Monday, June 01, 2020

From Ian:

Michel Foucault and Iran’s Ayatollahs
The Islamic Revolution in Iran, which brought Islamists to power for the first time in modern history, pitted the global left—perhaps best personified by Michel Foucault—against the global right. To this day, the global left’s advocacy for Islamism continues to guide the West’s general approach toward the Middle East.

The Islamist regime in Iran has now been firmly in power for over 40 years. The leaders of the regime and those they favor continue to benefit from their decades-long rule, but the people of Iran—as well as the countries in its neighborhood—suffer from the tyranny and terror unleashed on them by the regime and its ruthless Revolutionary Guards.

Analysts of different stripes usually tend to interpret the so-called “Islamic Revolution” of 1979 as the manifestation of the yearning of the Iranian people to free themselves from the tyranny of monarchy and Western interference. They tend not to mention that the revolution had a broad ideological scope that pitted the global left against the global right on the Iranian battleground.

Some of the most influential Western leftist intellectuals had a great personal stake in the Iranian revolution. They played a significant role in pushing Iran into the arms of Islamism in order to fulfil their ideological dream of “defeating capitalism” around the world.

The foremost of those intellectuals was French philosopher and journalist Michel Foucault.

Foucault’s interest in Islamism started in 1978, when the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera called on him to write a series of articles about Iran. To fulfill that assignment, Foucault spent time among members of the left-leaning Confederation of Iranian Students and other opponents of the Pahlavi regime in Europe. He then went to Tehran and met with many prominent revolutionaries. When he returned to France, he visited Ayatollah Khomeini in the village of Neauphle-le-Château near Paris where he was exiled at the time.
HonestReporting Takes Legal Action Against Twitter and Ayatollah Khamenei
Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran, is spreading hate and calls for violence against Israel and Jews. That’s nothing new. Except now the Iranian dictator is becoming increasingly active on Twitter. These days “media” is not just print and television, but social media too; and that’s where HonestReporting comes in.

Khamenei is abusing his Twitter account to broadly distribute antisemitic conspiracy theories, threats of violence and incitement for others to commit violence, including a link to his web site which contains calls for a Final Solution: a thinly veiled reference to Hitler’s notorious plan to murder all Jewish people in the world, which formed the centerpiece of the Holocaust.

Other specific examples include: calling the Jewish state a “cancerous tumor,” and calling for Palestinians to defeat the “Zionist enemy” through greater “access to weapons.” Like many modern antisemites, Khamenei declares he is not actually a Jew-hater, before going on to portray himself as a mere anti-Zionist whose aim is to “eliminate” the worlds only Jewish state, and the country with the world’s biggest concentration of Jews.

Incitement to violence is not only not free speech, it’s also illegal under U.S. law. So is aiding and abetting incitement to violence, which is exactly what Twitter is doing in this case.

Incitement to violence violates Twitter’s terms and conditions, terms which the company often enforces aggressively even against only marginal violations. So why does one of the world’s most brutal dictators receive different treatment?
Israel Advocacy Movement: Twitter enables antisemitism
If Twitter can censor Donald Trump, why don't they censor genocidal antisemites?

Bending the Jews
Deep-pocketed funders—including the Rockefellers and the Buffetts—are creating a constellation of activist groups like Stosh Cotler’s Bend the Arc that aim to rewire American Jewish life

From her 19th floor corner office in the Bend the Arc headquarters, Stosh Cotler took in the panoramic view of downtown Manhattan. It was a warm weekday last summer, and far below her the pedestrian foot traffic inched along like dollhouse miniatures on the sidewalks of Seventh Avenue. To the west under detailing light, white yachts traced long lines away from the piers of the Hudson River.

By that point, Cotler had been CEO of Bend the Arc for more than five years, but her role had changed since the 2016 election. She was in near-constant triage mode, she said, on guard to respond to whatever inflammatory statement or action was coming out of the White House. On television, radio, and in major print publications Cotler had assumed a regular profile, her strong, forceful presence fast becoming a recognizable voice speaking out on behalf of Jews in America. The day prior, President Donald Trump said, “If you vote for a Democrat, you’re being disloyal to Jewish people,” a reference to the ongoing support for the BDS movement by Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

Cotler’s assistant popped her head in to tell her she had an interview request with The Washington Post. No problem, she said.

Slim and athletic, Cotler’s motorized scooter and neon-green helmet leaned beside her tidy stand-up desk in the corner. At 50, Cotler wears her curly hair high, large earrings, and thick bracelets on her wrist. Though calm and on occasion friendly in conversation, a notable intensity emanates from her dark brown eyes, particularly when Cotler speaks on the burden on American Jewish organizations to chart the proper path forward for a country she sees veering into dangerous waters.

“At this point in time we’re really seeking to become the institution that redefines the center of gravity in the American Jewish community,” Cotler told me. “We have a vision and we have an agenda that we believe to now be the communal agenda of the Jewish community.”

Last summer, when I first encountered Bend the Arc in the news, I did not know what the group was or what they did. Then I saw them nearly everywhere—or at least they appeared to maintain a constant presence in the media on the issue of the southern American border and immigration detention facilities. Wearing organization T-shirts and carrying banners with the Bend the Arc logo, their protesters appeared in dozens of demonstrations and marches for immigration policy reforms covered by the mainstream press. At protests in the halls of Congress, their staffers were being arrested. On cable news and the radio, their leaders were brought on to condemn the policies of the Trump administration. In my social media feeds, I started to see photos and videos of smaller events in between those covered by major news outlets.

Though tracing its lineage back to predecessor organizations that were founded as far back as 1983, the Jewish social action organization is essentially a recent construction that has taken on a new and diffuse slate of political issues at both the state and national level—immigrant documentation, tax laws, voter rights, among other causes that may have little to do with what are generally defined as the specific needs of any particular Jewish community but are often championed by progressive Democratic politicians.

  • Monday, June 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

From the PLO propaganda Twitter account:



The killing of Al-Najjar was a tragic accident from a bullet that ricocheted off the ground over 30 meters away from her.

But for the Palestinians to say that they support health workers is a bit disingenuous.

After all, Hamas uses ambulances to hide terrorists.

And some terrorist leaders were doctors themselves.

George Habash and Wadie Haddad, founders of the PFLP, were medical doctors.

Fathi Shaqaqi, co-founder of Islamic Jihad, was a pediatrician.

Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, co-founder of Hamas, was a physician.

So, yes, I fully believe that Palestinian leaders salute health workers. Just not for the reasons they claim.

  • Monday, June 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


David Collier is the amazing researcher who has written book-length exposes of antisemitism in the British Labour party as well as at Amnesty International.

I spoke to him on Sunday about his work and his opinions. We discussed the current unrest in the US, the white supremacy and racism in the Left, and how his opponents try to pain him as a racist.

It was a good interview. Check it out!

From Ian:

Sovereignty over the Jordan Valley Is Key to Israel's Security
In order to thrive, and not just survive, Israel must have a minimally defensible eastern border, located in the Jordan Valley, and it must retain control of the eastern mountain ridge.

Yitzhak Rabin, architect of the Oslo Accords, included full Israeli security control over Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria/the West Bank, and full freedom of maneuver for Israelis along the main roads of the area, within those parameters.

The Trump peace plan, with its endorsement of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, accurately reflects the Rabin parameters. It also calls for a two-state solution and a demilitarized Palestinian state, with Israeli security control over the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The U.S. peace plan was coordinated with Sunni states and Israel. That coordination is the result of the Sunni view that an alliance with Israel is an existential imperative in their fight against Iran - something that is of far greater significance to them than the Palestinian-Arab cause.

