Tuesday, August 20, 2019

From Ian:

Kevin D. Williamson: America’s Other ‘Special Relationship’ Remains Worth Preserving
Friedman is not 100 percent wrong in his argument here — and he is about 80 percent wrong, on average. It may not be that the entire Republican party is pro-Israel, but the GOP is overwhelmingly pro-Israel, and has been with and without Benjamin Netanyahu in office. And it is not the case that the entire Democratic party is anti-Israel, though it unquestionably is the case that the ascendant left wing of the Democratic party is anti-Israel. Representative Omar is bitterly anti-Israel, to the point of trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. Representative Tlaib is anti-Israel. A whole lot of Democrats who support the BDS movement are anti-Israel.

The Right’s celebratory interest in Israel is easy to understand, even if you think some of it is a little dopey. But why is the Left so intensely interested in Israel? Of course, there are things to criticize about Israel and its government. But it is by any measure of decency and liberalism a top-tier country. I am not aware of a boycott movement directed at, say, Pakistan. Or Turkey. Or Egypt. Or Venezuela. Or Russia. Or Burma. Or China. Or the Palestinian statelet, for that matter.

(I once was accosted by one of those clipboard-wielding cretins in Union Square who wanted me to sign on to boycotting Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. I told him I planned to start boycotting the Palestinians as soon as they managed to produce something worth boycotting.)

There are many countries in the world that merit criticism. Why is the American Left fixated on the Jewish state? Belgium can be pretty rough on refugees. Have you ever heard an American progressive collapse into a weeping fit about Belgium? Israel, though . . .
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And, really, are Thomas Friedman et al. quite confident that it is Donald Trump and not, say, the people looking to economically ruin Israel as a pet political project, making the U.S.-Israeli relationship a partisan issue? It is easy to see an argument that a thriving Israel accords with U.S. interests abroad. Is there an argument that a diminished and destabilized Israel — or an Israel consumed in fire, as Representative Omar’s rambunctious little Hamas buddies would prefer — is in the interest of the United States?

If there is, I have not yet heard it.

They Praised the Murder of a US Senator’s Niece — and They Organized Tlaib’s Israel Trip
First, they praised the terrorist who murdered a US senator’s niece. Then they were chosen by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to organize her now-cancelled trip to Israel. Tlaib’s outrageous choice of the pro-terrorist group Miftah to run her trip is a slap in the face of the United States Congress, and deserves to be investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

The fact that Rep. Tlaib chose Miftah to organize her trip is no secret; it was widely reported by major news media outlets. The problem is that nobody is explaining what “Miftah” really is. The New York Times, for example, reported only that Miftah is a group “that promotes ‘global awareness and knowledge of Palestinian realities.’”

Ironically, one the “Palestinian realities” of which Miftah reminds us is that the Palestinian Authority (PA) regards Palestinian Arab murderers of American citizens as heroes.

The official Miftah website features an essay by one of the group’s leaders, Ms. Johara Baker, profusely praising Dalal Mughrabi, the murderer of Gail Rubin, the niece of the late US Senator Abraham Ribicoff, Democrat of Connecticut.

Ms. Baker is not some minor figure at Miftah. At the time she wrote her article praising Mughrabi, she was identified as the group’s “Director of the Media and Information Department.” Elsewhere on the Miftah website, she is listed with other titles. Last year, she was one of Miftah’s representatives at a gathering to discuss “Possible Repercussions of the Collapse of the International Order on the Palestinian Issue.”

Mughrabi was the leader of a PLO death squad that came ashore in northern Israel early one morning in March 1978. Gail Rubin, a nature photographer, was walking along the beach. Mughrabi shot her in the head. Then Mughrabi and her gang hijacked an Israeli bus, and carried out what is known in Israel as the Coastal Road Massacre. They slaughtered 37 people. That remains the highest casualty toll in any terrorist attack in Israel’s history.
For Most Palestinians, the "Occupation" includes All of Israel
Ask someone at random what Israel should do to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the answer you're most likely to get is "end the occupation." For most Westerners, this means the West Bank (acquired by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War).

However, for most Palestinians the occupation is not limited to the West Bank, but consists of "historic Palestine," which includes the whole of Israel. For most Palestinians, the occupation began in 1948 when Israel was born, and they won't be satisfied by anything less than the elimination of the State of Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Palestinian TV in October 2013: "All Palestinian land is occupied - Gaza is occupied, the West Bank is occupied, the 1948 lands [i.e., Israel] are occupied and Jerusalem is occupied."

