Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In a headline-grabbing op-ed in the Washington Post, Democratic Representative for Minnesota, Ilhan Omar said of Israel, “We must acknowledge that this is also the historical homeland of Palestinians.” 

It seems strange that anyone would let a woman accused of multiple instances of expressions of antisemitism tell the world what it must think. It seems even stranger that someone associated with the liberal left would tell the world what it must think. (How illiberal is the thought that all people “must” think a certain way, take a specific position, because someone in a position of leadership says so?)

But finally, it seems strange that the Jews would accept as credible, the idea that the Arabs share the Land of Israel as their “historic” homeland. The Arabs, after all, are a people who didn’t exist until thousands of years after the Jewish people were an established, sovereign entity in the Holy Land. The Jews were in Israel before Mohammed was a glimmer in his mama’s eye.

Why would the Jewish people, of all people, accept this revisionist view of history from an expressed antisemite, let alone from anyone at all?

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  • Wednesday, March 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The man who killed two Israelis om Sunday was killed by the IDF on Tuesday during a firefight.

Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Facebook page mourned him as a martyr and said "Glory and immortality to the martyrs." (screenshot autotranslated)

As of this writing, there are 125 comments, virtually all asking Allah to have mercy on the soul of this despicable murderer.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

From Ian:

David Collier: An industry of antisemitism denial. The American anti-Zionists of Palestine Live
I have just spent several dark weeks back inside Palestine Live. Today I publish a new report that focuses on the activity of American anti-Zionists, many of them Jewish (download link below). It is impossible to do a 262-page report justice in a small blog. The catalyst was the unfolding events in the United States. Jewish life for American Jews is different to the experience of Jews in the UK. Yet there are also similarities. I read an interesting article by Jonathan S Tobin, editor in chief of, that was titled ‘How progressives are destroying the Jewish ‘big tent‘.

The subject matter will be familiar with Jewish people in the UK – Tobin discusses fringe organisations and where you draw the line when deciding which Jewish groups can be allowed in the ‘big tent’. Tobin had written the article because the week before, the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council voted to start a process to by which one of their constituent organizations might be booted out – why? Because they had indicated support for the Boycott movement, BDS.

I see the daily news in the US and it reminds me of the UK a few years ago. There are signs they are on a similar divisive path. Antisemitism rises and Jewish anti-Zionists leap into action, claiming it is about ‘criticism of Israel’. Creating an industry of antisemitism denial that legitmises antisemites. They write articles, they sign petitions, they appear on TV. In the States they have vocal anti-Zionist Jewish activists running organisations such as JVP and Codepink. Did you see the way they ran to protect Ilhan Omar? They create an environment within which antisemitism is given protection. Just like the anti-Zionists of Jewish Voice for Labour did in the UK. Only in the US, both anti-Zionist Jews and antisemites are more numerous.

News outlets such as Mondoweiss push their propaganda at an alarming rate. This air of legitimacy is attracting people. Yet I know the truth.
The Criminalization of Zionism
While anti-Zionist activists and leaders here in the USA continue to drum up anti-Semitic controversies, they are missing efforts taking place through diplomatic and grassroots channels to strengthen relations between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. It’s been widely reported, that this past winter three delegations from Iraq visited Israel, and there are a growing number of progressive groups in the Arab world eager to re-establish relationships with diverse Jewish communities around the world – including those in Israel. This is not to mention a range of Jewish groups in the US, including JIMENA, who work closely with Arab partners both here and in the Middle East. Not all of the organizations involved in normalization efforts are led by groups on the far left. We come from a diversity of backgrounds and outlooks and it’s a total fallacy to believe that only those groups and leaders labeled as “progressive” are able to lead and engage in productive normalization efforts.

Anti-Zionist leaders here in the USA could care less about diverse normalization efforts, because they are solely focused on mainstreaming the vilification of Israel and its supporters. Like Arab governments who criminalized Zionism as a means of persecuting Jews – anti-Zionist leaders here in the USA have proven time and again to center their activism more on the de-legitimization of Israel and the isolation of Jewish people, than the advancement of Palestinians. If “progressive” activists and politicians truly cared about finding equitable solutions for Palestinians, they would cross ideological barriers and work with diverse coalitions and groups on developing new strategies and solutions rather than continuing to promote failed ones like BDS.

In order to be truly in integrity with progressive values, it’s important for American Jews and progressive politicians like Ihan Omar to pay close attention to both the threats of white supremacy and the current manifestation of anti-Semitism that come from the Middle East. By ignoring the very oppressive and violent anti-Zionism in Arab countries and Iran, we continue to sanction anti-Semitism in the Arab world and we further marginalize the one million Jews who fled or were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries and Iran. How helpful it would be if American Jewish leadership from all ideological orientations could unify at this critical time to build consensus and strategies of how to address the current manifestations of anti-Semitism we see growing every day – from both the right and the left.

Remembering The Jew Who Died For Ilhan Omar.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota, has become widely known for her attacks on supporters of Israel. Ms. Omar is a naturalized citizen whose Somali refugee family settled in the U.S. when she was a teenager. Tens of thousands of Somali refugees relocated to the U.S.—some 25,000 in the Minneapolis area—to escape the starvation, famine and civil war that turned Somalia into a lawless, failed state in the early 1990s.

Another name is worth recognition and remembrance, especially among Somali refugees: Lawrence Freedman. In 1992, the year after Ms. Omar’s family left Somalia, the U.S. sent troops there as part of a joint United Nations humanitarian effort. The U.S. intervention, Operation Restore Hope, began with the landing of U.S. troops near Mogadishu on Dec. 9.

Freedman was a U.S. Army veteran who earned two Bronze Stars in Vietnam. He was an original member of the Green Berets, reached the rank of sergeant major, and eventually became an instructor. He retired from the Army in 1990 and joined the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1992 the U.S. sent Freedman as part of an advance team to prepare the way for American troops in Somalia. On Dec. 23, two weeks after the troops had arrived, Freedman became the first American killed as part of the relief effort in Somalia.

Any American casualty is noteworthy, but Freedman’s sacrifice stands out because he was Jewish.

Thousands of Somali refugees who now live in Ms. Omar’s district had their freedom and security paid for with the blood of American soldiers—22 of them, including Freedman. (h/t MtTB)

  • Tuesday, March 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Continuing my re-captioning of single-panel cartoons....

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Imagine if not 26, but just one US state passed legislation condemning Israel using language similar to the slurs the boycotters routinely pack in their BDS resolutions.  Actually, let’s paint an even less-unlikely scenario.  Imagine if just one small town in rural Vermont passed such a measure.  Do you think we’d be having a debate over what such a vote might mean for free-speech?

