Sunday, May 24, 2020

  • Sunday, May 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

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This was a good, informative interview about the real goals of the mythical Palestinian “right of return” and what can be done about it now.

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: Undermining the International Criminal Court
As early as the late 1950s, following the Holocaust of the Jewish People by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, Israel was one of the founding fathers of the post-Second World War vision of a permanent international criminal tribunal.

The vision was to establish a juridical body to adjudge the “most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.” As such, from the early 1950s and up to the adoption of the International Criminal Court’s Statute at the Rome Conference in 1998, Israel took an active and central part in the process of negotiating and drafting the court’s founding documents.

The preambular provisions of the Statute indeed stressed the noble and solemn determination of the States parties “for the sake of present and future generations, to establish an independent, permanent international Criminal Court.”

The very nature and purpose of such a central, independent and vital juridical body to adjudge the most serious crimes of international concern would imply that such a body would be completely independent of pressures and influence, and immune from politicization. One might have assumed that the international community would not permit any attempt to prejudice the Court’s integrity, credibility and authority through political abuse and manipulation.

However, for several years, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has been deluged with complaints by the Palestinian leadership, purporting to represent a non-existent “State of Palestine.” Such a huge volume of complaints are part of the ongoing Palestinian attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel in the institutions of the international community, including the ICC, through the cynical abuse and manipulation of those institutions. Download pdf
StandWithUs: The Jew Always Fits The Crime
WATCH: Antisemites will always find a rationale for their particular brand of Jew-hatred, but none of their explanations hold up. Yet throughout history, people who want to marginalize and demonize Jews continue to find ways to make sure that the Jew always “fits the crime.”


Suddenly, Human Rights Watch Discovers Antisemitism
In essence, while HRW understands that antisemitism is a core element of the extreme right’s worldview, it sees its appearance in other contexts as a marginal aberration. In a May 2019 briefing that purported to explain the “wrong way to combat antisemitism,” HRW analyst Wenzel Michalski took to task a vast swathe of the German parliament — from the left-wing Greens to the conservative Christian Social Union — for agreeing on a resolution that deemed the movement to boycott Israel as antisemitic.

“In Germany, the term ‘boycott’ evokes memories of the boycott of Jewish-owned shops in the 1930s,” wrote Michalski. “To equate that dark chapter with boycotts of Israel over its rights abuses is to trivialize our history. Activists worldwide use boycotts to challenge rights abuses and seek political change. Boycotts played key roles in the US struggle for African-American rights and in international campaigns against apartheid in South Africa and atrocities in Darfur.”

Michalski’s overarching argument — that a small number of antisemites muttering darkly about “Zionists” should not sully the boycott movement’s honorable goal of securing independence for the Palestinians — exemplifies the denial among progressives in Europe and the United States that the Palestine solidarity movement is itself an incubator of antisemitism. Nowhere does Michalski recognize what the movement to boycott Israel has no problem recognizing: that subjecting Israel and its people to isolation is a necessary condition of bringing about the Jewish state’s replacement with a unitary State of Palestine, in which Jews would, at best, revert to being a religious minority ruled by others.

In the minds of most Jews (and quite a few non-Jews as well), promoting the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state as a just solution to the Palestinian issue is unquestionably antisemitic. Now in its second decade of existence, the BDS movement has been a key contributor to the antisemitic atmosphere in Europe — specifically, by portraying Jews as oppressors and violators of human rights, it helped remove the taboo on blatant antisemitic rhetoric in society more generally.

I don’t believe that HRW’s inability, or refusal, to grasp the diverse nature of modern antisemitism is a reason to shun its solidarity in combating the far-right. But as long as HRW remains blind towards these other forms of Jew-hatred, its solidarity will only run skin-deep — and no more.
How the EU skirted the ban on funding terrorist groups
A letter sent by a representative of the European Union to the Palestinian Authority, which includes a promise to find a way around new EU instructions that prohibit the transfer of any financial aid to civil groups that are directly or indirectly linked to terrorism has aroused strong criticism in Israel as well as the EU.

On March 30, German diplomat Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff sent the letter to the umbrella organization that represents Palestinian civil groups, announcing continued funding for their activities, even if their members include individuals who are linked to terrorist groups.

The main paragraph in contention states: "It is understood that a natural person affiliated to, sympathizing with, or supporting any of the groups or entities mentioned in the EU restrictive list is not excluded from benefiting from EU-funded activities unless his/her exact name and surname (confirming his/her identity) corresponds to any of the natural persons on the EU restrictive lists."

After the letter was made public, members of the EU Parliament have demanded an investigation into the EU representatives in the PA for allegedly violating EU policy. The parliament wants to determine whether the EU Commission knew about the step he was taking.

