Friday, August 31, 2018

From Ian:

US announces it’s cutting all funding to Palestinian refugee agency
The Trump administration announced Friday it is cutting nearly $300 million in planned funding for the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees, ending decades of support.

The State Department announced in a written statement Friday that the United States “will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation.”

“The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years,” the statement said, a reference to the fact that the agency grants refugee status to all the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees, something not granted to those from any other places.

However, the statement said the US would look for other ways to aid the Palestinians.

“We are very mindful of and deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children, of the failure of UNRWA and key members of the regional and international donor community to reform and reset the UNRWA way of doing business,” it said, adding that “Palestinians, wherever they live, deserve better than an endlessly crisis-driven service provision model. They deserve to be able to plan for the future.”

The US will now work together with other international groups to find a better model to assist the Palestinians, the statement said.

Reports had circulated throughout the week that the US was planning the move.
Palestinians clash with IDF on Gaza border; 180 said wounded
Some 5,000 Palestinians protested Friday along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, with some 180 wounded, according to Palestinian reports.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said some 180 demonstrators were wounded in clashes with IDF troops, including several who were hit by live fire. Among the wounded were a ten-year-old boy and a female paramedic, identified as Horouq Abu Masamah, the ministry said.

The IDF had no immediate comment.

The Ynet news site said that a hand-grenade was thrown at IDF troops and that Palestinians also managed to down an IDF drone used to disperse tear gas on the protesters. There were no IDF injuries, Ynet said.

One incendiary balloon sent over the border from the Strip caused a fire near Kibbutz Be’eri. Fire fighters extinguished it before it could spread.

The clashes came despite reports that Israel is in advanced indirect talks with Hamas, via UN and Egyptian mediation, for a long-term truce in the Strip.

Gaza has seen a surge of violence since the start of the “March of Return” protests along the border in March. The clashes, which Gaza’s Hamas rulers have orchestrated, have included rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on troops, as well as attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli soldiers.
The Anti-Jewish Jews
Anti-Israel activist Peter Beinart had spent years arguing that Hamas was a potentially moderate organization. Then when he was questioned at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, he played victim.

But as Caroline Glick notes, there was every reason for Israeli authorities to question Beinart’s visit, because the anti-Israel BDS activist had participated in anti-Israel protests in Israel. Beinart was not, despite his claims, detained. He was asked about his participation in that protest by the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. The Center, despite its name, is used by Jewish Voice for Peace members, a BDS hate group, which also, despite its name, advocates for and supports terrorists who attack Israel.

JVP members are on the banned list. Beinart had participated in a protest organized by a group that it used as a vehicle. So it’s completely normal that he was asked about it just as visitors to this country are asked about their membership in prohibited organizations such as the Nazi, Communist and other totalitarian parties. The BDS blacklist that bigots like Beinart rave about is no different than the United States blacklist on anyone who “has used a position of prominence to endorse terrorism.”

That’s the BDS movement.

JVP declared that it was proud to host Rasmea Odeh. Odeh had been convicted of a supermarket bombing in Israel that killed Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner: two Hebrew University students. It called the terrorist an “inspiration” and used the hashtag, #HonorRasmea. That’s using “a position of prominence to endorse terrorism” which gets you banned from both the United States and Israel.

Beinart writes for The Forward, a paper notorious for attacks on Israel and Jews that veer into the anti-Semitic. Typically anti-Semitic Forward headlines include, "3 Jewish Moguls Among Eight Who Own as Much as Half the Human Race” and "Why We Should Applaud The Politician Who Said Jews Control The Weather."

Beinart, an anti-Jewish activist of Jewish descent, is the perfect fit for an anti-Jewish tabloid of Jewish descent. The Forward's rebranding dropped the "Jewish" part of its name in 2015. That was also the year that Beinart accused Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel of a “tendency, to whitewash Jewish behavior.”

"He is largely blind to the harm Jews cause," Beinart railed against Wiesel in terms ominously similar to those used by anti-Semites. Israel, he claimed, "leads gentiles of goodwill to fear that if they criticize Israel they’ll be called anti-Semites." Peter Beinart or Richard Spencer: who wore the bigotry best?

But the gauzy line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is if anything even thinner among obsessive Israel bashers of Jewish origin like Beinart or The Forward’s Jane Eisner, its radical editor who stripped the lefty tabloid of its Jewishness, but not of its poisonous hatred of Jews. On the cocktail party circuit, Beinart is misleadingly billed as a ‘liberal Zionist.’ Like the Holy Roman Empire, he’s neither a liberal nor a Zionist. Neither liberals nor Zionists excuse Hamas or blame the victims of terror for their own deaths.

Terrorism is a "response to Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights," Beinart has insisted. It’s “the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed.” His vicious hatred of the Jewish State is matched by his crush on Hamas. "Hamas is the final frontier," Beinart bloviated in 2009. “A shift in US and Israeli policy towards Hamas is long overdue,” he insisted in 2011. And seven years later, it’s still overdue.

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians Step Up Verbal Attacks on U.S. and Israel
Palestinian officials in Ramallah on Thursday stepped up their verbal attacks on the US administration and its representatives, and again vowed to thwart President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East.

The officials accused the US administration of meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians and exploiting the “suffering” of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to create a separate Palestinian state there.

They also warned that any Palestinian who cooperates with the US and Israeli “conspiracies” would be considered a traitor.

The latest Palestinian condemnations of the US administration were triggered by a statement released on Thursday by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, concerning Egypt’s effort to bring calm to the Gaza Strip.

In his statement, Greenblatt said that the Palestinian Authority “should be part of the solution for the Palestinians of Gaza and Palestinians as a whole.” However, he warned that if the PA does not want to be part of the solution, “others will fill that void.” He added: “Leadership is about making hard choices. The people of Gaza, and Israelis in the area around Gaza, have suffered for far too long. It is time for the Palestinian Authority to lead the Palestinian people - all Palestinians - to a better future.”

PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said in response that the Palestinians alone, and not the US or any other party, “could decide on their fate and elect their legitimate leadership.”

Accusing the US and Israel of being behind “conspiracies to eliminate the Palestinian cause,” Abu Rudaineh said that there was no alternative to the PLO as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

Caroline Glick: The generals’ revolt
On Sunday, Hadashot News revealed that a “senior security official” warned against the Trump administration’s reported intention to defund UNRWA. The unnamed general said that if implemented, the move would destabilize the security situation.

