Monday, February 26, 2024

From Ian:

Unfreezing the Abraham Accords
Alongside its defense of maritime security, plans could be advanced and promoted to facilitate overland trading routes - especially in concert with Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

It is economically advantageous for goods to take three days to go from Haifa to Dubai instead of three weeks via the Suez Canal.

The UK and U.S. governments should adopt a unified stance on a hierarchy of escalation in the face of Iranian aggression.

This should be communicated to Iran along with a shared commitment to respond along these lines to aggression by Iran or its proxies.

This may have the desired effect of putting Iran back in its box and helping to reassure the UK's regional allies.
Israeli minister and Saudi counterpart shake hands and discuss ‘making history together’
Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat met Saudi Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi on the sidelines of the biennial World Trade Organisation conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

According to an Economy Ministry statement, Barkat told his Saudi counterpart: “Israel is interested in peace with countries that seek peace, and we can make history together."

The two shook hands and discussed the desire to strengthen economic cooperation, exchanging business cards.

A video published by Arab channels shows the cordial encounter at the ministerial for global trade and economic growth.

Jerusalem and Riyadh were working with the United States on the framework of a normalisation agreement when Hamas launched its bloody invasion of the northwestern Negev on October 7.

Israel established diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates and three other majority Arab Muslim countries as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump administration in 2020. Prior to October 7, hopes were high for a breakthrough with the Saudis.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Saudi Arabia would suffice with a declared Israeli commitment to the two-state solution to normalise ties with Jerusalem as part of a broad agreement including a defence pact with the United States.
It's Chilling How Quickly the Oct. 7 Massacre Is Being Forgotten
Instead of supporting Israel in its attempt to finish a job that is not only of the utmost necessity for its own continued existence, but hugely important for the future of the West, we see instead a wide range of anti-Semitic tantrums thrown globally.

Israel was only ever going to be given two, three weeks tops after the Oct. 7 massacres, after which the great and the good would lose patience, demand that Israel lay down arms, let Hamas regroup and win, and continually and falsely accuse the Israeli military of being trigger-happy where Palestinian lives are concerned.

The thousands who turn out on the streets every weekend to demonize Israel have no clue about the concept of waging a just war and why doing so is different from committing genocide. Outside Parliament, a mob was busy beaming "from the river to the sea" onto Big Ben. No one was beaming: "release the hostages."

It is as if the actual events of Oct. 7 are simply ceasing to exist outside of Israel - as if Hamas' actions have now been almost totally forgotten. Hamas knew all along that, because of the power of anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism, the world would end up siding with it.
  • Monday, February 26, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
I received this from Sheba Medical Center:

Among Sheba’s values are “peace through health” – treating all patients from the region and Middle East and seeing healthcare as a path to peaceful coexistence.

At the outbreak of the war there were sixty-one Palestinian patients being treated at Sheba and housed on the campus with sixty-eight family members. 

Sheba has continued to receive Palestinian patients from the West Bank throughout the war, as well as providing food, shelter and any needed treatments to the forty families from Gaza that were being treated at Sheba and cannot return at this point.

One story in particular is stunning.

W-----, who has asked that her identity and photo be obscured, came to Sheba from Gaza, with a toddler son S---- who has a serious and fatal immune system deficiency disorder. What was needed was a stem cell transplant, but he had no bone marrow match with his younger brother or other family members. 

Sheba staff told W---- and her husband that if she had another baby, there was a possibility that child could be a match and a donor. They decided to try. She became pregnant and a test revealed that the fetus would indeed be a match for her sick son. So, Sheba put them up on the campus and treated her for the duration of her pregnancy and delivery.

The baby boy, G------, was born on Oct. 17.  

While Sheba was receiving a flood of those injured and traumatized by the war, and with 200 doctors and nurses mobilized into the army, they proceeded with taking extraordinary steps to save the life of one Palestinian child.

The newborn’s cord blood was sufficient for the needed stem cell transplant. The procedure has been performed and the now-four-year-old son is expected to regain full health and live a normal life. When it is possible to do so, his family will return to Gaza with him and his new baby brother.

Hamas fired machine guns into cribs and then raped the mothers of the babies before murdering them, and Sheba is going to great lengths to save the life of a single toddler from Gaza.

You unfortunately will not read this story anywhere else. But our values will continue to define us, and we will continue to hold them high.
They are right - this story will not be published in the media. Stories of Israeli Jews being a light unto nations are not very popular right now for those who want to push the opposite message. 

There is nothing inconsistent between this story from Sheba and what the IDF is doing in Gaza.  In both cases they are doing everything they can to save lives - both Israeli and Arab. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



Since 2007, we've jeered at the absurd Palestinian accusation that Israeli Jewish settlers are raising (quite unkosher)  wild boars just to have them attack Palestinian farmland and people.

Mahmoud Abbas himself has made this accusation. A number of academic papers have discussed this supposed phenomenon of settler-raised wild pigs.

Of course, in reality the wild boars are a problem for everyone in the region. During COVID, they ran wild in the streets of Israeli cities as well. 

