Wednesday, June 23, 2021

                                                                  

What are things really like between the Jews and Arabs who live in the territories? Divided into Areas A, B, and C, under the Oslo Accords, you'd think there wouldn't be much congress between the respective populations of these areas. Jews, for example, are forbidden entry into Area A under Israeli law. But there is more interaction between the sectors than one might expect. A short drive from my apartment in Efrat to the highway that connects us to Hebron or Jerusalem, offers evidence that Oslo or no Oslo, the two populations mix in everyday ways. 

Just outside the northern gate of Efrat, lies the Arab city of Dheisheh, in Area A. Area A is under the exclusive rule of the Palestinian Authority with entry to Jews forbidden. Efrat is in Area C, under Israeli rule. Arabs may enter Efrat to work or conduct business, and to shop. But Jews can never enter Dheisheh. 

But the Arabs of Dheisheh are enterprising. They see opportunities for commerce with the Jews of Efrat.

This is expressed by, for instance, this pop-up car parts concern, just outside the north gate of Efrat. It looks as though it was built on a shoulder, but not too long ago, there was no shoulder. The owner created one, specifically to court Efrat patrons. As far as I know, he is not paying for the privilege of using this invented space, and no zoning czars prevented this space from coming into existence. He's for sure not paying taxes, and no one is kicking him out. 

In the distance, you can see illegal Arab homes that have been built up right against the Jewish homes of the Dagan neighborhood of Efrat, where one can see a communications tower. 


On the other side of the road is Sarafindi, a hardware store. The Jews of Efrat are happy to buy from Sarafindi, an Arab-owned and run establishment. The store is clean and well set-up. The prices are good. The service is superb and polite. 

Not to be outdone, we next we come to the Elyaakubi hardware store. Note the prominent signs that are mostly in Hebrew, with a bit of small font text in Arabic, at bottom. The signs tell the story: Elyaakubi, an Arab of Dheisheh, wants the Jews of Efrat to come and buy his wares. Hence the nice big friendly Hebrew signage. 


Just before the bend in the road that leads to highway 60, we see an impromptu Arab garbage dump next to a small guard house, where IDF soldiers are sometimes posted on patrol. The Arabs find it very convenient to dump their garbage at the bottom of this hill. This did not make Efrat very happy. We attempted to offer a solution in the form of the green garbage "frog" you see here, now overflowing with trash. Our "solution" appeared to worsen the situation. There is now more garbage than ever before. I guess the trash receptacle sanctioned the area as a place to offload domestic refuse. 



Next up, a car wash. Again, the prominent Hebrew signage. The conclusion is obvious: who says they don't want to have anything to do with their Jewish neighbors? They definitely want our patronage.


This young boy came out, as I was snapping photos. He was concerned, a bit suspicious. He asked me in Hebrew, "What's wrong? Is everything okay?" 

I did my best to reassure him. His eyes followed our car as my husband drove us away. 


As we near the intersection of Efrat, Dheisheh, and highway 60, to the right is the red sign warning us that we are at the entrance to Area A, and that it is forbidden for Israelis to enter. The larger sign is a municipal welcome sign, all in Arabic. 
 

Past the red sign, you can see the highway that leads to Jerusalem. Both Arabs and Jews drive on the road in either direction, freely.


On the other side of the road is an auto-body shop, Arab-owned, again with prominent signage in Hebrew. The sign says:
                         Mercaz HaShalom [Peace Center]
                         Body-Shop and Paint
                         Under Management by Maher


All indications are that the Arabs of Area A are happy to do business with the Jews of Area C. And the reality is that the Jews on the hilltops of Efrat can't come to Mohammed in Dheisheh, so Mohammed is coming to Efrat. 

Some Efratians are naïve. They see the local Arab desire for Jewish custom as tiny seeds of peace. 

Other Efratians are more like me. We think: They're happy to take our money, as long as we're here. They take pains to encourage our business. But they would, of course, much prefer we Jews would sink into the earth, disappear, and be gone for good, their giant Hebrew-lettered "Peace Center" signs notwithstanding. And they wouldn't mind lending a hand to making that happen, when push comes to shove.




 abuyehuda

Weekly column by Vic Rosenthal


It’s not a silly question. There are serious disagreements about the answer. But there is only one answer that justifies the sacrifices that have been made to re-establish the Jewish state in its historical homeland, and those that will be required in the future to keep it.

That answer is given by Zionism, which holds that a sovereign state in the Land of Israel is a necessity to protect and preserve the Jewish people – and that their preservation is an objective worth attaining.

The Zionist view implies certain things about the nature of the state, things that logically follow from its function as a refuge for persecuted Jews, a source of strength for the Jewish people, and a place where it is possible to live a fully Jewish life, according to whatever combination of religious and cultural elements are important to the individual.

It is a place where the Hebrew language is dominant, the majority religion is Judaism, the holidays are the traditional Jewish ones (religious and national), and most of the population are Jews. It is (or should be) a place where antisemitism is not tolerated, indeed, where it is unthinkable. Because there are forces that work against these principles, it can’t be expected that they will appear by themselves. They must be woven into the legal fabric of the state and they must be affirmed by its leaders. The Law of Return and the Nation State Law are not accidental; they are essential.

The Zionist state can share some characteristics of a liberal, secular, democratic state such as the USA aspires to be (although recently this conception has come under attack from the anti-rational Left in America), but it cannot be such a state. It will unavoidably need to distinguish between Jews, for whom the state exists, and non-Jewish citizens, in very specific ways that relate to the character of the state – e.g., the language and symbols of the state, the official holidays, etc. – and to the maintenance of its Jewish majority.

Israel is special. It is the only Jewish state, the only one with that specific purpose. It is not a smaller version of the USA. Its socialist founders, despite their emphasis on democratic principles and guaranteeing rights to all citizens, nevertheless were Zionists and proclaimed that they were declaring a Jewish state. Those weren’t just words.