No!  For if the Israel-haters ever got their way by getting any government anywhere to parrot their views, they would be bazooka-ing the planet with bellows of triumph, insisting that such a vote was proof positive that Israel is as horrid as they claim and that they were a hair’s breadth away from total victory.

Yet here we are several years into a bandwagon in which one state after another has passed legislation condemning BDS as a form of bigotry and telling those who practice it that they can kiss state contracts goodbye, with the federal government supporting the effort through legislation saying such state action is perfectly legal. 

Unlike BDS votes that tend to take place in the dead of night, behind closed doors, state anti-BDS measures were passed by overwhelming bi-partisan majorities in the full light of day.  But, instead of talking about what it means when vast democratic majorities pass BDS votes against the BDSers, we are instead arguing over whether the very kinds of votes the boycotters have been lobbying people to pass for years represent assaults on free speech.

The reason for this is that the boycotters are much much better at framing an issue than we are.  If we had more of their talent, we would incessantly communicate that every state anti BDS vote is proof positive that the majority of the nation agrees that BDS=bigotry, and demand our opponents answer our accusations (while ignoring theirs), rather than sitting on our lead and then acting surprised when enemies end up dictating how the story plays out in the media.

Keep in mind that “America agrees that BDS = bigotry” and “anti-BDS legislation is a threat to free speech” are both tag lines that can agreed upon or be contested.  So why are ignoring one advantageous to us, while engaging with the enemy on the turf they want to fight on?  No self-respecting BDSer would ever tolerate being put on the defensive, and it’s not something we should tolerate either (especially from the moral midgets who demand we debate them solely on their terms). 

Here is one way we can act like our enemies in order to progress our cause without selling our souls.  For the person who frames the debate tends to win it (or at least not lose it), which means picking a storyline beneficial to our cause, focusing on that storyline and nothing else, and insisting our opponents respond to us vs. vice-versa is a winning tactic, one we seem too insecure to use.
There are other storylines we could also be advancing, beyond the one I’ve used to illustrate my point regarding the failure of Israel and her supporters to frame issues and news to our advantage.  Startup nation, for example, is a nice, elevating topic – one many friends of Israel like to embrace since it (alongside multiculturalism, tolerance for women and gays, and decent cuisine) seems uncontroversial.

But how about pushing these positive narratives in a direction that might generate a little controversy? Israel’s economic success story is wonderful news, but bigger news is how a people at death’s door after World War II managed to not just bring themselves back to life, but bring back into existence their ancestral homeland, along with a reborn language, one ready to provide a home for Jews (including millions of refugees) from around the planet.

If the Holocaust was the nadir of human history, the emergence of the state of Israel might represent history’s pinnacle achievement of justice.  How’s that for a truth that will set some people’s teeth on edge?

Claims about the staggering success of our people need not be wrapped up in hubris or acclimations of “chosen-ness.” Rather, they can be presented with humility and generosity, pointing out – for example - that if a nearly murdered people could achieve such stunning success, anyone can do it.  All that is required is the readiness to create a society dedicated to the needs of its members, rather than wandering off into utopia (where no one cares for anyone since we’re all abstractions) or creating a people or nation that prioritizes wallowing in victimhood and revenge fantasies over improving the lives of actual human beings. 

Positive messaging is often condemned by some Israel supporters who see it as an attempt to ward off assaults on the character of the Jewish state and Jewish people with dance performances and hummus parties.  These critics have a point, but one that highlights the ineffectiveness of focusing on surface manifestations of the miracle that is the Jewish state, rather than the miracle itself.

If we instead embraced Zionism, rather than let others define it as a dirty word, as a model for every nation in the world that actually wants to see its people living in peace, happiness and prosperity, we would no doubt piss off people who already hate us.  But we might just inspire those who have not chosen a side to pick the “strong horse” that also happens to be the true embodiment of justice and morality.

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From Ian:

Lawfare Blog: Framing Israel: The UN Commission of Inquiry on the Spring 2018 Gaza Border Confrontations
Unfortunately, loss of life became unavoidable even under these restrictive rules of engagement. However, the assumption that the vast majority of casualties resulted from unjustified and unlawful uses of force should be met with a great deal of skepticism. In this regard, it is certainly relevant that, contrary to COI findings, Israeli estimates indicate that at least 102 of those killed during operations were members of Hamas or other militant groups in Gaza. Indeed, even Hamas and other groups have admitted that at least 50 fatalities were their operatives. Furthermore, the IDF concluded most killings were unintentional, resulting from shots at legs ricocheting off the ground, targets bending over or shots missing their target among massed crowds. While some skepticism as to the accuracy of these accounts may be justified, such skepticism is equally applicable to the COI finding that only “2 to 3” deaths in this dangerous confrontation resulted from justified uses of force by the IDF.

This can only be the case under the report’s assertion that the IDF was obligated to treat all participants as civilians immune from attack under the armed-conflict paradigm, even including belligerent members of Hamas and other organized armed groups assessed as taking direct part in hostilities. There is simply no basis for such an assertion. In the context of an ongoing armed conflict, members of the enemy belligerent forces are subject to lethal attack once identified as such unless they have surrendered or been incapacitated by wounds or sickness. The fact that both the IDF and Hamas have asserted that a substantial number of individuals subjected to lethal force in fact fell within this category requires assessment not of use of force directed at civilians, but whether the enemy belligerent determination was reasonable under the circumstances. That determination then prompts an additional question: whether death or injury to some of the civilians was a legally permissible collateral consequence of an otherwise lawful use of force. This would require consideration of the precautions implemented by IDF forces and their proportionality assessments. Unfortunately, the COI bypassed these complicated questions by simply adopting an arbitrary conclusion that the IDF should have treated even belligerent operatives as civilians.

The COI’s biased and arbitrary framing is especially regrettable because an objective external inquiry into these complex security challenges could yield more effective policies, tactics and training to enhance security and mitigate risks to civilians. Instead of seizing this opportunity, the COI has produced a report that will only affirm ill-founded assumptions about the security operations conducted by the IDF last spring, and possibly spur fresh resort to dangerous confrontations by illicit actors such as Hamas.

Cruz, Military Experts Slam U.N. Report Suggesting Israel Committed War Crimes Responding to Gaza Border Riots
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and experts in military affairs on Monday castigated a new United Nations report that suggests Israel committed war crimes while responding to violent Palestinian demonstrations at the Gaza Strip border last year.

The report, produced by the U.N. Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, alleges that Israel killed 189 Palestinians during the riots.

"The Israeli security forces committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law," said Commissioner Kaari Betty Murungi of Kenya. "Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel."

The Israel-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center found that about 80 percent of those killed in the riots were affiliated with Hamas, which controls Gaza, and other terrorist organizations. Israel says that Hamas has used the demonstrations as cover to launch operations to breach Israel's border fence and attack Israelis.

