Sunday, September 29, 2019

  • Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Wishing my readers a sweet and healthy New Year!

I will not be blogging until Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Ktiva v'chatima tova!





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From Ian:

President Rivlin wishes Jews around the world a happy new year
President Reuven Rivlin wished Israeli citizens and Jews around the world a happy Jewish new year in a new video.

"Another year has past and a new year starts," Rivlin said. "In our prayers, we say, 'let the new year and its blessings begin.' After a difficult year for the safety of Jewish communities and relations between Israel and the Jewish world, let the new year be better and different."

Rivlin stated, "Over the last year, I have been honored to meet so many of your from across the Jewish world. Your commitment to the future of the Jewish people and to the State of Israel is inspiring.

"Despite the difference and the disagreements between us, we must take care to protect our relations and ensure they are strong and silent," he emphasized. "I believe our bonds are stronger than any difference."

Rivlin took pride in the country's accomplishments, noting that Israel "got to the moon, even if the landing was not entirely successful. We hosted the Eurovision, we printed an artificial heard and we have a Judo world champion.

"Many of those achievements are shared with you," he concluded. "I want to thank you for your partnership and for standing with the people and the State of Israel. Israel was and will remain your home, the home of all Jewish people. Happy new year!"

Trump wishes Jewish community a happy New Year
US President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a message to the Jewish community in honor of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

“As the High Holy Days commence, Melania and I wish those observing Rosh Hashanah a blessed and happy New Year.”

“This sacred day marks the start of a 10-day period of both celebration and reflection. Throughout the High Holy Days, those in the Jewish community engage in prayer and repentance, which culminate in the holiest day of the year in Judaism, Yom Kippur. Each day, with the blowing of the shofar, the Jewish people embark on a new spiritual journey to grow closer to Hashem and find a renewed sense of purpose in their faith,” said Trump.

“As men, women, and children around the world partake in traditional liturgy and enjoy customary meals with loved ones, we are all reminded of the virtues we can incorporate into our lives to better us as a Nation—kindness, compassion, and love. Together, with devotion to these ideals, we can form more sincere bonds with people of all faiths to help spread peace and prosperity in the United States and abroad.”

“Melania and I pray that those celebrating Rosh Hashanah build a more meaningful relationship with God throughout the High Holy Days. May the Almighty bless you all,” the President concluded.


  • Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
I came across a Time-Life book about Jerusalem published in 1976. It includes this vignette:

I peered into one of the shops. Its Arab keeper tried to sell me a dagger, then a cricifix, then a Jewish candlestick. "You sell Israeli things?" I asked.

He avoided my stare. ...."Our people take work from the Israelis because they have to. They've no choice."

"You can't grow to like them?"

He jerked back his head in denial. ..."None of us here minds whether we belong to Jordan, Egypt or Palestine - what does it matter? So long as we're ruled by Arabs." With a dark bitterness, he added, "Only take away Israel. That's all we ask. Set us free from Israel."
Similarly, many Gazans voluntarily left to go to Jordan in 1967 because they didn't want to be ruled by Jews, even though Egypt turned Gaza into a large ghetto for Palestinians. Those Gazans' children and grandchildren are still in Jordan, still stateless, still living in camps.

The book also includes a series of sketches made by David Roberts in the 1830s. These two scenes of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives do not show any Arab villages between the Mount and Jerusalem - no "ancient" Silwan.






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  • Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Screenshot from video accusing Abdelmajid Taboun of being Jewish


In Algeria, university professor Issa Bin Aggoun has accused former Prime Minister Abdelmajid Taboun of really being Jewish whose real first name was Benjamin.

Taboun who announced his candidacy for the December 12 presidential election. It is a time honored tradition that Arabs accuse their political opponents of being secret Jews.

However, Taboun is a popular name, and other Tabouns have filed a lawsuit against Bin Aggoun for his sullying their good names by claiming that the Taboun family members are really crypto-Jews.

Human rights activist Hassan Bouras denounced the accusation as"slander," saying that while the government is corrupt and he is no fan of Taboun, calling him Jewish is not a principled way to defeat him politically.

A video with over 12,000 views in 12 hours shows Taboun's face juxtaposed with various images of Orthodox Jews to incite hate.

Not one Arabic-language commentator I could find has said that it is not a slander to call someone Jewish.

The antisemitism behind these accusations is blindingly obvious, but is rarely called out in the West.




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  • Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Bari Weiss' How To Fight Anti-Semitism has been the talk of the Jewish world for the past couple of weeks.

In six relatively short chapters, Weiss goes into details of her shock at the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where she grew up. It then surveys the history of antisemitism (my preferred spelling), and then goes into a bit of detail on antsemitism on the Right, the Left and by Muslims. Finally she discusses "How to Fight" the phenomenon.

Weiss' audience does not seem to be Americans as a whole. The entire book, especially the last chapter, is really aimed at overwhelmingly liberal American Jews.

And here is the real surprise of the book: Despite how Weiss is described in the media, she is a liberal. She supports the right of immigration, she is a feminist, she supports equal rights for all, she is against Israel's rabbinate's exclusion of non-Orthodox in some aspects of life. All of Weiss' arguments in this book are from within a firm liberal mindset and tradition.

This is why, despite the title, the centerpiece of the book really isn't the last chapter. It is the chapter on the antisemitism of the Left. The longest chapter in the book, Weiss knows all of the arguments that the Right is the only real threat to Jews today, and she methodically demolishes them. While it is true that the antisemites from the Right are the ones with the guns, the ones on the Left are limiting how American Jews can even think if they want to be accepted in progressive circles.

In a stunning analogy that she quotes from Dana Horn, there are two categories of antisemitism: Purim antisemitism and Chanukah antisemitism.

Purim antisemitism is the Jew-hatred of the Nazis and the Islamists: the desire to eliminate all Jews. Chanukah antisemitism is the desire to eliminate Jewish civilization - and, worse, it asks Jews to be willing participants in that destruction, just as the Hellenized Jews of the Seleucid regime did. This is today's Leftist antisemitism, where solidarity with the Jews of Israel is enough to cut Jews off from the causes that they gravitate to most such as anti-racism or feminism.

Weiss also spends a bit of time analyzing historic socialist antisemitism - how it turned against the very socialist Jews who enthusiastically joined up and persecuted their fellow Jews in the Soviet Union, and how that immoral philosophy has survived to attack Jews today under the guise of supporting human rights.

She also shows how the concept of intersectionality, originally a noble idea, has been hijacked and twisted into a perverted show of who is the biggest victim - and how the biggest victims are automatically assumed to be righteous, no matter what they say or how they act.

