Tuesday, January 15, 2019

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Churches’ sin
The WCC, which was established in 1948, the same year as Israel, once performed a similar role in its campaign against apartheid South Africa. And if that analogy is not appalling enough, its activists have gone as far as comparing the Jewish state to Nazi Germany.

South African EAPPI activist Itani Rasalanavho, for example, said during an “Apartheid Week” event in his home country that “the time has come to say that the victims of the Holocaust have now become the perpetrators,” while EAPPI national coordinator in South Africa Dudu Mahlangu-Masango called for “total sanctions” on Israel.

The organization, according to NGO Monitor, also combats Christian Zionism. At a 2015 WCC event, it notes, Zionism was called “heresy” under Christian theology, modern Israelis were said to have no connection to ancient Israelites, and Israeli society was described as being “full of racism and light-skin privilege.”

In response, the WCC told the Post that its unique focus on Israel was the result of “a specific call from WCC’s member churches in the region.” However, it stressed that it “does not countenance equating Israel to Nazi Germany, neither in the training of participants in the EAPPI nor otherwise,” and does not support economic measures against Israel.

Since its establishment, “the WCC has denounced antisemitism as a sin against God and humanity, and we strongly maintain that position,” declared WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs director Peter Prove.

So who do we believe? Perhaps the best response, Mr. Prove, is: Prove it! If the WCC is not anti-Israel, then why is it funding what seems like a nefarious program in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the Jewish state?

Its aim is to harm Israel’s good name, and someone needed to blow the whistle. WCC needs to put its house in order.
World Council of Churches Trained 2,000 Anti-Israel Activists, Funded by UNICEF
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has sent nearly 2,000 participants to Israel, and Judea and Samaria, since 2002 to train them in anti-Israel narratives and assign them to communities worldwide, according to a report from NGO Monitor.

With no similar program in other conflict zones, the WCC’s Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) consists of activists being sent to “witness life under occupation.”

“EAPPI misuse tourist visas to enter Israel, where the group has no legal status,” according to NGO Monitor. “They are hosted in Jerusalem by a WCC affiliate, the Jerusalem Interchurch Center (JIC). Notably, the head of JIC, Yusuf Dahar, is one of the authors of the Kairos Palestine Document, which legitimizes terror, embraces anti-Jewish theology and rejects Jewish history. Similar views have been expressed by a number of WCC officials.”

The NGO Monitor report also stated that EAPPI has been funded by UNICEF and countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Canada and Japan.

Norway contributed nearly $2 million between 2017 to 2019, while Sweden gave $500,000 between 2017 and 2018.

“We are sharing our research with the public and decision-makers as part of an informed discussion on EAPPI’s agenda and funding. The research highlights EAPPI’s radical agenda, which, rather than advancing or defending human rights, is a platform for conflict and antisemitism,” said NGO Monitor Founder and President Gerald Steinberg. “We have received numerous inquiries from Christian and Jewish groups calling attention to the central role played by EAPPI alumni in leading BDS and other delegitimization campaigns.”

A cautionary tale of European antisemitism
And if a recent large survey of antisemitism in Europe conducted by CNN is any indication, then there is truly reason to fear for the future of Jews on the continent.

Published last November, the poll, which included more than 7,000 interviewees, found that, “antisemitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe, while the memory of the Holocaust is starting to fade.” Over a quarter of all Europeans say Jews have too much influence in business and finance and nearly the same percentage link Jews with global conflict and wars. Incredibly, according to CNN, “a third of Europeans in the poll said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust.” In France, 20% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 said they had never even heard of it.

I am neither an alarmist nor a pessimist by nature. But anyone with even a modicum of historical memory cannot help but be frightened by what is happening in places such as Paris, London and Stockholm.

Unfortunately, in recent years, warnings of mounting European antisemitism have begun to resemble various traffic signs on the highway: little-noticed and largely unheeded. We have come to assume that, like the weather, all we can do in the face of European hatred of Jews is to shrug and move on with our lives.

Perhaps that may be true. But we must nonetheless try to stem this dangerous tide, first and foremost by calling out European leaders and holding them to account for failing to stamp out the antisemitism and Holocaust-denial that is metastasizing in their midst. By neglecting to educate the next generation about the horrors of the past and persistently bashing Israel for defending itself, Europe’s leaders are fanning the flames still further.

Indeed, if a lonesome loser such as Anton Drexler was able a century ago to kindle the spark that gave rise to Nazism, who knows what calamities today’s brand of open and brash European antisemitism, armed with popularity and the power of social media, may yet produce. The old cliché is that history repeats itself, but that is only partly true. In fact, it is people who enable it to happen and it is they who will bear the blame.

The series continues...

Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

Here is part 15.

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.
By Daled Amos

Malaysia is making news - at least in the Jewish media - for its refusal to allow Israeli participants into the Paralympic Swimming event it is hosting this year from July 29 to August 4. This has broader implications for Israel since this is a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

This is not even the first time Malaysia has blocked Israel from participating in a sports event.

As Elder of Ziyon pointed out 3 years ago, Malaysia also blocked 2 Israeli teenagers from competing in the 45th Youth Sailing World Championships held there in 2016. Malaysia also refused visas to Israel that year to prevent them from participating in the World Team Table Tennis Championships. The International Table Tennis Federation threatened a ban, but in the end, Israel withdrew because of security concerns.

Paralympics logo. Fair use

But Malaysia has no problem hosting Hamas terrorists, for whom it hosts their own special "events".

Hamas Logo. Fair Use

Malaysia provides Hamas with a training ground where it conducts financial activities, trains terrorists, and develops rockets and missiles.

When Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak visited the Gaza in 2013, he became the first non-Arab leader to visit Hamas since it grabbed control from the PA in a bloody civil war in 2007. Razak pledged Hamas political and financial support -- all of which is mutually beneficial: improving Hamas’ image worldwide, while also strengthening Razak’s own standing in Malaysia’s Muslim community.

As for Malaysia's Jewish community, there isn't one. In Malaysia itself, there are virtually no Jews remaining, as a result of state-sponsored Antisemitism:
Few Malaysians have laid eyes on a Jew; the tiny Jewish community emigrated decades ago. Nevertheless, Malaysia has become an example of a phenomenon called “Anti-Semitism without Jews.” Last March, for instance, the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department sent out an official sermon to be read in all mosques, stating that “Muslims must understand Jews are the main enemy to Muslims as proven by their egotistical behaviour and murders performed by them.” About 60% of Malaysians are Muslim.

In Kuala Lumpur, it’s routine to blame the Jews for everything from economic failures to the bad press Malaysia gets in foreign (“Jewish-owned”) newspapers.
Ten years ago, Forbes ran an article on The Myth Of A Moderate Malaysia. Even without having to make any mention of either Jews (around 100 remain) or Israel in the article, the article had no trouble seeing that
Malaysia has rejected secularism in favor of a kind of ethnoreligious apartheid that belongs more in a medieval kingdom than in a modern democratic republic.