Cruz said in a conference call that the U.N. report is a "dishonest" characterization of a more complicated situation in the Gaza Strip, citing reports that Hamas will often insert its fighters into crowds of protesters to incite violence and escape immediate detection from the Israeli military.

"It is a repeated and deliberate strategy of Hamas to use human shields," said Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "The U.N. report ignores that reality."

A Moment of Truth for Hamas
The trouble for Hamas is there actually is grassroots anger in the Gaza Strip, but it is being directed at Hamas, not Israel.

Since the rockets were fired last Thursday, there have been civilian demonstrations against Hamas—a very rare occurrence—protesting the harsh living conditions which only seem to deteriorate.

One courageous middle-aged woman railed in a video circulating on social media, complaining that Hamas leaders and their children cruise around in luxury vehicles while her four sons are unemployed. “All of Gaza are unemployed because of Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar. These officials care nothing about the poor people’s necessities. We have the right to live.”

The Hamas kleptocracy is in plain view, and the diversion of billions in aid and blood money into the terrorist and military infrastructure in the Strip has not gone unnoticed, it seems, by the oppressed populace.

Throughout the weekend there were ongoing demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, including reports of seven journalists having been arrested and beaten by Hamas as well as videos circulating of brutal beatings of civilians. Early reports regarding the self-immolation of a 28-year-old man may have been misleading, with the video thought to have been several months old.

It is doubtful that these protests will dislodge Hamas from power or change the way in which the theocratic despots rule. Only a serious and sustained financial rebuke from their main benefactors, Qatar and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, would accomplish that.

Each for its own reasons is beholden to the principle of the Palestinian “right of return” to ancestral villages and towns in present-day Israel, a euphemism for the destruction of the Jewish state. Continued conflict and misery is the only certainty.

Purim is a nice story. A feel-good, Jewish-people-saved-from-destruction win-in-the-end kind of story.

Many Jews attend a Megillah reading. Even more of us focus on our kids, the costumes they will wear and “mishloach manot” given to celebrate the holiday. How many of us take a moment to actually contemplate the story and what it means? Is something that happened approximately in 357 BCE relevant today?

Most of us think of the holiday as a nice folk-story, a fun holiday for kids. We put most of our effort into costume parties and food. Like many of the holidays, it’s easy to overlook the profound message of Purim.

The stories of Israel are told for a purpose. Many serve as a reminder of events that occurred during the history of our People. All convey lessons that teach us principles and values that shape the identity of the Jewish tribe and do not diminish in relevancy over time.

Purim is no different.

The story tells of a failed attempt to exterminate the Jewish people, more than two thousand years ago – the Jewish people would not have survived to see the Holocaust had this ancient attempted genocide been successful.

“In every generation, they rise up to exterminate us and every time, God saves us from their hands”

Roy Klein saved the lives of his soldiers by throwing himself on a grenade, choosing their lives over his

The Jewish experience of persecution and survival span the ages and bond between generations. Considered in this light, Purim has a much more profound significance than dressing up and making noise at Haman’s name, sending mishloach manot or even considering the philosophical/religious question of where God was during this event.

Purim has a message very relevant for Jews today: Not to speak is to speak.

Usually, this is a message we associate with the Holocaust and the famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

But his message is not new. In fact, it appears centuries before, in the book of Esther when Mordechai tells Esther: “Do not imagine you will escape inside the king’s house, any more than the rest of the Jews. If you persist in saying nothing at this crisis relief and succor will appear from another quarter but you will perish, you and your family.”

And she did. Although she was terribly afraid. Although, it was dangerous to be a Jew and speak for the Jewish people. She put her people above her own security, what was right above what was convenient.

Does that sound familiar? Queen Esther was a regular Jewish woman who became Queen due to her beauty and charm. She became beloved by the King and had a convenient, comfortable life.
She could have remained silent while her people were slaughtered. Her life would not have changed. She could have ensured the protection of her uncle without speaking for the rest of the Jewish people.

But, instead, she listened to Mordechai and, although terrified, she revealed her Judaism and asked the King to save her people.

After surviving a brutal terror attack, Kay Wilson became one of the most prominent spokespeople in the world against PA payments to terrorists that encourage them to murder Jews and has become a peacemaker – bringing together Jews and Arabs who desire to make peace

She understood that not to speak was to speak. She understood that the survival of her people was more important than her own personal safety. Bravery does not mean a lack of fear. Bravery is understanding the consequences and choosing to act despite the fear.

Queen Esther is celebrated for the choices she made. In hindsight, it is easy to say that she chose right over wrong but, imagine being in the moment – would you choose to put your life in danger for the good of your people? Would you endanger your family for the survival of Am Yisrael?

In today’s world, few are willing to risk their convenience, not mention their lives and yet we wonder why so few spoke up during the Holocaust.

For her bravery, we celebrate Queen Esther but are we following in her footsteps? Today we are not witnessing the Holocaust but there are world leaders who advocate for the elimination of the Jewish State. There are individuals who openly declare that the genocide of the Jewish people should have been completed. Antisemitism is again becoming something that is socially acceptable to express in public.

The question is, when do we speak? And when do we need to listen better to what is really being said around us?

In 2002, Haim Smadar, a guard at a supermarket (a simple minimum wage job) prevented a female suicide bomber from entering the supermarket telling her: “You are not coming in here. You and I will blow up here.” She did blow herself up, murdering Haim and 17-year-old Rachel Levy. In his heroism, he saved many lives.

The Holocaust did not begin with concentration camps and gas chambers. It began with the indoctrination of individuals, enabling them to place the blame for their misfortune on the “other”, the Jew. It begins with small things that, taken individually may be disagreeable but are “not so bad”.

Purim tells us about the power of one person to change the fate of our people. Esther is not described as particularly brilliant or talented. She is just a woman, with a big heart who, with courage and feminine intuition, changed the world.

Purim tells us about a Jew living in the lap of luxury who chose her people over her own personal convenience.

Purim provides us the example of the feminine heroism of Esther and the leadership of Mordechai. Both were necessary, one could not have saved the Jews without the other.

In a world where Antisemitism is again becoming socially acceptable, where Jews are told that they cannot be both feminists and Zionists and many Jews are afraid to speak out about the injustices against our people – what message could be more relevant? When Jews are again forced to choose between silent comfort and standing alone against the danger, what could be more relevant?
Purim teaches that the value of putting the good of our people ahead of our own personal safety and warns of the danger of silence.

Purim teaches us the power of the individual – neither Esther nor Mordechai were prophets or people described as having special communication with God. The happy result of their actions was not promised them (unlike in other biblical stories where the protagonist simply needs to follow God’s instructions). They were regular people who knew that if they did not speak up, no one else would.

