Sunday, November 17, 2019

  • Sunday, November 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Sama News (Arabic) reports:

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Saturday with the family of the late Iraqi Jewish writer Yitzhak Bar Moshe in the presence of the head of the committee for communication with Israeli society Mohammed Al Madani.

The President welcomed the writer's family, stressing that he would reprint the book "Out of Iraq", which was written by the late writer in Arabic.

The president pointed out that the reprint of the book aims to inform the Arab world about the suffering of the Jews of Iraq and how they were driven out of there, pointing out that the camps where they were placed in Israel is a common denominator with the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Writer Isaac Bar-Moshe was born in 1927 in Baghdad.
+972 fills in some gaps:
During his first decades in Israel, despite the hostile attitude toward Iraqi Jews and the Arabic language, Bar-Moshe was optimistic about the country’s future. That optimism turned to deep disappointment. Perhaps paradoxically, it was after Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Peace Accords in 1979 that Bar-Moshe realized, he said later, that Israel was not interested in living in peace with the wider Arab world. The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 was the final nail in the coffin of his hopes for Israel. He left the country permanently, moving to England and settling in Manchester, where there was a thriving Iraqi Jewish community. “I felt,” he said in a 2003 interview, “that I did not belong in Israel.”
 Apparently, Abbas wants to show a kinship with Bar Moshe because some of his autobiographical writings can be twisted to look anti-Israel. However, they were far more nuanced:

Bar Moshe's relationship with Israel was complex, but Abbas wants to portray it as an example of Israel's hate towards Arab Jews to combat his own reputation as an antisemite.

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Saturday, November 16, 2019

From Ian:

Anti-Semitism returns to gain mainstream traction
[Click on the Twitter link for the full article]
The rise, or rise again, of anti-Semitism is by no means confined to Britain. Australian academic Peter Kurti warns rising anti-Semitism in Britain, US and Europe risks becoming “commonplace” here too.

In a policy paper for the conservative-leaning Centre for Independent Studies, Kurti attributes the phenomenon to a particular racist mindset among adherents of the postmodern political left. “Increasingly the left has become obsessed with anti-Zionism, which can be a mask for anti-Semitism,” he writes.

Corbyn might be regarded as the model. But Kurti says the state of Israel and Jewish people more widely have become the standard target in Australia as well for leftists in what he brands a “toxic mutation of an ancient hatred”. He argues the left’s unrelenting support for the Palestinian cause, including seemingly unqualified demands for the creation of a Palestinian state, treats Israel as a remnant of Western colonialism to the point of rejecting its legitimacy as a state.

Kurti cites a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Australia (366 last year or a 59 per cent increase across the previous 12 months as recorded by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry). He concurs with the ECAJ’s conclusions that these incidents stem from “left-wing rhetoric exaggerating the power of the so-called Jewish lobby”. The effect has been to “stoke far-right myths about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions”.

The Democratic Party Faces a Choice on Israel
The Sanders–Warren–Buttigieg trio display either hostility or ignorance, or possibly both, when they assert that US policy supports creating a Palestinian Arab state. To the contrary, the Trump administration, while not ruling it out, has explicitly not adopted this position — and it is the executive branch that sets foreign policy.

It is additionally deeply hypocritical that Senators Sanders and Warren have called for cutting aid to Israel over an issue of policy when, in September this year, both senators opposed President Trump’s cuts in aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

The PA has refused negotiations for nearly a decade and insists it will never return to them, refused to dismantle terrorist groups, refused to end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps, and has refused to stop paying salaries to blood-soaked, jailed terrorists and stipends to the families of deceased terrorists who murdered Jews. (These payments totaled $318 million in 2016).

The PA, moreover, has made the astonishing declaration that it regards US aid as a “political and moral right” on account of US support for Israel’s establishment in 1948. These policies adhered to by the PA diverge massively from the US position — unless Sanders-Warren-Buttigieg mean to changer that too. Yet none of these positions attracts even the suggestion from these Democrats that the PA deserves no or less US aid.

These new, diametrically-opposed positions will not long coexist in the same party. The Democratic Party is fast reaching the point where it must either succumb to the new radical leftist positions on Israel espoused by Sanders-Warren-Buttigieg (not to mention ‘The Squad’) or reassert its traditional, liberal support for the Jewish state.

A New Strategy on Campus: Blame the Jews
It remains only to note that blaming the Jewish state for every species of injustice is a feature of the campus anti-Israel movement, not an anomaly. At the City University of New York in 2015, multiple Students for Justice in Palestine chapters signed a statement against CUNY’s “Zionist administration.” The topics? High tuition and low wages for campus workers. Jewish Voice for Peace has since 2017 been running a “Deadly Exchange” campaign, the core of which is that Israel is responsible for police violence against blacks in America. The strategy is clear enough: if you blame the Jews—sorry, “Zionism”—for everyone’s ills, you can draw more allies into your movement.

Anti-Semitism, you see, is a potent political strategy. It’s even more potent when student governments ignore Jewish students and condemn, as the student Senate at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign did recently, the “equation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.” Four hundred Jewish students, including the lone Jew in the Senate, walked out.

Once, certain student governments were satisfied to make pronouncements about the Middle East without educating themselves about it. Now they have graduated to lecturing and condemning Jews who complain about anti-Semitism without educating themselves about anti-Semitism.