Now the American Jewish Committee's Transatlantic Institute in Brussels has revealed that Von Burgsdorff 's letter was preceded by two other similar commitments from senior EU functionaries to the Palestinians, which would appear to indicate a consistent policy of skirting the ban on funding organizations with ties to terrorism, rather than a rogue move by one official.

According to the American Jewish Committee, a few days after the EU adopted the ban on funding groups whose members and/or activity is linked to terrorism, Von Burgsdorff 's predecessor, Thomas Nicholson, promised Palestinian groups that the new regulation did not apply to them.

  • Sunday, May 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Today I plan to interview Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz on my live webcast (12 noon EDT/7 PM IDT, it will be viewable here.)

41QZdD-VxPL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_We will discuss the fictional “right of return” for Palestinian Arab “refugees,” the subject of their book that was just released in English, The War of Return.

Ahead of that webcast, here are a couple of articles about that issue I recently found.

From JTA, November 2, 1962:

In supplementary reports to the General Assembly, Commissioner General John H, Davis, chief for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, also told the Assembly that:

1. There are “at least 100, 000 dead persons” still listed on the UNRWA relief rolls, but that “rectification” of the rolls has been impossible because the Arab “governmental authorities” considered “the time was not opportune. “

2. All efforts at economic reintegration of the refugees that might lead to resettlement off the refugees in Arab states have had to be abandoned in the face of Arab governmental opposition and the opposition of the “Arab people. “

Davis in fact swallowed the Arab narrative whole and later lobbied against the existence of a Jewish state altogether, as Wilf and Schwartz detail in their book.

This second article is from LIFE magazine, written right after the Six Day War. Note the Nasser quote.

 

life unrwa

People were aware of the problems with UNRWA for decades. But no one has had the political will to do anything about it (until the US pulled funds.)

  • Sunday, May 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Austrian Parliament condemned the BDS movement as antisemitic in February,  but that hasn’t stopped them from staging more antisemitic PR stunts there.

Heute reports:

At Viktor-Adler-Platz in Vienna-Favoriten, supporters of the anti-Semitic BDS movement staged a tasteless campaign. They acted as Israeli soldiers executing people (pretending to be Palestinian.)

The anti-Israel movement BDS (which stands for "Boycott Divestment Sanctions"), which was originally primarily active in the USA, has also been active in Austria for a long time. The anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic movement rejects Israel's right to exist.

On Saturday supporters of the movement staged a tasteless protest at Viktor-Adler-Platz in Vienna-Favoriten. According to eyewitnesses, two men disguised as Israeli soldiers apparently imitated an execution of a third man who is said to be a Palestinian.

 

vien4

vien1

Of course, the IDF doesn’t execute unarmed Palestinians against walls. That was something Nazis did to Jews. You can see previous similar BDS actions, the street theatre of “Israelis” shouting in German (and English, for the cameras) at “Palestinians” while forcing them on their knees before being executed, pure antisemitism. and Holocaust inversion.

On the streets of what used to be Nazi-occupied Vienna, today.

 

(h/t Petra)

  • Sunday, May 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
2560px-אדורה

 

After I tweeted about Hanan Ashrawi ludicrously claiming that Jewish settlements named themselves after neighboring Arab villages, someone named Nazer Abuznaid responded, “Yes they did I lived in DURA and they built one next to us called Adura.”

So I looked up Dura in Wikipedia and here’s what I found:

The present-day name of Dura has been identified with ancient Adoraim or the Adora of 1 Macc.13.20[3][4] Mentioned as Adora by Apocrypha and often by Josephus.[5] A weak letter is usually lost in Hebrew to Arabic sound conversion, such as in the case of Adoraim to Dura.[6] A loss of a first feeble letter is not uncommon and the form of Dora could be found as early as in several instances of Josephus writings.[5]

So even his village’s name is Biblical!

His response was, sadly, typical:

You guys often have an explanation to suit your needs!

Yes, it’s called the truth.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: IHRC Al Quds 2020 – terrorists, extremists, antisemites and violence
The IHRC Al Quds Day 2020 was like no other. If you doubt that the BDS movement supports violence, seeks to destroy Israel and wants to rid the Middle East of Jews, then you should sit through the whole toxic 150 minutes of this online event like I did.

Each year, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) are given permission to hold a radical Islamist event calling for the destruction of Israel as they wave their flags through the streets of London. They play a game in which they wave their extremism in our faces and laugh at the foolishness of those that permit them to recruit on our streets.

It is a pro-Hezbollah, radical Islamist event, that until the terrorist organisation was proscribed in the UK, would regularly see the flag of Hezbollah proudly on display.