Because Mordechai instructed Esther, we are here today.

Because Esther chose her people over herself and spoke with the King, we are here today.

Today, the circumstances are different but the choice is the same. Will you speak up?

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  • Tuesday, March 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Hamid Dabashi, a professor at Columbia University, writes in Al Jazeera that Muslims and Jews should work together to fight antisemitism.

Sounds reasonable. right?

But this is a smokescreen for Dabashi to to spew his own hate -  to claim that Zionism is an ally of antisemitism, that Israel is a colonialist state beholden to European powers while at the same time the Europeans want to export all Jews to Israel, and other hateful nonsense that appears to actually justify modern Muslim Jew-hatred.

For example:
The Zionists claim that the establishment of the state of Israel is to protect Jews against persecution. This is a false claim. The establishment of the state of Israel in Palestine, where Jews have always lived alongside Muslims and Christians, was a European colonial project and as such has exacerbated the terror coming towards the Jews.
Meaning, Muslims who killed Jewish immigrants were justified because it is all Europe's fault.

Let's back up to how Dabashi describes contemporary European antisemitism:
The numbers are staggering and Europe-wide. "Antisemitism is rising sharply across Europe, experts have said," according to a recent report by the Guardian, "as France reported a 74 percent increase in the number of offences against Jews last year and Germany said the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks had surged by more than 60 percent". The article further says: "The figures confirm the results of three recent Europe-wide surveys showing Jewish people feel at greater risk, and are experiencing markedly more aggression, amid a generalized increase in racist hate speech and violence in a significantly coarser, more polarized political environment."

The deep roots of anti-Semitism in Europe are widespread and murderous. From a prolonged history of pogroms to the Crusades to the horrors of the Holocaust, and a long and nasty history in between, European Jews have been the consistent subject of baseless slander, vicious defamation, malignant lies and rumours, wild and vilifying conspiracy theories, all resulting in massacres and ultimately genocide under Nazi Germany. In no other continent, country, or culture have Jews ever been so brutalised as they have been in Europe.

Although no other clime or continent is entirely immune to it, anti-Semitism is a specifically European disease, with European Christianity a main culprit in the carnage

But look at all the recent attacks against Jews in Europe:

In  2012, in Toulouse, Mohamed Merah shoots dead four people, including three children, at a Jewish school.

In 2014, Mehdi Nemmouche attacks the Jewish Museum in central Brussels, killing two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer and a Belgian museum receptionist.

In 2015, gunman Amedy Coulibaly, claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group, takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket, killing four.

Also in 2015, Omar El-Hussein, a 22-year-old Dane of Palestinian origin, killed a Jewish volunteer security guard outside a synagogue and wounds two  police officers.

In 2018, 85 year old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was savagely murdered by two men, one of whom shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he was killing her.

And these are just the major events. In Sweden, "pro-Palestinian" protesters have been heard saying they want a new intifada to kill the Jews and call Jews "apes and pigs."

They aren'r Christian.

Dabashi deliberately erased every single major deadly incident of antisemitism in Europe in order to support his argument that all European antisemitism is Christian. The only mention of an actual attack was the murder of Ilan Halimi by a Muslim gang - but Dabashi just calls them a gang.

In other words, Dabashi - while pretending to be against antisemitism - is erasing rampant Muslim antisemitism in Europe, virtually the only flavor of antisemitism that has actually been killing Jews in Europe over the past decade.

Why does he do this? By mentioning Halimi's murder he shows that he is aware of the many deadly attacks against Jews by Muslims in Europe, so this cannot be an oversight. Dabashi wants to deliberately erase history to bolster his thesis that Muslims cannot be antisemitic and only European Christians can, Why?

The answer can be found in his vitriol against Zionism:

Today, anti-Semitism is real and Zionists are categorically unqualified even to detect, let alone to fight it. Jews are the victims, Zionists the beneficiaries of anti-Semitism. ...

To fight anti-Semitism, the fighter must have moral authority. As a racist apartheid state, Israel lacks that moral authority. As an ideology of racist occupation of Palestine, Zionism lacks that moral authority. As active, hardcore or liberal advocates of that ideology of land theft, occupation and incremental genocide of Palestinians, Zionists lack that moral authority.
According to Dabashi, Zionism is so evil that Zionists have no moral authority - the implication that they have forfeited their very right to be considered human beings.

Of course, Palestinian terror attacks towards "Zionists" in pizza shops and discos are justified because Zionists are immoral subhumans. But he is saying more than that by not mentioning any Muslim attacks against Jews in Europe. That deliberate omission can only be interpreted as a justification for the murder of Jews by Muslims.

The Muslims in Europe weren't attacking Jews bur fighting back against the evil of Zionism. That's why these attacks don't fall in the category of antisemitism - murdering a Holocaust survivor is the action of a freedom fighter. After all, statistically speaking, she was probably a Zionist.

The irony is that while Professor Dabashi says that Zionists cannot claim to be able to define antisemitism, he has proven in this very essay that he is supremely unqualified not only to speak about antisemitism but about any moral issue whatsoever.

Hamid Dabashi is a completely disgusting individual who whitewashes and justifies Muslims murdering Jews.

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The months-long "Israel Apartheid Week" kicked off this year, so time to add to my never-ending series of proofs that Israel is anything but.

Taya has received a lot of grief from Arabs and leftist Israelis who hate the idea that a proud young Muslim woman is also a proud Zionist.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

From Ian:

Pitzer College Disgraces Itself for BDS
Last week, the council of Pitzer College—a liberal-arts school in Claremont, California—voted to end its study-abroad program with Haifa University. The college’s president has declared he will not abide by the resolution of the council, a body made up of representatives of the faculty, staff, and students. But the results, writes Jonathan Marks, are nonetheless disturbing:

Pitzer maintains programs in China and Rwanda, both uncommonly repressive regimes with no regard for academic freedom. And look! They’re embarking on a program with the University of Zimbabwe, “conditions permitting.” . . .

So, to square its rejection of Israel with its rejection of absolutely no other country, the council’s motion focuses wholly on the specifics of Israel’s visa policy. Among other things, that policy bars from the country certain supporters of boycotting it. There is, of course, no reason to make that the line a nation must not cross. . . .

[T]he reason for the Pitzer boycott is the same as it has ever been [for boycotts of Israel]: to strike a blow against the intolerable presence and strength of Jews in the Middle East. Yes, the motion suggests that there may be ways to permit students to travel to Israel without dirtying themselves through contact with Israel’s universities. And yes, the motion allows for the possibility that other countries may one day also be deemed too filthy to touch. The American Studies Association said much the same thing when it voted for a boycott [of Israel] in 2013. Somehow, it hasn’t gotten around to boycotting anyone else yet. . . .

