Tuesday, November 24, 2020

  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
There was a very telling tweet by the formerly prestigious ACLU in response to Mike Pompeo:


Pompeo is talking about boycotting Israel. The ACLU is answering about "criticizing Israel."

Boycotts aren't criticisms by any definition. They are actions. 

We see this all the time. The IHRA's Working Definition of Antisemitism specifically excludes criticism of Israel similar to that of any other country as being antisemitic, yet virtually every article against that definition says that it calls criticism of Israel antisemitic.

These lies are deliberate. The liars know they are lying. They want to change the framing of the argument into something they can win, by pretending that Israel's supporters are saying something they never say.

Why do they do this? There's only one reason: 

They are defending Leftist antisemitism.

They know that they cannot defend treating Israel with double standards, or delegitimizing Israel, or demonizing Israel, because it shows that they are hypocrites when they consistently find only Israel to be uniquely evil. They know that boycotting Israel is meant to tell the world that Israel is the only nation whose crimes make it worthy of boycotting. 

The IHRA definition is the best definition there is, but they want to continue to call Zionism "racism" and to compare Israel to Nazis and to call a nation with 20% non-Jews with full rights an 'apartheid state."  They know that if their criticisms of Israel were fair and accurate, the world would yawn - Israel does no worse, and significantly better, than most nations in war time. 

So in order to defend the indefensible, they blatantly lie and say that this demonization, this only boycotting Jewish businesses and Jewish entertainers and Jewish speakers, this insane need to call Jews, and only Jews, Nazis, is merely "criticizing Israel."

They know they are lying. They refuse to respond when called out on it. 

The tweet above is an explicit attempt to change the framework of the discussion away from what Pompeo said into an indefensible straw man. 

One only does that when they know they have lost the argument. 




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From Ian:

Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Former First Minister of Northern Ireland Lord David Trimble has nominated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

Lord Trimble won the prize himself in 1998 for his efforts to find a solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. As a Nobel laureate, his nomination of Netanyahu and Prince bin Zayed will lead the Norwegian Nobel Committee to discuss the issue.

The announcement comes less than a month after a ministerial delegation from the United Arab Emirates landed in Israel for the first-ever official visit from the Gulf state following the Sept. 15 signing of the US-brokered Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain at the White House.

In a Nov. 20 letter to the Nobel Committee, Lord Trimble explained that he was nominating Netanyahu and bin Zayed “in recognition of their historic achievements in advancing peace in the Middle East.”

Noting that US President Donald Trump “has already been nominated for the prize for his contributions to this cause,” he said that therefore the Israeli and UAE leaders deserve the same recognition.


Richard Goldberg: What Saudi Arabia Is Thinking
How long will Saudi Arabia spend on the edge of friendship with Israel? The Saudi Royal Court is old-fashioned when it comes to the Jewish state. In its official response to the Abraham Accords, the Saudi foreign ministry declared that the kingdom would not normalize relations with Israel until peace is achieved between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of the Arab (i.e., Saudi) Peace Initiative of 2002.

While bin Salman may assess that radical extremism, Iran, and an oil-based economy are the primary long-term challenges facing Saudi Arabia, his advisers may fear that radical clerics in coordination with rivals within the royal family and foreign intelligence services (e.g., those of Qatar, Iran, or Turkey) would use normalization with Israel as the pretext for a coup or assassination. Indeed, the U.S. philanthropist Haim Saban recently claimed that bin Salman told him exactly that. Incrementalism is thus the preferred approach—opening Saudi airspace to Israeli commercial flights; inserting Israeli characters into Saudi television dramas; and signaling Riyadh’s approval of other Arab countries normalizing with Israel.

But will this incremental approach provide enough reason for a Biden administration to shield bin Salman from what the pro-Iran deal, anti-Saudi wing of the Democratic party will push forward in Congress? Media coverage of the Abraham Accords gives little to no credit to Saudi Arabia for its behind-the-scenes enablement of the other peace treaties. Bin Salman needs a formal agreement with Israel—or at least an institutionalized process for reaching an agreement—to complicate anti-Saudi initiatives in Washington.

This week’s reported meeting between bin Salman and Netanyahu may be a step in that direction. But more is needed—and soon. Within hours of learning about the bin Salman-Netanyahu meeting, President-elect Joe Biden announced that Antony Blinken would serve as his secretary of state. Last month, Blinken told Jewish Insider that a Biden administration would “undertake a strategic review of our bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia to make sure that it is truly advancing our interests and is consistent with our values.”

Ambassador Dennis Ross, a former Middle East peace envoy, has suggested a step-by-step approach that might appeal to bin Salman—that is, staged normalization in exchange for staged Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. Israel, however, may see the status-quo relationship with Saudi Arabia more favorably. Why give in to pressure to make concessions when other Gulf states have normalized in full and more Arab governments may follow?

The UAE wisely leveraged Arab fears of an Israeli sovereignty declaration in the West Bank to spin its normalization agreement as a win for the Palestinians, since the declaration never went forward. Is there something similar Netanyahu could offer to allow Saudi Arabia to claim an achievement toward Israeli-Palestinian peace?

Maybe a normalization agreement commits Israel to a peace process with the Palestinians based on both the Trump peace plan and Arab Peace Initiative. Maybe it recognizes the mutual importance of Jerusalem and guarantees Muslim access to holy sites. Framed correctly, it could offer Saudi Arabia something to tout not just in the Middle East but throughout the Muslim world—without forcing Netanyahu to make concessions his government would not allow.

Can creative and willing minds find something that works? Israel stands at the crossroads of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, and the ball is in the Royal Court.
Biden’s Cabinet: The Return of the Blob
We are indeed headed back to Obama-era “normalcy.”

As it happens, Pompeo wasn’t on conservative radio this week, but in the Saudi Arabian city of Neom with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and head of the Mossad to meet with officials, including Mohammed bin Salman. The normalization of relations between the Sunni Arab world and State of Israel is one of the biggest foreign-policy stories of the past two decades — almost entirely ignored by our media for partisan reasons.

Because while Blinken might have served under Bill Clinton, as staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as a principal in a global lobbying firm, and as a top adviser in the Obama administration, he’s never come in the vicinity of a genuine peace deal.

Not long ago, Blinken lectured, “Israel has never been — until now, unfortunately — a partisan political issue. And I think it’s very bad for the United States and for Israel that someone tries to turn it into one.” But who made Israel a partisan issue? The Trump administration, which moved the embassy to Jerusalem — fulfilling a promise that Obama and numerous other presidents had made but failed to keep — or internationalists like Blinken, who sided with the theocrats of Iran over the democratically elected leaders of the liberal Jewish State?