Jordan, despite its rhetoric, is unlikely to cancel its peace treaty with Israel. It is Israel and the U.S. that stabilize Jordan, not the other way around. There is no Jordanian interest in having a Palestinian military presence on their western border.

The Palestinian public in Judea and Samaria, for its part, has demonstrated that it is primarily interested in its economic wellbeing. The Palestinian-Arab street has shown little appetite to return to the days of the Second Intifada.
David Singer: Trump Needs to Revise his Vision for Judea and Samaria
President Trump’s deal of the century envisioning the creation of a second Arab state in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – is in tatters following its absolute rejection by the PLO – requiring its urgent revision by the president.

Trump has vainly struggled to keep the statehood possibility alive despite PLO President Mahmoud Abbas having consigned it to the dustbin of history on the day of its publication – 28 January 2020 -but the PLO has refused to play ball.

Being a beggar does not fit Trump’s persona. He is allowing Israel to apply sovereignty in 30% of Judea and Samaria in July – with allocation of the remaining 70% requiring another Arab interlocutor to negotiate with Israel.Trump’s vision was always a mirage – offering the PLO less than 100% of Judea and Samaria it had been demanding since 1967– supported by the international community since the 1980 Venice Declaration.

Trump had predicated his vision without even defining who comprised the “Palestinians”. In addition his plan had incorrectly asserted:
1. “Palestinians have aspirations that have not been realized, including self-determination”.

All West Bank Arabs became Jordanian nationals in 1954 until their nationality was revoked by Jordan in 1988.

2. “The State of Israel has also exchanged sizeable territories for the sake of peace, as it did when it withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for peace with the Arab Republic of Egypt.”

Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 didn’t rate a mention.

3.“One reason for the intractability of this problem is the conflation of two separate conflicts: a territorial, security and refugee dispute between Israel and the Palestinians and a religious dispute between Israel and the Muslim world regarding control over places of religious significance. ”

There is only one conflict – between Jews and Arabs - fuelled by the Arab League’s refusal to recognise the State of Israel since its establishment in 1948.

The religious dispute was resolved under the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty granting Jordan control over places of Islamic religious significance in Jerusalem

Jonathan Tobin: Whatever happened to the Emergency Committee for Israel?
Ten years ago, it came in with a bang, but this spring, it disbanded without even a whimper.

The Emergency Committee for Israel came into existence in 2010 in response to President Barack Obama's increasingly aggressive criticism of Israel and his attempt to pressure it to make concessions to the Palestinians. In the following years, as Obama's push for appeasement of Iran culminated in a disastrously weak nuclear deal, the ECI depicted the administration's policies as not just wrongheaded or counterproductive, but an "emergency" that decent Americans should mobilize to oppose.

Democrats blasted the group for what they claimed was an attempt to turn Israel into a partisan wedge issue. Yet by helping to frame the debate about Obama's push for more "daylight" between the United States and Israel, and a rapprochement with Iran, the ECI played a not insignificant role in generating dissent about such dangerous folly and electing members of the House and Senate who disagreed with the administration.

Once Obama got his way on the Iran nuclear deal, the ECI went silent. Earlier this spring, it formally disbanded. But it's prime mover, former Weekly Standard publisher William Kristol has moved on to a different cause, albeit one that puzzles many of those who agreed with him about Obama's attitude towards Israel.

After leading the effort to brand Obama a threat to Israel's existence, Kristol has, along with some other celebrity pundits like The Atlantic's David Frum and The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who were cheerleaders for the ECI, become the voice of the #NeverTrump movement. He leads a new organization whose purpose is to convince Republicans to support presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But unlike the ECI, which was often torched by the mainstream media, his new effort is gaining the same kind of sympathetic coverage in The New York Times that the left-wing lobby J Street – ECI's principal antagonist during its most active period – usually receives.

  • Monday, June 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


She’s wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh. She’s holding a Molotov cocktail. And she’s ready to firebomb – a NYPD police car.

From the New York Daily News:

One of the two Brooklyn lawyers accused trying to torch an NYPD cruiser in Brooklyn used a Bud Light bottle stuffed with a rag as a Molotov cocktail, according to a photo obtained Sunday by the Daily News.

Urooj Rahman, 31, was snapped in a picture holding a black and white striped scarf close to her face with one hand and the potentially fiery bottle with another as she prepared to toss it out of the passenger-side window of a van.

Rahman and Colinford Mattis, 32, a corporate lawyer and member of Community Board 5 in East New York, were charged with the attempted attack Saturday night on an empty police cruiser parked outside the 88th Precinct station house in Fort Greene.

Rahman hurled the bottle, which was filled with gasoline, into the cruiser. But the Bud Light Molotov cocktail failed to ignite, law enforcement sources said.

Cops gave chase and stopped Mattis’ van nearby on Willoughby St. They found the makings of another Molotov cocktail in the back seat along with a gasoline container, authorities say.


But Urooj Rahman is not just a lawyer. She’s a human rights lawyer.

And she’s not just wearing a keffiyeh for fashion. She’s an anti-Israel activist. She spent a summer interning for an anti-Israel NGO and she wrote an article for Fordham’s human rights newsletter accusing Israel of “apartheid.”

As we have seen countless times, anti-Israel activism and support for terror is often hidden under a veneer of “human rights.” And here we see not only support for terror, but domestic terror itself by a “human rights lawyer.”

This “human rights lawyer” likes to wear a ski cap with a skull and crossbones.

In a final twist of irony, Rahman’s last name means “compassionate” in Arabic.

Will any real human rights groups condemn Rahman? More to the point – are there any real human rights groups in existence?

Is there the slightest hint of embarrassment from the far Left about a person squarely in their camp who was building firebombs to hurl in New York City?

(h/t kweansmom)

  • Monday, June 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


Social media is filled with images and videos of violence during the riots in response to George Floyds murder by Minneapolis cops – violence by the rioters and violence by the police. One egregious example of the latter is this video of New York City police cars purposefully ramming protesters who were throwing objects at them.


When the murder of Floyd occurred, many anti-Israel activists and organizations were quick to tie his death to Israel, either by explicitly saying that US cops were trained in Israel to kill protesters or by claiming that they were somehow influenced by Israeli techniques of violence against Palestinians.

The claims are of course absurd. While many police departments do send representatives to Israel to learn anti-riot techniques, they are the ones responsible for their police officer training and rules of engagement, and the cops themselves are responsible for their actions. Blaming Jews for the brutality of some US cops is simply a modern form of antisemitism.

However, there is an irony there. If the US police departments had actually gone through an extensive and formal training of riot control techniques as their Israeli counterparts have, there would be far fewer injuries of protesters today than we have been seeing.

Back in 2013, B’Tselem issued a report trying to damn the IDF’s riot control techniques. The report itself highlighted how much the IDF tries to minimize civilian injuries and death.

There are two main categories of controls that the IDF uses to minimize civilian injuries during violent riots.

The first one is to try to use weapons that cannot or are unlikely to injure or kill protesters – tear gas, foul smelling “skunk water,” stun grenades, foam bullets.

Far more important, however, are the instructions and training that go along with these weapons. IDF soldiers are given very specific rules as to when each kind of riot countermeasure can be used. Practically the entire B’Tselem report is accusing the IDF of not following its own rules – many of which the NGO only guess at based on secondary sources.

