Tuesday, August 21, 2018

  • Tuesday, August 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Iran's Farsnews Arabic has an article onthe 49th anniversary of the 1969 Al Aqsa fire set by a crazed Christian, Denis Michael Rohan ,and - as is often the case - they call him a Zionist Jew "supported by Zionist gangs."

This article also claims that Israeli officials forcibly stopped Palestinians from putting out the fire, and that the Palestinians managed to put it out themselves against the wishes of Israeli officials hours later using buckets.

A similar article in English published last year by Middle East Monitor is equally dismissive of the facts:

Muslims and Christians alike rushed to the mosque to quell the flames, but Israeli occupation forces prevented their entry. After short but fierce clashes, they made their way into the Noble Sanctuary and started to tackle the fire. After the fire extinguishers failed to work, they looked for sources of water but found the pumps broken and the hoses cut. They banded together quickly to form a human chain and used buckets and other small containers to bring water to the building.

As fire trucks from the surrounding West Bank cities of Nablus, Ramallah, Al-Bireh, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin and Tulkarem arrived, the Israeli occupation forces also prevented them from reaching the scene, claiming that it was the Jerusalem Municipality’s responsibility to handle the situation. The fire burned for hours with flames reaching the windows just below the dome, before the blaze was finally extinguished.

The suspicions that Israel was actively involved in planning and facilitating the arson attempt have never been disproved. Many also see the normalisation of Zionist intimidation, including Israel’s attempts to eradicate Palestinian heritage in the region, as the ultimate source of the mentality that led to this attack, and all others since.
The Arabic Wikipedia page on the fire also claims that Israel cut the water supply to fight the fire.

None of this is true. Here's an accurate account from YNet:

In a matter of minutes, hundreds of the old city's Muslim residents, including many children and teens, arrived at the temple mount. The masses of people began yelling and screaming, and whether intentional or not, interfered with the firefighters attempts to control the flames. The crowd managed to shut off the fire truck's water hoses. One individual went as far as breaking the only fire hydrant on the temple mount.

In a matter of minutes the six Jerusalem based fire trucks exhausted their water supplies, with the lack of immediate water sources at hand, the crews were forced to cease fighting the fires for a matter of time. As a result, the fire spread towards other wooden areas within the mosque.

Soon after the fire began spreading, the screams of the masses of Muslim worshippers reached a fever pitch, with some of the youths yelling curses against the "Jews who burned our shrine," while others yelled "Arab Palestine." At 8:30 AM a thunderous sound was heard from within the mosque, followed by a rising black cloud of smoke. A large portion of the wooden roof had collapsed as a result of the fire, falling onto the mosque floor. The crash led to yet another wave of hysterical screaming, as it was described, followed by a wave of pushing and violent outbursts.

The fury reached its peak when then Jerusalem mayor, Teddy Kollek entered the burning mosque. Police officers rushed to protect him from any possible injury, but where quickly repelled by the angry crowd, who began raising their fists to ward off the officers. Furious Muslim youths also managed to push high ranking military officials from the temple mount. The officers chose to not to push into the mount, preferring to leave through the Mugrahbi Bridge, and avoid sparking another outbreak of violence. Kollek followed the officers in leaving the compound. One of the officers barely managed to escape the wrath of an angry woman, who raised her shoe above her head, intending to hit the officer.

The firefighters finally managed to subdue the fire at 10 AM.
The crazed Muslim crowd ended up impeding firefighting efforts, and some of the damage to the mosque can be attributed to them.

The PA issued a statement saying that "the fire continues to this day against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem."

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Monday, August 20, 2018

From Ian:

US PepsiCo to buy Israel’s SodaStream for $3.2 billion in cash
PepsiCo Inc., the US-based drinks, food, and snacks giant, is acquiring Israel’s SodaStream, a home seltzer machine company, for $3.2 billion in cash.

In a statement on Monday, the US company said it had acquired all of the outstanding shares of SodaStream for $144 per share in cash, a 32% premium on its 30-day volume weighted average price.

“PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match,” PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, who earlier this month said she plans to step down, said in a statement.

The Israeli company makes “great-tasting beverages” while reducing the amount of waste generated, she said. And this is aligned with PepsiCo’s philosophy of “making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint,” added Nooyi.