Al Quds 2020 was different because it was online. There were no police to monitor their words. Instead the IHRC were allowed to invite whomever they liked and freely speak their mind. Before any British Government official ever gives these terrorist supporters another chance to walk through London – they should be forced to watch this event.
IHRC 2020 – Not just the usual suspects

Because of the importance of some of the content, I am not going to write up every speaker – but rather focus on those I believe need special attention. However, given some of what occurred it is important to remember the names of all those who participated.
Nazim Ali (host and Director of the IHRC)
Raza Kasim (co-host, IHRC)
Ramzy Baroud ( Editor, Palestine Chronicle)
Ramon Grosfoguel (academic, UC Berkeley)
Reverend Daniel Burton (Area Dean, Anglican Church)
Rabbi Elhanan Beck (Neturei Karta, UK)
Marzieh Hashemi (Press TV Journalist, Iran)
– read message from – Zahra Mostafavi Khomeini (daughter of Ayatollah Khomeini)
Yisroel David Weiss (Neturei Karta, US)
Roshan Muhammed Salih (5 Pillars)
Mizanur Rahman (Mizan the Poet)
Michel Warschawski (headed Israeli Marxist Revolutionary Communist League)
Hashem Al Haydari (Deputy Commander – Kataib Hezbollah)
Suhaila El -Zakzaky (Daughter of Sheikh El Zakzaky, leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria)
Ilan Pappe (Academic, Exeter University)
Mohammad Al Asi (Islamic 9/11 truther and extremist)
Haim Bresheeth (academic, SOAS)
Mick Napier (toxic extremist, head of SPSC)
Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour (Islamic cleric, speaker and extremist)
Narjis Khan (Lawyer at [UK] Goverment Legal Department and Islamic poet)
Masoud Shajareh (Chair of IHRC)

The IHRC video you have to see
According to his introduction, Mohammad Al Asi has been banned from the UK because of his extremism. During his speech Al Asi spoke about the fact that most Jews would need to be ethnically cleansed after the resistance successfully destroys Israel. Bringing back shadows of the Holocaust, Al Asi mentioned the need to ‘separate’ the Jews into groups – those that might be allowed to stay, and those that would need to be forced (violently) to withdraw (face expulsion). Just as he began to talk about ‘dezionising elites’, he ran out of time:

The Government Legal Department Lawyer
After 2 hours and 20 minutes Nazim Ali introduces an ‘accomplished poet’ by the name of Narjis Khan. The poem she recites is an anti-Israel, anti-western rant – in rhyme. During the poem Khan comments that ‘Palestine’ teaches ‘the meaning of resistance,’ and apparently refers to all resistance (she does not differentiate) as ‘self-defence’.

Khan also has a blog on the IHRC website. Her most recent contribution appears to be an eulogy to Qasem Soleimani the Iranian General killed in a targeted US strike. Soleimani was head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force and responsible for bloodshed throughout the region, often through terrorist proxies.

All this is bad enough. Participating in an event alongside rabid extremists that call for Israel’s destruction and writing poems for a man who helped sponsor terrorism throughout the Middle East. But aside from being a poet, Narjis Khan is also a lawyer who works for the Government Legal Department (GLD).

The Government Legal Department are the government’s principal legal advisers. Their core purpose ‘is to help the government to govern well, within the rule of law.’

It is surely beyond all logical reasoning to accept that ANY government employee in ANY government department should in ANY way be associated with the radical Iranian Islamist Al Quds day – and an event that also contains leading members of Kataib Hezbollah.
Axis of Resistance honors ‘International Quds Day’
On May 20, leaders of the Axis of Resistance and pro-Axis clerics published videos commemorating International Quds Day with the central theme being the liberation of Palestine.

International Quds Day, which was introduced by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, is held every year on the last Friday of Ramadan. The day is marked by protests against Israel across the region. Protesters burn flags of Israel and the United States as a way to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh addressed viewers by deriding the Trump peace plan and Israel’s possible annexation of settlements in the West Bank.

“Today, as we commemorate the International Day of Jerusalem, Jerusalem lives in a most dangerous stage as we follow the American-Zionist talk about implementing the so-called Deal of the Century, which is based on the liquidation of the Palestinian cause,” Haniyeh said.

Furthermore, Haniyeh warned Israel “From here I salute our people stationed in the blessed al Aqsa Mosque, and in their name and in the name of our people and our nation, we warn the Zionists against committing any foolishness against the blessed al Aqsa Mosque. We seek not only to liberate al Aqsa, but the whole of occupied Palestine.”

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah commemorated Quds Day by addressing viewers about the strengthening of ties between members of the Axis of Resistance. Nasrallah also affirmed the Axis of Resistance was “closer than ever to liberating al Quds.”

