Sunday, February 05, 2023

  • Sunday, February 05, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
With the announcement last week that Israel and Sudan plan to complete a signed agreement this year, Sudanese media has been discussing the pros and cons of normalizing relations with Israel.

Here's one that is very supportive by Salah El-Din Awdah:

And with logic we speak; And logic does not know the language of emotion; Rather, it is the language of the mind. And this language we respond to those who reject normalization.

Whether with Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, or the Emirates, finally with Sudan.

From a religious standpoint, there is nothing that precludes the conclusion of peace treaties with the Jews. Our Holy Prophet himself did it before.

And from a political point of view, every treaty is possible with any side; Politics is the art of the possible.
From a moral point of view, there is no crime in such a step.

Nor can we Sudanese  be more Palestinian than the Palestinians. The Palestine Liberation Organization signed the Oslo Accords with Israel And that during the life of its late leader, Arafat.

My attitude towards the Jews is not new. 

I have praised their democracy as opposed to our government. I have said that they have a million reasons to be proud of it; they describe it as an oasis in the middle of the desert, a democratic and rustic oasis, in the midst of a totalitarian arid desert.

It is strange that among the things that these rejecters blame Israel for is its killing of the Palestinians. They do not blame Islamic regimes for the same thing. 

Israel kills those it considers its enemies and does not kill its people. As for these Muslim regimes, they kill their own people....even killing  because of a veil, as in the Iranian tragedy of Mahsa. Or because of a protest, as in Syria. Or because of a social grievance, as in Al-Bashir’s Sudan. Or because of opposition to the government, as in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Or because of a political dispute, as in Abdel Nasser’s Egypt.

Those who oppose any agreement with Israel belong with all these killers. They are either Baathists, Nasserites, or Bashirites or even Iranians, as the mullahs of Iran arm their people and kill Mahsa without her veil.

Then there is an argument: What do we gain from the relationship with Israel? As if this Israel is a charitable organization and  not a country like the rest of the world. 
We respond to their question with a counter- and logical question: Why do we not ask such a question when establishing a relationship with any other country? Are relations between countries based on this condition?

Welcome to the Jews!




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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

From Ian:

David Collier: Jerusalem, dead Jews – and a history of media excuses
On Friday 27 January 2023, at about 8:15pm, a Palestinian terrorist murdered seven people outside a synagogue in Neve Yaakov, a neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

This was a cold-blooded, inexcusable, and targeted terrorist attack against innocent civilians. Yet whenever Jews are murdered just for being Jews – the media has a long history of twisting events or making excuses for the terrorists that set out to kill them.

This is the kind of reporting the recent massacre has seen:

Jerusalem synagoge massacre in January 2023
The New York Times runs with a ‘fear of escalation’, using the slaughter of Jews as a means to attack the current Israeli government. In another example of twisted reporting, CNN writes about the Israeli army action against Islamic Jihad terrorists that took place the day before – without even mentioning the targets were radical Islamic terrorists belonging to proscribed terrorist groups. An unforgivable description of ‘tit-for-tat’, equating Israel defending itself, with the brutal slaughter of Jews outside a synagogue.

Media excuses
Following this attack we even saw stories about the terrorist’s grandfather, who may have been killed by Israelis 28 years ago. All in an attempt to turn the finger of blame for the killing – back on to the Israelis themselves. When Jews die – it is the Jews fault.

None of this makes sense. Just two months ago on November 23, there was a twin bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem that killed two Jews. What did that have to do with the Israeli action in Jenin on January 6? Or the killing of Khairy Alkam in 1998?

But when Jews die, the excuses are always rolled out. Let me use attacks in Jerusalem to travel back in time to show you what I mean.

Please note – these are only provided as a few examples. There are 100s of incidents not listed below, and 1000’s more attacks that were not in Jerusalem.