This is where Weiss' liberalism shines. To her, people's words and actions are important, not their race or gender. In the bizarre progressive world, Ilhan Omar's antisemitic words simply do not matter because she is a black female Muslim. Islamic misogyny should be condemned every bit as much as any other type, and the fact that it comes from a group perceived as non-white doesn't excuse it.

The book has been praised by Zionists and vilified by anti-Zionists, because Weiss proves quite handily that the anti-Zionism that delegitimizes Israel is an fact antisemitism. (Although this review in The American Prospect actually tries to argue that Muslim and Arab antisemitism is not really a thing - Pew surveys notwithstanding.)

The last chapter, on how to fight antisemitism, is again aimed at liberal American Jews. It is not a chapter on how to defeat antisemitism, but how to respond to it. Weiss starts the chapter off with a lengthy quote from a terrific manifesto written by Ze'ev Maghen in the late 1980s. That essay covers most of Weiss' points in the chapter Here's an excerpt:

A man calls you a pig. Do you walk around with a sign explaining that, in fact, you are not a pig? Do you hand out leaflets expostulating in detail upon the manifold differences between you and a pig ("A pig has a snout, I have a nose; a pig wallows in mud, I only occasionally step in a puddle, and then, of course, inadvertently...")? Do you stand on a soap box and discourse eruditely on why, in general, it is extremely not nice to call people pigs, and appeal to the populace to please have no truck with an individual rude and nasty enough to say such things about an upstanding citizen like yourself?

Fellow Jews, where in hell is your dignity? Where is your abhorrence of useless, thoughtless, counterproductive endeavor? Of course we want people to befriend us, to treat us with proper regard, that's only natural. Of course we desire and advocate amicable relations between ourselves and other ethnic and religious groups (after all, who came up with "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore"-a Martian?). But let's make a moment's inquiry, shall we, into the analogous microcosm of a healthy, strapping, youthful, well-adjusted organism-say, the reader- and examine how s/he interacts socially toward the same ends in his/her individual life.

You want people to like you, right? Well, and how do you go about achieving this? Do you launch a campus-wide "Don't Dislike Dan!" campaign, replete with billboard, petition, full-page ads, a couple of lobbying organizations and occasional sky-writing? If some miscreant simply won't be your pal, in fact actually takes an overt aversion to you despite all your exertions to woo his affection and heal the breaches, would you....picket in front of his dorm? Or do you run your life a bit differently, concentrating your time and effort on being the best "yourself" that you can, growing and learning and living and enjoying, treating others fairly and kindly, setting up criteria for right and wrong and trying like the dickens to adhere to them and if despite all this a few folks nevertheless persist in being incurable slimeballs and absolutely refuse to interact genially and courteously........@!%#?& them, as my grandmother says-you move on.

Clearly any sane human would opt for the latter course, seeing as the alternative is not only laughably ludicrous, but profusely demeaning and unforgivably ineffective. And yet as a group, as a people, we Jews have inexplicably chosen to live this very same absurd alternative. The current trend among the vast majority of American Jewish youth is lamentably not toward being the best "ourselves," the best Jews, we can be; for most Jewish young people in this country the condition is rather one of fundamental ignorance of the enormous treasure and incomparable high that is full, glorious, meaningful Jewish life. At the same time, the preponderance of highly-funded Jewish organizations in America today (and the ones gobbling up the largest chunks of young, activist Jewish talent), rather than confronting this lethal problem, are focused almost entirely on one thing: perimeter "defense." So terribly many of us have never experienced the warmth and splendor of a genuine Shabbat, have never learned a word of our language or set a foot down in our homeland, so terribly many of us are assimilating and intermarrying at a rate auguring nothing short of national oblivion-yet dare anybody disturb us during this gradual (not so gradual!) disappearing act by calling us names or painting swastikas on our walls, and we and our organizations will raise a hue-and-cry so loud, so fierce and so heavily financed that it will be sure to accomplish..nothing. Instead of brilliant rays of edifying, stimulating light pointed inward at our own people, we have dull, feckless, tinker-toy weapons (like those demonstrations) trained outward at "them."
Weiss' chapter does not have the effective anger of the Maghen piece, but her advice boils down to the same thing: call out injustice, don't hide, engage more with Judaism and be proud of your beliefs rather than hiding them. These is not exactly earth shattering ideas but, unfortunately, many liberal American Jews need to hear this.  (No, having a seder to push the latest progressive agenda while ignoring anything about Judaism doesn't count.)

The book is quite up to date, with many examples from 2019 up through this past summer.

The reason that the anti-Zionists of the world hate Weiss isn't because she is "conservative" - it is because she uses liberal arguments to show that they are in the wrong. As such, this book is a must read for American Jews who are uncomfortable with their being forced to hide their Zionism.






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  • Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Ma'an says:

The extremist "Temple Communities" commissioned a Jewish artist to prepare an attractive design depicting the Temple building.

The design is to be used as a central greeting card for the so-called Hebrew New Year Day next Monday and Tuesday, September 30, October 1.

The Temple Group, which holds 45 percent of the seats in the current caretaker government, is planning major incursions into al-Aqsa during the holiday season.

These groups are also looking to change the status quo in Al-Aqsa, circulating ideas such as "closing Al-Aqsa completely to Muslims during the holidays."
45% of the current government is part of a group supporting building a Third Temple now? That's a hell of a statistic. It would be most interesting if it were remotely true.




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Saturday, September 28, 2019

From Ian:

‘Jews exploit Poles,’ report leads to massive online hate in Poland
Polish portals such as Wiadomosci began to fill with hateful comments against Israel and Jews on Friday when news broke out that Polish President Andrzej Duda allegedly blamed antisemitism in Poland – on Israel.

The report, by the Jewish Insider, was quickly denied by the office of the President as well as people who were at the meeting such as Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and President of B’nai B’rith International Charles Kaufman. Yet, at least online, Polish anger began to shape in hundreds of comments, the Algemeiner reported.

“I used to feel sorry for the Jews, but having observed Israel’s actions over the last year, I now understand that they are guilty,” one person wrote.

“Poles don’t like Jews because Jews exploit Poles with privatization, they rob Poles because they are cunning and better-organized, and they own newspapers like the New York Times that slander Poles,” another added.

Duda did speak in the New York meeting with Jewish leaders about a February statement made by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who said that Poles "suckle antisemitism with their mother's milk."

Katz was repeating a famous statement made by the late prime minister of Israel Yitzhak Shamir, who said so during a conversation in which he confessed that his father was murdered by Poles.