In Malaysia, Islam is the state religion. Higher education, the bureaucracy and vast swathes of the economy are operated as a kind of spoils system almost exclusively for Malays, whom the state defines as Muslim. Race and religion determine everything from your odds of getting into medical school to the amount you're expected to put down for an apartment.
Not surprisingly, Malaysia is also a big supporter of BDS. Last year there was a call to boycott Malaysia’s largest television service provider, Astro, because it allegedly made a business deal with the Israeli software and service provider Amdocs. Malaysia also put pressure on McDonalds and Tesco, for alleged business relations with Israel. To counter this, these companies downplay the political aspect of their connection and instead emphasize how they provide jobs and help Malaysia's economic growth.

Yet Malaysia avoids the consequences of its actions, as its leader Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad manages to walk a thin line condemning the US while also playing a supportive role in fighting terrorism.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Public Domain

Back in 2002, The New York Times reported on how moderate Malaysia is:
Dr. Mahathir has cracked down hard on suspected terrorists and shared intelligence with the United States, the kind of support the Bush administration wishes it were getting from Indonesia.

Some American officials have said Malaysia was a launching pad for Sept. 11, that it is a base for Islamic terrorists. Although a few of the hijackers did pass time here, Western and Asian analysts say that this is a moderate Islamic country, where extremists are as unwelcome as they are in Europe or the United States. [emphasis added]
In 2016, even the State Department praised Malaysia in its Country Reports on Terrorism praised Malaysia for its combatting terrorism, although it also noted that the same laws were used to harass and intimidate critics and political opponents.

It was a just a few months after that 2002 Times article that Malaysia's opposition Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party invited terrorists from Hamas and Hezbollah to speak at their conference, they claimed they had no formal links. That may be when Malaysia and Hamas terrorists started to begin to get close. At the time, Current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister then too -- and accused the opposition party of fomenting extremism.

So all things being equal, the question is not merely what is taking the International Federation for Paralympic Swimming so long to take real action.

The question is why are they holding their Olympics there to begin with?

Hat tip: This Ongoing War

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From Ian:

PMW: Israelis/Jews "defile" Muslim and Christian holy sites
Muslim and Christian holy sites in "Palestine" are "defiled" and "desecrated" by the presence of Israelis/Jews. This hateful demonization is often expressed by Palestinians, including Palestinian leaders.

In December 2018, the PA "presidential office" stressed that Mahmoud Abbas was to have "urgent conversations" with Arab and international bodies about "the dangerous Israeli escalation," which among other things Abbas' office said is being expressed by "the defilement of the holy sites." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 11, 2018]

Every time an Israeli/Jew enters Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount plaza, the PA calls it "an invasion" and a "defilement" or a "desecration."

Recently, official PA radio broadcast a song which included the lyrics: "The Zionist" has "defiled the mosques and churches" in the cities of "Haifa, Ramallah, Gaza, Jaffa, Ramle, Acre, and occupied Jerusalem":
"Where is the Arab army, where? ...
Haifa, Ramallah, Gaza, and occupied Jerusalem call to you
Jaffa, Ramle, Acre, and occupied Jerusalem call to you...
The Zionist has defiled their mosques and churches, and trampled our sanctity."

[Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, Dec. 19, 2018]

Khaled Abu Toameh: Muslims protest against kippah-clad policeman at Temple Mount
Muslim worshipers and guards for the Wakf Islamic religious trust protested on Monday against an Israeli policeman wearing a kippah who tried to enter the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount as part of a routine security patrol.

The protesters barricaded themselves inside the shrine after a large police force was rushed to the area, witnesses said. They demanded that the policeman remove the kippah before entering the site, triggering a standoff with police. The incident ended several hours later.

The Wakf claimed the police detained five east Jerusalem men as they were leaving the Temple Mount after the incident. The five were identified as Fadi Elayan, Yahya Shehadeh, Ahmed Abu Alya, Awad Salaymeh and Luay Abu al-Sa’ed.

The Wakf said in a statement that it had ordered the closure of the Dome of the Rock after an Israeli policeman “attempted to storm it while wearing a kippah.” It said that two Israeli policemen enter the site daily – in the morning and evening – for a routine security check.

“The guards at the Dome of the Rock asked the policeman to remove his kippah before entering the site, but he refused and insisted on entering it even by force,” the Wakf statement said. “The guards then closed all the gates of the Dome of the Rock. Later, police officers were deployed at the entrances to the Dome of the Rock, while the guards and worshipers remained inside.”

Khaled Abu Toameh: The UN, the "State of Palestine" and the Torture of Women
This is the kind of story that the "State of Palestine" does not intend to raise during its chairmanship of the largest bloc of developing countries at the UN. It seems that, from the point of view of the Palestinian Authority leadership, Jbara's ordeal does not fall within the category of human rights.

Jbara's story has barely attracted the attention of the international mainstream media. As far as many foreign journalists covering the Middle East are concerned, a Palestinian woman complaining about torture in a Palestinian prison is not newsworthy. Had she been detained by Israel, Jbara would have most likely made it to the front pages of the world's leading newspapers and magazines in a matter of minutes.

The PA regularly complains about human rights violations of Palestinians held in Israeli prison for security-related offenses. But when the PA's own security forces detain and torture a mother of three, Palestinian leaders are found elsewhere -- like at the helm of a UN bloc.
Caroline Glick: Mike Pompeo Destroys the Ideological Legacy of Obama’s Middle East
To sum up, Obama rejected America’s moral right to lead in world affairs. He undermined the morality of Israel’s very existence. He rejected the legitimacy of Arab governments and elevated the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate force in the Muslim world. And he ignored all of the pathologies of the Arab and Muslim world.

Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran; his hostile treatment of Israel; his support for the overthrow of allied and non-threatening Arab governments in Egypt, in Tunisia, and in Libya; and his refusal to take decisive action against either ISIS or Iranian aggression in Syria all were rooted in the anti-American principles he set out in his Cairo speech.

On Tuesday, Pompeo disavowed and condemned Obama’s speech point by point. Pompeo rejected Obama’s denunciation of American power insisting, “America is a force for good in the Middle East.”

Of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt following Mubarak’s ouster in 2011, Pompeo said

Pompeo went on to describe the Trump administration’s actions to restore and strengthen America’s alliances with its Arab allies, its strategy for countering Iranian aggression, and cultivating good relations between the Arab states and Israel.

He underlined the America’s continued commitment to utterly destroying Islamic State forces in Syria, even after U.S. forces are withdrawn. And he spoke in great detail about U.S. actions to curtail Iranian power and influence throughout the region.

There is little doubt that the media, the foreign policy establishment, the European Union and the Democrats will continue to seek to undermine Trump’s policies in the Middle East with the intention of paving the way for a restoration of Obama’s policies – based on Obama’s Cairo speech from January 4, 2009.