Kudos to Mr. Flayton for stepping forward and to the New York Times for publishing him. No doubt, some adherents of the campus left are beyond shame. But in my experience, even professed anti-Zionists are more thoughtful and persuadable than their public pronouncements suggest. They genuinely believe, perhaps because they rub elbows mainly with the 5 percent of Jews who do not have a favorable view of Israel, that the people who charge them with anti-Semitism are disingenuous.

They haven’t thought it through, but they’re not beyond help.

Friday, November 15, 2019

From Ian:

Yair Lapid: Same Old Anti-Semitism, Different Jews
I do not talk about the "return" of anti-Semitism, because it never left. It just waited for the right time to rise again. Anti-Semitism thinks this is its time. But while the anti-Semites might be the same as they always were, the Jews are not. We won't stay silent. We've got no intention of trying to appease them.

The anti-Semites say, "the Jews are different from us, that's why we're allowed to attack them." Too many Jews in too many places say: "you are wrong, we're not different. All people are the same." It doesn't help because it isn't true. We are different. We have a different religion, we're part of an ancient and unique culture. There is a covenant between us. We're proud of it. Loving your brother isn't a crime. Being different isn't a crime.

We don't need to pretend we're not different. We need to fight for the principle that you don't discriminate against people because they're different. You don't kill people because they're different. Anti-Semitism never admits to what it really is: xenophobia, which is simply the hatred of what you don't understand because you don't understand it.

I'm no pacifist. I don't believe in facing hate with love. You don't fight hate with love, but with organizational ability, clear messaging, with determination and strength. You fight it in TV studios and on the battlefield. You fight it by telling the truth. It's not a debate about Israeli policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians. It's an ancient attempt to destroy a small and talented people that insists on maintaining their unique identity and unique voice.

Matthew Continetti: Democrats and Israel: Nothing but Daylight
Three of the four highest-polling Democratic presidential candidates are talking about Israel in language other politicians reserve for rogue states. It’s the latest and most worrisome sign that a growing number of Democrats place a higher value on pandering to progressives than on Israeli sovereignty and security. The aggressive rhetoric is another reminder of the energy on the political left. Bernie Sanders’s political revolution may be in trouble, but his foreign-policy revolution in how the Democratic Party sees Israel is going swimmingly.

Bernie is capitalizing on long-running trends. In his recent book We Stand Divided, Daniel Gordis notes that relations between Israel and the American Diaspora have often been fraught: “For most of the time since Theodor Herzl launched political Zionism at the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, the relationship between American Jews and Herzl’s idea, and then the country it created, has been complex at best and often even openly antagonistic.”

What many assumed was a durable pro-Israel consensus was in fact a consequence of specific historical circumstances. The American left’s goodwill toward Israel was based in large part on images: Israel the scrappy underdog, Israel the land of social democracy and the kibbutzim, Israel the participant in Camp David and the Oslo Accords. The picture today is different.

For the left, the state created in the aftermath of the Holocaust and invaded by Arab armies has become a conquering power. The nation of communes has become the nation of start-ups. The governments of David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin have become the governments of Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Americans who belong to the millennial generation or to Generation Z have no memory of the Middle East “peace process.” Nor can they recall the second intifada or the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Many American Jews express their identity not through religious practice and Zionism but through social-justice activism and tikkun olam. To them, Israel is an oppressive state with un-egalitarian religious and political systems. In a 2007 study, fewer than half of American Jews age 35 or younger said, “Israel’s destruction would be a personal tragedy.”

The following year, Barack Obama won two-thirds of the millennial vote and 78 percent of the Jewish vote. While he was sure to pay obeisance to the imperatives of Israeli security, Obama’s actions as president created the space for anti-Israel and anti-Zionist activism within the Democratic Party. “When there is no daylight [between Israel and the United States], Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs,” he said in 2009.
Bernie Sanders remarks on Gaza rocket fire draws ire from Israelis, Palestinians
Bernie Sanders - who is vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2020 - drew ire from Jew and Palestinians when he weighed in on Israel’s ongoing conflict with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In a tweet posted Thursday night, Sanders said that Israelis “should not have to live in fear of rocket fire.” However, in the same breath, he also remarked that “Palestinians should not have to live under occupation and blockade.”

He then called on the US to “lead the effort” to bring peace between Israel and Gaza.

The statement, made well after several Democratic Party heavyweights already chimed in and backed Israel’s right to defend itself, was seen by Jewish groups and Israeli politicians as drawing a false moral equivalence between Israel and terrorists.

Israel’s former ambassador to the US, Danny Ayalon, slammed Sanders's statement.

  • Friday, November 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

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From Ian:

Gaza report card: Assassination revealed IDF's strengths and weaknesses
The bomb that flew through the window of Bahaa Abu al-Ata’s secret apartment in Gaza City did far more than just kill a top Islamic Jihad terrorist. It revealed a new relationship between Israel and Hamas, exposed the IDF’s strengths and weaknesses, and also dealt a critical blow to the possibility that Benny Gantz will form a government with the Arab Joint List.

From a military perspective, the IDF did an impressive job throughout the two days of fighting. First was the accurate targeted assassination of al-Ata, which killed him and his wife but no one else, not a small tactical feat. More importantly, the military showed that it has not lost its ability to strike terrorists on the move, even though it has been some time since it did so.

This was demonstrated by the numbers. In two days of fighting, the IDF struck and killed more than 20 Islamic Jihad terrorists and commanders, some moving on motorcycles and others in fields, ready to launch rockets. This was primarily thanks to what is known in the military as the “fire canopy,” a small war room located at the IDF’s Gaza Division.