The deal will enable PepsiCo to reach customers at home, rather than just at stores, CNBC reported, and comes as grocers are witnessing changes in purchasing trends, with more shoppers buying their products online.

“Today marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey,” Daniel Birnbaum, the SodaStream CEO, said in the statement. “It is validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world.”

The SodaStream team will have access to PepsiCo’s capabilities and resources to take the firm to “the next level,” he said.
PepsiCo says SodaStream to stay local, as buzz builds around $3.2b ‘entrance’
At the start of a press conference held by SodaStream and PepsiCo in Tel Aviv on Monday, after the announcement of the US giant’s $3.2 billion cash acquisition of the Israeli home seltzer machine company, SodaStream’s CEO said he wanted to begin with a statement in Hebrew.

Daniel Birnbaum recounted the story of the Exodus, a ship that carried Jewish immigrants, most of whom were Holocaust survivors, from France to British Mandatory Palestine in 1947. They were sent back to Europe and some were killed after British soldiers boarded the ship, stopping their entry to Israel.

Twenty-two years later, Birnbaum’s father, Ervin, a Holocaust survivor from Czechoslovakia and one of the ship’s passengers, immigrated to Israel and settled in the Negev, in Sde Boker, with his wife.

“Who would have believed, father,” Birnbaum said, visibly moved, as he looked across the hall past the scribbling journalists to his two parents, proudly sitting in the audience, “that after the Holocaust and all that you went through, after you lost 30 members of your family, you got to enjoy this moment,” in which the “ashes of the Holocaust have been transformed into a moment of glory and pride” for his son and for Israel.
Five times SodaStream bubbled over in the headlines
SodaStream, the Israeli carbonated drink making company which was sold Monday to PepsiCo for $3.2 billion, hasn’t been a stranger to being in the headlines in recent years. Here are five instances when the company, and not its product, became the story.

1. Scarlett Johansson controversy
Scarlett Johansson, the A-level American actress signed on as a celebrity endorsement for SodaStream in 2014, appearing in a number of advertisements. However, she ran into some non-carbonated hot water when Oxfam, the food charity for which she served as global ambassador expressed its disapproval due to SodaStream’s main factory being situated in Mishor Adumim in the West Bank.

Johansson hit back by resigning from her Oxfam position and issuing a statement defending her role with SodaStream.

“While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air,” she said.

”I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’aleh Adumim factory every working day.”

2. SodaStream at the Super Bowl
A TV ad for SodaStream with Scarlett Johansson was set to make a big splash on American TV during the airing of Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014.

However, because the ad referred directly to the game’s main sponsors Coke and Pepsi by name, and in a critical fashion for creating unnecessary waste with their products, a decision was made to censor the ad.
Netanyahu praises Pepsi acquisition of SodaStream
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the acquisition of Israeli company SodaStream for $3.2 billion by PepsiCo Monday.

"The recent major acquisitions of Israeli companies prove not only the technological capabilities that have been developed in Israel but the business capabilities as well," Netanyahu said. "I welcome this huge deal that will enrich the state treasury and also the important decision to keep the company in Israel."

PepsiCo, which produces not only Pepsi Cola but a wide range of snacks, beverages, and other food products ranging from Lipton Teas to Cheetos to Quaker brand oatmeal products, announced Monday morning its plans to acquire SodaStream at $144 a share – a 32% premium over SodaStream’s estimated stock value before the deal.

SodaStream, which was initially based in the town of Mishor Adumim, east of Jerusalem, relocated across the Green Line in 2015 to pre-1967 Israel following boycott threats, laying off some 500 Palestinian Authority residents it had employed.

  • Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
An article by known antisemite Philip Giraldi was recently published on the website of fellow Jew-hater Ron Unz.

Giraldi's article, gleefully reproduced in Arabic media, says among other things:

Israel – not Russia – is the one foreign country that can interfere with impunity with the political processes in the United States yet it is immune from criticism. It is also the single most significant threat to genuine national security as it and its powerful domestic lobby have been major advocates for the continuation of America’s interventionist warfare state. The decision to go to war on false pretenses against Iraq, largely promoted by a cabal of prominent American Jews in the Pentagon and in the media, killed 4,424 Americans as well as hundreds of thousands Iraqis and will wind up costing the American taxpayer $7 trillion dollars when all the bills are paid.