“Thanks to the cooperation of between countries and the forces of the Axis of Resistance of the Arab and Islamic world, we find ourselves closer than ever to al Quds and its liberation,” Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah also noted “The Israeli authorities are afraid and terrified by the victories of the Axis of the Resistance. They are also disappointed by the defeats suffered not only by this regime [Israel] but also by the United States and its allies in the Middle East.”

Another Axis leader, Abdul-Malik al Houthi, used his address to touch on several subjects regarding Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Al Houthi maintained his movement’s position regarding relations with Israel saying “We condemn and reject all attempts to normalize relations that some Arab countries, especially the Saudi regime, have attempted with the Israeli enemy.”
UN coronavirus aid going to Palestinian terror-linked groups
Millions of dollars of international funding for the Palestinians’ coronavirus emergency response, coordinated by the World Health Organization and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have gone to organizations with links to terrorism, a new report by NGO Monitor found.

The research institution focused on the funding of non-governmental organizations found that several of the groups funded by OCHA and the WHO are tied to the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is recognized as a terrorist organization in Israel, the EU, US and Canada, and had staff members arrested and indicted late last year for the murder of 17-year-old Israeli Rina Schnerb.

Among OCHA’s NGO partners with ties to the PFLP are the Health Work Committees (HWC), Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR).

HWC’s Financial and Administration Director Waleed Hanatsheh bankrolled the PFLP that murdered Schnerb, and is currently standing trial for the murder, as is Samer Arbid, UAWC’s financial director. UHWC was identified by USAID as “the PFLP’s health organization.”

The NGO Monitor report also pointed out that OCHA stated that the aid money was meant to “respond to the public health needs and immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” but many of the activities funded do not appear to be vital or lifesaving. Rather, anti-Israel advocacy ventures were relabeled COVID-19 without substantive contributions to humanitarian aid.

For example, the OCHA coronavirus response includes a “Joint Statement on Israel’s Obligations vis-a-vis West Bank and Gaza in Face of Coronavirus Pandemic” by 18 NGOs, calling for Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza to let medical supplies in. OCHA notes in the very situation report in which this statement is listed that Israel does allow medical supplies into Gaza.

Friday, May 22, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: Fighting the academic demonisation of Israel in schools
How do you deal with historical distortion in academic textbooks and propaganda in schools and universities? I would argue that if you want to really fight this fight, then you have to begin by understanding just how widespread the problem really is.

(On Wednesday I spoke as part of a panel on anti-Zionist, antisemitic propaganda in schools. The event was organised and chaired by UK Lawyers for Israel. Also on the panel were Noru Tsalic, Marcus Sheff and Nomi Benari. You can now view a recording of the event online.)
A battle for academic minds

The issue of historical distortion in academic textbooks and propaganda in schools and universities is as important – if not more important – than any of the other battles taking place for accuracy and truth. The children sitting in school will have their minds shaped by the information they are given. And if we take all the classrooms in the UK – including the universities – then sitting in those rooms is almost every single politician who will be lawmaking in the coming generations, alongside every future councillor, union leader, lawyer and teacher.

If lies are told to them unchecked, then we lose the battle for minds even before it is started.

How big a problem is it
In the last few months, two seperate UK textbooks (1 , 2) were checked and were removed from the shelves because of historical innacuracies and anti-Israel bias.

If we seek to put all the blame on the academic author or the publisher we are missing the point. These two books were written by different authors, did not rely on the same source material and went through the editorial checks of two seperate publishing houses.

We are dealing with an ideology, a narrative, a world vision – and much of the modern academic landscape has been swallowed whole.

Whilst I have access to some of what is taking place on campus – much of what is occuring in schools is beyond me. Not only are Jews a tiny minority group in the UK – but we are also highly concentrated in certain areas. This means that outside of our bubble are 1000s of schools which have no Jewish presence at all. Our eyes and ears simply do not reach very far.

What we see is only the tip of the iceberg and the problem extends far beyond textbooks.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Who Really Represents America’s Jews?
The notion that any single organization could represent the views or the interests of American Jews on Israel—or any other issue—has always been risible. Yet this dubious assertion has been the raison d’être of one of the more successful experiments in political activism in American Jewish history.

Born seven decades ago out of a hostile administration’s impatience with the myriad Jewish groups lobbying the State Department about Israel, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations has thrived by claiming to be the central address for American Jewish political interests.

But while the Conference has enjoyed a unique perch in the organized Jewish world, many of the groups who compose its membership are neither “major” in any real sense or, by themselves, particularly influential—let alone representative of American Jewry.

Nor can it be considered the public face of the pro-Israel community. That distinction belongs to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Unlike AIPAC, the Conference can’t mobilize tens of thousands of activists to lobby Congress, attend an annual conference, or help direct campaign donations to friends of Israel or foes of the Jewish state’s critics.