The state may try to provide every possible civil right and protection against discrimination to its minorities, but when there are conflicts between liberal-democratic ideals and Zionist principles, Zionism must prevail. Otherwise the state will ultimately lose its function as a Jewish state. It will lose its ability to protect and preserve the Jewish people as a people, against persecution and assimilation.

Zionism is unpopular throughout the world. The majority of those who have thought about it do not approve of Zionism for one reason or another. Either they don’t see the importance of there being a Jewish people, they actively dislike them, or they think that the cost to others of the existence of the Jewish state is not justified (I suspect that most of those in this group also fit in the second).

Ever since the founding of the state, there have been Jews who are uncomfortable with Zionism. They correctly note that Zionism can conflict with liberal democratic principles, and for this reason they bitterly oppose it and want to “dezionize” Israel. Sometimes they have even made common cause with enemies of the state.

This issue has come up now in the dispute over the “family unification law” which since 2002 has made it difficult for residents of the Palestinian Authority who marry Israeli citizens to move to Israel in order to live with their spouses. I won’t get into the interesting politics of it now, with Bennet’s coalition trying to extend the existing law despite opposition from some of its Arab members, while Bibi’s opposition tries to embarrass them by proposing an even stronger Basic Law on the subject of immigration in general (something that I favor, although not as a tactic to overthrow the coalition). I mention it to note how the opponents of the law, like the publisher of Ha’aretz Amos Schocken and his antisemitic writer Gideon Levy, scream “racism, apartheid, Jewish supremacism!”

This law has nothing to do with “race,” which is essentially meaningless where Arabs and Jews are concerned. It is not “apartheid” which means enforced separation of racial groups, which would not apply to Israel even if Arabs and Jews were different racially. And it certainly doesn’t imply that Jews are superior to Arabs or believe that they ought to dominate them. Although the original purpose of the law was to reduce terrorism (a disproportionate number of terrorists were the product of “unified” families), it is not embarrassing to admit that it helps maintain Israel’s Jewish majority. It is a Zionist law that is unfair to non-Jews. So be it.

Post-Zionists Schocken and Levy also oppose the Law of Return (or would like to see it apply equally to Palestinian Arabs) as well as the Nation-State Law. They also oppose efforts to repatriate the tens of thousands of African migrants that entered the country via the Egyptian border, before an effective fence was built. These things are “undemocratic.” Perhaps, but they are necessary.

The post-Zionist vision is remarkably empty. The right-wing Jabotinsky and the left-wing Ben Gurion had very different ideas of what the Jewish state should be like. Schocken and Levy do not think there should be a Jewish state. In their monumental stupidity and arrogance, they wish for a soulless techno-state built on “equality” and “democracy” for peoples that would have nothing in common except geographic proximity, and a great deal of resentment for each other.

Imagine an Israel without its Zionist purpose (and very quickly, without its Jewish majority). How long would it survive? Why would anyone want to fight for it? Would Jews and Arabs make common cause in support of a liberal, democratic state? It’s hard to imagine. We saw last month what happened in mixed cities like Lod and Acco, where there are about half as many Arabs as Jews.

Most likely, Jews with money and foreign passports would flee. After the initial bloodbath, the ones who were left would face a descent into the tenuous, contingent existence that characterized the Middle Eastern diaspora for more than a millennium. Of course, it’s doubtful that the “lucky” ones in Europe, America, Australia, and other places would fare much better.

Just as a Jewish state is essential to the survival of the Jewish people, Zionism is essential to the survival of the Jewish state.





From Ian:

US Seizes Numerous Terrorist-sponsored Anti-Israel Media Outlets
The US Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that it had seized 33 websites operated by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU). Included in the seizure order were PressTV.com, one of Tehran’s English-language mouthpieces, and Gaza Strip-based Islamic Jihad‘s Palestine Today website. According to a statement, Tehran’s so-called propaganda channels “targeted the United States with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations.”

Washington sanctioned the IRTVU because of its close ties with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a US-designated terrorist group. These sanctions bar IRGC-controlled organizations like Press TV from receiving services from US companies, including web hosting, without special permission.

Tehran tries to brand Press TV as a credible news agency. In reality, it merely echoes the propaganda line of a genocidal regime that calls for the destruction of America and Israel. In 2012, then-Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi stated that media have the “power to shape the global public opinion, a capability that military power lacks.” To this end, the IRGC this year hired nearly 12,000 “cultural activists” to engage in its operations.

In 2012, the United Kingdom revoked Press TV’s broadcasting license for breaching the Communications Act. The ban came just months after the channel aired an alarming interview with imprisoned journalist Maziar Bahari. The Newsweek reporter revealed he was tortured by the regime and then was ordered to make an on-air confession, under threat of execution.

Press TV’s UK bank account was also closed. EU sanctions against the Islamic Republic in 2012 halted the Iranian state-owned news network’s activities in the rest of Europe. Moreover, in 2019, Google shut down Press TV’s YouTube channel, likely because it had shared a video that promoted the antisemitic canard that Israel conducts medical experiments on Palestinian prisoners. Twitter and Facebook followed suit, but thereafter, without specific reason, reinstated Press TV’s ability to spew Jew-hatred.

Indeed, Press TV’s channel has given a platform to a wide array of Neonazis, white supremacists, and Holocaust deniers over the years. Its website also published an article titled “Palestinian suffrage in Israel worse than WWII Jewish plight.” The seeming leitmotif in Press TV’s reporting is that “Zionists” and the “Jewish Banking Cartel” control US politics. The media outlet also ran a poll implying that the “9/11 incident” was staged by the US to “tarnish the image of Islam” and wage wars in the Middle East.
Why is US seizing Iran Press TV, other websites? - analysis
Further, long before these website seizures, the Biden administration has made it clear that it will maintain all nonnuclear sanctions on Iran related to its terrorist behavior, just as the Obama administration did.

And Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei signed the 2015 deal not because he liked giving up enough enriched uranium for around 10 nuclear bombs, but because of the economic pressure. With all of his threats and hatred for the “big Satan” US long before the website seizures, all signs are he will make the same businesslike calculation this time.

