Thursday, September 17, 2020

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The Red-Green alliance's war against Israel continues
And this brings us to the second side of the BDS movement – its Western side. Westerners involved in the BDS campaign don't care if the members of the anti-Islamist bloc end their boycott of Israel. They are happy to suffice with the continuation of the boycott by members of the Islamist axis.

This is the heart of the matter. The BDS campaign is a central component of the working alliance between the European Union, the Western left and the Islamist bloc. The Palestinian Authority, controlled by Fatah in Ramallah is dependent on the Western half of the Red-Green axis. Hamas is controlled by the Islamist bloc.

All members of the Red-Green axis share a deep-seated hostility towards Israel, the Trump administration and the anti-Islamist Arab bloc. Whereas for decades the Palestinians were proxies of the Arab world and their war against the Jewish state was an Arab proxy war, today the Palestinians are a proxy of the Red-Green alliance. They wage their multi-dimensional campaign against Israel with the active support and involvement of their Red-Green axis sponsors.

Whereas the Trump administration and the members of the anti-Islamist bloc ended their financial support for the PA and the Hamas regime in recent years, the EU, its member states, leftist foundations, Turkey, Qatar and Iran all increased their financial support to the two Palestinian regimes.

The Europeans and the international Left have taken a leading role in several aspects of the Palestinian war. They are the authors and primary engine behind the PA's campaign to seize lands in Area C. They run the information and diplomatic efforts against Israel at the UN and the Hague tribunals. They fuel and finance political warfare campaigns aimed at delegitimizing the IDF and Israeli society more generally and subverting Israel's legal system through their Israeli and Palestinian registered NGOs.

Members of the Islamist bloc finance and direct the terror forces in Judea and Samaria and Gaza and work in cooperation with their front groups in the West.

Tuesday, supporters of BDS who demonstrated outside the White House hailed from fifty anti-Israel groups that span the spectrum from the Marxist left, to the anti-Zionist, self-hating Jewish left, to Fatah and Hamas front groups.

The icy coverage the historic ceremony at the White House received from the liberal media in the US and from the European media made clear that the Western side of the Red-Green alliance isn't interested in Middle East peace and stability. And the fact that neither senior Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, nor representatives from any EU member nation aside from Hungary attended the ceremony underscores this reality still more. With or without Israel-Arab peace, under the Red-Green alliance, all aspects of the war against Israel will continue unabated.
162 House Dems Vote Against Measure to Combat Anti-Semitism
More than 160 House Democrats voted on Wednesday against a measure to combat anti-Semitism.

Republicans offered the anti-Semitism measure as an amendment to a piece of Democrat-backed legislation promoting greater inclusivity in federal programs. The bill, dubbed the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act, would permit the filing of private civil suits for violations of federal regulations that "prohibit discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance." The Republican amendment, which passed by a vote of 265 to 164, with 162 Democrats in opposition, mandates that anti-Semitism also be considered as discrimination.

The Republican effort to include anti-Semitism in federal definitions of discrimination follows similar moves by the White House to consider discrimination against Jewish people illegal under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which affords protection to minorities and other groups. House Democrats have been divided in recent years on issues of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel advocacy in the United States. The latest vote highlights a deep divide between Democrats and Republicans on the issue, which is playing out against the backdrop of rising anti-Semitism across the globe.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R., N.C.), sponsor of the anti-Semitism amendment, said that any legislation altering Title VI must include protections for Jewish Americans.
Democratic super PAC leaflets show Jewish GOP candidate clutching dollar bills
A Democratic Super PAC aligned with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sent out three mailers to voters in a New Jersey congressional district that depict the Republican candidate, who is Jewish, clutching money.

One mailer shows the candidate, David Richter, holding a fistful of fanned-out $100 bills, with more raining down behind him, while the reverse shows his suit jacket lined with bills. Another, showing him holding $100 bills in the shape of a rose, says he “puts personal profits over New Jersey families and it is truly obscene.” A third shows him with $100 bills flying out of his backpack, and carries another image of him using a $100 bill as a parachute.

Richter, the former CEO of a construction management company, is running to unseat the incumbent Democrat, Rep. Andy Kim, in New Jersey’s 3rd District, in the center of the state.

The ads were sent by the House Majority PAC, a super PAC closely associated with Pelosi. An official with the PAC confirmed its authenticity to the New Jersey Globe, a political news site, and said the reference was to Richter’s business history.

Richter said that the ads were anti-Semitic and called on Pelosi to apologize.
  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Every once in a while I read someone criticizing the IHRA working definition of antisemitism - nearly every time by misrepresenting it as defining criticism of Israel as antisemitism, when it explicitly says that this is not the case.

I keep trying to come up with a good illustration of the difference between mere criticism of Israel and the crazed hate we see every day - a hate whose only analogy in world history is to classic antisemitism. 






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UshpizinJerusalem, September 17 - A group of Jews concerned for the welfare of the elderly guests who visit each temporary residence during the upcoming Sukkot holiday launched a drive today to raise awareness of the need to don a protective face covering in the presence of others, with the goal of having those ancient visitors sport such coverings to reduce the risk of contracting a virus that disproportionately harms the aged.

The Union for the Safety of the Holy Patriarchs of Israel and Zion and to Interdict Negligence (USHPIZIN) embarked on a publicity campaign Thursday to reach Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David, the seven visitors who come to each person's sukkah on the seven respective days of the festival. The youngest of the group, David, is more than three thousand years old, placing him and the others firmly in a high-risk group for coronavirus infection and fatality.