It is here, in a heavily-fortified dome-like structure, where officers from the IDF’s different branches – Air Force, Ground Forces and Navy – sat alongside their counterparts from the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Military Intelligence, received real-time intelligence on various targets, and then allocated the appropriate weapon to be used to attack, in most cases a missile launched from an IAF aircraft. The room is lined with screens, showing live footage of Gaza from Israel’s various sensors, be they ground-based cameras or reconnaissance drones overhead.

“This is a place where you see a synthesis and synergy of intelligence and operations,” one officer who has participated in these kinds of missions in the past explained. “The fire canopy is the center of everything that Israel does over and inside Gaza.”

What contributed to the success was the constant flow of high-quality intelligence that enabled the IDF to shorten the sensor-to-shooter cycle in ways that used to be unimaginable. If a few years ago it took five minutes or longer from the moment the IDF identified an enemy until it was able to attack, today it is just a fraction of the time.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the IDF misread what Islamic Jihad would do after the assassination of al-Ata and decided to close all schools and offices in the Tel Aviv area, sowing panic across the country.

The IDF Home Front Command explained that the initial decision was based on the assumption that Islamic Jihad would use the long-range missiles it has in its arsenal to strike at Tel Aviv and its surrounding areas. It is easy to criticize the decision after nothing happened, they say, but if a school or office building had been hit, people would be speaking a lot differently.
Assessing Operation Black Belt
The operations during Black Belt were managed from a mobile command and control center full of flat screens, showing troops everything that was happening.

With a dense network of surveillance and attack resources, from unmanned aerial vehicles to fighter jets over the Strip and significant intelligence resources from the Shin Bet, the military was able to spot and identify its targets and close the circle on them in real time.
While a total of 11 Palestinian civilians, including several children, were killed in the two-day operation, the IDF stressed that precision airstrikes reduced the number of civilian casualties and stopped the PIJ operatives from carrying out their attacks in real time.

That Hamas also stayed out of the violence was also considered a success in Israel’s books.

The killing of al-Ata allowed Hamas to breathe a sigh of relief, as the PIJ commander hampered the group’s ability to govern the Strip and adhere to the ceasefire arrangement with Israel, which gives them millions of dollars from Qatar and other much needed infrastructure, such as electricity, fuel and a new hospital.

Unlike PIJ, Hamas has the Gazan street to contend with. It needed to be the responsible adult.

Following intense mediation by Egypt, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire after 50 hours of fighting. Both sides claimed victory; but for the IDF, the fact that the conflict didn’t stretch into weeks of fighting was paramount.

“We are at high readiness and preparedness on all fronts, not only in Gaza,” Zilberman said. “We are facing a significant challenge against Iranian activity in a variety of arenas, and not only in Syria.”
Seth Frantzman: Did whacking al-Ata prevent two-front war?
THE STRUGGLE Israel has faced against Islamic Jihad is directly related to the escalating tensions throughout the region. It does not operate in a vacuum.

Israel’s ability to conduct an operation against it and isolate it by keeping Hamas out of the fighting was an extraordinary achievement.

The larger problem is that PIJ is one of the smaller Iranian-backed forces arrayed against Israel. It is dangerous because it is so close to Israel. But it has only 5% of the number of rockets that Hezbollah has.

When compared to the IRGC’s roots in Syria and the Iraqi Shi’ite militia bases, and even the technology Iran has transferred to the Houthis in Yemen, PIJ is less important. It is also blockaded and isolated.

Breaking its ability to threaten Israel in the case of a two-front war is important; the 450 rockets it fired over 48 hours on November 12-13 are 450 rockets it no longer has. It has saved some of its long-range ordnance. This is a concern.

Iran has used PIJ in the past to pester and threaten Israel and heat up conflicts at times of Tehran’s choosing. By striking Al-Ata, Israel turned the tables on this Iranian “ticking bomb.”

But the larger context is still an Iranian threat across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Removing one of PIJ’s pawns from the board was a move in a larger conflict.

  • Friday, November 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
I was upset when I saw Brant Rosen, a Reconstructionist-ordained anti-Zionist rabbi, suggest that Jews should say Psalms for Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
Sickeningly, this was retweeted by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

I responded:

He didn't respond.

A day later I tweeted out two articles (Distinction and Proportionality) I wrote in 2014 about Gaza and international law, pointing out that people who claim Israel is guilty of war crimes simply do not know a thing about international law. I tagged Rosen.

He responded, instead of answering my question, by trying to ask me a "gotcha" question:

Well, that's easy! I responded immediately:

I didn't even mention roof knocking, or that  US military brass come to Israel to learn how to minimize casualties, or the reports from major military figures worldwide that assert that no one does more than Israel to minimize civilian casualties. 

People like Brant Rosen use Electronic Intifada as their Torah and Philip Weiss as their prophet. For someone to call himself a rabbi and yet revel in his ignorance about a conflict that he spends so much time opining on is mind blowing.

The mentality of Jewish haters of Israel could fill a psychology textbook.

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  • Friday, November 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The New York Times published an excellent op-ed by Blake Flayton, a self-described young, gay, left-wing Jewish college sophomore who considers himself a progressive on all social issues.

Yet he is also a Zionist - a Zionist who is ardently against "occupation" but a supporter of the Jewish state.