So there will still likely be a nuclear deal by, before or not long after the new Ebrahim Raisi administration takes over Iran in August. Whether the timing of the websites’ seizure was meant to send a message to Raisi, to get it in under the wire before the deal is signed, or whether this was just when the Biden administration got around to lining up all of its cards to obtain warrants in court to do so, is a separate and interesting question.

This does not end free speech, and it will not end interference by Iran or other foreign countries with the US or Israel’s democratic processes or social fault lines.

But it is a new sign that the Biden administration has started to act with more intolerance for cyber and social media interference from the Islamic Republic and others.


Top EU official backs tougher action against PA over textbooks report
A top EU official backed tougher action against the Palestinian Authority on Monday after a report from Brussels found evidence of incitement and antisemitism in Palestinian textbooks.

The intervention from Oliver Varhelyi – EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement - came after the delayed release of a damning EU-funded study into the contents of more than 170 Palestinian textbooks and teacher guides published between 2017 and 2019.

“The conditionality of our financial assistance in the educational sector needs to be duly considered,” the European commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement said on Twitter.

He also backed a “firm commitment to fight antisemitism and engage with Palestinian Authority” and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

The UK and EU have faced renewed pressure over wages paid to PA teachers since the report's publication.

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Brussels office, called for “immediate action.”

“The textbooks must be immediately replaced and should the Palestinian Authority refuse to do so, the [European Commission] will have no other choice but to follow the Norwegian example and withhold some funding to bring about the necessary change,” he said.

The Conservative Friends of Israel parliamentary group said the UK should “act decisively to end its facilitation” of the PA’s “extreme curriculum”.


  • Wednesday, June 23, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon



A Moroccan reporter who covers Hollywood, Simo Benbachir. has been getting death threats and lost 100,000 Instagram followers for this fawning January interview with Israeli actress Gal Gadot.



Gadot thinks he is an Israeli and starts the interview in Hebrew, but Benbachir says he is Moroccan but would love to learn Hebrew.

He described Gadot as "one of the most exciting actresses he has ever met," saying during the interview  that she was "amazing in every sense of the word."

As a result, some of his followers called him “a friend of Zionist Israel,” “a traitor to the Palestinian cause,” and “a supporter of normalization with Israel.”

During an interview with Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Benbachir said he was subjected to "profanity that should not be mentioned."

The journalist said that he supports Morocco's normalization with Israel, saying it is in the interest of the Moroccan people.

He said that he does not regret his statements and praise of the Israeli actress and he looks forward to another interview with her, saying that he is the only Arab journalist to have met Gadot after the Wonder Woman 1984 movie.

Benbachir said, “All of my childhood was in Italy, but during my primary studies in Morocco, most of my friends and colleagues were Moroccan Jews."






  • Wednesday, June 23, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Human Rights Watch finally addressed the increase in antisemitic attacks in the US that became visible last month from anti-Israel activists - yet its very article on the topic encourages and excuses the very antisemitism it claims to be against.

The post on US antisemitism was written by Eric Goldstein, Acting Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division. He is one of the key members of HRW who decided to accuse Israel of being guilty of the crime of apartheid - a highly publicized report that was released only weeks before the rise in attacks on Jews.

Why was a report on US antisemitism written by someone whose career demands demonization of Israel? Why wasn't it written by an expert on US hate groups?

Because this article is not meant to reduce antisemitism. It is meant to excuse the most prevalent kinds of antisemitism today.

The problem starts with the headline:


The headline mentions a spate of attacks on Jews, and the subhead's recommendation is not to address that very antisemitism which was committed under the cover of "Israeli criticism" [sic]!

The purpose of the article is to undermine its own supposed opposition to antisemitism.

And that continues in the article itself, which is more about the right to demonize Israel than it is about actually addressing antisemitism:

On May 18, a group waving the Palestinian flag assaulted diners seated outside a Los Angeles restaurant after reportedly asking if they were Jewish. In New York City two days later, assailants pummeled a young man wearing a skullcap on the street, a few blocks from where pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed that day.

The May 2021 fighting in Israel and Palestine coincided with a spike of antisemitic incidents in the US, as has happened before. What seems new this time is these incidents included a rash of physical assaults on Jews, a spokesperson of the Anti-Defamation League told Human Rights Watch.

Just months after the departure of a US president who did little to condemn groups like the marchers in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, who chanted, “Jews will not replace us,” these assaults remind us that the far right has no monopoly on antisemitism.
If these attacks are all done in the name of supporting the anti-Israel cause that HRW espouses, then why bring up Charlottesville (which Trump did indeed condemn)? 

HRW reluctantly says that the far Right has no monopoly on antisemitism - yet it does not want to address which other groups might be antisemitic. It will never name any group besides the far Right as being antisemitic. 

Because it does not want to criticize its allies. 
There is nothing antisemitic in itself about denouncing Israeli human rights violations or supporting boycotts against Israel. But it is antisemitic to reflexively treat Jews as complicit in the harm that the Israeli government inflicts on Palestinians – just as it is a hate crime to attack an Asian-American for how China’s authoritarian rulers may have handled Covid. Claiming that most American Jews support the Israeli government – a claim that a recent poll calls into doubt – is no excuse.
That last sentence is unbelievable. 

The vast majority of Jews support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and those who oppose it are a tiny minority. This is a fundamental reason why opposing Israel itself - not its government, but the existence of the state - is antisemitic. Whether Jews support the Israeli government is not relevant at all and bringing up a poll that deals with that rather than with Jewish support of Israel itself is meant to subtly justify antisemitic attacks as somehow being against the government of Israel. 

These anti-Israel demonstrations that prompted violence were opposed to the Jewish state itself. HRW is trying to imply that the broad Jewish consensus of support for Israel as a Jewish state is really fractured - because HRW holds the same political position as the antisemitic attackers that Israel itself is illegitimate.