Those formative seven figures of Jewish lore each represent a different personality and set of attributes manifest in the world, but USHPIZIN coordinator R. Baminim warned that unless sukkah-dwellers adhere to social distancing protocols and keep their own masks on in the presence of the venerable guests, observers of the weeklong annual ritual court disaster, or might dissuade the seven from visiting them.

"The seven-day Sukkot festival is a time to experience deepening levels of spiritual consciousness, each one building on the one before, as represented by one of the Ushpizin," he stated, using the Latin-derived term for the seven guests, from a term that later gave English the words "hospice" and "hospitality." "But that can't happen if our father Abraham is laid up in Intensive Care because some inconsiderate dodo got careless. We're also concerned that, despite their advanced age, the seven Ushpizin might be carrying the pathogen, and could transmit it far and wide even as most of the population maintains the lockdown that the authorities have imposed for everyone's protection."

Sukkot, the Biblically-mandated Feast of Booths, or "Tabernacles" as older translations render it, requires adult male Jews to reside in a structure with a makeshift, porous ceiling, for seven days beginning on the fifteenth of the month of Tishrei. The shift from a permanent residence into a semi-exposed "home" highlights, inter alia, human dependence on divine providence, and the freedom that realization engenders can in turn open a person to more profound insight and character refinement as represented by each of the seven Ushpizin, assuming he doesn't kill them with some contagious disease.





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From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: It wouldn’t have happened without Trump
Kushner persuaded Trump to work to hold the P.A. accountable for its support of terrorism. The Trump team also stood behind the president’s decisions to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to ignore the expert’s warnings that doing so would set the Middle East on fire.

When Kushner eventually unveiled the “Peace to Prosperity” plan earlier this year, it still offered the Palestinians an independent state and economic aid. But faced with the same kind of Palestinian rejectionism that had stumped previous negotiators, he focused on accomplishing the possible rather than the impossible.

Unlike Obama, who rejected the concerns of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states about his efforts to appease Iran, Trump and Kushner listened to them. Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and implemented sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to negotiate an end to its nuclear program and support of terrorism.

The Arab states had already established under-the-table ties with Israel, which they now view as a strategic ally against Iran. But by establishing a rapport with America’s allies in the Gulf, including controversial Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who could have thwarted moves by his neighbors, Kushner helped persuade them to take the next step and work towards full diplomatic and economic ties.

Only American officials who didn’t play by the rules embraced by the foreign-policy establishment would have done any of that. And only a president like Trump, who distrusts “experts,” would have agreed to go along with such a strategy. And it was only their choice to reject the tactics of the past that brought representatives of the UAE and Bahrain to the White House with the possibility that other Arab nations will do the same.

If Biden defeats Trump, can his team build on this success?

Perhaps, though the problem is that anyone who would be picked by Biden is almost certainly a believer in establishment conventional wisdom. The next administration is likely to return to efforts to create a rapprochement with Iran and to resume futile efforts to pressure Israel to persuade the Palestinians to make a peace that they have no interest in establishing.

If next January marks the end of the era of foreign-policy amateurs running things in the White House, the experts and their fans in the media will breathe a sigh of relief. But it is precisely because Trump and his team were amateurs not educated to treat establishment myths as revealed truth that the celebration at the White House was made possible.


Agreements indicate UAE and Bahrain are now less pro-Palestinian than Europe
It’s official: The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are now less pro-Palestinian than the Europeans.

Officials and analysts familiar with Jerusalem’s clandestine relations with several Arab states have long argued that they don’t really care so much about the Palestinians anymore. In public statements, however, all Arab governments until Tuesday stuck to their dogma and reiterated the need for a Palestinian state based on the 1967-lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the refugee problem.

Remarkably, however, the agreements the State of Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates and with Bahrain do not echo such calls.

They do not refer to the Arab Peace Initiative or previous UN Security Council resolutions. There are no 1967-lines, no capital in East Jerusalem, no refugees. Even the concept of a “two-state solution” — which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed in the past, and which the US administration still supports — is entirely absent from the agreements, as is Israel’s West Bank settlement enterprise.

In the preamble of the “Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations, and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel,” the two countries pledge to continue “their efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive, realistic and enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi also commit to work together “to realize a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both people, and to advance comprehensive Middle East peace, stability and prosperity.”


Will Kosovo and Serbia Establish Embassies in Jerusalem? Not If the EU Has Its Way
It’s easy to miss all of the announcements coming out right now by countries normalizing relations with Israel. But even more intriguing was the announcement last week that Serbia and Kosovo planned to establish their embassies in Israel’s capital — much to the consternation of the European Union.

Kosovo would be the first Muslim-majority nation to do so, but that’s not the part that intrigues Israelis. Since announcing its independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo has shown an interest in establishing ties with the Jewish state, but Israel has always politely declined the relationship out of fear the Palestinians would copy Kosovo and unilaterally declare independence. The line of thought was always that if Israel recognized unilaterally independent Kosovo, it would need to recognize a unilaterally independent Palestine.

Oded Eran, Israel’s former ambassador to the European Union and currently a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, told JNS that he believes Israel was right to stay away from the conflicts in the Balkans.

“There is a sad record as to the situation of the Jews generally speaking in World War II, and there is a mixed record of behavior in what are today the states in the region,” he said. “Given the ethnic, political, territorial, irredentist complexities of the situation there, it was wise to stay away and avoid making judgments over who is right and wrong.”

Eran questioned the wisdom of the US administration to tie Serbia and Kosovo to Israel, and whether the two countries could even follow up on their promise to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

The European Union warned Serbia and Kosovo that they could undermine their EU membership hopes by moving their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem.


