Saturday, September 18, 2021

From Ian:

Islamic terrorism and the Age of the Holocaust
The Islamist genocidal agenda is promoted by PA/PLO/Hamas media and textbooks, and by UN organizations, such as UNRWA. Not only is the Holocaust denied, it is portrayed as an attempt to “steal Palestinian land” and deprive Arab Palestinians of their goal to wipe out Israel. Enshrined in proposals for a “two-state-solution,” it’s the core of what the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, an acronym for “The Islamic Resistance Movement,” and others represent. It’s also promoted by Fatah and the PLO.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s totalitarian ideology has become dominant in Islam and among Muslims. Centered in Egypt, where the highest Islamic authorities convene, the Brotherhood asserts its gospel of hatred of Jews and Israel via mosques throughout the world and their media. In North and Latin America and Europe, it supports hundreds of student and political organizations. In Israel, it is represented by the largest Arab-Israeli political party, the Joint List, which is part of the current governing coalition.

The Muslim Brotherhood supported the Nazis and after the war it helped thousands of war criminals find refuge in Arab countries. Brotherhood apologists argue that this activity was in the past, but it’s not – documented by Palestinian Media Watch and NGO Monitor. Attacking Jews in Israel happens daily and is promoted by all Islamists.

This is their “holy war” against Israel and anyone who stands in their way – Muslims and non-Muslims. Any recognition of Israel and its right to exist is considered a betrayal of Islam. It’s what justifies their support for terrorism and suicide bombings, which they call “martyrdom.” Their goal is another Holocaust mandated, they preach, by their “prophet, Muhammad.” Ultimately, they boast, they seek world domination under their Caliphate.

According to Richard P. Mitchell (The Society of Muslim Brothers), jihad, death and martyrdom are not only a means to an end, but an end unto itself. David Brooks called the Brotherhood’s ideology promoting suicide bombing “the culture of martyrdom.” For further information, consult Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Radical Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, are one of the greatest threats not only to America and Israel, but to our society and our civilization. Understanding this matters. It’s about survival.
‘What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours will be mine’
Beyond that, though, it is worth taking a moment to bring the larger picture into focus – and to get a clear understanding of what’s wrong with this picture, as it were. The facts indicate that the recent pronouncements by Gantz and Bennett are nothing more than a smokescreen.

Since the ratification of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority has been in control of areas A and B; this includes the authority to grant building permits as it sees fit. As of this writing, 70% of the territory under PA jurisdiction remains completely empty. The PA has the right, the obligation and the means to plan and build, to utilize this territory as it chooses, without any Israeli involvement whatsoever, and without any expectation of commensurate approval of Jewish construction in PA-administered areas A and B – which are judenrein.

The fact that the PA chooses not to build in the areas under its own jurisdiction, and instead pours all of its resources into illegal construction in Area C, is a choice – with very clear motivations. This very simple fact makes the current government’s capitulation to the Biden administration’s demand for “construction parity” a dangerous precedent.

Just as the Americans have no expectation that the Palestinian Authority will match every construction permit issued in areas under PA jurisdiction with a commensurate approval for Jewish construction, so too can there be no justification for the demand that every construction project approved by the State of Israel for Jewish residents of the areas under Israeli jurisdiction be matched with projects for Arabs.

To make matters worse, the asymmetry extends beyond the issue of demography, into the realm of geography. The area taken up by residential structures in the Jewish sector, numbering about half a million residents (again, limited to Area C) is only 3.5% of the total area under Israeli jurisdiction, whereas the area taken up by Arab settlement in Area C, which numbers about 200,000 people according to recent estimates, currently takes up more than double that area.

Rather than counting the number of housing units approved for Jewish versus Arab residents of Area C, the question we should be asking about the new construction projects is how many more square meters will this add to the area taken up by Jewish settlement as opposed to the area that will be ceded to Arab settlement in Area C?
Government Watchdog Calls on New York Pension Fund to Divest From Ben and Jerry’s Parent Company
A government watchdog group is calling on New York's public pension fund to divest from Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, in response to the ice cream company's decision to boycott Israel.

The National Legal and Policy Center asked New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in a Thursday letter to "effect the immediate divestiture" of the state pension fund's $73 million holdings in Unilever, arguing that the company has not taken sufficient steps to oppose anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

The letter comes after Arizona and New Jersey announced they would pull investments from Unilever, and as Florida and Illinois have said they are looking at taking similar action. DiNapoli said in July that Ben & Jerry's boycott decision would make New York reconsider its investments with Unilever in the future.

"Unilever's position that it is opposed to anti-Semitism is belied by the actions and associations of Anuradha Mittal, the chair of Ben & Jerry's Board of Directors," wrote NLPC chairman Peter Flaherty in the Sept. 16 letter. "Mittal is the architect of the ice cream company's policy of ending sales in Israeli ‘occupied territories.' Reportedly, Mittal also proposed a boycott of all of Israel. Her Twitter account has many anti-Israel tweets and contain specific endorsements of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement."

Flaherty also noted that Mittal is a trustee of Ben & Jerry's nonprofit arm, which issued $170,000 in grants to an unrelated nonprofit that Mittal also controls called the Oakland Institute. The arrangement could violate IRS rules against self-dealing, according to the NLPC, which filed a complaint with the IRS about the financial activities last month.

Mittal's Oakland Institute has published defenses of Hezbollah and Hamas, the Washington Free Beacon reported in July.

In one article published by the Oakland Institute, former Green Party Senate candidate Todd Chretien argued that progressives should support Hezbollah during the Israel-Lebanon war in 2006.

Friday, September 17, 2021

From Ian:

Interview‘People Love Dead Jews,’ says Dara Horn, but the living ones don’t fare as well
Author Dara Horn surprised herself by choosing “People Love Dead Jews” as the title of her new collection of essays. She was even more amazed that her publisher agreed to let her keep it.

Horn’s testing the limits of good taste is not gratuitous. It’s a justified provocation that draws readers into the incisive analysis that she weaves through the book’s 12 individual but thematically-linked pieces.

To be clear, Horn isn’t talking about dead Jews in the literal sense… at least not entirely.

