Sunday, December 05, 2021

  • Sunday, December 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Plus, this bonus of a religious American immigrant to Israel performing a Chanukah song on Israel's Got Talent this week:

  • Sunday, December 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is the trailer for a 2019 documentary, Feyadin, that is being shown in Austin tomorrow and is recommended by the Austin Film Society.

Watch the whole thing.

Based on the five minutes from this trailer, why do you think Georges Abdallah is in prison? It sounds like it is because he is a Leftist, a communist, a Palestinian nationalist, a Lebanese hero, a purely political imprisonment.

Not once does the trailer mention the actual crimes he committed.

Abdallah was the leader of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions, one of many PFLP offshoots, which was responsible for a string of terror attacks across Europe in the 1980s.

On January 18, 1982, Georges Abdullah murdered US Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Ray, shooting him in the head at point blank range in as he was walking to his car in Paris.

On March 31, 1982, Yaacov Bar-Simantov, second secretary of Israel's embassy in France, was shot in the head three times by a young woman as Yaacov was with his wife and 8-year old daughter in the lobby of his apartment house. Abdullah helped mastermind that murder.

On March 24, 1984, Robert O. Homme,  American Consul General in Strasbourg, France, was shot five times at point blank range. He survived. Georges Abdullah was convicted of that attempted murder.

LARF's activities pretty much ended after Abdallah was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Abdallah's supporters claim that there is no evidence linking him directly to the murders, but Paris police discovered explosives and weapons, including the gun used to kill Ray and Bar-Simantov, in an apartment that Abdallah was renting.

Georges Abdallah is an unrepentant murderer and terrorist. The people agitating for his release support murder and terror of Americans and Israelis. These are the same Leftists who pretend to care so much about human rights when they defend Palestinian NGOs founded and run by the same types of radical socialist terrorists. 

The people who made this documentary are master propagandists. They want the viewers to think that France is following the demands of World Jewry Zionism in keeping him imprisoned and denying him parole. The heinousness of his crimes are not mentioned. Abdallah's supporters know the attacks quite well, though - they support the murder of innocents for the Palestinian cause. 

They know that a film that celebrates murder won't win awards at film festivals, though. At least not yet. But they know that the filmgoers will not question the quotes provided by so many people who are insisting that Abdallah is a Leftist saint who only cares about improving the world. 

From Ian:

11 Days in May
For 11 days, beginning May 10, "Hamas fired nearly 400 projectiles a day" for a total of "approximately 4,350" (680 of those rockets landed in Gaza, killing an estimated 91 Palestinians). The airstrikes marked the largest—in terms of number—ever lobbed toward the Jewish state in its young history. The tactic was by design.

Because while Hamas has grown in strength, so has Israel. It has the Iron Dome missile defense system that can, at this moment, effectively counter Hamas's rockets. It has more technologically advanced drones (air and sea) to counter Hamas's and a tunnel detection system in place to minimize the threat Israel faces in its own territories.

But by firing as many missiles as it could—including a five-minute salvo that included a "remarkable 137 rockets"—Hamas was testing to see whether it could overpower and confuse Israel's Iron Dome. It didn't work. At no point in the 11-day battle did Israel incur significant destruction. Hamas, however, came close with a "lucky strike" near the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline that could have crippled the oil supply and attempted strikes at the secretive Dimona nuclear facility that could have ended even worse.

"The Gaza war of 2021 truly provided a glimpse of future warfare," says Schanzer. "But even the best technology and intelligence are no guarantee against the unforeseen events of war."

Fortunately, the fighting earlier this year did not get worse. And that's, surprisingly, thanks to the Egyptians, who brokered peace between Israel and Hamas to get back into the good graces of the newly sworn-in Biden administration. "On the one hand, it was a thankless job with little prospect of success," Schanzer says. "On the other hand, Egypt was now viewed as a friend of the White House again."

The most recent conflict between Hamas and Israel is just the latest in a decades-long war—and sadly won't be the last. So where should things go from here? Schanzer has some productive thoughts.

"Under the current circumstances, a three-state solution (Israel, the West Bank under the PA, and Hamas-controlled Gaza) appears to be the only path forward." Yes, that would mean the only prospect for peace is between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the West Bank—but the Gaza solution is not so simple.

To do that, the Iran problem must be solved. "Gaza is now ground zero in a proxy conflict. It is part of a bigger battle between Israel and Iran," says Schanzer. But that's a larger problem for perhaps his next book.

Gaza Conflict 2021: Hamas, Israel and Eleven Days of War
by Jonathan Schanzer
Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 284 pp., $29.95

Publishers against the People of the Book
Kestin was already a journalist and the published author of well-received fiction when his 2019 novel, The Siege of Tel Aviv , blurbed by Stephen King, was canceled. Even though it “was seen as a first best-seller for the publisher,” it was pulled after 13 Twitter accounts protested alleged Islamophobia. Kestin notes that none of the 13 had advance reader copies, and he doubts any of them read it after Kestin later self-published it.

