Wednesday, November 20, 2019

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Why do American Jews oppose an Israeli consensus on settlements?
When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this week that the U.S. no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be in violation of international law, most Israelis were clearly pleased. All the major Israeli political parties greeted the announcement with support. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his leading rival, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, agreed that America was right to scrap its old insistence that Jews had no right to live outside the 1949 armistice lines.

Labeling these Jewish communities as illegal renders negotiations over the territories effectively moot. As long as the world considers the territories to be stolen property that must be returned to the Arabs - rather than disputed land whose fate must be arrived at by give and take by both sides - there's nothing to negotiate.

Like Netanyahu, Gantz understands that Israel must maintain control of the Jordan River Valley and most of the settlements even in the theoretical event that the Palestinians eventually choose to make peace as opposed to continue holding onto their century-old war on Zionism.

What the U.S. has done is to put the Palestinians on notice that if they want an end to the status quo, then they will have to talk to the Israelis. They cannot sit back and wait for the international community to hand them Israeli concessions on a silver platter.
David Singer: European Union Bites Off More Than it Can Chew in Judea and Samaria
All this pompous gobbledy gook being required for labelling the source of products made in territory disputed between Jews and Arabs for the last 100 years is deeply disturbing. There is no appeal from this decision.

The European Union could be in a real political bind as a result. The labelling requirements introduced by the European Union in 2011 and interpreted in 2015 has led it down this disastrous path promising only ridicule and contempt.

To be consistent and not be subjected to charges that it is deliberately targeting Jews and inciting Jew-hatred – the European Union needs to insist on similar stringent labelling requirements being immediately applied on goods originating from more than 150 disputed territories around the world.

Alternatively – the European Union could get itself out of this embarrassing labelling war and PR disaster by simply requiring goods originating from Israeli settlements to state “Product of Judea” or“Product of Samaria”.

Judea and Samaria – the historic and geographic terms used for the disputed territories for the last 3000 years – were relabelled the “The West Bank” by Jordan in 1950 – and enthusiastically embraced by the European Union.

The chickens from Judea and Samaria have come home to roost. Truth in labelling by the feckless European Union is long overdue.

Dutch parliament passes motion against mandatory labeling of settlement products
The Dutch parliament on Tuesday approved a motion pushing back against a European Court of Justice decision that ordered the labeling of Israeli goods made in West Bank settlements.

The motion, approved 82-68, calls on the government to object to the ruling, unless similar standards are applied to all disputed territories around the world. It deems the singling out of Israel in such regard unfair and discriminatory.

Israel has heavily criticized the the court’s ruling last week, calling it discriminatory and noting that there are more than 200 territorial disputes across the world, but that the European court had never ruled on any of them.

The Dutch vote, supported by Christian groups in parliament and backed by the governing coalition, does not compel the government to act and is largely symbolic. However, diplomatic officials told the Ynet news site that the strong support from the coalition indicated it would guide government policy to an extent.

Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Naor Gilon thanked legislators for their support and expressed hope that if the court ruling stands, Dutch leaders “will adopt their own recommendation and not implement a discriminatory resolution.”

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Israeli settlements, in the view of the Trump administration, are not illegal. Bernie Sanders, a Jew, was quick to contradict this Israel-friendly message, stating as if it were fact rather than opinion, the opposite viewpoint. Israeli settlements, tweeted Sanders, are illegal. 

Pompeo’s remarks were thoughtful and nuanced. Sanders’ tweet, on the other hand, was a condemnation, a pointed finger full of repudiation and blame. Pompeo spoke of peace and resolution, while Sanders used his platform to take a dig at Trump, accusing the president of “pandering to his extremist base.”
If we were to take a crack at what Sanders might mean by “extremist base,” it would be easy to arrive at the Evangelical community, a large voting sector that turned out strongly for Trump in 2016. This is as opposed to the Jews, who, at just 3% of the voting population, cannot be any kind of voting base, extremist or otherwise. White evangelicals do indeed care deeply about Israel and are willing to use their voting clout on her behalf. Jews (except perhaps for the orthodox, who represent only 11% of American Jewry), on the other hand, don’t see Israel as an electoral issue.
But when Bernie Sanders speaks of extremists, he’s not really speaking of a specific sector or community, not of Christians or Jews, but of all God-fearing people who pray and read the bible. Because Sanders knows that they are the ones who still hold fast to the idea that Judea and Samaria belong to the Jewish people. To Sanders, who appears to be a person who repudiates religion, in particular his own, the entire idea that people are entitled to territory and self-determination in their land based on their religion alone, is disgusting and elitist. In particular, it is disgusting for a Jew to feel this way: that he has rights to Israel by virtue of having descended from people with beards and payos.*

Sanders also spoke of "occupied territory." But the entire idea of an occupation is problematic since the land was restored to the Jewish people during a defensive war. Israel didn't just march in to accomplish a land grab. We were fighting for our lives, repelling invading armies that were attempting to wipe out the State of Israel and Jewish Israelis. At any rate, how is it possible for a people to "occupy" land that already belongs to them from ancient times? The connection of the land to the Jewish people is documented many times over.

But let's stipulate for argument's sake that Israel is the "occupying" power in the territory in question. The relevant clause of international law relating to occupation and settlement speaks of people being transferred or deported by the occupying power, in order to create facts on the ground. Israel did not deport anyone, and there was no transfer of people to the area. The Jews who settled in Judea and Samaria (and Jerusalem), came there of their own free will. They desired to live there because of the ancient Jewish connection to the land. No one forced them to live there. Judea and Samaria burned in their hearts. They yearned to be there.

Regarding the legal arguments, respected jurists such as Eugene RostowJulius Stone, Eugene Kontorovich, and Avi Bell have all ruled that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is legal. At the very least, Sanders might have acknowledged the strong body of proof these experts have offered in support of the idea that settlement is legal. Then it would be his right to counter and state that in his opinion, settlement is illegal, offering relevant arguments to support his theory. Instead, knowing nothing whatsoever about the law and certainly not as it applies to the settlement project, Sanders put his foot down, stating as if it were fact that settlements are illegal, completely ruling out the idea that, hey: It might be okay for Jews to build homes in their indigenous territory. Some pretty important jurists think so.
But to Sanders, you see, the legalistic debate around settlement is immaterial. He knows and cares nothing about the law, because let's face it: Bernie Sanders is no legal expert. He never studied law.