It wasn’t Pompeo who appeared at 2012 conferences put on by Israel-antagonists J Street to mollify the hard-Left. It was at that conference that Blinken argued no Middle East peace could be achieved without the Palestinians. That ossified position is back in vogue, but it is now entirely debunked by the facts on the ground.

It was also Blinken who had farcically claimed that “Israel has no better friend, no stronger defender than John Kerry,” even as every pro-Israel organization and the entire political establishment in Israel — left, right, and center — were strenuously disagreeing. Kerry, friend of the Iranian mullahs and the PLO, is Biden’s new “climate czar.” Let’s hope that he’ll be kept clear of any foreign-policy decisions. Blinken, on the other hand, promises to revive the Iran deal.
  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


The Arab world has been in an uproar over a photo of Egyptian singer Mohamed Ramadan, who was photographed in Dubai embracing Israeli singer Omar Adam.

As usual when these things happen, the underlying antisemitism in much of the Arab world is on full display. Ramadan is being summoned for an investigation in Egypt by the Egyptian Theatrical Professions Syndicate. Ramadan himself has claimed that he had no idea who Adam was when he posed for the photo.

Egyptian Streets has an op-ed by Mirna Abdulaal justifying the anger by saying that everyone should follow the dictates of the BDS movement:

Art-washing, according to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, is the “use of culture to whitewash the occupation.” In other words, artists can be used to hide the crimes of the oppressor and justify the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians.

To put it simply, BDS argues that Israel can use culture as a form of ‘propaganda’ to ‘art-wash’ the crimes and oppression of the state.

“The cultural boycott of Israel is inspired by the South African anti-apartheid struggle,” says PACBI’s (the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) Stephanie Adam.

Art-washing essentially gives a false image of ‘normalcy’ against grave and heinous acts of repression.
But then, Abdulaal - who is Egyptian - strays from the BDS playbook:
HOW CAN WE CONTINUE SUPPORTING THE PALESTINIAN CAUSE?
First, we need to distinguish between social and cultural normalization as opposed to economic or political normalization. Political peace deals should not necessarily influence social and cultural issues, as this would undermine the conditions that the peace agreements rest upon – which is to end the occupation of Palestinian territories and violation of Palestinian’s rights.
BDS doesn't make any such distinction - it is against any interaction with Israel, both political and cultural (and especially economic, which is BDS' main point!) 

Abdulaal, as a loyal Egyptian subject, cannot say she is against the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel, perhaps out of patriotism and perhaps out of fear. So she has to change BDS' rules to allow economic and political ties with Israel, but to discourage any cultural and social ties, which is pretty much what Egypt has been doing

She also encourages readers to visit the BDS site to see what local BDS groups there are in your country. 

If you choose Egypt, it points to the BDSEgypt.com site - which is dead.

If you choose Jordan, you are directed to a site that hasn't been updated in three years.

Morocco's BDS site is likewise two years without an update.

It is harder to be a BDSer in most Arab countries than it is in Europe.

(h/t Mitchell B)





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  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Today, Hamas sources told Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar that it sent a message to Israel via Egypt that "things might get out of control as a result of the great pressure on the Strip," and that the rocket that was launched on Saturday night to Ashkelon was a warning shot.  

Hamas is demanding more ventilators for Gaza, which has been hit badly by COVID-19 in recent weeks.

Gaza has only 100 beds equipped with ventilators, and they are now at 70% capacity.

Israel agreed this week to send 15 more ventilators, and the Palestinian Authority has shown little interest in sending any to Gaza. Israel doesn't block any international medical aid from reaching Gaza.

Hamas is not directly threatening to fire rockets at Israel, but it is saying that if things get worse, they won't be able to stop others from shooting rockets at Israel. This is a typical Hamas attempt to avoid responsibility (and Israeli retaliation) for rocket fire.

In April, Hamas' leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar similarly threatened Israel by saying if Gaza doesn't get enough respirators, "we will take them by force from Israel and stop the breathing of 6 million Israelis."

Israel has over 8 million citizens, roughly 6 million of whom are Jewish, so it was just another threat of genocide by Hamas that the world ignored.





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  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, formally known as the Ansar Allah movement, has threatened to develop and use missiles that can reach critical oil installations all over Saudi Arabia - and Eilat in Israel, as well.

A member of the Ansar Allah movement’s political bureau, Abd al-Wahhab al-Mahbashi, said in an interview with al-Mayadeen that Yemen is working on developing a cruise missile with a range to reach all Aramco oil sites in Saudi Arabia and will have a range to hit Eilat. 

This is not an empty boast. On Sunday, a Houthi cruise missile accurately hit an oil facility in Jeddah, causing damage. That is 400 miles from the closest part of Yemen. 

Eilat is about a thousand miles from Yemen. It is clear that the Houthis are using Iranian-designed (or Iranian-manufactured) missiles against Saudi Arabia. 

The Quds-2 missile that hit Jeddah is probably related to the Iranian-designed Quds-1 missile that has hit oil facilities last year. 

Beyond the worries about a new front against Israel, Iran almost certainly would like for Hezbollah,  Islamic Jihad or Hamas to have these cruise missiles as well, which could accurately target any point in Israel from Gaza or Lebanon. 



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Monday, November 23, 2020

  • Monday, November 23, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
From USA Today:
President-elect Joe Biden chose two staffers of top Democratic leaders in Congress to help his administration negotiate legislation, as he continues to fill out his White House staffing.

Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff were each named deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.
Reema Dodin is of Palestinian Arab descent.

In 2002, during the height of the murderous Palestinian terror spree that was killing Jews daily, she spoke at a church in Lodi, CA:

It's a voice she said America is ignoring.
It's a voice she said the media are not publicizing.

It's the voice of the Palestinians, and Wednesday night, Reema Dodin, a Palestinian-American student from University of California, Berkeley, spoke to a group of Lodians about the conflict in Israel from the Palestinian perspective.

And Lodi listened.

... She described an Israel where Palestinians have lost hope and are getting desperate.

"The suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people," Dodin said.
Palestinians and their supporters used to routinely and openly justify the most heinous terror attacks, blowing up buses and pizza shops and discos. Then, when the Palestinian leadership decided that supporting blowing up Jews was a political liability, their supporters suddenly claimed to become anti-terror, too.

Here, however, Dodin is on the record as justifying terror attacks on Jews.