Kestin describes these critics as “in the main neither Muslims nor Palestinians but American left-wing enemies of Israel.” The Islamophobia charge stemmed from the cover using the word “Moslem,” which Kestin says was his publisher’s doing; he wrote “Muslim” in the text. Critics also objected “to the story, which describes the conquest of Israel by a pan-Islamist alliance led by Iran.”

Pointing to the history of Arab-Israeli wars and the Iranian government’s perpetual saber-rattling, Kestin observed that the plot “is hardly something the author made up out of whole cloth.” He also added, “There are at least four heroic Arab/Muslim characters in Siege, while the Israeli establishment is painted as naively complicit in its own destruction.” None of this mattered, though.

Kestin emailed: “Once Siege was accused of racism and Islamophobia, the dozens of critics who had praised my earlier work ... simply disappeared. (American journalism found nothing of interest in a publisher pulping its own popular book because of a handful of anonymous complaints.) As a result, Siege received only six reviews, all glowing, including one from a Palestinian-American novelist and one from a prominent British Muslim media personality. ... Sadly, my most prominent fan, Stephen King, who for over a decade had provided ecstatic blurbs for all my novels ... in the process becoming one of my closest friends, simply turned his back, explaining that he, America’s most popular writer, the writer to whom Siege was dedicated, did not wish to risk standing up to the raging mob.”

Reflecting on his experience, Kestin observed, “Certainly what is judged to be pro-Israel material is no longer in fashion. A generation of Jews has grown up with little to no affection for the Jewish state, not least because it sees in Israel not David but Goliath.”

Kestin added, “Jews have been replaced by other minorities, possibly because Jews have convinced themselves they are not a minority at all, and so are hardly in need of speaking out as a group.” And yet, anyone who’s been paying attention is aware that Jews are not only a minority group, but an increasingly vulnerable one in the West, as the postwar taboo against open antisemitism has receded.

Yossi Klein Halevi observed, “There's an irony that is increasingly haunting me, that even as large parts of the Arab world begin to dismantle the 70-year boycott of Israel, that boycott is now being taken up by parts of the progressive West, and it’s infiltrating the publishing world as well. It’s unfair to say you can’t publish an Israel book in a mainstream [publishing] house today ... but I worry we’re heading in that direction.”
US Taxpayers to Fund Revisionist, Anti-Zionist History
No one is questioning that Jews lived and could prosper in the Middle East and North Africa. Indeed they did so for a lot longer than Arabs, who conquered the region 1,000 years after Jews had settled there. No serious scholar would argue that life for Jews was one, continuous chronicle of misfortune. Jews interacted with the society around them, especially in trade and business. Arabic was the most widely spoken Jewish language for centuries.

But Jews were always a vulnerable minority, suffering from institutionalized discrimination as dhimmis under Islam. As one pundit has observed: “The NEH would never fund revisionist history that denied that black people were discriminated against during segregation. Why is it funding the same sort of revisionism against Israel?”

Sternfeld elides the pre-colonial condition of dhimmi status—where unquestionably, Jews suffered restrictions and a precarious existence—and their situation during the colonial era, when Jews benefited from education and greater security. The good life many enjoyed under the British and French protectorates and mandates was fatally threatened by the rise of Arab nationalism and Islamism, resulting in their forced exodus.

There is a deeper problem here. The prominence given by post-modern academics to cultural and socioeconomic factors over people, historical events and politics has served to falsify the history of Jews from Arab countries. Take for example the work of Bashkin, whose “New Babylonians” was reviewed by professor Norman A. Stillman.

Stillman says Bashkin is at “her insightful best” in describing the intellectual and cultural ferment in the Iraq of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. However, her chronicling of the watershed events of the 1940s leading up to the mass exodus of 1951 “lacks the same degree of analytical insight,” he writes.

“This is due, I suggest, to her basic approach as a cultural studies scholar who interprets texts, but does not fully take into account the actual events, people, and politics. It is also due to a priori ideological assumptions. Bashkin from the very outset acknowledges her intellectual debt to contrarians such Sami Zubaida, Ella Shohat, and Gilbert Achcar, and the ghost of Edward Said often lurks in the background un-named. Previous historical work on the Jews of the Islamic world is reduced to an oversimplified caricature: ‘a model of harmonious coexistence’ or ‘a tale of perpetual persecution,’ and ‘alongside these ideas, an orientalist interpretation.’

“More seriously, there is an element of naïve wishful thinking which constantly views positive examples of Jewish acculturation and patriotism, on the one hand, and the openness of some Arab liberal intellectuals and politicians, on the other, as proving that the dark forces of radical Arab nationalism were not really as powerful as they appeared in retrospect.”

A shared culture and language with Arabs did not save the Jews of Iraq, any more than the Jewish contribution to German culture, or their love of Mendelssohn and Goethe, saved German Jews from Nazism. All MENA Jews, including anti-Zionists, Communists and the most Arabized, were forced to take the road to exile. And thus a study of how groups interacted before the great exodus becomes irrelevant, because it does not take into account actual events, political factors and actors such as Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Arab League, Nasser and Saddam, leading to the exclusion and persecution of Jews and other minorities.
  • Sunday, December 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here is video of the attack by a Palestinian Arab against a Jew in Jerusalem on Shabbat.