But on Thursday, by condemning and disavowing that speech in detail, from the place where it was delivered, Pompeo drove a spear through the lie at its very heart – that America is anything other than a force of good in the Middle East.

  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Nina Burleigh is Newsweek's National Politics Correspondent and a New York Times bestselling author.

And she is apparently also an antisemitic conspiracy theorist.

It started with a thread by Sarah Kendzior, a self described "Writer and scholar. Co-host of @gaslitnation. Author of the NYT bestseller THE VIEW FROM FLYOVER COUNTRY." In the thread she talks about lots of anti-Trump stories that she believes have inexplicably been dropped, like the charge that he raped a 13-year old girl, that he was involved in Israeli firm Black Cube targeting supporters of the Iran deal, and that "Chabad is used as a cover for criminal activity by international mafias and key players in the Trump team including Sater, Cohen, Kushner, Ivanka, etc. Briefly explored by Politico, then dropped."

Every tweet in the thread implicated one or more Jews.

Kendzior ended her thread with,

There are many more undercovered stories, but the press seems particularly reluctant to pursue these. Which is not surprising since those who do write about them are threatened.
Why officials also seem reluctant to investigate or prosecute obvious crimes - now there's a story...

Nina Burleigh weighed in on the thread:

The "third rail of American journalism," according to Burleigh, is obviously - Jews. That's why no one wants to pursue these "obvious" crimes.

No one has seemed to tell this to Bernie Madoff, Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen,  Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, Sholom Rubashkin, Jeremy Reichberg, the yeshivas of New York City...

This is a truly bizarre tweet (note that the Mossad is not mentioned by Kendzior. although Black Cube boasts some former Mossad members.) It betrays what Burleigh really feels.

I have not found any similar antisemitic craziness from Burleigh, although she ludicrously claimed that "settlers periodically try to take back the Dome of the Rock from the Muslims in Old Jerusalem," which makes her a sloppy reporter - but no sloppier than many other such "professionals" who write what they believe rather than the facts.

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  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

For the past week, the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been closed.

While it had been closed for much of the past six years, last May it was opened as Hamas allowed the Palestinian Authority to man the crossing. Egypt severely restricted who could travel through the crossings but several thousand were allowed to cross in both directions monthly.

Then on January 9, the PA announced that it will stop its presence at the crossing, ostensibly because their employees were being harassed and arrested by Hamas. However, Palestinian Authority Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al Sheikh said in an interview that the closure was part of the PA's attempts to pressure Hamas into surrendering in their longstanding dispute.

It should be noted that Egypt can open the crossing any time it wants, but at this time it refuses to open it unless the Palestinian Authority is there. In the past Egypt did open the crossing sporadically to traffic when Hamas controlled the crossing, and during the time the Muslim Brotherhood controlled Egypt the crossing was open often. On Sunday, Egypt did allow crossing one way into Gaza, but not out, so PA presence is certainly not necessary for the border to be opened.

As usual, the news story is of little interest to international media, because Palestinian suffering from infighting is not nearly as interesting to the world as when Israel can be blamed.

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.
  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the official Qatari eighth grade textbook on Islamic education (pages 76-80 on Khaybar):

A characteristic of the Jews from the Quran is they hate the truth.

Lessons from Khaybar:
1. The inherent characteristic of Jews in all times is cowardice and weakness.

From the official Qatari eleventh grade textbook on Islamic education (pages 135-140 on Judaism):

 Judaism is a term for a false religion distorted from the true religion which Moses came, since he did not come with Judaism, but came with Islam (p. 135)

The Zionist movement is a Jewish political movement which managed to convince most of the Jews to control the whole world in order to have dominance (page 136, not screen-captured)
The current Torah is full of cruelty and barbarism, and the Jews are allowed to cheat, steal and treachery , deceit, murder and other things that the current Torah contained. (p. 137)

You know how Arabs love to say that they have no problems with Jews and Judaism?

That doesn't quite jive with what their textbooks say.

This is all online, I checked the translations as best I could. Feel free to factcheck me.

(h/t WC)

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Monday, January 14, 2019

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: EAPPI: The World Council of Churches’ Training Camp for Anti-Israel Advocacy
Executive Summary Click Here for Full Report [pdf]
  • EAPPI, the World Council of Churches’ flagship project on Israel and the Arab-Israel conflict, has brought 1,800 volunteers to the West Bank to “witness life under occupation.” The World Council of Churches does not run similar activities in other conflict zones. By singling out Israel, EAPPI embodies antisemitism, as defined in the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s working definition.
  • Despite marketing itself as a human rights and protection program, EAPPI places significant emphasis on political advocacy before, during, and after the trip. When volunteers return to their home countries and churches, they engage in anti-Israel advocacy, such as BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany.
  • Participants are selected by country-specific non-governmental organizations (NGOs) known as “National Coordinators.” The National Coordinators are also active in BDS and other delegitimization campaigns against Israel.
  • EAPPI receives funding from a variety of sources, including the WCC and National Coordinators. Funding from different governments is directed to EAPPI through the National Coordinators and via UNICEF.
  • EAPPI contributes to a UN “Working Group” consisting of a number of UN agencies and NGOs that collaborate on and coordinate politicized anti-Israel campaigns in the West Bank. In this capacity, EAPPI does “a lot of administrative work which is fed into UN systems.”
  • EAPPI partners with a number of political NGOs in the region, including groups that support BDS campaigns against Israel and/or that accuse Israel of “war crimes.”
  • The significant problems with EAPPI, as laid out in this report, should be seen in light of the antisemitism1 and demonization that emerges from EAPPI’s parent body (World Council of Churches), partners, and affiliated staff.
World Council of Churches trainees use antisemitic rhetoric, advocate BDS
WCC leadership and EAPPI volunteers have repeatedly made comparisons of Israeli actions to those of Nazi Germany in their advocacy sessions. For example, WCC general secretary Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit said: “I heard about the occupation of my country during the five years of World War II as the story of my parents. Now I see and hear the stories of 50 years of occupation.”

In 2017, an observer Rev. Gordon Timbers of the Presbyterian Church of Canada gave a presentation. When an audience member asked if “Jewish people who go in to see...the model of the gas chambers” see similarities between that and the West Bank, Timbers responded that “there are similarities,” including the use of identification papers.

South African EAPPI activist Itani Rasalanavho said during an “Apartheid Week” event in his home country that “the time has come to say that the victims of the Holocaust have now become the perpetrators.”

In a presentation by Rev. Joan Fisher, an EAPPI activist, she quotes a Palestinian cleric as saying: “We are sympathetic to the suffering of our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Holocaust, but you don’t deal with one injustice by creating another injustice.”

The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitsm states that “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.

The WCC supports boycotts and divestment from settlements, but EAPPI activists have called for a boycott of all of Israel.

The EAPPI publication “Faith Under Occupation” called in 2012 for “sanctions and suspension of US aid to Israel,” to “challenge Israel in local and international courts” and “economic boycotts.”