For example, here is part of the section in the report on stun grenades:

Stun grenades are a diversionary device whose explosion emits a bright light and a thunderous noise. The grenades are designed to cause fear and panic, distracting individuals and allowing security forces to gain control of crowds. According to Israel Police procedure, “This device should be used for handling disturbances of the peace which endanger the police force and/or public safety and which do not enable direct contact with the demonstrators without injury to police officers. This device is designed to achieve the dispersal of demonstrators and gaining control of them.” …When used according to the regulations, stun grenades should not cause bodily harm, nor do they have any side effects. However, under certain circumstances, the noise resulting from the explosion may damage the eardrum; therefore, users are instructed to wear hearing protective equipment. In addition, the grenades’ explosion mechanism generates an extremely hot flash of fire, and the very impact of a heavy metal object hurled at a person can result in bodily injury. Therefore, police safety instructions stipulate that the grenade must be aimed at a safe distance of 30 meters from the person throwing and 5 meters from the target, and in any case, the grenade must not be thrown into a crowd. Moreover, over the years, Israeli soldiers who have taken part in dispersing demonstrations have informed B’Tselem that they were instructed to roll stun grenades on the ground, not throw them at people.

The detailed, six page IDF response emphasizes the importance it places on proper training and documentation of when and where to use its non-lethal crowd control and dispersal tools, and only mentions the actual methods peripherally:

The rules and procedures for when to engage with live fire are clearly worded and also encompass the wide array of possible security situations IDF soldiers may find themselves in. These rules clearly establish for soldiers how to respond to life threatening situations as well as riots and other disruptions of public order. Additionally, the instructions regarding proper usage of crowd dispersal equipment are also clearly worded, organized and detailed. As updated instructions are passed from the headquarter-level to the field, they are adapted for the soldiers in the field, and "responses to specific situations" are included so as to ensure that the soldiers understand what is permitted with regards to the use of force and the use of the riot control measures.

It is important to note that the emphasis that the IDF places on the proper procedure for live-fire and proper usage of crowd dispersal equipment significantly reduces the potential for casualties. The IDF emphatically denies the claim that IDF soldiers racially discriminate when engaging in crowd dispersion in Judea and Samaria or in any other location. The decision regarding which specific crowd dispersal equipment to use is based purely on security and operational considerations, not on economic or any other type of consideration.

In order to deal with violent and illegal riots or other disruptions of public order, the IDF utilizes a selection of different equipment to disperse crowds as well as prevent causalities of any kind. The IDF invests a great deal in order to acquire as well as develop effective crowd dispersal equipment that will not harm the rioters; a good example being "Ha'Boesh" or the "skunk" canister. These measures are taken in order to avoid having to employ alternative measures.

Police and soldiers are human and sometimes, in the heat of being attacked, make mistakes. The way to minimize these mistakes is to engage in training and to have specific written rules and drills on how to deal with every situation. What we are seeing in the examples of police overreaction being shown in social media is that some cops simply are not adequately trained, and (certainly in the case of the police ramming mentioned earlier) they don’t even seem to be properly equipped with proper crowd control tools and methods to begin with.

If US police were trained by the IDF the way IDF soldiers are, there would be far fewer such incidents. The “Deadly Exchange” libel is the exact opposite of the truth – if the anti-Israel Left actually cared about protecting protesters, they would want US police to act the way their Israeli counterparts do and to increase training with the IDF, which unfortunately has a great deal of experience with violent riots.

Furthermore, as Haviv Rettig Gur notes, the training programs that do exist today emphasize how to avoid situations that can bring riots in the first place: “sharing best practices in community engagement, nonviolent policing, intelligence.” It is the polar opposite of what is being described by the Israel-haters.

Of course, the socialist Left agenda has nothing to do with avoiding riots or injuries and everything to do with vilifying the police and romanticizing the violent rioters  – just as they demonize the IDF and defend terrorism against Jews in Israel.

  • Monday, June 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

A cartoon in Jordan’s Al Ghad shows that even today, Jordan is worried that it will be forced to become the Palestinian state, as some right-wing Israelis have suggested over the decades.



The caption says “Annexation of the West Bank” and the Jewish crocodile is thinking that Jordan is the “alternative homeland” for Palestinians.

Of course, Palestinians are widely regarded to be the majority in Jordan and if anyone who pretends to be pro-democracy would insist that the model be applied to Jordan, then Jordan would indeed become the Palestinian state. Jordanians are understandably dead-set against the idea because they remember the last time Palestinians tried to take over the Kingdom in 1970 and the Palestinian who assassinated King Abdullah I in 1953.

Notice that the artist has the Jewish crocodile eating all of Israel, implying that none of it belongs to Israel even today.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

  • Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Even though the news has been full of stories about how the Gulf countries have been putting out signals of friendliness towards Israel and Jews, antisemitism is still quite a part of life.

The official Saudi news agency Okaz has an article attacking Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  The two main charges against him are that he is friendly to Israel – and he is supposedly Jewish:

• Who is Recep Tayyip Erdogan?
• According to the book “Sons of Moses” by Turkish writer Ergün Poyraz, Erdogan is of Jewish origin. This author Y. Küçük confirmed in a television interview with “Oda TV,” that Erdogan's lineage comes from the Jews, and that 3 of the most important pillars of his government are Khazars.

Erdogan’s enemies have been claiming this for years – see one example below -  but if someone calls you “Jewish” to insult you, you can be sure that they are antisemitic.

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From Ian:

Pastor John Hagee: Who owns the Land of Israel?
I am inspired to send this message to the 8.2 million-plus members of Christians United for Israel by the fact that months ago president trump met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington to present the administration's peace proposal. I was there!

It was a masterful proposal that gave the Palestinians the opportunity of a better life through a 50 billion dollar investment package. It was an effort that required years of work by the brilliant and talented inner circle of the president.

It was made clear at the Washington meeting that this historic peace plan could go into effect within days. If the Palestinians immediately reject the plan, the US Will be prepared to accept the enactment of Israel's sovereignty over parts of the West Bank within 48 hours.

It was made clear that this historic plan could go into effect within days. However, days have become weeks, weeks have become months.

To be clear, the Palestinians have never owned Judea or Samaria. That Israel will meet with a Palestinian leadership that still supports terrorists and incites violence against the Jewish people is a commentary on Israel's willingness to make every effort to advance peace with their neighbors, not a commentary on the Palestinians being deserving of yet another chance at the negotiating table.

Our role is to heed the commandment that we "pray for the peace of Jerusalem!" And that time is now!
Melanie Phillips: EU second thoughts over hostility to Israel?
Has the European Union reached a tipping point over Israel? Or to be more precise, is the Europeans’ bluff finally to be called over Israel’s proposal to extend its sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria?

The E.U. has been mulling over punitive measures against Israel if it goes ahead with what its western critics call “annexation of the occupied territories of the West Bank.”

A number of member states, headed by France along with Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg are calling for a hard line.

Measures being considered include supporting any U.N. moves against “annexation”; public support of proceedings against Israel currently underway in the International Criminal Court at The Hague; and increasing the boycott of settlements in various ways, along with increased financial support for the Palestinians.

The E.U. and Britain maintain that Israel is illegally occupying the disputed territories, and that its settlements there amount to a transfer of population into those lands in contravention of the Geneva Convention.

This is a serious misreading of international law. Israel is not “occupying” these territories. In law, occupation can only occur if the land belongs to a sovereign power, which was never the case here; and a state can also hold onto land which continues to be used for belligerent purposes against it.

It is also a gross misreading of the Geneva Convention, as the Israelis living in these territories were not transferred but moved there entirely of their own volition.
Between Minneapolis and Jerusalem
The killing of Eyad al-Hallaq in Jerusalem was unsettling, as was the horrific images of George Floyd in Minneapolis gasping for air.