Notice that the attacker passes by several people - and probably passed by many others earlier - and only decided to attack the visibly religious Jew.

If he is anti-Zionist, then why not attack any Israeli? Why choose the one with a hat and beard?

Because this was never about "Palestine." Palestinians are taught to hate Jews, and religious Jews are their preferred targets. 

Here's another video, proudly uploaded to TikTok:

These girls pretend to take a Chanukah menorah hostage so the "yahood" give Palestine "back." 

Sure, they just hate Zionists. And I'm the Grand Mufti of New York.

  • Sunday, December 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Ronen Bergman at Ynet (Hebrew only as of this writing) describes how the relationship between Israel and the US has been badly fraying since the Biden administration  has taken over, and Israeli officials are perplexed and worried.

The US announcement that it was putting two Israeli cybersecurity companies, NSO Group and Candiru, on a blacklist was made without giving Israel any real warning ahead of time, and it was clearly a message not at the companies but at Israel itself. The Department of Commerce, which made the decision, has not been answering calls or emails from Israeli officials to explain how this happened.

Bergman says that Israeli security officials are so shocked at this and other moves by the Biden administration that they have even floated the unthinkable idea of not sharing critical intelligence with the US. This seems unlikely, of course. As Bergman elaborates, Israeli intelligence has saved the lives of hundreds of US soldiers, by giving advanced warning of two major attacks on American bases - a major missile attack on the Ain al-Assad base in Iraq in January 2020 and the armed drone attack on the Al-Tanf base in Syria in October. 

According to the article, much of the animosity towards Israel by Biden officials comes from their hatred of Donald Trump, and a reflexive mistrust of anyone who was allied with Trump. At the same time, the Biden administration does not understand Israel's position on Iran, and what Israeli defense and intelligence officials across the board consider to be red lines in dealings with Iran.  "At the end of the day, the Israelis will play along," one Biden official told Bergman, and that fundamental misunderstanding of some of Naftali Bennett's compromises is part of the problem.

The first signs of a fraying relationship came in March, when the State Department reversed a Trump administration cancellation of sanctions against Israeli Dan Gertler, an admittedly corrupt businessman whose ties in Africa made him rich but who also was recognized as being helpful for both Israel and US national security. The decision was announced without first consulting Israel, and was apparently more driven by a desire to reverse anything the Trump administration did than thinking about how it affects US allies.

Days later, the Biden administration leaked to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times that Israel was attacking Iranian oil tankers en route to Syria. The leaks contained top secret information from Israel, and they were viewed as a message from the Biden administration for Israel to stop those attacks, as it was trying to restart negotiations with Iran on the nuclear deal. 

In April, Israel managed to destroy many of the centrifuges at Natanz in Iran, angering CIA chief William Barnes, who called then-Mossad chief Yossi Cohen demanding that the US get more advanced warning of operations like that. Cohen explained that the decision to push the button sometimes does not allow that luxury but promised to ensure more transparency in the future.

Soon after, Israel requested that the US send its Iran experts to Israel to examine detailed intelligence material about Iran. Biden agreed but the meeting never happened.
Finally, Israeli officials were astonished that after seeming to be on the same page with Iran negotiations, the Biden administration started moving towards the worst case scenario - easing sanctions on Iran in exchange for a minor reduction in Iranian enrichment activities, again without consulting with Israel ahead of time. The Biden administration seems to want to make the Iran issue go away so it can concentrate on China, ignoring that for Israel, Iran is the major issue and not something to be swept under the rug.

Israeli leaders are frustrated that even after proof of Iranian involvement in attacks on US bases, the US has refrained on publicly blaming Iran, seemingly preferring to do everything necessary to restart the nuclear talks. Iran understands the message that is can crank up the pressure and the US will not respond, much like Europe has caved and stayed in the JCPOA even after Iran violates it daily.

Things kept getting worse, with the debacle of Israel outlawing six NGOs, without giving the US much warning of the move ahead of time, and then the NSO Group blacklist. 

All of these are signs of serious communications problems and a fundamental lack of understanding between the world's superpower and the Middle East's regional superpower. If the US and Israel cannot get their act together, the likelihood of a war between Israel and Iran increases.

(h/t Yoel)

  • Sunday, December 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The New York Post reported this weekend that the campaign of Imani Oakley, an anti-Israel Congressional candidate in New Jersey, fell for a hoax where they believed that "Rabbi Linda Goldstein," a brilliant parody account of woke Jewish Israel-haters, reached out for the candidate to speak at her wholly fictional synagogue in Gaza, in person or virtually.

Oakley's campaign took offense that they were duped - claiming that they weren't duped and were simply "vetting" the "rabbi". 

There is not one Jew in Gaza, let alone a synagogue-full. No Jews have lived in Gaza (except for a hostage) since 2005 - during Oakley's entire adult life. Anyone who claims to be "pro-Palestinian" who doesn't know this basic fact is disqualified from giving any opinions about the Middle East.

But Oakley pretends to be the victim here, and tries to play the "woman of color" card - to justify her ignorance. 