The Biden administration has condemned these antisemitic attacks as “despicable” but has yet to nominate a new Special Envoy on Antisemitism (SEAS) at the State Department. Filling that post would provide a focal point for calling out and combatting antisemitism in the US and worldwide.

Biden should ensure the envoy he nominates is also committed to rolling back the efforts of the Trump administration to brand vast swaths of Israel criticism as antisemitic, which ill-served the cause of combatting actual antisemitism.  
HRW, in an article supposedly about combating antisemitism, spends more time defending attacking Israel than actually condemning the antisemites who want to start a new Holocaust and ethnically cleanse the Middle East of Jews. 

Two coalitions of analysts and scholars this year have tried to define judiciously when Israel criticism crosses the line. This includes painting Israel “as being part of a sinister world conspiracy of Jewish control of the media, economy, government or other financial, cultural or societal institutions,” or applying to it other clear-cut, classically antisemitic stereotypes, images, or symbols. The coalitions concur that “evidence-based criticism of Israel,” even when “contentious,” is not, on its face, antisemitic. Biden’s SEAS, by publicly defending such distinctions, would bring into relief when Israel criticism does in fact betray hatred of Jews, and when it does not.
HRW is here saying that it opposes the IHRA working definition of antisemitism that accurately described when attacks on Israel are antisemitic and when criticism of Israel is not. 

IHRA says "criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic." Human Rights Watch's criticism of Israel holds Israel to standards that no other nation is expected to adhere to. Its definition of "apartheid" would declare many nations, including the US, as being guilty of the same crime. Yet only Israel is given that appellation. 

It just so happens that calling Israel a racist endeavor - which HRW did with its "apartheid" report - is antisemitic under IHRA. HRW's "apartheid" report opposes the very existence of a Jewish state as racist, when it has never opposed any other state that defines itself in ethnic or religious terms. 

No wonder HRW opposes the IHRA working definition.

The Obama administration supported the IHRA definition. Some 30 countries and many international organizations support the IHRA definition. 

Human Rights Watch might oppose attacking random Jews because of the assumption that they are Zionist, but it fully supports the hate that animates such attacks while denying the undeniable fact that most Jews indeed support Zionism. 

HRW provides an ideological justification for attacking Jews. It is in no small part responsible for these recent attacks. If Zionism is racist as HRW claims, it is righteous to attack the racists. 

Today's antisemitism hides behind obsessive hatred of Israel to justify itself. HRW's similarly obsessive focus on Israel proves that it shares the same hate that the attackers in Los Angeles and New York have. 

An article supposedly opposing antisemitism is actually an ideological justification for antisemitism. 

HRW is telling its antisemitic allies that there is nothing wrong with their hate. It is justified as "evidence-based criticism of Israel" with HRW providing the doctored "evidence."  

Sure, they shouldn't attack a few random Jews on the streets of New York. Instead, they should join HRW is demanding Israel be replaced by another Arab state that would oppress and attack every Jew in the Middle East.







  • Wednesday, June 23, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is a bit unusual:

Khaled Salem, a naturalized American Arab running in the Democrat primary to unseat Sen. Chuck Schumer, has a simple message for President Biden: Israel is a “vital” ally protecting NATO’s “southeastern flank.”

While congratulating the new Israeli Government, Salem makes clear that Israel is in terrible danger from Iran. The release states that Salem “has repeatedly implored the US government to ‘open its eyes and admit the real danger’ of Iran’s role in trying to annihilate Israel.”

Salem goes on to quote the famed Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel, by stating “If we’ve learned anything from the Nazi Holocaust and the late Eli Wiesel, if someone says they are going to kill you, believe it.”

In closing, Salem states he fully backs “the new Israel government and hopes that Israel protects its Jewish citizens and continues to protect the entire Middle East. Israel offers an infrastructure of defense for the USA and its allies to protect western values and Arab nations themselves.”
Salem is a Muslim who was born in Egypt and raised in Kuwait. He came to the US in 1992. 

His platform is strange - free university tuition for all without the government reimbursing the universities, a big emphasis on helping US citizens being held in prisons abroad, and allowing US Muslim men to marry a second wife if the first wife agrees. 

His chances of winning in 2022 seem quite remote. 

It is hard to know if his pro-Israel platform is opportunistic or sincere. While he speaks against Iran, I cannot find anything negative he has to say about the Iranian nuclear deal. 

Either way, an Arab Muslim with a strong pro-Israel position is something that would upset the normal anti-Israel crowd.

(h/t Soccer Dad)






Tuesday, June 22, 2021

From Ian:

The EU Report on Palestinian Textbooks: The Dehumanization of the Jewish People
The report further acknowledges the obsessive use of certain descriptions meant to lessen the humanity of Israelis and Jews in the eyes of Palestinian students. Some of the titles given discard any attempt at subtlety, such as referring simply to “the enemy.” Elsewhere, instead of mentioning the “State of Israel” or describing their neighbors as “Israelis”: “Most often, the texts refer to the ‘Zionist occupation’ … or simply ‘the occupation.’ … Israel’s institutions, army and organs of state are generally described using the adjective ‘Zionist.’ … When ‘Israel’ and ‘Israeli’ … are used … [they] are usually paired with conflict-related terms such as ‘occupation,’ ‘forces,’ or ‘soldiers.’”

The authors, to their credit, recognize the game being played here. They write, “While the term [Zionist] by itself is not defamatory, it conveys negative connotations. Given this reading, using the term ‘Zionist occupation’ in place of the name of the state could be interpreted as questioning the legitimacy of the State of Israel.”

However, when the students are also taught in history class that the “Zionist ideology” is a “racist philosophy,” that’s more than just delegitimizing Israel. That’s a deliberate attempt to characterize Israelis, and indeed almost all Jews worldwide, as uniquely undeserving and racist, merely for believing in their right to self-determination in their ancient homeland.

What better way is there in modern society to depict a group as evil than to label them all as racists, except perhaps only the ancient but reliable blood libel that the Jews systematically grab non-Jewish children to torture and murder them?

Of course, that too is found in the textbooks.