As such, he is subjected to abuse within his own progressive circles:

Before I arrived on campus, I could proudly say that I was both a strong progressive and a Zionist. I didn’t think there was a conflict between those two ideas. In fact, I understood them as being in sync, given that progressives have long championed the liberation movements of downtrodden minorities. I viewed — and still view — the establishment of the state of Israel as a fundamentally just cause: the most persecuted people in human history finally gaining the right of self-determination after centuries of displacement, intimidation, violence and genocide. For me, this remains true even as I oppose the occupation of the West Bank. It is my Zionism that informs my view that the Palestinian people also have the right to their own state.

But my view is not at all shared by the progressive activist crowd I encountered on campus. They have made it abundantly clear to me and other Jews on campus that any form of Zionism — even my own liberal variant, which criticizes various policies of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and seeks a just two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — is a political nonstarter. For this group at my school, and similar groups on campuses and cities around the country, Zionism itself is, to parrot the Soviet propaganda of several decades ago, racist. And anybody who so dares to utter the words “right to exist” is undeniably a proponent of racism.

Given that almost all American Jews identify as “pro-Israel,” even as the majority of us are also critical of Israeli government policy, this intolerance affects huge numbers of young American Jews. I am one of them.

At many American universities, mine included, it is now normal for student organizations to freely call Israel an imperialist power and an outpost of white colonialism with little pushback or discussion — never mind that more than half of Israel’s population consists of Israeli Jews from the Middle East and North Africa, and that the country boasts a 20 percent Arab minority. The word “apartheid” is thrown around without hesitation. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is repeatedly dragged into discussions ranging anywhere from L.G.B.T.Q. equality (where to mention Israel’s vastly better record on gay rights compared with that of any other country in the Middle East is branded “pinkwashing”), to health care to criminal justice reform.

At a recent political club meeting I attended, Zionism was described by leadership as a “transnational project,” an anti-Semitic trope that characterizes the desire for a Jewish state as a bid for global domination by the Jewish people. The organization went on to say that Zionism should not be “normalized.” Later, when I advised a member to add more Jewish voices to the organization’s leadership as a means of adding more nuance to their platform, I was assured that anti-Zionist Jews were already a part of the club and thus my concerns of anti-Semitism were baseless.

I expected this loophole, as it is all too common across progressive spaces: groups protect themselves against accusations of anti-Semitism by trotting out their anti-Zionist Jewish supporters, despite the fact that such Jews are a tiny fringe of the Jewish community. Such tokenism is seen as unacceptable — and rightfully so — in any other space where a marginalized community feels threatened.

All of this puts progressive Jews like myself in an extraordinarily difficult position. We often refrain from calling out anti-Semitism on our side for fear of our political bona fides being questioned or, worse, losing friends or being smeared as the things we most revile: racist, white supremacist, colonialist and so on. And that is exactly what happens when we do speak up.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs of T'ruah, "the rabbinic call to human rights," had a reaction that, while admitting the antisemitism of the Left, blamed the mainstream Jewish community.

This piece is important on two fronts:
1) Yes, it's antisemitic to exclude Jewish students from groups unless they denounce Israel.

2) Mainstream Jewish community has contributed to problem by insisting that supporting Israel=supporting occupation.

That is--if there were a loud, unified Jewish voice saying clearly that occupation is moral wrong & a human rights violation an investing accordingly--rather than defending it--students (& others) would get  difference & we wouldn't leave students like this one out to dry.

To be clear, there are lots of Jewish orgs fighting for Israel & against occupation-- including the 10 in Progressive Israel Network

I responded with several points, expanded here.

This is a self-serving, and quite wrong, assumption by Rabbi Jill Jacobs.

The things that Jewish students have to deal with from anti-Zionists are about Israel's existence, not "occupation." There is no evidence that these antisemitic attitudes would change if Jews all belonged to J-Street or other anti-occupation Jewish organizations.

I would also add that the anti-occupation Jews on campus spend very little time defending Israel. They spend FAR more time attacking it.  Do you honestly think that this attitude HELPS Israel against the haters? I do not see any Yom Ha'atzmaut activities actually celebrating Israel on campus sponsored by J-Street or similar groups. On the contrary, the only message I see from them towards Israel is criticism, not support.

Face it, J-Street U is a gateway drug for the anti-Zionist "Jewish Voice for Peace," not for aliyah.

There are some extremely eloquent defenders of Israel who are also against occupation. Nurit Baytch and Petra Marquardt-Bigman are two of many. The difference between them and J-Street is night and day. They love Israel while J-Street gives the impression of being the opposite.

They show it is possible to be a pro-Israel, liberal Jew. Even though I disagree with them aboutJudea and Samaria, I have enormous respect for them and how they defend Israel. When does T'ruah or J-Street actually defend Israel without the list of caveats of what they hate about Israel? What kind of message does that give to students on campus? When all they hear is how bad Israel is, is it any wonder the anti-Zionists are making so much progress?

What does T'ruah and J-Street U actually do to combat anti-Zionism? What programs have they put together to teach how important Israel is to Jews? What op-eds have members written wholeheartedly defending Israel? If there are any examples, they are lost in the glare of the opposition to Israel that we see every day from groups like that.

If you want to combat anti-Zionism on campus, be a proud Zionist. Not an apologetic one.