Despite its title, the Conference has also lacked the ability to command its member groups to take action on even the most anodyne issues. All 53 organizations retain complete autonomy of action and are divided along political and ideological lines that allow little room for cooperation.

Yet by cloaking itself in a mythical consensus, the Conference has skillfully inserted itself into policy discussions at the highest level both in Washington and abroad. Its ability to not merely be heard but to have its bland but still assertive brand of advocacy be treated as an important factor in rallying support for the State of Israel in Washington has made it the go-to place for anyone—especially foreign governments—who wishes to sound out the views of American Jewish influencers.

Under the leadership of Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein, who assumed the role in 1986, the Conference became less of a club of organizational leaders and more of an aggressive collective putting forward the views of the Jewish community on issues concerning Israel and anti-Semitism at home and abroad.
Gerald M. Steinberg: Jerusalem: 1948, 1967, 2020
As a Jerusalemite, the degree to which the modern history of our city is mangled, distorted, and rewritten by journalists, foreign politicians and diplomats, and less-than-rigorous academics is a major source of frustration, particularly around the celebration of Jerusalem Day.

Almost inevitably, we are told that “East Jerusalem” and the “Old City were captured by Israel from Jordan during the 1967 war, without reference to the status of this city between 1948 and 1967. Outside of Israel, the false narrative portraying Palestinians exclusively as victims and Israel as “occupiers” has replaced the actual history, and substituted propaganda for justice.

The continuing impact of the 1948-1967 Jordanian occupation is central to understanding the broad Israeli rejection of grand peace plans to re-divide this city, including the mirages of “shared sovereignty” and internationalization. While such creative political architecture may sound good, the history of this period should remind us that in practice, such visions will return us to the bad old days,

Jews have lived in Jerusalem continuously, and were the majority population in the decades before the 1948 war. The destruction and ethnic cleansing of the ancient Jewish Quarter in the Old City began following the UN Partition Resolution on November 27 1947. Arab forces blocked the access road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and numerous Israeli efforts to end this blockade failed, with major casualties. As a result, few reinforcements were available, and on May 28, the Jordanian army (also known as the “Arab Legion”) completed the capture of the Jewish Quarter.

The Jordanian commander, Abdallah el-Tal, boasted that “The operations of calculated destruction were set in motion… Only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish Quarter had become a graveyard.” (Disaster of Palestine, Cairo 1959) All of the Jewish inhabitants were exiled — the ethnic cleansing was complete. Jews were prohibited from accessing the Temple Mount, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 AD, or at the Western Wall, which survived the destruction. (These were and remain the holiest sites in the Jewish religion.)

Even after the fall of the Jewish Quarter, the conquerors systematically desecrated all remnants of 3000 years of Jewish Jerusalem. 57 ancient synagogues, libraries and centers of religious study were ransacked and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. Those that remained standing were defaced, and turned into barns for goats, sheep and donkeys. Appeals were made to the United Nations and in the international community to declare the Old City to be an ‘open city’ and stop this destruction, but there was no response.

  • Friday, May 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • Friday, May 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Anti-Israel activists love pointing to coins and stamps and maps from before 1948 showing the existence of Palestine.

A reader sent me this one, from a school atlas from 1895:

satch1

 

satch2

 

Well, it does say “Palestine,” but there is nothing Arab about this map. It is all quite…Biblical.

 

(h/t DS)

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Israel-bashers fail to see the Arab train leaving the station
It’s a busy time for Israel-haters. So what’s new? Well, a lot.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the Democratic congresswoman who has a lengthening record of lies about Israel, last week tweeted the boiler-plate falsehood that Israel’s foundation in 1948 had entailed the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian Arabs who were “indigenous” to the land.

The Jews, of course, are the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national home. And the Palestinian Arabs’ displacement took place in the war of extermination against the nascent State of Israel, waged by Arab states who told them to leave on the basis that they would return as conquerors.

Yet Tlaib’s ahistorical rubbish is standard discourse among western Israel-bashers. In Britain, more than 130 MPs have signed a letter drafted by the Council for Arab-British Understanding calling for sanctions against Israel if it proceeds with its proposal to extend Israeli law over parts of the disputed territories.

Their claim that this “annexation” is contrary to international law is also demonstrably untrue. It would actually belatedly enforce international law, by restoring the legal right to settle these territories that in the 1920s the international community gave to the Jews alone.

Nevertheless, the European Union (with objections from Hungary and Austria) has repeatedly condemned Israel for the plan. The British government has denounced it. Liberal American Jews fulminate against it.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he would “reverse” U.S. President Donald Trump’s Israel policies that he claims damage the chances of a peace agreement, while hedging this with enough caveats to render deniable his hostility to Israel’s best interests.