President Donald Trump reportedly is poised to adopt a policy that reduces the number of so-called “Palestine refugees” by 90%, from five million to 500,000 to reflect the fact that under international law, refugee status is not hereditary. The US similarly reportedly intends to end all US funding for UNRWA activities in Judea and Samaria.

Reasonably, the government has heralded the reports. UNRWA was formed to prevent the resettlement of Arabs who left Israel during the pan-Arab invasion of the nascent Jewish state in 1948-1949. As such, UNRWA has arguably done more to prevent a resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict than any other single actor. Its operations are predicated on the view that Israel should be annihilated both physically and demographically through the open immigration of millions of hostile, foreign-born Arabs whom UNRWA have indoctrinated for 70 years to hate Israel and seek its destruction.

UNRWA facilities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, like its facilities in Lebanon, have been used openly as terrorist bases. Its personnel overwhelmingly support terrorist groups including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Fatah. It is unquestionably in Israel’s interest to see the organization shut down and the fake refugees it has cultivated for four generations finally given the rights of all other refugee groups and resettled permanently.

And yet, despite this, the IDF opposes this move in defiance not only of the government, but in contempt of the Trump administration.

This is not surprising. After all, “senior military officials” also warned that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would destabilize the security situation.

The candidacy of Golan and Alon for chief of General Staff, along with the military’s open subversion of the government and the US administration, need to serve as an urgent warning to the government. The time has come to finally clean house in the General Staff. If this requires bringing in a retired general to take over or promoting more junior generals to lead, then so be it.

The General Staff’s actions to undermine the moral standing of the country while subverting the government – and the US government – have gone too far. It is time for the government to stand up to the generals and defend Israel’s democracy and national honor against its radicalized General Staff.

  • Friday, August 31, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Due to travel, I don't think I will be able to blog at all today. (If I can, you'll be the first to know!)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

From Ian:

Ron Prosor: A Note to Jeremy Corbyn: You Can’t Fool Everyone All the Time
When I woke up on Tuesday, I learned about a new chapter in my autobiography: It turns out that in addition to being Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom between 2007-2011, I was also chief speechwriter for senior members of the British Parliament.

While this is very flattering, it is best that we focus on who made this accusation: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

According to Corbyn, the Jews are in control of the British media. Jews, and hence the Israeli ambassador, force the UK prime minister and other legislators to do their bidding on the public airwaves. The Jews also have a strong grip on the global economy.

Despite saying all this, Corbyn insists that he is not an antisemite. As President Abraham Lincoln once said, you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.

I met Jeremy Corbyn for the first time in 2008, against the backdrop of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. He was spearheading a demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in London that was replete with Hamas and Hezbollah flags. He was vocal in his opposition to Israel’s efforts to defend itself, insisting that the rocket attacks on Israeli communities were a result of the “occupation” of the Gaza Strip. He could not be bothered with the fact that thousands of rockets were being fired at Israeli communities, or that Israel had left Gaza several years earlier.

In 2010, as I was about to leave London to become Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, I was impressed by Corbyn’s method of proving he was no antisemite when he compared Israel to the Nazis, and said that Israel’s military blockade against the terrorist entity in Gaza was as bad as Hitler’s siege on Stalingrad.

Corbyn supporters hound Rabbi Sacks for labeling Labour leader antisemite
Several prominent Labour activists who have identified strongly with their party’s embattled leader have hit out at former UK chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks for his fierce criticism of Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday.

Sacks labeled Corbyn “an antisemite” who has backed “racists, terrorists and dealers of hate,” in an interview with the New Statesman, comments which made headlines throughout the UK press.

Following his comments, numerous pro-Corbyn figures began a smear attack on Sacks, seeking to discredit him and his views, due to his highly respected standing within the UK media and political establishment.

Vocal Corbyn supporter and columnist for The Guardian Owen Jones took to Twitter to attack Sacks for having written a blurb praising a book by Right-leaning author Douglas Murray called The Strange Death of Europe Immigration, Identity, Islam, which raises concerns about mass immigration and multicultural policies in Europe.

Jones pointed out that Murray “favorably cites” Enoch Powell, a Conservative politician active in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, who gave a notorious speech in 1968 known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech, where he criticized mass immigration into the UK, and which was castigated as racist and divisive.

Sacks himself, in his criticism of Corbyn, said that the Labour Party’s 2013 speech in which he said “Zionists” in Britain “do not understand English irony” was the worst political speech since Powell’s.
NGO Monitor: Swedish Gov't Newspaper Invokes Antisemitism and Innuendo to Attack NGO Monitor
In response to NGO Monitor’s research on government funding for civil society organizations, OmVärlden, an online magazine owned by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA, the branch of the government responsible for international development aid), published today twelve (!) articles making numerous false accusations about NGO Monitor. The articles, wholly inappropriate for a government agency consist almost entirely of innuendo, factual inaccuracies, and, most alarming, antisemitic motifs reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (spider web, conspiracy theories). The absurdity of the “evidence” for this conspiracy theory reflects the desperation of the actors involved.

These claims are accompanied by statements by activists from Israeli, Palestinian, and Swedish NGOs (including Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Al-Haq, Hamoked, and Palestinian Solidarity Association of Sweden), all of which have received funding from the Swedish government (SIDA) and have been criticized as a result of NGO Monitor research. The two journalists behind this obsessive series also have clear ideological bias regarding Israel.

The timing of the articles’ publication in a government-owned outlet is noteworthy – nine days before Swedish elections and following a series of articles critical of Swedish aid.

The use of antisemitic imagery by OmVärlden reflects the need for an independent factual review of Sweden’s engagement in the Arab-Israeli conflict through its support to civil society and highlights the importance of NGO Monitor’s critical voice.

  • Thursday, August 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Palestine Today:

Dr. Khalil Hayya, deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, said on Thursday that the intransigence of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah movement led to the continuation of the suffocating siege on Gaza and the stalemate of the Palestinian reconciliation, pointing to the acceptance of his movement  to stop the launch of the fire balloons in exchange fort the lifting of the blockade.
Hayya was bitter towards Abbas and the PA, saying that their punitive measures against Gaza are meant to humiliate the people who live there, which is a big insult for Arabs.

He called for general elections  under the supervision of the United Nations. Hamas did better than Fatah in the last elections, which is a major reason Abbas is against them.