“It’s not dead Jews, as in people wanting to see Jews die,” Horn explained in a recent interview with The Times of Israel from her home in New Jersey.

Rather, she said, it’s about the insidious ways in which non-Jewish societies — including contemporary America — pressure or gaslight Jews into modifying, glossing over, or erasing their own identity altogether.

Horn noticed this particularly with regard to how the general public uses dead Jews — from Anne Frank, to Hasidic Jews killed in a terror attack on a kosher market in Jersey City in December 2019, to fictional Jewish characters — to accomplish this.

“The role dead Jews play in non-Jewish civilization is not the same as the one that they play in Jewish civilization,” Horn said.

A scholar of Jewish history and literature, Horn has until now preferred to focus her work on how Jews lived in different places and eras, rather than on how they died.

But her observations made her want to “unravel, document, describe and articulate the endless unspoken ways the popular obsession with dead Jews, even in its most benign and civic-minded forms, is a profound affront to human dignity,” as she writes in the book’s introduction. ‘People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present’ by Dara Horn (W. W. Norton & Company)

After writing five well-received novels grounded in different eras in Jewish history, Horn, 44, turned her attention to “People Love Dead Jews” (and her parallel podcast, “Adventures With Dead Jews,”) after being asked to write opinion pieces and articles responding to events such as the fatal shooting attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018.

“I started noticing in the past several years that every time my editors from mainstream publications would ask me to write something, it was about dead Jews or antisemitism,” Horn said.

“I became the go-to person for this emerging literary genre — synagogue shooting op-eds. I did not apply for this job,” she said with the kind of dark humor that she laces throughout the essays in the book, some of them previously published.
Education Minister urges IHRA adoption
[Australian] Federal Minister for Education Alan Tudge addressed Jewish community leaders on Monday night, voicing his support for a nationwide implementation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

During the Zoom hosted by president of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) Jeremy Leibler, Tudge told his audience that the IHRA definition is currently being considered by the Morrison government and that he is “determined to see this implemented and adopted as government policy” – hoping that it would then be adopted by key institutions, including universities.

Earlier this year, addressing an Executive Council of Australian Jewry online forum, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese pledged that a future Labor government would endorse the IHRA definition.

Tudge went on to note that while the public universally calls out “filthy antisemitism” from the far right, his “equal concern to that antisemitism is the antisemitism which is emerging very rapidly and very aggressively, from the left”.

“Instead of it being done in the dark, at night when no one’s watching, it’s often done quite proudly, as if it’s a virtue signal from some on the extreme left,” he commented, recalling Melbourne barrister Julian Burnside’s recent tweets equating the actions of Israel to those of the Nazis.

Tudge recognised universities as a channel for what he called antisemitism “under the cloak of anti-Zionism”.

Acknowledging the discrimination some Jewish students experience on campus, he added that anti-Zionism is “the same as any other form of antisemitism”.

He said his greatest concern is that this “open left-wing antisemitism starts to infiltrate more broadly into our mainstream political parties”, suggesting that it already has in relation to the Greens and is starting to creep into the Labor party, noting what happened with the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.
The Omar I knew: What ‘The Wire’ actor Michael K. Williams taught my Jewish students at NYU
Awe and humility are my abiding memories of the evening. A packed room of Jewish students were thinking deeply about what incarceration and freedom could look like, and about how justice could be structured around atonement for crimes and self-improvement rather than around punishment. Without exception, the students who spoke to me afterward — none of whom came from an activist background — expressed how much they would be bringing from the evening to their seder tables.

Michael, Dominic, Derrick and Dana stayed on for dinner after the event sharing stories, taking pictures, answering questions. Schmoozing. In addition to telling their critically important stories, they had also come to meet the audience, hear their stories and find common ground. A friend of mine — a rabbi of an Orthodox synagogue in the U.K. — saw my Facebook posts about the event and brought Derrick and Dana to speak to his community.

After the event, Michael said to me that “if the Black and Jewish communities could work together, nothing would be able to stop us.”

Michael wished to tell the story of his own community, but simultaneously expressed a genuine curiosity about the Jewish community. We spoke about doing a series of conversations with one another on the book of Exodus — the original story of slavery and liberation — and its relevance to our times. One day he was in the building at the same time as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, and expressed an interest in meeting the man I had described to him as “the premier Jewish thinker, a man obsessed with justice.” The students’ meeting with Rabbi Sacks ran overtime, otherwise the King would have met the Lord.

Michael was open about his struggles with addiction and passed away from a suspected drug overdose. His passing has been in my mind throughout this week of preparation for Yom Kippur. It feels appropriate to reflect on what we can all learn from those who face similar battles to Michael.

Maimonides lists the threefold requirement of teshuvah, or repentance, as confession (vidui), regret (charata) and determination for the future (kabala l’atid). I have seen no greater lived example of the struggle to live those three elements than those who struggle to overcome addiction.

Those people I have been privileged to know, such as Michael, for whom every day is a challenge, show us the truth that we would all do well to remember, that teshuvah is not something that is “achieved,” a destination arrived at. Rather teshuvah, like the recovery from addiction, is an ongoing process and struggle that is never over but requires constant work and regular re-examination.

As Michael went through many struggles, he simultaneously used his story, fame and innate brilliance to help others. And he did this with humility and a smile.

No matter how great Omar Little is, Michael K. Williams was infinitely greater. May his memory be a blessing.
  • Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


The new Lebanese government has been working on a statement to describe its policies. 

The statement has not been released yet, as the government plans to iron out some final points today. But according to Hezbollah media, the statement will include the "right of resistance and the liberation of the Lebanese territories occupied by 'Israel.' " 

Yes, even though Lebanon is suffering its worst economic crisis in a century, it still wants to prioritize the right to attack Israel. Meaning, the right for Hezbollah to make unilateral decisions to attack Israel under the pretense of "liberating" territory that the UN certified as being part of Israel.

It turns out that this phrase has been part of Lebanese government policy for a while. The short-lived government of September 2020 included a nearly identical statement, no doubt at Hezbollah's insistence, in its own policy statement, although that one also "stressed the need for Lebanon to stay away from external conflicts." 