KeyWiki has more on her, claiming that Dodin has ties to  the Council on American Islamic Relations and that she organized anti-Israel rallies at the University of California at Berkeley as a student.  It didn't show any sources for those claims. 

Dodin has recently made her Twitter account private, so one can only wonder what else she has said.

UPDATE: More from Dodin, quoted in the book "Muslim Mafia" but I couldn't find the original edition of the Berkeley newspaper:






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From Ian:

Yisrael Medad: Finally, Pollard is free - opinion
Twenty years later, writing for Ynet, Eitan Haber, Yitzhak Rabin’s speechwriter, wrote that right-wing politicians “turned Pollard’s cell into a pilgrimage site. They made political capital on his broken back and threw him to the dogs and to prison after using him.” If anything, it was left-wing politicians that stymied endeavors for his release.

The last significant success the lobby had was when then-interior minister Ehud Barak agreed to authorize the granting of Israeli citizenship to Pollard. The passport came a bit later from Haim Ramon who had replaced Barak.

IN 2011, I sat in a hotel room with Morris Pollard, Jay’s father. We went over the past decades of activities, and he shared with me his thoughts. He even left me with a copy of a summary he had with him of his thinking on the affair, on how it was handled and what the proper course should be.

Foremost in his mind were the incomprehensible attitude of American authorities toward his son; the suggested charge of “treason” that had been tossed out by the prosecutor; the in camera appeal to the judge; the prison treatment; and the less-than-forthcoming positions of certain Israeli officials. But he would not lessen his determination to work for his son’s release. Unfortunately, he died soon after. His son did not receive permission to attend the funeral.

Jonathan is free now. His burdens with his wife’s illness are great. He has much to make up for. I hope he will do that in Israel.


Professor Alan Dershowitz on Ex-Spy Jonathan Pollard



Former PM Olmert to 'Post': Don't let Pollard make aliyah, it'll anger Biden
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert criticized former agent Jonathan Pollard on Sunday, saying he should not be welcomed in Israel. Interviewed by Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz at the Maariv newspaper’s business conference on Sunday, Olmert cautioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against holding a festive ceremony for Pollard when he moves to Israel soon.

“With all due respect, I would prefer that he not move to Israel,” Olmert said. “We don’t owe him anything. He was a spy who worked for a lot of money. He was not a ZiontistZionist volunteer who came and sacrificed his life. He was an American who loved Israel and worked for a lot of money, spying for Israel.”

Olmert said the information Pollard provided Israel helped the Jewish state but in retrospect did more harm than good.

“His spying was beneficial, but when taking a full account, the damage caused to Israel’s interests as a result of revealing his involvement was the harshest in the history of US-Israel relations,” Olmert said. “The danger of increasing this damage has not ended. If the prime minister will act like he does and have a festive welcoming ceremony for Pollard, we will pay a heavy price when there will soon be a new administration in America.”

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman also criticized Pollard on Sunday in an interview with KAN Radio.

“I recommend we celebrate less because of American public opinion,” Olmert said. “I suggest we lower our level of excitement, because it doesn’t help with the American defense system, which sees the Pollard affair as an unacceptable incident that violated acceptable codes between Israel and the US.”
  • Monday, November 23, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Beirut's Magen Avraham synagogue, located in the Wadi Abu Jamil neighborhood downtown, was damaged in the Beirut port explosion. 

Philanthropist Richard Heykal rebuilt the synagogue, according to reports. It is really a beautiful building.





It had private opening for dignitaries, although it was not and is not planned to be open to the public, and there are not enough Jews in Beirut to have services there. 



One of the people seen in one of the photos of the private opening was Basem Al-Hout, a Muslim who is the Mukhtar of the remaining Jewish community there. He keeps tracks of births, deaths, and marriages, and is pretty much responsible for the community. 

And other Muslims are upset at his involvement in rebuilding the synagogue.

According to Al-Ankabout,  members of the "Islamic Group" have been arguing about Magen Avraham and specifically Al Hour's role. 

 Sheikh Sami Al-Khatib of the group said, "the presence of the [Jewish community's] political official in Beirut at the opening ceremony, is neither natural nor acceptable."

Sheikh Hussein Atwi said, “This synagogue is an advanced base to the enemy in the heart of the capital. Otherwise, how do we explain the relentless US and Israeli efforts to restore it? What convincing argument is this that speaks of coexistence? ”

Sheikh Muhammad al-Hajj, of the Association of Palestinian Scholars Abroad, also objected: “We are not against the Jews in performing their rituals, but why today? How many Jews are there in Lebanon? This coincides with the demarcation of [maritime] borders and with political and economic pressures on Lebanon, while Lebanon still refuses to grant civil rights to Palestinian refugees."

The secretary general of the Islamic Group tried to calm things down, defending Al Hout and saying that supporting a synagogue has nothing to do with Israel. 

And then the Islamists of his group started attacking him!

This is how deep antisemitism is in Lebanon.




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  • Monday, November 23, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



'The official Palestinian Wafa news agency reports:
President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, received this evening, Sunday, a phone call from the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa .

During the call, the King offered his condolences on the death of the great fighter, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Saeb Erekat.

In turn, the President offered condolences to King Hamad bin Isa, on the death of the Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Here is how Bahrain's news agency wrote about this:
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa held a phone call with Palestinian President, Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas.

President Abbas offered to HM the King condolences on the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, praying to Allah the Almighty to rest his soul in vast paradise.

HM the King also expressed condolences to President Abbas on the death of PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Dr. Saeb Erekat.
They don't say who called whom, and they switch the order of the conversation to prioritize condolences over Khalifa first and then Erekat.

Erekat died on November 10.

Prince Khalifa died on November 11.

The phone call took place on November 22, an exceptionally long time after both deaths to offer condolences.

This looks a lot like a game of diplomatic chicken, with each leader wanting the other to call them first to offer condolences so they feel more powerful and force the other into a position of subservience. In this case, Abbas "won." 

Here we have the stupidity of the honor/shame culture in full view. 





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From Ian:

Netanyahu meets Saudi crown prince MBS, Pompeo in Saudi Arabia
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Neom, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Israeli sources confirmed.

Netanyahu used a private plane belonging to businessman Udi Angel, which he has used for past diplomatic trips. The plane left Israel at 5 p.m. on Sunday and returned after midnight. The Israeli and Saudi sides discussed Iran and normalization, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a Saudi source.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan denied the meeting took place on Twitter, saying only Saudi and American officials were present.