Both of them civilians, both killed by police. Their tragic and outrageous deaths are part of a long history of violence.

But the similarities end there, and after observing the path social media took this weekend, maybe it needs to be said clearly: The attempt to draw parallels between Jerusalem and Minneapolis are manipulative, and in many ways irresponsible.

Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman implored "whoever is shocked by the murder in the US, to look closely – a whole nation is choking under occupation without being able to breathe."

Leading pundits worked hard to frame the shooting of al-Hallaq as an example of systemic racism in Israel, and many even blamed the public security minister by proxy.

Others expertly determined that it was "murder", and a few self-branding mavens were quick to use the hashtag #ArabLivesMatter, the local version of #BlackLivesMatter.

That's not only self-righteous populism but a manipulative way to use conscience. The shooting in Jerusalem, as horrible as it was, did not take place on racial background, but in the context of a nationalist conflict, which unfortunately creates terror. Just this week there were those who told us an intifada was the natural and desired result of all the talk about extending sovereignty. That is the reason for police presence in Jerusalem, and that is the background for the tension.

  • Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



A Sudanese writer is claiming that a Saudi development initiative is actually an excuse for Israeli expansionism in the Persian Gulf.

The Saudi initiative is called “NEOM:”

NEOM is a bold and audacious dream. It is a vision of what a New Future might look like (in fact, NEOM means, “new future”). It’s an attempt to do something that’s never been done before and it comes at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solutions. NEOM is being built on the Red Sea in northwest Saudi Arabia as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship and innovation will chart the course for this New Future. NEOM will be a destination, a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living, working and prospering.

NEOM will include towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations. It will be the home and workplace for more than a million citizens from around the world.


The future has a new home

NEOM is the vision of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and is a centerpiece of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision plan to grow and diversify the Saudi economy and position the country to play a leading role in global development. While NEOM is being driven and initially funded by Saudi Arabia, it is an international project that will be led, populated and funded by people from all over the world.

In Gulf365, however, writer Shihab Muhammad knows better:

This article aims to explain two facts: they revealed that the Saudi NEOM project announced by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is not a tourism or development investment project, but rather a revival of the biblical Kingdom of Noam, and to be the capital of the Kingdom of Israel.  This is expected after rebuilding the alleged temple on the ruins of Al-Aqsa, with the approval and support of the Al Saud, in implementation of the Zionist Masonic plan…

The city of Neom is mentioned in the context of the deal of the century, which is being established in the region located on the border between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Jordan, this name “Neom” does not mean as they say future and development, but it is a biblical word, and this name was mentioned in the Torah and means “Noam”, which is the name of a Jewish kingdom “ממלכת נוים”, which will be revived in that area of northern Saudi Arabia and Egypt, southern Palestine and Jordan.

…The NEOM project, which will be built on 26 thousand square kilometers, will be responsible for serving the Peres project, and will be based on energy, water and modern technologies, and the Israeli flag will be raised over the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir, Saudi Arabia, for their presence within the project, the government of the temple guards, meaning that the Zionist-Masonic project…

Another issue being covered up is that Egypt has leased 400 km to Saudi Arabia, regions that are filled with ancient monuments and will be handled by Jewish archaeologists, and they declare falsely that they have found Jewish antiquities, perhaps to make up for their failure to find even a shard of pottery indicating their ancient presence in Jerusalem in particular, and we have seen how Moshe Dayan, who occupied the West Bank, Sinai and the Golan in 1967, was burying some pottery and metal pieces, to say later that they found Jewish relics indicating them, and they did so in Lebanon in 1982.

Needless to say, there has never been a Biblical Kingdom of Noam, which the article helpfully transliterates into Hebrew as “Noim” to make it look legitimate.

This is definitely one of the more entertaining conspiracy theories I’ve come across.

  • Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



A 21 year old girl was beaten to death by her father in what was probably another “honor killing.”

“M.G.” of Al Azawaida in central Gaza arrived at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah on Thursday evening in very serious condition, beaten and bruised. She succumbed after midnight.

According to the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, the cause of death is a result of severe beatings in the head and parts of the body. PCHR says that there were also signs of strangulation around her neck.

PCHR notes that “Palestine” has signed international agreements to protect women legally but has not implemented them, as we have noted previously.  In fact, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have  a laundry list of laws that explicitly discriminate against women, and Hamas never repealed laws that mitigate penalties against “honor crimes.”

  • Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


From Xinhua:

Palestine on Saturday said it supports China's right to impose the full sovereignty over all its territories including Hong Kong, and maintain its territorial integrity.

"We reiterate our support to the friendly People's Republic of China's right to maintain its sovereignty, against any foreign intervention into its internal affairs and the attempts to destabilize it," the Palestinian presidency said in a statement published by the official Palestinian News and Info Agency.

Palestine values China's efforts in fighting COVID-19, said the statement, highlighting China's aid to other countries including Palestine in combating the pandemic and building a global health community for all.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also appreciated the unwavering Chinese support to the people of Palestine to achieve independence and freedom, and said Palestine is keen on enhancing its relations with China to the benefit of the two peoples.

There is not a dictatorship or autocratic state that the Palestinian leadership does not support.

And of course, the leftists who pretend that they support the people against their oppressive governments will be silent on this.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: Twitter censors Trump for glorifying violence, lets Iran threaten Israel
Twitter on Thursday flagged a tweet by US President Donald Trump for “glorifying violence,” disabling re-tweets and comments. In the Tweet Trump had written that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Yet Tweets by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei calling for arming Palestinians, destroying Israel and “Jihad” remained without similar Twitter flags. The company provided no explanation for what defines “glorifying violence” and does not provide a way to report tweets specifically for this issue.

The tweet that Twitter flagged included references to “thugs” and the clashes in Minneapolis after a police officer was caught on video putting his knee on the neck of an African-American man. The man died and days of protests and increasing clashes, including burning of buildings, has resulted. Twitter flagged the tweet and provided a link to “learn more” which explained that due to “public interest” it had allowed the tweet to remain on twitter. This added to lack of clarity over how Twitter makes decisions to flag certain tweets and why it has not singled out tweets by authoritarian regimes, such as Iran, which often glorify violence.

In recent weeks as Iran’s regime sought to commemorate Quds Day it has called Israel a “virus” and “cancerous” and called for Palestinians to “liberate” the country. It has said they should be armed and that Iran supports Palestinian “fighters.” Khamenei tweeted on May 22 that “one cannot communicate with a savage enemy except by force.” A subsequent tweet urged “Jihad” against Israel, “everyone must help the Palestinian fighters.” He writes that “the struggle to free Palestine is Jihad in the way of God, Victory in a struggle has been guaranteed because a person, even if killed, will receive ‘one of the two excellent things.’” This is a reference to religious rewards for being killed fighting. He also wrote that the “Zionist regime is a deadly cancerous growth” and that it must be “uprooted and destroyed.”

Calling for a country to be uprooted, destroyed and calling it “cancerous” and urging armed fighters to be killed fighting it were not labelled as “glorifying violence” by Twitter. Instead, Khamenei’s incitement can be retweeted at will. This leads to questions about what standard Twitter uses and how it makes decisions. None of these details are provided transparently by the company. There is no way to report tweets specifically for this issue or find out what guidelines the platform uses to decide.

Qatar’s Al Jazeera Network Broadcasts Islamist Cleric’s Appeal to ‘Kill Jews’
The Qatar-owned satellite network Al Jazeera broadcast a crudely antisemitic interview with a leading Muslim cleric who called for the violent conquest of the State of Israel.