It is not clear yet if this policy statement will include that contradictory phrase.







  • Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Arutz-7 reports:
President Isaac Herzog called former US President Jimmy Carter on Friday to mark the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War and the one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords.

President Herzog told President Carter: “You did something really holy. This was the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab state, which led all the way to the agreements we had last year with the Gulf states.”
Has Jimmy Carter ever praised the Abraham Accords?

While the Carter Center has issued plenty of articles about Israel, most of them critical, the term "Abraham Accords" is not mentioned. I couldn't find a thing about the peace agreements between Israel and Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain or the UAE.

This seems odd since Carter positions himself as the godfather of Middle East peace. 

It isn't hard to guess why. The Abraham Accords violated the primary rule of wannabe peacemakers since Oslo - that no Arab nation would make peace with Israel until the Palestinian issue is resolved. They were brokered by a president that the traditional "peacemakers" abhorred. They were accepted and promoted by an Israeli leader that the same traditional "peacemakers" abhorred as well. 

All of the arguments about why the Abraham Accords were useless have been proven wrong in the year since they were signed. 

Which makes Jimmy Carter's silence on the biggest breakthrough in Middle East peace since his own Camp David Accords seem like he does not really support peace between Israel and Arab nations - he wants the Palestinians to have veto power over any relations between Israel and every Arab nation, which means they can decide the terms of Israel's foreign relations.

That's not peace. That is blackmail. And that seems to be what Carter prefers to peace.








From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Why Oslo still rules
Faisal Husseini, who held the Palestinian Authority's Jerusalem portfolio, gave an interview shortly before his death in the summer of 2001 in which exposed the fraud at the heart of the Oslo process. Speaking with Al Araby newspaper, Husseini said that Yasser Arafat, his deputies and henchmen never saw the "peace process" as a way of achieving peace with Israel. Oslo for them was a means to advance their goal of destroying Israel, "from the river to the sea."

Husseini described the Oslo process as a "Trojan Horse." Arafat and his people were the hostile army that infiltrated the city "in the belly of the wooden horse." When Arafat rejected Palestinian statehood and peace at the Camp David summit in July 2000 and initiated the Palestinian terror war two months later, it was as if he and his men exited the horse and began the fight.

"This is the beginning of the real work," Husseini explained.

The PLO used the seven years that preceded the Palestinian terror war to build up their power. Arafat held "peace" talks and Israel paid through the nose for the privilege of sitting across the table from him and his apparatchiks. Israel gave them the Gaza Strip. Israel gave them the Palestinian cities and villages in Judea and Samaria. Israel gave them weapons and ammunition. Israel gave them international legitimacy. Israel – and with Israel's permission, the nations of the world – gave PLO terrorists billions of dollars every year. Israel permitted the EU and the CIA to arm and train Arafat's terror legions.

Arafat promised that in exchange for all that, he would fight terror and build the institutions necessary to run a state. Instead, he and his minions transformed the cities Israel gave them into terror bases. They used the funds to finance terror armies. They used the international legitimacy Israel's recognition conferred to escalate and expand their political war against Israel's right to exist.

The Israeli public didn't need Husseini's interview to know that Oslo was gravest strategic error in Israel's history. The first Palestinian suicide bomber blew up at a crowded bus stop seven months after Yitzhak Rabin and Arafat shook hands at the White House on Sept. 13, 1993. Between their handshake and the beginning of the Oslo war in September 2000 the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists was twice the total killed from 1967-1993.

Despite the public's opposition, today, 28 years after Oslo's launch, we are still living the world Oslo unleashed. The strategic and political realities the Oslo process created still dominate the life of the country. The Palestinian Authority still exists. It still finances and incites terror and wages its political war against Israel. The Oslo-obsessed "international community" still demands that Israel "make painful concessions for peace," and together with the Israeli Left, insists that the "two-state solution" is the only possible way to resolve the Palestinians' never-ending war for the annihilation of Israel.


Melanie Phillips: The unstoppable engine of infamy
The NGOs that contributed to the Durban auto-da-fé are still producing vicious and sustained anti-Israeli lies and incitement. Yet no governments denounce them or hold them to account.

The United Nations itself continues to act as the crucible of the campaign to delegitimise and destroy Israel. Last year, for example, the UN General Assembly adopted 17 one-sided resolutions against Israel and only six against any of the other 192 member states for human rights violations.

Last September, the UN’s Economic and Social Council condemned Israel alone for allegedly violating women’s rights — even though Israel is the only upholder of women’s rights in the Middle East.

Last May, the UN’s World Health Organisation accused Israel of violating the Palestinians’ health rights over COVID-19 — a wickedly false claim, and with Israel once again the only country to be singled out during the entire assembly.

The UN’s charter says its role is “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”.

The world body betrays this commitment almost every day. Conspicuously failing to deal with the racism and gross abuse of human rights around the world, it chooses instead to persecute Israel, a country that guarantees human rights for all its citizens.

The Durban conference displayed the moral bankruptcy of the United Nations for all to see. Yet the west continues to treat it as the legitimate arbiter of world peace and justice. Support for the United Nations is the pivot for the west’s loss of moral compass.

The boycott of the New York meeting is thus an empty gesture. It’s the United Nations itself that is allowing evil to triumph — and in which the two-faced, cowardly and self-indulgent west is all-too complicit.
  • Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
2014 press conference of major Gaza terror groups



From Middle East Monitor:

The Palestinian resistance factions announced yesterday the formation of "a joint operations room" in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu has reported. The military wings of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are all involved, the first time that the three movements have joined forces in such joint action.

The agency quoted a resistance fighter from Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a group affiliated with Fatah. "There is no room to talk [with Israel] except with bullets," he said. "We are ready to fight and we will not retreat."

The agency pointed out that armed masked men wearing the insignia of the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, were also present.

According to a fighter with Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades, "A general mobilisation has been announced in the camp and all factions are ready to fight. The Israeli army will see what it does not expect if it even thinks to enter the camp." He explained that resistance fighters from different parts of the West Bank have arrived in Jenin camp "in preparation for any battle."