Blake Flayton tries to be a proud Zionist, and the reason it is so difficult for him is because of the lack of support he gets from groups like J-Street who are spending all their time ripping on Israel.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Friday, November 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

I count 35 people killed in the recent fighting in Gaza from Monday through Wednesday. (The Gaza health ministry counts 34, but I have reports of another killed the first day, Mohammed Shakal, not on that list.)

I count 14 who were members of Islamic Jihad Al Quds Brigades, 2 members of the Popular Resistance Committees Nasser Brigades and 3 from Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades (Update: 1 from Hamas.)

There were 4 human shields - people killed when legitimate targets purposefully stayed near them. 2 of them were brothers of a Hamas terrorist hit in their father's carpenter shop.

One bystander was killed when Israel targeted three Fatah members. The fourth was Al Ata's wife.

In one incident where the IDF bombed a motorcycle I don't have enough information to know what the IDF was targeting. A father and two sons of the Ayyad family were killed. I have suspicions about the older son, Islam Raafat Mohamed Ayyad, 24, an imam who may have been a terrorist based on his funeral shroud showing the Al Aqsa Brigades logo, but that is not conclusive evidence this time - even children were wrapped in various terror flags.

The most infamous incident of the week's conflict was the bombing of the Al Sawarka (Abu Malhous) houses in Deir al Balah, killing eight members of the family. After a day of conflicting reports, the IDF admitted that it thought the house was empty and that it was used for terrorist infrastructure.

Under international law's principle of distinction, a military commander can make his best judgment based on the information available to him at the time as to whether a target is legitimate or not. He doesn't have the luxury of too much time; if he is fed normally-accurate intelligence that the target is empty and used for military purposes, it is enough. This was a true tragedy but it is not a violation of the laws of armed conflict.

Here is the entire list that I put together of the fatalities and circumstances.

Name Affiliation
Bahaa Salim Hassan Abu Al-Atta (42 years) PIJ head
Asmaa Mohamed Hassan Abu Al-Atta (39 years) Human Shield - wife
Mohammed Attia Musleh Hamouda (20 years) PIJ, killed on motorcycle
Zaki Adnan Mohammed Ghanama (25 years) PIJ
Ibrahim Ahmed Abdullatif Al-Dabous (26 years) PIJ
Abdullah Awad Saqib Al-Bilbisi (26 years) ) PIJ
Abdul Salam Ramadan Ahmed Ahmed (28 years) PIJ
Rani Fayez Rajab Abi Al Nasr (35 years) Fatah
Jihad Ayman Ahmed Abu Khater (22 years Fatah
Wael Abdul Aziz Abdul Nabi "Abu Abed"43 Fatah
Mohammed Salah Hassan Abu Shakal (31 years) Human Shield - killed with Fatah members
Alaa Jaber Ishtawai PIJ
Khaled Moawad Farraj, 39 PIJ commander
Ibrahim Ayman Fathy Abdel Aal, 17 Human shield - killed when IDF attacked their Hamas brother
 Ismail Ayman Fathy Abdel Aal, 16 Human shield - killed when IDF attacked their Hamas brother
Ahmed Ayman Fathi Abdel-Aal, 23 Hamas terrorist
Raafat Mohamed Salman Ayad, 54 Apparent mistake, father on motorcycle
Islam Raafat Mohamed Ayyad , 24 Apparent mistake, son on motorcycle
Amir Raafat Mohamed Ayyad , 7 Apparent mistake, son on motorcycle
Suhail Khedr Khalil Quneitah, 23 PIJ
Mohamed Daham Mahmoud Huthot, 19 PIJ
Mo'men Mohamed Salman Qaddoum PIJ
Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Muammar  PRC
Ahmed Hassan Yousef al-Kurdi PRC
Muhammed Abdullah Suleiman Shurrab (28 years PIJ
Haitham Hafez Mohammed al-Bakri" (22 years) PIJ
Yousef Rizk Khalil Abu Kamil" (35 years) PIJ
Rasmi Salem Odeh Al-Swarka 45 years old IDF mistake
Muath Mohammed Salem Al-Sawarkah 7 years IDF mistake
Muhannad Rasmi Salem Al-Swarka 12 years old IDF mistake
Wasim Mohammed Salem Al-Swarka, 13 years old IDF mistake
Yousra Mohammed Awwad Al-Swarka, 39 years old IDF mistake
Maryam Salem Nasser Al-Swarka 45 years ol IDF mistake
Salem Rasmi Al Swarka, 2 years old. IDF mistake
Firas Rasmi Al Swarka, one-year-old. IDF mistake

UPDATE: The IDF estimates eliminating 25 terrorists. It is possible that some of the dead are not yet reported in Arab media; that happens every time.

I just found one, a Hamas member.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

From Ian:

Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief Warns of ‘Astronomical’ Level of Antisemitism on US College Campuses
College campuses across the US have seen a “very significant” rise in antisemitism in recent times, Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief Dovid Efune warned in an interview with Fox 55/27 Illinois last week.

“According to one study, 54% of Jewish students have witnessed or experienced antisemitism on campuses in the United States,” Efune said. “According to another study at Brandeis University, 75% — I mean, these are astronomical numbers.”

“There’s a group based out in California called the AMCHA Initiative, and the biggest predictor they found of antisemitism on an American college campus is the presence of a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, SJP,” Efune explained.

“There’s also a sort of new environment when it comes to white supremacist ideology,” he added. “The rise of different social media platforms that have allowed such hatred to coalesce and to really form communities has also resulted in a rise in hate crimes from the right.”

