Monday, August 20, 2018

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 –

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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  • Sunday, August 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Netta's Eurovision winning song Toy is now at #2 in the Billboard Dance Club Chart.

Last week it was #3.

UPDATE: This week it is set to be #1!


Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram on Saturday broke the world record in the clubs-handling round at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Minsk, and went on to win the gold medal in the all-round phase of the competition.

The 19-year-old Ashram received a score of 20.65 for her clubs demonstration, surpassing the 20.05 record set at the 2018 European Championships by Russian Dina Averina.

The Israeli Olympic Committee noted that Ashram is the first person in the history of the Challenge Cup to win two gold medals in one season, after she won a gold in the competition in Spain in May.

Ashram hopes to improve her results later this year at the World Championships in Bulgaria. Last year she finished third in the all-around competition at the Championships in Italy, making her the first Israeli to ever win a medal in the category.
(h/t Yoel)

UPDATE 2: Yoel reminds me that the Israel Under-20 Basketball National Team are champions of Europe!

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

From Ian:

As pro-Palestinian pols win primaries, US Jews ask if it’s ‘a wave or a ripple’
This summer has been a good one for pro-Palestinian candidates running for the US Congress.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has slammed Israel’s West Bank occupation, shocked the political world with her upset victory over veteran congressman Joe Crowley for his New York House seat.

Illhan Omar, who has called Israel an “apartheid regime,” won the Democratic nomination for a Minnesota House seat.

And Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who calls for a one-state solution that would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state, and for gutting US military aid to Israel, won her party’s nomination for a Michigan House seat.

All of these candidates are heavily favored to win the general election in their reliably blue districts. And they are posing a question for Washington’s pro-Israel establishment: What does their collective ascendance forebode about the future of US-Israel relations?

The answer depends on who you ask. Pro-Israel operatives who focus on maintaining bipartisan support for the Jewish State insist it means very little. Presuming they go to Capitol Hill, they will be just three of 535 members of Congress.
Joel Pollak: Democrats Are Bringing a New Anti-Israel Caucus to Congress
Despite Israel’s socialist roots, the far-left now identifies with the Palestinians, overlooking the brutality of Palestinian terror, the pervasive antisemitism of Palestinian society, and the authoritarian rule of both the Islamist Hamas regime in Gaza and the secular Palestinian Authority.

In May, after Hamas used a phony “mass protest” to in an effort to breach the Gaza border and attack Israeli civilians, AOC sided with the terrorist group, calling the Israeli response a “massacre” — even though nearly all of the 62 killed were Hamas operatives. In July, she stated that while she believed “absolutely in Israel’s right to exist,” she was opposed to the “occupation of Palestine.” She could not, when pressed, explain what she meant by the term, which the far-left often uses to refer to all of the State of Israel.

But there are two incoming representatives even more hostile to Israel than AOC.

One of them is Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born state representative who won the Democratic Party primary for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district — the seat being vacated by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) — this week. In the past, Omar has referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime.” In 2014, during a war in Gaza, Omar tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

More recently, like AOC, Omar has deployed pro-Israel boilerplate to placate voters, donors, and critics. Earlier this month, she told a candidate forum: “I support a two-state solution. It is going to be important for us to recognize Israel’s place in the Middle East and the Jewish people’s rightful place within that region.” She also said that she opposed the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” (BDS) movement.

But in the state legislature, she opposed a bill against boycotts of Israel and urged divestment from Israel bonds.

The other is Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who won the crowded Democratic Party primary for the 13th congressional district of Michigan last week. She promptly launched a series of anti-Israel tweets, apparently in response to events in the Middle East, where Hamas launched nearly 200 rockets at Israeli civilians and the Israeli air force responded by targeting Hamas military infrastructure.

In the past, Tlaib supported Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh’s bid to fight deportation, and is backed by anti-Israel Palestinian-American activist and Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour, who called for “jihad” against the Trump administration.

Curiously, Tlaib seems to be facing an onslaught of criticism from within the Palestinian-American community, for whom ordinary participation in American politics is seen as a form of selling out. One of her defenders tweeted that for Tlaib, “The first fight was for Palestine, always Palestine.”
J Street drops endorsement of Michigan candidate for backing one-state solution
J Street has withdrawn its endorsement of Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Michigan who recently called for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tlaib, who is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, also called for a reduction in foreign aid to Israel. She is likely to win her Detroit-area district.