The examples are many, which is why the concluding statement about UNESCO standards is so alarming. If we allow the EU to depict such blatant hatred and incitement as acceptably within global standards, then the last two months of antisemitism will surely become even more disturbingly normalized.

Don’t let our political leadership get away with the usual noncommittal language bemoaning antisemitism without taking concrete action against it. If we won’t stand up for ourselves and demand consequential action against those who dehumanize us and incite violence, then who will?


Mainstreaming of Jew-hatred in Canada
We know only too well from our history where this can lead. It’s essential that our leaders — in government and in the community — come together to focus on this issue urgently so we don’t see another tragedy like the one we just saw in London.

It’s now incumbent on those in positions of power and influence, many of whom have been, sadly, all too silent, to show leadership and take responsibility.

So intense has been the recent explosion of Jew-hatred that earlier this month, at the request of several Jewish community organizations, including the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an emergency summit on antisemitism.

It will be convened later this summer under the leadership of Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism Irwin Cotler. A summit on Islamophobia was also recently announced in Parliament.

To be effective, the antisemitism summit requires more than earnest, quickly forgotten rhetoric. Words aren’t enough. Concrete steps are required.

We need real and meaningful action to take place in policing, the justice system, education and well beyond. All our institutions need new tools to fight this disturbing spike in racism, to the benefit of all minorities in Canada.

The summit must address the role of stakeholders at all levels of government — municipal, provincial and federal — to bring about serious strategies to address this scourge. It’s paramount the discussion not be siloed and that proper funding is ensured to implement recommendations. The status quo must not be an option.
A Response to ‘Rolling Stone’: Many Young Jews Like Me Support Israel
Marisa Kabas frames her May 21 “Cultural Commentary” for Rolling Stone by telling readers how torn she is about Israel as an American Jew. ( “Young American Jews Have Reached a Tipping Point with Israel”)

In her mind, being raised Jewish, with “Tikkun Olam — the Jewish principle of improving the world through action,” makes it impossible to voice her support for Israel, the sole Jewish state. She writes that she had “never questioned Israel’s existence,” implying that, suddenly, she feels otherwise.

Unfortunately, Kabas, along with many students, media personalities, and celebrities, has internalized the false narrative that Israel represents a unique evil in the world.

Kabas reveals her bias when she refers to the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount, exclusively by its Arabic name, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and calls it only “a Muslim holy site in East Jerusalem.”

And she betrays her lack of knowledge about the events in question when she says simply that “Israeli police invaded” the mosque. In fact, an Israeli news outlet reported that “The Israel Police said rioters had been hurling rocks and other objects from the holy site and launching fireworks at officers, leading them to enter the compound, a relatively uncommon move by Israeli security forces.”

Kabas delegitimizes Israel by claiming that it is an “apartheid” state that commits acts of “ethnic cleansing,” yet she is unable to support her statements with any facts or history of the region.

A country that affords equal rights to all citizens is, by definition, not an “apartheid state” — and Israeli Arabs not only have full rights, but serve in every facet of society, including the Knesset and Supreme Court. Kabas’ absurd comparison not only delegitimizes Israel, but also minimizes the suffering of people who lived through actual apartheid in South Africa.
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
When the most repressive regimes on Earth are against you, is it a compliment?

The website of the North Korea Foreign Ministry has an article written by Yang Myong Song, Secretary General of Korea-Arab Association, condemning Israel for defending itself.

The situation in the Middle East is again spiralling into an aggravation [sic].

On June 4 and 11, the Israeli troops committed a barbarous act of using tear gas and rubber bullets and even firing live bullets at the Palestinians in the West Bank who were protesting against the construction of Jewish settlements. ...

And they launched indiscriminate air raids on the central and southern regions of Syria on June 8 and again on the Gaza Strip at dawn of June 16, causing heavy casualties.

This slaughter by Israel is an open challenge to the United Nations resolutions calling for peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem and to the relevant international laws. This is also a flagrant violation of the ceasefire agreement signed on May 21, and an inhumane crime that poses serious threat to the right to existence of the people of Palestine and other peoples in the Middle East.

It is thus quite natural that the world is denouncing and rejecting the planned and continued atrocities of slaughtering civilians and the dispossession of territories by Israel, as these acts constitute the biggest threat to achieving peace.

It is a stereotyped trick of aggressors to seek their way out from an overseas invasion whenever they are faced with crisis.

Israel – which intentionally escalates tensions in the region, unhesitatingly committing the slaughter of innocent civilians – cannot be portrayed otherwise than the wrecker of peace and the root of all the ills in the Middle East.

We vehemently condemn the illegal expansion of Jewish settlements and the brutal air raids by Israel against the sovereign states, and extend our strong support and solidarity to the peoples of Arab countries fighting for peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem and for defence of their national sovereignty.
This post makes it clear that Israel's existence is the problem and the peaceful settlement of the problem is to get rid of Israel. 

If Israel doesn't dismantle itself peacefully and resists this desire for its dissolution, then that is evidence that it is a warmonger. 







  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
It seems that the EU has not given any money to the Palestinian Authority this year.

The European Union spokesman in Palestine Shadi Othman confirmed on Tuesday that the European Union will not transfer funds to the Palestinian Authority until October.

Othman said that no funds were transferred to the Palestinian Authority in 2021 so far.

the only reason given for the delay were "technical and administrative reasons."

The information came up during an event in which the European Union ambassador was asked about the money being transferred to the PA.

The European Union’s financial contribution to the Palestinian Authority is estimated at 300 million euros annually. That is a significant part of the budget.

There may be more to this story - it seems very odd that "technical and administrative" reasons would be enough to stop a regular transfer of funds. 






From Ian:

Ruthie Blum: Washington Doublethink and the Iran Deal
The administration in Washington outdid itself in doublethink this week. Faced with the election of mass executioner Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency, top White House aides and media champions put such a spin on the situation that they ought to take home the gold in the George Orwell Olympics.