Yet Education Minister Yoav Gallant confirmed the meeting, calling it an “amazing achievement” and “a matter of great importance” in an interview with Army Radio.

The trip was kept tightly under wraps as it was planned for over a month, with Netanyahu not informing Defense Minister Benny Gantz or Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi before it took place.
Pompeo made history
Instead, Pompeo's visit and his statements were correctives to these errors of judgment in reporting and commentary. Facts still matter. Pompeo's visit reminds the International community of a truth that every Israeli government since 1967 have attempted to convey to the world, unsuccessfully: Psagot and Petach Tikvah share the same legitimacy. The secretary's visit marks the first time that a United States administration has formally recognized the equality of Jewish sovereignty.

This US recognition of collective Jewish human rights parallels the principle of secure Jewish collective life that every Israeli government has recognized since the Jewish people's reestablishment of sovereignty in 1948. The International community had formally recognized those same rights to Jewish Sovereignty in 1920 at the international San Remo Conference. The principal powers of the League of Nations formalized San Remo's declarative recognition in 1922 of the Right of the Jewish People to "reconstitute their National Home In Palestine". The League of Nations further called for "close (Jewish) settlement" establishing and unanimously approving the Mandate for Palestine, that anchored the Jewish collective human right to collective freedom and sovereignty and ultimately led to Israel's Declaration of Independence and policy of every Israeli government Since 1967, sanctioning rights to Jewish community building on both sides of the 1949 armistice lines on state land.

The United States' top diplomat apparently did his legal and diplomatic homework. Apparently, he and his advisers studied the abovementioned international legal documents. His visit to Israel's Psagot winery and his accompany condemnations of BDS and anti-Semitic product labeling, reminiscent of the World War II-era, break the "glass ceiling" regarding formal US recognition of Israel's legal rights to sovereignty. US and Israel's alignment on Israel's rights to sovereignty safeguards the most fundamental Jewish collective human right today. Unfortunately, the cynical discrediting of Secretary Pompeo's alignment with the policy of all Israeli governments since 1967 reflects the lack of understanding of its critics rather than the well-reasoned positions of the current US State Department.
MEMRI: Saudi Journalist In Message To Iran Following Normalization Agreements With Israel: Iran, Not Israel, Is The Enemy Of The Arabs, Destabilizes The Region
In a September 23, 2020 column titled "Message to Iran, in Light of the Peace with Israel," Saudi journalist 'Abdallah Zayed reacted to Iran's harsh attack on the normalization agreements between the UAE, Bahrain and Israel. [1] Iran, he wrote, is forgetting that it is the one whose bullying and terrorist behavior is destabilizing the region and who has become the enemy of the Arabs. He added that Iran spouts slogans of liberating Jerusalem, but in practice it does nothing to realize that goal and, moreover, continues to occupy many Arab countries while pursuing the goal of renewing its lost Persian empire.


The following are translated excerpts from his article:[2] "The wailing, weeping, pain and sorrow of the of the government officials of Iran and its proxies have been steadily growing since the UAE and Bahrain signed a peace agreement with Israel. The spokesman of Iran's foreign ministry keeps repeating terms like 'Arab nobility' and 'Islamic values,' while the Iranian government keeps forgetting its [own] actions in the region and [the fact that it has] crossed many red lines, which have turned it into a blatant enemy [of the Arabs].

"The Iranians are forgetting that it is they who are in a state of hostility and actual war with the countries of the region. Who is occupying the [UAE's] Persian Gulf islands?[3] Who tried to precipitate a coup in Bahrain? Who conspired against Kuwait by employing terror cells? Who are the ones firing their missiles into Saudi Arabia? Who are the ones who sent their mercenaries to [fight in] Syria? Who founded the militias in Iraq? Who founded a terrorist party in Lebanon [i.e., Hizbullah]? Who is cultivating the [Houthi] mercenaries in Yemen to stage a coup against the legitimate government? The truth is that the one who did all this is not Israel but Iran.

"No Israeli official has ever declared [with pride] that his country is occupying five Arab capitals.[4] Although Iran brandishes the slogan of resistance, although it has [a military force] called 'Qods [i.e., Jerusalem] Force'… and although it claims that its goal is to liberate Al-Aqsa, we have never seen the top Iranian officers [firing] a single bullet in retaliation for Israel's bombing of their bases in Syria. Israel sends planes and fires missiles, constantly bombs the [Iranians'] bases in different areas, yet Iran does not respond. When Russia intervened and ordered the Iranians to move their bases hundreds of kilometers away from the Israeli border, Iran did so, [despite] the intense humiliation.

"Doesn’t Iran claim that it now has a foothold in northern Israel, thanks to Hizbullah, which controls Lebanon, and also thanks to its presence in Syria?! Yet it hasn't liberated Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem, as it constantly calls [to do].

"The clear equation and the obvious [conclusion] is that Iran's real goal is to take over the Arab world and reestablish the obsolete Persian Empire in it. Simply put, that is the reason for the Iranian actions we are seeing on the ground. Is it Israel that is present [in Yemen], on Saudi Arabia's southern border? What does [Iran] want with Yemen? Is it Israel who is present north of Saudi Arabia, in Iraq? What does [Iran] want with Iraq? Is it Israel who is present east of Saudi Arabia, [in Bahrain]? What does [Iran] want with Bahrain?
  • Monday, November 23, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



Remember The Quartet? That was the group made up of the US, UN, EU and Russia in 2002 to push the Oslo process along during the second intifada when Palestinian terrorists were blowing up Jews in Israeli cities.

Besides creating a "roadmap" that went nowhere, it really hasn't done much. 

The Quartet does issue reports every once in a while, including one as recently as last month that no one noticed. That report discusses the Palestinian refusal to cooperate with Israel:

There has been no notable progress in addressing outstanding fiscal files. The PA’s decision – in response to the threat of annexation and deductions to clearance revenues – to stop accepting the monthly revenues from the GoI, combined with reduced tax generation, reduced PA monthly revenue by 80 per cent. Resuming acceptance of monthly clearance revenue transfers as well as any accumulated sums to date will go some way to addressing this crisis. ...
In the security sector, the suspension of security cooperation limited the PA’s ability to enforce COVID related restrictions outside PA cities, particularly in rural areas, as well as its ability to monitor the flow of Palestinian labour crossing to and from Israel. It also hampered the PA’s ability to enforce rule of law in much of the West Bank. Resumption of security coordination that enables PA Security Forces to provide effective law enforcement to communities residing outside Area A is strongly encouraged. 
Now that the PA walked back its refusal to deal with Israel, the Quarter apparently woke up to issue a statement of support for the Palestinians not acting like spoiled brats. I couldn't find the Quartet statement, but PLO leader Abbas praised the Quartet for complimenting him on resuming what should never have stopped.
The Palestinian Presidency welcomed the position issued by the International Quartet meeting, which confirmed that the Palestinian move to restore relations with the Israeli side creates the necessary conditions for building confidence and returning to direct negotiations on the basic issues related to the final status.