In his early professional life, for instance, Sanders worked as a Head Start teacher, a psychiatric aide, and carpenter. He wrote socialist propaganda and created “radical film strips.” The sum total of Sanders' knowledge of international law is surely into negative numbers. And he knows that, which is why, in his tweet he deferred vaguely to “international law” and the “UN” without offering any legal argument or substance to back his claims that settlements are illegal.

The law, it seems, is only a fig leaf for Sanders to hide what he feels about religion and perhaps more  particularly, about Judaism. More generally, it seems that from Sanders' purview, religious devotion is a disgusting concept, so disgusting that he can’t get past what he must see as the horrors of the bible to get to the bigger picture of why there is nothing wrong with Jewish settlement.

Because there is nothing wrong with Jewish settlement.
Like Sanders, I am no jurist. So I think of this issue in simple terms. The Jews are the indigenous people of Israel with thousands of years of connection. The very name of Judea means “Jew.” It’s where we’re from.
No one needs the Bible to know this. Because if you’re not a believer, there are history books. There are archaeological artifacts. The Western Wall in Jerusalem is real. You can touch it.
Connection and history aside, how does it hurt anyone for Jews to build homes for themselves? What could possibly be wrong with that? Jews don’t deserve shelter? A roof over their heads?
And this business of settlements being an obstacle to peace? What narishkeit.† We expelled thousands of our own people from Gaza during Disengagement, and dug up our dead, too, all for the sake of peace. Homes stopped nothing. Because homes don’t get in the way of peace. Terror gets in the way of peace.
Judea and Samaria, our ancestral territory, was restored to us during the course of a defensive war. We built homes on uninhabited hilltops. We displaced no one in the building of settlement homes.
And they are homes. Nothing more. Homes go up, and can also be torn down, God forbid. 
The question Bernie Sanders should be asking himself is why anyone objects to Jews building homes in Judea and Samaria, or anywhere else, for that matter. Why is the EU outraged at the thought of Jews building homes for themselves in Judea and Samaria or producing, God forbid, wine? Why are Arabs so appalled at the thought of Jews providing themselves with shelter? What is the problem that all of these people have with the Jews?

Why can’t they just let them be?
What is the source of Sanders’ loathing for his own people? Was there some sort of trauma in early childhood? Is he embarrassed by the herring and kichel, the chanting and swaying back and forth, the refusal of these stubborn people to go away already??
"Why won’t they just die out," you can almost hear him wondering, "so I can be like everyone else in a world where everyone is the same, united. Accepted."
These “extremists” just refuse to get with the plan. The plan that crowns Bernie king of the world, no longer a Jew, just a man of the people, or perhaps a demi-god.
The good news is that this will never happen. Because Sanders hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of becoming president of the United States of America. He's just too out there and old.

Bernie can make a schrei, and scream all he likes, but ain't no one going to force the Jews out of Judea and Samaria.

We've come home for good. Because whether Bernie likes it or not, this time we're not leaving.

We're not going anywhere at all.
*sidecurls
†foolishness 


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  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics  we learn that 62% of the Palestinian girls and 68% of the boys aged 10 and under are beaten by their caregivers.

The definition of physical violence in this study is shaking hard, hitting parts of the body with a stick or belt, or hitting hands or legs.


Over a quarter of the boys and 18% of the girls 10 and under experienced severe violence from their parents or caregivers, which includes hitting their face or head or regular severe beatings.


Violence is more prevalent in Gaza than in the West Bank.

Kids who grow up with violence are more likely to be violent as adults.

Of course, outside the bureaucracy that generated this report, this is not being reported anywhere.





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From Ian:

Pompeo Busts the ‘Occupation’ Myth The claim that Israeli settlements are illegal was flimsy in 1978 and is ridiculous in 2019. By Eugene Kontorovich
Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law. That is now America's official view, repudiating the conclusions of a 1978 State Department memorandum. The four-page 1978 memo written by legal adviser Herbert Hansell was hardly a thorough study and cited no precedent for its key conclusions. Hansell concluded that Jews who had moved past the Green Line into disputed territory had somehow been "deported or transferred" there by the State of Israel.

A country cannot occupy territory to which it has sovereign title, and Israel has the strongest claim to the land. International law holds that a new country inherits the borders of the prior geopolitical unit in that territory. Israel was preceded by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, whose borders included the West Bank. Hansell's memo fails to discuss this.

Moreover, Hansell wrote that the state of occupation would end if Israel entered into a peace treaty with Jordan, which it did in 1994, but the State Department neglected to update the memo.

Almost every prolonged occupation since 1949 - from the Allies' 40-year administration of West Berlin to Turkey's 2016 occupation of northern Syria - has seen population movement into the occupied territory. In none of these cases has the U.S. or the UN ever claimed this was a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Pompeo's action shows the U.S. understands that we can't have one international law for one country and another for the rest of the world.
Why the U.S. Is Right to Recognize West Bank "Settlements" as Legal
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that U.S. would no longer take the position that Israeli civilian "settlements" in the West Bank are "inconsistent with international law." Many of those "settlements" - cities, really, some of them in existence for decades - are never going to be bulldozed. That's reality.

It has always been a mistake for the U.S. to treat Jews who returned to their ancient homeland as occupiers. For one thing, it was impossible for Israel to "occupy" Palestinian territories because no such nation has ever existed. UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 established Israel's legal right to negotiate a peace with defensible borders with existing states. Resolution 242 doesn't mention the word "Palestinian" anywhere. Nowhere does the resolution call on Israel to withdraw to the pre-Six-Day War lines. Nowhere does it stipulate that Judea and Samaria should be free of Jews.

None of the recent U.S. moves undermine peace. They simply clarify the contours of a realistic deal. Israel has done everything it can to allow responsible Arab self-governance. As Pompeo clearly states, final-status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be predicated no longer on a fantasy of "occupation" but rather on the reality of disputed land.
Ruthie Blum: Trump makes pro-Israel history again
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s dramatic announcement on Monday that the “establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law” sent shockwaves around the world. In retrospect, however, it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise.

Since his election three years ago, US President Donald Trump has been consistent in his efforts to reverse the policies of the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Not only in relation to Israel. But his pro-Israel stance has been steady and unapologetic from the get-go, which is as it should be.

Indeed, each of his decisions – such as recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the embassy accordingly, defunding the Palestinian “pay for slay” machine and acknowledging Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights – has been geared towards cementing the natural US -Israel relationship in a healthy way. Every action that his administration has taken stems from the understanding that the so-called “Israeli-Palestinian peace process” has failed repeatedly – not only as a result of being based on a false premise, but of following the same old paradigm.