You can't train wild boars to attack, let alone to distinguish between Palestinian and Jewish-owned crops. As with most antisemitism, it is a conspiracy theory.

Only an idiot or an antisemite would believe these stories.

The Palestinians who live in the villages under Homesh and who own most of its land say the settlers are aggressive and violent. Sometimes armed with rifles, the settlers intermittently engage in housebreaking, sheep stealing and vandalism. They chop down olive trees, roll flaming tires down the hills to burn crops and even send boars to dig up Palestinian seedlings and fruit trees, the locals say.

Salah Qararia, 54, showed visitors the broken windows and doors of his house, on his own land perhaps 200 yards down the hill from Homesh. ...[He] has bought some dogs to try to keep the boars away.
There you go. As with anything Palestinians accuse Israel of, the New York Times applies no sanity check. 

Surprisingly, wild boars have been a nuisance in Lebanon in recent years as well. No one there is blaming "settlers."


(h/t Honest Reporting)

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From Ian:

In Private, Arab States Are Rooting for Israel to Destroy Hamas
The Washington Institute sent a delegation that visited Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and the PA to assess the prospects for security and peace in the current environment.

In private, Arab states are rooting for Israel to destroy Hamas. One senior Arab official said, "Israel is fighting for us in Gaza, and if it wins, it will succeed in defeating an Iranian proxy for the first time in forty years."

But Arab states are focused on their own security and their own interests and are either unwilling or unable to play much of a role in shaping the outcome in Gaza or helping fill the vacuum that will be left by the Hamas defeat they all privately say they want.

The Arab states all face domestic political urgency because of mass sympathy for the Palestinians and Al Jazeera-fueled outrage against the Israelis.

One senses almost zero appreciation that Israel today is a very different country than it was on Oct. 6 and that, for the vast majority of Israelis, even talking about the two-state solution is viewed as bizarre, even perverse. Most Israelis see the world solely through the lens of 10/7.

The general Israeli political sense is that it is wrong to make north Gaza safe enough for Palestinians to return until the Israeli evacuees are safe enough to return to their burnt and ransacked homes in Israel.

In private conversation, Arab officials express great sympathy and understanding for Israel's situation. Arabs are still working closely with Israel to stem Iranian smuggling and to cooperate against radical plans to escalate on other fronts.

Israelis say they are now facing seven hot fronts of military operation: Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran.

They are involved directly in six, leaving America, Britain, and some allies to address the Houthis and their threats to Red Sea shipping.

Iran has activated all those fronts, watching safely from the confines of its own territory as its adversaries take on one proxy after another.

We may be scoring tactical victories, but it's not even clear we are playing the right game.
Amb. Michael Oren: What Will Happen to Hamas?
Hamas will survive the war, but in what form? If we're talking about the 30,000 armed members of the Al Qassam Brigade under the command of Yahya Sinwar and other military leaders, Hamas will not survive the war. Hamas the military force will never be the same after this Israeli campaign. But Hamas the movement, Hamas the idea, will surely survive.

No amount of firepower can annihilate a concept. Both ISIS and al-Qaeda still exist and occasionally mount attacks. In its theology, Hamas is identical to other Islamist groups that seek to recreate the medieval Islamic caliphate in the Middle East. It differs only in seeking Israel's destruction as the first stage in that quest.

That threat can only be eliminated by long-term efforts to combat radicalization, especially among children. Such campaigns have been initiated in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, and are already registering success. Absent a similar effort among Palestinian youth, Hamas the idea will continue to inspire numbers of them to launch terrorist attacks against Israelis. But deprived of the backing of an independent state, the ability of these groups to cause major damage will be greatly diminished.
WSJ: The Media-Savvy Murderers of Hamas
The Hamas massacre of Oct. 7, when terrorists live-streamed their atrocities, is arguably the most well-documented attack in history. Hamas mercilessly murdered, butchered, raped and burned Israeli families alive - documenting their crimes with GoPros and cellphones. The terrorists even live-streamed their atrocities on their victims' social-media accounts.

For the past 16 years, Hamas has systematically embedded its terror infrastructure inside and under civilian areas in Gaza. IDF troops discovered that most homes in Gaza have terror tunnels underneath or weapon caches inside, and the majority of schools, mosques, hospitals and international institutions have been used by Hamas for their military operations.

The Israel Defense Forces, by contrast, conducts its operations with caution, transparency and in accordance with international law. Our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza, which is why we take extensive measures to minimize harm to the civilians Hamas puts in the crossfire.

Our mission is to dismantle Hamas and bring our hostages home - not to destroy Gaza or displace its people. We will continue fulfilling the mission of ensuring that Oct. 7 never happens again, while upholding our values.

The writer is chief spokesman of the Israel Defense Forces.
  • Monday, February 26, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
NPR published an article today, "Why Egypt won't allow vulnerable Palestinians across its border." 

While it is slanted towards the Egyptian point of view, it at least brings up facts that had been excluded from coverage of the topic up until now.

The satellite photo above captures the stark nature of the crisis on the Gaza-Egypt border.