Israel cares little for American sovereignty. It’s prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu have both boasted how they control the United States. In 2001, Israel was running a massive secret spying operation directed against Arabs in the U.S. Many in the intelligence and law enforcement communities suspect that it had considerable prior intelligence regarding the 9/11 plot but did not share it with Washington. There was the spectacle of the “dancing Shlomos,” Israeli “movers” from a company in New Jersey who apparently had advanced knowledge of the terrorist attack and danced and celebrated as they watched the Twin Towers go down.

Jewish power, both in terms of money and of access to people and mechanisms that really matter, is what allows Israel to act with impunity, making the United States both poorer and more insecure. A well-funded massive lobbying effort involving hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals in the U.S. has worked to the detriment of actual American interests, in part by creating a permanent annual gift of billions of dollars to Israel for no other reason but that it is Israel and can get anything it wants from a servile Congress and White House without any objection from a controlled media.
I had never heard of the fake story of "dancing Israelis" referred to as "dancing Shlomos" before, so it is clear that Giraldi is getting his information from antisemitic websites.

The lies and antisemitism of claiming that a monolothic set of Zionist US Jews control the government and media are too ridiculous to take seriously, but since the "dancing Israelis" lie continues to gain credibility, I will reproduce my debunking of the story I wrote in 2011 when the lie was published by +972 Magazine.

Those who actually remember the story know that there were no dancing Israelis on 9/11. The woman who reported them to the police described them this way:

MARIA: Like a few minutes must have gone on, and all of a sudden down there I see this van park. And I see three guys on top of the van, and I'm trying, you know, to look at the building but what caught my attention, they seemed to be taking a movie.

MILLER: (VO) Maria says the three young men were kneeling on the roof of a white van. It was parked right here. They were taking pictures of each other with the World Trade Center burning in the background.

MARIA: And I could see that they were, like, happy, you know? They--they--they weren't--they didn't look shocked to me, you know? They didn't look shocked. I thought it was very strange.
If I would have had a camera with me that day, I would have been taking photos as well - and hundreds of people did. But there was no dancing and no celebration (although there does seem to have been excitement at witnessing such an event, and somewhat bad taste at taking tourist-type photos in front of the smoke.)

The Israelis denied dancing to the US authorities and went on Israeli television and denied it again. But "truther" websites started the rumor that there were "dancing israelis" (now disparagingly referred to as "dncing Shlomos.")

To be fair, I have no doubt that Israelis have mixed feelings at terror attacks abroad. They hope against hope that the victim country will now have an inkling of the fear that Israelis had to go through for years, before going on the offensive to stop daily terror attacks. In other words, they naturally hope that Europeans will start to empathize with what Israelis have had to live with and notice that they have common enemies. This is human, but it is a not close to the happiness that the antisemites descibe in their media.

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  • Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency proudly announces:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received on Sunday a congratulatory message on the occasion of Eid al-Adha from  Syrian  President Bashar al-Assad  .

President al-Assad expressed his warm congratulations to President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, and called upon God to restore [Palestine] to the Palestinian people and the Arab nation with blessings .
There is not  hint of embarrassment for this.

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From Ian:

NY Post Editorial: Russians are now patrolling the Golan heights — and you can thank Barack Obama
Vladimir Putin’s troops are now patrolling the Golan Heights — and it’s actually the least-bad solution.

It’s the best available way to keep Iranian forces away from Israel’s border with Syria. But it also hinders Jerusalem’s ability to strike at those forces (and at various jihadis and others roaming the region) if necessary.

The Iranians and the Russians filled the vacuum left after the Obama administration pulled US troops out of Iraq and refused to send help to the rebels fighting against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Assad now looks likely to hold on, but as an Iranian puppet, with Putin gleefully playing Mideast power broker. Israel has no choice but to deal with Moscow to keep Tehran away.

The Nobel folks should look at rescinding former President Barack Obama’s Peace Prize.

Caroline Glick: Andrew Brunson Case Proves U.S.-Turkey Alliance Has Been Over for Years
Last year, in remarks relating to Brunson, Erdogan said, The (pastor) we have is on trial. Yours is not — he is living in Pennsylvania … You can give him right away.”