Team Trump has been engaging in what the high-tech sector refers to as “disruption.”

Its shift in settlement policy is part of the program. As Pompeo pointed out, calling settlements illegal “hasn’t worked. It hasn’t advanced the cause of peace.”

That’s for sure.

Fittingly, Washington’s latest bombshell came on the heels of a horrifying European Court of Justice ruling that all EU countries must label goods produced in Israeli settlements, so as to enable consumers to make “informed choices” – a euphemism for giving shoppers a heads-up over which “made in Israel” merchandise they should boycott.

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to a 1978 State Department memo that calls Israeli settlements "inconsistent with international law" when he said the current State Department reviewed it and decided that it is not correct.

He unfortunately did not discuss the legal basis for this re-evaluation.

However, the memo itself, written by State Department Legal Advisor Herbert J. Hansell,  can be critiqued - by one of the people it quotes as an expert.

Hansell writes:

[T]he Israeli armed forces entered Gaza, the West Bank, Sinai and the Golan Heights in June 1967, in the course of an armed conflict. Those areas had not previously been part of Israel's sovereign territory nor otherwise under its administration. By reason of such entry of its armed forces, Israel established control and began to exercise authority over these territories; and under international law, Israel became a belligerent occupant of these territories.

...'In positive terms, and broadly stated, the Occupant's powers are (1) to continue orderly government, (2) to exercise control over and utilize the resources of the country so far as necessary for that purpose and to meet his own military needs. He may thus, under the latter head, apply its resources to his own military objects, claim services from the inhabitants, use, requisition, seize or destroy their property, within the limits of what is required for the army of occupation and the needs of the local population.But beyond the limits of quality, quantum and duration thus implied, the Occupant's acts will not have legal effect, although they may in fact be unchallengeable until the territory is liberated. He is not entitled to treat the country as his own territory or its inhabitants as his own subjects..., and over a wide range of public property, he can confer rights only as against himself, and within his own limited period of de facto rule.' J. Stone, Legal Controls of International Conflict, 697 (1959).'
Hansell quotes Julius Stone as the authority on what can be done under belligerent occupation. But he bases the idea that the territory is considered occupied on his own reasoning, with no references. 

Three years later, Julius Stone wrote "Israel and Palestine:Assault on the Law of Nations." Within that, he writes:

It has been shown in Chapters 3 and 7 that there are solid grounds in international law for denying any sovereign title to Jordan in the West Bank, and therefore any rights as reversioner state under the law of belligerent occupation.

The grounds on which Israel might now or in the future claim to have such tide have also there been canvassed. The initial point that arises under Article 49(6) of Geneva Convention IV of 1949 is more specific. Not only does Jordan lack any legal title to the territories concerned, but the Convention itself does not by its terms apply to these territories. For, under Article 2, that Convention applies "to cases of ... occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party," by another such Party. Insofar as the West Bank at present held by Israel does not belong to any other State, the Convention would not seem to apply to it at all. This is a technical, though rather decisive, legal point.
What about settlements? 

Hansell writes:

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August 1949, 6 UST 3516, provides, in paragraph 6:
'The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies'.Paragraph 6 appears to apply by its terms to any transfer by an occupying power of parts of its civilian population, whatever the objective and whether involuntary or voluntary. [Footnote: Paragraph 1 of article 49 prohibits "forcible" transfers of protected persons out of the occupied territory; paragraph 6 is not so limited.]

 It seems clearly to reach such involvements of the occupying power as determining the location of the settlements, making land available and financing of settlements, as well as other kinds of assistance and participation in their creation. And the paragraph appears applicable whether or not harm is done by a particular transfer.

The language and history of the provision lead to the conclusion that transfers of a belligerent occupant's civilian population into occupied territory are broadly proscribed as beyond the scope of interim military administration.

 Another view of paragraph 6 is that it is directed against mass population transfers such as occurred in World War II for political, racial or colonization ends; but there is no apparent support or reason for limiting its application to such cases.
Hansell is not a recognized legal scholar, and he is interpreting international law here without referring to any such scholars. His assumption that the background of why Article 49(6) was written has no bearing on its interpretation is almost breathtaking in its naked self-assurance.

Here is what Stone wrote about the settlements' legality, even assuming that the territory is considered occupied. Again, this is Stone's area of expertise. I am editing this fairly ruthlessly because of its length, but you can read it all here.

It is clear that in its drafting history, Article 49 as a whole was directed against the heinous practice of the Nazi regime during the Nazi occupation of Europe in World War II, of forcibly transporting populations of which it wished to rid itself, into or out of occupied territories for the purpose of "liquidating" them with minimum disturbance of its metropolitan territory, or to provide slave labor or for other inhumane purposes. The genocidal objectives, of which Article 49 was concerned to prevent future repetitions against other peoples, were in part conceived by the Nazi authorities as a means of ridding the Nazi occupant's metropolitan territory of Jews—of making it, in Nazi terms, judenrein. Such practices were, of course, prominent among the offenses tried by war crimes tribunals after World War II. ...

...Article 49, paragraph 6, uses similar language, though with significant differences, forbidding the occupying power to "deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." Notably, paragraph 6 does not include the peremptory clause "regardless of motive," so that the spirit of its provision, as well as the letter, requires attention. Dr. Pictet's commentary acknowledges "some hesitation" and some doubts in the drafting as to its relation to the above main preoccupation of Article 49. He observes, "It is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. Such transfers worsened the economic situation of the native population and endangered their separate existence as a race."
It is clear that historically the victims of the terrible abuses that Dr. Pictet, as well as this writer, regards as a key to interpreting paragraph 1, included many thousands who were nationals of the Nazi occupying power in Nazi metropolitan territory, and who were deported (e.g., to Poland). Many of these, for example the Jews, had shortly before the relevant time been deprived of German nationality, presumably in order to expose them more easily to arbitrary action. 
If and insofar, therefore, as Israel's position in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is merely that of an occupying power, Article 49 would forbid "deportation" or "transfer" of its own population onto the West Bank whenever this action has the consequence of serving as a means of either (1) impairment of the economic situation or racial integrity of the native population of the occupied territory; or (2) inhuman treatment of its own population. 
 Impairment of Racial Integrity of the Native Population of the Occupied Territory. ...Despite vociferous political warfare pronouncements on both sides, it seems clear, therefore, that no serious dilution (much less extinction) of the "separate racial existence" of the native population has either taken place or is in prospect. Nor do well-known facts of dramatic improvement in the "economic situation" of the inhabitants since 1967 permit any suggestion that that situation has been worsened or impaired.