On the right, more than 1 million displaced Palestinians are squeezed into tent camps on the Gaza side of the border, seeking shelter from Israel's ongoing offensive. On the left is Egypt's vast, thinly populated Sinai Peninsula, where the tightly controlled frontier has a heavy security presence.

This territory could provide a temporary safe haven for Palestinians from Gaza, where more than 29,000 people have been killed and nearly 70,000 wounded since the war began in October, according to Gaza's Health Ministry.

Egypt, however, has warned against an influx of refugees. It facilitates humanitarian aid into Gaza, but has said a mass exodus of Palestinians out of Gaza into Egypt is a red line, saying it fears Israel might never let the Palestinians go back.

And at the very end of the article it says:

 Overall, though, Israel's siege of the Gaza Strip has entrapped the territory's population, unlike other wars where refugees can find a country to flee to.

When Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago, millions of Ukrainians poured into neighboring Poland, which welcomed them.

When Syria descended into civil war in 2011, millions fled to neighboring countries. They included an estimated 120,000 Palestinians, who were already refugees in Syria before they sought shelter elsewhere, according to the U.N. agency that handles Palestinian refugees.

Egypt already hosts around 9 million refugees from the region, though it does not have formal refugee camps. The refugees live like long-term residents among Egyptians in big cities like Cairo. This is very different from the Palestinian refugee camps in several other Arab countries.

This was the first article I've seen that even mentions these facts that I have been reporting from the beginning of the war. 

But it is not the only one that is going a little beyond parroting Egyptian talking points. reported on February 14:

 Mirette Mabrouk, founding director of the Washington-based Middle East Institute's Egypt program, said, "If Palestinians do come across the border, Egypt is going to take them in. They are not going to start shooting at desperate women and children."

In fact, local authorities in North Sinai have been preparing for this for months, readying emergency accommodation and medical aid in case it is needed, she told DW. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that Egypt could potentially accommodate up to 100,000 people in the border areas if needed.

"It's not that Egypt can't assimilate them — the country already hosts millions of refugees from places like Syria and Sudan. It's that Egypt doesn't want to be party to another Nakba," Mabrouk said,

Perhaps fearful that there will be increasing pressure on Egypt to allow Gazans to flee there, Al Jazeera Mubasher used a time honored propaganda method: interviewing Gazans who swear they would rather die than leave their beloved Palestine.

The facts show otherwise: Gazans have been paying enormous amounts in bribes to escape to Egypt. But Al Jazeera will only interview the people who parrot their official line that Palestinians do not want to leave, and then pretend that they represent all Gazans.

Yet no one is saying Gazans should be deported to Egypt. The question is whether the ones who want to leave should have that right. 

I found another NGO that asserts that right - except for Gazans.

The Refugees Platform in Egypt wants a word "where everyone is allowed to move freely and safely, within societies that contribute to supporting and advocating for the rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups." But when it comes to Gaza, they say, Egypt must only open Rafah for the injured, not for people who want to take refuge.

Nothing brings out hypocrisy like antisemitism.

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People keep talking about the necessity of a plan for governing Gaza, and none of the plans suggested have the slightest chance of being successful.

The Palestinian Authority cannot govern themselves, let alone Gaza. Israel has tried empowering local clans as alternate rulers for years and it has never worked out because there are too many threats from armed Islamists and no one wants to look like a puppet to Israel. 

I have suggested that the world give up on an independent Palestinian run Gaza for the foreseeable future and instead  turn Gaza into "The Emirate of Palestine" controlled by the UAE. 

* Only a Gulf country has the resources to rebuild Gaza and realize its dream of becoming a Singapore.
* Israel is at peace with the UAE and would eagerly cooperate with it in facilitating the new emirate.
* The problem of territorial contiguity between the West Bank and Gaza is no longer an issue. 
* Gazans would become UAE citizens, get passports,  and could freely move to other emirates if they want. If they prefer to hold on to the dream of an independent Palestinian state, they can move to the West Bank. 
* For the first time, there would be optimism about Gaza's future that would encourage investment.
* One can foresee joint Israel-UAE economic projects that would employ thousands of Gazans.
* The UAE would not tolerate terror. There would be no rockets, no cross-border raids, no tunnels. 

What would the UAE get out of it?

* A port on the Mediterranean
* Access to natural gas and other fossil fuels off the coast
* Overland routes of trucking and shipping tying the Gulf to the Mediterranean, facilitating imports and exports
* An airport would bring an air bridge as well
* Increased influence in the region, which the UAE desires
* Gaza could become a tourist destination and a meeting hub between European and Arab political and business leaders

Additionally, this is a practical reward for the Abraham Accords, which would encourage other Arab states to make peace with Israel. Egypt would work with the UAE to develop the Sinai instead of walling it off from Gaza. 

Everyone wins, except those who want to destroy Israel. 

There is an additional piece of data that points to the UAE as the best and most responsible partner for running Gaza: They have helped Gazans far more than any other country during this war.

The latest COGAT report says that more truckfuls of aid have come from the UAE than any other country.

The UAE built the largest field hospital in Gaza, with 200 beds.

Beyond their Khan Younis field hospital, the UAE also opened up a floating hospital in El Arish, Egypt last that is now taking Gaza patients. 