J Street, the liberal Mideast policy organization, advocates for a two-state solution to the conflict, among other things. Tlaib had previously received the endorsement of the lobby’s JStreetPAC based on her support for two states.

“After closely consulting with Rashida Tlaib’s campaign to clarify her most current views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that a significant divergence in perspectives requires JStreetPAC to withdraw our endorsement of her candidacy,” read a statement from J Street Friday afternoon.

“While we have long championed the value of a wide range of voices in the discussion of the conflict and related issues, we cannot endorse candidates who come to the conclusion that they can no longer publicly express unequivocal support for a two-state solution and other core principles to which our organization is dedicated,” the statement said.

Morton Klein: Jonathan Neumann's Epic Takedown of 'Tikkun Olam'
Jonathan Neumann’s new book, “To Heal the World?: How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel,” is an important examination of the distorted theology employed by the radical left to lead many Jews astray.

Neumann describes how radical Jewish leftists distorted and turned a minor phrase, “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), into a left-wing political “social justice” universalist theology that is hostile to Israel and traditional Judaism, and which sympathizes with the Jewish people’s enemies.

Neumann explains that “tikkun olam” theology is relatively new, and is not grounded in traditional Judaism or an honest reading of Jewish sources. “Tikkun olam” is never mentioned in the Torah/Bible. The left takes occasional, insignificant mentions of the words “tikkun olam” in other Jewish writings out of context and reinterprets them.

For instance, a prayer (the “Aleynu“) that expresses the hope that G-d will establish his kingdom over the whole world, and that one day everyone will praise G-d and obey G-d’s laws, is reinterpreted by the left as a call for man to engage in left-wing political activism.

Neumann recounts how the Jewish Reform, Reconstructionist, and Renewal movements have rejected traditional Judaism in favor of universalist, left-wing “social justice.” However, their departure from tradition repelled some Jews who had a connection to or understanding of traditional Judaism. Thus, leftist leaders adopted a different approach: They falsely and deceptively claimed that revolutionary, left-wing “social justice” was really always part of the Jewish tradition. Thus “tikkun olam” theology was adopted by the liberal Jewish movements, and succeeded in turning many American Jews against the actual teachings of their own faith, and against the Jewish state.

“Tikkun olam” theology fixates on the Biblical creation story to support universalism above all else. Under this theology, there is nothing unique about, or even a need for, the Jewish people, because everyone came from the same creator.

Friday, August 17, 2018

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Peter Beinart’s latest publicity stunt
There has been a lot of hand-wringing in official Israel over the brief questioning of anti-Israel author Peter Beinart at Ben-Gurion Airport this week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on the episode calling it “an administrative mistake.”

Netanyahu added, “Israel is an open society which welcomes all – critics and supporters alike.”

Deputy Minister for Public Diplomacy Michael Oren said Beinart’s questioning is grounds “for an immediate examination of all policy towards the entry of political activists.”

Speaking to Israel National News, Oren said, “Detaining American Jewish reporter Peter Beinart is an example of how acting unwisely causes both strategic and PR damage.

“Beinart is a top-rate American media person. Most of his opinions about Israel disgust me, but he does not support BDS, and in fact defines himself as a Zionist.”

Oren’s position is problematic first and foremost because it is factually wrong.

Beinart is a major supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Indeed, he is a central figure in the movement. This mere fact renders Beinart’s protestations of Zionism disingenuous, to put it mildly.
Douglas Murray: What’s the truth about the Manchester bomber’s mosque?
The BBC seems to be getting it from all sides these days. So it should also be praised when it does the sort of journalism which is praise-worthy.

Yesterday, the BBC revealed that they had got hold of a tape recording from a mosque in Didsbury. Not any old mosque, but the mosque that the Manchester Arena bomber – Salman Abedi – attended. The recording is from Friday prayers at the Didsbury mosque just six months before the Ariana Grande concert bombing. It is possible, indeed likely, that the bomber who killed 22 people and gave lifelong injuries to many more was sitting in the congregation during this sermon. Abedi apparently bought a ticket for the Manchester Arena concert just 10 days after the sermon was given.