2014
On 8 November 2014, two terrorists entered a synagogue, in the Har Nof neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and attacked those praying with axes, knives, and a gun. Five died instantly, another died a year later from his injuries. The BBC reported on it by spending time talking about Israel’s ‘harsh’ response and ‘weeks of unrest’ (the tit for tat excuse again). What was even worse was the analysis beneath their report:

Personally, I would have thought that a mention of extremist Muslims carrying out 100s of ‘Islamist terror attacks’ globally would form part of any rational analysis in 2014, but that was too much to expect from the BBC. Instead, we are told that there is a long standing tradition in Jerusalem, and religious Jews are trying to change it. Ergo, the finger of blame over dead Jews is once again pointed at the behaviour of the Jews themselves.
The Queering of Antisemitism
Some years ago, I was the target of a series of antisemitic, homophobic, and anti-Zionist hate crimes on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University, where I teach. Aside from the death threats and property defacement, what troubled me most was how authorities and colleagues only acknowledged the homophobic part of the crime. Despite my protestations, the anti-Zionism was erased and the antisemitism, which was not subtle—a swastika drawn on my car with mud—was severely minimalized. On college campuses these days, LGBTQ concerns (as well as racial ones) always count. Anti-Zionism never does, and antisemitism only when it occurs alone—not in relation to other forms of social animus.

This series of hate crimes against me took place—in a way I have never found coincidental—during one of the periodic eruptions of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Several days later, I again found my office door defaced, and death threats left on my office telephone. One faculty member I knew who had read about the hate crime on the front page of The New Haven Register rushed to empathize, calling me the victim of “the homo-hating patriarchy.” I winced at my colleague commiserating with me in an ideological language that I knew targeted me in other ways.

As a lesbian Zionist academic, I have felt my once-solid alliances shatter, and my beloved communities of belonging descend into warring camps. Over the past few decades, as the academic field of queer studies has become more visible and influential, some of its leading proponents have pushed the idea that opposing Israel’s existence is a natural position for gays and lesbians to adopt. But, of course, it is not at all obvious why the progressive academics I once considered allies, who see themselves as champions of LGBTQ rights, have come to regard Israel—which has a sterling record of civil rights for gay people, ranging from housing and workplace protections to adoption and inheritance rights—as the “hetero-patriarchal,” homophobic, and “homo-nationalistic” enemy of queers.

The fact that the academic notion of queerness and hostility to the Jewish state are now virtually synonymous is largely the accomplishment of a small group of postmodern leftist scholars, the most prominent of whom is Judith Butler. It is therefore worth examining the ideas expounded by Butler and others in her camp, and the effects they have had on universities and the broader political culture of the left, to understand my own sense of vulnerability and isolation.

As the academic field of queer studies has become more visible and influential, some of its leading proponents have pushed the idea that opposing Israel’s existence is a natural position for gays and lesbians to adopt.
JPost Editorial: Decision to remove Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee was overdue
What makes Omar particularly dangerous is that while she spews blatant antisemitism, she pretends not to be an antisemite. That is what she did earlier this when she defended previous comments she made that were criticized for their antisemitic overtones by claiming she was not aware that insinuating that Jews wield influence or power was a form of antisemitism.

"I certainly did not or was not aware that the word ‘hypnotized’ was a trope. I wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money. That has been a very enlightening part of this journey," Omar told CNN's Dana Bash when asked what she has learned from her time in Congress.

The message that Congress sent this week by ousting Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee sends an important message that this type of rhetoric will not be tolerated and that there is a price to pay for antisemitism.

It also comes at a crucial time – when antisemitism is on the rise and on the heels of one recent report, for example, showing that 2022 saw a significant increase in antisemitic hate crimes throughout New York in particular and the US in general. In the Big Apple, for example, attacks on Jews reportedly went up by 41 percent last year.

In another report, the School Watch initiative of the Israeli-American Council (IAC) has reported a rise of hundreds of percents of complaints on behalf of Jewish children on antisemitism in schools.

Second Gentleman Douglass Emhoff wrapped up visits this week to Germany and Poland where he held meetings to discuss ways to battle antisemitism. “Let me be clear: words matter,” Emhoff said last month. “People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud, they are screaming them. We cannot normalize this. We all have an obligation to condemn these vile acts. We must not stay silent. There is no either or. There are no two sides. Everyone must be against this.”

Emhoff is right and that is what Congress showed by removing Omar from the prestigious committee. We hope the lesson will be learned.
  • Sunday, February 05, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Lots of Jew-hate this weekend in Arabic language news media (defined as such by Google News.)

The Palestinian Wattan site says that "we do not deny the truth of the Holocaust" but adds a caveat: "Regardless of the issue of the Zionist exaggeration of the victims of the Holocaust in order to win the sympathy of the world and the support of the Zionist state..." The article also rails against Holocaust education in UAE schools, saying that Israel's treatment of Palestinians is at least as bad as the Holocaust and should be taught together with it, at the very least.