Duda said Katz's comments were a "humiliation," and seemed disappointed that Katz never apologized for them, Boteach wrote.
Duda went on to say that several advisors had suggested that he should not go to Israel until Katz apologizes.

One Polish online user, unaware that the Polish leader never accused Israel of responsibility for antisemtisim in Poland, said “Finally, we have a President who isn’t afraid of the truth.”

“Yes Jews — draw your own conclusions from this,” he added.

Thunberg’s tweets on Tel Aviv climate change rally draws likes, protests
Swedish protest leader and teenager Greta Thunberg on Friday posted images to Twitter from a protest in Tel Aviv amid dozens of other pictures on her feed from demonstrations across the world demanding swift action on climate change, which brought messages of support as well as comments on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Thunberg posted the first image, simply captioned “Tel Aviv!” in the same style that she used for publicizing all cities participating in the social action. The image had over 7.2 thousand likes and more than 400 comments, many of them urging a “free Palestine” or calling on Thunberg to do more “research” on Israel.

Some social media users suggested that the protests should be about the Palestinians rather than climate change. “Awesome! Now if only they would protest the brutal occupation and institutionalized racism of Israel,” wrote one user in a comment on a video from the Tel Aviv protest retweeted by Thunberg. The footage drew over 140,000 views and almost 8,000 likes.
Austrian Parliament MPs pledge to classify BDS as antisemitic
Leading Austrian lawmakers have vowed they will declare the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel as antisemitic during the next legislative session.

“We hope that words will be followed by deeds and that ... there will soon be a parliamentary resolution,” wrote the organization of Jewish-Austrian students, which hosted the politicians at its event in Vienna earlier this month.

In response to a question at the event from college student Noah Scheer, who asked if the Austrian parliament will replicate the decision of the German Bundestag in May to classify BDS as antisemitic, the MPs pledged to do so.

Sibylle Hamann from the Green Party compared BDS to the Nazi-era “Don’t buy from Jews” campaign. She said the Nazi slogan “resonates” with the BDS campaign.

The other Austrian MPs present were Pamela Rendi-Wagner (Social Democrats), Wolfgang Sobotka (People’s Party), Helmut Brandstätter (NEOS), and Peter Pilz (JETZT).

In 2018, Vienna’s city council passed an anti-BDS resolution, which unanimously prescribed the organization as antisemitic and banned support for “events that advertise for BDS.”

Howewer, the national parliament has yet to pass a similar resolution.

The lawmakers did not specify a specific target date, although elections for a new parliament are on Sunday.

The United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly condemned BDS in July.

Friday, September 27, 2019

From Ian:

Rachel Riley: Armies of hate-filled bigots strengthened my resolve to fight hate
TV presenter and campaigner against antisemitism Rachel Riley, spoke at Algemeiner’s J100 gala, where she received the US paper’s illustrious ‘Warrior for Truth’ award.

The Countdown host addressed the New York event on Thursday, picking up the prestigious gong alongside British actor Sir Ben Kingsley.

Billed as the Jewish answer to the TIME 100 gala, past honourees and participants have included Elie Wiesel, Michael Gove, Donald Trump, and Bernard-Henri Levy.

Riley was honoured for taking on antisemites in wake of the Labour antisemitism row, using her public profile to call out hate. She has recently helped set up a campaign against abuse online, called ‘Don’t Fed The Trolls’, and the ‘Stop Funding Fake News’ initiative, against media organisations which deny or downplay antisemitism.

Read Rachel’s full address to the J100 Gala here:
Rachel Riley (Credit: Yakir Zur)

It’s probably the biggest honour of my life to be here with you today. I am here because of something that started for me, a year ago. Back then, I was just a maths geek, a Manchester United fan and daytime TV gameshow host.

A secular, atheist Jew.

Social media was a great way to connect with people. It helped me promote the things I cared about: education, getting more girls into STEM subjects, and frequently, my favourite football team. But watching the news one day, I saw something really peculiar.

British Jews protesting in Parliament Square against the growing rise in antisemitism.

At first I thought this can’t be real.

Antisemitism wasn’t a “thing” anymore, was it?

Just a relic of the past?

Denying Jerusalem's Jewish History Despite Archaeological Evidence
The cumulative effect of this concerted effort has been both counter-factual and unfortunate. Already in 2006, the World Heritage Site Committee of the United Nations Economic, Social, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution referring to the Temple Mount -- the holiest site in Judaism -- solely by its Arabic, Islamic name, al-Haram al-Sharif.

Nonetheless, extensive documentation from antiquity and countless archaeological finds continue to confirm both Judaism's ties to Jerusalem and the Jewish people's millennia-old presence in the land of Israel.

Foremost among the findings that provide proof of ancient writings about the Jews and Jerusalem -- apart from the Bible, much of which is magnificently displayed by the new excavation of the City of David – are the written histories by Josephus Flavius (37-100 AD), The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, and the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. There are also extraordinary excavations by the Israeli archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazor, who in 2012 unearthed a Solomon-era wall and other related sites. This followed and preceded many other discoveries, such as a wide street filled remnants of shops and tunnels, as noted in the New Testament, that runs near the Western Wall.

Where Palestinian propaganda is concerned, however, none of the above appears to matter. During the very week in early September that the City of David Foundation revealed the ancient Hebrew seal found near the Western Wall, Dr. Ghassan Weshah, the head of the History and Archaeology Department at the Islamic University of Gaza, told the Gaza news service Felesteen:
"One of the biggest lies of the Zionists with regard to the Al-Aqsa Mosque is that it was built on the ruins of the Temple, which was destroyed on August 21, 586 BCE. This is a false statement. There is no other building under the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

If statements such as Weshah's were not taken seriously by members of the international community, they would be dismissed as the propaganda tools they are by the reams of irrefutable scientific evidence to the contrary. It is thus incumbent on all honest academics to be vigilant and determined about setting the record straight.
New York Times Iran Story Relies on Analyst Tied To BDS-Backing Rockefeller Fund
The Times doesn’t explain to readers what this “Project on Middle East Democracy” is or who funds it. The organization’s website says the group was formally established in 2006. Its most recent readily-available tax return, filed in 2017, reports 13 employees and total revenue of $1,642,238.

Online records show the group received $845,000 from 2012 to 2019 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a charity that has been well documented by NGO Monitor, Bloomberg News and The Algemeiner itself as funding an array of efforts both to boycott Israel and to promote a nuclear deal that provided Iran with sanctions relief over the objections of Israel’s government.