At the same time, the man they all refuse to condemn for his record of supporting terrorism, inciting mass murder and breaking his undertakings — Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas— declared that the Palestine Liberation Organization was now absolved of all its agreements with Israel and the U.S. over the proposed “annexation.”

Even his followers realized the absurdity of this latest such empty bombast. An exasperated P.A. official said: “How many times can you repeat the same threat? How can you renounce the same agreements you said you renounced five years ago?”

Ruthie Blum: Could his protests over annexation be Mahmoud Abbas’s last whimper?
WHILE ISRAELIS of all persuasions are engaged in a political and ideological debate over elements of the plan – which enables the Jewish state to extend sovereignty over its heartland but also allows for the establishment of a Palestinian state – Abbas is busy igniting another intifada.

And why wouldn’t he be when faced with a document that calls for the empowerment of Palestinians through economic progress and clean governance? Having a state that he doesn’t really want is bad enough. One that is “of the people, by the people and for the people” is his worst nightmare.

This is probably why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no trouble embracing the plan. Experience has taught him two things: One is that Palestinian signatures on peace deals are meaningless; the other is that Trump keeps his promises.

Abbas couldn’t argue there.

His only recourse under the circumstances, then, is to try to stir a commotion – or, in this case, cry wolf – in the hope that Netanyahu’s and Trump’s foes will come running to his rescue. Take Joe Biden, for example, the US Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential contender against Trump in November.

On the very day that Abbas declared all agreements with Israel and America null and void, Biden held a conference call with Jewish donors, during which he said, “Israel needs to stop the threats of annexation, stop settlement activity, because it will choke off any hope of peace.”
If his suggestion that Palestinians “end incitement in the West Bank and rocket attacks in Gaza” caused Abbas any ill ease, it was likely fleeting. A presidential hopeful who creates moral parity between Israel and the PA is a lot better than a president actually in the Oval Office whose compass can’t be manipulated by a terrorist in a tie.

It is not immediately apparent what Abbas hopes to accomplish by making threats that everyone considers empty. If anything, the 84-year-old author of The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism is setting himself up to go out, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Jonathan S. Tobin: The Abbas comedy and ongoing Palestinian tragedy
Even more important, Abbas's vows to end security cooperation with Israel are even less credible than his other histrionics.

Although Israel benefits from being able to coordinate with the PA's various intelligence agencies, the real beneficiary of the scheme is Abbas. Without Israeli security to fend off both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the PA leader's life would be in jeopardy. He needs Israel a lot more than Israel needs him.

But there's one more good reason to treat this subject with skeptical derision.

Far from having abided by the 1993 Oslo Accords that Abbas now threatens to abrogate, the Palestinians have made a mockery of them from the moment they were signed on the White House Lawn in September 1993.

Though the late Yitzhak Rabin made the argument for the peace process by saying that Arafat would fight Palestinian terror, he was tragically wrong. Arafat was never against terror; quite the contrary, he was inciting, planning and funding it. His successor Abbas carries on the tradition of paying for terrorism through the pensions and salaries the PA gives those who commit violence against Jews and Israelis with higher amounts going to those who shed the most blood.

That's why Israelis are so disillusioned with the sort of mindless talk about peace and a two-state solution that passes for informed comment on the situation by people like Biden and the op-ed writers at the Times.

The tragedy of the Palestinians is that they could have had peace and an independent state if their leaders been willing to give up the illusion that Israel could one day be eliminated. Instead, they have chosen corruption, fantasies about the end of Israel and more comedic relief from Abbas. It's a poor bargain, but until Palestinians decide they want something better from their leaders, it's all they'll ever have.

By Daled Amos

It has been an uphill battle to bring Ahlam Tamimi to justice. Tamimi masterminded the terrorist attack that killed 15 people, including 8 children. Among the dead were 2 American citizens -- 15-year-old Malki Roth and 31-year-old Judith Greenbaum, who was pregnant. Another American, Chana Nachenberg, has been in a permanent vegetative state ever since. There were 121 people wounded. After Israel submitted to the Hamas hostage demands in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, Tamimi was one of  1,027 terrorists that were prematurely freed in October 2011. She had been sentenced to 16 life terms and should have spent the rest of her life in prison. Yet now she lives in Jordan as a celebrity, popular among Jordanians. Tamimi was born there and most of her family is now, and was then, based there. The US has pressed the Jordan to hand Tamimi over to face trial for the Americans she murdered in the Sbarro massacre. The outrage over the injustice did not immediately produce results. Neither the media nor government officials were responsive at first. But over the past few years, some in the media and government who have given exposure to the celebrity status the Hamas terrorist enjoys in Jordan and are looking for ways to get Jordan to send Tamimi to the US to stand trial. The foundation for the efforts to bring Tamimi to justice is the extradition treaty between the US and Jordan that in 1995 led to Jordan extraditing Jordanian national Eyad Ismoil to the US for his part in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

2017

Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant For Ahlam Tamimi

But it was not until 2017, that there were indications the US government was beginning to consider taking action. That is when the criminal complaint against Tamimi, first issued by a Federal judge in 2013, and for political reasons kept secret, was unsealed:
Read the whole thing.