The joint operations room appears to be a response to the fact that two of the escapees from Gilboa Prison in Israel are believed to be trying to get to Jenin refugee camp. The Israeli Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, said on Wednesday that if the two do indeed reach Jenin, the Israeli army will storm the city in force in order to recapture them, even if the operation affects the rest of the West Bank.
Mahmoud Abbas claimed to have dissolved the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades back in....2007. It wasn't true then and it isn't true now. 

The three terror groups have worked together in Gaza for years. This is the first I have seen them work together in the West Bank. The prisoner escape seems to be the reason, but it is clear that the Palestinian Authority is allowing this to happen - especially when the terror groups are so anxious to publicize how they are active in the areas that the PA supposedly keeps law and order.





  • Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon



Media outlets like Haaretz and the New York Times warn about how dangerous it is for Jews to pray in the holist Jewish site, the Temple Mount, that was claimed as an Islamic holy sites over a millennium later. Their argument is that such prayer is lighting a fuse for a global jihad by Muslims. Jewish religious rights, according to these "experts," are not nearly as important as appeasing Muslims who usurped the site.

By that logic, Jews should not be allowed to pray in the second holiest Jewish site either - the Ma'arat HaMachpela, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, from which Jews were banned for centuries by intolerant Muslims. 

Just like the Temple Mount.

From reading the NYT and Haaretz, one would think that Muslims have accepted Jews worshipping in the Hebron site so it is not an issue any more. After all, there was a signed agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority dividing up the site into sections where Jews and Muslims can worship, and on ten days a year Jews can use the whole site while on ten other days Muslims take over the whole site.

But while the PA may have accepted this agreement, the Muslims have not.

Just this morning, Shehab News tweeted the scandalous video of Jews praying in the holy site - something done every day but the video is still meant to incite hate and violence.

The caption says "Settlers perform Talmudic prayers inside the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron."

Yom Kippur is one of the ten annual days Jews can pray unimpeded in their holy site, and Palestinian media are calling this a "desecration," claiming that the Jews rolled up the Muslim prayer rugs for the services.

Hundreds of citizens performed dawn prayers today, Friday, at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, despite the restrictions of the occupation, and hours after it was stormed and desecrated by dozens of settlers.

Citizens from all parts of Hebron arrived at the mosque to perform prayers and participate in its reconstruction, in light of the dangerous Judaization operations it is being exposed to. 

The freed prisoner Issa Al-Jabari said, "The settlers removed the carpets from the Ishaqi Hall, where the citizens prayed on the tiles on which light, worn mats were spread." 

The settlers posted on their sites scenes of their performance of Talmudic rituals inside the Ishaqi hall in the Ibrahimi Mosque after removing the prayer rugs and storming it with their shoes.  

The settlers deliberately photographed the mosque and its pulpit during the performance of rituals and chanting Talmudic heresies. 

Dozens of Jewish women also participated in the desecration of the Ibrahimi Mosque to celebrate the so-called Jewish Day of Atonement, which the occupation takes as a pretext to close the mosque and allow settlers to storm it.

Here's a photo of the rolled up prayer rugs. Awful, isn't it?

 


Except that these rugs aren't removed by the Jews and left there in a mess for the Muslims to clean up. The Muslims roll up the rugs to avoid the dirty Jews from walking on them! As this 2015 article notes:

Before relinquishing their side, Abufilat and his attendants rolled up the wall-to-wall prayer mats.

“We remove our carpets because we don’t want them to get dirty. The Jews come here, they conduct their dances, their celebrations, and also their drinking,” Abufilat says. It’s a reference to Jews drinking wine during holiday rituals.

Muslims know that the secular Jews who write these articles about Jewish "provocative" prayer at the Temple Mount are cowed by Arab threats. Every single time an Isabel Kershner or Eric Yoffie writes about how Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is bad because it upsets Muslims, the Muslims have more incentive to incite more anger and violence.

The articles about the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Arab media are intended to roll back the gains that Jews achieved in being able to return there after being banned for centuries. And the Jewish useful idiots happily will agree that the right of Jews to their own holy places is less important than appeasing Arab Muslims - who will never be appeased until every Jew has been pushed out of the region.

(h/t Yoel)





  • Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The US Palestinian Affairs Unit works out of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. 

Naturally, the Embassy is closed for Jewish holidays as well as national holidays.

But the PAU tweeted something unusual on Thursday:

The "local holiday"? Are they afraid their Palestinian clients will throw firebombs if they mention "Yom Kippur"?

I checked if they announced they were closed for Rosh Hashanah as well. Sure enough, they tweeted they were closed for Labor Day and "local holidays."


The Holiday Calendar is published by the US Embassy and naturally mentions the names of the Jewish (and Islamic and American) holidays that it closes for.

It really seems like they are afraid that mentioning the name of Jewish holidays will upset Palestinians. Which means that the US Embassy in Israel is very aware that Palestinians are antisemitic - and their staffers aren't interested in fighting that.







Thursday, September 16, 2021

From Ian:

Yom Kippur attack on German synagogue averted by police
Police averted a possible Islamist attack on a synagogue in western Germany and arrested four people including a 16-year-old Syrian youth in connection with the threat, the regional interior minister said on Thursday.

Authorities had received a "a very serious and concrete tip" that an attack on the synagogue in the town of Hagen could take place during the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, the minister, Herbert Reul, said.

Officers tightened security around the building on Wednesday evening and searched it for bombs but found nothing dangerous, Reul, interior minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, told a news conference.

He said the synagogue had called off its celebration of Yom Kippur, when observant Jews hold overnight vigils. The tip-off had included details of the timing of an attack, he added.

Earlier on Thursday, police in Hagen said they had arrested four people as a result of their investigation into the threat and had searched various buildings.

Reul said one of those detained was a 16-year-old from Hagen with Syrian roots.


US court says it won’t stop ‘Jewish Power Corrupts’ protests outside synagogue
Provocative pro-Palestinian protests outside a Jewish synagogue in Michigan are protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment, a federal court appeals said on Wednesday.

The court declined to stop the demonstrations or set restrictions in Ann Arbor. The protests have occurred on a weekly basis since 2003, with people holding signs that say “Jewish Power Corrupts,” “Stop Funding Israel” and “End the Palestinian Holocaust.”