As he called Sunday for Turks to exchange their dollars for the rapidly collapsing Turkish lira to prove their patriotism, Erdogan addressed Trump angrily, saying, “We can only say ‘good-bye’ to anyone who sacrifices its strategic partnership and a half century alliance with a country of 81 million for the sake of relations with terror groups. You dare to sacrifice 81 million [in] Turkey for a priest who is linked to terror groups?”

But the truth of course is the opposite. Erdogan sacrificed his country’s half-century alliance with the U.S. to advance his jihadist beliefs and aspirations. Brunson’s captivity and the menacing threats Erdogan and his representatives keep voicing against him make clear that the long-held Turkish-U.S. alliance is a relic of a past era.

Trump is not walking away from an alliance. He is reconciling America’s Turkish policy with the reality of Turkish-U.S. relations.

Brunson’s life is in jeopardy. He is in danger because Turkey is a hostage-taking, jihadist tyranny that supports terror organizations and indoctrinates its people to hate Americans, Christians, Jews, Kurds, Yazidis, Alevis, and whomever else Erdogan decides to hate.

The safest way to save Brunson’s life is not to bow to Erdogan’s demands. It is by making the cost of taking Brunson’s life too great for even Erdogan to bear. You don’t do that by pretending away difficult realities. You do it by acknowledging and acting on them.

It is impossible to know how the current crisis in Turkish-U.S. relations will pan out. But what is clear enough is after stubbornly clinging to a policy based on refusing to read the writing on the walls in relation to Erdogan and his neo-Ottoman Turkey, Pastor Brunson’s persecution is forcing Washington finally to face the truth about Turkey, and adapt its policies to align with that truth.

  • Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

One of the resolutions that came out of the recent Palestinian Central Committee meeting was that women should take up 30% of the positions within the PLO and the Palestinian Authority in order to reach recommendations from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

But in reality, the percentage of women representatives in Palestinian institutions has actually gone down since the 1990s!

In the legislative elections held in 1995, 5.8% of those elected were women. But right now there are only 6 women out of 132 members (4.5%)  of the very same Central Committee that is pledging to change things, and only one woman out of 15 members of the Executive Committee.

A writer in Ma'an decries: "After 23 years of struggle to promote women's participation in the state structures and institutions, we are moveing backwards... Palestinian society has been built by excluding women from the decision-making circles and denying their struggles. They are delaing with women as decoration only as measures are taken by the leadership to strengthen the masculine view of our society."

So why do so many supposed  "feminist" support the Palestinians and pretend that Israel is the problem for them? Why do they ignore that their support of "intersectionality" is in fact hurting Palestinian women who they supposedly support?

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  • Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Abbas speaking on Saturday at closing session of Fatah Central Committee meeting

Mahmoud Abbas, the dictator of the Palestinian areas in the West Bank, gave a speech on Saturday where he warned that all aid that goes to Gaza must go through his corrupt government first.

Speaking at the closing session of the Palestinian Central Council meeting, Abbas once again criticized Hamas for not acceding to his rule and said "any money and aid coming to Gaza must come through the legitimate Palestinian government."

Abbas' government has reduced medical supplies, electricity and salaries to Gazans in the past 18 months. The world media has largely ignored the fact that Israel has been trying to help Gazans far more than their purported leader.

There are reports today from Israeli security sources that Abbas plans to increase his sanctions on Gaza while pretending that he can be trusted to take care of his people there.

Meanwhile, Saeb Erekat warned that any truce between Israel and Hamas - being worked on by Egypt over the past few weeks - would "destroy the national project."

The cynicism displayed by the PA would be breathtaking if it wasn't so routine. Abbas knows by now that the world media and governments will continue to give the PA a pass no matter what it does. They all have an interest in pretending that Israel is to blame for any problems in the territories, and Palestinian infighting - quite obvious in all Arabic media - must be minimized in articles and speeches.

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  • Monday, August 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is a photo of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza from a few years ago.

Notice the spikes on top of the massive iron gate, the guard station, the concrete barriers to stop truck bombs from approaching.

These are the sorts of defensive measures one would expect to see at a hostile foreign embassy, not from an aid agency.

Now look at the same spot this year:

They fortified the guard shack and added barbed wire on top of all the fences. They also changed the already formidable iron gate to one that is even more difficult to get through.

Some Gazans must have climbed on top of the guard shack and gone inside the compound in the past few years, and also climbed through the top part of the gate, causing who knows how much damage.