Insofar, moreover, as these or future settlements are merely directed to the requirements of military security in the occupied territory they do not violate either the spirit or the letter of this aspect of Article 49. And they also conform, as the preceding discourse has shown, to the general requirements of customary international law, embracing the relevant provisions of the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907, and its annexed regulations.
Inhuman Treatment of the Occupant State's Own Population. The second aim of the prohibition in Article 49(6) was, as has been seen, to protect the inhabitants of the occupant's own metropolitan territory from genocidal and other inhuman acts of the occupant's government. That this was part of, if not the main intention of Article 49(6) seems clear from the use of the term "deport," which clearly refers to a coerced movement of its population. The addition of the term "or transfer" does not alter this import. ...the word "transfer" in itself implies that the movement is not voluntary on the part of the persons concerned, but a magisterial act of the state concerned.

As contrasted with this main evil at which Article 49 was aimed, the diversion of the meaning of paragraph 6 to justify prohibition of the voluntary settlement of Jews in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) carries an irony bordering on the absurd. Ignoring the overall purpose of Article 49, which would inter alia protect the population of the state of Israel from being removed against their will into the occupied territory, it is now sought to be interpreted so as to impose on the Israel  government a duty to prevent any Jewish individual from voluntarily taking up residence in that area. For not even the most blinkered adversary of Israel could suggest that the individual Jews are being in some way forced to settle in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank)! The issue is rather whether the government of Israel has any obligation under international law to use force to prevent the voluntary (often the fanatically voluntary) movement of these individuals.

On that issue, the terms of Article 49(6), however they are interpreted, are submitted to be totally irrelevant. To render them relevant, we would have to say that the effect of Article 49(6) is to impose an obligation on the state of Israel to ensure (by force if necessary) that these areas, despite their millennial association with Jewish life, shall be forever judenrein. Irony would thus be pushed to the absurdity of claiming that Article 49(6), designed to prevent repetition of Nazi-type genocidal policies of rendering Nazi metropolitan territories judenrein, has now come to mean that Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) must be made judenrein and must be so maintained, if necessary by the use of force by the government of Israel against its own inhabitants.
Hansell's short stint at the State Department was over before Stone's book, but the breadth of the legal analysis by Stone blows away anything done by Hansell.




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  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


In 1968, the Palestinians were not shy about their antisemitism. And it is all recorded in the archive of the United Nations itself.

From Agenda item 33, Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), UN General Assembly, Thursday, 5 December 1968, at 3.30 p.m:

4, The Palestine Arab delegation was grateful to the Commissioner-General for bringing to the attention of the General Assembly, in paragraph 15 of his report, the plight of the Arab refugees in the Gaza Strip. Twice in twelve years, the people of the Gaza Strip had become victims of the Jew-Khazar war crimes and persecutions. In 1956-57, during and after the war by the British, the French and the Jews against the United Arab Republic, the Jews had shot more than 3,000 young men and buried them in mass graves. In 1967, over 2,000 others had been murdered in cold blood by the Jews in the Gaza Strip and countless others had been imprisoned. As the Jews controlled the Press, radio and television in all the Western countries and suppressed any news concerning the war crimes committed against the Arabs in the occupied areas, the only hope of the Palestine Arab delegation was that the Secretary-General would focus world attention on the Jewish war crimes which were even worse than those committed by the Nazis in occupied Europe. 
This was obviously before the rule that you must always say "Zionists," not "Jews."

There was six pages of this type of pure hate. One more example:
13. The world Jewish leaders had unleashed a propaganda campaign on an unprecedented scale to endeavour to justify their monstrous crimes. Having  achieved their object and proclaimed a Jewish State, they were asking the world to forget the past and the fact that there was a Palestine or a people of Palestine. The Jews contended that international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Declaration or. the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples had no application to the Palestine problem because the "chosen people" had been repatriated to the land of its forefathers as the fulfilment of Jehovah's promise. The occupation of Palestine and other parts of the Middle East by the Jews was the most dastardly colonial crime of all time. 
Towards the end, the Palestinian representative discussed what he felt would be a fair solution to the issue - to expel all Jews from Israel that came after the 1880s  or so and replace them with Palestinian Arabs (no one yet called them "Palestinians" in 1968.)

The Palestine Arab delegation submitted the following ten-point programme of its own for a just and peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem:

(1) The Security Council must decide that, in accordance with the Charter and the principles of international law, it could not recognize the fruits of war and conquest and, therefore, the proclamation of a "Jewish State" in Palestine was null and void ab initio.(2) The Security Council, must recommend to the General Assembly, in accordance with article 6 of the Charter, that "Israel" should be expelled from the United Nations on the grounds that its admission had been illegal, since it had never been a State in either fact or law, had never satisfied the basic requirements of United Nations membership and had persistently violated the principles of the Charter.
(3) The Security Council must take measures, under chapter VII of the Charter, to disarm the Jewish colonial illegal regime in occupied Palestine.
(4) The Security Council must declare an embargo on shipments of arms and munitions to that regime.
(5) It must call on all United Nations Member States to sever diplomatic relations with that regime,
(6) It must call on the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada and other  Member States to prohibit the direct or indirect transfer of funds to that regime.
(7) The General Assembly must establish a United Nations commission to facilitate the repatriation of Palestine Jewish immigrants to their homelands or to any other country that would accept them.
(8) The General Assembly must establish a United Nations commission to facilitate the return of Palestinians to their homes and to assist them in regaining possession of their property.
(9) The General Assembly must establish a United Nations commission to supervise the reconstruction of Palestine either as an independent State or in federation with Jordan, and to supervise the creation of a democratic government elected by the indigenous Moslem, Christian and Jewish people.
(10) The United Nations must guarantee freedom for all religions and free access to the Holy Places in Palestine to Christians, Moslems and Jews throughout the world. 
Do you think the end goals and hatred of Jews by the Palestinian leaders has changed at all in the past 50 years? Or have they just learned to speak a bit more diplomatically?

No UN representative at that session called out the Palestinian delegation for obvious antisemitism.

By the way, there are plenty of UN sessions since 1947 where Arabs try to portray all Jews as Khazars.




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  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


As of the latest Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report, some 141,000 Palestinians are working for Israelis - 119,000 within Green Line Israel and 22,000 in Israeli settlements.

Sounds like they didn't hear the BDS call.

The average daily wage for Palestinians working for Israelis is NIS 261 . The average daily wage in the West Bank (as of Q1) is NIS 145.5 while in Gaza it is NIS 63.2.