Members of Beth Israel Congregation, including some Holocaust survivors, said that the protests have interfered with their Saturday worship and caused emotional distress.

“But the congregants have not alleged that the protesters ever blocked them from using their synagogue or that the protests were even audible from inside the building,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton said.

He said a proposed remedy — a 1,000-foot buffer and limits on signs — would likely violate the First Amendment.

“The key obstacle is the robust protections that the First Amendment affords to nonviolent protests on matters of public concern,” Sutton said in summarizing the case.

He was joined by Judge David McKeague. Judge Eric Clay agreed with the result but on different grounds.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in support of the activists, saying that the protests are entitled to protection even if “offensive, upsetting and distasteful.”
Discover Card Cuts Ties With Palestinian Terror-Linked Organization
A major credit card company severed ties late last month with an organization accused of abetting Palestinian terrorism and backing economic boycotts against Israel.

Discover Card will no longer process donations to the Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ), a left-wing advocacy organization that provides funding to the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, a group that works to free Palestinians from the Israeli prison system. Discover Card froze donations after Israel designated Samidoun as a terror group earlier this year for its alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to information provided to the Washington Free Beacon by the Zachor Legal Institute, which has been pressing companies to cut ties with these organizations for several months.

Discover’s decision to cut ties with an organization accused of financially supporting Palestinian terrorism comes as online donation portals have increasingly come under scrutiny. In January, the online donation processing company Stripe cut ties with President Donald Trump’s campaign. Last month, ActBlue, the Democrats’ online fundraising platform, booted former New York Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo days before he resigned office in the wake of a sex scandal.

ActBlue, in particular, has come under criticism for facilitating donations to terror-tied groups that back the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel. Rep. Tim Burchett (R., Tenn.) petitioned the Justice and Treasury Departments in March to investigate ActBlue for its work with these anti-Israel groups.

While Discover has not stated its reasons for booting AFGJ, its decision came after the Zachor Legal Institute pressured the credit card company to remove the group for its relationship with known terrorist organizations. Discover did not respond to a request for comment, but communications reviewed by the Free Beacon confirm that the company will no longer process donations made to AFGJ, and, by proxy, Samidoun. Israel’s designation of Samidoun as a terrorist organization tied to the PFLP came as part of Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s campaign against the PFLP and its affiliates.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


This is an update my Yom Kippur message of previous years.

I unconditionally forgive anyone who may have wronged me during this year, and I ask forgiveness for anyone I may have wronged as well.

Specifically (expanded from the list from The Muqata  a few years back):

-If you sent me email and I didn't reply, or didn't get back to you in a timely fashion -- I apologize.
-If you sent me a story and I decided not to publish it or worse, didn't give you a hat tip for the story -I'm sorry. I'm also sorry if I didn't acknowledge the tip. I cannot publish all the stories I am sent, although I try to place appropriate ones in the linkdumps, or tweet them.
-If you requested help from me and I wasn't able to provide it -- I'm sorry.
-I apologize if I posted without the proper attribution, with the wrong attribution, or without attribution at all.
-I'm sorry that I usually don't give hat tips on things I tweet.
-Subtweets are usually on purpose. Sorry.
-If I didn't thank you for a donation, I'm very, very sorry.
-I'm sorry if I didn't give the proper respect to my co-bloggers Ian, PreOccupied Territory, Vic, Varda, Daled Amos and the guest posters. Also to people who send me tons of tips and help like Tomer, Irene, and Ibn Boutros.
-I'm sorry if any of my posts offended you personally.
- For all the initiatives I started and didn't complete - I'm sorry. This happens way too much and I always hope that this year will be the one where I'll finally write that book or make that video series.
- Please forgive me if I wrote disparaging things about you.
- I'm sorry for not always scrubbing spam from the comments as quickly as I would like.
- I'm sorry if things got published in the comments that violated my comments policy but that I missed. I have not been able to monitor most comments for various technical reasons.
-I'm sorry that I never got back to doing regular video interviews as I did last year. 

May this be a year of life, peace, prosperity, happiness, security and especially health.

I wish all of my readers who observe Yom Kippur an easy and meaningful fast.






From Ian:

The Advocate
On any given day, you can find the State of Israel coming in for some rough treatment in the media.

Detractors accuse it of being either an apartheid state, an occupying colonialist power, or both. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has gone so far as to initiate a probe into what it says are possible war crimes stemming from IDF actions in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

For Professor Eugene Kontorovich, whenever the Jewish state’s legal standing or international legitimacy as a sovereign nation is impugned, it is grist for his legal mill and fodder for his laser-focused analysis. His forceful and well-reasoned arguments often appear in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Fox News and other channels frequently tap his expertise in international and constitutional law.

Professor Kontorovich wears many professional hats. He heads the international law department at Jerusalem’s Kohelet Forum, a think tank that many Knesset members draw on for policy ideas. Eugene spends one semester a year in Arlington, Virginia, teaching at the George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he established the Center for the Middle East and International Law to train young scholars to take a deeper dive into the intricacies of the Middle East.

Kontorovich is highly regarded in the halls of Congress. He has testified frequently on issues of foreign affairs and national security, defending Israel’s claims of sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and shielding Israel from the economic warfare movement known as BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions). Pundits have dubbed Kontorovich the “intellectual architect” of anti-BDS laws passed in some 32 states.

Eugene is also no stranger to Mishpacha readers. He’s been one of my go-to sources since I first interviewed him in 2015, after the Palestinian Authority applied for membership in the International Criminal Court. I have described Eugene to my colleagues as a younger version of Alan Dershowitz, based on his media savvy and gift for formulating legally sound and persuasive approaches. For a journalist, one of Eugene’s endearing qualities is his knack for delivering a colorful “pull quote” — a one-line zinger that drives his point across without sounding hackneyed.

In this, our longest and most comprehensive interview to date, we sit across from each other over a desk at the Kohelet Forum on a steamy-hot Jerusalem afternoon. Eugene looks cool, calm, and collected, as usual. This day, he has ceded his own larger office to colleagues who need extra space for a meeting, to abide by Covid distancing requirements. So we are sitting in a smaller office, on the south side of the building, far from the panoramic view of northern Jerusalem that Kohelet’s office affords.