If UNRWA is helping so much, then why do Gazans treat it as a hostile foreign power? How much of the UNRWA budget is spent to defend its own buildings from the people it is supposedly helping?

(h/t Irene)

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

  • Sunday, August 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
In March 2017, Palestinian security arrested  Ahmed Naji Abu Hamada, who was known as "Zabour," from the Balata refugee camp east of Nablus

Last week he died while in PA custody.

How he died is being disputed.

The governor of Nablus, Akram Rajoub, said that he was injured while being arrested and he died from those injuries.

Medical sources said he had suffered a stroke two weeks before and was taken to treatment until his death was announced today.

The family was not allowed to visit him in the hospital over the two weeks he was in the Ramallah hospital.

The Zabour family accused the Palestinian Authority of deliberately poisoning their son and planning to liquidate him through the poisoned drinking water he used to drink while in the Jericho prison in the occupied West Bank.

Al-Zabour's sister, who was known as Umm Mujahid, accused the authorities of working to liquidate her brother and poison him.

The Palestinian Information Center (Hamas)  reported her words: "The prisoners poisoned the water, put it in bottles of mineral water, and gave it to my brother Zabour to drink it, he drank and was poisoned inside the prison in Jericho, and from that day he was unconscious."

Earlier, Umm Mujahid said: "The authority refuses to transfer him to Israeli hospitals or to Jordanian hospitals. This raises our concern that my brother is subject to a premeditated liquidation of the Authority and its security services."

Here's a picture of Zabour, showing that he seemed to have an attachment to weaponry.

When both sides are evil, it is hard to know who to believe.

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From Ian:

On the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords
For its initiators, the agreement served as leverage to gradually build trust between the sides. It was designed so that both sides would profit from the agreement and receive compensation that would make continuing the negotiations worthwhile, and in this manner, was aimed at accustoming both the Israeli and Palestinian public to a path to a resolution of the conflict, as envisioned by its authors.

But the experiment failed. As could be expected, the Palestinian leadership found it difficult – and quite possibly never even intended – to meet the commitments it took upon itself. The PA never tried to prepare the Palestinian public for the concessions that would be necessary in order to make peace. Worse still, it refused to abandon the use of violence and terrorism as a means to achieving its goals, leaving many Israelis skeptical of the plan.

An interview that Mohammed Dahlan, seen by many as a possible successor to Abbas, gave at the height of the Second Intifada illustrates this point quite well. When asked whether the Oslo Accords had been a mistake, Dahlan replied that the agreement had laid the groundwork for the struggle against Israel. As proof, he said hyperbolically, the number of Israelis killed in the Second Intifada was "100 times higher" than the number of Israelis killed in the first. (In fact, it was about three and a half times higher.)

This is all water under the bridge, but from Israel's standpoint, the problem lies in the reality created by the accord; a reality that, while meant to be temporary in nature, has become permanent. The Palestinian Authority and the Hamas regime in Gaza have become faits accomplis and bones in Israel's throat it can neither throw up nor swallow. This is a problematic reality, which continues to present endless political and security challenges for Israel.

A quarter of a century after the signing of the Oslo Accords, it seems it would be fitting for Israel to look for out-of-the-box solutions and find a way to escape the uncomfortable reality it has since found itself in.

Top 70 Moments of BDS FAILS in 2018
On August 8, 2018 the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) published a list of what is claimed were the “Top 70 Moments of Solidarity & BDS for Palestine in 2018” and stated that “together, we grow it stronger every day”. The list can be found here – https://bdsmovement.net/news/top-70-moments-solidarity-bds-palestine-2018

North West Friends of Israelhas put together a BDS FAIL list of our Top 70 Moments, showing that Israel remains as strong as ever and that right minded people understand the need to support the ONLY democracy in the Middle East. The BDS movement, as can be seen below, is failing economically to hurt Israel. The danger with BDS lies in its inherent antisemitism, which seeks NOT to help the Palestinians but to delegitimise and ultimately destroy the only Jewish state in the world – Israel. That is why they must be opposed and exposed.