To counter the problem presented by Raisi’s record as a sadist who commanded the torture and murder of masses of innocent Iranians, members of and apologists for Team Biden told The New York Times over the weekend that the “ascension of a hardline government” might actually constitute a window of opportunity to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran from which former President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

The logic behind the delusion is that Raisi, who announced on Saturday that neither Iran’s ballistic-missile program nor its support for regional militias would be up for negotiation, won’t be replacing incumbent Hassan Rouhani for six weeks, supposedly just enough time for all parties to the JCPOA to iron out any remaining differences and sign on the dotted line.

Furthermore, according to the Times, if a final deal is reached before Raisi takes the reins, “Iran’s moderates would be set up to take the blame for capitulating to the West and bear the brunt of popular anger inside Iran if sanctions relief does not rescue the nation’s stricken economy. But if the deal comes together, the new conservative government under Mr. Raisi can take the credit for an economic upswing, bolstering his case that it took a hardline, nationalist government to stand up to Washington and bring the country back.”

This is an astonishing view for three reasons.
Meet ‘The Butcher,’ Iran’s New President Ebrahim Raisi
Khamenei knows the fury of people in Iran and the region has been fueled in great part by the crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, which President Biden may soon undo—but also by the administration’s truth-telling about the brutality and corruption of regime officials. The highest humiliation for the world’s most anti-American regime, however, was the assassination of Khamenei’s favorite and most powerful loyalist, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Qassem Soleimani. Overwhelming financial pressure, scrutiny of human rights abuses and corruption, assassinations of top officials, relentless acts of espionage and sabotage (much enabled by the Israeli state’s moles at the highest ranks of the nuclear program and the IRGC), mounting dissent, and the regime’s own profound structural crises of mismanagement and incompetence have made the Islamic Republic more brittle and more vulnerable than ever.

But Biden’s Appeasement 2.0 policy has already given the regime a new lifeline, and with the selection of Raisi, Khamenei is puffing out his chest, showing that he knows that the United States has abdicated its own strong hand in favor of a losing one. The regime has studied—and sought to shape—the ideological underpinnings of the Obama/Biden outlook on the Middle East, a “realignment” toward accommodation of the regime at any cost. Emboldened by the recognition that Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Malley will stop at nothing to re-enter the nuclear deal, Khamenei feels unconstrained in choosing his potential successor and untroubled at making the American capitulation look even more desperate and devoid of morality.

The regime uses its nuclear program as a means to extort the United States so it can survive. But as much as the Obama/Biden playbook may want to keep the regime in power as a “counterbalance” in the region—a nonsensical phrase, since the “other side” being “balanced” in this formulation would be the United States and its regional allies—the regime itself knows it is in an irreparable legitimacy crisis, no matter how much the United States accommodates it. The regime knows it is structurally incapable of being accountable to the Iranian people. It knows that with its monstrous network of patronage and corruption, it is incapable of addressing the compounding existential crises that have galvanized the mostazefeen, the downtrodden in whose name the revolution was originally waged. It knows that any measure of freedom and openness it may grant to the Iranian people will only be used to press for wholesale regime change.

Khamenei is a student of the Soviet Union and the KGB. He knows how glasnost and perestroika backfired. His regime’s decay is undeniable, and the Iranian people’s determination to fight him will only grow. But he has decided the only recourse is further brutality, to which he hopes to make the United States a de facto partner.

Khamenei wants to put the United States in the debased position of not only lifting sanctions but lifting them on a president who has committed crimes against humanity. He wants to terrorize the people of Iran further and show them that they have nowhere to appeal to—and that the standard-bearers of freedom and human rights prefer to send pallets of cash to mass murderers than to support the legitimate and peaceful aspirations of ordinary Iranians. By doing so, he intends to fortify the culture of impunity he has created for his yes-men and himself. He wants to make the Iranian people lose their deep and abiding faith in the United States and give up on their dream of becoming a democracy. President Biden would be profoundly wrong to give Khamenei what he wants.


PMW: PA and Abbas spit Biden and Blinken in the eyes – vow to continue rewarding terrorists with generous salaries
As US President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are doing all they can to renew US funding to the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority and its Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are simply spitting Biden and Blinken in the eyes. One of the major obstacles impeding US aid to the Palestinians is the PA’s terror rewarding “Pay-for-Slay” policy. While the PA seems to be trying to convince the Biden administration that it has reformed, or even abandoned its pugnacious terror reward program, at home, in Arabic, PA TV is clarifying the message of Abbas to the Palestinian people: “Pay-for-Slay” will continue!

Since the beginning of June, PA TV has repeatedly - no less than 18 times! - broadcast Abbas’ speech in which he promises that even if the PA is left with only “one penny” in its coffers, he will pay that penny to the families of the dead terrorists, the terrorist prisoners, and the wounded terrorists.

Introducing the speech, the PA narrator presents Abbas as the one who “preserves the right of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners”:
PA TV Narrator: “Despite the blackmail, he defends the right of the Martyrs, the wounded, and the prisoners.”

Abbas: “A blessing is sent to our loyal Martyrs, our prisoners, and their families who are standing firm and bearing their suffering with patience. We say to them, to the families of the Martyrs, that we will defend their rights regardless of the price we’ll have to pay. I won’t submit to what Israel has requested. I won’t submit. Even if I’m left with one penny, I’ll pay it to the families of the Martyrs, to the prisoners, and to the wounded, and I won’t withhold this from them.”

[Official PA TV, June 4 (twice), 5 (twice), 6 (four times), 9 (twice), 11 (twice), 12, 15, 16 (twice), 18, 19, 2021]
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon



June 22 is the birthday of Raqia Ibrahim, also known as Rachel Abraham Levi, a Jewish Egyptian actress in the 1940s.

The Egypt Independent wrote about her in 2014, quoting Emirati website Al Bayan as saying that she was a Mossad spy who helped them assassinate a female Egyptian nuclear scientist:

Ibrahim’s birth in Egypt did not prevent her being loyal to Israel, the report said, as she encouraged the Jews in Egypt to immigrate to Israel after 1948 war when the Israeli state was first established.
 