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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


We do not have to account to anybody, we are not to sit for anybody's examination and nobody is old enough to call on us to answer. We came before them and will leave after them. We are what we are, we are good for ourselves, we will not change, nor do we want to. – Ze’ev Jabotinsky

Tzipi Livni, who recently accepted the mantle of opposition leader, said that “the next election will be a referendum on the Declaration of Independence.”
Asked if she has come up with a campaign slogan yet, she pulls a scroll of the 1948 declaration from her desk and proceeds to unroll it. “This is the gist of it all,” she says. “Who is for the Declaration of Independence and who is against it? If you’re for it, you’re with us. And I believe that the vast majority of Israelis are for it.”

I hadn’t noticed Benjamin Netanyahu or Naftali Bennett, or even Moshe Feiglin, being opposed to the Declaration of Independence. But Livni asserts that the Nation-State Law which Netanyahu and those to his right supported, “jeopardizes Israel’s democratic character.” This is apparently because it does not contain a clause guaranteeing  “equality for all its citizens.”

The Right correctly points out that, at least in the view of the Supreme Court, equality and democracy are guaranteed by other Basic Laws, and there is nothing in this one that contradicts the Declaration of Independence. But the Right does agree with Livni that the Nation-State Law will be central to the next election. Writing in Israel Hayom, Haim Shine says,
…the next election (which will take place in 2019) will be about Israel's image for the next 70 years, particularly the basic question of whether Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people or a state of all its citizens, or more precisely – all its ethnicities? Is Israel a Jewish state, the fulfillment of a 2,000-year-old vision, or just another country that lies on the Mediterranean?

The members of the Joint [Arab] List have made it clear that their objection to the Nation-State Law is that they do not want a state that is Jewish in any sense. They do not want a Jewish majority – they support a right of return for Arab “refugees” – and they object to the Jewish symbols of the state (the flag, the state emblem, and the national anthem). Livni makes it a point to distinguish her objection to the law from theirs, saying “I will stand with [the Arab MKs] on equality, but I can’t stand with them on the issue of national identity.”

Livni has carved out a path that is too narrow to stand on. On the left, there is the crevasse of the anti-Zionist position of the Arab members of the Knesset. On the right, her disagreement with Netanyahu becomes too small to make a difference. She objects to the role of the Haredi parties in government and its effect on Israeli life, but there is nothing in the Nation-State Law that affects their influence one way or the other. Indeed, in 2014, Livni was in part responsible for the dissolution of the only coalition government in Israel’s history that did not include a religious party, after she broke ranks with Netanyahu over an earlier version of the Nation-State Law!

The opponents of the Nation-State Law, like Livni, who wish to retain the label “Zionist” are stuck, because there is very little in it to rationally object to. This is why they tend to make a fuss about what is not in it. One example is the clause that asserts that “The state shall act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.” The italicized phrase was added to a draft version of the law as a result of pressure from the Haredi parties, because they feared that otherwise the law could be used by a liberal Supreme Court to force the state to recognize non-Orthodox forms of Judaism in Israel. But this wording does not prevent such recognition; it simply does not require it.

Similarly, supporters of LGBT rights would like a clause that could be used to overturn the ruling that the state will not pay for surrogates for gay male couples that wish to have children. They will not find such a clause in this law, but it is almost certainthat the surrogacy ruling will either be changed by the Knesset or be voided by the Supreme Court on the basis of other Basic Laws.

Some have noted that while the law has few practical consequences – although it negates the dream of a binational state that was proposed in recent years by various groups of Arab citizens of Israel – the liberal Jewish opposition to it has nevertheless been quite harsh, even among those, like Tzipi Livni, who are adamant about their Zionism. And here I want to propose a possible explanation for this phenomenon.

Opposition to the law is yet another example of the inability of some Jewish Israelis to get past the “galut mentality.” In other words, it is correlated with the degree to which a Jew worries about what the goyim will think.

Today in Western Europe and liberal/progressive circles in the US, nationalism and ethnic particularism are anathema. Nationalist movements are often labeled racist or fascist. National borders are considered unfair limitations on the human spirit. The natural desire of ethnic and religious groups to live together is suppressed in favor of diversity, even if this results in more interpersonal conflict. Actions to increase ethnic homogeneity are labeled “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid.” Israel’s concern to maintain its Jewish majority and culture, which are expressed by limitations on family reunification for residents of the PA areas and Arab citizens of Israel, or by attempts to deport illegal African migrants, are condemned outside of the country as racist.

Most Israelis, however, understand that the continued existence of the Jewish state depends on maintaining a Jewish majority. And they further understand why a Jewish state is a necessity for the survival of the Jewish people in a frankly antisemitic world. This is Zionism 101.

The problem for some is that though they pay lip service to the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, it upsets them when they encounter the condemnation of the anti-Zionist world. So they come up with reasons to oppose the Nation-State Law and other overt expressions of Zionism. But their real motivation is embarrassment.

They want to be liked in Western Europe and America. They want to be modern, progressive, secular, humanistic, and so on. They don’t want to be the wrong kind of Jews, the ghetto Jews. But ironically, their obsequious choice to not stand up for their people marks them as precisely that.

Jabotinsky didn’t say this, but I think he would have agreed: you can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t (easily) take the ghetto out of the Jew.




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From Ian:

Haley: US to Work With UNRWA Again When Refugee Numbers are Corrected
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley appeared to put into doubt the Palestinian claims of a “right of return” to land inside the State of Israel, agreeing that the issue should be “off the table.”

Speaking at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank, she responded to questions, saying, “I absolutely think we have to look at right of return.”

When asked whether the “right of return” applies to Palestinians whose recent ancestors fled Israel during the 1948 War of Independence, Haley said, “I do agree with that, and I think we have to look at this in terms of what’s happening [with refugees] in Syria, what’s happening in Venezuela.”

She confirmed that the United States had cut the budget to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, by more than 82 percent, adding, “We will be a donor if it [UNRWA] reforms what it does … if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering [with] them.”

UNRWA claims a number of 5 million Palestinian refugees, including in that figure every descendant of Arabs who fled Israel during Israel’s War of Independence. However, international law states that refugee status cannot be passed down to descendants, meaning that only the original 750,000 refugees of 70 years ago can be legally defined as refugees.

Several days ago, Israel’s Hadashot news reported that the Trump administration would officially refute a Palestinian “right of return.” The White House offered no comment.
Is UNRWA a scam?
Why is the US discussing cutting funding to UNWRA? Here are some fast facts, with Emily Schrader. UNHCR covers all refugees in the world EXCEPT Palestinians...and they have 1 staff for every 5,982 refugees. UNRWA, the agency exclusive to the Palestinians, has 1 staff for every 186 refugees. Does that sound proportional to you?