A June 2019 survey by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion found that only 30% of West Bankers would approve a two-state solution. The majority say "the conflict should not end, and resistance should continue, until all of historic Palestine is liberated."

There is no mistaking the meaning of the chant heard at virtually all pro-Palestinian rallies: "From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free." The river is the Jordan River and the sea is the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, Palestine is Israel.

The Palestinians memorialize the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" to mourn the 1948 War of Independence and the creation of Israel. That is the occupation they seek to end to this day.

  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ilhan Omar sent out a series of tweets about her planned itinerary in the territories that included some really ridiculous lies.





Here is a map of Hebron I made in response:


The 77% of shops closed aren't in Hebron; they are in a tiny section of Hebron that anti-Israel groups want you to think is the entire city. Israel closed off those areas because Palestinians were shooting Jews in that section.

Hebron in fact has malls like this one:


It looks like this:


Omar was badly quoting a 2007 B'Tselem report that was not talking about Hebron as a whole, or even about H2, but only about the tiny area around Shuhada Street. But she is too ignorant to know the difference.

One should expect more from an elected representative.


Another tweet of Omar's is equally false:




Only 13% of Bethlehem is accessible to Palestinians?

That is absurd, as I responded with a B'Tselem map showing the separation barrier - and Bethlehem is almost entirely on the Palestinian side, and quite large, without any checkpoints or impediments:



Again, Omar was misquoting a different statistic and applying it to the city of  Bethlehem.

This is not mere sloppiness, which would be bad enough for a member of Congress. This is knowingly lying.





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  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday, someone named "Adam Greenblatt" criticized one of my tweets. When I looked at his profile, he claimed to be an Orthodox Jew who supported Jewish Voice for Peace, but his profile photo did not look like an Orthodox Jew at all:



I pointed this out on Twitter, and then started looking closer at his account and those of his followers and people who follow him.

I (and others) discovered a series of brand new accounts, with generic Jewish-sounding names, following each other to make them look more legitimate - but their account information did not add up as actually being Jewish, as they wrote things that no real Jew of any denomination would ever write:










I originally thought that these fake accounts were made by JVP, because many of them claimed to be JVP members. Israellycool gathered more evidence and posted about it.

But soon a JVP fan (quite rudely) pointed out to me that this was not JVP, but a new coordinated campaign by the alt-Right in the "poi" (Politically Incorrect) 4chan hate site that started last Friday.

We must create a massive movement of fake Jewish profiles on Facebook, Twitter etc...etc...Since Jews shapeshift into whites anytime they want, we can do the same to them. The reasoning and goals listed below.
>>Jews are a protected class. LARPING (live-action role playing - EoZ) as a Jew has the benefit of being uncensored by big tech. It beats the hell of fashygoyim1488 profiles. Nobody will listen to you, and you will continue to receive bans. You also have the benefit of labeling anyone an anti semite who disagrees with you. Use this to your advantage.

>>As a Jew, normies will listen to you. Especially boomers. You can take the blame for world events. Post redpill facts about your fellow Jews. Slave trade, monetary facts, mass media, porn industry etc...etc... 
>>Being a Jew, you are able to subvert Jews themselves. Since Jewishness is 100% based on supremacism, you can use the same tactics they have used to dismantle our own society. You can push for more diversity in Israel, for example. More race mixing...etc...etc...If your fellow Jews disagree, call them Nazi's, racists, bigots, xenophobes. LOVE WILL WIN. Bring ICE detainees to Israel.

>>Even if Jew know of our plans, it will create in fighting as righty Jews will accuse lefty Jews of being fake profiles. This creates more division.

>Make sure your profiles are as authentic looking as possible.
By accusing JVP of being behind the fake accounts, I inadvertently fell for part of the scam.

The 4chan poster gave an example of they type of thing to post:

Anyone who knows anything about Jews could see that these accounts were what far-right haters imagine Jews are like in their fevered dreams. But to the general audience, the plan could easily foment antisemitism as "proud Jews" push extreme positions that most people would not agree with.

Soon I and other started reporting these accounts to Twitter.

I quickly found at least 15 fake accounts, but there were many more - including accounts that did not pretend to be Jewish.