Khaled Abu Toameh: Arabs: Israel Is Not Our Enemy
"Times change, everything has changed, except for the Palestinian mood that rejects anything and everything." — Saudi writer Amal Abdel Aziz al-Hazany, Asharq al-Awsat, September 15, 2020.

"Palestinian leaders are the main cause for the suffering of their people. They have achieved nothing for the Palestinians. They only care about power and achieving personal and partisan gains at the expense of the Palestinian issue." — Emirati political analyst Issa bin Arabi Albuflasah, Al Bayan, September 12, 2020.

"We were told that Israel's slogan was [to expand] 'From the Euphrates to the Nile.' Iran, however, does not hide its expansionist ideological trend, which it is already practicing through its militias in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. Turkey, on the other hand, is seeking to seize new sources of energy in Libya and has sights on Africa along the Red Sea. These developments prompted the moderate Arabs to start reconsidering previous their political positions." — Saudi writer Fahd al Degaither, Okaz, September 14, 2020.

"The Palestinian issue concerns the Arab peoples who want a solution, but the leaders benefit from the status quo. These leaders benefit from the problems and suffering of their people. There is no solution under corrupt leaderships." — Saudi writer Osama Yamani, Okaz, September 11, 2020.

Al-Shkiran also advised the Palestinians to hold their leaders accountable on two levels: "The first is political accountability: The reasons and causes of the continued rejection of all realistic deals that were offered to them since the beginning of the problem until today. Second: Opening the files of corruption. The Palestinian has the right to ask about the billions of dollars paid by the Gulf states for the Palestinian cause. All that money has disappeared." — Saudi writer and researcher Fahd al-Shkiran, Asharq Al-Awsat, September 16, 2020.


  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ever since the Israel/UAE agreement was announced, Emirati preacher Dr. Wasim Youssef has been upsetting Palestinians and their supporters with his pro-Israel tweets.

During the signing ceremony at the White House, he tweeted, “Hamas attacked Israel with rockets! Coincided with the signing of the peace treaty in America ”....“When Israel responds to Hamas rockets, Hamas supporters will cry and shout to the Arabs: Where are your millions! Of course, the victims are children, women, and innocent people from Gaza, because of the stupid, stupid behavior of the Hamas terrorist party. "

He had previously tweeted, “When I saw some Palestinians burn my country's flag because of the peace treaty with Israel, I decided to apologize to every Israeli man if I offended him in the past."

Yesterday he tweeted, "• Israel did not destroy Syria • Israel did not burn Libya • Israel is not behind  the dispersion of the people of Egypt • Israel has not torn Lebanon into sects. Look at yourselves in the mirror, oh Arabs, the problem is in you."

And he keeps going: "We will not justify why #peace is desirable to a group that was raised on the ideology of terrorism and blood. Rather, we impose peace on the earth ... no matter how loud the voices of haters are ... Whoever wants destruction, let him go to hell ... As for the UAE, it is the paradise of the wise and the loving .."

To Islamic Jihad and Hamas, this is as bad as it gets. This person is using the Quran to justify peace with Israel and denouncing terror groups. That is an area that they like to pretend they have ownership of. 




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  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
When the announcement of an accord between Israel and the UAE came out last month, John Kerry tweeted this:


This tweet is interesting for a couple of reasons. 

First of all, he doesn't congratulate the Israelis or the Trump administration for their role in this agreement - only the UAE, the only party that deserves credit. In other words, its intransigence in not recognizing Israel from its birth until now is considered normal and making peace is extraordinary, while Israel's desire for peace since its own rebirth is considered normal and not worth mentioning. This is a typical example of anti-Arab bigotry by so-called liberals who accept Arab hate as natural and say that Israel isn't doing enough to deserve peace with anyone.

But more astonishing is Kerry's desire to take credit himself for the agreement, saying that the initiative builds on "years of work to advance regional peace." He is saying that he laid the groundwork for this agreement by working hard for regional peace between Israel and its neighbors before the Trump administration. 

Did he?

Fox News reports:

A 2016 clip of Kerry resurfaced that cast doubt that any peace between Israel and the Arab world was possible without Palestinians being onboard.



"There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world," Kerry began at a speaking engagement. "I want to make that very clear with all of you. I've heard several prominent politicians in Israel sometimes saying, 'Well, the Arab world is in a different place now. We just have to reach out to them. We can work some things with the Arab world and we'll deal with the Palestinians.' No. No, no, and no."

He continued, "I can tell you that, reaffirmed within the last week because I've talked to the leaders of the Arab community, there will be no advanced and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace. Everybody needs to understand that. That is a hard reality."
What a tool.

Any decent diplomat knows that what other diplomats say and what they think are hardly ever in alignment. In 2016, when Kerry insisted that the Arab world will never make separate peace with Israel, these same Gulf countries had already been withholding aid to Palestinians for years because they were no longer supportive of that cause - they were sick of the PLO's corruption and the split between Hamas and Fatah. Even the Palestinians publicly complained that the Arab world was not fulfilling its pledges.

The same year that Kerry described the "hard reality," I wrote:

If you follow the money, you can see that the Arab world has far less interest in helping Palestinians than their rhetoric would indicate. I believe that this is in a large part due to the intransigence and feelings of entitlement from Palestinian leadership.

The Arab and Muslim worlds are sick and tired of the Palestinian issue and they have been for many years now. The Palestinians are panicking over how the priorities of the Arab world have moved away from them. But a lot of it is their own fault for refusing to negotiate with Israel in good faith and accepting a state that is a little bit less than their demands. Arab leaders are wondering whether it was worth it for Palestinians to refuse Israeli offers of peace which should have ended the conflict long ago.