“Victory will not come on a golden platter. Victory is achieved through the blood of martyrs and over the skulls of the enemies. Victory is achieved by sacrificing money, life, and all that is precious,” Dr. Abduljabbar Saeed — head of the Quran and Sunnah Department in Qatar University’s Shari’a Faculty — declared on Al Jazeera on May 16, in a clip translated by the Washington, DC-based think tank Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI).

“We will not accept the [Israeli] occupation’s existence on a single centimeter of [Palestine] under any circumstances,” Saeed said.

The cleric went on to quote a hadith (saying) of the Prophet Muhammad frequently cited by Islamists in support of their eternal enmity toward Jews: “The Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.’ This is a promise made by Allah and His Messenger. [The Prophet said:] ‘The Muslims will kill [the Jews], until the rocks and the trees say: ‘Oh Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'”

Qatar launched an ill-fated outreach to influential American Jews in 2017 as it sought to change its negative image in the Jewish community worldwide. Despite the initial fanfare, the effort petered out the following year.
Phyllis Chesler on the Fight against Honor Killings
Phyllis Chesler, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, emerita professor of psychology and women's studies, and the author of eighteen books, spoke to participants in a May 18 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about the barbaric practice of honor killing and how to combat it.

Honor killing is the "cold blooded murder of girls and women by their families of origin." In a "shame and honor tribal culture, ... a girl's virginity and reproductive capacity, her fertility, are owned by her family, literally. Not by the girl herself. She represents their honor," Chesler explained. "If a girl is seen as damaged goods, her family will then be responsible ... no one will marry their other children or deal with them economically. They'll be shunned." The only way the family can "cleanse themselves of this shame [is] with blood – her blood."

The list of offenses that can trigger an honor killing is long, including engaging in sex outside of marriage, refusing an arranged marriage, marrying outside of one's religious sect or cast, having infidel friends, and becoming too Westernized. Since the aim is to recapture family honor, not punishment, it matters little whether the accusations are true. In rare cases where honor killers are prosecuted, according to Chesler, "they claim that they're only acting in self-defense, that communal norms drove them to it."

Unlike domestic violence against women in Western countries, where the perpetrators are almost exclusively men, usually acting alone and spontaneously, "honor killings are carefully planned conspiracies." Typically there is a "designated hands-on killer" acting in collaboration with other relatives, including "mothers, sisters, and aunts." The involvement of female relatives is common, according to Chesler, as
women have internalized the same patriarchal and tribal beliefs that men have and, in addition, they're responsible for keeping their daughters in line. They will pay a heavy price if their daughters dishonor the family. So very often ... mothers will lure their daughters home saying, 'It's okay, he'll forgive you, we'll work it out.' And then she dies.

Honor killing is "not based in any particular religion," said Chesler, noting that in India, the country where honor killing is by far the most prevalent, it is practiced by both Muslims and Hindus. However, Chesler's research has shown that Hindus "only do this in India ... Those who immigrate to the West don't do this." Honor killings in Europe and the United States are "mainly a Muslim-on-Muslim phenomenon."

Thursday, May 28, 2020

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon





Tonight is the holiday of Shavuot, so I will be off on Friday.

Have a wonderful Yom Tov!


From Ian:

Questioning the Legitimacy of Israel's Existence Is Anti-Semitic
Does the U.S. have a right to exist? Is the U.S. military a terrorist organization? Most Americans would reject these questions as unreasonable and unfair. Yet the Stanford community widely accepts these questions as justified when "U.S." is replaced with "Israel."

As an Israeli-American student, I'm constantly asked to defend my nationality. Mentioning Israel, or even Hebrew, on campus immediately eliminates any of the social norms that empower us to respectfully engage in conversation. But questioning the legitimacy of Israel's very existence is anti-Semitic. Jews have a right to self-determination and national aspirations, just like all other people.

Jewish nationalism stems from the constant marginalization and forced migration Jews have faced. I am a Zionist because my grandfather deserved a safe home after he was forced to flee Iraq in 1936, because my grandmother needed security after escaping Nazi-controlled Austria, and because my other grandmother has the right to continue her ninth-generation lineage of living in Jerusalem.

The increasingly common belief that Zionism fundamentally denies Palestinians humanity or a homeland is both inaccurate and anti-Semitic. If the slander or abhorrent language were directed toward any other nationality, it would never be tolerated. Denying me, an Israeli citizen, protection from harassment and ignorance at Stanford is a tremendous oversight on the part of a community that prides itself on diversity, tolerance and open scholarly discourse.

Honest Reporting: The Guardian Ignores Intifada’s Role in Ending Two-State Solution Hopes
When it comes to media bias against Israel, often enough the problem isn’t simply in the content, but what is not in the content.

Take for example a puff piece published in the Guardian on 25 May, entitled “What else happened as coronavirus swept the globe.” The article, written by Michael Safi, brings together a variety of big stories from the last few months and attempts to repackage them so as to provide the Guardian with fresh content.

The final main item, entitled “The end of the two-state solution?” frames the impending partial annexation of areas in Samaria and in Judea, as the death knell for hopes of a peace resulting from a Palestinian state arising in coexistence alongside Israel.

The Guardian’s writers have every right to their perspective – but theirs is not the only one. One held by many Israelis, and the driving force behind the current Israeli administration’s moves to annex these lands, is that the two-state solution is already long dead.
What Really Killed A Two-State Solution?

The peace process of the 1990s initially generated huge optimism in parts of Israeli society and much of the West, especially when it resulted in Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat ceremoniously signing the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993.

However, it’s often noted that the heady days of the mid-90s, when the hope that Israelis and Palestinians could finally move forward and make peace was pervasive, gave way to the shock and horror of the early 2000s, when wave after bloody wave of Palestinian terror left millions in Israel in utter despair.

Simplification that may be, but it neatly encapsulates the feeling in Israel after seemingly making so much headway in the pursuit of peace, only to be violently rebuffed. The prospect of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, once so tangible, faded into the ether and came to be treated by many as a dangerous, alluring mirage.
Without Communist China, Would Palestinian Terrorism Have Become Such a Menace?
Brief history: communists under Mao Zedong consolidate control of China by 1952. The surviving nationalists retreat to Taiwan and set up shop there as a separate country. At the same time, China was fighting on the side of communist North Korea against the United States/United Nations.

Israel recognized the People’s Republic in 1950; China did not reciprocate until 1992. In 1964, China was tilting heavily in favor of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Tilting is too weak a description. Communist China was the PLO’s greatest supporter outside the Middle East, according to captured files Haaretz’s Shaina Oppenheimer wrote about last August.

A few paragraphs out of Oppenheimer’s long and fascinating story drive the point home of how pivotal communist China was to the PLO and to fomenting chaos around the world.
(Historian Lillian Craig) Harris suggested that the aid provided was an overlooked point in history in which China — unlike other “half-hearted” nations such as the Soviet Union — consistently advised the Palestinians and truly invested in their revolutionary cause.

In the late ’60s, the attention given by the Chinese to the Palestinian struggle was the most significant of any nation other than neighboring Arab states.

As relations with the PLO were cemented, Beijing also began cultivating national liberation movements as part of a local, strategic front against imperialism, aiming to revolutionize both China and neighboring countries. Communist parties influenced by Chairman Mao Zedong began to emerge in Malaysia, Vietnam, India and, most notably, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Vietnam…the Khmer Rouge… The Khmer Rouge alone killed an estimated 2 million Cambodians in the 1960s and 1970s, making China responsible for murders by the millions beyond the estimated 65 million of its own people Mao’s communists murdered during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Add North Korea into that too. China enables that regime.