David Singer: Trump Turns Screws as PLO Creates Fake News on Jerusalem and Refugees
The PLO and Hamas have maintained this discriminatory two-tiered refugee segregation system in both Gaza and the West Bank for at least the last ten years.

The failure to close these camps and integrate their residents into the general Gazan and West Bank Arab populations is a damning indictment of Hamas and the PLO.

Expecting Trump to pick up the tab as these inhumane practices continue for crass political purposes is arrogant and unwarranted.

Trump has made it clear these funds will go to relieving genuine refugee distress in other parts of the world.

The PLO’s outright refusal to negotiate with Israel on Trump’s long-awaited peace plan – inflamed by these latest false claims – only ensures the PLO’s increasingly-rapid slide into political irrelevance.

PMW: What`s the connection between the new PLO Head of Prisoners' Commission and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing?
The new Head of the PLO Commission of Prisoners, Qadri Abu Bakr, is in all likelihood the uncle of Mohammed Salameh, one of the terrorists convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. Abu Bakr spent 18 years in an Israeli prison for an attempted terror attack before being released in 1986 and expelled to Iraq, where he was a senior PLO representative.

During the year prior to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Qadri Abu Bakr spoke on the phone with Mohammed Salameh over 40 times. The first to publicize the connection between Salameh and Abu Bakr was the Washington Post in a report published two years after the first WTC bombing documenting a possible Iraqi connection to the bombing:

"Another bit of intriguing evidence leading back to Baghdad are the more than 40 calls Salameh made to the Iraqi capital in June and July 1992 -- most of them to his uncle, Qadri Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr, who had spent 18 years in an Israeli prison, has been identified as a top official of a now largely inactive Iraqi-sponsored Palestinian group."

Professor Laurie Mylroie, in her book Study of Revenge: The First World Trade Center Attack and Saddam Hussein's War against America, documented the Iraqi connection to the World Trade Center bombing, and Abu Bakr's position. Abu Bakr, she explained, was arrested by Israel after he infiltrated from Jordan to carry out a terror attack and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. After serving eighteen years of his sentence he was released and made his way to Iraq. While in Iraq, Mylroie asserts that Abu Bakr was "number two in the PLO's "'Western Sector'... a terrorist unit within the PLO... under Iraq's strong influence."

  • Thursday, August 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I found a mostly sympathetic paper about UNRWA called "UNRWA and the Palestinian refugees: a history within history" on the UNRWA website. It was written in 2010 by Riccardo Bocco for the Refugee Survey Quarterly.

Here is an interesting section:

In looking at who is a Palestinian refugee, there is no definitive response. The definition and the number of Palestinian refugees can differ according to the approach (administrative, juridical, political) used to define Palestinian refugees and also according to the social context of interaction between Palestinians (registered refugees or not) and others and the actors defining them. UNRWA, particularly at the beginning of its mandate, lacked a fixed definition; this changed mainly due to a need to delimit the number of relief recipients. When the Agency began its activities, it inherited a legacy of inflated registration: the United Nations Economic Survey Mission recorded approximately 720,000 people, while the number of recipients on the ration rolls of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees (UNRPR) surpassed 950,000. It is the 1952 definition that has become the accepted one and has remained virtually unchanged: “a Palestine refugee shall mean any person whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period June 1, 1946 to May 15, 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict."

It is important to emphasize that the UNRWA definition of a Palestine refugee is an administrative one and does not translate directly into recognition by international law. Furthermore, a tacit understanding seems to prevail: UNRWA’s continued existence (and the associated Palestine refugee status) is directly linked to the realization of a permanent resolution to the Palestine refugee issue.
UNRWA created the definition of "Palestine refugee," not the UN and not international law. It is an administrative definition, not a legal one. Today, practically zero of the current "Palestine refugees" are refugees; even most of the ones who fled in 1948 would not qualify under the legal definition since they were not fleeing persecution, as their brethren who remained behind prove.

But the next sentence shows that UNRWA has a great disincentive to redefine "refugee" to be closer to the legal definition: if it did so, it would not exist. Its very existence, Bocco notes, is dependent on there being no solution to the refugee issue - so why would UNRWA want to change the definition that would render it unnecessary?

There is a huge conflict of interest here, and no one wants to talk about it. The agency that takes care of people cannot make up its own rules of who it decides to take care of; that should be done by an independent and objective group. This is why we have the absurdity of an organization with no cessation rules on how a "refugee" can lose their status, how there can be "refugees" living in the area that they supposedly fled from, and how there can be "refugees" who are full citizens of another country (primarily Jordan but also the US, Canada, South America and every country in Europe.)




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  • Thursday, August 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
MEMRI has a very revealing interview with a former Jordanian prime minister, who signed the Jordanian peace treaty with Israel.



For most of the interview he is pragmatic and he even defends Israeli actions as the host tries to get him to say Israel is stealing water from Jordan:

Former Jordanian Prime Minister Abdelsalam Al-Majali: My mentality is a mentality of peace. I believe that peace is the best thing for our nation in its current… or rather, at the time of the peace process, as well as today. It is the best solution for us, as Arabs, and I still believe in it. As long as you do not have force of another kind, peace is your only option.

[…]

We are interested in five fundamental issues: The land, the water, the economy, the possibility of [Jordan] becoming the alternative Palestine – we are the only ones threatened by this – and security. These are the things Jordan accomplished [in the peace accord with Israel]. What did Jordan want? Its land? It got it back. Jordan wanted its water? We got it back. The economy? We restored it. And on top of all of this, we gained the respect of the world. Am I supposed to liberate Palestine? Is it my job?

Host: Some believe that this accord did not accomplish anything.

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: How can you say that? Didn’t you get your water? Your land?

Host: Israel did not comply with its commitments regarding the water quotas it must give Jordan.

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: That's not true! Absolutely not! Israel continues to give us more water than we are due.

Host: Didn't Israel divert rivers in the area into its [territory]?

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: Sir, you have not read the history books, I'm sad to say. Israel diverted the Jordan River a long time ago.

Host: And we didn't get it back!

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: Our quota does not come from the Jordan River. When the water was divided [in the peace accord], we got our quota from the Yarmouk River. The Jews get 25 million cubic meters, and the rest is ours. But since we don't have a dam to store the winter precipitation, they took the water.

Host: What, they took it, and now it's gone forever?