Palestinian leaders whining for attention from their villas in Ramallah while there are real crises in the region are making them look more and more foolish, but decades of basking in the glow of Arab pro-Palestinian propaganda have made Abbas and his people blind to what is really going on.

But this Arab thinking goes back to at least 2008, before the first Obama administration.  Here's what I wrote then:

This is the crux of the issue, one that the US, EU and media just can't figure out:

The rich Arab oil barons do not consider the PA to be a good investment.

Even though oil prices have gone up sixfold in the past six years, that it not the issue for the Gulf nations: it is that there is little chance that anything is going to change. Hamas and Fatah remain split and there cannot be a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the PA while Hamas controls Gaza.

Some Arab states do directly fund things like ambulances and schools. But they see no reason to throw money at the bloated PA payroll where "security officers" sit around and do nothing and the PA continues to pay even their employees in Gaza who cannot work under Hamas.

When people invest money, even to charities, they want to get as much bang for the buck as possible. 

The Arab nations know the mentality of the Palestinian Arabs better than the West. They have already spent money, time and rhetoric on the PA. They have seen the Palestinian Arab leadership consistently shoot itself in the foot rather than act pragmatically and in ways that are best for the PalArabs themselves.

They have had enough.

The Arab nations see what all their efforts and money have bought them. They will publicly blame Israel, as always, but their true attitudes can be seen in their wallets. They'd rather buy New York real estate than help their Palestinian Arab "brothers" because these brothers have wasted their money in the past and will continue to do so. Rather than compromise and start building a real state, a real economy and creating real jobs, the PalArabs remain stuck in their welfare mentality, railing at the world for not doing enough for them while they do nothing for themselves.

When will the West demand real accountability from the PA as well?

Kerry had all the information available and chose to ignore it. He chose to believe the Arab autocrats in their insistence of their support for Palestinians when they themselves had long before given up on them.

He could have brokered the Abraham Accords but his hate for Israel is what blinded him to that possibility.

Now he claims that he laid the groundwork for the historic agreement.

The technical term for someone like this is "shmuck."




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  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



Step News is apparently a US-based Syrian-oriented Arabic news site. Although I had never heard of it, it seems to have achieved some popularity - over 5 million followers on Facebook.

On Thursday, it published and broadcast a 12 minute documentary about how Chinese Jews ("Zionists") are partnering with Israel to take over the world.

Here is the summary:

A Chinese Jewish secret group
1.4 billion people live in China, but a few thousand of them are not like the rest, for they are the the Jews of China, who have become what is being set up to be a secret Chinese Zionist lobby. Their leaders meet in centers in Shanghai, the most important center for Jewish activity in China, in addition to two centers in Beijing. Meanwhile leaks continue about a hidden conflict between Israeli and Chinese intelligence. The Chinese Zionist lobby attempts to Judaize the Chinese with the aim of penetrating Chinese society and waiting for the right moment with China removing America from the throne of the world as a military, economic and technological superpower, which paves the way for Israel to jump into the embrace of the Chinese global power immediately.  But when will this happen? 


The video hit over 84,000 views on YouTube in nine hours, and probably at least that many on Facebook. It includes photos of Chinese Jews praying, because that proves Jews are infiltrating China, I guess. 







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The most interesting thing about the normalization agreements that Israel signed with the UAE and Bahrain is not what is in the written agreements, which are sparse on detail. It is not even the speculation about the unpublicized understandings about such things as F-35s and for how long the extension of Israeli law over parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley will be delayed. It is, rather, one specific item that is not in them: there is no explicit mention of a “two-state solution” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Indeed, the agreements don’t mention borders, Jerusalem, settlements, or refugees, which always appear in such texts. One commentator even said that it seems that these Arabs are “less pro-Palestinian than the Europeans,” who always mention these things in their pronouncements about the conflict.

Here is all the UAE agreement says about the Palestinians:

Recalling the reception held on January 28, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision for Peace, and committing to continuing their efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive, realistic and enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

Recalling the Treaties of Peace between the State of Israel and the Arab Republic of Egypt and between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and committed to working together to realize a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples, and to advance comprehensive Middle East peace, stability and prosperity;

The agreement with Bahrain is even more vague, leaving out the reference to other treaties. So no wonder the PLO reaction was to declare a “day of rage,” while Hamas attacked the Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon with rockets during the signing ceremony!

Why is this important? We need to keep in mind the Palestinian interpretation of “two-state solution,” a temporary condition in which a sovereign “Palestine” from which all Jews have been expelled exists next door to an “Israel” which must agree to absorb millions of Arab “refugees.” Unification as an Arab-majority state would soon follow.

Although some left-wing Israelis have endorsed a two-state solution, they generally accept the “two states for two peoples” paradigm, which leaves room for a Jewish state. But no Palestinian leader has ever countenanced such a thing, even arguing that there is no such thing as a Jewish people, and so no Jewish right of self-determination.

This systematic ambiguity has led some to say that the conflict is easy to settle; it’s only necessary to work out the details of a two-state deal that both sides would accept. But of course the sticking point comes down to whether there will be a Jewish state or not. That isn’t a detail, and it’s not something that can be compromised.

Although Israelis have come to understand this, Americans have almost always seemed to miss it. The Clinton and Obama administrations beat their heads against the wall trying to reconcile the directly contradictory positions. Left-leaning organizations like J Street and the Reform Movement continue to call for a two-state solution, not understanding – or maybe understanding but not caring – that the Palestinian version of two states implies that neither state will be Jewish.