Eugene elaborates on how he found the niche that he fills so fervently.
Yom Kippur: The Zionist Holiday You Never Knew
We begin Yom Kippur with Kol Nidrei, and due to its inspiring melody and dignity with which the physical setting is conducted in, complete with Torahs and talesim at night (the one time a year), we instinctively know something that transcends the ordinary is going on.

After the Maariv shemoneh esrei there is a unique Selichot service — this being the only instance of the entire year when there is a lengthy additional section of prayers after shemoneh esrei. Here we request of God that He “bring us to Your Holy Mountain.” The next day at Yizkor, an emotional highlight of the day for many, we speak of God “dwelling in Zion” — that is on the Temple Mount, in the Beit HaMikdash. The Mussaf shemoneh esrei is the longest prayer service of the year. And the larger part of that is the Chazzan’s repetition. Within this section more time is devoted to a highly detailed and vivid description of the High Priest’s sacrificial service in the Holy Temple’s Holy of Holies — the only time of the year any human stepped foot inside. Included in this section is the lament that “Since our Temple was destroyed” we have no choice to recite words in place of the High Priest’s offering sacrifices, and we explain how we are like “orphans” without the Temple and we beg God to “bring the Temple back among us.”

During the afternoon Mincha service, the entire Book of Jonah is recited — the only time of the year that it is. And in the universally recognized episode of the whale (or more correctly, the large fish) Jonah cries to God — his “prayer came to You, to Your Holy Temple.”

And Neilah is the only day of the entire year when we add a fifth shemoneh esrei. At the conclusion of this one-time-a-year event, we mark the end of the Yom Kippur by saying: Next Year in Jerusalem! In reality, this means “Next Year on the Temple Mount in the Holy of Holies in the Holy Temple,” where the Yom Kippur offerings will be made in Messianic times.

This focus on Jerusalem, on the Holy Temple, and on the Holy of Holies, is the essence of Yom Kippur. It is what our ancestors dreamed, and prayed for during the nearly 2,000 year nightmare of exile. This Dream of Zion is the engine that created the available momentum that was harnessed by the modern Zionism of Herzl’s time, and used to create the modern State of Israel.


PodCast: Frozen Jews — Adventures with Dead Jews
In this episode, Dara Horn explores the bizarre afterlife of a chance encounter that later caused an entire empire to lose its mind. In 1904, the American Jewish financier Jacob Schiff randomly met a Japanese banker at a dinner in London and decided to give Japan a $200 million loan to help ensure its victory in the Russo-Japanese War.

A generation later, when Japanese military officers were first exposed to an antisemitic conspiracy theory, they assumed, based on their country’s experience with Schiff, that it must be true—and convinced their government to take action. In twist upon twist, the Empire of Japan became more and more involved in “the Jewish Question,” to the point where they actually tried to answer it. Their answer? To build a Jewish state in Manchuria.
"Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem." May 5, 2018

We’ve all heard or read about references in the Qur’an to Jews as monkeys and pigs and sometimes apes. Elder wrote only a few days ago about a Qur’anic verse comparing Jews to donkeys. The representation of Jews as animals is meant to dehumanize them, making it acceptable to treat them cruelly, and even kill them, without guilt or compunction. The Nazis did this, depicting the Jews as rats and vermin in their political cartoons and pamphlets.

Knowing that the Qur’an refers to Jews as monkeys, pigs, apes, and donkeys makes it difficult for most Jews to develop warm and fuzzy feelings about Islam. These verses sound like pure antisemitism—as pure a form of Jew-hatred as you will ever find. Add in Muslim terror and dang—it becomes real hard to like these people. They’ve killed too many of my friends and loved ones. They’ve sent my granddaughter running into the safe room to the tune of a siren, shaking and crying and frightened.

As a result, I won’t claim to have a lot of Muslim friends and particularly not Arab friends. But Robert Werdine was one such friend. He came out of nowhere, and stuck up for me at personal risk to himself, in a hostile virtual environment, the bloggers section of the Times of Israel. This was a place not friendly to someone like me on the Israeli right: someone who lived in Judea.

A Rhodes Scholar from a small town outside of Detroit, Robert was an historian but also a serious student of Islam who taught the young people in his mosque on a volunteer basis. He read my columns to those kids, giving them a different view of the Jewish people and of Israel.

Robert was unapologetically pro-Israel, and offended by the antisemitism and anti-Israelism so pervasive in the Muslim world. He believed, unlike the broader Muslim world, that Jews are indigenous to Israel, and had a right to self-determination in their own land. His Zionist beliefs were, according to him, informed by his understanding of the Qur’an.

There was a dichotomy here that anyone could see. You have what seems like the entire Muslim world hating on Israel, but here’s this one guy who is telling me it’s a distortion. Was it Taqiya*? A way to blindside me? I was never going to trust Robert completely, but I was definitely interested in hearing what he had to say.

So one day I asked him about those offensive references to Jews as monkeys and pigs—references that get tossed around fairly often by Muslim clerics in the mosques. Are these clerics misinterpreting the meaning of these verses?

Robert died some years ago due to complications from diabetes. But I remembered our correspondence on this subject after being accused, earlier today, of being a Muslim apologist. I dug up this note from June 12, 2015 and thought to share it here:

[Regarding] your question about clerics misinterpreting the Qur’an, he would be a strange cleric who did this, as true clerics are supposed to be read in the science of tafsir (exegesis of the Qur'an) and Hadith. The question is not so much as to misinterpretation by clerics, but that of distortion, manipulation, and misrepresentation by many of the more unscrupulous or bigoted among them. Radical Islamists and Muslim Anti-Semites frequently emphasize scripture that serves their purposes, and ignore what doesn’t. Thus, last October, when the lovely Imam Mohammed al-Khaled Samha of Denmark said that the Qur’an curses all Jews as monkeys and pigs he, like every other bigoted cleric who has repeated this canard, was deliberately misstating what the Qur’an says. There are three such direct references, in verses 2:65, 5:60, and 7:166. Verses 2:63-66 are criticism of the Bani Israil of Moses’ time, specifically those who sinned, broke the commandments, and violated the Sabbath, as an example for the Muslims to observe and learn from (my emphasis added):

“[2:63] We made a covenant with you, as we raised Mount Sinai above you: "You shall uphold what we have given you strongly, and remember its contents, that you may be saved." [2:64] But you turned away thereafter, and if it were not for GOD's grace towards you and His mercy, you would have been doomed. [2:65] You have known about those among you who desecrated the Sabbath. We said to them, "Be you as despicable as apes." [2:66] We set them up as an example for their generation, as well as subsequent generations, and an enlightenment for the righteous.”