EAPPI National Coordinator in South Africa Dudu Mahlangu-Masango signed a letter to then-president Jacob Zuma calling “on our government and civil society to instigate broad-based boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel” in 2012. She repeated this call in a 2018 television interview, calling for “total sanctions” on Israel.
Caroline Glick: The New York Times' War on Israel and Jews Who Support It
Following the 2016 presidential election, Weisman wrote a book which purported to be about anti-Semitism titled, (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump.

Weisman did three things in his book. He used the presence of antisemitism on the right as a means to castigate the entire Republican party and conservative movement as antisemitic. He ignored and dismissed antisemitism on the Left. And finally, Weisman attacked Judaism, Jews who observe Judaism, and Jews who support Israel.

Weisman accused pro-Israel American Jews of disloyalty to America, arguing, “The American Jewish obsession with Israel has taken our eyes off not only the politics of our own country, the growing gulf between rich and poor, and the rising tide of nationalism but also our own grounding in faith.”

Weisman’s January 4 article in the Times was an amplification of the arguments he made in his book. Again he ignored left wing anti-Semitism. He regurgitated Goldberg’s allegations of Israeli moral infirmity. He defended Tlaib and Omar and their hatred for Israel. And thne, Weisman insisted that American Jewry should forget its ties to Jewish tradition and to the Jewish people and instead embrace an identity based entirely on leftist ideology and propaganda.

In his words, “American Jewry has been going its own way for 150 years, a drift that has created something of a new religion, or at least a new branch of one of the world’s most ancient faiths.”

It is hard to know how influential the Times‘ ever-escalating campaign against Jews will be on the American Jewish community. Survey results and other data indicate that the vast majority of American Jews are not buying the claim that Israel is morally infirm, incapable of discerning its national interest, and deserving of hatred and destruction.

Most American Jews don’t think that American Jews should tell Israel how to handle the security and other challenges it faces. And even as anti-Israel groups in the American Jewish community receive adulation and attention disproportionate to their small numbers, they do not seem to have built major inroads into the Jewish community. This explains why their efforts are directed towards weakening existing Jewish institutions rather than building their own. Their constituencies are too small to support them.

But whether the New York Times succeeds or fails in its campaign to mainstream leftist antisemitism, shame pro-Israel American Jews, and detach the Jewish community in the U.S. from Israel and the rest of the Jewish world, it is worth taking note of, and condemning, what the newspaper is attempting to do.

Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

Here is part 14. This has not aged since 2013.

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The term headlining this post refers to a century-long conflict in European history when England and France fought what were really a series of wars over the course of more than a century (from 1337-1453).

The phrase “100 Years’ War” was later applied by historians to cover a period in which the cause of specific flareups varied (succession battles, fights over lands, military ambition and hubris) as two powerful and dynastically entangled European powers battled for dominance, forming distinct national identities as “England” and “France” in the process. 

Remind you of anything? 

When most people describe the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict (or, as Ruth Wisse prefers, the Arab War Against the Jews), they tend to highlight specific armed conflicts between nation states that broke out in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 (occasionally including the 1982 Lebanon war against the PLO in the mix), with skirmishes and terrorism marking every year between “real wars” involving the armies of nation states.

Over the last two decades, full-scale wars attached to specific years and ongoing small-scale assaults on civilians have been supplemented by organized non-state militaries in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Gaza (Hamas) attacking Israel with missiles and – most recently – attempting at large-scale infiltration through tunneling.  Because clashes between the Israeli army and Hezbollah (2006) and Hamas (2008, 2012 and 2014) did not involve wars between states, these fights tend to not be grouped in with 1948, 1967, etc.

Our tendency to use the term “war” to describe certain types of conflicts blurs the reality that the war between Israel and its neighbors should really be seen as another 100 Years’ War, one declared against the Jews decades before Israeli became a reality in which even major wars like 1967 can be seen as battles in a single, large, ongoing conflict.

If you use the term “war” not to describe any event involving people shooting at one another, but reserve it for a specific conflict or set of conflicts designed to accomplish political goals, then wars can only end with the victory of one side over the other or, in some cases, reconciliation between belligerents (often motivated by exhaustion or a new internal or external threat).

When clear victory and defeat is not present, the end of one conflict is better thought of as a cease fire, during which belligerents take a time out to repair damage, heal wounds, and prepare for another go when timing is right.  In the case of England v. France in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, there was very little reason to end the war entirely, given that no victory was ever definitive enough to cause one or the other party to surrender.  So it continued generation after generation until civil war in one nation (England) led to new leaders finally calling it quits.

Such unending multi-generational conflict can seem unworldly in a modern age when not squandering resources and lives in warfare confers so many human and material benefits.  Who would sacrifice not just themselves but their children, their children’s children and their children’s children’s children in a century of military conflict when ending it would increase prosperity and hope for so many?

But as we have learned over the centuries, the ambition of leaders – especially in unfree societies – tends to trump factors such as the good of citizen/subjects. 

And why not?  Kings and tyrants tend to be the last ones to lose their fortunes or lives in the wars they instigate – and only when they are defeated.  In the case of every war that’s racked the Middle East over the last century (including those that did not involve Israel), how many Middle East kings, military dictators or mullahs fell in battle, or even fell from power after losing the many wars they began? With the possible exception of Saddam Hussein, I’m hard pressed to think of a single tyrant who started a war dying of anything other than a coup or natural causes.

As we learned in the last century, ideology (both secular and religious) can motivate a population to continue a multi-generational conflict.  If you think of the Cold War as an actual war, with so-called “wars” like Korea and Vietnam (as well as surrogate superpower conflicts between Israel and the Arab states) serving as battles in that larger conflict, then it was ideology – good and ill – that motivated the parties to fight it out until one of them collapsed.

The reality that we might be in a conflict ready to enter its second century can be both bewildering and disheartening to those of us who can easily see how much suffering would end if Israel’s enemies simply accepted the fact that a non-Arab, non-Muslim polity was destined to continue on a tiny sliver of land in the region.

This dynamic distorts perception, leading to the situation we are in now in which a subset of Israelis, American Jews and non-Jews (and others) are unwilling to believe in the true source of a century-long conflict, instead adopt false “narratives” (such as the war being the result of the Jews not allowing an Arab presence in the land they control) to avoid having the contemplate being at war with societies ready to throw a fourth generation onto the bonfire.

Given all this, the most powerful weapons Israel and her friends can bring to the battlefield are patience and historic understanding, psychological resources ultimately more important than the latest military gadgetry.

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From Ian:

'Israeli strike targeted Iranian, Hezbollah commanders'
The Israeli strike on Iranian warehouses in Damascus on Friday was timed to target a meeting of Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders who were meeting with Syrian military leaders, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jadira reported Monday.

Al-Jadira quoted sources in the Revolutionary Guards who said the Syrian, Iranian, and Hezbollah commanders had convened to discuss a joint Russian-Turkish plan to attack the al-Qaida-affiliated jihadist Nusra Front group in Idlib in northwestern Syria.