The breakthrough represented by Trump’s “Deal of the Century” (DOC) was to stop trying to find a way to meet Palestinian demands without endangering Israel, an impossible task. Rather, the DOC includes a plan to allow the maximum amount of Palestinian autonomy consistent with Israeli security. Naturally, the Palestinian leadership, which has been promising to kick out the Jews and lead its people back to “their homes” in Israel for generations, finds this unacceptable.

Until now, the Palestinians have enjoyed seamless support from the entire Arab and Muslim world. They believed that all they needed to do was stand pat, and the world would force the Jews into making concessions, until the Jewish state was so weakened that it would fall apart – or could be destroyed by an attack by its Arab neighbors, or in a proxy war waged by Iran via Hezbollah.

But now at least two – and possibly a few more – Arab states have recognized several important facts: 1) Israel is too strong to be forced to make significant concessions, 2) they find themselves on Israel’s side in the regional conflict with Iran, which wants to gobble them up, and 3) the benefits of normalization with Israel outweigh whatever they would get from Israel’s enemies for continuing to support Palestinian demands.

It might even be the case that they realize that the Palestinian people themselves have been ill-served by their leaders, who have exploited them since 1948 as an excuse to funnel huge amounts of money from Western donors into their pockets.

In any case, these agreements put the PLO on notice that it can no longer expect blanket support for its intransigent policies. Indeed, last week the Arab league rejected a Palestinian resolution to condemn the UAE-Israel deal.

One of my greatest concerns about the coming American election is that a Democratic victory could bring back some of the people and policies of the Obama Administration concerning the Middle East. Joe Biden has already promised to try to re-activate the JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran that in fact protects the Iranian nuclear weapons project rather than stopping it. It’s likely that he would also want to resuscitate the Obama/Kerry two-state plan. Of course a Trump victory would prevent these things; but failing that, the next best thing would be a united Israel-Arab front against Iran – and for a truly just solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.



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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

From Ian:

Study: More than one in 10 Americans under 40 thinks Jews caused the Holocaust
More than one in 10 American adults under 40 believes that Jews caused the Holocaust.

That’s one finding from a survey published Wednesday trying to gauge Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z, a cohort ranging in age from 18 to 39.

The survey found that most respondents had heard of the Holocaust and 37% knew that 6 million Jews died. Slightly more than half could name at least one concentration camp or ghetto.

But 11% of the respondents believed the Jews were responsible for the Holocaust, 15% said they thought the Holocaust was a myth or has been exaggerated, and 20% said people talk about it too much. Nearly half said they had seen Holocaust denial online.

The survey of 1,000 respondents across all 50 states was organized by the Claims Conference, which coordinates restitution and reparations payments for Holocaust survivors and sponsors Holocaust education programs. It was conducted in February and March.

According to the poll, there was little correlation between state Holocaust education requirements and Holocaust knowledge. None of the 10 states with the highest knowledge levels required Holocaust education in high schools, while three states in the bottom 10 — Delaware, New York and Florida — did mandate it.

(The knowledge levels, as defined by the survey, were based on whether respondents had heard of the Holocaust, knew 6 million Jews were killed and could name a concentration camp or ghetto.)

Holocaust knowledge was particularly low in New York, despite the state having the largest population of Jews in the country. Most respondents there could not name a single Nazi camp or ghetto, and 28% said they believed the Holocaust was a myth or has been exaggerated. Wisconsin had the highest knowledge score at 44%, while Arkansas had the lowest at 17%. (h/t jzaik)
I Was Radicalized. Now, I've Dedicated My Career to Combating Anti-Semitism
Seeing Israel firsthand shook me to my core. The lies that had defined my identity fell apart—lies about an apartheid state, lies about a white colonial state, lies about Jewish hatred for Muslims. On the contrary, I saw a diverse and pluralistic country. And from the many people I spoke with—Jewish, Arab, Christian, Muslim and more—I heard a desire for peace, rather than war.

The time I spent in Israel and the Palestinian-controlled territories forced me to confront just how dark my radicalization truly was. I had sunk to a mental place where murder could be justifiable. I had been prepared to kill innocent men, women and children based on nothing but a myth.

To look in the mirror and truly see who I had been was startling, depressing and extremely difficult. What if you woke up tomorrow to discover that you had been Mr. Hyde all along? That is the effect visiting Israel had on me. The radical may have died, but I was very much alive. I made the choice to move forward.

When I returned to the U.K., I felt an obligation to shine a light on the toxic hatred that had consumed me in an effort to prevent others from going down that dark path. With my newfound clarity, I didn't think I was doing anything controversial—but the response from friends, family and my community was very hostile.

Today, I have dedicated my life to combating the hatred of Jews. I am living my own personal version of the American dream and hope to soon become a citizen of the nation whose highest ideals accepted me, despite my wretched past.

Much has changed in my life since that first trip to Israel—but more significantly, so has the world around us. The virus of anti-Semitism is growing and being normalized, from the university campus to local communities to government itself. For years now, I've spoken out against this resurgent evil that I've seen firsthand.

The process of de-radicalization is difficult. I am well aware that I am the exception, not the rule. But if we can inoculate people to the lies before those lies solidify in impressionable young minds, we stand a chance of turning this tide.

Kasim Hafeez is the Middle East analyst for Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Alongside the life of Holocaust survivor and educator Irving Roth, Hafeez's journey from radicalized anti-Semite to ardent Zionist is chronicled in CUFI's forthcoming full-length feature documentary, Never Again?, in select theaters October 13 and 15. To learn more, visit www.neveragainthemovie.com
CAMERA: Who Are Evangelical Christians and Why Do They Support Israel?
Conclusions

There is a 2000 year history of Christian belief in the restoration of Israel that is based on an understanding of the centrality of the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people – and the promise of a particular land at the heart of that covenant – throughout the Hebrew Bible and Christian Testament. What we now call Christian Zionism, or Evangelical support for Israel, is simply the modern version of that historic belief, built on a theological foundation as old as Christianity itself.