Proving that Oakley is ignorant about a topic she pretends to know about is a "dirty political tactic?" No, it is what reporters should be doing, but they shy away because....she is a woman of color, and treating a women of color as skeptically as they would treat a white male is now considered racist and sexist.

Oakley's ignorance is not an anomaly. It is typical among the "pro-Palestinian" crowd. They learn everything they know from propaganda, so they think there are Jewish settlers in Gaza who are victimizing innocent Palestinians, and leftist Jews in Gaza who are chummy with terror leaders.

It isn't only Oakley.

Recently, "Rabbi Goldstein" also duped former British MP Thelma Walker with similarly bizarre claims that Walker swallowed whole - and proved that Walker supports terror attacks against Israeli civilians!

The former Labour MP started following "Goldstein," who thanked her:

So "Linda" asked Walker is she would want to speak at her Gaza synagogue. Walker, like Oakley, wasn't fazed by the absurdity of a liberal synagogue in Gaza, and replied that  she couldn't do it herself but could find someone better qualified.

When "Goldstein" suggested a topic supporting Palestinian attacks on civilians, Walker agreed that it would be an excellent topic!

How many other lefty politicians are as shockingly ignorant, and tacitly supportive of terror, as Oakley and Walker? I'm sure there are many more. Because the "pro-Palestinian" crowd is looking for excuses to justify their antisemitism, and they don't think critically about any information that supports their hate. 

"Goldstein" is performing a public service by exposing thoroughly ignorant and terror-supporting politicians.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

From Ian:

How Israeli intel saved hundreds of US soldiers from Iranian attacks
Amid growing tensions between the US and Israel over Israeli intelligence-gathering systems, a new report highlights the Israeli security intel community’s role in saving the lives of hundreds of American soldiers.

Last month, the US Commerce Department announced that it had blacklisted two Israeli companies closely linked to the Israeli government.

The two firms, NSO Group and Candiru, were accused of providing spyware to foreign governments which “used these tools to maliciously target” reporters, activists, and embassy employees, harming US interests.

According to a report by Yediot Aharanoth Friday morning, the blacklisting came as a shock to Israeli intelligence and security officials, who expressed dismay at subsequent meetings over what they perceived as a broader campaign by the Biden administration to rein in clandestine operations by Israel.

One Israeli official who participated in one such meeting this week called the Biden administration’s behavior ‘ingratitude’, citing the role of Israeli intelligence in saving American soldiers on multiple occasions, Yediot Aharanoth reported.

“I think that until we understand what we did [wrong], if anything, to cause them [the Americans] to behave the way they’re behaving, we should respond in a similar manner. We need to notify them that we have no idea why Israeli actions in the cyber world raised American ire, but until we can conclusively settle the matter, and to ensure that, God forbid, we don’t harm American national security interests again, we will suspend the flow of information Israel collects to the US intel community.”

“Maybe that way, if there is no one to save their soldiers next time around, they will answer their phones.”

Israeli intel is credited in Friday’s report with helping the US avoid casualties on numerous occasions, including in two high-profile attacks by Iran or Iranian-backed forces against bases housing American soldiers in the Middle East.

The first attack took place on January 7th, 2020, when Iran launched a barrage of missiles against American targets in Iraq, including the Ayn al-Asad base, which housed some 1,500 US personnel.

The ballistic missiles barrage could have resulted in massive casualties among the US forces, had American personnel not been evacuated to reinforced bunkers moments before the attack.
NSO spyware said used to hack phones of State Department officials working in Uganda
Israeli spyware firm NSO Group’s software was reportedly used by an unknown assailant to hack the cell phones of at least nine United States State Department employees, in what — if confirmed — would be the first time the embattled company’s technology was used to target American officials.

The hack targeted State Department workers in Uganda or those specializing in the East African country, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

All of the American staff targeted were using iPhones. Last week, Apple announced that it was suing the NSO Group for targeting the users of its devices, saying the firm at the center of the Pegasus surveillance scandal needs to be held accountable.

The suit from the Silicon Valley giant adds new trouble for NSO, which was engulfed in controversy over reports that tens of thousands of activists, journalists and politicians were listed as potential targets of its Pegasus spyware.

While the phone numbers of US officials were included on a long list of potential targets revealed in a series of media reports earlier this year, it was never confirmed whether those phones were actually hacked.

NSO Group says its hacking software cannot work on phones that begin with the US +1 country code. However, the allegedly hacked State Department employees were using local phones in Uganda, Reuters said.
  • Saturday, December 04, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Friday, December 03, 2021

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Is it Islamophobic to call out Ilhan Omar for antisemitism?
The Democratic leadership has lined up behind Omar with a statement accusing Boebert of Islamophobia and racism, in addition to a demand that Republicans condemn "bigoted members of their conference."

Even if we concede that making remarks about a Congress member being a potential suicide bomber – as well as speaking of a "Jihad Squad" and then boasting about it in public is inflammatory, rude and un-parliamentary behavior – the notion that Omar is nothing more than an innocent victim of a smear is chutzpah on steroids. More to the point, this incident was made possible not just by Boebert's penchant for insults but by the failure of the Democratic caucus to discipline Omar and her fellow "Squad" member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), for their open antisemitism and extremism.