For the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Project on Middle East Democracy, getting quoted in the New York Times article is a win. It’s not so clear, though, that it’s a win for Times readers to hear from an “analyst” funded by boycott-Israel-but-trade-with-Iran advocacy Rockefeller money, especially when that funding is not disclosed. Whenever there’s a pro-Israel or anti-Iran policy move in Washington, the Times is quick to describe it as transactional, a “return on investment” for pro-Israel campaign contributors. Yet on the anti-Israel or pro-Iran front, the Times is remarkably incurious about the money trail. As usual with the Times writing about Israel, it’s a double standard.

An argument’s ultimate test, in the end, is less the source of its funding than its logical strength. By that measure, the claim by the Times-quoted Miller that “penalties imposed by the Trump administration are what set Tehran on its current course of confrontation with the United States” is laughable. As a different Times news article conceded this week, “Since its inception, the Islamic Republic has made rejecting the United States a subject of street performance, from the chants of ‘Death to America’ at Friday prayers to the branding of the country as the ‘Great Satan.’” That regime’s “inception,” in 1979, long predated the Trump administration.

  • Friday, September 27, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
This past week, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad spoke to Columbia University and said,

I am exercising my right to free speech. Why is it that I can’t say something against the Jews, when a lot of people say nasty things about me, about Malaysia? I didn’t protest, I didn’t demonstrate.

We have to be willing to listen to views which are not in our favor because of free speech. Free speech is about free speech. When you say, ‘no, you cannot say this, you cannot be anti-Semitic,’ then there is no more free speech.
Does Malaysia really treasure free speech?

Arnold Roth tried to get to some Malaysian government websites from Israel - and found that they were blocked.

He asked around and saw that they only blocked for Israeli IP addresses - people in the US and India could get to them. (One example is https://www.pmo.gov.my. )

It's so funny how people justify their hate by invoking liberal concepts that they personally trample upon.




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From Ian:

Welcome to the End of the Process
The elements of the Trump administration’s plan which have been rolled out could also be read as undercutting a key component of the rejectionist position: the so-called “right of return” for Palestinian refugees in neighboring Arab countries. At the “Peace to Prosperity” conference, which the administration organized in Bahrain in June, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner presented a plan to invest $50 billion in the Palestinian territories and in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. While the investment aims to encourage “Strengthening Regional Development and Integration,” it also might suggest an incentive to turn the page on the “right of return” fantasy. At any rate, this ought to be the US position, thereby putting an end to American indulgence of Palestinian maximalism, which the Obama White House chose to sign onto with UNSCR 2334.

As of now, there’s no information on the proposed shape or nature of the Palestinian polity. In July, the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman pointedly spoke of “Palestinian autonomy” and self-governance, but shied away from any talk of Palestinian “statehood.” The history of the Levant, from ancient times to the present, is full of such polities acting as buffer or vassal states for larger neighboring powers. To be sure, the existing arrangement between Israel and Jordan in the West Bank is the only thing preventing that territory from becoming an Iranian satellite, more or less like Gaza, the Iranian outpost between Israel and Egypt.

This, after all, is the main point of the entire exercise. President Trump’s approach returns the issue of the Palestinians to its real size and function in the Levant as well as in US policy in the region. It readjusts America’s focus away from the fractured Levant and back on a sound geostrategic approach centered on the states on the Levant’s outer rim.

Bearing this in mind, the US cannot allow itself to be sucked into the irrelevant minutiae of the “peace process” enterprise and such fictions as “state institutions” in the Levant — already a proven failure in Iraq and Lebanon, where the state institution-building chimera has only strengthened Iran’s position.

Instead, the path forward for the US is to continue to strengthen Israel’s position as a security pillar in the region while shoring up the US-allied Arab states and fostering closer cooperation between them and the Israelis against Iran. Key to this effort is the dismantling of the central tenets of the rejectionist position, namely the 1967 lines. This would not only nullify the Obama administration’s attempt to realign the US position, but also would make it all but impossible for that legacy to be revived in the future.

What matters for the US in the region is to consolidate its state alliance system to contain Iran and its assets. Progress in peace talks with the Palestinians is a matter of far less concern.
The diplomatic developments that 5779 didn't offer ... and those it did
Israel knows from dramatic diplomatic years.

The Hebrew year 5738 (1978) was such a year, with the White House signing of the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel.

Another such year was 5752 (1991), with the onset of the Madrid Conference. So was 5753 (1993) with the Oslo I Accord, 5755 (1994) with the signing of the peace treaty with Jordan, and 5778 (2018) with the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

But not 5779, which will end Sunday night with Rosh Hashanah. This year will by no means enter the annals of the country’s history as one of those dramatic diplomatic years. It is not as if nothing happened diplomatically; there were some significant events – and especially nonevents – but it was by no means a diplomatic red-letter year.

Here’s a look at some of the key diplomatic events – and nonevents – that shaped 5779.

5779’s Person of the Year is a no-brainer: Avigdor Liberman
Our Person of the Year 5779 is not a scientist, artist, athlete or indeed any representative of merit.

Unlike other choices we have made along the years, like Nobel laureate Ada Yonath (5770) or world-renowned economist Stanley Fischer (5769), this time we could not flee to any of the many stories of Israeli excellence, for two reasons: first, there was no such major story this year, and second, 5779 was one of the most intensely political years in Israeli history, and our choice must reflect that distinction.

For that reason we also cannot choose this year a world leader, the way we did last year (Vladimir Putin) and three years ago (Donald Trump), or a Middle Eastern leader, as we did with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohamed Morsi and Bashar Assad in 5766, 5772 and 5773, respectively.

Nor can we nominate a humble person who sacrificed for a cause, like Yigal Gueta (5777), the Shas MK who attended his gay nephew’s wedding even though it cost him his Knesset seat; or a martyr like Muhammad Bouazizi (5771), whose self-immolation sparked pan-Arab revolt; or a war victim like Alan Kurdi (5775), the Syrian toddler whose shipwrecked body was washed to a Turkish shore.

At the end of a year in which Israel held two general elections within five months, our choice must reflect this unprecedented distinction, the way we chose Alef (5767), the code-named woman whose accusation of Moshe Katsav triggered the president’s downfall, or Moshe Talansky (5768), whose testimony signaled Ehud Olmert’s political demise.

Having understood this, our choice of 5779’s Person of the Year is a no-brainer: Avigdor Liberman.

THE 61-YEAR-OLD tennis enthusiast who single-handedly thrust us into monumental tumult shaped this stormy year more than anyone else. All the rest of the year’s political protagonists seemed like pawns on Liberman’s chessboard.

  • Friday, September 27, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Jordan's King Abdullah, in his speech to the UN, said literally nothing about Jordan.

Most of his speech was to support "Palestine" and to insult Israel.