The sources told the Kuwaiti paper that the strike came moments after the meeting adjourned and badly wounded two Revolutionary Guard commanders and a number of Hezbollah and Syrian military personnel.

In a highly unusual step, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that Israel was responsible for the strike on the Damascus airport.

"Just in the past 36 hours the IDF struck Iranian targets in Damascus, proving we are more determined than ever to take action against Iran in Syria," Netanyahu said in the weekly cabinet meeting.

Syrian state media reported the strike and claimed that air defenses intercepted most of the missiles. Hezbollah's Al-Manar television reported that the attack covered a wider area than usual, ranging from the eastern Damascus suburb of Dmeir to the village of Dimas in the west near the Lebanon border.

Also on Monday, an Iranian cargo plane crashed in the city of Karaj, near Tehran.
Satellite photos show Iranian missile depot allegedly leveled by Israeli strike
On Sunday evening, Israeli website Intelli Times published photos showing the devastation at the site, saying the same structure had been struck in 2016 after it was identified as a depot housing M-600 surface-to-surface missiles, the Syrian version of the Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles.

The intelligence blog said the building had been restored later that year, but was now completely destroyed.

It published side-by-side satellite photos, saying one was taken on Friday — where the building can be seen — and the other was taken on Sunday, with the building gone.

On Saturday, Intelli Times reported that hours before the Israeli strike, an Iranian Boeing 747 cargo plane had landed at the airport and unloaded its cargo at a site previously targeted three times by Israel. The aircraft then returned to Iran through Iraqi airspace.

On Friday, the official news agency SANA reported that Syrian air defense batteries opened fire on “hostile Israel missiles” and intercepted “most” of them, a common claim of the Syrian military, which many defense analysts believe to be false or overstated.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said that “two areas hosting military positions of Iranian forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement have been targeted.”

The sites were near the airport and around the Kisweh area south of Damascus, the observatory said.

Why Israel Chose to End Its Ambiguity over Syria Strikes
It is important to note that this internal debate is a major factor in why Israel suddenly chose to end the ambiguity over its operations against Iran in Syria, the transfer of high-quality weapons to Hezbollah, and the advancement of precision missiles and rockets in Syria and Lebanon.

In an interview with The New York Times, the outoging chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said that Israel had carried out thousands of such attacks, most of them from the air, and others by special units and surface missiles. Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu repeated this message in the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, partly perhaps because Israel wants to make sure that the Iranian leadership is fully aware of the losses and damage they are suffering in Syria under Suleimani, and of the resources they have expended in vain trying to entrench themselves there.

Israel has an intelligence and aerial advantage in the region, and this led to Suleimani's inability to set up shop in Syria. In fact, he wasted tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars on this adventure. None of that has harmed his standing in Iran, however, which is still allowing him to continue his plans to make Iran and Shiite Islam the true powerhouse in the Middle East.

Iran has already cut some of its budgets to foreign proxies, including Hezbollah, and the debate inside the country goes on. Israel meanwhile, is trying to show the all different Iranian camps what the truth is. Israel has an interest in making Iranians understand that these efforts by Suleiman — which Israel has foiled in recent years — cost huge sums, something that is terrribly lacking in the welfare of the people.

As such, Israel decided that it was time to end its policy of ambiguity so that Iranians will finally know why senior Revolutionary Guards officials are coming home in coffins.
Why Lift the Fog Off IDF Actions in Syria?
Former Foreign Ministry director general Dore Gold said that there are always military operations around elections, “and now given the nature of the threat it is certainly reasonable that those military operations that have started already a couple of years ago will continue.”

He said that those attributing political considerations to Netanyahu going public now with the attacks would be on stronger ground “if these military operations just started now.” But, he said, “considering this is a continuation of past policy as articulated by the outgoing chief of staff, I think these arguments lose ground.”

Gold said that when Israel takes credit for an operation of this sort, “it becomes part of its deterrence posture – there is no longer a doubt, and it is now clear that Israel will do what is necessary to prevent the buildup of an Iranian military presence on Syrian soil.”

Taking responsibility, he said, “adds credibility to Israel's statements about not allowing Iran to convert Syria into a satellite state.”

The timing, he said, is not connected to the elections, but rather to the US intention to remove its forces from Syria.

“I think the discussion of a US withdrawal has perhaps given the Iranians a sense that they now can just take over Syria.,” he said. Israel's taking responsibility for attacks there sends them a clear message that they cannot. It also sends a message that even with the lingering tensions with Moscow over the spy plane incident, Jerusalem will not be deterred from taking action in Syria when it deems it necessary.

Jacob Nagel, who formerly served under Netanyahu as his national security advisor, also mentioned the withdrawal of the US troops as one of the reasons to take credit now.

He said that Israel has spelled out its red lines in Syria for a long time: that it will not allow a terrorist presence on the Golan border, that it will not allow the transfer of precision arms from Iran to Hezbollah, and that it will not allow an Iranian military buildup in the country.

Nagel said regarding the reason for taking responsibility for the attacks now: “Israel wants to make clear to everyone who will listen that we are determined, and will not allow our red lines be crossed.”

  • Monday, January 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Jewish God Questionby Andrew Pessin, is a very readable compendium that briefly describes the philosophy of dozens of Jewish thinkers over the centuries, from Philo to today.

Over 70 Jewish philosophers are given a short chapter or two (or three). Each chapter is two pages long. Pessin manages to take key points of their thinking and condense them into very few pages.

The book is divided into four parts: pre-Maimonides, Maimonides to Sforno, Spinoza to the 20th century and contemporary Jewish philosophy. Many of the philosophers are within the traditional rabbinic Jewish framework, and many are not.

The Jewish God Question mostly sticks to Jewish thought as a reaction to, or in consonance with, ancient Greek philosophy. Hence, Philo is the first Jewish philosopher who grappled (and tried to synthesize Jewish thinking) with Greek philosophy. There is a large time gap between Philo and the next Jewish philosopher mentioned, Saadia (ben Joseph) Gaon, who similarly tried to make Jewish thinking compatible with rational observation. Pessin shows how Saadia Gaon uses logic to prove that the universe must have had a beginning, as opposed to the prevailing philosophy that it had been there forever, for example.

To give you an idea of what the book is like, here is Chapter 1:

Pessin doesn't only speak about these philosophers' thoughts about God but also about how they look at the Torah, free will vs. predetermination, and the land of Israel.

On the latter theme, for example, he describes the thinking of Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, a 19th century Orthodox rabbi and philosopher who strongly urges Jews to move to Israel, buy land and build farms and communities before the Messiah comes - a proto-Zionism that predates Herzl (also in the book) by some three decades.

But, Pessin notes, he wasn't the first philosopher to urge Jews to return to Israel. That may have been Judah Halevi (12th century CE) where he said that Jews can only achieve our purpose by returning to Israel and rebuilding Jerusalem. One of the chapters on the Ramban (Nachmanides) notes that he also believes that there is a mitzvah for Jews to return to the land.