In it the imam prays for the ‘victory’ of ‘our brothers and sisters right now in Aleppo and Syria and Iraq’ and clearly calls on his listeners to stop using just words and commit to action in the name of what two Muslim scholars who have listened to the tapes confirm to be ‘military jihad’. The imam who gave this sermon – Mustafa Graf – denies that he called for armed jihad. Presumably, once again, in the portion in which he said ‘Jihad for the sake of Allah is the source of pride and dignity for this nation’ he was talking about inner spiritual struggling and by ‘nation’ meant the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It all brings to mind something that happened in the immediate aftermath of the Manchester attack. I wrote about it here at the time.

‘On Question Time when an audience member, who happened to have the triple disadvantages of being white, male and not being young, waved an anti-Western leaflet he said had been handed out at an open day at the Didsbury mosque where Salman Abedi worshipped. This significant revelation mainly attracted awkward shuffling. By contrast, a young woman in a headscarf in the audience immediately dismissed the man’s leaflet as probably not from the mosque and in any case ‘taken out of context’. Along with the programme’s chair, David Dimbleby, she implied it was possible the man had made the leaflet up himself, leaving the poor man spluttering, waving his leaflet and clearly wondering why he wouldn’t be believed.’
Farrakhan the Fraud
To the Editor:
James Kirchick correctly portrays Louis Farrakhan as perhaps the most popular and dangerous anti-Semite in America (“The Rise of Black Anti-Semitism,” June). While neo-Nazis and white supremacists drummed up a few hundred people at their “national” rally in Charlottesville, Farrakhan’s recent rant in Chicago excited an adoring crowd more than three times that size.

Unlike what happens at alt-right rallies, no toughs will ever shut down a Farrakhan event. And unlike other anti-Semites, Farrakhan has open sympathizers in positions of power—especially inside the black community and on the left. What Louis Farrakhan says about Jews will only reach more and more people.

It may seem difficult for Jews to press liberal and black activists to renounce the Nation of Islam leader given the widely held belief that, his offensive views aside, Farrakhan is a legitimate leader of an oppressed people who gives voice to black liberation and black pride.

That is why it is important to understand precisely how this is untrue: Farrakhan has covered up and sought to deny the enslavement of Africans by Arabs and Muslims. He has been and continues to be an obstacle to their liberation.

  • Friday, August 17, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Weeks after her lies about alleged Israeli crimes were thoroughly debunked, Bishop Gayle Harris has finally issued an apology:

I am very aware of the dismay resulting from my statements on the floor of the House of Bishops at the General Convention in July relating to Israel and Palestine.

For my entire adult life I have maintained that the State of Israel must exist, with safe borders and the establishment of respectful relationships by and with neighboring countries.  I have strongly condemned the actions of extremists and bigots against Jewish people in the United States.  I also hold that within any country's borders justice and the respect for the dignity of every human being is paramount.  I have not, nor would I ever, condemn the whole of any people or ethnic group by criticizing the actions of a few, whether as individuals or as agents of any government.

After reviewing my words in the House of Bishops from a transcription, I now acknowledge that I reported stories which I had heard and unintentionally framed them as though I had personally witnessed the alleged events.  I sincerely apologize.  I now understand how the framing of my words could and did give the wrong impression.  The fault is solely mine.  I acknowledge also that I did not take the opportunity to verify these stories.  I was speaking from my passion for justice for all people, but I was repeating what I received secondhand.  I was ill-advised to repeat the stories without verification, and I apologize for doing so.

Our society is experiencing a rise in public slander, anger and bigotry, where civility and respectful dialogue on different perspectives has been sidelined for invective and condemnation.  In this context, I am now painfully aware that my words in the House of Bishops caused pain for many.  I am committed to share my concerns in ways that do not simplistically demonize others and cut off discussion, and I hope for the same in return.

Again, for the hurt I have caused, I do apologize.  It is my hope, and my commitment centered on our baptismal vows to continue to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being" (from The Baptismal Covenant, The Episcopal Church, The Book of Common Prayer).  May there be such equality and respect between Israelis and Palestinians, and may there be among us all justice, in order to bring God's peace.

Shalom and Salaam,
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

Notice that nowhere does she say that the stories were false, even though the story about the Temple Mount is clearly impossible and the other one was not reported in any media ever.

She doesn't want to alienate her anti-Israel fans by flatly saying that she did investigate and could find no evidence that the stories were true.

The apology is better than nothing, but it is not what it should have been if she really learned her lesson. It isn't enough to admit that she didn't verify the stories - she should admit that they are false.

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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