Twitter removed some, but most of them were taken down by the haters as they saw that the plan was exposed pretty early. (Some pretended to argue with me and threaten me with lawsuits before going "poof!")

This sort of thing has happened before, as Yair Rosenberg has documented.

This time the plot was exposed quickly. But these losers have plenty of time as they spend their pathetic lives blaming Jews for their still living in their mother's basements. And motivated haters can easily put things like this together.





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  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ammar Fareed Tawfiq al-Astal, 32, was killed in an accident caused by an explosion during while he was preparing a bomb.

Most Arabic media are just saying that a man was killed in an explosion without identifying what terror group he might belong to, but the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Fatah said he was a commander of a brigade of Khan Younis.

Here's his martyr poster:







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Monday, August 19, 2019

  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
John-Paul Pagano found this amazing article at Hanan Ashrawi's Miftah that claims Israel steals the organs of children.

Helping the victims of disasters has become now an occasion for launching public relations campaigns or achieving hidden political and military objectives. People still fall victim to earthquakes, disasters, occupation, oppression and terrorism. They also fall victim to campaigns which use their tragedy to achieve other purposes which have nothing to do with the value, importance, sanctity and dignity of human life.

After the Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom wrote about the Israeli army killing Palestinian youth in order to harvest their organs, there were other media reports about Israelis stealing Ukrainian children in order to harvest their organs. Once again there are documented reports from Haiti that organs are being stolen by Israelis without international justice intervening to put an end to such criminal practices against innocent vulnerable people.
The author, Bouthaina Shaaban, is a media adviser to Syrian dictator and mass murderer Bashar Assad.

Today, Peter Beinart defended Miftah and its head, Hanan Ashrawi, in a meltdown performance on CNN, pretending that there is no real problem with a group that publishes pure antisemitism sponsoring the trips of US members of Congress.



Rich Lowry asked Beinart, quite sensibly, whether Ashrawi should be held responsible for antisemitism and support for terror that has published many times. Beinart didn't answer that, even though any NGO would be held to a much higher standard than Miftah is.

Even funnier, Beinart went to Twitter to defend Miftah - and instead of linking to their fake apology for posting the original blood libel article I found, he linked to their attack on me that justified the blood libel article as just part of Palestinian "open dialogue."

The disclaimer at the opening of the “News and Analysis” section clearly states that, “The views represented in [News and Analysis] are solely those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of MIFTAH, but rather fulfill its mandate for open dialogue.”
The entire reason Miftah justified the blood libel posting back in 2013 is because, to the people who work there, antisemitism is part and parcel of their lives.  Claims that Jews drink Christian blood, steal organs of Haitian and Ukranian kids and and control the media are what Palestinians are taught all the time. This is why they are so tone deaf to these articles - because they don't see anything wrong with them!

Hanan Ashrawi is of course responsible for how her NGO acts. People like Beinart who praise her in light of repeated outrages like this are clearly on the side of the antisemites.





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From Ian:

A Misunderstanding About Anti-Semitism
Only diseases can have cures, and anti-Semitism is not a disease: It is a perfectly normal human reaction to an anomaly that has persisted for just over 2,000 years, ever since starving Jews migrated in great numbers to food-rich Roman Egypt and its splendid capital of Alexandria, where they quickly outmatched the local Greek-speaking elite not only in Greek philosophy but also in Greek athletics—and in business too, no doubt. The Greeks reacted not by competing harder, but with murderous mob attacks. Thus, anti-Semitism was born, already so fully formed that nothing has been added by all the anti-Semites in history ever since. That the Jewish side of the story is well known through texts by Josephus and Philo, while the original denunciation of the Jews by then-famous philosopher Apion is lost (except for the bits quoted by Josephus as put-downs), proves just how right Apion was: Primitive Hebrew shepherds and peasants arrive, and in no time at all they take over everything, even Greek philosophic literature, in which Philo now occupies 10 volumes in the Harvard’s Loeb Classical Library and Apion has none, zilch, and nada. (Loeb was a Jewish banker, of course.)

What infuriated the Greeks was that the Jews stubbornly preserved their identity, even when they threw away their Bedouin robes to sit in togas to debate Aristotle and “continue” Plato’s writings, even when they abandoned Hebrew for Greek in their daily lives, and even when they exercised in the gym just as naked as the Greeks—and walked off with the prizes. By the time Philo paid a call on the Emperor Gaius—aka the colorfully murderous, pan-sexual Caligula—to ask him to fire his anti-Jewish Governor Aulus Avilius Flaccus and stop the riots, two of the five quarters of Alexandria, the New York City of the Roman world, were mostly Jewish. Gaius, incidentally, joshed Philo about the weirdness of not eating pork, but did recall A.A. Flaccus, who ran into a sword upon his return—an early case of undue Jewish political influence.