About 13% of the total Palestinian workforce works for Israelis. Given that the ones working for Israelis make more than twice as much on the average as those who work for other Palestinians, that means that over 25% of the Palestinian workforce economy comes from Israel.

Israel recently quietly started allowing several thousand Gazans to work in Israel as well. I'm not sure if they are included in these statistics.




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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

From Ian:

David Collier: Attacked again – just another day researching antisemitism
Yesterday I was physically attacked at an anti-Israel protest at Kings College London. I emerged relatively unscathed, but a demonstrator clearly intended to deprive me of my camera. He rushed at me and tried to grab it and run. The force of the attack had left me with slight friction burns on my hands and a broken tripod. Just a few minutes earlier, another demonstrator had attacked pro-Israeli activist Harry Markham from behind, trying to take his Israeli flag. He was also unhurt, but his flagpole was destroyed.
The event and the protest

Inside KCL was an event being jointly held by Israeli societies on KCL & UCL. The speaker Eyal Dror oversaw the operation ‘Good Neighbour’. It helped Syrians near the border who had been caught up in the Syrian civil war. More than 7,000 Syrian’s were treated in Israeli hospitals, His team also led the evacuation of the White Helmets.

Eyal Dror is currently on tour with ‘Stand With Us‘. Tonight he is at Warwick where they are also expecting protests. The man is a hero and the episode of Israeli humanitarian activity during the Syrian civil war is a story that should be heard. Which is exactly why the anti-Israel activists are protesting him. They don’t want the world to hear the truth.

A protest was arranged online. Three years ago there was uproar over the speech of a Wanstead schoolgirl. Well she is no longer a schoolgirl nor so innocent. It seems as if she is now a major player on the anti-Israel scene. Here she is, inside the toxic antisemitic group Palestine Live, calling for people to attend the emergency protest at KCL:

I got to the campus early as I always do and watched a crowd of soon-to-be protestors gather a little way down the road. For a while I thought some were going inside and they may have been planning a co-ordinated action, but as it turned out, almost no hostile activists attended the event itself and it passed peacefully.

The protestors then made their way to the front of the building, unfurled a few banners and began to chant ‘from the river to the sea’. If anyone is not clear about what this means, at one point the ‘student’ with the megaphone said ‘we want the Israelis gone, we want our land back – from the river to the sea‘ – which is an even more explicit and undeniable call for the total destruction of Jewish life in the region.


Democrats to Israel: Go to Hell
Then again, the wing of the American left that Sanders represents has absorbed that eliminationist mentality. “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” isn’t just something Hamas ­fanatics scream; it was chanted at the Democratic Socialists of America’s national convention at the University of Illinois in 2017.

The river is Jordan, the sea is the Mediterranean. If Palestine were “free from the river to the sea,” then there would be no ­Israel.

Mainstream Democrats rolled over for the far left so quickly on Israel that it’s hard to imagine them returning to a sane place. Jews, who vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers, need to finally wake up to the reality that their party despises the world’s sole Jewish state.

Criticizing any country or its leadership should always be fair game, to be sure, even when it’s our ally. But what is disturbing about such episodes — and the poll numbers they mirror — was summed up in a recent New York Times sub-headline: “President Trump’s hawkish support of Israel has led many Democrats to question the United States’ relationship with one of its closest allies.”

If Trump is for something, in other words, then Democrats have to be against it. That’s absurd and childish. But it’s also based on a lie.

It’s a lie to say Democrats and mainstream liberals are now turning against Israel. That turn happened under the Obama ­administration. Now mainstream Democrats are struggling just to beat back the tide of overt Jew-hatred in their midst.

And they’re doing a feeble job of it. Either the Democratic candidates are too afraid of the hard-leftist base to stick up for Jews and their national homeland — or they don’t want to. ­Either way, this isn’t leadership.
European Union Slaps ‘New Kind Of Yellow Star On Jewish-Made Products’
Further, by establishing a unique standard for Israel, this decision fits the internationally accepted definition of antisemitism, cited in the United Nations’ recent report on global antisemitism. So it’s rich for the European Commission to tell Fox News, “Any suggestion that indication of origin on products coming from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory or in the occupied Golan has anything to do with targeting Jews or anti-Semitism is unacceptable. The EU stands strongly and unequivocally against any form of anti-Semitism.”

Check out that loaded word choice. Then consider that such critiques are fair game. The EU does not stand unequivocally against antisemitism. There are bright spots, like Austria’s second largest city banning support for BDS. However, European Jews are acutely aware that antisemitism is widespread and dangerous.

EU officials like Michael O’Flaherty, director of the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, know that in spite of the many reported antisemitic crimes across the EU, 80 percent remain uncounted. “As one person asked [O’Flaherty], ‘Why would I report antisemitism to an antisemite?’” Over in Britain, which has not quite left the EU, nearly half of British Jews have said they “would ‘seriously consider’ emigrating if [Labour Party leader Jeremy] Corbyn is elected prime minister [in December].”

Seventy-four years after the Holocaust’s end, the EU is no haven for Jews. Nor is it a particularly reliable friend to Israel. Calling the decision “disgraceful,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told The Federalist, “This labeling singles out Jews who live in communities where Europeans don’t think they should be allowed to live and identifies them for boycotts. It is reminiscent of the darkest moments in Europe’s history.”

Indeed, the CJEU may have forgotten, but world Jewry hasn’t. We also know that discrimination and other harms that start with Jews never end with us. So whether or not the timing was coincidental, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcing a reversal of Obama-era policy regarding Israel’s settlements certainly looks fortuitous, because this fight is far from over.

  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA tweeted:

Besides the antisemitism and hate that we have documented over the years from UNRWA teachers and UNRWA curricula, one thing is certain. every single one of these 2.5 million children were taught that Israel is an illegitimate state and that those kids will one day rise up and "return" as they kick the Jews into the sea, whether literally or metaphorically.

UNRWA proudly says it teaches peace and coexistence. But it does not teach peace and coexistence with Israel.

UNRWA students never heard of the Holocaust from their schoolteachers - the few times UNRWA half-heartedly said it would be taught the uproar was immediate and UNRWA threw up its hands and said, sorry, we can't.

UNRWA schools might be somewhat better than public schools in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, but it does not prepare any of these kids for peace. On the contrary, they are taught that they must remain stateless and build up the hate for the only party  UNRWA blames for their plight - Israel.