Omar is the darling of the left because she is an immigrant, a woman of color and, as the headscarf-wearing first Muslim woman in Congress, a symbol of diversity. But she is also someone who accused AIPAC and the Jewish community of buying Congress ("It's all about the Benjamins, baby"). She and Tlaib are also open supporters of the antisemitic BDS movement that targets Jews and seeks the elimination of the one Jewish state on the planet. They have embraced the "apartheid state" lie about Israel and sought to enter it on a trip arranged by a Palestinian group that promoted the classic blood libel that Jews bake Christian blood into Passover matzah. While claiming to oppose terrorism, they have acted as tacit defenders of the Hamas terrorist group, ignoring its criminal behavior while asserting that Israel commits war crimes.

So while Boebert's barbs went too far, the reason they resonate for many is because Omar is not merely just as extreme as her antagonist (she is an ardent supporter of efforts to defund the police while seeking police protection for herself), she is also someone who deserved to be censured for her antisemitism. Pelosi is mindful of the influence of the left these days and knows that Omar has been treated like a rock star by the liberal press, the late-night comedy shows and other pop-culture outlets. Instead of depriving Omar of committee assignments, she gave her a plum role on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to use as a platform for her hateful agenda.

Democrats may well appease Omar and their activist base by censuring Boebert. But all they'll be doing is turning Boebert into a Republican heroine. And if, as now seems likely, the GOP wins back control of the House in 2022, the following January we can expect Republicans to prioritize payback in the form of censures of Omar, Tlaib and other radical Democrats.

Congressman Says Jews Are Crazy
Maybe he didn’t mean it the way it sounded, but a United States Congressman this week insinuated that Israeli Jews are all mentally unbalanced. If he had said that about another national or ethnic group, he would have been widely denounced as a bigot.

Following a visit to Israel, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) said on November 29: “I felt a tension in Israel, from the Jewish community, the psychology of occupation impacted the Jews who live there who are free….there’s a history of complex trauma that people are living with every day. Yad Vashem brought that home to me.”

Congressman Bowman is not the first observer to make the insulting and false claim that Israeli Jews are mentally disturbed as a result of the Holocaust, and that they are therefore incapable of making rational decisions about government policy. In fact, that allegation has become almost standard fare among armchair psychiatrists looking for ways to deride the Jewish state.

One of the first to level that charge was New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. In his 1989 book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, Friedman wrote at length about what he called “the Holocausting of the Israeli psyche,” that is, an excessive interest in the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.

“Israel today is becoming Yad Vashem with an air force,” Friedman asserted. He alleged that Israelis’ memories of the Holocaust were to blame for, among other things, their impatient driving habits, unethical business dealings, meek acceptance of high taxes, and reluctance to make more concessions to the Arabs.
The National Endowment for the Humanities Spends $250K to Fund a 1619 Project for Israel
Last year, Lior Sternfeld and Michelle Campos signed the so-called Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism which argued that calling for the destruction of Israel was not antisemitic.

The signatures of Sternfeld and Campos alongside numerous other anti-Israel academics was unsurprising. Sternfeld had previously signed a petition in support of BDS activists which concluded with the assertion that the signers might refuse to “enter the State of Israel”. He and Campos had also signed another petition accusing the Jewish State of “apartheid”.

More recently, Campos, Sternfeld, and Orit Bashkin had signed on to the Statement on Israel and Palestine in Jewish Studies accusing Israel of engaging in “state violence” against Hamas. In language echoing Soviet propaganda, it denounced Zionism as “ethnonationalist” and “settler colonial” systems of “Jewish supremacy” that led to the “segregation” of “Palestinians”.

Israel, all of it, it asserts, exists on occupied territory, not only from the 1967, but the 1948 War of Independence.

From an academic standpoint, the various professors and graduate students declare that they will support their colleagues who boycott Israel and as scholars to “amplify, and support our Palestinian and other colleagues” and emphasize the “place of Palestine in Jewish Studies”.

With the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The NEH is one of the more toxic components of the federal government. While the Trump administration tried to defund it, the Biden administration is using it to push critical race theory into classrooms. But not to leave anyone out, it’s also funding a 1619 Project for Israel.

Sternfeld, Campos, and Bashkin were showered with a nearly $250,000 grant to “reimagine” Jewish life in the Middle East before Zionism. The NEH grant, one of the two largest in Pennsylvania, funds a “large-scale collaborative project to rewrite the histories, narratives, and memories of and by Jews in the Middle East in the 19th-21st centuries.”
  • Friday, December 03, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

But how can you do a parody of "Sweet Caroline" without the iconic "Bah Bah Buhhhh"?

Also, Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin have been releasing a new cover of songs by Jewish artists every night of Chanukah. Most of them do not have overtly Jewish content, but their cover of the Ramones' Blitzkrieg Bop includes video of old Bar Mitzvahs.

And it rocks.

From Ian:

Dr. Martin Sherman: You couldn't make this up!!
Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad—Anonymous ancient dictum—misattributed to Euripides.