1 On May 14, 2018, the US Embassy in Israel officially moved to, and opened, its new embassy in Jerusalem, declaring that Jerusalem IS the capital of Israel.
2 On May 17, 2018 the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign LOST its case against the UK government. The Court of Appeal ruled that it was indeed illegal for local councils & their pension funds to pursue boycott, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations. The PSC was left with £100,000 of costs to pay.
3 On May 21, 2018, Paraguay opened its new embassy in Jerusalem. The Paraguayan leader Horacio Cartes called it a “historic event,” adding, that this occasion “is of special significance because it expresses the sincere friendship and brave solidarity between Paraguay and Israel.” rHe continued “From the depth of my heart, I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy, economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children.”
4 On May 16, 2018 Guatemala opened its new embassy in Jerusalem. President Morales said his country, Israel and the United States “share friendship, courage and loyalty”.
5 On May 23, 2018 the State of Louisiana issued an executive order preventing the state to do business with entities boycotting Israel. They became the 25th state -- 50% of the U.S. – who have now said NO to the antisemitic BDS campaign.
UNRWA Has Changed the Definition of Refugee
Last week, Foreign Policy published a story about Palestinian refugees that claimed I am among the “activists trying to strip Palestinians of their status.” The article obscured basic facts about the matters at hand—both my own role as a policy advocate and the questions that lawmakers in Congress are presently considering that pertain to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). I feel compelled to correct the record on both points.

This requires first understanding the legal facts. UNRWA was founded in 1949 through U.N. General Assembly Resolution 302 at the conclusion of the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1948, aiming for “the alleviation of the conditions of starvation and distress among the Palestine refugees” from that conflict. The agency defines Palestinian refugees as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

In 1965, UNRWA changed the eligibility requirements to be a Palestinian refugee to include third-generation descendants, and in 1982, it extended it again, to include all descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, regardless of whether they had been granted citizenship elsewhere. This classification process is inconsistent with how all other refugees in the world are classified, including the definition used by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the laws concerning refugees in the United States.

Under Article I(c)(3) of the 1951 U.N. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, a person is no longer a refugee if, for example, he or she has “acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality.” UNRWA’s definition of a Palestinian refugee, which is not anchored in treaty, includes no such provision.

Last month, members of Congress introduced a bill asking that with respect to refugees under UNRWA the policy of the United States should be consistent with the definition of a refugee in the Immigration and Nationality Act, such that “derivative refugee status may only be extended to the spouse or minor child of such a refugee” and “an alien who was firmly resettled in any country is not eligible to retain refugee status.”

Foreign Policy’s article includes a claim that deserves closer scrutiny and reflects the sleight of hand often performed by UNRWA.

by Noah Phillips

Rashida Tlaibs primary victory in Detroits 13th Congressional district is daunting for Israel supporters in the US and abroad. In a matter of months, Tlaib will have sizable influence to effect change on an issue central to her heritage (she is a Palestinian-American), the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a voice infallibly slated against Israel.

Following her primary victory and piquing national and international attention, Tlaib regularly lambasted Israel on a slew of topics. In the past few days alone, shes called for US aid to Israel to be cut, expressed support for BDS, and endorsed a one-state solution.

I spoke with Tlaibs campaign manager, Steve Tobocman, ahead of the primaries, and he asserted that Tlaib supports a two-state solution, which she now has contradicted. He also stated that Tlaib supported a foreign aid budget to Israel, another position she changed after the election. Tobocman did not immediately respond to my request for clarification on Tlaibs policies.

Yet Tlaibs recent rhetoric and past actions are indicative of her genuine beliefs on the conflict.

Tlaib was a keynote speaker at one of Detroits largest BDS rallies in 2014, long before her Congressional bid. The rally drew tens of thousands chanting Free Palestine! while touting Palestinian flags. Also speaking at the event was Dawud Walid, who heads up the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and publicly discusses his woes with Jews and Zionists.

Who are those that incur the wrath of Allah? They are the Jews, they are the Jews, Walid said in a 2012 sermon, one of many anti-Semitic comments hes made in the past.

Tlaib is also well acquainted with Linda Sarsour, notoriously recognized by the pro-Israel lobby for her contempt of Israel and as supporter of anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. During the campaign, Sarsour spoke at a Tlaib campaign event giving her endorsement. The relationship between Tlaib and Sarsour dates back years, to the point where Sarsour described Tlaib as a mentor and role model, a disconcerting sign given Sarsours track record on Israel. When I asked Tobocman about Tlaibs relationship with Sarsour, he shifted the subject of the conversation, which he soon after ended.