This is the first time that the stakeholders of a college—not a student government association, but the faculty, staff, and students of a college—has voted to ignore the protests of those in their community who consider [the boycott-Israel movement] anti-Semitic and to ignore their own responsibility to protect scholarship and teaching from partisanship. And all to spit on a country most of them don’t know a blessed thing about.
Germany Deports Convicted Palestinian Terrorist Rasmea Odeh, Cancels BDS Event After Outcry
After a strongly worded statement from United States Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, the German government has disallowed a planned anti-Semitic "Boycott, Divestment, Sanction" event in Berlin, and expelled its headline speaker, convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the German government and the Berlin Department for the Interior responded quickly to international outcy following the announcement that Odeh was set to speak at a "Palestinian Women in the Liberation Struggle" in the country's capital city, even after initially pledging to allow the event to go forward.

Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was the mastermind and lead bomber in an attack on a Jewish grocery store in Israel in 1969 which left two Hebrew University students dead and scores injured. She was convicted and jailed for a decade before being released in a prisoner exchange. Eventually, she ended up in the United States. She was finally deported back to her home country of Jordan in 2017, after U.S. authorities discovered she had lied about her terrorism convictions on her immigration application.

The elderly Odeh remains a hero to anti-Israel activists across the globe, and has fans in both Congresswoman Rashida Tliab (D-MI) and Women's March leader Linda Sarsour, according to William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. No surprise, both women have been known to express anti-Semitic views.

Petition requests UNESCO to remove antisemitic Belgian "Carnival at Aalst" from Heritage list
After the Carnival in Aalst, Belgium, featured caricatured Jewish figures with money and rats, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC) requested that UNESCO remove Aalst from its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Carnival at Aalst has been recognized on the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010.

A petition urging the removal of the Carnival from the list has received over 14,000 signatures.

“UNESCO should not continue to endorse this repeated violation of its values by retaining the Carnival on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”, Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI commented.

“The date of the Bureau’s meeting, 21 March, is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This will be a good opportunity for the members of the Bureau to show that they really mean it,” Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC’s Director for International Relations, said.

The Ambassador of Poland to UNESCO has endorsed the request.

UKLFI is an association that fights anti-Israel and antisemitic activity. The SWC is a global human rights organization that researches the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context. The SWC is accredited by UNESCO and an Associate Partner NGO.

The Dutch Chief Rabbi, Binyamin Jacobs, said that the portrayal at the Aalst Carnival was “shocking” and contained “typical, antisemitic caricatures from 1939.”

Continuing my re-captioning of single-panel cartoons....

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  • Monday, March 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
One of the most interesting things about Israel is that everywhere you look, you can find sites from over a thousand years ago that no one even thinks is a big deal.

A couple of weeks ago I visited Minat al-Qal'a, the remains of an Umayyad fort that was repurposed by the Crusaders, on a beach in Ashdod.

Although the site is fenced in, the fence is broken and unfortunately it looks like kids go in there to drink or otherwise party. It doesn't appear that the Israel Antiquities Authority has placed a high priority on this fort, which is very impressive.

Here's my 360 degree panorama from the center of the fort. It renders a little weirdly so I am including the full panorama.

It is large, and includes three mostly identical rooms still enclosed.

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From Ian:

Father of 12 succumbs to injuries from Sunday terror attack
Rabbi Achiad Ettinger died of his injuries Monday, a day after being shot by a Palestinian terrorist during an attack in the northern West Bank, a family spokesperson said.

Ettinger, 47, was a father of 12 from the settlement of Eli. Doctors had been working to save his life since the attack near Ariel Sunday morning in which a soldier, Gal Keidan, was also killed.

Ettinger was shot in the head and neck as he drove by the Ariel Junction by terror suspect Omar Abu Laila, 19, who had stolen Geidan’s gun and opened fire on passing cars, according to the IDF.

He was rushed to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva in critical condition and doctors worked for a day to save his life before he succumbed to his injuries, the hospital said.

Relatives of Ettinger told reporters Sunday that despite having been shot and bleeding profusely, he turned his car around and fired four bullets in the direction of the attacker, who managed to escape in a vehicle abandoned by a fleeing driver.

“This self-sacrifice characterized him over the years,” his family said in a statement, noting his decision to live for several years in south Tel Aviv “to strengthen Jewish identity” in the working class neighborhood.

His family asked that his organs be donated, Ettinger’s sister told reporters.

Hundreds mourn terror victim Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger in Eli
Hundreds of mourners came to the funeral of Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger in the settlement of Eli on Monday, as his family and friends tearfully eulogized and praised him for his life’s work and for having attacked the terrorist who took killed IDF soldier Gal Kaidan and the rabbi himself.

Ettinger, the father of 12, was killed in Sunday’s terror attack as he stopped to shoot at the terrorist as he was carrying out his attack, who returned fire and mortally wounded the rabbi.

Speaking at the funeral, Education Minister Naftali Bennett vowed to “cut off the evil” of terrorism and said that the State of Israel needed to take action in order “to win” the battle against its enemies.

“The evil that cuts off the best people must itself be cut off,” said Bennett in front of Ettinger’s family.

“On your grave, I say that the blood of Jews will not be the cheapest thing in the Middle East. We will cut off terror only when we free ourselves from our legal and mental bonds which prevent us from winning,” continued the minister.

Bennett described the rabbi as “a hero in life and hero in death,” and praised both his work in establishing a yeshiva in south Tel Aviv and his heroism in stopping his vehicle to attack the terrorist who was perpetrating a terror attack at that very moment.

“When the murderer stood not far from where we are now Rabbi Ahiad could have done the easiest thing and ignore the attack, say it’s not my problem, but he fired at the murderer and paid for it with his life,” said Bennett.
Netanyahu vows to build new West Bank housing following terror attack
Israel will begin building 840 housing units in the West Bank town of Ariel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday following Sunday's terror attack.

Speaking Monday at a visit to the town near which two people were killed in a terrorist attack the day before, the prime minister said, “These terrorists will not uproot us from here, the total opposite will happen.

“Tomorrow, we will begin building 840 housing units in Ariel in a new neighborhood as was approved two years ago.”

Netanyahu offered his condolences to the families of Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger and Gal Keidan.

Keidan, 19, a soldier guarding Ariel junction was killed at the scene of Sunday’s terror attack. He was buried in his hometown of Beersheba on Monday morning.

Ettinger, 47, succumbed to his wounds Monday morning after doctors at Beilinson hospital fought to save his life for almost 24 hours. Ettinger was the father of 12 and was head of the Oz and Emunah Yeshiva in south Tel Aviv.

“The two people who were killed were wonderful people, I am told,’ said the prime minister. “The hearts of the entire people are with their families.”