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: No, they have been giving it all back – and more – to us. They have been giving us more than our due. But as for the Palestinian quota – we don't intervene. The Palestinians get their quota from the Jordan River.
Al Majali is clearly as moderate an Arab as one can imagine - defending Israeli actions on Arab TV is a bit unusual..

But even this literal peacemaker lets us know how even the most moderate, pragmatic Arabs think:

Check out this interchange with the host:
Al-Majali: There are millions of Jordanian Palestinians who have property in Israel. They have the right to get it back or get compensation for it.

Host: They will only get compensation?

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: I'm not getting into this. It's return or compensation: They will either give them back their land or compensate them. Some people go and collect… in Haifa, Jaffa, and elsewhere beyond the West Bank.

Host: Does this serve the Palestinian cause?

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: Why not?

Host: What, to sell their land for a price?

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: [The Israelis] own that land. They live and build there, while you are not there, and you don't have an army or anything…

Host: In my view, if they don't sell it and the land remains occupied, it is better for the Palestinian cause.
The host says what most Arabs think - that all of Israel is "occupied" and that compensating Palestinians for any property they fled from would be disastrous for their "cause" - the cause of destroying Israel.

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: Is it better for them to remain hungry?

Host: And selling their land is better?

Abdelsalam Al-Majali: Well, what can you do? You lost the land to a military force. You do not have any power. All you do is talk. The Arabs do not have any power. If we ever have military power, will we let them keep Haifa? We'll take it. If tomorrow, we become stronger and can take Haifa by force, will we really decline just because we have an agreement with them?

There we go. The most peaceful Jordanian one can find, an actual signatory to a peace agreement, admits that he would tear up the agreement if Jordan could destroy Israel militarily.

No one in the Western world wants to admit this but this is the way virtually all Arabs think. And there is nothing in their media that teaches true peace with Israel.

The best Israel can ever hope for is a detente that is backed up by superior military force. Israel's military strength is the only thing keeping the Arab Israeli conflict as low-key as it is now.





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  • Thursday, August 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Times of Israel:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said he believed a future Palestinian state should be demilitarized, offering rare backing for a key Israeli demand in any peace deal.

Abbas told a group of visiting Israeli academics that he preferred devoting funds to education and institutions than to an army, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
In what must be a complete coincidence, the Facebook page of Fatah, which is run by Abbas, just put up this photo:


 The caption:

Picture of members of the Iraqi force that prevented the occupation army from the occupation of Jenin in 1948, and rendered to them heavy losses.

As soon as Abbas said he was against Palestinians having an army to Israelis, his political party celebrated how a conventional  army managed to allegedly win a battle against the Jews.  They pointedly chose a picture that included an armored vehicle, something specifically "army like" that their own police wouldn't have.

Abbas' message, taken as a whole, is that it makes no sense for Palestinians to have an army when it has the entire Arab world it can invite to fight on its behalf.

I do not recall ever seeing an image of a conventional army fighting Israel on the Fatah Facebook page before. Usually its historic pictures would be of "martyrs" or of downtrodden Arabs.

Wikipedia summarizes that battle, saying that the Israeli forces were only there to draw Arab armies away from Jerusalem:

In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the city was defended by the Iraqi Army, then captured briefly by the forces from Israel's Carmeli Brigade during the "Ten Days' fighting" following the cancellation of the first cease-fire. Prior to the battle, the city's residents fled temporarily.The offensive was actually a feint designed to draw Arab forces away from the critical Siege of Jerusalem, and gains in that sector were quickly abandoned when Arab reinforcements arrived.
Even their victories are not victories.



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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

From Ian:

Palestinian Leaders Bet Future on Trump Impeachment
Palestinian leaders are betting their future on President Donald Trump being impeached by Democrats following the mid-term elections, according to Arabic language comments by a senior Palestinian government leader who praised Special Counsel Robert Mueller for targeting Trump and his top allies.

Palestinian government leaders, under pressure from the Trump administration as it slashes U.S. taxpayer aid to the embattled government, say they are betting on a Democratic takeover in Congress that will stall the administration's agenda and put the still languishing peace process on the back burner.

Muhammad Shtaya, a member of the Fatah government's Central Committee, said regional officials are counting on Democrats winning the midterms and seizing control of Congress, a scenario the Palestinians believe would work in their favor as the Trump administration pursues efforts to isolate regional governments for their support of terrorism.

The comments come amid a new push in Congress and the Trump administration to slash U.S. taxpayer aid to the Palestinian government as a result of it spending this money to pay the salaries of terrorists and their families. Parallel efforts in the United States also seek to redefine how Palestinian refugees are classified, a move that would change the calculus on peace talks.

Shtaya said in Arabic language comments that many are waiting with anticipation for Democrats to win the midterm elections.

November "is the midterm elections for Congress and the Senate," Shtaya said, according to an independent translation of his remarks provided to the Washington Free Beacon. "If the Democrats seize the majority in Congress and the Senate, I believe we will arrive at two results: First, the first result, a total paralysis of the Trump administration, as he will not be able to pass any bills in Congress. And second, and he spoke about this the other day, and he is the first American president to say, if I'm impeached, the world markets will collapse and everyone will pay a price for it."

The ongoing Mueller investigation also has provided a lifeline to Palestinian leaders who are hopeful it will erode Trump's presidency.

Barry Shaw: The happy Palestinians
The survey brought below dates back to 2015 - and the Palestinian condition has improved since then, despite the propaganda lies to the contrary. You will find it amazing.

Happiness - Palestinians are 3rd happiest in all Arab countries, and 30th globally.

Water Resources - Despite claims to the contrary, Palestinian per capita use of natural, fresh water is 140 cubic meters per annum against Israel's 150 cubic meters per annum. Almost the same.

Education - Palestinians were 63.5% satisfied as opposed to 50% average among Arab states. Netherlands 60.3%, Sweden 61.6%, Japan 54.5%.

Literacy - Literacy rate of Palestinians aged 15+ was 96.5%

Infant Mortality - Palestinian infant mortality stood at 13 per 1000 live births compared with 27 per 1000 in Arab states, and 36.58% global average.

Life Expectancy - Palestinian age 76, Arab states 71, Global average 70.

Poverty - West Bank 18%. Israel 21%.
NGO Monitor: French Funded Propaganda Film Exploits Palestinian Youth
In August 2018, the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (PFP), a French funded anti-Israeli NGO,1 published a documentary titled “No Kidding, Games under control.” The video, which was made “available for free access,” was produced in 2010 with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Agency for Development (AFD).