The presidency welcomed the positive evaluation of the Palestinian move by the Quartet representatives during their meeting, which included the Russian Federation, the United States of America, the United Nations and the European Union
The Quartet spends about $6 million annually. In the words of Palestinian officials in 2012, the Quartet is "useless, useless, useless.

But it is much easier to create bureaucracies to work on Oslo-era issues than it is to end them.



  
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  • Monday, November 23, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



On November 6, Hen Mazzig tweeted, "Trump’s ‘support’ for Israel was never a gift. He cared more about the way Christians viewed it, than the lives of American Jews, made Israel a partisan issue, and harmed public opinion towards Israel. Remember, Trump cares only about himself."

I wrote a post disagreeing, and proposing a test

Assuming that he has lost the election, he is a lame duck president.

If he ignores Israel in his remaining weeks in office, then that would strongly indicate that Mazzig is right.

If he works to do more things that are good for Israel, then that would strongly indicate that Trump really is pro-Israel.

In Round 1, I said that reports that the Trump administration planned on pushing new rounds of sanctions up until he leaves office indicates that I am right. Mazzig responded that Trump didn't personally do this, saying all he was doing was playing golf. (He then retweeted the fake news that Trump unfollowed Netanyahu on Twitter.)

In Round 2, I noted a story that an American official stated that Trump would do all he can for Israel until the last minute. Mazzig dismissed that:


I'm fine with saying that the test is about actions, but if one wants to redefine everything good for Israel as really being good for himself - even after the election - then this test is meaningless, since it means that no matter what Trump or his administration do, some reason can be found to make it about Trump, real or imagined. 

Since then we have round 3, 4 and 5, all of them courtesy of Mike Pompeo.

Round 3 was saying that the US would start to determine whether any organizations that are funded by the US are adhering to BDS with the intent of stopping aid to those organizations. Chances are very small that this will go past January 20. At the same time, Pompeo tweeted that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

Round 4 was Pompeo changing the labeling guidelines for goods imported from the territories to say "Made in Israel." This reflects reality of Israel's rule over those areas, whether one agrees with it or not; the labeling laws were embraced by Israel-haters.

Round 5 is today's bombshell news:

In the first visit of its kind, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an Israeli official told Hebrew media on Monday.

Netanyahu was on the ground in Neom, a Red Sea city, for five hours for the first known high-level meeting between an Israeli and Saudi leader. He was accompanied by Mossad intelligence chief Yossi Cohen, according to the reports.

Clearly Pompeo was behind this meeting as well, and all parties knew this would be leaked, to send a message of things changing in the Middle East (as opposed to previous secret meetings with the Saudis.)

I imagine Hen can find excuses on these three as well, saying that this is all Pompeo and not Trump, that Pompeo is preparing for a 2024 campaign for President and this is all about that. But again, ultimately this is Trump's foreign policy; Pompeo cannot do this without Trump's go-ahead. 

Is there an element of self-interest with Trump? Of course! And more so than with other presidents. Even so, everyone has multiple motives for anything that they do. Philanthropists have buildings named after them, does that negate the charity they give? Also, one would hope that US presidents would be pro-Israel because it is in America's interests, if they prioritize Israeli interests above their own nation's then they are not good leaders. Does that mean there was never a pro-Israel president?

Bottom line is that Israel is in better shape today than it was two weeks ago because of the Trump administration's recent decisions.

Plus, there is no way to look at these moves since the election without comparing them to Obama's throwing Israel under the bus when he was a lame duck in pushing the UN Security Council to pass an anti-Israel resolution. That revealed his true nature; Trump's actions (direct or indirect) since the election are a polar opposite.

I would say that in the two weeks since the election (and since the Lame Duck Test) the Trump administration did more for Israel than any President in their entire terms since Clinton, at least. 

I trust my readers can make their own determinations as to whether this test has been a success or not. 

And there are still almost two months to go.

 



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  • Monday, November 23, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
David Lepeska writes about Turkish Jewry in The National. Excerpts:

 The plight of Turkey’s Jewish community underscores the deeply rooted, extremist Islamist nature of Turkey’s leader.

Jews have a long history in Anatolia and Eastern Thrace. When Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, the Ottoman Empire welcomed thousands of them. By 1500, Istanbul, the Ottoman capital, was more than 10 per cent Jewish.

Extremist terrorists killed 22 Jews in an Istanbul synagogue in 1986, unsettling the community. Yet by 2000, the 23,000 Jews who remained in Turkey felt largely at home. Many even identified as Turkish first, according to Dr Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, a Turkish-Jewish researcher at Tel Aviv University.

Things changed after Mr Erdogan took power. His political mentor was Necmettin Erbakan, head of the Islamist movement Milli Gorus, or National Vision. Erbakan drew from the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been anti-western and anti-Semitic since its founding nearly a century ago in Egypt. Mr Erdogan left to launch the AKP in 2001 and became prime minister two years later. In those early days, he served as the West’s poster child for Islamic democracy, pointing toward a “Turkish model” as he strengthened the rule of law to prepare for Turkey’s bid for accession to the EU.

Slowly, Mr Erdogan returned to his Islamist roots, highlighted by a series of political confrontations with Israel. During Israel’s 2006 war with Lebanon, Mr Erdogan began to criticise Israel heavily. In 2009, Mr Erdogan frequently clashed with Israel’s then president, Shimon Peres, and stormed out of that year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. Then, in 2010, came the Mavi Marmara affair: Israeli commandos boarded a humanitarian ship that sought to break Israel’s blockade over Gaza, and killed nine Turkish nationals as well as a Turkish-American.

Thousands of Turkish protesters attempted to overrun the Israeli consulate in Istanbul.

Jewish shops were boycotted. Turkey’s predominantly pro-government newspapers filled with anti-Semitic vitriol, and Turkish Jews started streaming for the exits. By 2012, just 17,000 of them remained.

“For Turkish Jews it was like a slap in their face,” Dr Yanarocak says.