  • Monday, March 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

On Sunday morning, Israeli police found a small glider made from polystyrene that had an explosive device attached to it that came from Gaza.

The explosive was neutralized.

A similar booby-trapped  plane was found last week, that one attached to balloons. My guess is that if the balloons are shot down (with bullets or lasers) or naturally explode when they gain enough height, the plane can glide a long distance before landing, increasing the range of the improvised explosives.

There were some 50 balloons with incendiary devices launched from Gaza on Sunday, perhaps to make up from Hamas canceling the "return march" on Friday.

There is no weapon more indiscriminate that incendiary balloons. Even the most rudimentary rockets can be aimed a little bit, but these balloons can land anywhere.

Which makes the silence of human rights organizations about this clear violation of international law even more egregious.

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  • Monday, March 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

The new prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, Muhammed Shtayyeh, a key member of Fatah's Central Committee, has emphasized that Fatah does not recognize Israel:

The new cabinet and government is made up of only Fatah members, as opposed to the previous one which was nominally independent.

Abbas has dissolved the Palestinian Legislative Council which was led by Hamas members. To do it, he used the Palestinian Constitutional Court, which has mostly Fatah members that Abbas handpicked in 2016.

In other words, every single Palestinian executive, legislative and judicial branch is now headed by Fatah, and Mahmoud Abbas is the head of Fatah besides being president of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.

Fatah does not recognize Israel, even though the PLO pretends to.

There has been very little discussion in Western media about Abbas' illegal moves to consolidate power, even as there have been hundreds of articles about Israeli internal politics. Similarly, the positions of these new leaders of Palestinian bodies - support for terrorism, being against a two state solution - have been ignored as well.

The lack of interest in how the Palestinian side is acting, combined with the intense interest in finding fault with the most minor of actions or words by Israeli officials, is simply another manifestation of how the media and world governments are biased against Israel - and don't really care about Palestinians.

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  • Monday, March 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

One fairly consistent feature that can be found among most people is psychological projection, the accusation that your ideological enemies are guilty of your own crimes or less than pristine thoughts.

Arab leaders accuse Jews of ridiculous crimes that invariably are things that they have done themselves, like attacking the enemy's crops or stealing their water.

The progressive Left is at least as guilty of projection. The entire idea that "white people" are invariably racist and that people of color are more righteous because of their skin color is as racist as it gets. No one stereotypes the sins of their ideological enemies more than today's "progressive" Left. And often they accuse white people, even those on the farthest Left, of subconscious racism that is so deeply embedded that it simply cannot ever be truly erased, and therefore all white people must be burdened with the original sin of racism forever.

Often, this projection serves as another psychological tool used by magicians - a means to misdirect people's attention so they don't see what is going on in front of their faces. When you keep the discussion oriented towards the supposed sins of your opponents, you keep the discussion away from people looking at you.

Ilhan Omar pretends to address her critics by misdirecting them in her new Washington Post op-ed:

No, the noise isn't about her views of foreign policy, which are pretty much identical to all progressives. The noise is about her latent antisemitic attitudes. But Omar wants to misdirect away from that.

Since I began my first term in Congress, I have sought to speak openly and honestly about the scale of the issues our country faces — whether it is ending the crippling burden of student debt, tackling the existential threat of climate change or making sure no one in one of the richest countries in the world dies from lack of health care.
 When she accused Jews of dual loyalty and the Jewish lobby of controlling Congress with its "Benjamins," she was speaking openly and honestly - about her own antisemitic feelings, feelings that are so deep that she does not even recognize them. Her view of US foreign policy is one that is secretly controlled by nefarious Jewish money and influence, that Jews speak with essentially one voice on Israel.

The article pretends to insist on using a single standard based on human rights for all nations, but the logic falls apart when you look past the platitudes:
 Our criticisms of oppression and regional instability caused by Iran are not legitimate if we do not hold Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to the same standards.
I was unaware that Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain are controlling and funding terror groups worldwide like Iran is. But let's treat them all the same, based on internal human rights only, and ignore fomenting terror that violates the human rights of people she really doesn't think deserve the same human rights as everyone else!

Even though this op-ed was carefully written to make it appear that Omar is not obsessed with "Palestine," she has to address it and gives it five paragraphs - and her bias shines through even the layers of consultants and ghostwriters that she hired to spin this op-ed to be as liberal and fair as possible:

This vision also applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. U.S. support for Israel has a long history. The founding of Israel 70 years ago was built on the Jewish people’s connection to their historical homeland, as well as the urgency of establishing a nation in the wake of the horror of the Holocaust and the centuries of anti-Semitic oppression leading up to it. Many of the founders of Israel were themselves refugees who survived indescribable horrors.

We must acknowledge that this is also the historical homeland of Palestinians. And without a state, the Palestinian people live in a state of permanent refugeehood and displacement. This, too, is a refugee crisis, and they, too, deserve freedom and dignity.

A balanced, inclusive approach to the conflict recognizes the shared desire for security and freedom of both peoples. I support a two-state solution, with internationally recognized borders, which allows for both Israelis and Palestinians to have their own sanctuaries and self-determination. This has been official bipartisan U.S. policy across two decades and has been supported by each of the most recent Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as the consensus of the Israeli security establishment. As Jim Mattis, who later was President Trump’s defense secretary, said in 2011 , “The current situation between those two peoples is unsustainable.”

Working toward peace in the region also means holding everyone involved accountable for actions that undermine the path to peace — because without justice, there can never be a lasting peace. When I criticize certain Israeli government actions in Gaza or settlements in the West Bank, it is because I believe these actions not only threaten the possibility of peace in the region — they also threaten the United States’ own national security interests.

My goal in speaking out at all times has been to encourage both sides to move toward a peaceful two-state solution. We need to reinsert this call back into the public debate with urgency. Both parties must come to the table for a final peace deal; violence will not bring us any closer to that day.
Notice that Omar doesn't say a word about Palestinian obligations in human rights, or in bringing peace. Notice that she doesn't say explicitly that the two state solution must include a Jewish state, only an Israeli one. Notice that she only brings specific examples of bad behavior by only one side that must be protested. Notice the absence of the words "terror" or "Hamas."

Notice also that she uses another dog-whistle - "justice" - a word that means, to the far Left, the dismantling of the Jewish political presence in the region, as something that is inherently racist, while another Arab and Muslim state (that the Palestinian constitution says "Palestine" is) is not a violation of "justice." To the far-Left, "justice" means that Palestinians have the right to move to Israel even four generations after they fled. Omar probably agrees with that definition, always intended to destroy the Jewish state. She dances around her real feelings on that critical component of "justice."