Pan-Arab Laa Media also has a lengthy article about the Holocaust, saying that it was exaggerated, that Jews use it to force the world to do their desires, and that the Holocaust deniers who are telling the real truth are being persecuted.

Jordan's Alsaa.net says that any nuclear war will not affect the Arab countries near Israel. The Quran promised that the Children of Israel would gather in their land, and that prophecy is being fulfilled by Israel. Therefore, the Muslims will destroy the Jews by conventional weaponry, because that it the only way that the other Quranic prophecy will be fulfilled, that trees and rocks will tell Muslims that a Jew is hiding behind them so they can be killed, 

Al Taghyeer (Sudan) denies that Arab countries were ever antisemitic, and explained that their persecution of Jews was simply anti-Zionism: "The Jews were part of the social fabric of most Arab countries and Islamic empires, and they were not burned or exiled from their countries. [That is a pretty low bar.] Hostility to them escalated after they were promised to establish an alternative homeland for them in Palestine, in the famous Balfour Declaration. The intense hostility towards them as Jews emanated from two different directions, one of them from the leftist Arabist movement and the other an Islamic Brotherhood movement, despite the hostility between them, but they were united in this hostility."

Sudan's Sudanile says that the reason not to normalize with Israel has little to do with its treatment of Arabs(since Arab governments treat their own people at least as badly.) No, the reason not to have relations with Israel is "because God commanded us not to be loyal to the Jews" - the Quran says Jews hate Islam so therefore Muslims altogether shouldn't normalize relations with Israel. 

Also, a followup to the story about a book at the Cairo International Book Fair with the antisemitic cover

The book was withdrawn from the fair, and the publisher says this was because of pressure from Egyptian authorities. A small firestorm of criticism ensued on social media, and the publisher reinstated the book to the fair.

Observers believe that the entire controversy was engineered by the publisher to gain publicity for the book, pointing out that if the Egyptian government wanted to ban a book, it would never be returned to the shelves. 

In this case, antisemitism was the main selling point of the book.




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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

  • Sunday, February 05, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon


Since the Jenin "massacre" story started fading from the headlines, CNN has a story about the family whose apartment was used by the IDF as a firing position against the group of Jenin terrorists planning a major attack.

No doubt the family was severely affected by being invaded by IDF troops. But the story says this:
Representatives of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) visited Jenin in the days after the incident and spoke to al-Hayja and his family. "Their children were noticeably traumatized," Adam Bouloukos, director of UNRWA Affairs in the West Bank told CNN. "This kind of invasion violates not only international law but common decency."
The UNRWA official is lying about international law and, as usual, the media doesn't bother to fact check.

The main relevant section of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, Article 53, says:
Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.    

 The occupying forces may ...undertake the total or partial destruction of certain private or public property in the occupied territory when imperative military requirements so demand.

Furthermore, it will be for the Occupying Power to judge the importance of such military requirements. It is therefore to be feared that bad faith in the application of the reservation may render the proposed safeguard valueless; for unscrupulous recourse to the clause concerning military necessity would allow the Occupying Power to circumvent the prohibition set forth in the Convention. The Occupying Power must therefore try to interpret the clause in a reasonable manner: whenever it is felt essential to resort to destruction, the occupying authorities must try to keep a sense of proportion in comparing the military advantages to be gained with the damage done. 

Israel's right to attack military targets under international law is undisputed. It must minimize damage to civilian property as much as possible while protecting its own troops. And, in this case, it did: the only alternative would have been to bomb the targeted building from the air, which would have killed far more civilians. 

What about the IDF forcing the family who lived there to stay sheltered in one room while the bullets were flying? At first glance, it appears to be a violation of Article 31 of the Conventions:
No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties.
The ICRC commentary shows that it is not a blanket prohibition, because otherwise it contradicts other articles of the Convention:
[T]here is no question of absolute prohibition, as might be thought at first sight. The prohibition only applies in so far as the other provisions of the Convention do not implicitly or explicitly authorize a resort to coercion. Thus, Article 31 is subject to the unspoken reservation that force is permitted whenever it is necessary to use it in the application of measures taken under the Convention. ....Thus, a party to the conflict would be entitled to use coercion with regard to protected persons in order to compel respect for his right to requisition services Articles 40 , 51 ), to ensure the supply of foodstuffs, etc. to which he is entitled (Article 55, para. 2 , Article 57 ), to carry out the necessary evacuation measures (Article 49, para. 2 ), to remove public officials in occupied territories from their posts (Article 54, para. 2 ) and in regard to everything connected with internment (Articles 79 et sqq.).