Deportation of Shakir is a win for democracy
BDS can easily be seen as a type of hate speech associated with no shortage of violent and otherwise illegal acts.

Viewing BDS in this light is perhaps best understood in the context of Natan Sharansky’s “Three-D Test” for identifying anti-Semitism. This criteria, which has been utilized by the State Department, holds as anti-Semitic acts that delegitimize, demonize, or apply double standards against Israel. Sharansky himself has gone on record that BDS fails this test.

Shakir’s pending deportation can also be interpreted through trends in contemporary leftist thought. In recent years, and especially in the same virtue-signaling, “woke” circles that routinely target Israel, it has been all the rage to call for various restrictions on speech deemed offensive to certain communities.

Whether through attempts to ban mainstream commentators like Ben Shapiro from college campuses or outright suggestions that those saying abhorrent things should be prosecuted, there are foundations in progressive thought for Israel to take aggressive action against those engaged in “verbal violence.”

What constitutes verbal violence against Israelis should, of course, be determined by Israelis and not the European Union and other outsiders. In the same way one might be accused of “whitesplaining” for attempting to delineate what people of color can consider racist, Israeli Jews, like other historically marginalized communities, should be afforded the same courtesy in determining for themselves which speech constitutes an attack on their personhood. BDS fits the bill.

From the perspective of mainstream democratic theory to contemporary leftism activism, Israel’s decision to deport Omar Shakir is well within its rights. Like all democracies, Israel has room for improvement. Providing a staging ground for Shakir’s hate speech is not one of them.
DC Charity Is Accused Of Violating Anti-Terrorism Act By Providing Monetary Support To Hamas
A U.S.-based charity violated the Anti-Terrorism Act by knowingly providing monetary support to Hamas and other designated terrorist organizations responsible for launching incendiary devices into Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to a civil lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday.

The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), a Washington, D.C.-based charity, acts as a fiscal sponsor for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), an umbrella organization that promotes and sponsors Hamas and at least four other State Department-designated terrorist organizations, Tablet Magazine reported in 2018.

The lawsuit, filed by the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), an Israel-based public benefit company, and three U.S. families living in Israel, seeks to hold USCPR civilly liable for providing material support to terror organizations that have caused tens of millions of dollars in damages to victims living in southern Israel.

The USCPR’s role as BNC’s fiscal sponsor enables U.S. citizens to make tax-deductible donations to the BNC, the lawsuit states. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has been widely condemned as an anti-Semitic effort that denies Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. (RELATED: Ilhan Omar Feuds With Nancy Pelosi Over Anti-Israel BDS Movement)

“It is money that flows through to the BNC, which is made up of these terror organizations, and that’s very clear from the documented evidence,” Richard D. Heideman, the senior counsel representing the plaintiffs, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
While Islamic Jihad has been declaring victory in this week's fighting, claiming that they got Israel to agree to various demands (the first of which was no more targeted assassinations!), the people of Gaza - at least the more militant ones - know better.

The PalDF forum, mostly with Gazans sympathetic to Jihad, have been dismissive of Islamic Jihad claims. One message said that Islamic Jihad couldn't win because it was controlled by Iran remotely.
Another asked if Hamas, which didn't join in, is still a member of the "axis of resistance." A number of them expressed frustration that not a single "Zionist" was killed in the rocket barrage.

The AmadPS news site has a disclaimer on its header saying that the "Battle of Gaza" revealed that the "axis of resistance" is a political lie.

In northern Gaza, hundreds - maybe thousands of people demonstrated against the cease fire! They were chanting, "We want to hit Tel Aviv! And the people want to hit Tel Aviv!"

This is the Gaza that the Western media does not want you to know about.

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Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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IRGC sealTehran, November 14 - Leaders of the Islamic Republic asserted again their commitment to combating the existence of the Jewish State until no more Palestinians remain as proxies for that combat, officials in the capital declared today.

An official announcement by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Defense today, in conjunction with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Force, declared these and other Iranian entities willing to fight Israel down to the last Palestinian.

"So sacred is the mission to liberate Palestine from the usurper and so devoted our we to the freedom of our Palestinian brethren that we will not rest until every last Palestinian is expended in the prosecution of that holy duty," the statement read. "If it takes seven more decades to undo the injustice of Western Zionist colonialism in the home of Al-Aqsa, no matter how many Palestinian lives it costs, so be it. To this we pledge our honor and our souls."

Iran has served as the chief financier and source of arms for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the terrorist organization operating out of the Gaza Strip that has fired the vast majority of the hundreds of rockets aimed at Israeli civilian areas in the last several days. The Islamic Republic has pursued a similar agenda via Lebanese in Lebanon, Syrians and other in Syria, and Yemenis in Yemen, paid to put themselves in harm's way in order to advance Iran's regional ambitions, one of which appears to be the use of non-Iranians as cannon fodder.

"Our Palestinian brothers may remain calmer and more steadfast in their efforts to expel the Zionist invader, now that they know how much we continue to support them, and will continue to support their efforts," the statement continued. "We encourage you, O Palestinians, to drive out the imperialist dogs, persisting in your dedication to this sacred task as long as necessary. We will supply you with whatever you need until there are no more left of you to supply."

"Now go forth and fight, brave soldiers!" the Iranians exhorted their Palestinian allies. "Our mighty treasury stands behind you, as we do. About a thousand kilometers behind, to be more specific, because we, uh, we don't want to get in your way or anything. Yeah. We would just be a nuisance, fighting there with you or doing anything directly. This is your fight, after all. In which we support you. Every last one of you."