Apion & Co. were unpleasant but not irrational, because the extraordinary success of Alexandria’s Jews certainly had no straightforward explanation. They should have been at the bottom of the queue, not at the top, considering that ambitious and well-educated Greeks were arriving in the city all the time, and that many of the indigenous Egyptians were already very well educated urban folk (the rubbish heaps of just one of their small towns, Oxyrhynchus, have yielded the fragments of many literary scrolls).

There was only one logical explanation for Apion and all anti-Semites ever since: The real reason Jews stayed away from the wide-open temples in which all decent folk publicly gathered to worship the gods with sacrifices, libations, and hymns was to conspire in their secretive and literally godless synagogues to do in the gentiles, conniving and conspiring to defraud them of their just rewards while pretending to mumble incomprehensible prayers in their weird tongue.

The obvious remedy against the perpetually conniving Jews was simply to keep them out—a humanitarian solution actually, for no violence was needed. And for two millennia after the Alexandria riots, countless towns, many cities, and some entire countries did just that.
StandWithUs: The rise of Antisemitism in New York City.
Antisemitic incidents are up by 82 percent in New York City. Blind hatred must be stopped!


The Australian: Albanese needs to show some spine (click on the twitter link)
The examples of anti-Semitism emanating from Corbyn and his crew are legion, but just a few examples should suffice. He once defended a blatantly anti-Semitic mural depicting hook-nosed bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the poor. He suggested renaming Holocaust Memorial Day “Genocide Memorial Day”. He placed a wreath on the grave of Black September terrorists. Last month, the BBC aired an explosive documentary detailing Labour’s abject failure to deal with anti-Semitism within its ranks.

The revelations led 67 Labour members of the House of Lords to write an open letter declaring: “The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews). This is your legacy Mr Corbyn.” Labour member Trevor Phillips, Britain’s former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, laments that his party “presents like a textbook case of institutional racism”.

Nine Labour parliamentarians have quit in disgust, citing Corbynista anti-Semitism among the reasons. Politics, they say, makes strange bedfellows, and none has been stranger than the endorsements Corbyn has earned from the likes of Nick Griffin, the former leader of the fascist British National Party, and David Duke, ex-leader of the Ku Klux Klan and perhaps America’s most infamous racist. We can also add, unfortun­ately, Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese to the list.

According to this newspaper, Albanese has met Corbyn at least three times in less than two years, posing for friendly selfies with the hard-left British Labour leader. “Talking politics and progress — and a bit of cricket,” Albanese captioned one of the photos. He should take a cue from some of his fellow social democrats abroad and distance his party from its British cousin, pronto.

Last year, Israeli Labor suspended all official relations with its British counterpart. In a sternly worded letter to Corbyn, then-leader Avi Gabbay acknowledged the “long history of friendship” that had existed between the two parties stretching back to prime minister Harold Wilson. But “the hostility that you have shown to the Jewish community and the anti-Semitic statements and actions you have allowed as leader of the Labour Party UK” along with “your very public hatred of the policies of the government of the state of Israel” led him to the conclusion that “we cannot retain relations with you … while you fail to adequately address the anti-Semitism” within Labour ranks.


New documentary gives a glimpse into the mind of Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Toby Perl Freilich, who directed the documentary, Moynihan, with Joseph Dorman, spoke about what moved her most when making this film, which had its Israeli premiere on Sunday at the DocuText Festival at the National Library. DocuText continues until Thursday.

This brilliant, engaging movie is currently available on iTunes, Amazon VOD and several other platforms (see note at the end of the article). It focuses on Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (1927-2003), a US Senator, UN ambassador and scholar who was a maverick intellectual and used his mind to try to better the lives of the poor. While it touches on his personal life, particularly his childhood and how it impacted his work, it is not a biography of the man but rather an incisive look at his ideas and ideals.

“He always understood that there were people who were going to fall through the cracks. He felt that government needed to be there to catch them with a safety net... He was interested in how policy affected people, how government could help them. Someone once asked him why he switched from academia to politics,” she said. “He said it was the other way around, that he had come to academia through politics. His academic work was always rooted in the real world.”