Turkish Jews might have also seen it coming. Back in the 1970s, when Mr Erdogan was head of a National Vision youth group, he wrote and played the lead role in a theatre production about Islamists facing an evil, Jewish-led conspiracy.

Spain and Portugal have offered to grant citizenship to any proven descendants of Jews expelled in 1492. Dr Yanarocak says many of his Jewish friends in Turkey have applied for that programme so they have an escape hatch should the situation deteriorate further. Three years ago, his parents finally picked up and left Istanbul for Israel – one more step toward Turkey’s Jewish community acknowledging that its days are numbered.

In former US President Barack Obama’s hot-selling new memoir, he warns of Mr Erdogan’s “vocal sympathy for both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas…[which] made Washington and Tel Aviv nervous”. Former Turkish parliamentarian Aykan Erdemir told an Israeli newspaper earlier this year that Mr Erdogan’s anti-Semitism would haunt Turkey at home and abroad long after he leaves office. “The hate and prejudice inculcated in the Turkish people for almost two decades will have lasting effects,” Mr Erdemir said.

It already has.
Earlier this month, Turkey's Miswak magazine published this antisemitic cartoon:



Two Jews, symbolized by the menorah on the mantel as well as the Masonic pyramid symbol, are discussing the US elections; the man on the left asks who will win and the one on the right responds "of course we will."





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Sunday, November 22, 2020

  • Sunday, November 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
From AP:

A New-York-based company contracted by the Lebanese government to conduct a forensic audit of the country's central bank has decided to pull out of the deal because it was not able to acquire requested information and documents, Lebanon's caretaker finance minister said Friday.

The announcement by Alvarez & Marsal deals a major blow to those hoping for accountability in a country mired in corruption and a crippling economic and financial crisis. It comes after Lebanon's central bank refused to provide the company with the needed documents, using the country's decades-old banking secrecy laws as a pretext.

Caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni told The Associated Press that Alvarez & Marsal, which was contracted in July, says the information it received so far isn't enough and that it doesn't expect to get more.

The country's current economic and financial crisis, the worst in its modern history, is rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement. 

The outgoing government had been calling for a forensic audit into the central bank's accounts since March, after the country defaulted on paying back its massive debt for the first time earlier this year.

President Michel Aoun has been a strong supporter of a forensic audit but other politicians were strongly opposed to such a move, which could reveal parties that have been benefiting from corruption.
Al Jazeera adds a salient point:
Nasser Saidi, a former vice governor at the central bank, said the decision likely came down to considerations over A&M’s image.

“Incredibly, this company cares more about its own reputation than Lebanon cares about its reputation,” Saidi told Al Jazeera. “They are professionals, they wanted to do a professional job, they were prevented from doing so and now we’re back to square one.”
Lebanon hired Alvarez and Marsal because of an outcry after they first hired Kroll, which has offices in Israel - as do virtually all major accounting firms.

Which means that there are very few professional forensic accounting firms available to do what Lebanon needs to climb out of its crisis, even if they open up the books of their central bank.

No country will provide aid to Lebanon without this forensic accounting - unless it is a country that intends to take over Lebanon altogether.

Like Iran, which expects a financial windfall in the coming months.





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From Ian:

Holocaust Museum opens exhibition about the killing of George Floyd
An American Holocaust Museum has opened an exhibition about the death of George Floyd.

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Florida, established to educate future generations about the Nazi extermination of six million Jews during the Second World War, is housing a collection of 45 photographs of individuals reacting to killing of Mr Floyd, the African American choked to death by white police officer in Minneapolis earlier this year.

The exhibition is entitled Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change, and features images by Minneapolisphotographer John Noltner. One portrait features the father of Michael Brown Jr, who was shot dead by a policeman in Missouri in 2014.

Lisa Bachman, assistant director of the Holocaust Center, said: “We have produced this so that people can come and look these individuals in the eye. So you come face to face with people, so you can really experience the feelings that they were feeling.”


How Pollard was held captive by 35 years of politics - analysis
Peres’s message to Obama was to be the following: You don’t have to grant clemency. In fact, you can distance yourself from the matter completely. Just privately let the US Justice Department know that you don’t oppose paroling Pollard and letting him leave for Israel. Obama would not need to get his hands dirty, just keep the commitment he had made to Israelis 15 months earlier to treat Pollard fairly, like any other prisoner, and let his parole be assessed naturally on the merits of his case.

Following the meeting, Peres’s diplomatic adviser, Nadav Tamir, reported back to the lawyers with good news: The message had indeed been delivered.

Peres’s office leaked to the press that Obama had personally referred the matter to his attorney-general and close confidant Eric Holder – the head of the American Justice Department and the chief law enforcement officer of the US government.

“The entire nation is interested in releasing Pollard, and I am the emissary of the nation,” Peres told reporters after the meeting. “I don’t think of myself as Shimon. I am the representative of the State of Israel, and I speak in the name of its people.”

Pollard entered the room at his prison skeptical but cautiously optimistic, ready to see what his first parole hearing would be like.

But all hopes that the hearing would be fair were dashed immediately. The government’s representatives spoke menacingly, treated Pollard with contempt, prevented his lawyer from making his case, and made it clear that the Israeli agent would not see the Jewish state any time soon, if ever.

Those present described the hearing as a “kangaroo court” and even “a lynching.”

Pollard’s parole came a year later and was granted for technical, not political reasons. The unprecedented parole restrictions he faced were typical for Pollard, whose life sentence was also an exception to the rule.

He served more than 20 years longer than anyone ever convicted of spying for an ally, the victim of attempts to make an example of him and deter future spies. The plea agreement he signed that was supposed to guarantee he would not be given a life sentence went ignored.

Former CIA head James Woolsey blamed Pollard’s continued incarceration on antisemitism, in an interview with The Post’s Caroline Glick. “My view is that he should be treated like other intelligence assets of allies,” he said. “We spy on some allies, and they have spied on us. Because they’re allies, usually they have only been in prison for a few years. What I said is that people shouldn’t be hung up on him being Jewish or Israeli. Pretend he’s Greek and release him.”

It is only fitting that Pollard finally ended up getting his release on Friday – not because of politics but in spite of politics.
J Street uses a pro-terrorist EU bureaucrat to malign Israel
J Street, in a mid-November email appeal, quoted an unnamed "top EU diplomat" in its tirade against an Israeli government call for bids for new homes in a nearly 30 year-old Jerusalem neighborhood, Givat Hamatos, where Ethiopian Jewish and Russian immigrants live.