Why did China support the Palestinians?
In March 1965, Mao famously told a PLO delegation: “Imperialism is afraid of China and of the Arabs. Israel and Formosa [Taiwan] are bases of imperialism in Asia. You are the front gate of the great continent, and we are the rear. They created Israel for you, and Formosa for us. … The West does not like us, and we must understand this fact. The Arab battle against the West is the battle against Israel. So boycott Europe and America, O Arabs!”
(h/t jzaik)

Drunk on self-importance, the media long ago forgot that their job is to be objective in reporting the news. While the complexity and gravity of our current situation requires nuanced reporting, instead we get spin. The media prefers to curate facts in order to paint the bleakest picture possible. Chris Beck, Splice Today 

Chris Beck is not referring to media reporting on Israel. He's referring to Media Manipulation Via Headlines in Coronavirus Era. One example Beck gives is a headline in The Los Angeles Times: A new high for coronavirus deaths in California as counties push ahead with reopening. As he points out, the article itself -- assuming the reader actually makes it to the 6th paragraph -- indicates the positive trends that form the basis of the decision to reopen, such as the declining number of newly identified cases and the declining number of hospitalizations -- down 15% from its peak, reached 6 weeks earlier. According to Beck,

As the media’s figured out that most people don’t read beyond the headlines, they tailor their headlines like any propagandist would. It’s more indoctrinating than informing. The trick to pulling it off while salvaging your reputation is to promote an agenda without telling actual lies.
And there is an agenda behind the headlines of stories about Israel. Back in March, HonestReporting pointed out a headline from AFP about Israel and the coronavirus:

While the headline implied that Israel had unilaterally closed the West Bank and left the Arabs to fend for themselves, anyone who actually read the article would find out that

o The closure was done with the cooperation of the PA. o They had set up a committee to cooperate on fighting the virus. o Israel still allows Palestinian Arabs to enter Israel for medical treatment. o Palestinian Arabs are allowed to continue working in the West Bank settlements.

In 2016, an attack in Tel Aviv's Sarona market left four people dead and 16 wounded. It was a terrorist attack, but CNN wanted to be "objective":

Following an uproar over the scare-quotes, CNN apologized and admitted in a press release "the attacks were, without question, terrorist attacks." It's a case of pursuing an agenda without telling actual lies -- as Beck put it. And since the media is not pursuing stories about the treatment of Palestinian Arabs elsewhere, such as in Lebanon where they are treated as second-class citizens, it seems clear the bias is not out of the media's concern for the plight of Palestinian Arabs. Rather than resorting to scare-quotes to avoid labeling Palestinian terrorists as terrorists, the more common method the media uses is to scrub from the headline any hint of wrongdoing at all on the part of the terrorist. A terrorist attack in Jerusalem during which 2 Palestinian attackers attempted to stab police and were subsequently shot, led to this grotesque headline:
In this case, CBS changed its headline not once, but twice: From: 3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on to: Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian attackers and finally to: Palestinians kill Israeli officer, wound another before being killed
Now is that so hard? Maybe it is. In a 2014 post, Anti-Israel Bias in One Headline (or Three), Jonah Goldberg writes about the AP headline of an article describing how a Palestinian Arab motorist, with a past history of anti-Israel violence, rammed his car into a crowded train station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month-old baby girl and wounding eight people. The headline went from:
Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem
Car slams into east Jerusalem train station
Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem station.
As Goldberg puts it:
So it begins with the villain being the Israeli police. Then, in a nod to fairness, it’s changed to an evil car. Then finally, it’s a murderous Palestinian. It’s progress, I suppose.
Maybe. Of course, the media tactic of blaming Palestinian terrorist attacks on inanimate objects is now a common phenomenon. It's not clear how far back this kind of manipulation of newspaper headlines has been going on. Writing in 1987, in an attempt to explain The Focus on Israel, Thomas Friedman concentrates more on trying to explain the disproportionate attention paid to Israel than any kind of bias. But when he does address it, he gives an example of when
For their part, Israelis often accuse Western editors of bias, even latent anti-Semitism, for, say, putting the shooting of a West Bank student by Israeli troops on the front page, while burying the shooting of 20 Palestinian students by Jordanian troops inside the paper.
But that is a different kind of subtle bias. If Friedman didn't think biased headlines were a problem in 1987, 3 years later David Bar-Illan did. Bar-Illan wrote a column for the Jerusalem Post called Eye on the Media. Eventually, he took a collection of his posts from mid-1990 till the end of 1992 and published them in a book: Eye on the Media: A Look At World News Coverage of Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. In his 1990 post Lying With Headlines, he notes
An American study of readers' habits has concluded that fewer than 30 percent read past the headlines of news stories. More important, the headline colors the story. Even a highly critical review of a play, for example, is perceived as positive if the headline contains the word "successful"; all the aspersions in the body of the review are then regarded as mere cavils. Conversely, a negative sounding headline taints even the most fulsome praise. [emphasis added]
Bar-Illan's examples are not limited to the printed media either. He writes about then-ABC-TV anchorman Peter Jennings who introduced a news story before a commercial break:
A young Arab was nearly lynched today in Jerusalem.
After the commercial, the viewer learned -- assuming he stayed tuned -- that "the 'young Arab' had stabbed to death two elderly men waiting for a bus, and was then chased, subdued and beaten by passersby."
He writes about the time London's The Independent ran a story with the headline "Five Palestinians killed in Israeli beach raid" -- the story was about an unsuccessful terrorist raid on a Tel Aviv beach.
Then there is the British Western Mail, which had the headline "Arab knifed in revenge after Israelis are murdered" - but actually the Arab was only lightly injured, after the discovery of the mutilated bodies. Bar-Illan writes, "had the considerations been purely journalistic, no editor would have let the headline lead with this decidedly minor injury, let alone describe it as a 'knifing'." He concludes with a comment on the media's habit -- even back in 1990 -- to avoid pointing out Palestinian terrorists as perpetrators of attacks:
Followers of news from Israel in the Western press must wonder about this country of unbounded miracles, in which stones are thrown, cars are torched, and Jews are shot, stabbed, and burned to death by some sort of spontaneous process, with the perpetrators unknown.
Clearly, this form of media bias -- and anti-Israel media bias in general -- is not a 21st-century phenomenon. It has been going on for a while. And the problem goes beyond just bad PR for Israel. Jonathan Tobin asks Does media bias against Israel still matter? and writes that polls indicate that a strong majority of the US still supports Israel -- even with all the media bias and distortions.
But it isn't the effect of this bias on the general population that should be the concern. Keeping in mind how much Israel's successes, such as the 1976 Entebbe rescue, encouraged Jews and made them feel closer to Israel, Tobin notes that the opposite is also true:
While some Jews are outraged by biased coverage that unfairly depicts Israel as a villain, others internalize the calumnies and distance themselves from the Jewish state. An average consumer of news may not be influenced by the Times. But a not-insignificant portion of American Jewry still regards the newspaper with the sort of veneration that observant Jews have for religious texts. The Times has been assaulting the Jewish community with the prejudices of its publishers, editors and reporters since the days when, as Dermer rightly notes, it "buried" the story of the Holocaust. Media bias may not have turned Americans against Israel, but it has been doing a bang-up job of turning Jews against each other for decades.
This is especially a concern now with the increasing strength of "progressives" in the Democratic party, where antisemitism is only called out when it comes from the extreme right-wing. Ties and support for Israel among young Jews cannot be taken for granted. Now more than ever, especially on social media, it is important to counter the bias and spin that comes from traditional media -- and now from the new media as well.
From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: If Abbas Can Revoke Solemn Obligations over a Knesset Speech, of What Value Are Any Palestinian Commitments?
On May 18, 2020, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority and Chair of the PLO, declared that "[t]he Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved from all agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and from all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones."