The US Department of Justice

The US Department of Justice issued a press release, announcing that Ahlam Tamimi was being charged with "conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against US nationals outside the US, resulting in death."

Ahlam Tamimi Makes The FBI Most Wanted List

The FBI put Tamimi on its "Most Wanted" list that same day. A $5 million reward was added by the relevant agency -- a unit of the US State Department, 9 months later.
Tamimi and the legal issue of extradition began to draw attention, as Jordan's highest court -- just days after the unsealing of the charges -- declared the extradition of the murderer to be unconstitutional under Jordanian law, and therefore prohibited. There was no official response from the United States for the next two and a half years.

The Legal Angle

In October 2017, the National Security Law Brief -- a publication of the Washington, DC-based American University, published a paper by Michelle Munneke entitled, Pressure on Jordan: Refusal to extradite mastermind of deadly 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem contravenes international law and agreements Munneke notes a second treaty between the US and Jordan that establishes mutual assistance in matters of law enforcement.
The article points out and rebuts the claim, made by advocates for Tamimi (but not the Jordanian judges) of double jeopardy. It also addresses the issue of international comity, according to which "the law governing some cases should be that law of which country has a higher interest in the outcome of that case." Munneke also notes the precedent Jordan itself established in 1995 when it extradited Jordanian national Eyad Ismoil.

2018

The State Department Issues A Reward

In January, the Rewards for Justice Program, which is the U.S. Department of State’s Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program, offered a $5 million reward:

Jordan Reacts

At this point, 2 months later, there was a response from Jordan in the form of an article in Al Ghad, which according to Wikipedia is "the first independent Arabic daily national newspaper published in Jordan." Translated by Google Translate as Jurists comment on Tamimi's extradition request: There is no trial for a person who did twice, the article quotes 3 Jordanian lawyers who defend why Jordan has refused to honor its extradition treaty with the US. The article summarizes the arguments in the first paragraph:
Lawyers considered that extraditing the freed prisoner Ahlam Al-Tamimi to America is “not permissible”, citing that “the laws of the world do not allow anyone to be tried twice, and they are also in Jordan,” in addition to the absence of an agreement to exchange criminals between the two countries.
The Munneke article above deals with the Double Jeopardy issue, rebutted in a previous post here. Similarly, that article deals with the claim that there is no treaty.

2019

Congressional Letter To Secretary of State Pompeo

In March 2019, the first of 3 letters from Congressmen appeared. In a bipartisan effort, 20 Congressmen sent a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, urging him to extradite Tamimi to the US:
Read the whole thing.

State Department: The Extradition Treaty Is Valid

Later in the year, when the State Department delivered its annual "Country Report on Terrorism" to Congress, there was a change in the section on Jordan from previous years. In the 2017 report, the report merely mentioned in passing that Jordan claimed their constitution does not allow for the extradition of Jordanian nationals:
But the report for the year 2018, submitted in 2019, responded to that point:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler Sends A Letter to Attorney General Barr

In August, in response to a June letter from Rabbis asking him to seek the enforcement of US-Jordanian extradition treaty, Rep. Jerrold Nadler -- Chair of the House Judiciary Committee -- sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, asking him for answers:
Nadler and Collins wrote in their joint letter to the Justice Department that “we understand that the government of Jordan has argued that a 1995 extradition treaty between the United States and Jordan is not in effect, and that Jordan’s constitution forbids the extradition of Jordanian nationals.” They asked the department to provide “information regarding the current status” of the efforts to “overcome these objections.”

Haaretz Article Draws A Response

The whole issue of bringing Tamimi to justice has generally not been picked up in the media. That changed on November 7, when the English-edition of Haaretz featured an article describing how U.S. Rejects Jordan's Refusal to Extradite Hamas Terrorist Wanted for Trial. It was a high-profile article, based on an interview with Arnold Roth himself. And it drew a response from the Arab world For example, just 4 days later, Yahya Al-Saud -- the Jordanian MP and chairman of Palestine Committee in the Jordanian Parliament -- spoke out publicly that the Jordanian government should not extradite Tamimi, adding that "she did not commit a crime, but defended her country." Also in November, the Jordanian news site JO24.net featured the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ayman Hussein Abdullah Al-Safadi who spoke publicly about the Jordan's refusal to extradite Tamimi:
Jordan 24 - 
Ayman al-Safadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Affairs, affirmed that several American bodies requested Jordan to extradite her, Jordanian citizen Ahlam Al-Tamimi, noting that Jordan respects and abides by the law, “and the law does not allow this.”
On his blog, This Ongoing War, Arnold Roth thoroughly debunks al-Safadi's defense of Jordan's refusal in a post entitled Thank you, Mr Foreign Minister

2020

It has been a busy year so far.