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  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
J-Street is freaking out over Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement that the US will no longer consider settlements to be illegal per se, effectively allowing Israel's excellent justice system decide which communities are legal and which aren't (typically if built on privately owned lands.)

In an email, J-Street writes:
Make no mistake: The settlements are, in fact, illegal under international law. Pompeo’s decision willfully disregards the Geneva Conventions, sets Israel on the path to West Bank annexation and shatters American credibility in the Middle East.
OK, let's revisit the Geneva Conventions.

Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention says:
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
We're going to set aside whether Israel is legally an occupying power. Israel has long held that the territories are disputed, not occupied, but Israel has voluntarily accepted the humanitarian parts of the Geneva Conventions on how it treats the territories. This makes sense, since the Fourth Geneva Conventions are meant for protecting civilians under occupation, and a loophole in whether these areas are not strictly considered occupied under the Hague Convention of 1907 - the only place in international law that defines occupation - should not leave civilians without humanitarian protection.

Within the text of Geneva, however, it is obvious that Jews move to these communities voluntarily. Not one would consider themselves to be deported or transferred by Israel, and both words imply that this is done against the will of the people being transferred. Indeed, the entire Article 49 deals with involuntary transfer and deportation, and there is no logical reason to think that paragraph 6 is any different.

Some people tortuously argue that by Israel providing infrastructure for these communities, it is a form of transfer, since Israel makes it easier for Israelis (not only Jews - Arabs do as well) to move into these areas. This is obviously not what was meant by the Geneva drafters, who never envisioned an occupied area that the citizens of the occupying country would want to move to on their own. Who would want to move into a war zone?

Only citizens who believe that the land was always theirs.

When the Fourth Geneva Convention was drafted, the intent of paragraph 6 was to stop mass forcible transfers of populations into newly conquered areas like the Nazis did. The 1958 commentary on the Conventions makes this clear:
 It is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. 
A look at the Travaux Préparatoires for the Convention mentions nothing but forcible transfers for the entire Article 49 in all the discussions.

Here's the real proof, though. Since it was obvious to everyone that the wording in Geneva was far from explicit in making settlements illegal when there was no forcible transfer, anti-Israel nations added provisions to international law after the fact to widen the law to ensure that Israel's actions would be considered illegal!

When the laws were drafted for the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Arab delegation wanted to ensure that not only would an occupying power be guilty if it actively transferred its citizens to occupied territory, but also if it does not actively stop its citizens from going on their own! The Rome Statute says that "The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies" is against international law.

This is the most egregious hijacking of international law for political purposes in modern history.

However, if Geneva was so obviously against Israeli settlements, then why even bother to add the language of "directly or indirectly" to the Rome Statute? Geneva should have covered it.

A sui generis law was created specifically against Israel because Geneva doesn't cover the settlements in Judea and Samaria. The US and Israel never accepted the Rome Statute because of its obviously political nature to damn only a single country - something that would not have been necessary if the Geneva Conventions said that the settlements were illegal.

Ambassador Alan Baker, a noted legal expert, has dealt with this issue at length here.



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From Ian:

John Podhoretz: Settlements and the Smelling-Salts Brigade
More important is the argument that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision transgresses settled international law. Balderdash and poppycock. Yes, it is the general understanding of the panjandra of the Smelling Salts Elite that Israel’s “settlements” stand in the way of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and Pompeo himself acknowledged that certain settlement activity can be understood as a means of making agreements more difficult.

But difficult does not mean illegal.

The idea that the West Bank is “occupied territory” itself is based on a problematic reading of international law. As Eugene Kontorovich has said, “the relevant international law instruments speak only of people being ‘transferred or deported’ by an occupying power.” Israel has not deported anyone from the West Bank, nor has it “transported” people there in the sense of forcing its colonization. Israelis have chosen to move to the West Bank. You can interpret that fact broadly to suggest they have “transferred” themselves, but that will result in a Talmudic argument that will never come to a resolution.

If the law were settled, the anti-Semites and Israel-haters at the United Nations would not have felt the need to seek the passage of the infamous Resolution 2334 in December 2016—which declares settlement activity a violation of international law. This is the resolution that Barack Obama allowed to pass without a veto from the United States, because he just wasn’t going to leave office without blowing a childish raspberry at Bibi Netanyahu. It was the existence of this resolution that led the Trump State Department to initiate a study of the legal basis of the Israelis’ settlements—a study whose conclusion is that while the settlements might indeed be an obstacle to peace, that does not make them, as a legal matter, illegitimate.

So don’t listen to the caterwauling and the wailing and the gnashing of teeth. What Secretary Pompeo and the Trump administration have done is speak truth. Odd, isn’t it, how the simple telling of the truth is so agonizing to people who claim to be realists?
Amb. Dore Gold: U.S. Policy Change on Israeli Settlements: A Long Awaited Correction
The U.S. has corrected its Middle East policy in an important way. The past legal determination that Israelis deciding to reside in the West Bank are doing so in violation of international law has always been deeply flawed.

It failed to recognize that the case of Israeli settlement construction was unique and was not what the drafters of international law had in mind when they first addressed this question. The original basis for judging the question of Israeli settlements was the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

Morris Abram, who was the U.S. ambassador to the UN in Geneva, had been one of the drafters of the Fourth Geneva Convention. He wrote that its authors had in mind heinous crimes committed by Nazi Germany that included forcible evictions of Jewish populations for purposes of mass extermination in death camps in places like Poland. This plainly was not the case of Israeli settlements and it is utterly vile to even suggest that Israeli settlements should be thought of in this context.

It must be recalled that the last sovereign over the territory of the West Bank was the Ottoman Empire. After the First World War, the League of Nations in 1922 explicitly supported the "close settlement" of Jews in the territory of the British Mandate. Those historical rights of the Jewish people were preserved by Article 80 of the UN Charter.

Jordan seized the West Bank in 1949, yet even the Arab states refused to recognize its sovereignty there. In other words, there was no recognized sovereign over the West Bank prior to Israel's entry into the area.

Finally, when Israel captured the West Bank in 1967, it acted in the framework of a war of self-defense.
Examining Politics Podcast: State Dept’s Brian Hook, Salena Zito, Victor Davis Hanson
U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Adviser for Middle East Peace Brian Hook explains today’s announcement from Sec. of State Mike Pompeo’s on a change in American policy regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Hook also comments on the recent demonstrations in Iran and Tehran’s violent reaction.

Caroline Glick: Pompeo’s statement on Israeli settlements is a diplomatic turning point
In [Pompeo’s] words, “calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace.” Of course it hasn’t. Placing a lie in the center of the discourse on the Palestinian conflict with Israel is no way to promote understanding and coexistence.