The producers describe the film as “an assessment of Palestinian children’s rights, in particular, under the situation of the Israeli occupation.” The half-hour film features seven children and teenagers supposedly “chosen at random” from Gaza and the West Bank. According to PFP, the young interviewees “describe the Israeli military operations, the Wall, the settlements … they testify of the effects of the occupation on their daily life.”

The film systematically erases any notion of Israeli security concerns, including the context of violence and terrorism, and instead disseminates multiple unverified claims. The producers themselves state that the film is “slanted” in order to “let the children, without frame or constraint” tell their stories. As a result, the film whitewashes terror, promotes the demonization of Israel, and manipulates and exploits Palestinian children for political gain.


Are Israeli settlements an obstacle to peace? Lots of people say so. Bulgaria’s Mladenov said it. The EU’s Mogherini said it. And the UN has said it again and again.
By why would anyone think that Jews building homes stands in the way of a peace settlement?
The homes of the 10,000 Jews the Israeli government expelled from Gaza in 2005 did not stand in the way of the unilateral gesture of peace that was Disengagement. We just knocked those homes down. We left behind the greenhouses, the infrastructure for making a living, and the Arabs knocked those down without Israel’s help, rejecting the Jew-stench that apparently still clung to these structures, in favor of poverty.

Demolition of Ganei Tal, Gush Katif
The homes of the 7,000 Israelis expelled from Sinai in 1982, similarly did not stand in the way of Israel’s peace agreement with Egypt.
This being not one, but two instances in which homes did not stand in the way of peace, what is the rationale for calling Jewish homes “obstacles to peace?”
Some say the problem is that building homes expands existing settlements. But this is not so. Settlement boundaries are already defined. Building more homes within those boundaries doesn’t expand them. The boundaries remain the same. And the settlements that are within the consensus as belonging to Israel in any peace agreement, retain their dimensions whether or not Jews build homes therein.
The real issue is that when Jews build homes in Judea and Samaria, their numbers increase in the land. The issue isn’t limiting homes, but limiting Jews. Which is antisemitism.
But can the building of Jewish homes be construed as a provocation? Is it as if the Jews are saying, “All of this is ours and this also is ours?”
Well, yes. But so what?
In what sense does this prevent the parties from sitting down at the negotiating table?
The fact is, it doesn’t.
Jews building homes on land Arabs want, doesn’t stop Arabs from demanding more land. And Jews building homes on land Arabs want, doesn’t stop Jews from being willing to sit down and discuss land giveaways.

None of this stops anti-Israel Jews like Peter Beinart from pulling a stern face when referring to the building of homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria. Because he wants what the Arabs want and not what the Jews want. He wants the land Judenfrei. 



JINOs like Beinart want what Arabs want because Arabs are brown people they see as victims. People like Beinart feel better when they do nice things for the downtrodden.
Beinart and his ilk like to identify victims and feel bad about them. They like to see themselves as self-sacrificing heroes. So they demand that Jews living where they themselves don’t live, give up their homes for the people they see as victims.
As for Jews like Naomi Chazan or Amira Hass, the Israeli versions of Peter Beinart, settlers are a breed apart from “normal” Israeli Jews like them. Settlers are vermin, while they sit in their high tower, as Beinart sits in America, pointing a finger at the nasty settlers.
From their perspective, settlers are like Nazis seeking Lebensraum in Czechoslovakia, a land not their own. These high and mighty Jews see the settlements as a colonialist project. But Judea and Samaria are the indigenous lands of the Jewish people and always have been. The idea that the land is not Jewish land betrays a preference to ignore ancient history in favor of modern revisionist history that shuts Jews out and lets Arabs in.
The truth is, building homes for Jews is not a crime, never was, and never will be.
Building homes is just creating shelter. It’s part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which ironically, is a psychological theory proposed by a Jew, which recognizes that people have basic needs. Like shelter.

Shelter doesn’t hurt anyone. And a Jew deserves a home as much as the next person.
Homes don’t get in the way of peace negotiations.
And Jews don’t contaminate territory. They’re human beings like all other human beings. The only difference is that God gave them the Torah and the Land of Israel.
Which hasn’t stopped them from sitting down with the Arabs in peace negotiations.

And it appears it never will.


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  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Dr. Taher Hamdy Kanaan in Jordan's Al Rai: 

 Jews have a moral obligation to the Jews exclusively. As for the rest of the human race, the so-called "goyim" or "illiterate" in the language of the Torah, they have no moral responsibility for them, according to the teachings of the Talmud; In other words, the behavior of Jews toward others is dictated by selfish interest, which is devoid of any pretense or morality. For this benefit, Jews are not deterred from false representation and false pretenses.

This reality has governed the behavior of the Zionist movement and its state since the beginning. The Palestinians and the Arabs have always tried to expose the immoral nature of Zionism and Israel. However, they have always failed, because the Zionists have mastered the arts of lies and forgery supported by their overwhelming political influence in the West and their wide control over the international media. They succeeded in persuading a large part of the international community and world public opinion In the Israeli narrative, including the fact that Israel is an oasis of democracy in the desert of Arab tyranny, and that the Palestinians suffer from their own hands for their behavior, .rather than ways of peace.

 On the basis of that anti-moral Talmudic culture, Israel has succeeded in joining the United Nations, having succeeded in convincing the majority of its Member States that it is a peace-loving State...
 J-Street and the British Labour Party probably consider this to be all legitimate criticism of Israel.



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From Ian:

Rabbi Abraham Cooper: Palestinian leaders are the worst enemy of ordinary Palestinians
And the U.N. itself should stop funding schools where the core curriculum is focused on teaching Palestinian children hatred of Jews and their state – along with training in hand-to-hand combat, firing guns, kidnapping and sending kites and large balloons into Israel carrying bombs.

With this kind of indoctrination going to children from the elementary school years onward, it’s no wonder that the fires of hatred against Jews and Israel burn in Palestinian hearts.

If I had the opportunity to see Guterres again, I would tell him this:

Mr. Secretary-General, Palestinians don’t need 14-page reports with action plans to “protect” them from Israel. They need you to summon up the courage to tell the truth.

Want peace? Get rid of the terrorists; stop brainwashing children into a culture of death; tell Mahmoud Abbas to start acting like a president who wants peace and not war; stop treating terrorists like rock stars; and stop rewarding murderers.

In the extraordinary unlikely event that Guterres made such a declaration, there could be hope that both Palestinian and Jewish children may actually have a peaceful future.