Israel is a country of many paradoxes and colliding opposites—many of which make it one of the most fascinating and dynamic countries on the face of the globe; a country that has overcome almost impossible odds to drive its way to the forefront of virtually every realm of human endeavor—including medicine, agriculture, cybertechnology, arts, and entertainment—with the jarring exception of the functioning of its body-politic.

"Incentivizing the murder of civilians is barbarism."

This is particularly true regarding the paradox embedded in Israel's perverse, perilous and puerile approach to what has become known as "the Palestinian problem". Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to state that it is a patently self-contradictory policy, in which certain elements thereof manifestly contradict and annul other elements of it.

Thus, in 2018, Israel passed a law—with disconcerting reluctance—mandating the reduction of payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA) by deducting a sum equivalent to the amount the PA pays to imprisoned terrorists and the families of deceased terrorists, killed while perpetrating acts of terror. This legislation reflected a compelling rationale that Israelis should not be complicit in compensating their Judeocidal Arab assailants…or their dependents.

Oddly, rather than spearheading such a measure itself, the Israeli government found itself belatedly echoing the punitive initiative—taken over a year previously—by the US Congress, known as the Taylor Force Act. The bill provides for ending US aid to the PA unless and until it ceases to pay stipends to the incarcerated terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists, including the families of suicide bombers.

Indeed, one prominent legal expert, Professor Thane Rosenbaum, designated these payments for terror as "lavish incentives to commit violence", which, in effect constitute "a bounty system…enshrined in Palestinian law, provided for in the Palestinian Authorities budget and indirectly supported by foreign aid…"
Stop saving UNRWA from itself
UNRWA claims to advocate for a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but in practice the agency has overlooked terrorist group activity in some of its camps, allowed its schools to be used as human shields for Hamas military tunnels, allowed members of Hamas and other terrorist groups to hold UNRWA staff positions, falsely presented images that stir up hatred against Israel and continues to teach children to demonize and delegitimize Israel using violent propaganda. In short, UNRWA spends more to do less, while perpetuating a problem it was meant to resolve and undermining the peace process itself. That is why some countries, like Germany and the UK, have cut their funding in the first place.

The UN is often, and deservedly, criticized for singling out the State of Israel. But if the nations of the world want to actually help solve the Middle East conflict, they need to stop singling out the Palestinians as well.

Perhaps the UN should support the resettlement of Palestinian refugees – but they should do so only within a framework that would: a) not falsely blame the situation entirely on Israel, and b) involve even trying to accomplish the goal of resettling actual refugees from the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1948, using the internationally recognized definition of refugees that applies in every other instance. Doing so is far from impossible. As an example of how this might realistically look, take the 2000 Clinton Peace Parameters in which Israel agreed to allow 100,000 refugees to return – more than three times the estimated number of actual refugees under the definition, but still a reasonable amount. All other “refugees” were to be resettled in their present places of residence, the future Palestinian state, or in third-party countries, with Israel contributing $30b. to fund their resettlement.

In the meantime, it’s not surprising that it’s becoming more difficult to raise money for a corrupt agency whose culture the Palestinians themselves consider “highly problematic” and full of “entitlement and abuse.” A policy of support without accountability for an organization that has long done nothing but disservice to the very population it was meant to protect helps exactly the same amount of people that UNRWA itself does – no one.

Fleur Hassan-Nahoum: Abraham Accords momentum isn’t fading; it’s soaring
If anything, the accords have given Israel permission to call its Arab neighbors cousins again. What has for decades been discreet is now out in the open.

Everything about how peace was forged this time around—from four landmark agreements being reached in the space of five months, to the business framework through which negotiations were held—was different, and the hope is that this model can one day be extended to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that have eluded history’s best statespersons and diplomats. Indeed, the best brokers for lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace may very well be not in Washington D.C., but in Manama, Rabat, Abu Dhabi or Khartoum.

The accords helped create a model of peace that is rarely seen in the Middle East—one based not just on closed-door diplomacy, but on culture, business and deep person-to-person friendships. The accords should not—and do not— purport to replace the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but they demonstrate the viability of alternative methods of peace-building.

Palestinians and Arab Israelis will benefit from these regional normalization agreements, and the city of Jerusalem can serve as a key bridge to the Gulf states since 40 percent of its population is Arab. The hope is that the accords herald a new era of Muslim tourism to Jerusalem, eventually becoming the research-and-development heart of the Middle East.

Peace agreements are inked by leaders, but they are forged by everyday people. Israel and its neighbors are now building a model for peace in the Middle East, one spearheaded by entrepreneurs and environmentalists who envision a better region for their children
The Tikvah Podcast: Judah Ari Gross on Why Israel and Morocco Came to a New Defense Agreement
Last week, the Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz visited Morocco, where for the first time he was accompanied by uniformed Israeli military personnel. Gantz’s visit comes on the heels of visits in the last year by Israeli national-security advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid, both of whom prepared the way for full diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Building on Israel and Morocco’s burgeoning diplomatic relations, the purpose of Gantz’s recent visit was to negotiate a memorandum of understanding focused on their security cooperation. Judah Ari Gross, the military correspondent for the Times of Israel and this week’s podcast guest, accompanied Gantz on his trip. In conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, he explains here how this historic agreement happened, what it means, and how it serves each nation’s interests.
  • Friday, December 03, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
There was a large funeral in Gaza on Thursday for Diaa Al-Dahdouh.