Tlaib has also expressed sympathy for terrorist and murderer Rasmea Odeh on Twitter.

This is the quality of character chosen by Michiganders to represent them. They chose someone with a vengeance against the State of Israel and who stands by such people as Odeh, and who reverses her position on numerous critical policies following the primary election.

So why has Tlaib garnered so much support despite her evident character flaws and poor choice in associates?

The answer largely has to do with the race for diversity for the sake of diversity, to the point where politicians are elected largely on the basis of their racial and ethnic group. Whether intentionally or not, Tlaib banked on being the first Muslim women to potentially reach Congress in order to grasp voter attention. And Tlaib had significant help from media outlets covering the primaries. Its unfortunate, but its a fact, that the vast majority of headlines about Tlaib read along the lines of First Muslim-American Women Makes Run for Congress, entirely ignoring her policies, her questionable friends, and her as a person, beyond being a member of a religion and female. But people love a pioneerand thats precisely what Rashida Tlaib represents.

However this isnt true diversity, and this isnt the diversity needed in todays world. Instead, its putting the faith of a candidate before the quality of their ideas, a phenomenon which is discriminatory in and of itself.

Diversity is an incredible thing, and initiatives for diversity in institutions have the potential to bring inclusivity and tolerance that has been lacking so heavily in recent years. But when diversity is misconstrued in such a way that Rashida Tlaib is acclaimed in spite of her demagoguery towards Israel, its purpose is entirely defeated.

As a result of this pseudo-diversity, Tlaibs dangerous associations with anti-Semites and Israel-haters, as well as her unconscionable rhetoric are overshadowed by her pioneer-status as a Muslim-American woman.

In this regard, Tlaib resembles another starlet of the 2018 primary campaign: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another harsh critic of Israel, who spoke at a campaign event promoting Tlaib. Cortez fired up the crowd when she exclaimed that 2018 isnt the year that we get our first Muslim woman to Congress. Its that we get our first class of Muslim women to Congress. Cortez would better serve the country if instead of placing the religion of Islam on a pedestal, she spoke to the policies of Tlaib and other Muslim candidates, which are what truly need the attention of voters.

And as per usual, Israel is caught directly in the crosshairs of the pseudo-diversity phenomenon. The blatant distaste for Israel presented by Tlaib as well as Cortez and others, is reprehensible to say the least. Yet we see weak secular media coverage of this and no voter outcry condemning the outrageous beliefs and actions of Tlaib.

This is not a denigration of Islam, or any other minority group for that matter, but a critique of how politicians are nowadays evaluated first and foremost, as a race, an ethnicity, a gender, and a religion, all before being assessed as future lawmakers and leaders of society.

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  • Sunday, August 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

There is literally nothing that Palestinians don't politicize.

On Saturday evening, at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, 500 grooms and brides got married in a mass ceremony sponsored by Mahmoud Abbas.

Even on this supposedly happiest day of the lives of the thousand celebrants, they had to endure speech after speech about the "occupation" by government and Fatah officials.

"Our people rejoice despite the suffering of the occupation, our conflict with the occupation is long can not stop life, at the same time we stand up and fight and defend our land," said deputy head of Fatah Mahmoud Alalul.

He added, "The fighter is a dreamer and seeks hope, he smiles and marries."

Jamal Moheisen, member of the Central Committee of Fatah, said, "In Palestine, where children throw their stones on the occupation and adorned their streets with images of martyrs, joy dwells beside the pain...we are in support of the young men and we're proud of them because they are the pillars on which to build the nation by pumping new blood in its veins to create a demographic balance in the face of the settlements.

"The president resolutely addresses the biased US policy that wants to impose its will on the world to contravene international law and international legitimacy, in addition to confronting the occupying state and its extremist government which is trying to settle the Palestinian issue through the Trump deal.... We tell the world that our people offer martyrs every day and put their best sons in prison, yet we are still committed to love, joy and high values," he added.

"Here we are, and here we resisted and we are still here, and here we will resist, and from here our martyrs have risen, and here we will remain steadfast in life and send greetings to our prisoners in Israeli prisons."

Of course, the wedding as also a huge advertisement for Abbas himself. Singers sang songs about "Abu Mazen" (see around 14:00) and the banners showed his picture prominently.

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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 12 years and over 25,000 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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