But this section was so over the top as to sound like a parody:

My friends,
Collective action is also vital for ending bitter crises and conflicts. And no crisis has done more global damage than the core conflict in my region, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
Global damage?

Britannica has the eight most deadly conflicts of the 21st century listed. Congo is the worst, with 3 million killed. #8 is Ukraine with 10,000 killed. In between are the Syrian civil war, Iraq and Yemen - all in the same region as Jordan!

Maybe he means that when Jews peacefully visit the Temple Mount, that they hurt the feelings of a billion Muslims and therefore that causes more global damage than any actual wars?
It begins with respect for the holy sites and rejecting all attempts to alter the legal status of East Jerusalem and the authentic historic character of the Holy City, Jerusalem. What lessons do we teach young people, when armed personnel enter Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, even as Muslim worshippers gather to pray?
I'll tell you what lesson you are teaching them. You are teaching them that if Jews enter the site, they must be torn limb from limb, and therefore Jews must visit under protection.

Not exactly the tolerant message the King is pretending to give.

Forty years ago, my father, His Majesty the late King Hussein, who loved peace, stood in this very chamber, and decried the occupation and attempts, in his words, "to eradicate from the world's memory centuries of history and tradition and of spiritual, moral, and cultural ideals."
Israel has done far more to save and preserve Muslim history in Jerusalem than King Hussein ever did. The difference is that Israel also preserves Jewish history, and King Hussein and his father before him did everything they could to erase that.

The hypocrisy is off the charts. And this is the "moderate" Jordan, with a king who seems cool and modern with excellent English.




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  • Friday, September 27, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


There are three versions of Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the UN.

One is the official English version. One is the official Arabic version, which includes explicit support for paying terrorists and their families. And the third is the actual speech as given, where Abbas added a bizarre history lesson that no one seems to have discussed.

The conclusion of Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the UN, as officially translated into English by the Wafa news agency, was this:

In conclusion, I salute all our Palestinian people in Palestine, in the refugee camps and Diaspora and across the world and express our pride in them. I tell them: we are confident that this occupation, like all occupation that preceded it, will inevitably end; that the dawn of freedom and independence is coming; and that the oppression and aggression they have endured for so long will not last. A right is never lost as long as someone strives to claim it.

We salute our honorable martyrs, courageous prisoners and wounded heroes, and salute their resilient families who we will not give up on their rights. We salute to those remaining steadfast in our beloved homeland. The date of our freedom and the independence of State with its eternal capital Al-Quds is soon approaching.
The official Arabic transcript adds that Abbas' speech explicitly supported paying terrorists to the last penny of the PA's budget, and the video of the UN translation added an additional bizarre claim about how most countries have been "occupied." Here is the UN version as Abbas said it; you can watch it here starting at 23:15.



In conclusion, I salute all our Palestinian people in Palestine, in the refugee camps and Diaspora and across the world and express our pride in them. I tell them: we are confident that this occupation, like all occupation that preceded it, will inevitably end. Many countries have been occupied, including the United States - it was occupied once, and that occupation ended. In Europe and Africa, Latin America, we have seen many forms of occupation, and we say that the occupation of Palestine will end, Allah-willing, as it has ended in other countries, and we will continue to call for respecting our rights. A right is never lost as long as someone strives to claim it.

We salute our honorable martyrs, courageous prisoners and wounded heroes. We salute their resilient families. We will protect your rights regardless of the cost. I will not accept the claims of Israel. Even if I have only one penny left, I will give this penny to the families of the martyrs , the prisoners and heroes, and I will not accept these demands.

Peace, mercy and blessings of God. 
I have no idea what he is talking about when he says the US was occupied. Texas in the Mexican American War?

Notice in the video the shot of Saeb Erekat and other PLO officials applauding the pro-terrorist statements.

The fact that the Palestinian Authority erases their explicit support for paying terrorists in their English translation has a silver lining. It shows that they are a bit embarrassed by their "pay to slay" policy. In Arabic, sure, they are proud to pay terrorists, but to the Western world they know this is not going to win them any points so they simply whitewash it.




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  • Friday, September 27, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Popular rapper French Montana, born and raised Karim Kharbouch in Morocco, created this cover for his new album:


American fans are saying that he is honoring his Muslim roots.
Monfana himself described the cover this way: ""You don't have to change who you are, you can bring people into your world. THIS MY ALBUM ARTWORK .. NOVEMBER ❤️🙏"

But does he mean he can bring religious Muslims into his world of rap?Isn't that changing who they are?

Bright red thigh-high boots indicate sexiness, while the niqab symbolizes the opposite. Yet they are still fully covered, meaning that sexiness might not be what people generally think. It is a provocative cover that only a person with Muslim roots could pull off.

The identically clad women with bright red thigh-high boots are reminiscent of the virtually identical women that Robert Palmer used to fill his videos with.

Moroccans are not happy. Hespress reports on some reactions.

"I invite you to stay away from mocking the Islamic religion," said one critic on Instagram, demanding that he delete the controversial picture.

Others considered the move to be a conspiracy against Islam itself. One wrote that it was"a mockery of the niqab in the dress of the wives of the Messenger of Allah and the dress of the believers."




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Thursday, September 26, 2019

From Ian:

Natan Sharansky: Why BDS Fails the 3D Test on Anti-Semitism
To distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism, 20 years ago I formulated the 3D test for anti-Semitism. The three Ds are demonization, delegitimization, and double standards - the three main tools that anti-Semites employed against Jews throughout history. This test shows that the same tools are being used today against the collective Jew - the Jewish State.

Many who support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement may do so out of a naive belief that it is working to achieve a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the movement takes it cue from the BDS National Committee based in Ramallah in the West Bank. It has one goal: the destruction of the State of Israel - a goal cleverly masked behind the veneer of fighting for human rights.

When caricatures against Israeli leaders repeat the worst anti-Semitic caricatures of Czarist Russia or Nazi Germany, depicting Israelis as crucifying Palestinians and portraying Palestinians as living in Nazi death camps - that is demonization.

When the legitimacy of the Jewish State is denied and, in the language of some of the founders and key promoters of BDS, there is no place for a Jewish state in the Middle East in any borders - that is delegitimization. Indeed, the movement's leader, Omar Barghouti, has said unequivocally: "Most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.''

When the Jewish State is singled out for criticism that not even the vilest dictatorship is subject to and it is held to standards that not even the most vibrant democracy is judged by - those are double standards.
The United Nations Delegitimizes BDS
The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed, just released a report titled, “Combatting Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief.” Sadly, it came as no surprise to read about the proliferation of antisemitism across the globe, and about its multiple sources from across the political spectrum.