What's worse than J Street's vitriol against the construction of Jewish homes, is that the name of the EU functionary was left off of J Street's rant, probably intentionally, because he is an anti-Israel extremist who earlier this year gave outright support for terrorists. According to Israel's Foreign Ministry, he stated that Palestinian Arabs affiliated with blacklisted groups remain eligible to participate in projects funded by the EU.

J Street is the controversial Washington, D.C., based Jewish pressure group that, judging by its actions, seems to have been created specifically, and almost exclusively, to lobby for an independent Palestinian state. J Street maintains, as a central theme, that Jews do not have a right to live wherever they choose and must be transferred out of their homes and neighborhoods in wide swaths of Judea-Samaria where Israeli citizens have lived for nearly fifty years.

The EU bureaucrat who opposes Jewish homes in Givat Hamatos in southern Jerusalem, and who was quoted by J Street, is a German named Sven Kรผhn von Burgsdorff.

Von Burgsdorff previously was the head of the EU's delegation to South Sudan and in a May 8, 2020 JTA article, he was identified as heading the "EU mission to the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

The Times of Israel news website reported on May 7, 2020 that an Israeli Foreign Ministry official stated that the letter by "von Burgsdorff, constituted a 'violation of all our agreements with the European Union'."
  • Sunday, November 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan affirmed that his country "has always supported full normalization with Israel" after a peace plan with the Palestinians.

In an interview on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit, Farhan indicated that Saudi Arabia "supports a permanent and comprehensive peace deal that leads to a Palestinian state that comes before normalization."

At first glance, this seems to be no different than the Saudi support for the Arab peace initiative which always envisioned peace with Israel after a two state solution. But the difference is the word "normalization," which was never stated publicly before the Abraham Accords. 

Before August, the best Israel could ever hope for was a cold peace with the Arab world, like its peace with Egypt and Jordan.  Israel always thirsted for real normalization, and now that word has entered the Arab vocabulary in contexts other than being an expletive.





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  • Sunday, November 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Occasional EoZ contributor Tomer Ilan noticed on Friday that a New York Daily News op-ed, by American lawyer of Palestinian origin Vivian Khalaf,  included an absurd slander against Israel.


The claim that the IDF shot anti-tank rockets at Palestinian cars is absurd. (That is a Hamas specialty.

The only place on the Internet that this claim can be found is at a site called "Decolonizing Palestine" which is an art/architecture project dedicated to how Palestinians can take over Jewish settlements. 

Tomer and I tweeted about this on Friday. Tomer then contacted Daily News op-ed editor Joshua Greenman, who silently had the article edited to take out the obvious lies:


There is no mention that the piece was corrected, which is the standard journalistic practice. 

How do such lies and slanders get into a mainstream newspaper to begin with?

A hint may come from Khalaf's Facebook page, where she thanks the Institute of Middle East Understanding for their help in getting the piece published. 

The IMEU is an NGO founded by Americans of Palestinian origin that provides "experts" and links to source materials for journalists to use when writing stories about Israel and Palestinians. It seems that the organization, whose board of directors includes prominent CEOs and lawyers, has contacts with the editorial boards of newspapers and can grease the wheels to get opinions published - including opinions with bald-faced lies. 

UPDATE: Tomer pushed back and the Daily News added a correction:







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  • Sunday, November 22, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The dictatorship known as the Palestinian Authority has arrested Nizar Banat, a vociferous critics of the PA, for criticizing their resumption of security and financial cooperation with Israel.

He was arrested on Friday after posting a video on Facebook complaining about the decision.

On Saturday, his detention was extended by another 48 hours and he started a hunger strike.

He was charged with "defaming the Palestinian authority," a crime under the very expansive cybercrime law of the PA.

Banat has been arrested numerous times before, most recently in August when he criticized corruption in the PA.

While some militant groups and media in the territories have criticized these arrests, the English language media and international human rights organizations are typically silent for his many arrests.




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Saturday, November 21, 2020

From Ian:

Anti-Israel UN Resolutions are literally dumbfounding
Do United Nations diplomats ever read the numerous anti-Israel resolutions put in front of them? Or do they automatically raise their hand in a five-decade automatic knee-jerk reaction?

I ask because I read some of the conditions of a recently approved stab at Israel on 18 November 2020.

This draft resolution had to do with treating Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria and our capital, Jerusalem, as if they belong to a non-existing country and that Israel has no right to our ancient land and our homes.

This draft resolution passed with a 156-6 majority. The minority countries were Israel, the United States, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru.

Why do tiny Pacific islands seem to possess more common sense than all the European countries, or even Australia and New Zealand?

Again I ask, did the diplomats that approved the motion read the wording before they raised their hands? Or were they following official guidance from their capitals?

This was a resolution that has been approved annually for decades, so perhaps they can be forgiven for overlooking the wording. Wording that talks about recognizing Palestinian “sovereign rights” to the “natural resources” of the 'West Bank' and east Jerusalem.

What sovereign rights does a non-existing country possess?

As they refer to the so-called 'West Bank', could they be indicating that this territory belongs to Jordan, a country that once claimed this land as theirs? After all, the term “West Bank” refers to the other side of the River Jordan.
Trump’s core righteousness shines through Pompeo's anti-BDS and pro-Jews in Yesha speech
Beyond that, Secretary Pompeo stated that any entity that continues supporting “BDS” — calls to boycott, divest from, or to sanction Israel — will be deemed outright anti-Semitic and will suffer the full ramifications of American financial and other pressure for that hatred banned by our laws.

The thing about “BDS” — a movement founded and created by Arab terrorists and their supporters in Europe and America, and fostered throughout American campuses by Jew-hating Leftist professors and their ignorantly moronic student minions who do not know the difference between the Mideast and the Midwest — is that the same haters and criminals who would boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel never advocate BDS against a China that religiously persecutes and imprisons its Uighyur Muslim minority, suppresses and crushes freedom in Hong Kong and throughout its Communist mainland, and that knowingly criminally exported to the world the worst pandemic of the past hundred years. Imagine that: no BDS against China, but BDS against Israel.

There can be no clearer example of outright virulent Jew-hatred than that: applying one standard — tolerance and gleeful acceptance — for Communist murderers, international criminals, tyrants and dictators who persecute religion and speech . . . and simultaneously applying a completely different standard — zealous hatred and brutal economic warfare — against Jews.