The vast majority of Christian Zionists support Israel and the Jewish people for theological and historical reasons that do not include attempts to convert Jews, or the desire to see Jews gathered in Israel in fulfillment of a particular interpretation of End Times events. Rather, modern Christian support for the State of Israel is rooted in the historic Christian belief that Jews would some day return to their ancient homeland, an understanding of the historical and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to that land, and agreement with the right of Jews to self-determination in their own land.

In light of these realities and the tumultuous times in which we live, Jewish-Christian relations and inter-faith cooperation for the sake of Zion is more crucial now than ever. It is vital that we focus on what Jews and Christians have in common and make our shared values the foundation upon which to build and strengthen the very necessary relationship between Jews, Christians and Israel. Let us fight united for Israel’s right to exist and defend itself against those who seek its annihilation!



It’s hard to have hope in a plague, though everywhere are reminders that the New Year approaches. And should you forget, everyone you meet will wish you a “Shana Tova,” a sweet new year, in the run-up to Rosh Hashanah. The tired middle-aged clerk, the important VIP, and people you normally ignore, will all offer up the traditional Jewish New Year’s greeting, and mean it.

Goodwill is in the air. And hope, which is where this piece begins. Because as the New Year approaches, we are full of hope for a sweet new year. We ask for sweetness. We hope it will be there in the coming year.

But there’s a plague on, you see. There’s a plague. We can’t help but wonder at the implications of the virus. Even if some of us get only so far as to contemplate that science is nobody’s fault.

Whatever you believe, this is a difficult and stressful time, and though we crave New Year sweetness, it’s hard to see an end to our difficulties. But we try. I do, anyway. I try like hell. Every day I do something to get ready for the New Year, for Rosh Hashanah. I am trying to not only be prepared for the holiday, but to also get in the mood for sweetness, to ask for it with all my heart, no matter how grim the current reality.

As I make apple cakes and babka, kugels and brisket, I search my memory for inspiration. I let my mind wander and review the things it knows. Sometimes I remember family stories that no longer have relevance to anyone but me. Anyone else who would care is long dead. Nobody can visualize these people. No one will “get” the apocryphal family joke. It will simply fall flat, when told, until lack of response suggests you should bury that story with its long-dead protagonists and implications.

The Jewish People Will Be Fine

I try to be pragmatic. No one lives forever, but still, it makes me sad. Once I am there, I begin to think of other sad things, the things that worry me, the state of my people, the good and the bad, until I come to a revelation: the Jewish people are going to be fine.

It takes me some time to get there, but get there I do. Revelation comes.

Yes. There are the people like Ariel Gold, a low-caliber person who engages in stunts like promoting the destruction of Israel at the Western Wall, a person who makes her name by betraying her own, and cozying up to the mullahs. 

Ariel Gold at the Western Wall

And there are people like Seth Rogen, who have somehow lost the ability to engage in critical thinking, people who do a podcast and make it sound like the Jewish connection to Israel begins in 1948, “They never tell you that, ‘Oh, by the way, there were people there.’ They make it seem like it was just like sitting there, like the fucking door’s open.”

The Seth Rogens of the world are completely ignorant of their own history, but they're ready to throw the Jews out of the Holy Land, nonetheless. They'll toss away their own people based only on lies they’ve been told by bad people and terrorists. 

Seth Rogen

These people, the Ariel Golds and Seth Rogens of the world, make me angry. Which is bracing. (“Learn something! Pick up a book, for crying out loud!”)

It's disheartening, it is true: there is no end to these people, these traitors from within. The Ariel Golds and the Seth Rogens. Yet I am quite ready to dismiss them. To me they are only the Erev Rav, the mixed multitude that managed to blend in with us during the Exodus. They only pretend to be Jewish. Their job is to destroy us from within.

But there are the other Jews, real Jews. I bear witness to them here in the Holy Land. These other Jews have reached a state where love of God, country, and people is strong, and meshed into one harmonious whole. Their Jewish remnants will continue to bring beauty and meaning into Israel and the world and glory to the Holy One, Blessed Be He.

The Other Jews: The Ones Who Inspire Hope

It’s a matter of trial by fire. And it gives me tremendous hope.

Consider the following seven examples:

  1. At the funeral of terror victim Adele Biton, her mother Adva, eulogized her little girl murdered by stone-throwing Arab terrorists: "Here you grew and learned, and now even at the height of our sorrow, we are burying you close to us, in the place where they attacked you, so that a cry will resonate and they will hear that the Land is ours as of right."
    Adele Biton HY"D

  2. Dalia Lemkus was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist while waiting at a bus stop. At her funeral, her sister Michal nonetheless found the strength to call on Israeli Jews to keep on living their daily lives, "I want to scream to everyone, to my nation, and especially to myself: Don't stop hitchhiking. Don't give them the pleasure of successfully stopping us from living our lives; simply do not stop your life," said Michal.  
    Dalia Lemkus, HY"D

  3. The father of terror victim Cpl. Ziv Mizrahi, Doron, was no stranger to losing a family member to terror. He had also lost a brother in the Café Hillel bombing, years earlier. At his son Ziv’s funeral, he said, “We’ll mourn, but I promise you, next Wednesday I am returning to work. You won’t break our spirit. The Jewish people live,” said Doron.
    Corporal Ziv Mizrahi HY"D