Same is true of the other two “apes (and pig)” references in 7:166 and 5:60. The “monkeys and pigs” in verse 5:60 refers only to those Christians/Jews of Muhammad's time who mock and ridicule the Muslims' religion:

[5:57-60] [5:57] O you who believe, do not befriend those among the recipients of previous scripture who mock and ridicule your religion, nor shall you befriend the disbelievers. You shall reverence GOD, if you are really believers. [5:58] When you call to the Contact Prayers (Salat), they mock and ridicule it. This is because they are people who do not understand. [5:59] Say, "O people of the scripture, do you not hate us because we believe in GOD, and in what was revealed to us, and in what was revealed before us, and because most of you are not righteous?" [5:60] Say, "Let me tell you who are worse in the sight of GOD: those who are condemned by GOD after incurring His wrath until He made them (as despicable as) monkeys and pigs, and the idol worshipers. These are far worse, and farther from the right path."

Muhammad Asad, probably one of the foremost Islamic scholars of the 20th century, has written of Verse 5:60:

“As is evident from the following verses, the sinners who are even worse than the mockers are the hypocrites, and particularly those among them who claim to be followers of the Bible: for the obvious reason that, having been enlightened through revelation, they have no excuse for their behavior. Although in verse 64 the Jews are specifically mentioned, the reference to the Gospel in verse 66 makes it clear that the Christians, too, cannot be exempted from this blame.”

As can be seen, the reference in verse 2:65 is content specific only TO SOME of the Jews of Moses’ time, “those among you who desecrated the Sabbath,” and, in verse 5:60 "those among" the Christians and Jews of the Prophets' time who "mock and ridicule" the Muslims' religion. Same is true of 7:166 when viewed in context:

“[7:164] Recall that a group of them said, "Why should you preach to people whom GOD will surely annihilate or punish severely?" They answered, "Apologize to your Lord," that they might be saved. [7:165] When they disregarded what they were reminded of, we saved those who prohibited evil, and afflicted the wrongdoers with a terrible retribution for their wickedness. [7:166] When they continued to defy the commandments, we said to them, "Be you despicable apes."

Thus, as can be seen, the “apes” reference in 7:166, is, like verse 2:65, only in reference to those Jews of Moses' time who “continued to defy the commandments,” i.e. the “group of them” referenced in 7:164. Thus, the Qur’an, whatever its polemics or censures against Jews, whether it be of the Bani Israil of Moses’ time or the Jews of Medina in the Prophet’s time, does NOT curse all Jews for all time, as many have claimed. It only criticizes certain groups of them, usually by means of an implied partitive, i.e., “among them,” “those who,” etc. This is, in fact, a fundamental tenet of the Qur’an: that no person shall bear the curse or burden of another, and God never curses or punishes people for the sins of others as expounded in verses 2:286, 6:164, 17:15, 35:18, 39:7, and 53:38-42.

The good Imam Samha, however, does teach us an important lesson: how polemics in the Qur’an excoriating Jews and other groups have been, are, and can be manipulated in the service of Anti-Semitism, and how any scripture will always speak through the heart and mind of the person reading it. Of course, Muslim Jew-haters have been doing this for centuries. But they lie; the text does not. To acknowledge the very real phenomenon of Anti-Semitism among Muslims today, and especially throughout the Muslim world where it is an epidemic, is not the same as saying the Muslim Holy Book justifies this hate. It does not.

*I asked Robert about Taqiya. He explained it as a Shiite concept. Robert was Sunni.

 








Weekly column by Vic Rosenthal

In my previous post I asked why Israel only “plays defense” in recent times. Why do we only bat the rockets away with Iron Dome, instead of ending our enemies’ ability to launch them? Why do we bomb empty Hamas installations in Gaza in response to incendiary balloons and machine-gun fire that are intended to burn and kill? Why did we allow Hezbollah to rearm? Why do we allow Hamas to mount its human wave attacks against the Gaza border? Why do we always let our enemies strike first? When they score a goal, why do we give them back the ball and tell them to try again?

I argued that this was not the case in the pre-state period or during the War of Independence, when our military and diplomatic policy was aggressive and creative, despite our relative military and economic weakness. I suggested that this was because in the past, the nation had a single overriding objective – the establishment of a sovereign state, and there was general agreement that there was no option other than success.

Now the nation has no national objective, such as the one the Palestinian Arabs strive for (our disappearance), or the imperial ambitions of the Iranian, Russian, and Turkish regimes. Israel today wishes only for a quiet time in which its people can cultivate their own gardens. Just let us alone, please, we say.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the way the historical development of nations works. Struggle is necessary for national survival. Complacency is the precursor of death. If you snooze, you lose.

The bloody fighting of WWII paradoxically revitalized American society after the Depression, and the struggle against Soviet communism focused its energies in the 1945-1990 period. It could have become the champion of the Western world against the armies of Islam that almost immediately threw down the gauntlet after the passing of the Soviet Union; but it chose not to do so. Perhaps because it saw itself as a secular nation, it was unable to grasp the meaning of the first WTC attack, the one against the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers bombing, and of course 9/11. It chose to shut its eyes to the challenge, and hasn’t reopened them yet.

I think Americans have a hard time seeing that they are involved (whether they want to be or not) in a long-term historical struggle with the Islamic world in part because their society functions primarily in the short term. Their politics are short-term, with a rapid changing of the guard every eight years or less. Their idea of history is short-term as well; they see the birth of their nation as the beginning of a brand new, even messianic age, and nothing that came before has the power to impinge upon it. Their enemies, though, take a very long view: 9/11 was the 318th anniversary of the Muslim defeat at the Battle of Vienna. They remember.