Congress Responds to Jordan's Refusal to Extradite

Though actually signed in December 2019, Congress's H.R.1865 - Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, includes a provision for withholding funds from countries that refuse to extradite:
Extradition Sec. 7055. (a) Limitation.—None of the funds appropriated in this Act may be used to provide assistance (other than funds provided under the headings “International Disaster Assistance”, “Complex Crises Fund”, “International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement”, “Migration and Refugee Assistance”, “United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund”, and “Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Assistance”) for the central government of a country which has notified the Department of State of its refusal to extradite to the United States any individual indicted for a criminal offense for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or for killing a law enforcement officer, as specified in a United States extradition request. [emphasis added] (b) Clarification.—Subsection (a) shall only apply to the central government of a country with which the United States maintains diplomatic relations and with which the United States has an extradition treaty and the government of that country is in violation of the terms and conditions of the treaty. (c) Waiver.—The Secretary of State may waive the restriction in subsection (a) on a case-by-case basis if the Secretary certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that such waiver is important to the national interest of the United States.

Fox News Covers the Story

In another high-profile article, on January 29, Fox News reported Most wanted female terrorist lives in freedom in Jordan despite extradition request for bombing that killed Americans, based on an interview with Arnold Roth, giving more exposure to the search for justice.

More Congressmen Speak Out

Earlier this month, Congressman Greg Steube sent a letter to Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar, demanding Tamimi's extradition. It is signed by 6 other Congressmen -- all Republicans.
The letter does more than urge the government to push for extradition. The Congressmen directly confront Jordan's refusal to extradite:
The mention that "Jordan had extradited terrorists to the United States multiple times" is a reference to Mohammad Zaki Amawi and Nader Saadeh -- dual citizens of both the US and Jordan -- whom Jordan turned over to the US in 2006 and 2015 respectively. The letter also discusses H.R.1865, mentioned above, and the possibility of utilizing that option.

More Reactions From Jordan

On May 14, Arnold Roth wrote a post, In Jordan, they're standing with confessed bomber Tamimi but worried. He reviews 19 different responses in the Arab media to the recent pressure. A number of them repeat the claim that the original extradition treaty is not valid -- without addressing the fact that Jordan has in fact extradited terrorists to the US in the past. On May 16, in a post The friends of Jordanian fugitive Ahlam Tamimi, including her lawyers, are speaking up. But not all of them, he notes that despite the claim that Jordan is defending its refusal to extradite based on its adherence to "the law" --
Neither the clever lawyers nor the Islamist spokesperson bother to address what Tamimi happily confesses to doing at Sbarro. They have nothing to say about the people murdered there that day (or daughter Malki among them) or about any of the simple, well-framed questions that Jordan's ambassador in Washington has not yet mannaged to answer.
He concludes that while in years past Ahlam Tamimi was supremely confident of her position in Jordan, she shows signs of being just a bit uneasy:
Evidently with all the media activity going on in her support, Tamimi is still waiting for the people who count, those in Jordan's royal palace a short distance from her home, to step up. And as we point out here, she gives the impression of someone who's running out of patience.

The Times of Israel Article

On May 5, The Times of Israel came out with an article Failed by Israel, Malki Roth’s parents hope US can extradite her gloating killer, written by David Horovitz -- the founding editor of Times of Israel.
His article stands out not only for its breadth and attention to detail, but also how Horovitz interviewed not only Arnold Roth and his wife Frimet, but also insiders who offer insight into the roadblocks that the Roth's have had to deal with and are still dealing with in their quest to bring Tamimi to justice. A Hebrew edition is due out in the coming days, marking the first serious engagement by any part of Israel's Hebrew-oriented media with the Roth's battle to see their child's killer extradited.
There is finally enough exposure and attention paid to Jordan's protecting a terrorist to generate action from Congress and government bodies. In turn, there is increased coverage even in the Arab media and the Jordanian government itself has felt the need to respond. But there is still a long way to go. The US government clearly has the means to apply pressure on Jordan to comply with its extradition request. However, it has yet to show a readiness to do what is necessary. The question remains as to how dedicated the US government is to seeing justice done for American victims of terrorism.
  • Friday, May 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Israel isn’t the topic of 100% of the articles in Iranian media today, but it is damned close.

The amount of mind-space that Israel takes up in Iran’s leaders’ minds is something to behold.

 

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