While other countries are using Gaza as an excuse to bash Israel and consider Gazans to be cannon fodder for screaming Israel is guilty of "genocide."  the UAE is one of the few countries that actually appears to care about the welfare of Palestinians as human beings. Who better to be responsible for Gaza's future? And who, outside Israel itself, has more experience in building a thriving economy out of nothing? 

It would not be easy, but this plan is the only one anyone has suggested that has a chance of a permanent success. Let it be debated and compared with the other plans that the supposed "experts" are advocating where a corrupt Palestinian leadership controls Gaza or a weak Palestinian leadership must be propped up by Israel. 

Start by describing the plan to actual Gazans and ask whether they like the idea.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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  • Monday, February 26, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
As of Sunday night, Palestinian media is awash in rumors that on Monday, Mahmoud Abbas will ask for the resignation of the Shtayyeh government. 

The candidate being spoken about as the next prime minister would be Mohammad Mustafa, chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund and a close adviser of Mahmoud Abbas. He was also previously deputy prime minister.

Mustafa is an economist who attended Western universities and speaks English well. He was interviewed at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. He did not rant about genocide, but he did say a lot of things about the history of the conflict that are counterfactual.

He claims that Israel was behind the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007:
Hamas took over Gaza as we all know in 2007 . But this was unfortunately facilitated by the Israelis themselves. They have only themselves to blame for this.  

In 2005 when the Israeli government decided to withdraw from Gaza Sharon was the Prime Minister . We told them that we welcome your withdrawal from Gaza but let's coordinate, let's do it in a proper way so that the Palestinian government can take control of Gaza and ensure that whatever agreements we have will be applied including the security arrangements. They refused to do that. 

They withdrew from Gaza unilaterally;  left it without any coordination, and a year later they allowed Hamas to come in take over and made all the arrangements possible for them to grow.,  Now they admit publicly that they made that possible and intentionally in order to undermine Palestinian statehood and  the ability to govern.
This is fantasy. When Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005, it was officially run by the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas. The elections that brought Hamas to power were held in 2006; Israel attacked Hamas in Gaza that summer after Gilad Shalit's kidnapping and the Hamas/Fatah civil war in Gaza was in 2007. 

This articulate, educated economist has a problem with telling the truth.

And that was not the only example. He also said:
I think October 7 is unfortunate for everybody but it's also a symptom of a bigger problem and the symptom is that the Palestinian people have been suffering for 75 years nonstop and nobody would pay attention.  Okay that's the history,  but now remember in 1947 there was the partition of Palestine. Palestinians didn't like that because it partitioned their country, their land into two nations into two countries, but we accepted that.  
Nobody has paid attention to Palestinians for 75 years? The Palestinians accepted Israel's existence? (Perhaps he means in 1993, but it is unclear.)

He also claimed that Israel's process to scan goods entering Gaza for weapons is unnecessary, and that Hamas must be accepted as a valid Palestinian political party, at the same time claiming that if Israel would allow a Palestinian state then the Palestinians themselves would do everything they can to avoid another October 7, something that there is zero evidence for.

One other interesting fact. While Mustafa has not been linked to terror or corruption as far as I can tell, he was mentioned peripherally in the Panama Papers - and a photo of his Jordanian passport was published.

Does anyone find it strange that while he was deputy Palestinian prime minister he held onto a Jordanian passport?

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



Sunday, February 25, 2024

  • Sunday, February 25, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh admitted that the Houthi attacks on shipping has inflationary effects on Jordan.

Speaking at the opening of the economic meeting, he said that “the events in the Red Sea raised shipping costs by up to 200% from East Asia and 60% from America and Europe.”

However, Al-Khasawneh added, "There is no land, sea, or air bridge with Israel, and talking about anything like this is a figment of the imagination, and it is an insult to Jordan."

What is he talking about?

Jordan is heavily dependent on shipping through the Red Sea to its port in Aqaba. Without that, its options are limited. At the moment, it struck an agreement to have the goods brought around Africa, through the Mediterranean and to Egyptian ports like Port Said. From there, trucks send the goods overland to Nuweiba, and from there ships take the goods to Aqaba and from there the rest of Jordan.

Here's the route:

They could have ships go to Tel Aviv or Haifa and from there have the goods trucked to the center of Jordan in much less time and at a lower cost that this sea-to-land-to-sea-to-land scheme they are stuck with now.

But they don't want to partner with Israel on anything they absolutely don't have to.

Antisemitism rots the brain. And in this case, it hurts ordinary Jordanians. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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From Ian:

JPost Editorial: No, Joe Biden, most Palestinians support Hamas
U.S. President Joe Biden declared on X on Friday, "The overwhelming majority of Palestinians are not Hamas." Following the president's statement, various public figures disagreed on social media. Former Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, now a human rights advocate and ally to Israel, countered, "Tell that to the Palestinians in my inbox telling me Hamas are heroes and are freedom fighters."