This raises several interesting legal and political questions regarding the veracity and credibility of all and any Palestinian commitments.
If the Palestinian leadership feels that it can glibly and freely revoke solemn obligations in signed agreements - witnessed and guaranteed by international leaders - merely at the whim of Mahmoud Abbas because he disapproves of speeches or Israeli policy statements, then one may ask what value or reliability do any Palestinian commitments - past, present or future - hold?

Abbas' declaration and actions are not in response to any specific Israeli action that might be interpreted as violating those agreements. The Palestinian actions are merely in response to a speech by Israel's prime minister expressing possible intentions to apply Israeli law or sovereignty to parts of the territories at a later date, but without such actions having been actually taken.

In light of Abbas' declaration, the question arises whether such abrogation, as well as the actual, unilateral violation by the Palestinian leadership of its commitments in the Oslo Accords, through actively obstructing and preventing security and other forms of bilateral cooperation, does not represent a material breach of those accords, rendering them impossible to implement, and thereby enabling Israel to declare them void.

One may even ask the international community what value exists in the continued Palestinian fixation of acceding to international conventions in violation of their Oslo commitments, when they demonstrate so assertively that they can freely violate any commitments in such conventions and agreements, for no good reason.
Death of a dogma? After annexation, world likely to abandon two-state paradigm
Critics, by contrast, anticipate not only condemnations but sanctions, and not only from Europe but also from 50 percent of the American body politic. They also worry about further alienating Diaspora Jewry, fear for the peace agreement with and the internal stability of Jordan, fret over the recent rapprochement with the Gulf states, and predict increased wrath from the International Criminal Court.

Some have argued that the plan will make a future separation from the Palestinians nearly impossible in the long run, which eventually would turn Israel into an apartheid state in which Israelis and Palestinians share the same space but have unequal rights.

One counterargument is that the currently envisioned annexation — which the Israeli government agreed would only occur in full coordination with the US administration and along the lines of President Donald Trump’s peace proposal — would apply Israeli sovereignty to about 30 percent of the West Bank.

The rest remains reserved for a future Palestinian state — hence, in this thesis, annexation in the framework of the plan would not presage the end of the two-state solution but rather be a step toward a “realistic two-state solution.” Indeed, the so-called deal of the century mentions the term “two-state solution” a whopping 86 times.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to the UN Security Council on February 11, 2020. He is holding a map included in the US proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which he said he rejected and whose application on the ground would be “confronted” by the Palestinians. (UN screenshot)

But rather than embracing the plan as an outline to reach a two-state solution, many in the international community consider it the final nail in the coffin of a two-state solution. And while few officials are currently ready to depart from the decade-old diplomatic dogma sanctifying the two-state solution, there are growing indications that sooner or later they will embrace a one-state outcome.

Because once the world determines that the old “two states for two peoples” paradigm is no longer relevant, it will likely draw the logical conclusion and start advocating for one bi-national state, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, with equal rights for all.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell during a news conference in Brussels, January 7, 2020 (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

“We agree that the annexation of the Jordan Valley would mean the end of the two-state solution,” European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on April 30 after speaking to Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

If annexation kills all prospects for a Palestinian state next to Israel — then what’s the alternative?

For now, most governments cling to the two-state doctrine, which has been affirmed as the “best and the only realistic chance for peace” in countless resolutions and declarations. But some officials have started saying the hitherto unthinkable.

“The principle of ‘two states for two people’ was the motto and official condition of the peace process. Let’s face it, time is running out and the situation has changed,” Radek Vondráček, the speaker of Czech Republic’s Chamber of Deputies, wrote Monday in an op-ed. The world, he added, should not force its “old schemes and the frustration that results from not fulfilling them” on the parties on the ground if they want to explore new ideas.

“The existence of the state of Israel shows that the realization of the human dream of freedom is extremely difficult,” Vondráček wrote. “The dream was not based on the dogma of a two-state solution. It is therefore time to revive the idea of the coexistence of all in one common state.”

As opposed to Vondráček — who is known as a friend of Israel — even those critical of the Israeli government say annexation would make any other outcome impossible.
Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf: How to Solve the Palestinian Refugee Issue
The Palestinian refugee issue is not just one more issue in the conflict; it is probably the issue. The Palestinian conception of themselves as "refugees from Palestine," and their demand to exercise a so-called right of return, reflect the Palestinians' most profound beliefs about their relationship with the land and their lack of willingness to share any part of it with Jews.

The UN structural support and Western financial support for these Palestinian beliefs has led to the creation of a permanent and ever-growing population of Palestinian refugees, and what is by now a nearly insurmountable obstacle to peace. The Palestinian demand to "return" to what became the sovereign state of Israel in 1948 stands as a testament to the Palestinian rejection of the legitimacy of a state for the Jews in any part of their ancestral homeland.

The UN agency (UNRWA) charged with caring for the original Palestinian refugees in the immediate aftermath of the war, and that has been sustained for decades by Western funding with billions of dollars, has instead become a major obstacle to peace and a vehicle for perpetuating the conflict. Since UNRWA is part of the problem, and not part of the solution, we call on the international community to dismantle and replace the agency.

UNRWA's operations should be merged into those of the Palestinian Authority. From a practical perspective, nothing would change but the sign on the door. UNRWA schools would become PA schools, but the pupils, teachers, and curricula would remain the same. The same goes for hospitals. The writers are the co-authors of The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

A Scottish MP caused controversy this week when he attempted to add language to a resolution commemorating the “nakba” saying that it was a Palestinian “self-inflicted tragedy.”

The resolution falsely said that the Palestinian exodus in 1948 was a “mass eviction of over 750,000 people from historic Palestine land, which included the destruction of over 500 towns and villages [which] led to generations of pain for the Palestinian people, who continue to live under a state of occupation”.

There was no mass eviction of 750,000 Palestinians. Most of them fled without seeing  a single Jewish soldier.

But the phrasing of a resolution that was clearly false was not the cause of controversy. Richard Lyle, a SNP member of Parliament, was condemned for suggesting an addition to the text saying the exodus was “a self-inflicted tragedy, which must, after all these years, be finally resolved by peaceful means and discussions between the parties involved”.

Lyle was condemned by pro-Palestinian groups. But no one condemned the people who sponsored the bill which was completely against historical fact. Benny Morris summarized the reasons for the flight as follows: "Most of Palestine's 700,000 ‘refugees’ fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops."

The news media coverage of the controversy was even worse.

Morning Star Online compounded the lie by saying, as fact, “Two thirds of the Palestinian population were exiled after being violently removed from their homes during the first war of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with 450 towns and villages destroyed.” This is completely false.

But the Herald Scotland went way past lies into slander when it wrote,

Nakba, which means catastrophe, is a name used to refer to the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

Historians report this was largely driven by Israeli aggression, including rape and torture, and to a much lesser degree by local Palestinian authorities urging people to flee.



Rape and torture? Not one respected historian reports anything like this. To report this absolute slander as fact is journalistic malpractice.

This should be corrected immediately.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


Tawfik Abu Shomer is a Gaza-based author and journalist who analyzes Israeli society. he has worked for the Palestinian Ministry of Information.

His most recent article describes the antisemitism that has accompanied the coronavirus, and other recent antisemitic incidents, as reported in Israeli media. He does not deny that there is serious Jew-hatred in the world today.