  4. Hallel Yaffa Ariel was a 13-year-old dancer, murdered in her bed as she slept. At her funeral, her mother Rina called on the public to come help the family in Kiryat Arba. "We invite everyone to come and help, to console; there are vineyards which need help, there are Jews here who need strengthening. We are strong and we won't break, but we need your help to continue and to build here,” she said. "Hallel loved living here... right now we are just crying out 'By your blood you shall live! By your blood you shall live!'" said Rina Ariel, quoting from the bible.
    Hallel Yaffa Ariel HY"D

  5. Unborn baby (30 weeks) Amiad Israel Ish-Ran was born by emergency C-section after his mother was wounded in an attack outside of Ofra. The infant was pronounced dead after several days in intensive care. The baby’s grandfather explained the significance of the baby’s name at the funeral. "It is written in Halakha that a name must be given to the baby, so your parents have given a name, which is of great significance and symbolizes everything - Amiad Yisrael, our people are here forever. The people of Israel are here forever. Our message is clear - we will not break, we cry and it hurts us, but we are strong," said Rabbi Raphael Ish-Ran.
    Amiad Israel Ish-Ran HY"D (wrapped in tallis)

    The baby’s second grandfather, Haim Silberstein, said, "You will never succeed. We are stronger than you, we are righter than you, we belong here more than you, we will defeat you. This is our land, our people and our holy Torah. Amichai and Shira, our hearts are torn with grief over the pain and loss. But your young son Amiad Yisrael, our delicate grandson, may Hashem avenge his blood, already did much before completing four days. He united the people of Israel, who rose up in prayers, hugs, love.”
  6. Rabbi Achiad Ettinger was 47 and the father of 12 when he was murdered at the Ariel Junction. One of his older children, his daughter Efrat, eulogized him thus, “The evil terrorist thought he was ending a life, but he had no idea how much life and power you left on this earth that we and the entire nation of Israel will use to grow and carry on.”
    Rabbi Achiad Ettinger HY"D

  7. Rina Shnerb​ was 17 when terrorists detonated an IED device next to the girl, her father, and brother, while they were visiting a national landmark near Dolev. “We are trying to be strong here in the Land of Israel, the people of Israel, Rina believed in that,” said Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, the girl’s father, wounded along with her brother, “Our response to the murderers is that we are here and we are strong and we will prevail.”
    Rina Shnerb HY"D

You may think it strange to find hope in words spoken in the depths of despair, when a life filled with promise has been stolen away by terror. But something happens when you hear someone, in the moment of deepest grief, call on his fellow Jews to build more homes in Israel, to have more Jewish babies. It makes the heart thrum to think that such Jews exist. They are exceptional, it is true. But they are not so rare as you think. Especially if you consider that terror in Israel, the kind that stems from pure Jew-hatred, is not nearly so rare as we wished.

When there are words such as these to be had from a people so battered and grieving, it makes you realize that we Jews, at the core, are strong. And we are right here in Israel. And we are never going away.

We are strong in spirit and we are here. And the knowledge of that should (and hopefully will) bring us hope, even when there’s a plague going on. We can hope for sweetness and we can find the strength to wish each other a shana tova, a sweet New Year, even as the Jewish people keep on keeping on.

It's what we do. It's what we have done for thousands of years.

Here's wishing all of you a Shana Tova! 🍯 May you find only sweetness in the coming year.



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  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon



From the Christian Science Monitor, May 26, 1992:

Numerous efforts have been made to resettle [Palestinian] refugees, but all have failed. In 1950, long before the territories came under Israeli control, UNRWA suggested moving 150,000 of them to Libya, but Egypt objected. In 1951, UNRWA vetoed a plan to move 50,000 Palestinian refugees from the Gaza Strip to Northern Sinai when Egypt refused permission to use the Nile waters to irrigate proposed agricultural settlements. In 1952, Syria rejected UNRWA's initiative to resettle 85,000 refugees in camps in that country. In 1959, UNRWA reported that of the $250 million fund for rehabilitation created in 1950 to provide homes and jobs for the refugees outside of the camps, only $7 million had been spent.

In the early 1970s, Israel initiated what it called the "build your own home" program. A half a dunam of land outside the camps (equal to about an eighth of an acre) was given to Palestinians who then financed the purchase of building materials and, usually with friends, erected a home. Israel provided the infrastructure: sewers, schools, etc. More than 11,000 camp dwellers were resettled into 10 different neighborhoods before the PLO, using intimidation tactics, ended the program.

Israeli authorities say that if people were able to stand up to the PLO and if it had the funds to invest in the infrastructure, within eight years every camp resident could own a single-dwelling home in a clean and uncongested neighborhood.
I have written about this Israeli initiative beforehand but didn't know the actual numbers of Palestinians who took advantage of moving out of UNRWA camps before the PLO started threatening them.

The UN General Assembly also passed resolutions condemning Israel for giving Palestinians free land and infrastructure as an opportunity to improve their lives. 

If it wasn't for PLO threats, by 2000 there could have been no more UNRWA camps in the territories and every resident could have owned their own home and land - for free. 

This one episode shows that Israel cares about the well-being of Palestinians more than the PLO ever did. On the contrary, the PLO is invested in keeping its own people in misery .

The "pro-Palestinian" groups who are protesting Israeli normalization with other Arab countries follow that tradition of preferring that Palestinian "refugees" stay without homes they can call their own - so they can blame their situation on Israel. 





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From Ian:

Michael Oren: An achievement that will be taught in the diplomacy books
The peace agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain are an economic, diplomatic and strategic breakthrough.