Also notice that Omar doesn't address how her supposed care about universal values doesn't square with her support of BDS - of boycotting only one nation in the world. If everyone is to be treated the same, then why such particularity in punishing only one state in the world with boycotts and sanctions? And the founders of the BDS movement are very clear that they are against a two state solution - how can she support Israel's existence, and what form would Israel take?

Finally, notice that Omar's position that Israeli actions "threaten the United States’ own national security interests" means that Omar believes that Palestinians are always going to threaten the world with violence unless they achieve what they consider "justice." They are, according to her logic, an inherently violent people. What other people on the planet are considered a threat to world security if we do not give in to their own definitions of "justice"?

This op-ed is not meant to clear up her position on the conflict. It is meant to obscure it using nice words like "peace" and "justice" and "human rights" and "equality" that do not mean what they normally literally mean when used by the progressive Left and their Arab partners.

The entire article is misdirection away from Ilhan Omar's very problematic biases and positions. If she wants to clear the air, she should speak honestly, and not behind the layers of consultants that wrote and massaged this op-ed to say nothing about her real positions about Jews and Israel.

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

From Ian:

Victim of West Bank attack identified as IDF soldier Gal Keidan, 19
The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday identified the victim of a West Bank stabbing and shooting attack earlier in the day as Sgt. Gal Keidan, 19, from the southern city of Beersheba.

Keidan, who served in the IDF’s 334th Artillery Battalion, will be buried in the Beersheba Military Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Monday, the army said.

He will be posthumously promoted to the rank of staff sergeant.

Two other Israelis were critically injured in the attack, which began at around 9:45 a.m. near Ariel Junction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement, conveyed his condolences to Keidan’s family.

US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt responded to the attack on Twitter, saying his country “condemn[s] today’s brutal attack by a Palestinian terrorist who murdered at least 1 Israeli & injured others near Ariel.”

In a follow up post, Greenblatt said: “Disgustingly, but not surprisingly, Hamas & Palestinian Islamic Jihad welcomed the attack & no doubt the Palestinian Authority will reward the terrorist under its pay for slay policy.”

1 Israeli killed, 2 critically injured in West Bank terror shootings
One Israeli was killed and two were critically injured in a pair of shooting attacks in the northern West Bank on Sunday, the military said.

The attack began at around 9:45 a.m. near the Ariel Junction, where the terrorist assaulted a soldier with a knife and managed to gain control of his weapon, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said.

The attacker then fired at passing vehicles, hitting a civilian in the first vehicle. A second vehicle was hit, but managed to flee the scene. A third car stopped, and the attacker, whom Conricus said “appears to be a Palestinian,” took it and fled the scene.

“I saw the terrorist. He fired at my vehicle and I ran away while it was still running. The terrorist then stole the car, and I saw him continue driving in the direction of Tel Aviv,” the driver of the third vehicle told the Ynet news site.

Conricus said that the suspect then continued to the nearby Gitai Junction, where he shot at a soldier standing at a hitchhiking post, injuring him.
Netanyahu, Rivlin condemn West Bank terror shootings, vow to apprehend attacker
Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, condemned the terror attack that took place Sunday morning at a pair of junctions in the northern West Bank in which one Israeli was killed and two were injured.

“We are in the midst of pursuing the terrorists in two locations in the Ariel area,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I affirm my support for the IDF soldiers, the Shin Bet and the security forces chasing the terrorists. I’m sure they will catch them… as we did in every previous case.”

The IDF said it was not immediately clear whether the shooter had acted alone.

“My thoughts are with the families who are right now coming to terms with the terrible news from the horrific terrorist attack, and with the security forces who are right now in pursuit of the terrorists. The State of Israel will seek out, find and defeat all those who attack us,” Rivlin tweeted.

Several lawmakers used the attack as a platform for political statements over how to best handle Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.

Culture Minister Miri Regev said the attacks “were a direct result of the rampant incitement on the part of Ahmad Tibi, who on Friday demonstrated that he was not prepared to condemn the murder of an innocent child in her bed and encouraged martyrs simultaneously.”
Hamas and Islamic Jihad praise deadly West Bank terror shootings
The Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups praised a pair of shooting attacks in the northern West Bank on Sunday, in which one Israeli was killed and two others were critically wounded, calling them “heroic.”

Early Sunday, close to the Ariel Junction, a terrorist assaulted a soldier with a knife, managed to gain control of his weapon and shot him dead, an IDF spokesman said.

The attacker then fired at multiple passing vehicles, hitting two cars and injuring a civilian, and then took another person’s automobile and fled in it, the spokesman said.

The suspect drove to the nearby Gitai Junction, where he shot at a soldier standing at a hitchhiking post, wounding him, and then continued on to Bruqin, an Palestinian village where Israeli security forces were pursuing him, the spokesman added.

“Hamas praises the heroic Salfit operation that happened this morning, which came in response to the occupation’s crimes,” Hamas said in a statement posted on its official Telegram account, referring to a Palestinian town near Gitai Junction. “This courageous and bold operation affirms that resistance, in all of its forms, is the most powerful and successful option to deter the occupation, foil its plans and protect and defend our people’s rights and holy sites.”

Continuing my re-captioning (and in this case, editing) of single-panel cartoons....

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  • Sunday, March 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Amad, a Palestinian news site, has an exclusive report of the criteria to join the (real) Bilderberg group and what its agenda is.

The Bilderberg Group is not a secret. It is a bunch of Europeans and American leaders and heads of corporations who meet regularly to discuss Atlanticism.

According to Amad, however, they are all either Jews or Freemasons. Any new member must be either Jewish, Zionist or a globalist.

It runs the world, according to the Arab media.  In the West, a ruler does not ascend to power or take office without the approval of this group. Which means they chose Clinton and Obama to be Presdents.  (They are strangely silent on Trump.)

 The invasion of Iraq was part of the agenda to liquidate the power bases in the Arab region to nationalize the region and to bring it under Israeli control.

Its goals are supposedly a new world government , one army, one currency and one industry. It wants to topple all national identities.It controls human minds through its control of the media, the schools. It manufactures crises and wars.

Of course, the European arm is controlled by the Rothschilds.

Good thing I already run it, or else I'd have to expand   a bit.

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  • Sunday, March 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here's what the autotranslated Islamic Jihad news site Palestine Today described this morning's terror attacks:

Nothing thrills these animals more than dead Jews.

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

  • Saturday, March 16, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Three days ago, the New York Times published an article entitled "Jaffa Is Tel Aviv’s Unexpected Luxury Hotspot."

Palestinians were outraged because an article about Jaffa in 2019 didn't include their lies about Jaffa in 1948.

They wrote to the New York Times, and unbelievably it issued a correction - assuming their lies about most of Jaffa's Arabs being expelled in 1948 is the truth.