But when I read the Rapporteur’s recommendation that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s “Working Definition of Antisemitism” be regarded as a source of guidance for identifying future acts of antisemitism, I recognized that a new chapter in the opposition to the BDS campaign against Israel had arrived.

As noted in the report, the IHRA’s Working Definition defines antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.” The definition continues: “Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The report also provides the definition’s multiple examples of “contemporary antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere” — two of which could have been taken from the BDS playbook. They include:
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.


In concert, these two examples clearly reveal the antisemitic nature of the BDS campaign.


Howard Jacobson on his new novel, dwindling irony and anti-Semitism in the UK
So where do British Jews go?
It would be nice to be rooting for the opposition, but I can’t root for Jeremy Corbyn or for Jeremy Corbyn’s party. What’s the more terrible? This is something that all the Jews I know say: What’s more terrible, Boris Johnson and his cynicism or Jeremy Corbyn and his rigid anti-Semitic ideology? He doesn’t think he’s an anti-Semite. He doesn’t call himself as an anti-Semite, but he’s an anti-Semite. Everything he says, everything he does, all these predilections, all the things he doesn’t notice. It’s anti-Semitism. So we can’t want him to win.
He doesn’t call himself an anti-Semite, but he’s an anti-Semite. Everything he says, everything he does, all these predilections… It’s anti-Semitism

I wouldn’t say it’s a perilous time for Jews, but it’s an anxious time for Jews.

Is the anti-Semitism people talk about in the UK as bad as it seems from the outside looking in?
Well, I mean, it’s not as though I go out onto the streets and fear for my life. I shouldn’t say that because I’m gonna get knifed today, but I don’t. I go around, I appear in public, I say things and I don’t get attacked for them. I’m not on Twitter, otherwise I might discover that people are abusing me roundly all the time. And there are places, of course, where people are attacked. There are places where if you were an Orthodox-looking Jew, and you’ve got a kippah and you’ve got your tzitzit [fringes], then you could be attacked, and some are attacked.

It’s an intellectual tone that’s discomforting. You never know how these things move from the opinion makers, the intellectuals, the politicians, the universities down into the mob. I think we can call them a mob again; they’re behaving like a mob. The universities are hotbeds of that form of anti-Semitism which claims it isn’t anti-Semitism, and says it’s anti-Zionism, which is nonetheless anti-Semitism. Those who say “I’m an anti-Zionist, I’m not an anti-Semite,” I will not admit that distinction. If they say “I don’t like Israel’s foreign policy, I don’t care for Netanyahu,” fine. That’s not anti-Semitism.

To not see the necessity of Zionism, or to refuse to see the necessity of Zionism, and to think of it as an ideology of cruelty, you have to be an anti-Semite, you have to be uneducated and ignorant. Then once you’ve been shown the truth, to persist in the idea, as Corbyn does, that “Zionism is a racist endeavor” — that’s the phrase that Corbyn likes — I think that’s a deeply anti-Semitic thing to say.

  • Thursday, September 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Mako (Hebrew) has an interview with a Gazan who recently escaped from the Hamas-run enclave.

Since Hamas' rise to power in the Gaza Strip, Christians living in the sector have become the  scapegoats and a target for harm from both Hamas and extremist Salafis. Due to their predicament, most of them fled; out of a community of 4,200 people twelve years ago, there are now several hundred left.

Until recently, Kamal Teresi was there to,o but managed to escape 4 months ago: "The Hamas people took over my house and turned it into a war room," he says.

Teresi provides a rare glimpse into the unbearable reality he and his community have had to face every day. "I was put in a number of prisons, and the Hamas prison is nothing but beating and psychological torture," he recalls. According to him, the attacks on Christians in Gaza has become routine, and it does not stop even in times of war.

"We Christians are not bystanders in Palestine, we have been in Palestine for two thousand years, we are not guests," says Kamal painfully. "They are harassing and hurting the Christian public and Christian institutions, churches and associations."

...One thing is certain for Kamal: he no longer has a way back: "I can't go back to Gaza, returning would be a death sentence."
So why haven't there been any reports by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch or Oxfam about the plight of Christians in Gaza?

Because those groups go out of their way to make Israeli Jews look bad, and to make Palestinians look good. For Israel, rumors or analyses by people already antipathetic to Israel get highlighted; for Palestinians, only undeniable abuses like torture or rocket fire or suicide bombs are grudgingly mentioned - and even then they are semi-excused by also talking about "occupation."

Over 80% of Christians have fled Gaza under Hamas rule. Things are better under the PA, but not that much - Bethlehem used to be 70% Christian and is now it is less than 15%, as Muslims intimidate them into leaving. 

It is rare for a Christian to complain on the record about their Palestinian overlords, because they know what the consequences could be. So most articles have them dutifully toeing the line that everything can be blamed on Israel. Only a few reporters bother to look under the surface - and human rights groups are simply not interested.


(h/t Yoel)




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Our weekly column (delayed) from the humor site PreOccupied Territory


Check out their Facebook page.


beesJerusalem, September 26 - A legislator from the Joint List alliance of Arab parties accused supporters of Jewish self-determination of subjecting millions of flying, pollinating insects to bondage and exploiting the creatures to harvest the product of their hard work.

Member of Knesset Dabr Nhil of the Balad Party addressed the media following an orientation meeting for new parliamentarians, during which he claimed to have encountered for the first time the Jewish practice of dipping apples in Honey for the Jewish New Year - which in Israel, he discovered, means using a local product stolen from the enslaved indigenous bee population.

"Just when you think the murderous Zionist usurper rapists can sink no lower, you learn something even worse about them," he pronounced. "Millions, perhaps tens of millions of helpless bees, enslaved, relegated to hives where they must return from the field if they ever want to see their families again. Then, after an entire season's hard labor, gathering nectar, processing it, and storing it, the Zionist 'beekeeper' comes along and takes away the lion's share of the product. We Palestinians know the same treatment at the hands of the rapacious, plundering invader."

The Jewish practice of dipping piece of apple into honey on Rosh Hashanah represents but the most popular of a genre of the festival's culinary traditions, but by no means the only one in which MK Nhil sees oppressive colonialism at work. "Look at the way the bloodthirsty Zionists dismember the pomegranate," he added . "First they violently tear it from the tree, its source of nourishment and life, and then toss it like chattel into a container where, if it's lucky, it gets taken right to the distributor and then to the retailer, only one step away from its misery ending. But just as often the Zionist abusers prolong its suffering by keeping it in a cold environment with no light, no blankets, and not even warm clothing! It can take months of this ordeal before the pomegranate gets put out of its misery. And that they do with a knife and a spoon. The cruelty boggles the mind."