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From Ian:

Gaza’s Terrorists Are Finally Isolated and Exposed
During this week’s conflict, Israel has not yet targeted Hamas, Gaza’s governing terrorist organization. But there’s now much speculation about what Hamas will do in response to the flare-up. Islamic Jihad has no governing control of Gaza, but, as the current violence demonstrates, it can easily draw the Strip into conflict. And it is Hamas’s failure to curb Islamic Jihad’s continued provocations against Israel that has led to the present crisis.

As Abu al-Ata ramped up his campaign against the Jewish state, Israel warned Hamas that it wasn’t going to take it forever. “Via publications in various media outlets; messages conveyed by Egyptian intelligence; and warnings via international mediators,” writes Avi Issacharoff at the Times of Israel, “Israel repeatedly urged Hamas to take action.” Hamas didn’t act. Israel did.

If Hamas doesn’t now work to get Islamic Jihad in line, the fighting could easily escalate. And, as we’ve seen in the past, Gaza will suffer far more than Israel in any prolonged exchange. But what’s different this time is that Gaza’s endlessly self-inflicted woes don’t inspire the same degree of international sympathy they once did, at least not where it counts.

Sunni Arab kingdoms are now more-or-less allied with Israel against Iran. They’re not interested in upsetting that relationship for the sake of a reckless terrorist group that’s backed by Iran. What’s more, Islamic Jihad’s attack on Sderot broke a commitment that the group made to Egyptian authorities in October about maintaining calm in Gaza. The broken pledge angered Egypt, which had even released some Islamic Jihad prisoners (reportedly with Israel’s consent) as a show of good faith in negotiations. Finally, in the United States, it’s highly unlikely that the Trump administration—a steadfast defender of Israel’s right to self-defense—will stoop to the kind of moral equivalence articulated by Obama administration officials whenever Israel targeted its enemies.

For now, Hamas has formally condemned the assassination of Abu al-Ata. If it stops there and makes Islamic Jihad hold back, then it may spare some Gazans further misery. But Hamas is not known either for restraint or responsive governance.
Jonathan Tobin: Self-defense for everyone but Israel
By treating Israel and its efforts at self-defense as morally equivalent to the actions of Islamic Jihad and the Hamas terrorist regime ruling Gaza, the Jewish state’s critics are not just undermining Jewish security, but dooming Palestinians trapped in the Strip to continued siege and mistreatment at the hands of their terrorist masters.

Lastly, there is the question of Netanyahu’s alleged cynical manipulation of the security situation for his own political benefit.

At this point, there is virtually nothing the prime minister can do that would not be subjected to criticism. When he demonstrates a reluctance to use force, he is accused of being indecisive. When, as is the case now, he acts on the advice of his security chiefs and orders the Israel Defense Forces to eliminate a threat, he is accused not only of inflaming the situation but of doing so merely in order to gain some tactical political advantage.

Yet after more than 13 years of service as Israel’s leader, if there is one thing widely known about Netanyahu, it is that he is extremely cautious about risking the lives of Israel’s soldiers and more interested in deterring war than in risking an escalation to prove a point or demonstrate his toughness. Criticize him all you like for his policies or his personality, but when he has ordered the armed forces to act, it has only happened after every other option has been tried.

Even if this latest bout of violence does not escalate into all-out war and leads to a temporary calm between Israel and Gaza returns, observers should not ignore the two factors that rest at the heart of the problem: Palestinian rejectionism and Iran.

As long as the culture of Palestinian politics rewards the shedding of blood and punishes peacemaking, the Palestinian Authority, PIJ and Hamas will continue to replicate this scenario. The true cycle of violence isn’t one in which Israel is forever being blamed for causing trouble by killing terrorists, but the one in which Palestinians remain locked in a dynamic of endless war they can’t escape.

Secondly, the Middle East continues to pay the price for President Barack Obama’s appeasement, empowerment and enriching of Iran. Tehran’s fingerprints are all over every escalation of fighting between Gaza and Israel, as well as threats to the Jewish state’s northern border. Its ability to fund and promote PIJ gives it leverage over Hamas and ensures that the conflict with Israel stays as hot as possible. The best way to prevent violence between Israel and the Palestinians is to keep the pressure on Iran by stepping up sanctions that limit its ability to cause trouble in the region and fund terrorism.

The discussion about Israel and the Palestinians in the United States continues to be driven by liberal critics of Israel who think that the conflict is driven by Israeli intransigence and Netanyahu’s belligerence. But this week’s violence is one more reminder that the problem has little to do with those factors and everything to do with a toxic Palestinian political culture, prompted by Iran’s malevolent desire to foment violence.

BESA: Gaza Fighting Highlights Differences between Hamas and Islamic Jihad
While Hamas views the use of violence as a means for increasing the volume of trade with Israel and securing the inflow of Qatari money to enhance the welfare of the Gaza population, Islamic Jihad seeks confrontation as part of an Iranian strategy to deflect attention from its Syrian military buildup and regional expansion.

Hamas must take into consideration its popular base, which includes 50,000 men and women whose salaries depend on Hamas' retention of control of Gaza.

Most Gazans live in a society that is almost exclusively Sunni and suspect Islamic Jihad members of being Shiites in disguise. This is why in elections in Gaza universities and trade unions, Islamic Jihad secures a mere 2-3% support.