The book is a fascinating journey through Jewish thought of all stripes. As Pessin points out, it is difficult to read about the German Jewish philosophers of the 19th century who convinced themselves that they were finally being accepted as equals in an enlightened Europe. The founding thinkers of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements are also given chapters.  The modern philosophers' section provide a nice overview of the diversity of the field today, as well as the influence of the Holocaust, the State of Israel and modern liberal thought on today's Jewish philosophy.

Too often I'd read a chapter and think, yeah, that makes sense. Then I'd read another from a bitter opponent of the first and think, yeah, that makes sense too. This book is a toe-tip in an ocean.

The book also introduces Samuel Lebens, a philosopher at the University of Haifa, who writes the afterword and sounds like the kind of guy I'd love to have over for Shabbat. In his afterword he defines two threads that define Jewish philosophy throughout the centuries: the idea of encountering thoughts and ideas and God - not just looking at them as museum pieces but wrestling with them. In fact, I found it fascinating that Lebens describes Jewish philosophers of the past in present-tense terms, which is the way that generations of Jewish yeshiva students have discussed the opinions of rabbis of the past.

The second thread that Lebens describes is the idea of objective truth, which is under assault in postmodern thought. Lebens sees this as pernicious.

I would have loved to have seen a brief biography of the philosophers whose thoughts were detailed here so I could put their thinking in more historic perspective, as well as who argued with them.

But altogether it is a wonderful and accessible introduction to Jewish philosophy, and it will make you think.

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  • Monday, January 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 1927, the Evening Standard described all of the riches that could be found in the Dead Sea. I found a Popular Science article in 1929 that echoed it:

According to an Egyptian newspaper, the Rothschild family knew of these unimaginable riches worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and that was the reason that they forced the British government to issue the Balfour Declaration to Lord Rothschild.

The writer of the paper takes pains to say that ordinary Jews, and even ordinary Israelis, don't necessarily know about this - even though, we are told, they are really Khazars and not Jews. But the Zionist leaders manipulated the media and the Jews in order to make it appear that Jews always wanted to return to Israel even though that is complete fiction made up "more than fifty years ago." It was all to cover up the Rothschild's greed for Dead Sea riches.

It's a good thing we have Arabic media to explain the truth.

As an interesting footnote, although Dr. Georges Claude was a well-known and brilliant French scientist who invented the neon light and a method to liquefy gases as well as a method to generate power from ocean thermal energy, he ended up collaborating with the Nazis.

As far as I know, no one has yet mined gold in the Dead Sea.

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  • Monday, January 14, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Abbas Hamideh, founder of Al-Awda, the Palestinian "right to return coalition" that wants to erase Israel, met with new member of Congress Rashida Tlaib:

Hamideh is not exactly interested in peace. His Twitter account description says "I don't compromise on one inch of Palestinian land!" Al-Awda, and Hamideh, support terror:

He compares Israel to Nazis, which is textbook antisemitism:

His very Twitter handle, "Resistance48," refers to Israeli Arabs (known throughout the Arab world as "1948 Palestinians") "resisting" (i.e., using terror) to destroy Israel.

The Al Awda listserv is awash in antisemitism and Jewish conspiracy theories. The ADL has documented antisemitic speeches by Al Awda representatives at demonstrations, for example this in 2017: "[Jews]  don’t even bother hiding who they are anymore. They don’t even claim to be the righteous victim anymore. They’ve shown us who they are, they’ve bore their fangs…They are the heart of darkness. They are the heart of oppression. They are the torch bearers of white and Zionist supremacy....”

Rashida Tlaib is attempting to mainstream hate for Israel and virulent antisemitism that Al Awda condones.

(h/t Jennifer)

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

  • Sunday, January 13, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Despite Egyptian efforts to kill the tunnel trade between Gaza and Egypt, somehow the Palestinians are still managing to dig more.

Palestine Today reports that Egyptian forces blew up a "commercial" tunnel connecting the Egyptian side with the Gaza Strip, but no injuries were reported. A huge explosion shook the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, indicating that the explosion was caused by the bombing of a tunnel from the Egyptian side.

Egypt had planned to, and as far as I know did, clear out all land in Rafah for a couple of hundred meters at the border to be able to detect any tunnels.

I don't know whether it is Hamas or enterprising Gaza traders building these.

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From Ian:

Keep Mahmoud Abbas out of the U.S. for funding terror
If someone paid a terrorist in order to murder an American, the US would certainly prohibit that person’s entry into the country. If someone who funded terror against Americans traveled to the US, the US would certainly be expected to arrest him as soon as he set his foot on American soil.

If someone paid a terrorist after he murdered an American, the treatment should be no different. Americans would expect their government to prohibit the entry of that person who rewards killers of Americans, and should he arrive at America's borders they would expect that he be detained for interrogation.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who plans to come to New York City this week, does exactly that. He pays terrorists after they murder not only Israelis but also Americans.

Abdallah Barghouti built the bombs that murdered 67 people. One of his bombs was planted at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2002 and also killed five Americans: Janis Ruth Coulter, David Gritz, Marla Bennett, Dina Carter and Benjamin Blutstein. Under PA law from 2004 and regulations instituted by Abbas himself in 2011, terrorist murderer Barghouti has been rewarded with a monthly salary which by today exceeds over $200,000 in payments.

Ibrahim Hamed planned bombings in which 53 people were murdered, and Americans were among them. Shoshana Judy Greenbaum, aged 31, who was murdered in the Sbarro Pizza shop suicide bombing in 2001, was 5 months pregnant when killed. Another American citizen who was murdered in that bombing was Malki Roth, aged 15. Under Abbas' “Pay for Slay” program Hamed has already received $143,000.

Boston teenager Ezra Schwartz and two others were murdered by terrorist Muhammad Al-Hroub in 2015. Abbas’ reward program has already paid him nearly $16,000 in salary payments.
Top minister suggests barring Abbas from West Bank over PA’s anti-Hamas steps
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday suggested barring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas from returning to the West Bank when he next travels abroad, claiming the PA leader was “one of the main instigators of violence on the southern border” and contributed nothing to the diplomatic process.

Abbas, Erdan told Israel Radio, was responsible for the ongoing turmoil on the Israel-Gaza border through his ongoing economic pressure on Hamas as he tries to break the terror group’s grip over the enclave.

“The one really responsible behind the scenes for all that is happening is Abu Mazen,” he said, using Abbas’s nickname. “He is the one to move inspectors out of the Rafah Crossing, he is the one sanctioning Hamas in order to pressure Hamas — pressure that is bleeding over to us.”

The Likud minister said the government should consider taking action against Abbas in the coming months as his policy is “undeniably to foment unrest and incite against Israel, whether directly or through sanctions on Hamas.”