Nhil further accused Zionists of beheading fish in similar New Year rituals, and called on the International Court of Justice in The Hague to immediately open an investigation into the barbaric practices of Jewish-sovereignty-supporting groups responsible for the mistreatment of carrots, but especially butchering the English language with war-crime-level Rosh Hashanah puns such as "lettuce half-a-raisin celery."



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From Ian:

Reuven Rivlin gives Netanyahu mandate to form government
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been given the chance to form a government for the sixth time on Wednesday, after succeeding in his five terms in office but not having the opportunity to do so following the April election.

President Reuven Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government, after a meeting at the President’s Residence with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz failed to bring about a breakthrough. The deadline will be October 24.

“Netanyahu had the best chance to form a government,” Rivlin said in a speech alongside the prime minister.

A Channel 12 poll broadcast Wednesday night found that the public prefers Netanyahu go first in a rotation with Gantz. But to avoid another election, a majority of respondents would like to see Likud replace Netanyahu with another candidate.

The survey of 700 respondents representing a statistical sample of the population was taken by pollster Camil Fuchs. The margin of error was 4%.

Rivlin said he gave the mandate to Netanyahu because he received 55 recommendations from MKs, compared with Gantz’s 54. He called upon parties to stop disqualifying each other and lamented that a unity government was not formed.

UNRWA
staffers share antisemitic content with no consequences, NGO says

UNRWA staff members, including teachers regularly share antisemitic and pro-terrorism content on social media and face no consequences, according to NGO UN Watch.

In a report published on Wednesday, the Geneva-based organization exposed posts from 10 United Nations employees that included praises of terrorism against Israelis, and a picture of Adolf Hitler describing him as a humanitarian.

The latest cases bring the total number of staff members uncovered sharing similar content to 100, according to the report.

“Despite our prior identification of UNRWA teachers who endorse Hitler and call for killing Jews, I am not aware of a single UNRWA teacher who has been fired as a result,” commented director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer. “Why is it that an ostensibly neutral UN agency that claims to teach tolerance continues to employ terrorist-supporting and antisemitic staff?”

UNRWA has often drawn widespread criticism for its soft stance on terrorism, including allowing Hamas to place rockets and weapons in its schools in 2014.

Moreover, the United Nations is currently investigating allegations of ethical misconduct by its senior staff members.

According to a report leaked to the media in July, the officials are accused of engaging in “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain.”

Following the allegations, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and New Zealand announced that they were temporarily suspending their financial contributions to the agency.

UN Watch collected the material included in the report based on information displayed publicly on Facebook, and by searching for UNRWA-related key words.
PMW: Why is Fatah hiding its Facebook Account?
Yesterday, Palestinian Media Watch reported that Fatah's terror promoting Facebook page had been closed. This came two weeks after PMW released a new report on Fatah's use of Facebook during 2019, documenting its continued terror promotion. This was joined by PMW's public pressure campaign, in cooperation with ACT-IL, in which thousands of people sent complaints to Facebook demanding that Fatah's page be permanently shut down.

Following the closure of the page, Facebook notified the press yesterday that they are still reviewing the complaints against Fatah's Facebook page and had not yet made a final decision and were not the ones who closed the page.

Yesterday evening, the editor of Fatah's Facebook page, Munir Al-Jaghoub, told The Times of Israel that Fatah itself closed the page because of PMW's campaign, apparently to hide it so that people won't be able to make complaints. Al-Jaghoub explained:
"We decided to close it down for a period of time as a precautionary measure. We were worried that Facebook would shut it down permanently because of that Israeli organization's [PMW] campaign and complaints against it." [The Times of Israel, Sept. 25, 2019]

The Times of Israel further reported that "He [Al-Jaghoub] and his [Fatah] staff decided to temporarily deactivate the page after they grew concerned that Facebook would shut it down over mounting complaints against its content... Jaghoub said he and his team intend to reactivate the page in the future, but have not settled on a date yet.

'We will be patient,' he said. 'We can reactivate it at any moment, but we want to make sure we do that after this wave of attacks against the page passes.'"

PMW views Al-Jaghoub's statement as a striking indicator of the terror content of Fatah's Facebook page that Fatah itself decided to close it down and hide it from public scrutiny to prevent their page from being shut down by Facebook.

There is no justification for Facebook to permit Fatah to reopen its page. We hope that Facebook will recognize what Fatah itself understands, namely that its Facebook page promotes terror, and keep Fatah's page permanently closed.
PMW: Vile Antisemitism on Fatah's Facebook Page
How Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah sees the Jewish role in the world:
  • "The [Jewish] tribe led the project to enslave humanity"
  • "[The Jews] were hated because of their racism and their filthy behavior"
  • The Jews allied with Nazis to burn Jews "to accumulate wealth"
  • The Jews say: "Only we are people, and all the others are our animals"
  • "Non-Jews... according to their worldview are snakes"
  • The Jews established "ghettos in order to separate from other people out of arrogance and disgust for non-Jews"
  • "Seventy years have passed since the artificial state's [Israel's] establishment... They [the Jews] have not removed from their consciousness the view of the other as inferior and the right to spill the blood of the nations"
Fatah: Jews allied with Nazi Germany to burn Jews for profit


  • Thursday, September 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Kelly Craft arrived at the UN with a bang - a full throated support and defense of Israel in her very first speech at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Middle East, delivered last Friday.

She doesn't have the passion of Nikki Haley, but still this speech did not get the publicity it deserves.




Thank you Mr. President, and thank you Mr. Mladenov, Ministers, and Ambassador Danon.

As you know, this is my first time participating in this monthly briefing. With this in mind, I would like to step back for a moment and speak broadly on how I intend to approach issues related to the State of Israel.

First—I believe it is important to be clear on serious matters. So, allow me to be clear on the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States of America.

The United States has always supported Israel in the past. The United States supports Israel today. The United States will always support Israel going forward. Israel will have no better friend than Kelly Craft.

Unfortunately, on matters related to Israel at the United Nations, many Member States do not play fair. I could speak endlessly about Member States’ excessive attention to the affairs of Israel, including complaints, unwarranted criticism, and the incessant number of resolutions condemning this great nation.

However, I do not wish to dwell on these well-worn points. As a person who finds value in emphasizing the positive, I wish to instead highlight Israel’s astonishing record of achievements.

Since its creation, Israel has served as a refuge and sanctuary for those fleeing persecution and repression. A vibrant and accomplished democracy, Israel has stood tall and steadfast, despite constant threats to its peace and security.