In the end, he urges the world to abandon antisemitism. But not because it is immoral. No, his reasons that people shouldn’t attack Jews are perfectly Palestinian:

Lastly, we, Palestinians must tell the peoples of the world: "Don't attack the Jews, don't destroy their property, respect them, don't let them be brainwashed (to think Israel will protect them) so that they emigrate (to Israel), differentiate between them (the Jews in the Diaspora) and the occupying Zionists, make them feel respected and trusted, so that they don't leave their countries of origin to become soldiers of the occupation who oppress us and settlers occupying our lands, for that is violating (our) most basic human rights.” Isn't this principle a priority for Palestinian and Arabic activity in the fields of media and diplomacy?

Antisemitism is bad because it leads to Zionism!  Oppressed Jews might move to Israel, and that is the crime that must be fought against – not antisemitism itself but the possibility that it leads to aliyah.

Which means that the main victims of antisemitism are….Palestinians!

The funny thing is, much of the world is more likely to listen to this convoluted Palestinian logic than to the basic idea that hating Jews is bad in and of itself.


(h/t Ibn Boutros)

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


Aaron David Miller was involved in the Oslo peace process and often seems wedded to the assumptions of Oslo that have been proven wrong time and time again. As recently as last year he was denigrating the Trump plan without admitting that every single Oslo-style two state plan has been even more doomed and resulted in the exact opposite of peace because of their entirely wrong assumptions.

Occasionally, he says things that make it appear he is starting to get it.  But then he feels he must go back to showing that he really doesn’t.

In Politico, he gets closer to the truth:

Contrary to the warnings from diplomats, analysts and peaceniks who predicted Israel would become a pariah if it didn’t settle up with the Palestinians, Israel seems to be making more progress toward normalization with Arab regimes without a credible peace process than with one.

Clearly the Gulf states aren’t on the verge of full normalization with Israel; nor is the Arab world willing to untether itself from the emotional pull of Palestinian issue or its hostile and all too often anti-Semitic views of Israel. But even the most skeptical observers would have to admit something has changed.

So what explains this shift?

Three significant factors. The rise of Iran and Sunni jihadists spewing terror across the region has created a narrow but important coincidence of interests between Israel and the Arab world. Increasing exhaustion and frustration with the never-ending Palestinian cause has opened up more space for Arab states to follow their own interests. But behind it all, lay a White House enamored of Arab money for arms sales and investment in the U.S. and eager to marshal the Arabs in the service of its anti-Iranian and pro-Israeli agenda. Indeed, in an effort to court the Gulf Arabs, Trump and his Middle East envoy son-in-law Jared Kushner have given the Saudis carte blanche to pursue disastrous policies while holding their coats. And Arab nations, sensing opportunities with an autocrat-friendly U.S. president, have been only too happy to follow.

It is refreshing to see someone who has been involved in Oslo admit that Netanyahu, doing everything people like Miller have warned would be disastrous, has actually brought Israel closer to peace than all the world’s diplomats combined.

All three reasons for this that Miller brings are valid, although I don’t agree that the third is the major reason. Israel was cultivating these relationships before anyone dreamed Trump would become president.

There is a fourth reason, though, that is hugely important and unreported: Israel’s strength.

As noted in Lee Smith’s 2010 book with that name, Arabs respect “The Strong Horse.”  In the years since that was written, Israel’s strength in the Middle East has become overwhelming – not only militarily but also economically, technologically, politically and even in entertainment and on social media.

Arab antisemitism is still endemic but there are millions of Arabs who admire Israel.  They admire its military strength above all, as this ties into a deep Arab respect for warriors. But Arab leaders aren’t stupid – they know that Israeli scientific expertise can help them survive past the oil era. They see that Israeli TV shows are on Netflix, and they know their people are watching them. They look at Israeli newspapers and follow Israeli government accounts online. (Even when they insult Israel’s government on the “Israel in Arabic” social media sites, they admire the fact that their insults don’t get removed.) 

Israel’s seeming disregard for international law (from their perspective)  and willingness to “annex” parts of Judea and Samaria is not a reason for hating Israel – it is a reason to further admire Israel, because only a strong nation can stand up to the international community.

They certainly are eager to ally with the US, but that is not the main reason they are interested in Israel now. That interest won’t go away if Trump loses in November.

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column

In August of last year, Dvir Sorek, an 18-year old yeshiva student walking near Migdal Oz in the Gush Etzion region was set upon by two terrorists acting on behalf of Hamas. He was brutally stabbed to death (do I need to add “brutally” to “stabbed to death?”)
The murderers, and three others who helped plan and prepare the attack, were quickly located and arrested. Four of them immediately confessed. After they were indicted, the IDF informed the families of the four that their homes would be demolished. The families petitioned the Supreme Court to prevent the demolition, but the petitions were denied, and in November, the homes were demolished.
Home demolitions are controversial. But most observers believe that the policy is effective in restraining potential terrorists, even suicide terrorists. And some 90% of Jewish Israelis support the policy.
There were five terrorists involved in Sorek’s murder. Unlike the others, Mahmoud Atawna did not confess immediately, so the IDF did not order his home demolished at the same time as the others. Finally an order was issued to do so in January, 2020. This one, too, was appealed to the Supreme Court, with the assistance of “Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual,” one of many left-wing Israeli NGOs funded by the hostile-to-Israel European Union, various European governments, and the US-based New Israel Fund. But this time, a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the petitioners, and ordered that the IDF could not demolish the home.
The Court, which had never overthrown an IDF order to demolish the home of a convicted terrorist before, gave two reasons for it: Atawna’s wife and children lived in the house, and were not involved in the murder and didn’t support him (how they established the latter, I do not know – maybe they asked her). And second, too much time had passed after the murder for it to be a deterrent to terrorism:

Justices Anat Baron and Uzi Vogelman granted the petition against the planned demolition in Beit Kahil, near Hebron, leaving Justice David Mintz in the minority. …

Baron wrote that the army didn’t issue the demolition order until five months after the attack, after the homes of other members of the terror cell had been destroyed. “The longer the gap between the attack and the demolition of the home of the attacker, the less the deterrent effect inherent in the home demolition,” she wrote. “Lacking a deterrent effect, the inevitable impression is that the home demolition is being sought as a solely punitive measure.”

The decision also noted that Atawna’s family was not accused of involvement or having knowledge of his intent to harm a soldier and did not express support for the attack after the fact.

Baron also explained why she thought the deterrent effect was reduced by the delay:
The passage of time results in disconnecting the ‘consciousness connection’ between the murder and the sanction against it, so that already at the time the demolition order was issued its deterrent power was in doubt …

The decision noted that due to the delay in issuing the order “the petitioners were left in a cloud of uncertainty about the fate of their home.” It’s hard to resist commenting that the Sorek family also will find themselves in a cloud, only it will not be five months, it will be for the rest of their lives, whenever they remember the son that was so cruelly and pointlessly taken from them.
What is interesting is that the dissenting judge, David Mintz, noted that the reason for the delay in issuing the demolition order was that since there was no confession, the IDF waited for Atawna to be convicted before issuing it! In other words, they wanted to be as fair as possible.
Until now the Supreme Court has usually avoided interfering with the IDF. But with this decision, the justices, who apparently believe that they are experts in the psychology of terrorists (“disconnecting the consciousness connection” – it sounds better in Hebrew but makes no more sense), and who base legal decisions on what feels right to them, have decided to second-guess the IDF as well.
Incidentally, I’m not an expert in psychology of terrorists either, but it seems to me that the certainty that it will occur is more important to the deterrent power of a home demolition than how long it takes to execute. And with this order, the Court has just demolished that certainty – and eviscerated yet another sanction against terrorism.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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