On the economic front, it is a connection between the most innovative country in the world, Israel, and two of the wealthiest countries in the world; an encounter that may be transformative not only for the Middle East, but for the whole world. Even before the agreement was signed, Israeli and Arab businessmen hurried to sign deals of cooperation and mutual investments. On the diplomatic front, this is an agreement that refutes all the theses concerning the peace process that have existed for 30, 50, even 70 years. Even in the early 1950s the Americans and British suggested a format that was based on the principle of land for peace, which included the demand from Israel to give Egypt almost all of the Negev. The belief that Israel must buy peace with the Arabs continued fervently after the 1967 Six-Day War as part of the peace accords with Egypt and Jordan. Israel had to give up many territories, and here – as opposed to that, the current deals were achieved without giving up one millimeter of land.

Another belief was that the Israeli-Arab conflict was central and fundamental in the Middle East, and that its origin is in the conflict with the Palestinians. By that same belief, the core of the conflict surrounds the settlements in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem. Yet here, the present deal was achieved with no advance whatsoever with the Palestinians, and without removing Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria, without even a settlement freeze. Finally, for many years there was a belief that the Palestinians, because of their weakness, need incentives to enter negotiations, even after they left the table. So they received billions, an embassy in Washington and recognition from most countries of the world. This time, as opposed to the past, the Palestinians left, they ran away from the talks, and they were punished. Therefore, beyond the economic and diplomatic achievements, the peace agreements have a significant strategic importance.

The Arab governments over the past years dealt with insufferable dangers from Iran and Erdogan's Turkey, who support Hamas and Islamists. At the same time, as the US began a process of removing itself from the region and supporting those Arab countries, the Bahrainis and Saudis had no choice but to turn to Israel, the only superpower in the Middle East that doesn't threaten them, in fact quite the opposite, is willing to help them defend themselves.

These peace deals will allow us and the moderate Arab states to forge an open front against the Iranian-Syrian axis, and against Turkish aggression.
Abraham Accords: Full text

Caroline Glick: A tale of 2 White House signing ceremonies
Attending the White House signing ceremony on Tuesday of the Abraham Accords – which normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – was both moving and jarring. Standing at the South Lawn, just meters from the Rose Garden where the Oslo Accord were signed 27 years ago on September 13, 1993, the comparison between the two agreements was inescapable.

That ceremony was an act of political theater unsurpassed in the history of Israel. Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO, and architect of modern terrorism, grinned ear to ear as he received the royal treatment on the White House Lawn.

Seeking peace, Israel's then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin promised the PLO land, money and weaponry, which Arafat used to build a terror state on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Arafat in turn promised to end terrorism, accept Israel's right to exist and resolve all outstanding issues through peaceful negotiations. Arafat was lying.

I wanted to believe in the fake peace of 1993. But the grim facts made it impossible. For the past 27 years, first as a member of Israel's negotiating team during my service in the IDF and then as a writer and a lecturer, like thousands of other Israelis and friends of Israel in the US and around the world, I devoted myself to exposing the lies and warning about the danger of empowering those who seek Israel's destruction. I wrote hundreds of articles, briefed hundreds of politicians and community leaders in the US and worldwide. I wrote a book.

And as I sat in the garden at the White House today, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Mahyan and Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani standing in the portico before me, the names of the victims of that previous peace agreement rushed through my head. David Biri, Nachson Waxman, Kochava Biton, Ohad Bachrach, Ori Shachor, the Lapids, the Ungars, the Fogels, the Schijveschuurders, Madhat Yusuf, Shalhevet Pas and on and on and on.

I have been demonized as an "extremist" a "far right-winger," an "enemy of peace," and a "fascist" by members of the so-called "peace camp." Think tanks and professionals with ties to the EU – the co-sponsor of the fake peace process – were afraid to invite me to speak, cite my articles or to review my book.
The UAE-Israel accord is a win for every Muslim
For almost twenty years, Muslims across the world have been on the defensive. Muslim identity has been largely under attack. The terrorist incidents of September 11, 2001 on New York and Washington DC cast – in many a popular imagination – every Muslim as suspect in some way. In almost every continent, a dark cloud hung over us. The security checks at airports are only a manifestation of that deep distrust.

Osama bin Laden and a range of extremist organisations hijacked the Palestinian cause: they created nothing but more loss, terrorism and humiliation for the noble Palestinian people. Now, with the visionary accord between the UAE and Israel, three new horizons open: reinstating Muslim dignity, reviving a two-state solution opportunity and creating regional economic prosperity.

I am a British Muslim. In my teens, I helped raise money in London for Hamas. My peers and I believed suicide bombers were martyrs heading for paradise. We were wrong.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus 2,500 years ago taught that there is only one constant in life: change. Life flows ever onwards. After 9/11, I recognised the blunder of my beliefs. I changed. In my twenties, I lived in Damascus next to a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. In my thirties, I lived in New York and Washington where I advised the US government. I saw the suspicion of Muslims in the eyes of American officials. It always boiled down to something unspoken: show us peace in Islam; stop talking about it.

And that is exactly what the Abraham Accord is doing: showing peace between peoples, not only preaching it. The accord represents an important opportunity to further reject “Islamophobic” accusations of terrorism and anti-Semitism. We can say: “We believe in one God. Peace is possible. A new way of co-existence is achievable. We are not pawns for the mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood. Look at the UAE.”

More than 70 countries have applauded the agreement with Israel and today, the UAE enjoys unprecedented support on both sides of the US political divide. The Pope’s visit to the Emirates in 2019 won the hearts of 2 billion Christians to the prospect of a pluralist, peaceful Middle East.

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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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