Islamic Jihad issued a flowery statement about how wonderful the terrorist was:

We count our martyr as one of the distinguished Mujahideen who prayed and toured in resistance and giving and had the imprint and impact on the project of resistance and liberation.

We pray to Allah Almighty to bless the Mujahid Al-Dahdouh with the vastness of his mercy and dwell in his vast gardens, accompanied by the prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs, and the good of those are companions, and to inspire his family, relatives and companions with beautiful patience and solace.
How did this hero die?

He blew himself up a year and a half ago while building a bomb, and finally succumbed to his wounds. 

May Gaza see many, many more such martyrs. Ameen.

  • Friday, December 03, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The "foreign ministry" for the nonexistent "State of Palestine" has celebrated the fake Miss Universe  Greece for pretending that she rejected being a contestant for a pageant that she was never invited to.

Rafaela Plastira claimed in October that she was boycotting the Miss Universe contest in Eilat. As Israellycool has been reporting,  the official Miss Universe organization in Greece denied that she was ever Miss Universe Greece. 

Rafaela Plastira is Star Hellas 2019 and is her only title, she never had the official anointing to represent our country in MISS UNIVERSE 2021, as MISS UNIVERSE GREECE.
The official MISS UNIVERSE GREECE for 2021 is Sofia Arapogiannis, announced by Miss Universe 2021 and is the crowned of the GS HELLAS NATIONAL CULTURES entitled MISS GS HELLAS 2021.
I would like to inform all Greeks, that now, the national organization GS HELLAS, is the one who preserves the legal rights and contracts for Greece's representative, but also its participation in Miss Universe 2021. Everything else is false, unsolicited and cunningly alleged misinformation. 
Plastira, who was Miss World Greece in 2019, has been falsely claiming to be Miss Universe Greece 2021 since June. It appears that she felt that if she claimed the title, the Miss Universe Greece organization would go along with it, rather than publicly denounce her as a fraud.

Big mistake.

Now, a week after the news of Plastira's fraud, the equally fraudulent "foreign ministry of the State of Palestine" has publicly thanked her for pretending to boycott Israel, calling the liar a "cosmic icon" for Palestinians.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants expressed its great thanks and appreciation to Miss Greece Rafaela Plastira and her high-level humanitarian principled stance, which she took in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their suffering, as well as a victory for international law and in favor of peace based on resolutions of international legitimacy.

The Foreign Ministry said, "Plastira triumphed for the values ​​of justice and humanity and for the rights of the Palestinian people, and abandoned her great dream and refused to participate in the Miss Universe contest in the occupying country, as an expression of her rejection of injustice, occupation and all forms of persecution and discrimination, on the basis of her conviction of the importance of human solidarity as a value that transcends borders. She is not only Miss Greece, but Miss Humanity, and thus she represented all the free people in the world and became for our people a cosmic icon."

Indeed, a person who falsely tried to take a pageant title from its legitimate owner is a perfect representative for a Palestinian state that falsely tries to take Jewish historic lands away from the Jewish people.

Meanwhile, the real Miss Universe Greece is enjoying her visit to Israel.

  • Friday, December 03, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Zahra Billoo, executive-director of the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), spoke in a panel session at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) 14th Annual Convention for Palestine in Chicago over the past weekend.

She said that Muslims cannot trust mainstream Jews and Jewish organizations, like Hillel or synagogues - the Jews will sell them out every time. Muslims cannot be friends of Jews who want to make peace with Palestinians. 

Billoo declares that practically every Jewish organization in America is an enemy of Muslims. Not only that, but any organization that supports a two state solution is an enemy of Muslims. She doesn't call them out explicitly, but that includes J-Street, that includes Peace Now, that includes Breaking the Silence. And she explicitly says that Hillels, the ADL, the Jewish Federations and even essentially all synagogues in America are the enemies of Muslims. 

This is incitement for Muslims to hate Jews being spread publicly in Chicago.

You can see this pure antisemitism for yourself. (Taken from one of the sessions in the AMP YouTube page.)

We need to pay attention to the Anti-Defamation League. We need to pay attention to the Jewish Federation. We need to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues. We need to pay attention to the Hillel chapters on our campuses, because just because they are your friends today, doesn't mean that they have your back when it comes to human rights. 

So oppose the vehement fascist, but oppose the polite Zionist too. They are not your friends. They will not be there for you when you need them. They will take your friendship and throw your Palestinian brothers and sisters under the bus. Oh! You get along because you are all in Girl Scouts together? Talk to them about what is happening in Palestine, and see how that conversation goes.

And so, when we think about Islamophobia and Zionism, let's be clear about the connections. There is no difference between domestic policy and foreign policy when it comes to our human rights. There is no difference between domestic policy and foreign policy when it comes to those who seek to target us.

And so when we do our work here in the US us we have to work together, because they're working with or without us.