At Abu Ata's funeral procession just hours after his killing, it was hard to count more than 100 participants. No flags of other Gaza organizations were visible.

Islamic Jihad's paltry popular base means its dependence on Iran is all the greater. Moreover, PIJ can operate purely as a fighting arm without the need to take into account the welfare of the Gaza population.

Hamas leaders are keenly aware who wags Islamic Jihad's tail, the reasons behind its activities, and the ways its strategy contradicts Hamas' current agenda. However, Hamas can only constrain rather than stop Islamic Jihad because it needs Iran as well.

  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Some pro-terror Palestinian media is trying to turn Islamic Jihad terrorist Baha Abu-al Ata's daughter Lian into a poster child for the horrors of Israeli aggression.

Lian was interviewed shortly after her parents were killed by an Israeli airstrike early Monday morning.

She said that they rarely saw her father and he usually didn’t sleep at home because "the occupation" always chased him, and that they always missed him. Monday was her birthday and it was supposed to be a surprise that he is home, and instead of that, he was “martyred” and he took her mother with him too.

Lian vowed that she would get even as soon as she grows up, and she is upset that so far there was no revenge. She is angry that she did not hear about any dead Jews, although from the moment that her daddy was “martyred”, there were supposed to be lots of rockets aimed at the Jews to burn and kill them.

She was also upset that her party plans didn't work out.

Israeli intelligence must have found out about Baha's plans to sleep there overnight, and probably take advantage to be with his wife (he could have come in the morning to surprise her with lots of people around - he arrived at 3 AM.)

 It sounds like Lian's birthday gave the IDF the opportunity to finally eliminate Baha Abu al-Ata.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs  - Occupied Palestinian Territories recently created an interactive webpage (powered by Microsoft PowerBI) where you can create queries for different statistics on casualties in Israel and the territories since 2008.

Some of the statistics are obviously wrong. For example, if you query Israeli civilians killed from Gaza aggression since 2008, it says there were 8 men killed - no women or children.

Yet Daniel Tregerman, 4, of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, was killed from a mortar attack in 2014. Flora Gez and Shula Karlinsky were killed in a terror attack by Gazans who infiltrated Israel in 2011. Altogether I count 23 civilians killed by Gazans since  2008 - 15 Israeli Jews, 4 Israeli Arabs or Druze, 1 Palestinian Arab, 3 foreign workers. This is significantly higher than OCHA's numbers.

As with Amnesty's "Gaza Platform," sexy analytics are no substitute for accuracy, and in both cases the neat interactive graphics imply that the statistics are accurate - and they are not. Not by a long shot.

There's another problem, even beyond publishing blatantly false statistics.

The UN's OCHA-OPT categorizes three of those eight civilians they count to be "settlers" - even though they were all living within the Green Line:

Why are they considered "settlers" - and what difference does it make if they were?

Here is the UN graphic of all Israeli fatalities since 2008. There are three categories - civilians, "civilian-settler" and security forces:

Looking at Israeli civilian victims of terror within Israel outside Gaza shows 41 killed - but 33 of them are called "settlers":

Of course, of the 65 civilians killed in Judea and Samaria attacks, 64 of them are considered "settlers."

How does the UN categorize some Israeli civilians as "settlers?" And, more importantly - why? By creating this artificial distinction, the UN is giving the impression that murdering civilian "settlers"  is somehow more justified that killing plain "civilians."  Yet international law makes no distinctions between civilians and "settlers."

So why does the UN?

It is difficult to interpret this in any way other than the UN is saying that Jews who live in Judea and Samaria (or even some Jews living in certain sections of Israel itself) are more deserving of death than "real" civilians.

This also implies that the UN considers some areas of Israel even within the Green Line to be "occupied" and its citizens "settlers." Otherwise these statistics make no sense - none of the victims in the south and few within the Green Line could remotely be considered "settlers" unless the UN is using something like the 1947 partition lines as Israel's borders.

OCHA-OPT ignored my request for clarification of their methodology.

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  • Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
There is no one accepted definition of terrorism, but of the dozens of definitions adopted by various countries, most mention the basis for the etymology of the word - an act meant to inspire fear and terror in the public for political purposes.

Palestinian media has been filled these past days, as they were during previous rocket barrages, with photos and videos purporting to show Israeli civilians (often called "settlers") in fear of the rockets.

It is perverse. There is joy at seeing Israelis run for cover or shouting for their loved ones to take cover in the seconds before a rocket will hit the area.

If Israeli media would gleefully publish videos of panic-stricken Gazans, Israelis would be rightly vilified worldwide for how callous they are at the very real fear that ordinary Gazans have of airstrikes. But these sorts of articles are widespread in Palestinian media.

Part of it comes, no doubt, from sites that are associated with terror groups themselves. The honor/shame mentality wants to show that these groups matter - they can affect the lives of the hated enemy. The thing they hate most is being marginalized and ignored. Like a toddler, they are gratified at the grown-ups taking notice of their tantrums.

But part of it is also that they have embraced terror as their very identity. They don't have any realistic military goals against Israel, but making ordinary Israelis run for safety is something they can do. It is a reflection of their impotence that makes them so happy to pretend that their rockets matter.

And they want to see Israelis panic so much that they are willing to risk the lives of their own people just to get those videos and photos. Just so they can pretend to their audience that they are big and strong enough to get a reaction - they are not totally irrelevant.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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