In the interest of promoting peace, Pompeo instead told the truth. Not only are Israeli settlements not illegal. Pompeo noted that they are arguably more justified than civilian settlements built in other disputed territories.

Pompeo’s statement, and indeed the Trump administration’s decision to publish its position now, represent a complete rebuke of the European Union. The EU has made its false determination that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are illegal as a [pretext] for its hostile, discriminatory, economic, and political policies towards Israel.

Israel’s own foreign ministry should take a lesson from the Trump administration. After a bitter, two-year bureaucratic and political fight, in 2017 Israel’s embassies worldwide published a paper that explained the legal validity of Israel’s settlements in Judea and Samaria. But unlike the Trump administration, the Israeli government has still not stated outright that international law is irrelevant to the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Guest post by American Zionism



On November 14, Hen Mazzig gave a speech at Vassar College. He was interrupted by members of the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine with chants of "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free". They were intimidating and disrespectful to the people who went to hear him speak.

I know that Hen is open to dialogue with anyone and welcomes all questions, no matter how hard they may be. But the group was not there to hear him or engage with him, they were there to silence and humiliate him. They went to deny him his inalienable right to express his views regardless of what they may be. It also happens to be that his message was one of inclusiveness and reconciliation, and the protesters' message was one of bigotry and division. In following Hen for a number of years on Twitter and having seen him speak in person, I can tell you that he advocates for the national aspirations for the Palestinians. He has never once said that he denies them their rights. On the other hand, the chant "from the river to the sea" is a call to remove all the Jews from the Holy Land, dismantle the State of Israel, and replace it with a Palestinian state that will span from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea. Make no mistake, this is a casus belli to push the Jews into the sea. They are no advocates of peace. They aren't even advocates of justice. And, they are certainly no advocates of a two-state solution. This is nationalism at its most extreme.

While Hen was being interrupted, he videotaped the disturbance and posted it on Twitter. Hen can be seen sitting silently waiting for it to end, and Jewish students in the audience can be seen sitting uncomfortably not knowing what to do, all the while SJP continued their harassment and their racist chant. As you can imagine, many Jews who were watching this unfold on Twitter were shaken and upset, myself included. Here Jews are once again are being denied the right to speak, and this denial is supported by many people who should know better. Where was the security? Where was the administration? This is not a free expression of speech. This is denying others their free expression of speech. Everyone, whether you agree with Hen or not and whether you like Hen or not, should have supported his right to share his story with those that had invited him to speak and who attended the event. But that is not what happened. In fact, the opposite happened. Having already faced abuse at the event, people chose this opportunity to attack him even further. That is where the Tweet by Abe Silberstein enters, which you can read below.



Mr. Silberstein does not attack Hen's arguments, but rather he attacks Hen himself, going so far as calling him a "low quality of speaker" and a "provocateur", all to justify SJP's harassment and attempt to silence him. If this isn't mean spirited and bullying - name calling and insulting to silence someone - then I don't know what is.

Mr. Silberstein is a journalist, who has written for many well-known publications. A journalist's defense of the first amendment is like a religious conviction. Otherwise, it is not journalism - it's propaganda. Journalists have been killed in defense of the free speech. Justifying the silencing of a speaker because someone perceives them as being lower quality is not only a violation of the First Amendment, but a sure slide towards fascism. At no point in his tweet did Silberstein refute anything that Hen talked about. He did not mention the content of his speeches. He stated that he is of "low quality", a "provocateur", and even asserted that Hen was pleased with getting interrupted, that it is part of some hidden agenda. He wrote, "Hen plays dirty". I challenge anyone to show me one thing in his tweet that was a "thoughtful and critical assessment of Hen at @Vassar." You can't, because this was a classic argumentum ad hominem, an attack on the person, rather than the stance. It is mean spirited, and it is bullying.


When I wrote my response to Silberstein, I did the opposite of what he did. Not once did I attack him personally, but rather his argument.

 

Whereas Silberstein stated Hen was of low quality, worthy of censure and ridicule, I responded to Silberstein's comments only. His comment was disgusting. His assessment was wrong and mean spirited. What he wrote was bullying. I did not call him disgusting, or mean spirited. I wrote it of his comment only. I stand by what I wrote and I challenge anyone to show me where I am wrong.

Besides the ad hominem attack on Hen, there is another point that is very troubling. Abe Silberstein notes in his bio that he is a writer for the Israel Policy Forum. If you look on their website, you will find his bio there listing him as a contributor.  The Statement of Principles of the Israel Policy Forum on their website reads:

They present themselves as "staunch supporters of the security and well-being of the State of Israel, the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people", with "the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, consistent with Israel's security needs." How can they support a safe Israel and push a two-state solution when they have someone writing for them who justifies chants of "from the river to the sea" which signals the destruction of Israel, and who bullies a person online that has consistently advocated for the two-state solution? I posted that question to them in my reply.

After my reply to Silberstein, he blocked me and I forgot about it, until a fellow Twitter user informed me that a director for the New Israel Fund (NIF) was slandering me.

Harry Reis is listed as the Director for Policy and Strategy on the NIF website. The NIF is a left wing organization, who's stated objective is:

"We work to shape the discourse and mobilize support among American Jewish leaders and U.S. policymakers for the realization of a viable two-state solution.  We do this by educating political and communal leaders on pragmatic policy ideas – developed by credible security experts. "




In his libelous tweet, he labels me as "pro-occupation right". This is a lie. He does not name me in the tweet but attaches an image of my tweet to Silberstein as reference. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not on the right, nor do I identify myself as right. I have conceptually and consistently maintained a position not dissimilar to the Israel Policy Forum of Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace as long as the security of Israel is maintained. To label me as a "pro-occupation", is an attack on my Twitter persona and what I try to accomplish.

He then says I "falsely + disingenuously" called Silberstein a bully. As, I have shown above, it was neither false nor disingenuous. He was bullying Hen, and my defense of him was genuine.

Reis then claimed that Silberstein's tweet about Hen was "a thoughtful and critical assessment". Insulting someone as "low quality", a "provocateur" and claiming that he secretly craves the protest to promote himself is not exactly a thoughtful assessment. It is garbage. Whether Silberstein is an "honest person of good character" I do not know and I never said otherwise. Before reading that tweet, I had never heard of him. But then Reis goes on to issue his own attack on Hen, claiming somehow what I wrote is proof that he "plays dirty". Great, now I’m part of a conspiracy - not only is Hen responsible for what other people write, but probably directs them to write it, according to Reis. Needless to say, there is nothing thoughtful or even truthful about his accusations.