  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


This week is the 50th anniversary of the burning of part of the Al Aqsa Mosque by a crazed Australian Christian, Denis Michael Rohan.

Every year the Arab media claims that Jews and Israel were the ones who set the fire. On this half century anniversary, get ready for some serious incitement.

Hamas is starting by declaring that this Friday they this week's theme for the Friday "March of Return" demonstration is dedicated against the "Judaization of Jerusalem," with the 1969 arson as exhibit A.






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When I first got into the game of fighting against BDS in the early 2000s (simply called “divestment” back then), I became fairly dogmatic regarding the superiority of political victories over legislative and judicial ones. 

This was largely due to the nature of boycott and divestment activity at the time, which consisted of anti-Israel organizations seeking to get a civic institution, such as a college, municipality, church or business, to boycott or divest from the Jewish state through strategies that tended to involve trickery (like getting organizational leaders to pass anti-Israel motions before members knew what was going on) and moral blackmail.

Back then, members of such organizations tended to get enraged once they realized what was about to be done in their name.  This meant the most effective ways to counter BDS votes was to activate those members and help them organize to defeat unwanted political measures.  While conflicts generated by turning divestment into a political matter (usually accompanied by an organizational vote) gave the boycotters the public show trials they craved, their inevitable defeat left BDS looking more and more like a loser.

In many cases, ongoing defeat within a category of institution helped immunize other organizations from the BDS virus.  For example, food coops are no longer targeted by boycott activists since a string of defeats helped establish the fact that the coop movement should not be taking political stands on controversial issues unrelated to their missions.  In contrast, when wronged members of the still-only boycott-embracing food coop decided to challenge that boycott in court, they nearly faced catastrophe in the form of harsh court-ordered punishments against them (which have fortunately since been overturned).

Over the course of many years, however, I’ve been convinced by other activists that legal remedies are sometimes warranted, given the changing nature of boycott-related activism. 

For example, Kenneth Marcus (now in a position to do something about rising levels of bigotry directed against Jews and Israel supporters on campuses) pointed out how Israel haters engaging in brutish campaigns against their opponents use their own lawyers to scare administrators away from punishing students who engage in gross violations of campus rules.  Under such circumstances, it would be malpractice if our side didn’t challenge those same administrators with better lawyers insisting schools enforce their own rules for civil behavior.

Similarly, anti-boycott legislation at the state and federal level serve two important purposes: (1) demonstrating that, far from being widespread, support for BDS is marginal compared to support for Israel demonstrated by the votes of overwhelming numbers of democratically elected representatives; and (2) creating a counterweight to BDS activity taking place way above the level that can be challenged effectively by local, grassroots activists (such as attempts by the UN to create and implement a blacklist of Israeli companies).

But even if some circumstances warrant legal/judicial and legislative activities, I continue to be circumspect about how quickly our side should reach for those arrows.  Going to court is tricky, with decisions creating precedents that can be long-lasting.  It is also time consuming, and by the time matters are resolved by a judge or jury, the battle may have moved to entirely different ground.
Laws passed to fight BDS can also be double-edged swords.  To take a high-profile example, Israel’s law to bar BDS activists from visiting the country has generated bad press for the Jewish state that needs to be compared to the damage that might have occurred had those activists been allowed into the country.  Legislators tend to be motivated by a desire to do something in the face of perceived crises and be less concerned with the consequences of the measures they vote in once enacted. Recent controversy generated by banning two anti-Israel congresswomen from Israel also shows how the worthy fight against BDS can get entangled with domestic politics, both in Israel and in the US.  
Given the growing and increasingly dangerous anti-Israel project, its continued attempts to take over major institutions and its support by powerful actors (such as national governments and major non-governmental institutions), counting on grassroots activists to save the day is unrealistic.  But where and when to appeal to higher authority (such as a judge or legislative body) needs to be thought through and risks balanced against rewards before a strategy is pursued.

If we consider grassroots activism, lawsuits, and legislation as just three of many weapons we have at our disposal, then the issue boils down to how to choose which one(s) to use and how they will be deployed to help us achieve our goals.  In other words, it requires us to cultivate not a political or legal mindset, but a military one appropriate when someone else has been waging war against you for over a century. 