Ibrahim left Egypt in 1954 to the United States after separating from her husband. Accusations were levelled against her over involvement in assassination of Egyptian Scientist Samira Moussa in 1952.
 
Despite rumors over cooperation with the Israeli Mossad to assassinate Mousa, who rejected an offer to receive US citizenship in return for working at US scientific centers, reporters first spoke to Ibrahim's granddaughters in 2012, who supplied further evidence to support the accusation.
 
According to Al-Bayan, Rita David Thomas, the granddaughter of Ibrahim’s Jewish-American husband who she married upon immigration to the United States, said her grandmother had good relations with Moussa and attributed this to her diaries, which was found two years ago among old books kept in her house in California.
 
Thomas said her grandmother contributed to killing of Moussa through their friendship, which provided her access to her house and allowed her to distract Moussa.
 
“One time, Raqia was able to steal Moussa’s house key. She printed it on a bar of soap and gave it to an official from the Mossad in Egypt. One week later, Raqia went to have dinner with Moussa, allowing the Mossad to enter Moussa’s house and take copies of her research.”
 
Israel was concerned about Moussa’s aspirations as she sought to allow Egypt to obtain the nuclear bomb, manufacturing it at low costs. Ibrahim offered Moussa a deal to receive US citizenship, live in the states and work there. However, the Egyptian scientist refused and expelled her from her house. Ibrahim reacted by threatening her that rejecting the offer would have dire consequences. Moussa did not pay attention to her threats and resumed her research, which made the Mossad unsatisfied and kill her.
 
The website reported that Ibrahim knew about one of Moussa’s visits to a nuclear reactor in the US. She notified the Mossad, which killed her on 15 August 1952.

Moussa died when her car fell 40 feet on her US visit.

While it seems credible that Levi gave information to the Mossad, an article in Egypt's El Balad today by Khaled Sawaf says that this episode proves that Jews can never be trusted:

[Levi] is an affirmation that some of the Jews of Egypt are like others. All the Jews of the world are in a permanent ideological, religious and political war with Egypt.. They do not hesitate to do anything and everything in order to serve the interests of Israel and to undermine Egypt using all methods: sex, money, extortion - whether they carry out the tasks dirty themselves, or use weak souls of different nationalities.

Although the goodness of the Egyptian people reaches the point of praising some of the Jews of Egypt who have a history that appears to be good, hidden inside of it is evil, the reality proves to us day after day with evidence revealing spying and betrayal operations from Jews who were born and lived on the soil of Egypt.

The writer is saying that Egypt was fully justified in ethnically cleansing 80,000 Jews because they were all potential spies.



 








  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
I missed this article in the official Wafa news agency from March, but on "Land Day" Fatah pledged to take control over all of Israel.

 The Palestinian National Liberation Movement "Fatah" affirmed that the land is the core of the conflict, and that our people will continue their steadfastness on the land of their historic homeland Palestine, and make all sacrifices for its liberation from the Israeli occupation.

Fatah said in a statement issued by the Information and Culture Commission today, Monday, on the 45th anniversary of the Eternal Land Day, that the struggle of our Palestinian people has been continuing with a solid will for more than 100 years, and that it will not stop until its freedom is achieved as a master on its land .</blockquote>The article is crystal clear that it is referring to all the land of "historic Palestine," referring to the Negev, Galilee and the Triangle.  

...This day is one of the defining moments in the history of the Palestinian cause, and a fully conscious act of struggle, just like Fatah's response to the Nakba of Palestine in 1948 and its launch of the revolution to emphasize the goal of liberating the land and return.

Anyone who believes that the main Palestinian political party in the PA would stop their claims if given a state in the West Bank and Gaza is willfully blind. 


  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The vaccine debacle shows again a fundamental difference between the Israeli and Palestinian mentality - and why peace with Palestinians is impossible.

Israelis want to find solutions to problems. Ideally, the solutions are win-win – both sides get what they want and everyone is ahead of where they were previously.

Israel had vaccines that were coming close to expiration. Palestinians were way behind in vaccinating their population, and their vaccines – which they ordered many months ago – were delayed.

I don't know who came up with the solution – Israel or Pfizer – but Israel had a chance to not waste the vaccines while allowing the Palestinians to get a head start on over half a million jabs.

However, Palestinians do not have a win/win mindset. They have a zero-sum mentality.

The two cannot mix.

From the Palestinian perspective, “if my enemy wins, I lose.” Israel cannot be allowed to win – whether it is in PR, or in not losing millions of dollars of vaccines. If Israel wins, then Palestinians lose, in this bizarre mindset.

Even if Israel's win can also save the lives of hundreds of Palestinians

A lose/lose is preferable to a win/win, when you hate your enemy enough.

And Palestinians are taught to hate Israelis from birth. 

The zero-sum mindset is tied with the honor/shame mentality. If your enemy wins, it is shameful for you.

How can anyone make peace with people whose top priority is for their opponents to lose and be humiliated – more than they care about their own people?

The answer is – you cannot. Until the Palestinians grow up and think like adults, they will never get anywhere.  

There is a glimmer of hope. The vaccine agreement was hammered out over months, and as late as Friday morning it was being praised from both sides.

But then other Palestinians - probably political opponents to the PA - started making a stink about how dare the Palestinians make an agreement with the hated Israelis.

Since the PA cannot allow itself to look like a collaborator with Israel, it made up a story about the expiration date of the vaccines, even though that had been spelled out in the agreement. 

For a brief moment, the Palestinians acted like adults, like people who actually care about their own. But that way of thinking is fragile and easily smashed when a political opponent accuses the other of being weak or being too conciliatory towards the enemy.

That's what happened. And unless a Palestinian leadership can emerge that cares about its own people more than ridiculous notions of "honor," we cannot expect any fundamental change.