Though not all Palestinians are members of Hamas or even support it, most of them agree with its basic ideology. Several surveys, as well as monitoring of social media, contradict Biden's remarks. According to a Nov. 14 survey by the Arab World for Research and Development, most Palestinians supported the killing and kidnapping of Israelis on Oct. 7, and just a tiny percentage supported a two-state solution. In the West Bank, 83% expressed their support, while only 7% were opposed.

Regarding a two-state solution, 75% favored a single Palestinian state "from the river to the sea." Though most Palestinians aren't Hamas, a vast majority of them agree with it on almost any question regarding their basic ideology after Oct. 7.
Telegraph Editorial: The West Must Stand with Israel
In the case of Israel, the West is rapidly losing the moral courage to stand for what is right. In the days after Oct. 7, it was widely accepted that, in order to prevent such an evil occurring again, Hamas had to be utterly defeated. Yet before the Israelis had even embarked on ground operations, the criticism and hand-wringing had already begun.

The same disgusting tendency which casts Western countries as innately and uniquely evil turned its sights upon Israel, denying that it had any right to defend itself, or to rescue the hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza. Shockingly, such sentiments appear to be gaining ground in public discourse, while political leaders are equivocating.

It is disturbing just how quickly the actual cause of this conflict - the pogrom of Oct. 7 - appears to be being forgotten. It speaks to the limited attention spans of Western societies, as well as the power of the hard-Left to shape the political and broadcast media narrative. Israel did not start this war. It deserves, and was promised, our support. The West cannot go back on its word now, and should remember why we gave it in the first place. It is long past time that the democratic world rediscovered its moral center.
Niall Ferguson: Two Nations Are Fighting for Their Existence Against Absolutist Enemies. One Is the Victim of a Double Standard.
Two democracies are under attack by a sworn foe of Western civilization. One is in Eastern Europe; the other in the Middle East. One is vast; the other tiny. Both have recently seen unarmed civilians, including children, brutally slaughtered, tortured and kidnapped by their enemies. Both are sending their sons, husbands and fathers into brutal battles.

Yet, despite all these resemblances, these two fighting democracies are treated much differently by the world. One is praised for its heroism; the other is condemned - even accused of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

One is encouraged to fight on to victory, "for as long as it takes"; the other is told to agree to an immediate ceasefire before victory has been achieved. The armed forces of one country can do no wrong; those of the other are charged with "war crimes."

How can we explain the fact that Ukraine is lionized and Israel reviled? Is it because the enemies of Ukraine and Israel are in some way different? In many ways, Russia and Iran are like two peas in a pod. They are brutal autocracies in which the rule of law and human rights count for nothing. They murder without compunction their enemies at home and abroad. They each pose threats that extend far beyond Ukraine and Israel.

Thirty years ago, Israel agreed with the Palestine Liberation Organization on the beginnings of Palestinian self-government under the Oslo Accords - "a separate Palestinian entity short of a state," in the words of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Prime Minister Ehud Barak went even further at Camp David in 2000, but PLO leader Yasser Arafat walked away from the table. Have the Palestinians enhanced the case for statehood in subsequent years? No.

The Palestinian Authority is an oxymoron; Palestinians despise it, and it has no authority. A large majority of the inhabitants of Gaza, to say nothing of the Palestinians of the West Bank, prefer Hamas. The nature of Hamas was laid bare on Oct. 7, which should be regarded as an event disqualifying the Palestinians from self-government, not entitling them to it.
  • Sunday, February 25, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the New York Times:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s reversal of Trump-era policy on settlements in the occupied West Bank reflects rising Biden administration frustration with Israel, but it is unlikely to dent the strong American backing for its ally’s military campaign in Gaza or pressure Israel to change course, analysts said on Saturday.

During a trip to Argentina on Friday, Mr. Blinken called the settlements “inconsistent with international law," a break with policy set under the Trump administration and a return to the decades-long U.S. position.

While Jimmy Carter didn't use the word "illegal" he did say they violated the Geneva Conventions, which is the same thing. His ambassador the the UN did call the settlements "illegal." But that was the last time this terminology was used by any administration.

Ronald Reagan said when he was campaigning for President and in an interview two weeks after he took office that the settlements are not illegal. Later in his presidency, he said that settlements are an "obstacle to peace." 

George H.W. Bush was strongly against settlement construction but did not call them illegal.

Bill Clinton adopted Reagan's phrase that they were an "obstacle to peace" but he was softer on  expansion of existing settlements.

George W. Bush called for a settlement freeze but did not characterize them as illegal or even an obstacle to peace.

Barack Obama and John Kerry hardened the US stance against settlement, calling them "illegitimate" but not using the word "illegal." However, Kerry did say, " “the Israeli Government’s program of establishing civilian settlements in the occupied territory is inconsistent with international law” which is essentially the same thing as calling their creation illegal, and that was the first administration to do so since Carter.

Then in 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law."

Blinken's saying that settlements are "inconsistent with international law" is a return to the Obama administration's stance, but most emphatically not a return to a "decades-long" position, which had been against settlements but that their fate must be decided via negotiations. 

(h/t Irene)

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  • Sunday, February 25, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
What happens if you want to sell Coca-Cola in Bradford?