“Maybe we should go as far as to consider one of the next times Abu Mazen leaves not to allow him to come back, because today he makes no contribution to the diplomatic process. He’s only doing damage with his attitude toward Hamas,” he said.
Conservatives Can Fix the United Nations
Many conservatives despise the United Nations. “The Secretariat building in New York has thirty-eight stories,” John Bolton said in 1994 while a lawyer in the private sector. “If it lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” Bolton’s subsequent tenure as ambassador to the United Nations and now National Security Advisor has not changed his attitude. While Bolton focused his criticism on UN inefficiency, criticisms of the almost seventy-five-year-old institution range the gambit: encroachment on sovereignty, impunity of its officials, corruption, anti-Semitism , obsession with if not malice toward Israel, and even violations of the Geneva Conventions.

The Many Criticisms of UN

On most counts, critics are correct. The UN of today bears little resemblance to the body envisioned at its creation. The UN had its beginnings against the backdrop of World War II, when the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and Republic of China met at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference to begin the process that would culminate in the UN’s formation on October 24, 1945. The original UN had four goals : To keep peace throughout the world; to develop friendly relations among nations; to help nations work together to improve the lives of the poor, and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms; and to harmonize nations to achieve these goals.

In practice, such broad and heady ambitions have given cover to an ever-expanding array of organizations, easy to form, easier to expand, and almost impossible to end. The UN created the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in 1949, for example, to address Palestinians displaced by Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. In 1951, UNRWA outlined a three-year plan to resettle Palestinian refugees and, yet, sixty-five years later, UNRWA has a nearly $1 billion budget , even as the number of first generation displaced or refugees dwindles to just a few thousand. Or, consider the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), created in 1991 to survey Sahrawi refugees about desired final status for the Western Sahara. Almost thirty years later, the UN has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, and no referendum has been held. The UN funds special rapporteurs to promote the Venezuelan model, even as millions of Venezuelans choose between flight from their socialist paradise or starvation. The UN has only retired one specialized agency—the International Refugee Organization—but that quickly replaced by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A quarter century after Palau, the last trustee, won independence, the UN Trustee Council technically still exists . Put another way, when founded, the UN Secretariat included three hundred persons, a number which expanded ten-fold in its first six months. In 1991, the UN more broadly employed fifty-two thousand people worldwide. Twenty-five years later, the number was approaching one hundred thousand.

In Congress, many Republicans seek to curtail, if not end U.S. funding of the United Nations over that organization’s inefficiency. Rather than effectively supervise the UN’s internal operations, successive secretaries-general have viewed their position as an invitation to jet set and bloviate. Other UN officials saw in budget talks an opportunity to drink free booze rather than promote accountability.
United Nations grapples with financial woes, decline in global influence
The United Nations says it’s running out of cash, with a budget deficit that comes as experts observe a steady decline in the organization’s influence in many parts of the world.

Late last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that member states have been slow to pay their dues to the UN, with 81 countries still owing a total of $810 million to the world body as of late July.

What’s more, the cash shortfall is worse than in previous years, Guterres said, and appears to highlight a disturbing pattern in late payment by member countries.

“Our cash flow has never been this low so early in the calendar year, and the broader trend is also concerning: we are running out of cash sooner and staying in the red longer,” the Portuguese diplomat wrote in a letter to member states.

Canada is one of 113 member states to have paid their budget assessments in full. Countries are assessed according to their capacity to pay and gross national income — Canada’s assessment for 2018 came to just over $71 million.

But 81 states are yet to pay. These include under-developed and conflict-ridden states like Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia, as well as richer countries like Saudi Arabia and the United States, which pays 22 per cent of the UN’s core budget — some $1.2 billion — and traditionally pays later because of its budget year.

Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

Here is part 13, which is very short.

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  • Sunday, January 13, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

The people who are so upset over Israel's supposed crime of "pinkwashing" LGBTQs by treating them well is now on a tour of Iran where gays actually get hanged, lashed or put in prison. (Many gays in Iran are pressured to take sexual reassignment surgery against their will rather than get imprisoned or hanged, it actually is a world leader in sexual reassignment surgery, something that CodePink will probably highlight as evidence of progressive thought rather than repression.)

Here's CodePink's planned itinerary:

Meet with representatives of the Foreign Ministry and Parliament
Visit the Museum of Peace and meet with its members
Visit with university professors and students to learn about their hopes and dreams
Interact with filmmakers, artists, poets and other cultural workers
Learn about the effect of US and EU sanctions on Iran.
Explore bustling Tajrish and Grand bazaars and learn about the important role they play in Iranian commerce and culture
Visit beautiful parks and mosques decorated with intricate and colorful mosaic designs
Tehran's famous Sa'dabad Palace (summer residence of the Qajar Dynasty) and Golestan Palace.
Learn about Islam as practiced in Iran. Meet with religious leaders and scholars

Iran's support for Hezbollah terror attacks, Syrian chemical weapons attacks and Houthis whose slogan includes the words "Curse the Jews" are apparently not topics that this supposedly "woke" organization that cares so much about peace will be broaching with their very polite hosts.

The feminists at CodePink will also not talk about Iran's laws that  forbid married women from  applying for a passport, traveling outside the home, choosing where to live, and being head of the household. There are no laws against domestic violence or sexual harrassment.

The list of human rights abuses in Iran is long indeed. Political prisoners are tortured and killed, members of certain religions are persecuted, there is no freedom of speech, peaceful demonstrations are routinely met with violence, children are executed, women are forced to wear hijab, foreigners are interrogated and imprisoned on trumped-up charges.

CodePink is very concerned about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, yet Iran is guilty of every single human rights crime that the Saudis are - and more - but Iran is instead considered a fascinating and progressive state.

It is difficult to imagine a more hypocritical organization than CodePink.

(h/t Eugene)

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  • Sunday, January 13, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is one of the funniest things I've ever read, from Them, an LGBTQ online magazine, by Ita Segev, a "transfeminine anti-Zionist Israeli interdisciplinary performance artist."

I am an Israeli trans woman who desperately needs Palestine to be free. ....I need this because I understand that trans liberation and Palestinian liberation are linked.

About 10 months ago, I figured out that I wanted to start hormone replacement therapy and in that way medically transition. There were many reasons for this decision, but one of them was the realization that growing up Israeli and trans in Jerusalem while being expected to become a Zionist man left an aftermath in my body. I needed help to heal, and sensed that growing a rounder, more tender body would help me connect with the justice-loving feminine child inside of me, and that having such a body would help me grow from that soft place.

I was already grounded in my anti-Zionist Israeli identity. After I moved to New York, I was thrilled to find how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement allowed me to work in a non-violent and tangible way under Palestinian leadership to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Yet I still secretly wished for a moment that would alleviate me from the difficulties of my past. And I decided the moment of starting hormones would be it.

And so I waited until the Jewish new year to go to my pharmacy, and start that phase in my transition. I imagined the little ritual I would do while taking that first teal colored pill — new year, new Jew, new me. But when the pharmacy handed me the bottles with my medication, I looked at the label that read “produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals” and my heart stopped.