Now how do you fight back? Know your friends who actually has your back. Know that you can call American Muslims for Palestine.  And by the way, you should be a monthly donor to American Muslims for Palestine. Build it into your budget and forget about it. Make it your monthly contribution, because you are contributing to the apartheid monthly. It is a part of your budget. You are paying your taxes, so you should be giving money to AMP monthly.

Know your friends. Know that you can call CAIR if you face a boycott or legislation or something where you are being targeted for your views. Know that you can call CAIR where you should also by the way be a monthly donor because we will support you. We will file the lawsuit on your behalf and we will not charge you.

Know your JVP leadership, your SJP leadership,  your IfNotNow leadership, the list goes on. Know who is on your side. Build community with them, because the next thing i'm going to tell you is to  know your enemies. 

And I am not going to sugarcoat that, they are your enemies. There are organizations and infrastructures out there who are working to harm you. Make no mistake of it. They would sell you down the line if they could, and they very often do behind your back. I mean the Zionist organizations, I mean the foreign policy organizations who say they are not Zionists but want a two-state solution. I am not a Palestinian myself, but it is my understanding that that is laughable. So know your enemies.

Because it's the last time I'll talk to you this Saturday let me just tell you: Also know the Muslim organizations that  are out to harm you. Know the Muslim organizations that are not holding to their principles and hold them accountable, because they're doing it in your name. In some ways they are worse than the Zionists because at least the Zionists will tell you what they're out for but when Muslim organizations sell you out, they're doing it in your name. 

Be principled.

Those are AMP and CAIR "principles": treat all mainstream Jews as your enemy, treat the governments of the United States and Europe who want a two state solution as your enemies, treat the UAE and Egypt and Saudi Arabia who support peace plans that would allow Israel to exist as your enemy.

We see here that CAIR and AMP are extremist organization. There is no other way to describe them, unless their leaders condemn these words of hate that were greeted with audience applause and approval by the moderator.

This is bigotry. This is hate. This is incitement. This is antisemitism. And, in America today, this is considered acceptable discourse.

(h/t MEMRI)

Thursday, December 02, 2021

From Ian:

The targeting of Jewish teenagers on Oxford Street is a wake-up call
When a friend shared a video of drama on Oxford Street on Monday night, I knew it would go viral. The clip showed a gang of men harassing a group of Jews on a bus, spitting, cursing, making obscene gestures, and even appearing to perform a Nazi salute.

This was a group of Jewish teenagers being taken by their rabbi to see the Chanukah lights at Trafalgar Square. They had stopped on Oxford Street and, in their exuberance, left the vehicle to do a Jewish dance on the pavement. That was when it happened.

Let’s start with the good news. I knew this story would attract attention because such naked demonstrations of hate are, thankfully, widely pilloried in modern Britain. We saw it when the Israeli ambassador was hounded at the LSE; we saw it when a lone aggressor walked around Stamford Hill hitting random Jews; we saw it when convoys of men abused London Jews during the Gaza conflict. On each occasion, the vast majority was appalled.

But it’s bad news from here on in. The reality that Jewish people live with every day will come as a surprise to many. Every synagogue in the country has long been patrolled by security officers, and the prominent ones are watched by police.

Every Jewish school is equipped with advanced security systems and guards, and there are at least two charities specifically dedicated to keeping the community safe.

Sadly, with good reason. The everyday threat that British Jews encounter spans the spectrum from antisemitic graffiti at one end to full-on terror attacks at the other.

Thirty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia instils grave concern
Several years ago, Putin gave a passionate address to celebrate the founding of the intelligence services in the USSR. He read out a rollcall of legendary Soviet agents. The first name on the list was Yakov Isakovich Serebryansky, an agent who infiltrated the early Zionist immigration to Palestine and lived there for several years. In 1926, he moved to Paris where he led a secret group of Communist sympathisers which carried out assassinations and kidnappings.

“Uncle Yasha’s group” possessed its own laboratory and utilised chemical weapons in its struggle against the anti-Soviet opposition in Europe. Many Jews then believed passionately in the Soviet future and thereby justified throwing morality to the wind.

As with the Soviet predilection for poisons, Putin has followed his predecessors in the USSR for spreading disinformation — “fake news” — to create division in democracies. In 1959, General Ivan Agayants, who headed the KGB’s disinformation department, initiated an antisemitic graffiti campaign in West Germany to discredit Konrad Adenauer’s rule and implicitly compare it to the blemish-free Communist East Germany.

Under KGB supervision, swastikas were painted on headstones in Jewish cemeteries, antisemitic slogans written on synagogue walls and Jewish-owned shops, hate mail sent to rabbis and threatening telephone calls made to Jewish leaders. The unspoken suggestion was that not too much had changed in West Germany since 1945.

Today there have been repeated Russian attempts to stir the fires of populism and racism in an outreach to the European far Right — to figures in the British National Party, the Hungarian Jobbik and the French Front National.

And then there is the manufactured crisis of hapless refugees sandwiched between Belarus and Poland. For Jews, it brings to mind the time in 1938 when stateless Polish Jews, expelled from Nazi Germany, were located in the limbo of Zbąszyń on the Polish-German border. Close to 10,000 Jews were marooned in deteriorating, insanitary conditions while both Poles and Germans refused to budge.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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