Occupying powers can force civilians to do far more than stay in one place for several hours if needed for military purposes. And whie most articles about the Jenin operation try to airbrush the facts, no one has seriously argued that there was no military necessity behind it. 

CNN has every right to report on how Palestinians feel about their homes being invaded. But it does not have the right to report that Israel violated international law in doing so when it didn't.



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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

  • Sunday, February 05, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Time, in a two page print story:
Israel is no longer a liberal democracy. As Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government took office on 29 December, its illiberalism was evident. No longer a matter for debate or polite embarrassment, the contempt for liberal ideas brings all the disparate factions together: against the media and intellectuals and increasingly against the old Western-inspired Israeli political system and the existing Israeli constitution, including its Basic Laws.
This is really getting crazy. 

Nothing has happened.

The government is not going to reduce the rights of gay people. It is not going to impose a theocracy on Israel. It is not becoming a dictatorship. 

Wikipedia defines a liberal democracy as:
Liberal democracy is the combination of a liberal political ideology that operates under a representative democratic form of government. It is characterized by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either codified (such as in the United States) or uncodified (such as in the United Kingdom), to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. 

Nothing is happening to remotely change Israel's status to anything other than a liberal democracy. 

The only argument that critics can make is that the proposed judicial reforms give too much power to the legislative branch, but now most people recognize that the judicial branch - which can strike down laws or dismiss government officials for literally no reason except what it considers  "reasonable" -  has far too much power as an unelected branch of government. Perhaps the proposed reforms go too far in some specific ways, but the general idea of reforms is quite reasonable and hardly the earth shattering change that they are being portrayed as. 

Everyone agrees there should be a balance of power. The only disagreement is where to draw the line. It is an important debate, but it is hardly a real crisis that threatens Israel's democratic character. 

(In fact, one can argue that Israel is more of a liberal democracy than either the US or UK. Universal suffrage for citizens is a key component of any liberal democracy, but unlike Israel, the US and UK do not allow many or most citizens who are prisoners to vote. Is that a crisis? Where are the front page articles about this?)

It seems to me that the over the top reaction to the Israeli elections are more dangerous than anything the government itself is likely to do. Over the weekend, we saw direct, public incitement to violence from Israeli liberals.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai spoke at a demonstration against the government and said: "This is the opportunity to reach broad agreements, and if the words end, the actions will begin. We will not stop at protests, we will not be indifferent, we will not react with resignation."

David Hodek, a commercial lawyer who won a Medal of Courage, one of the Israeli military’s highest awards, for his conduct as a tank officer in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, told the Israel Bar Association’s annual conference in Eilat that “if someone forces me to live in a dictatorship and I have no choice, I won’t hesitate to use live fire.

Hodek, who was speaking on a panel, appeared to make clear he was not talking metaphorically, saying: “People are willing to fight with weapons. Everyone is aghast [at such statements]. They say ‘How can you say such a thing?’ I’m saying it. If I’m forced to go there and they drag me there, that’s what I’ll do.”
And:
Ze'ev Raz, one of the leaders of the Balfour protest and a former fighter pilot, backtracked on what appeared to be a call to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday. Raz was a pilot who participated in a reactor bombing operation in Iraq in 1981, which is known as Operation Opera.

"If a sitting prime minister assumes dictatorial powers, this prime minister is bound to die, simply like that, along with his ministers and his followers.

He continued by arguing that Israel should integrate 'din rodef' (a concept in Jewish law that allows for the killing of an individual who intends to kill or harm others).

"My din rodef rules that if my country is taken over by a person, foreigner or Israeli, who leads it in an undemocratic manner, it is obligatory to kill him...it is better to kill the criminals first."
These threats and incitement are a far bigger danger to Israel's democracy than the most extreme things the government is proposing. They are normalizing violence as a means to change government policy. That is the definition of terrorism.

And they come from the constant incitement in world media. 

Losers of elections should spend their time convincing voters to support them next time, not threatening to assassinate the elected leaders. 

I have plenty of problems with Netanyahu, and some of the optics of judicial reform are less than ideal, but he is not a dictator. He is not a racist. He has (with next to no publicity) done more for Arabs in Israel than any previous prime minister, bar none. 

Step back. Take a a breath. And if you care about Israel's future, fight for it using all legal means. