'This Man Is a Spite Machine'; Obama Blasted on Social Media for Appointment of Ben Rhodes to Holocaust Memorial Council
Outgoing President Barack Obama’s choice on Tuesday of top aide Ben Rhodes to serve on the US Holocaust Memorial Council drew a slew of online ire over Rhodes’ controversial record on Israel-related issues.Appointing Ben Rhodes to Holocaust Memorial Council is massive Obama middle finger of triumph
Rhodes — whose role as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications will come to an end on Friday with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump — was a leading advocate of the Iran nuclear deal and a vocal critic of Israeli settlement policies.
“So Ben Rhodes, who is a veritable enemy of Israel, Obama appoints to Holocaust Memorial Council,” American Spectator Managing Editor Melissa Mackenzie tweeted. “The man is a spite machine.”
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tweeted, “No joke: Obama names aide who bragged of whitewashing Iran’s Holocaust-denying regime to Holocaust memorial council.”
Who is Ben Rhodes?Eugene Kontorovich (PODCAST): Scholars On Israel And The United Nations
He’s the Obama communications operative who admitted to deceiving the American public and manipulating the media in support of the Iran Nuclear Deal. (He also ran the Benghazi disinformation campaign.)
David Gerstman wrote a devastating takedown of the deal and Rhode’s deception last May, Grand Deception: How Obama and Ben Rhodes Lied Us Into the Iran nuke deal. Read the whole thing.
Part of Rhodes deception was to create the media narrative, and a media echo chamber, pushing the claim that negotiations were a byproduct of the rise of a moderate faction in Iran. It was a lie meant to suggest that the Iranians were moving away from their genocidal desire to destroy Israel and thus an agreement which legitimized and legalized Iran’s nuclear program was not a worry.
In fact, we know that the nuke deal puts Iran on a certain path to be in a position to produce and deliver a nuclear weapon down the road, and that’s assuming Iran honors the deal. And that supposed rising moderate Iranian government is nowhere to be found. Flush with cash and renewed international business connections, the Mullahs are as violent as ever and increasingly throwing their military weight around in the region.
For Obama to appoint the man who deceived us into putting 6 million Israeli Jews in danger on the Holocaust Memorial Council is a big FU by Obama to critics of the Iran nuke deal.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on the U.S. decision to abstain from a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements has triggered intense debate on the future of U.S. policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We discuss President Obama’s legacy on Israel and Palestine and U.S. policy going forward with Eugene Kontorovich, professor of law at Northwestern University and contributor to the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy blog, and Rashid Khalidi, professor of Arab studies at Columbia University and author of numerous books on the Middle East, including Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.
Vic Rosenthal: Why they hate us
According to the Palestinian narrative, the Palestinian Arabs suffered an enormous loss of honor when they were defeated militarily – not only by non-Muslims, but Jews of all people! – and suffered the indignities of the nakba. This honor cannot be gotten back by talking. It cannot be gotten back by Palestinian statehood. It can only be regained by the (preferably bloody) expulsion of the Jews from every inch of “Palestinian land.” The actual circumstances of the events of 1948 – who started the war, who expelled whom, who massacred whom – don’t matter any more than the circumstances under which a young woman got pregnant. Honor must be regained.Anti-Semites are self-replacing
An interesting analogy is provided by Anwar Sadat. Sadat launched the Yom Kippur war to recover the territory lost by Egypt in 1967, but more importantly, to recover the honor of Egypt (defeated by Jews! How it must have stung the proud Muslim Egyptians). Thanks to the intervention of the international community, he was saved from a defeat that would have been impossible to hide. He presented the 1973 war to his people as a victory, but they weren’t fooled. A real victory that could have brought back Egyptian honor would have had to fulfill Nasser’s promise that “We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand; we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.” Sadat ultimately did succeed in getting back every inch of the land that he lost to Israel, but he did it by talking; and talking couldn’t restore Egypt’s honor. Only blood could do that, and ultimately it was Sadat’s blood.
The lesson should be obvious. The Palestinian Arabs are not, cannot be, a partner for negotiation. Only strength can deter them from violence. That’s the easy part.
The Europeans, in the grip of a massive continental neurosis, may not be able to listen to reason. I understand that the burden of their sins is too great to bear. But perhaps we can explain that we are prepared to forgive their grandparents – if only they would stop making us their sacrificial offering, their goat for Azazel. We can remind them that they already have one Jew that went to the cross for them, and that should be enough.
When President Obama was elected, everyone tried to minimize the significance of his lack of love for Jews, but after his 2009 Cairo speech and his demand that a building freeze continue in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, I sent out a press release, as then head of the National Union party in the Knesset:Groundbreaking Anti-BDS Conference to Be Held at EU Parliament Seeks to 'Unclog Gears' of Movement's Influence in Europe, Organizer Says
"Someone who intends to be a voice for the deprived, people of color and the Third World, has pressured the Prime Minister of Israel to continue to uphold a racist decree that denies the minimal human rights of 400,000 Jews just because they are Jews. This is the type of decree that was the norm in anti-Semitic Europe and in Muslim countries. What would Obama say if this was done to a village lived in by blacks?"
I seem to have been the only one who saw Obama as a threat to our future in this land from the beginning. Today, most Israeli Jews agree with this opinion, especially after the anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334, cooked up by Obama and Kerry in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the Zionist Enterprise. Thank G-d, there are close to 7 million Jews in Israel, may their numbers increase. We will continue building in all of our land and especially in Judea and Samaria, the Negev, the Galilee and the Golan. We will continue to encourage our people to increase the size of their families. And we will call to our brothers in lands of plenty to come to the Holy Land en masse, to be ready at our side for the arrival of the Redemption, amen.
The organizer of an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) conference being held next week at the European Parliament in Brussels told The Algemeiner that the groundbreaking event seeks to “unclog the gears” of the movement’s influence on the continent.NGO Monitor: Switzerland and Hamas – the NGO Angle
Dafna Friedman — communications and campaigns officer of the advocacy group Europe Israel Public Affairs (EIPA) — said that activists participating in “Israel: Include. Invest. Involve” aim to “debunk false claims about the Jewish state, and show clear democratic support for upgrading relations with Israel.”
“The conversation between Israelis and Europeans is currently stuck between reverse and first gear, mainly because of the European misperception that the conflict is all about Palestinian land contiguity and the threat of Israeli settlements,” Friedman said. “Meanwhile, BDS selectively chooses to turn a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism, democracy deficit, corruption and other challenges Palestinian society needs to address.”
According to Friedman, Europeans politicians and members of the public who fall prey to this perspective pose a great danger to Israel’s safety and standing in the world. “Let’s face it. Even though Europe has arguably owned up to its antisemitic past, this third generation can fall into the same trap of nationalistic policies from the 1930s if the constant demonization of Israel over its unresolved conflict with the Palestinians carries on,” she said.
According to articles published this week by Basler Zeitung (Pierre Heumann, Palästinenser kritisieren EDA, January 16) and Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal, Swiss government hosts $85,000 event aiming to unify Hamas and Fatah, January 16), the Swiss government and an unnamed Finnish NGO spent together $85,000 on a workshop in Geneva whose purpose was to promote reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.NGO Monitor: The NGOs and Funders behind the Campaign to “Save Umm Al-Hiran”
The articles explain that the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs contributed nearly $72,000, while the Finnish NGO contributed $18,000, to the event. This is not the first instance of Swiss engagement with Hamas. Switzerland has been directly involved in reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas since 2014, reinforcing these efforts mid-2016.
As reported, a Palestinian NGO, The Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies – Masarat, played a key role at the workshop. Hani Al-Masri of Masarat is a former member of the EU- and US-designated terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Al-Masri openly supports anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), and published an article in 2015 titled “Boycott: an Effective Weapon.” Masarat is also a partner organization in the Oxford Research Group’s Palestine Strategy Group. The Palestine strategy group supports “resistance in all its forms including the growing global movement for boycott sanctions and divestment,” as well as the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees. The Oxford Research Group is funded, among others, by the Swiss government.
In 2013, NGO Monitor published “NGOs and the Negev Bedouin Issue in the Context of Political Warfare,” a report detailing how NGOs manipulate the issue of Bedouins in order to promote politicized agendas. To this day, NGOs continue to ignore legal decisions regarding Bedouin villages and instead utilize inflammatory rhetoric to lobby the UN, the European Union, and international media.BDS Starts at the Universities, and There It Must Be Defeated
The violent events in the unrecognized village of Umm Al-Hiran highlight the way in which NGOs, financially backed by European governments, intensify conflict between the Bedouin community and the State of Israel.
The following politicized NGOs are active in this campaign:
In the U.S., the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS)—together with the various modes of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda that come with it—has primarily made itself felt on college campuses and in academic organizations. Looking at the movement’s origins and methods, Dominic Green proffers some suggestions for combating it:Fordham U. denies students permission to form pro-Palestinian group
BDS seeks to transform the atmosphere of university intellectual and social life, in order to effect changes in government and business policy. BDS activists seek to control the intellectual environment, to create a “safe space” for the indoctrination of a biased and often false view of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thus, the practice of BDS tends toward the abuse of free speech, in that BDS activists frequently seek to curtail the freedom of others.
BDS uses strategies of exemplary stigmatization, intended to demonize the state of Israel and its supporters. Inevitably, and often by design, such intimidatory strategies include charging American Jews as complicit with the “racist” and “colonialist” Israeli state, or with “neoconservative” policies at home. While the freedom of speech of Jewish and pro-Israel students is BDS’s primary target, its strategies aim to curtail the freedom of speech of all students and faculty. . . .
The students should be treated like wayward children [whose] broad ignorance and deep sentimentality are being exploited by BDS advocates. At Vassar in 2016, the administration warned that if the student body voted to endorse BDS, the administration would cut funding for student social activities. The BDS supporters withdrew their motion. The college disco was more important than the struggle with colonialist imperialism.
Fordham University will not allow students to form a Students for Justice in Palestine group because it does not allow groups that solely promote one country’s interests.Bar-Ilan University study reveals manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australian public schools
According to a Tuesday statement from Fordham, a Jesuit school in New York City, an SJP group would act more like a political lobby than a traditional campus club.
“Fordham has no registered student clubs the sole focus of which is the political agenda of one nation, against another nation,” the statement read. “The narrowness of Students for Justice in Palestine’s political focus makes it more akin to a lobbying group than a student club. Regardless of the club’s status, students, faculty, and staff are of course free to voice their opinions on Palestine, or any other issue.”
There is also no pro-Israel student group at Fordham. There is a Jewish students’ club, but its description does not mention Israel.
Jewish students in Australian public schools are exposed to anti-Semitic, racist bullying, according to the findings of a new study presented Monday at an international conference on anti-Semitism at Bar-Ilan University.Mayor of Mosman Condemns Israeli Actions in declining a synagogue invitation
The two-day conference, focusing on the rising threat of anti-Semitism and the struggle to combat it, marked the 20th anniversary of the passing of Israel’s 6th President, Chaim Herzog. The gathering was organized by Bar-Ilan’s Aharon and Rachel Dahan Center for Culture, Society and Education in the Sephardic Heritage, the World Zionist Organization, and the University’s Sal Van Gelder Institute for Holocaust Research.
The manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australian public schools were discovered by Prof. Zehavit Gross, Director of the Sal Van Gelder Institute for Holocaust Research, while she was conducting an unrelated study on public schools in Sydney and Melbourne with her colleague, Prof. Suzanne Rutland, of the University of Sydney.
Professors Gross and Rutland set out to research Special Religious Education (SRE) and its effectiveness on Jewish students. “As a researcher, I was convinced that a half hour of study per week is ineffective and meaningless,” said Prof. Gross in addressing the conference with Prof. Rutland. Instead, Gross and Rutland found that students and parents consider SRE very successful, and they were eager to find out the secret to this success. “To our amazement, both primary and high school Jewish students in state schools spontaneously told us that they loved to attend SRE classes because they found them to be a ‘safe place’ in the face of the anti-Semitism they were experiencing on the playground.”
Peter Abelson, the Mayor of Mosman on Sydney’s lower North Shore, expressed his opposition towards Israel’s actions in the West Bank as his reason for refusing to attend the Law Service at the Great Synagogue.Dr Abelson received a personal invitation to the annual event, held at the beginning of the new legal year, but wrote the following to Dr Benjamin Elton, Rabbi of the Great Synagogue.Jewish groups slam decision to drop Oxford Labour club antisemitism probe
“Thank you for your invitation to the Great Synagogue Law Service for 2017. I will not be attending…. I should express my deep personal concern about the gross and illegal occupation of the West Bank which creates intense international division and bitterness and, unresolved, will cause endless terrorism around the globe, including here.”
Dr Abelson’s remarks and decision to abstain from the event because of his political views have been met with considerable criticism and concern.
“The mayor is boycotting Australian Jews because he disagrees with policies of the Israeli government”, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire. “Why is he wading into foreign policy and why is he holding Australian Jews responsible for policies of the government of Israel? He has a responsibility to represent his Jewish constituents; it is inappropriate for him to shun them by refusing to attend a Jewish community event.”
Jewish groups in Britain have decried the Labour party's decision to drop its investigation into antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club after 11 months.FAKE NEWS ALERT: IBT Republishes Outrageous Palestinian Lies and Propaganda
British media reported Tuesday that Labour’s National Executive Committee has ruled that the investigation into alleged antisemitism by two members of the club should be terminated and the students cleared.
"In her original report on allegations of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club, Baroness Royall said that there had been 'some incidents of antisemitic behavior'. Now, 11 months later, the Labour Party has dropped the investigation," said Board of Deputies of British Jews Vice President Marie van der Zyl. "This inability or unwillingness to confront what is a serious problem is damning for the party and will concern Jewish students on campus who feel their own party offers them no protection against abuse."
The Campaign Against Antisemitism organization on Wednesday described the decision as an "insult to the intelligence of the Jewish community, and adds that insult to the already traumatic injury to Labour’s once steadfast relationship with it."
UPDATE: After we contacted editors, the International Business Times removed the article.
"This story has been unpublished because it did not meet International Business Times standards."
* * *
It’s rare that a mainstream media outlet publishes something so utterly ridiculous that it defies all the known laws of professional journalism. The International Business Times, however, has managed it in spades.
Its story contains outrageous Palestinian lies and propaganda sourced from terrorist and hate sites that should never see the light of day in the mainstream media.
IsraellyCool: Nurse Who Worked With Palestinians Rebuts Claims Of Anti-Israel Article
Dorothy Finlay is a nurse who lived in Jerusalem and Gaza between 1985-2013, working with palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza and Bethlehem.The warped coverage of Hebron in the UK media
Responding to a piece in the New Zealand Herald entitled Life is confined and cruel for Palestinians on the West Bank, she draws on her experience living in Israel to challenge the article’s claims.
I can understand Dr Robin Briant’s anger at the destruction of Palestinian buildings during the time of her service with Medecins sans Frontieres in Jenin and Gaza. I too would be very upset if I did not understand the situation in the Palestinian and Gaza authority areas during the years 2003-2004 when Dr Briant describes her experience.
However, the situation now is very different, and certainly less violent, from when Dr Briant was there 13 years ago. In the years 2001-2004 over 1000 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks.
20 years ago today, on January 17th 1997, Israel and the Palestinian authority signed an agreement dividing control of Hebron. Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed that Israel would pull out of much of Hebron, leaving it under the control of the Palestinian Authority, and Israel would maintain control over a second part of the city. This anniversary is a good time to analyse UK media coverage of Hebron, a city which is often featured in the UK media. Much of the coverage of Hebron in the UK media suffers from serious flaws, and sometimes worse than that.A summary of the Gaza smuggling ignored by the BBC in 2016
Ignoring of Palestinian terrorism in Hebron
The first systemic flaw in media coverage of Hebron is that it often overlooks or ignores the history of Palestinian terrorism in Hebron, and the role that has in the situation of the city. To understand this, one has to zoom out from a myopic focus on Hebron’s Jewish population, and look at its Arab residents.
Hebron is the second largest Palestinian city (following Gaza City) and is the largest city in the West Bank, with some 200,000 residents according to a 2015 census. However, it can cogently be argued that Hebron’s population is particularly hard-line and radical – and election results here are significant. In the last Palestinian legislative election, contested between Fatah and Hamas in 2006, 66 of the 132 seats were awarded by district – so for example, there were five seats contested in Ramallah, six seats contested in Nablus and four seats contested in Jenin. In Hebron, there were nine seats up for grabs – and all nine went to Hamas. (Hamas won the election overall with 74 seats, with Fatah coming second with 45). Hebron is the Hamas stronghold of the West Bank.
On the one hand, BBC audiences have frequently seen or heard restrictions on the movement of people and specific categories of goods in and out of the Gaza Strip inaccurately described as “collective punishment” or a “siege”. On the other hand, since the end of the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, the BBC has shown no interest whatsoever in informing its audiences of terror-related smuggling attempts.German nationalist calls for end to Nazi guilt
The result is that when the BBC tells its audiences that “Israel says” the restrictions on the import of weapons and dual-use goods into the Gaza Strip are for reasons of security, they have insufficient information to be able to put that statement – and the restrictions themselves – into the correct context.
Obviously the BBC – which claims to be impartial and is tasked with building audience understanding of “international issues” – should be reporting stories such as those above in order to help its audiences understand the real reasons for the counter-terrorism measures which include restrictions on the entry of specific items to the Gaza Strip.
A prominent member of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party wants to end the country’s decades-long tradition of acknowledging and atoning for its Nazi past.White supremacist outed for having Jewish wife
Bjoern Hoecke leads the party in the eastern state of Thuringia. He said Germany needs to perform a “180-degree turn” when it comes to remembering its past.
Hoecke said Tuesday that the Berlin memorial to the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust is a “monument of shame.” He told party supporters in the eastern city of Dresden that no other country would erect such a memorial in its capital and called instead for Germany to take a “positive” attitude toward its history.
Nazi Germany was responsible for the murder of more than 6 million Jews and other minorities before and during World War II.
A white supremacist blogger and podcast host was forced to resign from the popular “alt-right” website he had created after it was revealed that his wife is Jewish.Israel secures top-10 ranking in 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index
Mike Peinovich, who used the online pseudonym Mike Enoch, was the founder of the popular white nationalist website The Right Stuff (TRS) and co-host of the podcast “The Daily Shoah,” a play on the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.
Prior to the unmasking of his true identity over the weekend, Peinovich had been considered one of the leading figures of the emerging white nationalist movement in America, along with Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin and Richard Spencer, who helped coin the term alt-right, according to Salon web magazine.
The first cracks in Peinovich’s facade as Mike Enoch first appeared in December, when a white nationalist rival told his followers that a key figure in the movement “is morbidly obese and is married to a Jewish woman,” Salon reported.
Moving up one spot from last year, Israel has been named the 10th most innovative economy in the world, in the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index.Veteran rocker Rod Stewart announces Tel Aviv show in June
The index, according to Bloomberg, ranks economies annually by analyzing seven contributing factors such as research and development spending and the concentration of public hi-tech companies in each country. Israel moved from 11th place to 10th this year, ousting France from its place in the top-10 strongest innovation economies.
South Korea topped the list for the second year in a row, followed by Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Singapore, Japan, Denmark, the United States and Israel.
Israel achieved first place in the "researcher concentration category," or the number of professionals – including postgraduate PhD students – engaged in R&D per million people in the country. The country was ranked second and trailed only South Korea in the "R&D intensity" category, or R&D expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).
Israel also did well in the "hi-tech density" – the number of domestically domiciled hi-tech public companies – placing third, just after the United States and France.
British rock star Rod Stewart announced Tuesday that he will wrap up his 2017 world tour with a show in Tel Aviv.
The performance is scheduled for June 14, 2017, at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, and will be the final performance of Stewart’s “Hits” tour.
The rocker also recorded a special video message for his Israeli fans, promising “a splendid night of fantastic music.”
“This is Rod Stewart here and I shall be coming to Tel Aviv on June 14, playing at Hayarkon Park,” he says in the clip uploaded to Facebook. “So don’t miss it, it’s going to be a splendid night of fantastic music where you’ll hear everything you want to hear. June 14, Tel Aviv. Don’t miss it.”