Teva, a word meaning “nature” in Hebrew, is an Israeli-owned pharmaceutical company that I have vaguely heard about as a participant in the economy of the occupation. This must be a mistake, I thought.

“Excuse me,” I said when I went back to my pharmacist. “This estrogen is produced by an Israeli company, and I am a supporter of BDS. Could I please have a prescription from a different manufacturer?”

“This is the only manufacturer we carry,” the pharmacist quickly replied.

I was in shock. How could this be? I texted all my medicalized trans sisters on my way home and asked a simple question: “Who makes your hormones?” Many of them didn’t know offhand. It takes a great deal of struggle and an intense amount of questioning for many trans folks to get their hands on this life-saving medication, and once we do, we want to start immediately and experience an end to questions regarding the validity of our identity and our choices. But my sisters heard the urgency in my call and checked in. As the responses came, every single one was either Teva, or a company that a quick Google search listed as linked to Teva.

How did this one Israeli company play such a large role in the cross-gender hormone market? How did my body once again find itself as a battleground, a settlement, an ongoing pawn in this Zionist game?

I later got in touch with a Jewish, anti-Zionist trans student at Mills College, Daryn Copland, who reached out to me online. He told me that he had been dedicating the past year of his research to understanding the connections between cross-gender hormone production in the U.S. and in Israel. He told me that he too found out his testosterone was made by Teva and wanted to understand what we should do about it as trans folks who support the BDS movement.
This was no longer just about me feeling free in my body. A large part of the trans community in the U.S. is being forced to choose between our life-affirming transitions and our Palestinian siblings’ demand for freedom.
... I hope that all the trans, GNC, and queer folks reading this will help us make the message loud and clear — Zionism has tried to tie trans liberation to Palestinian oppression, but we refuse to accept this as our reality.

Oh no!!! Her body has become an illegal settlement! Zionism itself has oppressed Palestinians by cornering the market on sex hormones, somehow!

Should she take the hated drugs to become a woman, or stick to her principles and remain a man?

Apparently Ita is swallowing her pride - and the Israeli pills. But she justifies it by creating "performance art" where she embellishes a story she says she heard second hand, almost certainly not true, about an IDF soldier with no experience shooting a missile at and blowing up the wrong building in Gaza during a battle.

Her Facebook page shows that she is not making much money as a performance artist because she also is asking to find a job in "babysitting, hosting, ticket selling, teaching, workshop facilitating, assistenting [sic], coat checking, sales representetiving [sic] or other type of work" that pays $25-$30 an hour.

(h/t Aryeh Meir)

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

From Ian:

Netanyahu: Every Palestinian who killed an Israeli in 2018, dead or arrested
All the terrorists who killed Israelis in 2018 have either been killed or arrested, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday during a visit to the base of the Yamam, Israel’s elite Counterterrorism Unit.

The visit comes after the arrest on Tuesday of Assam Barghouti, accused of killing soldiers Yuval Mor-Yosef and Yosef Cohen outside Givat Assaf last month.

Barghouti’s arrest follows the killing in December of Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, the terrorist who killed Kim Levengood-Yehezkel and Ziv Hagbi in the Barkan industrial park in October, as well as the arrest of four Palestinians suspected in the shooting attack outside Ofra last month and the killing of a fifth suspect in that attack, Saleh Omar Barghouti. Seven people were wounded in the Ofra attack, including Shira Ish-ran who was 30 weeks pregnant. Her baby, whom the couple named Amiad Israel, was delivered in an emergency operation, but died three days later.

Netanyahu praised the Yamam and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for their actions in apprehending those responsible for the Ofra, Barkan and Givat Assaf attacks.

The Yamam and Shin Bet combination gives Israel “the best counterterrorism units in the world,” Netanyahu said, adding that many countries come to Israel and say, “‘bring them to us, so we can learn from them.’”

“What Israel’s citizens need to know, is that anyone who killed an Israeli citizen last year was either killed or apprehended,” Netanyahu said. “This is an unparalleled achievement in the world, and it is because of these guys, because of their daring heroism, creativity and commitment.”

All of Israel’s enemies knew that “Israel’s arm would reach them, and it reached them through the Yamam fighters and through the Shin Bet.”

Fourteen people, according to the Foreign Ministry, were killed in terrorist attacks in 2018, compared to 19 people killed in attacks in 2017. The 2018 figure was the lowest number of people killed in terrorist attacks since 2013, when seven people were killed. At the height of the Second Intifada in 2002, 457 people were killed in terrorist attacks.

A Warning from Robert P. George: Dems Will Turn On Israel
Robert P. George of Princeton offers this prediction:

You will be able to watch something as if in slow motion over the course of the next few years: the collapse of support for Israel by Democratic Party politicians who harbor ambition for national office. It will follow the pattern we saw of collapse of support for the pro-life cause by leading Democrats in the period of 1973-80 (and particularly 1973-76). One by one, major pro-life Democrats, perceiving the writing on the wall, flipped to supporting abortion and, eventually, even its public funding: Teddy Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Richard Gephart, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Joe Biden, and many others. (Something similar happened on marriage, by the way, in the period of 2000-2012, especially 2004-09, culminating in Barack Obama’s “evolution” and Hillary Clinton’s change of heart.)

Similarly, today’s leading Democrats will move from support for Israel, to merely nominal support for Israel, to neutrality, to quiet, somewhat ambiguous opposition, to something effectively indistinguishable from “Zionism is racism.” The left calls the tune, and just as the left settled in on abortion in the early 1970s and marriage redefinition in the 90s, it has now settled in on opposition to Israel–not merely the policies of its government, but its very existence as a Jewish state and homeland of the Jewish people. Do you doubt me? You can do a test of your own. Go to the center of campus at your local university and hoist a placard bearing a large blue star of David and the words “Long Live Israel!” (Notice: Please make sure your health and life insurance coverage are in good order before conducting this experiment.)

Of course, we already saw this shift taking place in the Obama Administration. The big question is whether Jewish voters will start voting Republican in response.
Paralympic Committee ‘disappointed’ by Malaysia ban on Israeli swimmers
The International Paralympic Committee expressed disappointment Saturday after Malaysia said it would not allow Israeli swimmers to attend a competition in the country that will serve as a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Malaysia is one of a number of Muslim-majority countries that has no formal diplomatic ties with Israel, with entry to the country on an Israeli passport prohibited.

The city of Kuching in the eastern Sarawak state will host hundreds of swimmers from 70 countries from July 29th to August 4th.

But on Thursday, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Kuala Lumpur would deny visas to Israeli para swimmers seeking to attend the meet.

“We maintain our stand on the prohibition. If they do come, it is a violation,” he was quoted as saying by the official Bergama news agency.

“If they [the International Paralympic Committee] want to withdraw Malaysia’s right to host the championship, they can do so.”

The IPC said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with Mahathir’s comments, although it would aim to “find a solution” to the issue.

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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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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
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 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 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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