All the more impressive is that in this threatening environment, Israel strongly supports press freedom, defends gender equality, and houses a robust and innovative free-market economy. And in opposition as to what has been stated here, a nation that deeply respects the rule of law. Indeed, we have much to learn from her.

Further, as a hub for innovation, Israel has cultivated and earned its reputation as a startup nation. It is a global leader in research and development and has a vast network of international collaboration in this space. In fact, it is a leading investor in research and development as a percent of GDP and has been home to 5000 new startups in the past 10 years alone.

Much like the way they built their great nation, Israelis have used their spirit of courage, faith in education, and dogged determination to help their brothers and sisters around the globe.

There are many nations eager to condemn Israel that should instead study its resolve, study its constant efforts towards making the country stand as first among equals to any of the modern world, and study its benevolent pursuits in arts and sciences. In doing so, I believe a different picture will emerge—one that showcases all that Israel is and all that the world can gain from this great nation.

Please do not mistake my remarks here—my statement is not meant to indicate that other issues discussed here today, including the continued violence and terror from Hamas in Gaza as described by Mr. Mladenov in his briefing, are not important.

However, as we sit in this building that was created as a Hall of Peace, I believe it critically important that we acknowledge that no country should face the ceaseless barrage of unwarranted criticism, one-sided antagonism, or repeated negative spotlight.

The United States remains tirelessly committed to supporting Israel’s fair treatment here in this body as well as the UN system.

Further, it should come as no surprise that this is one of my chief priorities. The United States stands with our close friend and partner and will continue to oppose actions and statements that unfairly single it out. And as the Representative of the United States to the UN, I will work relentlessly to fight every effort that seeks to delegitimize Israel or undermine its security.

It is inexcusable that pervasive, anti-Israel bias still exists in the United Nations, and that we continue to witness attempts by some UN Member States to undermine Israel’s standing as a full member of the community of nations. The United States vigorously opposes all such efforts.

As I said when opening my remarks, I believe it is very important that I am clear on serious matters. So allow me to be clear on the relationship between the State of Israel and the United States of America once again.

The United States has always supported Israel in the past. The United States supports Israel today. The United States will support Israel going forward.

Israel will have no better friend than Kelly Craft.

Thank you.



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  • Thursday, September 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Recently I wrote about the galut mentality that Jews have had drummed into them during centuries of living in the Diaspora.  This mentality is one where the Jews know that they not truly a full member of society. They are like guests in someone else's house, and the host can choose to kick them out if they become too demanding.

The most famous joke about this mentality is: Two Jews are before a Russian firing squad, both offered blindfolds. One accepts, the other scornfully refuses. His friend urges him: “‘Shh . . . don’t make trouble.’”

This mentality is a difficult thing to get rid of. But it is worse when you embrace it.

One of Judith Butler's anti-Zionist arguments is that Jews are inherently diasporic. Basing her arguments on obscure Jewish thinkers or unknown kabbalistic interpretations, she believes that the Jew in the diaspora can be the model for how people should act, and specifically "The tradition of Jews living with non-Jews in the diaspora might well serve as a model for thinking about possibilities of co-habitation in Israel/Palestine."

To Butler, the Jews - and seemingly only the Jews - must always be subservient, undemanding of their own rights. Other peoples - devout Muslims, First Peoples, Chinese - can proudly celebrate their own culture and beliefs in front of the world, but the Jew must be quiet and deferential. This self-censorship is not considered a necessary evil, as the Disapora has long been regarded, but as an ideal.

It is notable that Judith Butler's review of Bari Weiss' book refers to her growing up in a Cleveland "shtetl."

I was thinking about this as I read the writings of professor Alan Singer, who I discussed yesterday. All of the things he dislikes about Jews are when they "make waves." He seems to believe that if only a small number of religious Jews from Poland hadn't moved to Germany, the Germans would not have slaughtered even the good assimilated Jews - like his relatives - in the Holocaust. Wearing black coats and shtreimels qualifies as "making trouble" for Jews who don't want their Jewishness to be so obvious.

For assimilated leftist Jews, proud Jewish Zionists and unapologetic Orthodox Jews are two sides of the same coin: people whose Judaism is front and center. This causes discomfort to the Diaspora Jew, and the discomfort translates into hate.

Some of them fetishize disapora Jewish culture. The foremost group keeping Yiddish alive (outside the Hasidic community) is the staunchly secular, socialist Workman's Circle. There is a restaurant in Brooklyn that serves traditional Jewish food along with shellfish and pork, that calls itself "Traif." All of these examples cultural Judaism are like a shirt that can be worn among others who share the same paper-thin affinity for their people, but that can be replaced when among the non-Jews who are the real ones that need to be impressed.

That diaspora version of Judaism is doomed. There is no reason for the cultural Jews' kids to want to care about matzoh ball soup and Seinfeld. But they do teach the next generation the mentality of "maybe if I try harder to assimilate the goyim will accept me as a true equal." Let's embrace liberal causes and call them Tikun Olam, to universalize Judaism so the assimilation can be complete with a minimum of the also-hereditary Jewish guilt.

The twin rules of the assimilated, leftist Jew is to dilute Judaism to the minimum possible and to not tolerate any Jew who actually stands up for specifically Jewish rights. The IfNotNow folks who want to march with immigrants would never be caught dead going to Brooklyn to show solidarity with the black-clad Jews that their own great-grandparents often resembled. But they use their Judaism to tell the non-Jewish world, see, there are Jews who are just like you, and even more so. We agree with you that the other type of Jew - whether religious or Zionist or, God forbid, settlers - is not to be tolerated. When there is a conflict between Israel and other countries, we will never side with Israel. If there are news reports blaming chasidim for overdevelopment or not vaccinating their children, we won't bother to find out if the reports are correct - those types of Jews are assumed guilty, because we can't stand them either.

The religious and the Zionists remind the assimilated diaspora Jews that they have abandoned what their ancestors gave their lives for.



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  • Thursday, September 26, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


Lebanese President General Michel Aoun's speech at the UN made it clear that there was no difference between the Lebanese government positions and Hezbollah's. He said that the Shebaa Farms and other lands on Israel's side of the UN-drawn Blue Line is Lebanese, for example.

 But his statement on UNRWA was notable. Aoun warned of the danger of curtailing UNRWA's services to Palestinian refugees, saying that "this is causing more social and financial pressure on us" and it threatens to transform the Palestinian youth from "students of knowledge to students of vengeance."

There is not a glimmer of guilt over how the Lebanese have been mistreating their Palestinian "guests" for seven decades.

And there is no outrage in the Arab world over an Arab leader assuming that Palestinian youth are inherently violent.




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

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