BDS is the anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred of today. Obama and His Fraudulency went along with it and never stood up to it. By contrast, Trump and Pompeo — with no conceivable political benefit to be accrued, only the motivation of common decency — now have placed the force of American law to crush it

Trump’s and Pompeo’s decency and friendship never will be forgotten. That 83 percent favorability among Orthodox Jews will stand in good measure for the next Trump presidential term, whether it commences by court orders in January 2021 or by popular and electoral vote four years from now. His Fraudulency will be gone before we know it. The Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria — now 800,000 strong and growing by leaps and bounds every day — is eternal.

And this was written before Jonathan Pollards' parole restrictions were not renewed.
  • Saturday, November 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



In another crushing blow to those who were hoping that Israel would use the coronavirus to finally perform the genocide of Palestinians that they have been predicting for 72 years, Israel is preparing to provide millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who want to see Israel disappear.

Israel Hayom (Hebrew) quotes a senior Palestinian Authority official saying that "between 3 and 4 million vaccines will be transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and some of the vaccines will also go to Gaza. Israel is committed to helping us curb the virus."

Senior sources in the Palestinian Ministry of Health told Israel Today that the Palestinian Authority is included in any negotiations to purchase vaccines or order doses from Pfizer, Moderna or any other pharmaceutical company that Israel has or will have a supply agreement.

Unlike Israel, though, the Palestinians will also get millions of doses from the UN and other international organizations.

It is unclear whether Israel will be delaying vaccinating some of its own citizens to help the Palestinians.

Israel is filled with the world's worst genocidists, to be sure. But one can expect that Palestinians will start a rumor that the vaccines provided by Israel will be actually poison.

 


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Friday, November 20, 2020

From Ian:

Jonathan Pollard’s parole terminated, ex-spy free to travel to Israel
The US Justice Department on Friday declined to extend the parole of Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying on America for Israel, and the 66-year-old is now free to travel to the Jewish state.

Pollard’s attorneys Jacques Semmelman and Eliot Lauer issued a statement saying the US Parole Commission had notified their client of the termination, stating that he “is free to travel anywhere, including Israel, for temporary or permanent residence, as he wishes.”

Pollard responded to the news by telling reporters he was glad to be able to move to Israel where he will be able to care for his wife who is sick with cancer. He also expressed “appreciation and gratitude” to Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer for his help in bringing about the end to his parole.

Pollard, who served 30 years in prison for providing sensitive intelligence to Israel, made a public appeal to Netanyahu last year and asked him to intervene on his behalf to urge Trump to commute his parole, so he could care for his sick wife.

He told Channel 12 news at the time that his wife Esther had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer for the third time.

Pollard, a former civilian US Navy analyst, was given a life sentence in 1987 for passing secrets to Israel. His imprisonment was a longtime point of tension in Israeli-US relations, with Israeli and Jewish leaders petitioning their US counterparts for years in order to secure his release.


JPost Editorial: It's time to free Jonathan Pollard
The time has come to end the suffering and injustice.

On November 15, 2015, Jonathan Pollard was released on parole after serving 30 years of a life sentence for spying on the US on Israel’s behalf. He is the only American in US history to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally, and the only one to serve more than 10 years in prison for the crime.

Pollard’s parole conditions since his release five years ago require him to wear an electronic GPS ankle bracelet at all times, to be subjected to unfettered monitoring and inspection of his computers, and prevent him from leaving his New York home before 7 am or return after 7 pm.

Pollard still has 10 years left of his life sentence. It was given before life sentences in America were reduced from 45 years, to the 30 that he served. Parole conditions lasting five years are considered standard.

Pollard’s sentence has been condemned as unjust and excessive by many American officials, including former CIA chief James Woolsey, who commented that “spies from friendly countries, like the Philippines and Greece, normally stay in prison in the US for just a few years.”

On Friday, unless the US Justice Department, in coordination with US intelligence bodies, extends Pollard’s severe parole restrictions, they will expire. The implications include the possibility that Pollard and his wife, Esther, will be allowed to leave New York, or even immigrate to Israel, which is their ultimate goal.

But as the Post’s Gil Hoffman reported this week, people close to Pollard are not hopeful that the restrictions will be relaxed.

“Under normal circumstances – that is, with any other prisoner, including spies for enemy nations, drug dealers, etc. – the five-year marker would have significance,” a source close to the Pollard said. “Provided that there were five years of good conduct, it would be honored immediately. But not for Israel’s agent. Nothing in this case has ever been handled according to normative legal practice.”
2011: Biden slammed for anti-Pollard comment
US Vice President Joe Biden faced criticism on Tuesday for his comments ruling out the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. Biden told a group of Florida rabbis last week that he had advised US President Barack Obama against commuting the life sentence of Pollard, who has served nearly 26 years in prison.

“Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time,” Biden was quoted as saying by The New York Times. “If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life.”
Melanie Phillips: How Nuremberg’s universalism undermined its noble aims
This weekend marks 75 years since the start of the Nuremberg tribunals, which tried leaders of Nazi Germany for their part in the Holocaust and other war crimes.

A clear line links these tribunals to the current possibility of an investigation into Israeli “war crimes” by the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and to the continuing uproar in Britain’s Labour Party over Jeremy Corbyn.

The Nuremberg tribunal, drawn from the victorious allies after the Second World War, was the first international criminal court in history. It held these Nazis to account for the newly created crime against humanity, as well as for other atrocities.

The principle it enshrined — that all of humanity would be guarded by an international legal shield — laid the foundations for modern international criminal law. This noble principle was fundamentally flawed.

Its visionary architects, such as the eminent British lawyer Hersch Lauterpacht, thought the way to save Jews and others from persecution was to trump national sovereignty by holding oppressors to account through international tribunals.

Others, however, such as the Lithuanian-born lawyer Jacob Robinson, fruitlessly warned that this was a trap because only national sovereignty would safeguard the Jews. “The basic guarantee of Jewish freedom is the democracy of the country where the Jews live,” he maintained.

The flaw in international law is that it is based on supposedly universal values. But the values that stand against savagery, sadism or dehumanisation are not held universally. They are the specific product of western societies and are based on the Hebrew Bible.

By superseding national sovereignty, human-rights universalism was bound to be innately hostile to the Jewish people, whose singular culture is always in the way of universalising doctrines.

States gain power over others if they form like-minded blocs. And since the majority of the world’s states are despotic, corrupt or murderous, any institutions that bring them together will create a force not for justice and freedom but for injustice and persecution.

That’s why trans-national institutions such as the United Nations or the International Criminal Court fail to hold to account the worst human-rights violators in the world, such as Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and scores of others, and instead train their sights on democratic, human rights-obsessed Israel.

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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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