Editors’ Note: March 14, 2019
The original version of this article, in focusing exclusively on the new high-end hotels and other additions, failed to touch on important aspects of Jaffa's makeup and its history — in particular, the history and continuing presence of its Arab population and the expulsion of many residents in 1948. Because of this lapse, the article also did not acknowledge the continuing controversy about new development and its effect on Jaffa. After readers pointed out the problems, editors added some of that background information to this version.
This paragraph was added to the article:
The gentrification hasn’t pleased everyone. Jaffa for centuries has been a stronghold of Arab and Muslim life. In 1948, when the State of Israel was founded, most of Jaffa’s Arab residents were forcibly removed from their homes. Today the district is one of the few areas of the country with a mixed Arab and Jewish population, and as luxury projects have moved in, so have accusations that the city’s Muslim history is being erased.
Most Arabs did not get expelled from Jaffa in 1948. The New York Times was bullied by Arabs into publishing revisionist history.

I have written about Jaffa a number of times. The first residents who were forced from their homes were Jews, in August 1947, from Arab fire - including from the minaret of the Hassan Bek Mosque.

The rich Arabs of Jaffa left quite voluntarily starting when the fighting started in December 1947. They mostly went to Lebanon, where a lot of them had families and where they had similarly fled in 1936 to avoid fighting.

Historian Efraim Karsh writes:
 In Jaffa, Palestine’s largest Arab city, the municipality organized the transfer of thousands of residents by land and sea; in Jerusalem, the AHC ordered the transfer of women and children, and local gang leaders pushed out residents of several neighborhoods.

As for the Palestinian Arab leaders themselves, they hastened to get themselves out of Palestine and to stay out at the most critical moment. Taking a cue from these higher-ups, local leaders similarly rushed en masse through the door. High Commissioner Cunningham summarized what was happening with quintessential British understatement: 
You should know that the collapsing Arab morale in Palestine is in some measure due to the increasing tendency of those who should be leading them to leave the country. . . . For instance, in Jaffa the mayor went on four-day leave 12 days ago and has not returned, and half the national committee has left. In Haifa the Arab members of the municipality left some time ago; the two leaders of the Arab Liberation Army left actually during the recent battle. Now the chief Arab magistrate has left. In all parts of the country the effendi class has been evacuating in large numbers over a considerable period and the tempo is increasing.
An article in The Nation from 1948 echoed this theme, that Jaffa was evacuated by the Arabs and not the Jews after their leaders fled:
Most of Jaffa was in good shape. The Arab masses, when they fled, took what little they could carry; the wealthy Arabs, who had left during the months before the real fighting began, often salvaged the greater part of their portable possessions.
Not one source from 1948 claimed that Arabs were expelled by Jews.

Petra Marquardt-Bigman uncovered a first hand Arab account as well:
 I found an Al-Ahram Special from 1998“commemorating 50 years of Arab dispossession since the creation of the State of Israel.” On pp.91-93 there is an eyewitness account covering the situation in Jaffa between late 1947 to May 1948 under the title “After the matriculation.” The author, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, is a former resident of Jaffa with impeccable anti-Zionist credentials – which is to say he would have described in detail all the horrors if there was any truth to the NYT claim that “most of Jaffa’s Arab residents were forcibly removed from their homes.”
However, recalling his last months in his hometown, Abu-Lughod wrote:
“No sooner had the UN General Assembly passed its partition resolution in November 1947, than Palestine was torn apart by a war waged between its two historically antagonistic communities — Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews. […]  The first shots were exchanged between Jaffa and Tel Aviv on the eve of 30 November 1947 during a three-day general protest strike declared by the Arab Higher Committee. […] On the eve of the UN Partition Resolution, Jaffa’s Arab population numbered over 70,000. By and large they supported the traditional Palestinian leadership headed by Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti.”
Understandably, Abu-Lughod, who was by then a professor of political science, didn’t mention the fact that the man who headed the popular “traditional Palestinian leadership” in the second half of the 1940s had spent the first half of the decade in Berlin, where he lived in considerable comfort as a well-paid guest and committed ally of Nazi Germany. Indeed, a 1948 magazine article described Al-Husseini as “Hitler of the Holy Land.”
Abu-Lughod then goes on to note that most Arabs in Jaffa and elsewhere seemed confident that “as the country belonged to the Arabs, they were the ones who would defend their homeland with zeal and patriotism, which the Jews – being of many scattered countries and tongues, and moreover being divided into Ashkenazi and Sephardic – would inevitably lack. In short, there was a belief that the Jews were generally cowards.”
When this belief proved mistaken, people started to leave Jaffa. According to Abu-Lughod, at first mainly the rich left, but as more and more people began to flee the fighting, the “National Committee…decided to levy a tax on every family who insisted on leaving.” Abu-Lughod volunteered to help with collecting this “tax:”
“I worked in a branch of the committee based in the headquarters of the Muslim Youth Association near the port of Jaffa. Our job consisted mainly of harassing people to dissuade them from leaving, and when they insisted, we would begin bargaining over what they should pay, according to how much luggage they were carrying with them and how many members of the family there were. At first we set the taxes high. Then as the situation deteriorated, we reduced the rates, especially when our friends and relatives began to be among those leaving.
We continued collecting this tax until 23 April, when the combined force of the Haganah and the Irgun succeeded in defeating the Arab forces stationed in the Manshiya quarter adjacent to Southern Tel-Aviv. On that day, as we realised that an attack on the centre of Jaffa was imminent, I and my family decided that they had to be evacuated temporarily. We rented a van, into which we crammed all the women and young children and sent them to Nablus.”
Abu-Lughod himself stayed in Jaffa until May 3, when he left by ship together with two friends to make the short trip to Beirut. By July 1948, he was already back with his family in Nablus, from where he soon made his way to the US to study and to build a successful career at Northwestern University. He left there in 1992 to become vice-president of Bir Zeit University in Ramallah. 
As Abu-Lughod’s account illustrates, the majority of Jaffa’s Arab residents fled the fighting over a period of several weeks or even months – by land or by sea – while Jaffa’s self-proclaimed defenders tried to exploit those who wanted to leave by demanding a “tax.”
Petra also shows that most of the Jaffa Arabs in 1948 were recent immigrants from other Arab lands, which explains why they were so eager to flee rather than defend homes that they felt few ancestral ties to.

The New York Times' own reporting from 1948 doesn't have a hint of Jews expelling Arabs. The Arabs fled out of fear of war. (And many stayed, including in Jaffa, without any problem.)

The New York Times assumed that the outraged comments were based on the truth. After all, the repeated claims of Jews expelling Arabs from Israel must have some truth to them, right?

But the truth matters. And the New York Times has just proven once again that it prefers a version of history that caters to its biases rather than to facts.

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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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Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

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