  



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From Ian:

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Israel is the sole sovereign of the Temple Mount
If I were Israel's ambassador to Jordan, and I were called in for a dressing down over Israel's actions on the Temple Mount and over Israelis ascending the site to mourn the destruction of the First and Second temples on the annual Jewish fasting day of Tisha B'Av, I would remind the official doing the dressing down that we Jews worshipped the one God at the temple that was located at the site over 3,000 years ago. Islam is only 1,409 years old.

I would remind the official that in classical Arabic, Jerusalem is referred to as Bayt al-Maqdis, meaning "temple," and that this is further proof of the falsehood that prevails today among the people of the region, according to which a temple never existed on the site.

I would present to Amman's envoy official Jordanian maps drawn prior to 1967, which have the words Mount Moriah written on the site of the Temple Mount, to its southeast the words Solomon's Stables, its south, the Valley of Josaphat, to the east of the mount, the Tomb of Zechariah and the Tomb of Absalom are listed, and to its west, Mount Zion. I would show the official these maps, and then I would note the following Arabic proverb: "A liar needs a good memory."

I would remind the official that while his country's 1994 peace agreement with Israel afforded the Hashemite Kingdom special status on the Temple Mount, Amman was not made sovereign of the site, because the sole sovereign of the site is Israel.
Jpost Editorial: No need for UNRWA
UNRWA – which employs more than 30,000 workers – has no motivation to end the “refugee crisis.” And since UNRWA’s mandate to resettle the Palestinian refugees was rescinded in 1965 without a serious reform, the numbers will keep on growing, to be used as a political tool against Israel.

The PA has reason to be concerned about UNRWA’s future, but it plays a double game, and it is time it is called out. On the one hand, the PA claims to represent the State of Palestine (which has observer-state status in the UN. and is recognized by more than 135 UN members), yet on the other hand it protests that the Palestinians continue to be refugees.

Alongside the status of perpetual refugeehood, UNRWA also perpetuates a culture of entitlement. Instead of fostering self-sufficiency, it is undermining the Palestinians it professes to care for. And that is without relating to the hate-filled nature of the education being received by Palestinian children, which deprives both the Palestinians and Israelis of hope for peace in the future.

UNRWA needs to be drastically reformed, with the aim of later closing it down and moving responsibility for the relatively small number of genuine refugees to the auspices of the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. The Palestinians themselves would be the first to benefit from UNRWA being revamped. UNRWA has done nothing to build a sustainable, peaceful Palestinian state. On the contrary. The report containing allegations of serious flaws could be the wake-up call the UN needs to reexamine UNRWA’s status. It’s time for the absurdity to end.

In Argentina, France, and Elsewhere in Europe, Attacks on Jews Are Judged by a Separate Yardstick
Indeed, a good two years before the Rue des Rosiers attack, following another terrorist outrage against a Jewish institution in Paris, Raymond Barre, then prime minister, acknowledged this reality. On October 3, 1980, a powerful bomb exploded near the entrance of the Reform synagogue on the Rue Copernic, wounding nearly 50 people and killing four: specifically, three Frenchmen and a young woman who turned out to be an Israeli tourist.

Interviewed on French television after the attack, which was blamed on far-right extremists but was more probably the work of Palestinians, Barre committed what those of a more generous disposition might describe as an unfortunate slip of the tongue. “This odious bombing,” he said, “was aimed at striking Jews who were going to the synagogue, and it hit innocent French people who were crossing the Rue Copernic.”

However distasteful, Barre’s remark was inadvertently enlightening. When Jews are in the crosshairs, an act of terrorism that might otherwise generate appalled outrage and swift police work could be rationalized if not excused. Some such thinking has left an indelible mark on governmental, judicial, and law-enforcement responses to anti-Semitic terror both in France and elsewhere in Europe. If it can be boiled down to a single principle, it is this: when it comes to the victims of Islamist-inspired terrorism, Diaspora Jews are innocent, but not as innocent as others.

Today, as then, terrorists can (and do) make the same calculation. Over the last decade in France, eight Jews have been killed by Islamist terrorists, three of them small children gunned down at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012. This has occurred amidst an atmosphere of rising anti-Semitism in the country and, with it, a broader tolerance of extreme violence directed at Jews.

Of course, terrorists have struck at many more general targets in France during the same time period, but these are seen by politicians and the media unambiguously as attacks on France itself, and not “merely” as attacks on Jews who happen to be living in France. This practical distinction between Jew and non-Jew, which has licensed bloodshed in the past, will no doubt do so again.