Your business gets attacked, that's what. This happened last night after an Israel hatred rally in the city.

Coca-Cola is a top target of the Islamist agitators of "Friends of al-Aqsa", key organisers of the hate marches.
Salah's is a Muslim-owned halal fried chicken restaurant. It does indeed feature Coca Cola in its menu behind the counter. 

Here's video of the mob attacking the restaurant.

One of Salah's halal fried chicken competitors, NYK Fried Chicken, made a TikTok bragging that they "no longer sell items such as Pepsis [sic], Coke, 7UP, and other drinks that support the Israeli regime. "

Bradford's population is nearly one-third Muslim, most of them Pakistani and other "Asian Muslims."

Habibi_UK has documented other crazed, supposedly anti-Zionist behavior from Muslims and their socialist pals in England. Here is one horrific story, also from yesterday, from a woman who took her autistic daughter to dine at Costa Coffee, which is owned by Coca Cola:

Thanks to @CostaCoffee Woking branch for their help this afternoon. My daughter had an autistic melt-down due to the intimidating and aggressive protesting from the Free Palestine group and their shouting that we supported genocide by drinking there. 

SEN families know that there are only certain places which feel safe or familiar to their kids who can’t tolerate much. Costa is ours. Having to try and leave and be shouted at by a crowd caused such distress to my daughter. She became non-verbal, ran back in and shut down, shaking.

Thankful to the kindness of strangers and the staff at Costa who let us out the back door. We then walked past another protest for Ukraine. This one quiet, structured and peaceful, a stark contrast to the intimidation tactics used by the other group.
A "pro-Palestine" protest outside a Starbucks in Leeds.

A "pro-Palestine"protest shutting down the iconic Tower Bridge in London.

Disrupting a train station in Cardiff, Wales.

Disrupting a shopping mall in Chatham.

This was all on Saturday alone!

These people are not "pro-Palestine." They are antisemitic thugs who can't find enough local Jews to attack so they are looking for the closest proxies to Jews they can find. They are intoxicated at the power they have to make other people's lives miserable. And they pretend their violence and bullying is righteous.

The sad part is that intimidation works. People give in rather than deal with the hate. And then they too many of them become converts to the cause rather than look at themselves as being hypocrites. 

Antisemitism is a disease. And it is contagious. 

(h/t Visegrad24)

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



  • Sunday, February 25, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA has an online database of all aid being brought into Gaza, along with the sources and destinations.

When you delve into the data, some interesting details emerge.

For example, over the past month, by far more aid has been coming from Kerem Shalom in Israel than through Rafah in Egypt, and it looks like there have been some logistics problems over the past couple of weeks.

But most curious is that among the expected critical food items like flour, oil and milk, and among the large aid organizations like World Food Program or various Arab Red Crescent societies, we see some more luxurious food items being brought in, nearly all of them from what are called "the private sector."

For example, 50 pallets of croissants were imported by two traders, Abu Haitham and Al Khazander. 

And the majority of the frozen chickens and meat that have gone into Gaza, hundreds of pallets,  have been sent and received by the Ibrahim al-Taweel company, which appears to be a meat importer based on its logo.

All of the named private sector companies that are importing goods into Gaza go through the Rafah crossing, not through Kerem Shalom.

One item among the food, medicine and blankets is also very unusual. On February 6,  a truckful of forklifts came into Gaza via Rafah. it was donated by UNRWA but the recipient was  "Private sector - Adham Shuhaiber." It is a very out-of-place item - the only heavy equipment I could find - in a database of over 15,000 items. 

I have no direct evidence that anything bad is going on, but if Hamas was taking advantage of the importing of goods into Gaza, it stands to reason that they would be able to pressure private sector companies to bring in what they need to continue fighting. 

(h/t Irene)

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

From Ian:

In Paris, Israel and mediators agree on outline for hostage deal, pending Hamas okay
Sources told Axios that while the outline of the proposal was similar to a previous framework, the current one is far more detailed.

Multiple reports indicated the outline includes the release in the first phase of some 40 hostages held in Gaza, including women, children, female soldiers and elderly and ill abductees, amid a pause in fighting of some six weeks.

It also includes the release by Israel of hundreds of Palestinian terror convicts, and a “redeployment” of Israeli troops within Gaza — but not a complete withdrawal as Hamas had previously demanded. The outline would also reportedly see Israel enable the return of Palestinian women and children to northern Gaza, from where hundreds of thousands evacuated during the fighting, and which Israel has kept cut off from the rest of the enclave.

Channel 12 reported that there are still some points of contention, including Israel’s opposition to significant rehabilitation and reconstruction of Gaza before it is demilitarized, as well as ongoing differences on the number of Palestinian prisoners who would be released in exchange for the hostages.

But, the network noted that there appears to have been “some kind of shift” by Hamas on its demand for an end to war — which the terror group has hitherto insisted must be a condition for further hostage releases. Israel has outrightly refused the demand, vowing to destroy the terror group following the October 7 attack.

A senior government official told Channel 12 that the outline as it appears to stand would likely be approved by the full cabinet.

If the eventual agreement reflects these terms, the TV report said, and if they are also accepted by Hamas, there would be “a high chance that, before March 11, we will see hostages freed for the first time since [the first truce collapsed at the end of] November.”
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: The silence of the feminist lambs: Not a word on Hamas horrors opeds
In 2005, I published a book titled The Death of Feminism. At the time, I was focused on how Western feminists had become obsessed more with the alleged “occupation” of a country that has never existed — Palestine — than with the real occupation of women’s bodies in Gaza and on the 'West Bank', who were being forced into hijab, niqab, and child and arranged marriages, or who were being honor killed by their families for minor or imagined infractions. This form of femicide is primarily a Muslim-on-Muslim crime both in the West and in Muslim countries but, to a lesser extent, also takes place among Hindus in India, and, less frequently, among Sikhs. Honor killing is likely a tribal custom that religious leaders have failed to abolish, I wrote, one in which women also collaborate.

Both Stalinized and Palestinianized feminists and rabid Islamists denounced me as an “Islamophobe” for prioritizing the rights of women of color over and above the rights of the men (and women) of color who were terrorizing and even killing them. I was also condemned as a “Zionist” for questioning the sacredness of Palestinian Arab victimhood.

Thus, I may have been among a handful of people not surprised by the feminist silence on Hamas’ Oct. 7 pogrom-on-steroids. It does not ease my sorrow that so many others, including the worldwide media and professoriate, human rights groups, and the United Nations, are also actively engaging in Oct. 7 denialism, as well as in relentless and vicious blood libels against the Jewish state, every single day.

By the late afternoon of Oct. 7, I was a cognitive warrior on fire. Between Oct. 11 and Jan. 25, I had published 24 articles on the subject and been interviewed about it 10 times.

Most second-wave feminists have died, suffered strokes, or are struggling with either dementia or cancer. Many are disabled. They are no longer “dancing in the streets.” But some of my long-time allies still attend conferences, march, sign petitions, write articles, and speak out.

These are the feminist allies who did not respond to the articles that I sent them about their shameful, even unbearable, silence. Perhaps they felt that Israel deserved whatever it got but were too embarrassed to say that to me. Instead, they said nothing.

Only one such feminist ally responded by sending me articles by Masha Gessen and Judith Butler. She suggested that reading their ideas about the moral superiority of vulnerable Jewish Diaspora life and the advantages of dissolving the Jewish state would “open my mind to the truth.” She also sent me an article that blamed Benjamin Netanyahu — and only Netanyahu — for the failure of a “two state solution — the only fair solution.”

I immediately sent her my critique of Butler and Gessen; I sent her Bassem Eid’s fact-based piece in Newsweek. Eid summarizes the long history of Arab rejection of the offers for a Palestinian state, first proffered by the British, then by the UN, and, finally, by Israel at least six times. Thus far, she has not responded.

Another long-time feminist (a friend, not merely an ally) is adamant that Israel is “committing genocide” and is an “apartheid, colonial, occupying state.” I told her that we cannot discuss Israel ever again. But now our conversations are thinned, brittle. There is no way we can discuss Oct. 7 without endangering our suddenly fragile friendship.
Israel is not acting on emotions and trauma as Westerners charge
Yes, Israelis indeed are wounded and angry. However, this has sharpened their thinking, not clouded it. In my view, Israelis hold pertinent, well-rooted understandings of their diplomatic challenges and opportunities. They are informed and enlightened, reenergized patriotically, determined to defeat all enemies and to rebuild Israel more magnificently than ever. They remain ready to grab diplomatic breakthroughs where such are realistically possible.

Let us be clear: Israelis are not enfeebled, immobilized, or confused. They will not brook global contempt.

Another parallel, sinister narrative that can be heard here and there is that Israeli “rage” has dictated IDF battlefield behavior; that the Israeli military has gone berserk, bombing the hell out of Gaza indiscriminately – and committing war crimes along the way.

In the immediate aftermath of the Hamas massacres and rapes, the world “understood” this rage and swallowed the furious IDF counter-assault, but now Israeli “rage” has taken the fight too far. So goes the storyline.

This false, malicious tale must be debunked, too. The opposite is true: Israel has kept its “rage” firmly in check. Its military has fought against Hamas in Gaza with precision and professionalism, accepting upon itself restrictions and limitations far beyond that of any army in history – anywhere, under any circumstances. Unchained rage using Israel’s full firepower would have looked vastly different.

Here too, the insinuation of Israeli “rage” driving government policy and military operations is superciliousness; an arrogant attempt to paint Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet as dangerous actors, as out-of-control lawless children that must be corralled into reason (or prison).

Again, Israel cannot brook such global contempt. By and large, Israelis say to the world: Keep your chutzpah in check. Do not try to lord over Israel with your mistaken assumptions and smug solutions. Israel more than deserves the benefit of the doubt as it fights for its long-term security and makes apt decisions about the right radius of diplomacy.