America’s complacency is enabled by the knowledge that it is massively powerful, protected from invasion by broad oceans, and at least in the past, had an industrial engine that could be turned to military purposes quickly to greatly outproduce its enemies.

On the other hand, Israel is tiny, has limited manpower and little strategic depth, is surrounded by enemies, and is dependent on the US for resupply. Complacency is not an option. But a large and powerful minority in Israeli society has turned to fantasy. This group, which includes the intellectual elite of our country, also shut their eyes: they shut them to the narratives and objectives of our enemies. They believe that our enemies think as we do that the greatest good comes from peaceful economic and social progress. Nothing could be more wrong; and yet, nothing that our enemies say or do can disabuse them of the notion that if only the right formula (always involving our giving up land, control, money, honor, etc.) can be found, then the conflict will be over, and we can all cultivate our gardens.

Most Israelis don’t belong to the deluded minority. But that minority holds a veto power over our politics, as well as a lock on our media, legal system, and culture. And so while they don’t have the ability to precipitate national suicide – though they almost succeeded with the Oslo Accords – the state is paralyzed and can’t act effectively against its enemies.

Because the minority believes that appeasement is the path to peace, they try to ensure that we don’t create permanent hard feelings on the part of our enemies. But the rest of the nation demands action against terrorism or rocket attacks. So as a compromise, we have adopted the strategy of “painless retaliation,” in which something is bombed, while great care is taken that nobody is hurt.

The rest of the nation understands that we are involved in a zero-sum situation. Either we will push our enemies out or they will push us out. Most of us understand the erosion of Jewish sovereignty in Judea/Samaria as well as in the Negev, the Galilee, and Jerusalem, as a sign that we are losing. But the fantasizing minority thinks that the Jewish presence in Judea/Samaria and especially eastern Jerusalem is “an obstacle to peace.” So as a compromise, we allow Jews to live there, but limit the construction of housing for them.

Human societies live or die by struggle. Struggle creates vitality, while lack of struggle breeds weakness. Sooner or later a culture that has stopped fighting is conquered by one that hasn’t. Our defeatist minority wants to stop; indeed, its spokesperson could be former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert,  who said in a 2005 speech to the Israel Policy Forum that “[w]e are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies…” He actually said that.

Unlike Iran, Russia, and Turkey, we don’t desire to create a caliphate or an empire. But we are facing an existential choice: we can fight for what is ours, Eretz Yisrael, and at the same time strengthen and revitalize our society. Or, on the other hand, we can give up, like tired Ehud Olmert.







From Ian:

Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Yair Lapid: The Abraham Accords are a catalyst for wider change in the Middle East
As two of the world’s most dynamic and advanced countries, the UAE and Israel together can help turbocharge economic opportunity by pushing for deeper regional integration. One element should be new institutions and co-operation to facilitate trade and to co-operate on public health and development.

Second, continued US and European involvement is critical. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much, but normalisation has had enthusiastic backing from both the Trump and Biden Administrations and across the aisle in Congress. Throughout Europe too, the Accords have been warmly received.

Active US and European political, financial, and technical support will help realise their full potential — as will the appointment of special envoys to co-ordinate these efforts. These moves will be welcomed as a clear signal of our friends’ sustained commitment to the stability and security of the region.

Third, the Accords underlined that even if a comprehensive peace agreement is still not in sight, better conditions for the Palestinians are a shared interest for us all. Normalisation must help facilitate increased investment, trade, and exchanges between Palestinians and the Arab world.

Sceptics will remain cynical, but they should look at what’s happened this past year, against all the odds. New ways of thinking and shared interests allow for breakthroughs and the building of relations. They encourage others in the region to initiate new channels of diplomatic dialogue.

Real breakthroughs are tough, but Emiratis and Israelis have shown that they are possible. This is just the beginning — the next step is to expand opportunity and connect people across the region. This is the best antidote to pessimism and the dead-end extremist ideology that has held the Middle East back for too long.


Israel Joins the Arab Club, With U.S. Sponsorship
Last week, a laconic statement from the Department of Defense marked a tectonic shift in Middle East security cooperation, as the United States formally designated that Israel would now be part of the U.S Central Command (CENTCOM). President Donald Trump announced the proposed change on January 15, 2021, and while the escalation of violence in Gaza this spring seemed to put the designation in some jeopardy, it went into effect on September 1, 2021. The initiative to move Israel into CENTCOM is a direct result of the Trump administration-led Abraham Accords normalization agreements between the United States, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, signed one year ago today on the South Lawn of the White House.

CENTCOM got its name because the Middle East is literally located in the middle of everything. Israel is the most central point in that centrally located region, sharing as it does a maritime boundary with a European country (Cyprus) and a border with an African country (Egypt), as well as boasting Asian neighbors such as Jordan. In the wake of the Abraham Accords and the resultant burgeoning economic and cultural ties among the signatories, the timing is now ideal to develop a similar regional security relationship. This relationship would expand cooperation and improve Israel Defense Forces (IDF) integration with U.S. and partner forces throughout the region. It would also help CENTCOM promote a more holistic and inclusive regional security framework. There would be opportunities to conduct joint military exercises that include the IDF, which would indirectly provide Israel the occasion to communicate with countries that have yet to sign normalization agreements. Additionally, Israel would now be able to assign IDF liaison officers to CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa—and, hopefully in the future, to subordinate headquarters across the region.

As events in the Middle East crashed into the American consciousness due to the Iran and Afghanistan crises in 1979, President Jimmy Carter established the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (JTF) as a response mechanism for rapidly unfolding events. In 1983, under President Reagan, that JTF became CENTCOM. Its area of operation runs from the Pakistani border with India to Egypt's border with Libya. U.S. military regional combatant commands, including CENTCOM, are responsible for the deployment, support and operational employment of U.S. forces in their areas of responsibility, as well as for developing military relationships with allies and partners in their respective regions.

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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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