  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The photos accompanying many of the news stories of Israel neutralizing three heavily armed terrorists at the Gaza border show nothing but sympathy for the terrorists.

Relatives of the terrorists are shown as mourning their deaths in at least three major news sources:

France24:

Reuters:

VOANews:


Photos are often more important than the text of a story. The causal browser of news sees mourners and assumes that the relatives who died were unjustly killed. 

The headlines from VOANews and France24 don't help matters - they imply that Israel just randomly killed Palestinians.

All of these photos were taken by Mohammed Salem at Reuters. The scenes look posed and contrived to me.

(h/t Tomer Ilan)




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  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here are six basic facts about Israelis, and one about Palestinians, that are hardly mentioned in the media or universities. That refusal to report on the truth causes a major gap in Western understanding of the conflict.

Israelis desperately want peace and to be accepted as a normal nation in the Middle East. This is an understatement. Israelis have made serious sacrifices for peace with Egypt and with the Palestinians. But their yearning for peace is not at the expense of the security of Israelis. Security of the citizens is the overarching desire of every conceivable Israeli government, and is more important than any peace plan that does not fully guarantee security.

No one in Israel wants to rule over Palestinians. As much as is possible, Israel has tried to avoid that - by withdrawing from Gaza and allowing Palestinian autonomy in Area A and to some extent Area B. But the alternative of fully withdrawing from the territories is generally considered to be worse. Gaza shows the worst case scenario of unilateral withdrawal.

Almost no one in Israel wants to go to the 1967 lines. It is obvious that the human cost of doing that is unacceptable. Pretty much everyone agrees that some territories will always remain under Israeli rule, perhaps with land swaps. Framing the question as whether Israelis are "against the occupation" or "for the occupation" is deceptive, since the vast majority are against fully controlling 100% of the territories and a vast  majority are also against dismantling the homes of half a million people. Spinning either position as "pro" or "anti"-occupation is simply not to report the truth.

Israelis deserve human rights as much as Palestinians do. Israel wants to provide as many human rights for Palestinians as possible without compromising on the security of Israeli citizens, who also deserve human rights. The line between the two is in flux. When threats are reduced, restrictions are (or should be) reduced as well. All of Israel's security measures that upset people (like the separation barrier) have been put in place to save lives. "Human rights" advocates who ignore Israeli lives are not interested in human rights.

Racism exists in Israel, but it is no worse than the racism in other Western countries. Arguably Israel is far more tolerant than most Western nations towards Muslims. The Palestinian issue is not a race issue at all from Israel's perspective - it is a security issue.

Israel can do better. Israelis admit that. In general, it strives to do better, even in the face of vicious world opinion. Even when no one will notice. Western armies study Israeli methods of warfare while minimizing casualties of civilians/human shields because they are so good at it, but no one is perfect.  No one in Israel wants innocent Arabs to die.

Palestinians have had 25 years since Oslo to teach their children peace, but they have done the exact opposite. Violence has been reduced not for any moral reason but because terror is seen as counterproductive at this time. Palestinians still teach their people that violence is a legitimate, moral option, and that terrorists are heroes.

People who ignore these facts are not interested in peace. People who say that Israel must make all the concessions are not serious about peace.

People who ascribe the lack of peace to a lack of will on the part of Israelis for peace are pretty much accusing Jews of being evil.  Calling Israelis "Nazis," calling Zionism "racism" or accusing Israel of "apartheid" are not serious arguments, and people who insist on those designations are only interested in demonizing the Jewish state. They are either antisemites or hopelessly deluded.

But if the West would report on these basic facts, then the number of people who are susceptible to the antisemitic arguments would fall dramatically.

Everything I am writing here is obvious to all Israelis, Zionists and to anyone who has spent any time in or seriously researching Israel. But practically everything I'm writing here is generally not mentioned in Western media reports on Israel or in textbooks.

That gap between the truth and what is being reported is a major impediment to peace.

The real story is not hard to uncover. But the fact that it is so hard for an average Westerner to understand these seven points based only on the materials easily available is a scandal.



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  • Monday, August 19, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Palestine Bulletin described the events concerning the disturbances around the Kotel in Jerusalem that led to the 1929 pogroms in Hebron and elsewhere.

Here is a summary published on August 20, 1929, of the events so far up until the 19th:










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