But sadly, the chances of the U.N. coming out for steps like this anytime soon are almost nonexistent. We can only pray and hope that at some point – with the help of strong leadership from the United States – the U.N. and more of its member states will come out for a just and equitable peace that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace and security.
PMW: Hamas fighters torture 13-year Adham, because he hit son of Hamas military leader
In a rare broadcast on Palestinian Authority TV, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy and his parents openly criticized Hamas. They described how six Hamas fighters in Gaza beat and tortured the 13-year-old - simply because he had fought and hit the son of a commander from Hamas' military wing Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam.

Crying while he showed pictured of the many wounds on his body, the boy told how six Hamas fighters beat him up and tortured him in a room in a mosque:

13-year-old boy Muhammad Adham Abu Anzah: "They grabbed me and put me in a room. Then they started to hit me with daggers and a whip. He broke my finger. I demand justice. When one finished or tired out, another came and continued to hit me with a belt. They broke iron on my neck. Six people - they continued to hit me until the police came. Afterwards, the police arrested me. Later, my father came and started to shout at them, and then they released me." [Official PA TV News, Aug. 22, 2018]

The boy's father stated that the attackers are known to the family, adding that this is how Hamas treats anyone who voices criticism:


Caroline Glick: German-led E.U. Sides with Iran Against America
To a degree, this isn’t surprising. EU member states have only been able to coalesce around one common foreign policy: hostility to Israel.

Only last week, the EU issued an angry condemnation of Israel for announcing it was issuing permits for 382 new homes in its communities in Judea. The EU and European member states invest in excess of $125 million annually to support networks of anti-Israel NGOs in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Europe. These NGOs delegitimize Israel’s right to exist, support economic boycotts of Israel, work to turn Israel’s Arab citizens against their state, and support Palestinian terror groups. At the UN, there are few anti-Israel initiatives that do not pass with European support.

Since the OPEC oil embargo in 1974, Western European countries have used their hostility towards Israel as a means to distinguish themselves from the U.S. It costs them nothing, since Israel is at a trade disadvantage with Europe. And it appeals to the antisemitic and anti-American sentiments held by a large percentage of Europeans.

Just two few days before Maas wrote his article calling for the EU to develop a new financial network to undermine U.S. sanctions and keep trading with Iran (and so enable the regime to survive, continue sponsoring terrorism and waging war while developing nuclear weapons), he visited the German death camp Auschwitz. While at the site of the largest death factory in human history, he said, “We need this place because our responsibility never ends.”

How odd, given the German government’s decision to pin its independence on its ability to help Iran’s regime overcome U.S. sanctions and develop the means to annihilate Israel and murder the six-and-a-half million Jews that live there.

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


On Monday, the Gaza ministry of health warned that the hospitals and medical clinics in Gaza were in danger of closing because of lack of fuel.

The spokesman for the ministry, Ashraf Kedra, didn't blame Israel for the shortage of fuel. He said that donors haven't come through to pay for fuel for these medical facilities. If they would have the money, they could pay for the fuel to be transferred - from Israel.

The article in Palestine Today then gave some interesting statistics:

Gaza has 13 government hospitals and 54 primary health care centers, covering 95% of the medical services provided to more than 2 million Gazans, while the remaining services are covered by UNRWA clinics.

This means that UNRWA has built an entirely parallel medical care system - along with all the buildings, bureaucracy and overhead that this entails - to only cover 5% of the population.

According to UNRWA figures, about two thirds of all Gazans are "refugees" who can get services from the agency.

If that is true, then why do most of them use government medical facilities, and not UNRWA's?

If UNRWA's medical budget was redirected to the government then more people could be treated for less money.

Which applies to the clinics and schools in Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan as well. Since by definition none of the citizens of "Palestine" or Jordan are refugees, there is no reason to pour so much money into service provided by a "refugee agency" when it is the proper job of the government to provide those services, like anywhere else in the world.






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  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said, in the same speech where he said that British "Zionists" didn't understand irony or history:

 I was brought up at school being told, um, that Israel was founded on a piece of empty space, and that they managed to make the desert bloom, and they built things when there was nothing there before. Anybody that studies the history of the region would know, at the end of the Second World War – 1945 to 1948 period – Palestine had media, had industry, had education, had universities, had a relatively high standard of living for the whole region, and was a coherent society and a coherent state. It was a denigration of that which enabled Western opinion to be, um, put together in support of Israel.




Palestine on the eve of Israel's independence was effectively a state, all right - a Jewish state. It was Jewish money, Jewish creativity, Jewish brains and Jewish sweat that built nearly all the institutions of Palestine that Corbyn is praising here.

And, yes, the Jews were the ones who made the desert bloom. And they did build cities like Tel Aviv on empty land. And they did drain the swamps. And they brought electricity to Palestine. And modern banking. And industry. And hospitals. And so on,

The British Mandate lasted 25 years, and the Jews - by themselves - built an entire state in that time period so it was ready to go as soon as it achieved independence. (Earlier in the full video Corbin talks about how much the British built in Jerusalem during the Mandate. They built some government buildings, but most of the interesting architecture came from Jewish, European and American sources.)

The Oslo process is now 25 years old, and the Palestinians - with billions of dollars of aid from the world - have not built a functioning state. The Palestinian Authority is barely a government - it is a fig leaf for Mahmoud Abbas' dictatorship. Nothing is decided without him. All the major hospitals and universities in the territories were built when they were under Israeli rule.

Corbyn, who claims Jews don't understand history, is literally making up history.

(h/t David B)





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  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


One of the more insidious ways that anti-Israel forces lie is to take an innocuous video or picture and make up an explanation to put Israel in a bad light.

The latest example appears to be a viral video of an Arab girl in Hebron climbing a fence.

One version on Twitter looks like this:




The original story on Twitter is a little different - the claim is not that Israel closed a gate to a road, but that Israel surrounded a single house with a fence:




All the video shows is a girl climbing a fence. Something that kids do every day. There are schools surrounded by fences that kids climb for fun when they can walk around. You've probably done this yourself when you were younger. 

In other words, without any further evidence, we cannot believe a word of these (conflicting) explanations of what happened. And there is reason to doubt them.

Because there are Arabs on both sides of the fence shown here. 

Clearly the original story that the house was surrounded and then the gate locked is absurd, because the story would be the people who are caught inside the fence, not the ones who are trying to go from outside in. And the people "inside" the fenced area don't seem to be acting like they have been jailed. When Israel does seal off a house, it certainly doesn't include a road.