Monday, June 21, 2021

From Ian:

The New Refuseniks
At a recent United Against Terrorism rally in Beverly Hills, Jennifer Karlan, 17, spoke passionately about why American Jews should stand for Israel. With remarkable confidence, she talked about a new form of antisemitism facing American Jews: “Today, they no longer say they hate the Jew; today they say they hate Zionists. Today they no longer say they hate the Jewish people; they say they hate the Zionist entity. But the hate is the same.” Some 2,000 people had gathered for the rally. Karlan drew cheers as she insisted that Jewish identity and Israel are deeply interconnected: “Israel is not just the name of the land; it is the name of our people. We are the people of Israel, each and every one of us: Am Yisrael Chai.”

Karlan is a graduate of Club Z, a Zionist club for teens and quite possibly the most important American Jewish organization you’ve never heard of. Club Z was founded four years ago by Masha Merkulova, a Soviet Jewish immigrant from Minsk. Along with a handful of other organizations that Russian-speaking American Jews have started over the past few years, it is changing the conversation about Jewish identity, Jewish peoplehood, Zionism, and Israel. Disappointed with the way the United States’ organized Jewish community has treated these issues, and alarmed by the growing embrace of politically weaponized Zionophobia—the form of antisemitism that they know so well from their lives in the Soviet Union—these immigrants are taking matters into their own hands.

The recent Hamas-Israel confrontation unleashed an antisemitic onslaught on social media and in the streets of U.S. cities of a kind that American Jews had never seen before. It wasn’t just the intensity of the hate that was shocking—it was also its source and nature. Suddenly, violent antisemitism was coming at American Jews from the left. Suddenly, it was progressive politicians who were fanning the flames of antisemitism, while the Democratic Party—the political home of most American Jews—looked the other way. Nothing in American Jews’ background or system of beliefs had prepared them for this moment, and many did not seem to know how to respond.

In that moment of crisis, only a few individuals and groups stood out as they fearlessly fought hate and propaganda. They did not log off their social media accounts. They showed no signs of confusion, and they most certainly were not demoralized. They simply stood up and joined the battle against what they perceived as an assault not only Israel but on who they were as Jews.

That ex-Soviet Jews projected a more confident and resilient Jewish identity in the midst of this crisis than many native-born American Jews is a fact that is both fascinating and significant. In the three decades since Soviet Jews arrived in the United States, they proved largely impervious to American Jewry’s attempts to inculcate their sense of what it meant to be Jewish. Having never bought into the idea that religion was central to Jewish identity, they stayed away from synagogues. The American tikkun olam perspective, which demanded that Jews put the world’s priorities ahead of their own, struck them as the height of folly. And they certainly did not buy into the notion that the far right had a monopoly on antisemitism.
Zionism has EVERYTHING to do with Judaism
The great American civil rights warrior, Martin Luther King, said way back in 1968 in response to a question from a student attacking Zionism, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking Antisemitism.”

Today there are many people who say they are only anti-Zionistic and not anti-Semitic.

They try to defend it by saying they have nothing against Jews, only Israel.

Often this is done under the banner of so-called liberal and progressive movements that supposedly fight for freedoms and human rights. Groups such as Black Lives Matter or Jewish Voice for Peace or the United Nations Humans Right Council. The great irony of this is that true liberals who share progressive values should be at the forefront of supporting Israel with its freedoms for all its citizens, rather than leading the charge against it. But their minds are so clouded with hatred and antisemitism that they have lost all sense of what liberal values even mean. These are not groups of freedom but groups of hate.

And anti-Zionism is a movement of hatred, fuelled by the darkness of humanity, not the light. It brings out the worst in people, not the best. Its supporters are not driven by a sense of the lack of justice in the world, but rather by a sense of a reinforcement of long-standing injustice directed against only one particular group of people. They wave the banner of morality, while conveniently ignoring the absolute lack of morality of their own cause.

They try to ‘educate’ us by saying Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism – that somehow Zionism isn’t a Jewish movement at all, so you can therefore be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic. Of course Israel can be criticised and there are no bigger critics than Israelis themselves, but these people are not against any policy at all – they are against the very existence of the country.

They want to confuse you into thinking it’s some kind of evil movement by throwing in emotive and inflammatory terms such as colonialism, white supremacism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

So let me unconfuse you by setting the record straight:

Zionism has EVERYTHING to do with Judaism.


Too Jewish For Hollywood: As Antisemitism Soars, Hollywood Should Address Its Enduring Hypocrisy In Hyperbolic Caricatures of Jews
If Jews controlled Hollywood, it’s fair to say this would not be happening.

There are anomalies, and those, too, deserve mention. Israeli actor Shira Haas, who earned an Emmy nom for her role in “Unorthodox,” will play Golda Meir in the upcoming small-screen drama “Lioness,” which Streisand is set to executive produce. And then, there is “Shtisel,” the Israeli TV series so meticulous in its nuanced, understated, realistic portrayal of Jewish life — that it revolves around a Haredi family living in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood detracts none from its universality; it’s a commercial hit in places ranging from Stockholm to Paris — it’s of near-miraculous proportions. Why? Because “Shtisel” never panders to Jewish stereotypes. Its characters are Jewish, they are played by Jews (albeit secular ones, which goes even further to prove my point) and its plotlines unfold in ways that, while adhering to the laws and traditions of ultra-Orthodox Jewry, never once undercut the impenetrable humanity of its protagonists. They are Jews, but they are people.

The Jews just are.

Hollywood has a social responsibility to reflect with unflinching accuracy the experience of being an ethnic minority in America, whether Asian or Black or Muslim or Indigenous, and that same social imperative holds true for the Jewish community. Because being Jewish is not about a wig or an accent or talking really loud. It’s not about bagels. Being Jewish is about a shared history, a soul, a spirit — in Hebrew we call it a neshama. Amidst the terrifying rise of antisemitism, Jews in America do not feel safe. And in truth, we never have. The ways in which we are portrayed on screen yields significant real-life consequences—some positive, but far too many dangerous. The last thing the Jewish community needs right now is hyperbolic misrepresentation of who we actually are.

The simple, boring truth:

Jews are human.

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

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