His entire tweet was an attack on my character. It was filled with lies. It was damaging to my reputation. That he used a screenshot of my tweet but didn't have the decency to tag me in it so that I may defend myself speaks volumes of his character, not mine. Attached to his tweet was a string of replies attacking me with even more lies. I was even harassed directly because of his libelous tweet, called a "joke", a "troll", a "coward", and "garbage".

Another user, Rabbi Andy Kahn, parroted Reis words of "pro-occupation right", plus said I was a "shande (sic)" and a "bad faith actor".             



 Last I checked, before he blocked me, Reis' tweet has nearly 100 likes and several dozen comments, all bad mouthing me, an individual who dedicates his time to defending the very country Reis claims to care about. I may be anonymous right now, but that does not mean I plan on remaining anonymous forever. I chose to be anonymous at the moment for many reasons, including having received death threats. I have spent five years building a following on Twitter the right way. I do not spread hate. I do not discriminate. I spend hours doing historic research. The information I tweet is carefully checked and my reputation is important to me. The fact that he defamed me based on false information, and that has now spread through Twitter, is an attack on me personally, even if I am currently anonymous, and of my ability to one day accomplish the things I hope to.

The New Israel Fund is a large organization with dozens if not hundreds of employees, revenue and expenses in the millions, and very generous funding by some powerful people. It is Goliath. It is the proverbial 1%. I am sure Reis is well paid for his work at NIF. I on the other hand have a regular job completely unrelated to my advocacy. I defend Israel and do research on my own time. It is a labor of love. I have never made one penny doing it. In fact, in the times I have been published writing about Israel, I did not accept compensation and instead directed the editor to make a charitable contribution in my name. I am the David. I am the 99%. Here you have a powerful organization with millions of dollars at their disposal defaming with a libelous tweet the little guy, an individual whose Israel advocacy is balanced, thoughtful, and charitable. This is David versus Goliath. Many of the people that replied to Reis also blocked me, even as they continued to speak ill of me. It is not acceptable. I ask that the New Israel Fund and Mr. Reis issue an apology and retraction.


My tweet was in defense of Hen Mazzig. It was genuine. The tweets by Silberstein and Reis were mean spirited and filled with lies, which attacked people and not ideas. They were meant to silence us to advance only their point of view, one that is rejected by the vast majority of mainstream Jews. They were meant to humiliate. They were wrong, and yes, they were bullying.

UPDATE: Abe Silberstein sent me an apology for his tweet that he asked me to add to this article:

This past weekend, I published a tweet saying that pro-Israel groups should consider the quality of invited speakers amidst various campus controversies. I linked to a statement from Vassar College about a recent speech by Hen Mazzig that was interrupted by members of Students for Justice in Palestine with chants of "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." I also suggested Hen may have welcomed such a reaction.

I deeply regret sending this tweet, which I have since deleted. Hen was grossly mistreated at Vassar and most certainly did not take pleasure in what happened. I let my strong personal disagreements with Hen get in the way of my better judgment, and I apologize to him for that.

I am sorry that Hen endured anti-Semitism during his talk and did not mean to justify it, though I understand why some may have seen it that way. I wish him nothing but the best for the future. 




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  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Jerusalem Biennale international art exhibition is happening now, and one of the exhibits is causing an uproar in Morocco.

The exhibit, Ziara, for the first time shows art by Moroccan Jews and Muslims together, under the theme of (roughly translated) "journey."

Having Moroccan Muslim artists appear in Israel prompted a scathing op-ed by Mohamed Adib Al Salawi in Hespress, Morocco's leading news site.

He wrote that  the participation of Moroccan artists in this show "challenged all national and cultural values, and is undoubtedly an outrageous event."

Socrates believed that art must induce virtue, that is, it must have moral value. It means that art is not the mere coloring of the paint on the cloth, but is a continuous relationship between morality and reality; between consciousness and reality, through an open mind, capable of absorbing cultural, human, moral and social values.

For the sake of its values, the Arab artist is now aware of his society and identity, which means that there is a strong cultural, religious and cultural connection between these values ​​and the issues surrounding him and his life, the most important of which is the
Palestinian cause and the Zionist project that seeks to keep the Arab region weak, disjointed, divided and backward.
How can those who belong to Arab art allow themselves to disregard all the values ​​in order to share the murderous Zionism with its plastic connection to occupied Jerusalem, and normalize the relationship with the Israeli enemy outside all moral and religious values ​​and endowments ...?

We do not know whether these artists know that normalization with Israel is a surrender to the Zionist entity of its right in the occupied Arab land, the right to build terrorist settlements, the right to destroy Palestinian villages and the displacement of its people, and is alsoto  accept the ugliest levels of humiliation and the abdication of dignity and rights.

They have departed from the principles, objectives and ideals of the group, which requires bringing them to justice to hold them accountable for this heinous act.
Most of the responses to this op-ed are surprisingly pro-Israel!

It is very strange when you read in an article such as this article from a professional thinker who fears the Zionist project.  The Arab nation itself was not torn by the Zionist enemy, but on the contrary this enemy reaches out to live in peace. Israel lives on an inch of land among millions of square kilometers (of Arab land), which has made Israel the eternal enemy for an inch of the earth.  Only God knows if the Jews have the right to that inch of the earth, because the Arabs use emotions and have no historical or legal arguments when they claim that Jews are strangers in the region...
Another:

Our intellectuals are strange.
Why do you link the subject of values ​​to land has always been the subject of religious conflict?
Wasn't the area owned by the Jews before it was conquered by Muslims?Wasn't the city in Saudi Arabia the property of the Jews (the sons of Al-Qenaqa, the sons of Fereida and the Jews of Khyber) before they were invaded and their property stolen and the men were killed and their women and children were exiled by Muhammad and his companions? What values ​​are you talking about, sir?
A third:
The Palestinian cause is promoted by those who are far away from it as if it is the closest problem to them, yet the Palestinians themselves believe that the solution is to guarantee them the pride, the jobs, their future and their full rights. There is no reason to commit suicide for the sake of the Palestinians.
These sorts of comments were never published in Arabic before recently. There actually is a sea change happening slowly in the Arab world and its relationship with Jews and Israel. It is slow, and there is still more antisemitism in the Arab world than anywhere else, but these other viewpoints are really something to see, especially when published in Arabic.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)




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