So the story morphed into "Israel closed the gate." OK, where are the photos of the people waiting at the gate, or trying to break it open, or arguing with soldiers, or anything showing that the explanation offered by the Israel-haters is true? 

I don't know why the girl climbed the fence, but my guess is that she simply didn't want to walk around it. That's it. That's all we can guess without any evidence to the contrary. 

This is not "apartheid." This video shows nothing wrong. It is all the lies that people attribute to the video that causes the hate. And they do it quite knowingly.

UPDATE: An explanation was posted on Facebook by Amit Deri. The girl could have indeed walked around, there is an open section a little down the road with no gate at all. The fence she climbed was a gate that is normally open, and it was closed temporarily because Arabs were throwing stones from there. When the incident was over, the gate was opened soon after.

The reason the gate exists to begin with is because of a fatal stabbing attack a few years ago.







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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Ian:

Former UK chief rabbi Lord Sacks: Jeremy Corbyn is a dangerous anti-Semite
Britain’s former chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, branded the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn a dangerous anti-Semite in an interview published Tuesday.

In a devastating critique of the opposition leader, Sacks accused Corbyn of giving “support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate, who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map.” The Labour leader, Sacks said, uses “the language of classic prewar European antisemitism.”

Corbyn has been under mounting attack for his own allegedly anti-Semitic positions and for failing to root anti-Semitism out of Labour, Britain’s main opposition party.

The comments that sparked Sacks’s denunciation were made by Corbyn in a 2013 speech at the Palestinian Return Centre in London, where Corbyn said of a group of British “Zionists”: “They clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

In an interview with the New Statesman magazine, Sacks, who served as chief rabbi from 1991 to 2013, called those remarks the most offensive to have been made by a senior British politician for 50 years.

“The recently disclosed remarks by Jeremy Corbyn are the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech,” said Sacks. “It was divisive, hateful and like Powell’s speech it undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.

“We can only judge Jeremy Corbyn by his words and his actions,” Sacks went on. “He has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove from Israel from the map.”

Eli Lake: Jeremy Corbyn’s Warped Worldview
Since becoming the leader of his party, Corbyn’s excuse-making has become more subtle. After Prime Minister Theresa May expelled Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning in March of a former Russian spy with a Soviet-era nerve agent, Corbyn was careful to say no one in his party supported Putin. Nonetheless, he urged caution and warned of a rush to judgment, despite his own government’s view that Russia was behind the attack. In 2017, following the terror attack at a rock concert in Manchester, Corbyn made sure to say the attackers should “forever be reviled” — while simultaneously asserting that government experts had linked such attacks in Britain to the country’s wars abroad.

Corbyn was not always this subtle. Daniel Finkelstein, a Conservative member of the House of Lords and columnist for the Times of London, has unearthed some of Corbyn’s more revealing views. For example, in 1989 Corbyn praised the Soviet Union for aiding socialist revolutions in the third world. Writing just four years ago in the Morning Star, the U.K.’s self-described socialist newspaper, Corbyn criticized NATO for its “colonial adventures” in the Middle East and called it “essentially a redundant force.”

Politicians like Corbyn are rare in mainstream American politics, but not in the U.K. In 2005 George Galloway, a member of Parliament who was eventually banished from the Labour Party, gave an infamous speech at Damascus University praising Syria’s dictator and rejoicing in the defeat of the U.S. army in Iraq. Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, earned the nickname “Red Ken” for his apologetics for Britain’s foes. He quit the Labour Party this year after he was suspended in 2016 for saying Adolf Hitler supported Zionism, a conspiracy theory popular in the Middle East.

And this brings us back to Israel. For years Galloway and Livingstone were on the fringe of the Labour Party. Labour remained the party of Clement Attlee, who knew the difference between open and closed societies, between free nations and police states.

Today, that party is led by a foolish socialist who can’t seem to tell the difference. Is it any wonder that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have succumbed to the socialism of fools?
Jeremy Corbyn claims Israel controls speeches made by British MPs in Parliament, in bizarre remarks slammed as an 'anti-Semitic conspiracy theory' that 'casts Jews as sinister manipulators'
Jeremy Corbyn claimed that Israeli officials control the speeches made by British MPs, in bizarre comments that have been called an 'anti-Semitic conspiracy theory' which ‘casts Jews as sinister manipulators’, MailOnline can reveal.

The remarks were captured on video in 2010, at a meeting of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in London. In a speech about the shooting of Turkish activists at sea by the Israeli commandos, the Labour leader said:

‘[British MPs] all turned up [to the debating chamber] with a pre-prepared script. I’m sure our friend Ron Prosor (the Israeli ambassador) wrote it.

‘Because they all came up with the same key words. It was rather like reading a European document looking for buzz-words.

‘And the buzz-words were, “Israel’s need for security”. And then “the extremism of the people on one ship”. And “the existence of Turkish militants on the vessel”.

‘It came through in every single speech, this stuff came through.’

MailOnline has examined the transcript of the debate in question and could find no evidence that any of Mr Corbyn’s ‘buzz words’ were mentioned by MPs.

In addition, a number of parliamentarians who spoke during the session have confirmed to MailOnline that they received no such ‘pre-prepared script’ or ‘buzz-words’ from Israeli sources.


  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

A Mediterranean Theatre festival taking place in Tunisia is featuring what appears to be a thoughtful play on Jewish identity in the Arab world.

The piece seems to be titled "Joyev" and it deals with Jews in a fictional Jewish village during the Tunisian revolution. Parts of the plot include a Jewish law student who was expelled from university because of her religion, Jewish families who are too frightened to go out into the streets for fear of the Arab mobs, and a Jew who wants to smuggle out an ancient Torah to preserve it (presumably in Israel) while others want it to go to a Tunisian museum because Jewish heritage is an integral part of Tunisian history.

The piece is also predictably anti-Zionist, saying that Israel tries to sow and exploit divisions among Jews in Tunisia to prompt them to make aliyah.

But it asks basic questions of how to be a Jew in a country that has treated Jews badly even though they have lived there for years; how Jews grappled with the idea of emigrating to Europe when they were in danger, the Jewish struggle to defend their country of birth when they were marginalized. These are some serious topics and I have never seen them addressed in Arabic arts.

The description of the play makes it appear that the director took the subject matter very seriously and it is quite sympathetic to its Jewish characters. The director even took the actors to the Jewish community of Djerba to perfect their accents, as apparently there is a faint accent for the Jews that comes out when they are angry or upset. The director said that this is a subject that has been ignored in Arabic theater until now.

Altogether, this seems rather remarkable.





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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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