Friday, February 23, 2024

From Ian:

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense: Recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a State Now Is a Huge Mistake
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview published Wednesday: "The United States needs to understand that, unlike on a lot of other policies, Netanyahu on the two-state solution has a lot of popular support in Israel. I think there continues to be an underestimate outside of Israel on the traumatic effect on Israel of Oct.7....In all of Israel's wars with the Arab states, they have never experienced anything like the massacre of innocent civilians that they suffered on Oct. 7, and I think it has had a huge impact psychologically inside Israel."

"I think that the administration was correct after Oct. 7 in the very strong support that they provided for Israel under those circumstances. I think that as the retaliation against Hamas in Gaza has proceeded, I think the administration has also taken the right position in terms of pressing harder for more humanitarian relief - more food, more medicine, and so on - and more effort to prevent collateral damage, to prevent the killing of innocent Palestinians."

"This has been made much tougher by Hamas' approach, which is to integrate themselves with the civilian population so that there is no way to getting at Hamas without going through innocent civilians. This is what the Taliban did. This is what Hamas does, and it makes the situation all the more complicated for Israel."

"The notion of recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a state now, I think, is a huge mistake. There has to be a process, a sequence of events, and some established criteria, of changes that have to happen in the West Bank, in the Palestinian Authority, and among the Palestinians themselves with Arab support, that over time will allow some confidence to be built on the part of the Israelis that a Palestinian state next door is not going to be an existential threat to Israel, is not going to be a threat for another Oct. 7. And that is going to take time."
What Would a "Revitalized" Palestinian Authority Be?
The Palestinian Authority, in its current form, has failed the Palestinians and has failed the peace process. Nonetheless, in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre and the ensuing war against Hamas, U.S. President Joe Biden wrote in the Washington Post on Nov. 18, 2023, that "Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited...under a revitalized Palestinian Authority."

PA reform must include the following non-negotiable steps:
1. Condemn the Oct. 7 massacre. More than 4 months have passed since the Oct. 7 massacre, in which more than 1,200 people were tortured, raped, beheaded and murdered, hundreds wounded, and 240 people kidnapped to Gaza. To this day, no PA leader or figure has condemned the atrocities. Sadly, PA leaders have embraced and justified them.
2. Abolish the PA/PLO's "Pay-for-Slay" policy. PA law defines the terrorists as the "fighting sector and an integral part of the fabric of the Arab Palestinian society." The payments are made to all Palestinian terrorists, including participants in the Oct. 7 massacre. Every year, the PA pays over $300 million to imprisoned terrorists, wounded terrorists, the families of dead terrorists, and released terrorists, who are also entitled to guaranteed employment in the PA. The U.S. Taylor Force Act describes this policy as an "incentive to commit acts of terror."
3. Recognize the Jews as a people, entitled to a state in their ancestral homeland. The Palestinian Authority rejects the very existence of a Jewish people, referring to Judaism merely as a religion, undeserving of a national homeland. Jews, according to PA teachings, are responsible for the ills of the world and have no sovereign history in the land.
4. Cease all incitement to murder and glorification of terror. For the last 30 years, the PA has been violating their commitment as part of the Oslo process to combat incitement. The PA has actively engaged its education system, media, and culture in hate indoctrination and inciting terror. Generations of Palestinians have been educated to hate Jews, seek the destruction of Israel, and see murderous terrorists as role models.
5. Halt PA attacks on Israel in international forums. The PA/PLO is conducting full-scale lawfare against Israel at the UN and other international forums, including the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. The attacks, based on invented facts and outright libels, seek to delegitimize Israel and turn it into a pariah state. These are flagrant breaches of the Oslo Accords.
6. Actively fight terror. A fundamental commitment undertaken by the Palestinians as part of the Oslo process was to actively combat terror. To fulfill this commitment, the PA was permitted to establish a strong security apparatus that benefitted from international funding and training. Many members of the PA security forces, who were meant to be fighting terror, were themselves actively involved in terrorism.

Once these rudimentary prerequisites are fulfilled, an additional plan to revitalize the PA would deal with its deeply embedded corruption and turn it into an effective democracy with regular elections in which a fully functioning judicial system can be developed.
Arab States Reluctant to Come to the Palestinians' Aid
Former U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker spent nearly four decades representing America's interests in the Arab world, serving as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said in an interview that despite public support for Palestinian rights, in truth nearly every Arab state has long viewed the Palestinians with "fear and loathing." "The last thing the Arab states, particularly those around Palestine and Israel, wanted to see was an independent Palestinian movement, let alone a state."

"What's noteworthy in this entire conflict since Oct. 7 has been the lack of reaction or response from the Arab world. Saudi Arabia continues to hold the door open for a peace agreement with Israel. The UAE, Morocco and Bahrain didn't even withdraw ambassadors. Jordan did, but of course with about half of its population being Palestinian, Jordan has a particular problem. That lack of reaction I think is very telling."

"It is noteworthy there is no Palestinian population in Egypt. Going back to the days of [former Egyptian leader] Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptians saw the threat. Again, the Palestinians contributed to their isolation through some spectacular acts like the assassination of a Jordanian prime minister in front of the Sheraton hotel in broad daylight in Cairo by two Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] gunmen, one of whom stooped down to drink the assassinated prime minister's blood."

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 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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