by the autonomy plan that Begin advocated in Camp David to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state, and this has well served his objective, as well as that of all subsequent Israeli governments, to keep the West Bank.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki was Prime Minister of Iraq from 2006 to 2014. He is currently secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party and one of three Vice Presidents of Iraq.

He went on the Afaq satellite TV channel on Tuesday and warned that Jewish Zionist plans are seeking to topple Iraqi society.

And, yes, he said "Jewish."

(h/t WC)

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.
  • Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
I've been looking a lot at statistics about the pro-Israel lobby over the past couple of days. The major database that follows the money, OpenSecrets, provides a wealth of information about all lobbies, lobbyists, lobby groups, contributors and more.

In 2018, OpenSecrets ranks the pro-Israel lobby as #50 among all categories in amounts contributed to politicians, with nearly $15 million given.

However, that number is deceptive, because it includes J-StreetPAC as "pro-Israel." And J-StreetPAC was by far the largest contributor to the category.

OpenSecrets categorizes J-Street and J-StreetPAC as "pro-Israel" since it doesn't fit under any other category and claims to be pro-Israel.

Antisemites know that it isn't. More on that below.

J-Street has, to my knowledge, never supported a single bill in Congress that was also supported by the State of Israel.

The entire calumny against the "Israel lobby" is that Jews are more interested in supporting Israel than the US, that Jews have dual loyalties, that Jews dance to the tune of the Israeli government and Zionist leaders. But no one accuses J-Street of doing any of that.

This means that the pro-Israel lobby isn't even close to the top fifty of all interest groups that contribute to politicians. And OpenSecrets only tracks about 80 interest groups!

The pro-Israel lobby is not important at all compared to the hundreds of millions that are thrown around candidates to office.

Don't take my word for it that J-Street isn't pro-Israel.

Alison Weir and her organization "If Americans Knew" ("What every American Needs to Know about Israel/Palestine") are antisemitic. Even Jewish Voice for Peace   and the main US BDS group have distanced itself from Weir for her bigotry.

Her site has an article she wrote, updated in 2017, called "Introduction to the Israel Lobby." It is a scattershot article listing not only pro-Israel political organizations but also general pro-Israel and Jewish organizations (like Bnai Brith) that she considers to be part of this insidious "lobby." Israeli-owned companies are listed. Even journalists like Jeffrey Goldberg are listed there as part of this insidious "Israel lobby."

But J-Street is nowhere to be seen on her list.

The single largest "pro-Israel" contributor to influence American policy in Congress is not listed by an organization that is dedicated to exposing Jewish and Israeli influence on American politics.

That tells you all you need to know about J-Street's "pro-Israel" credentials.

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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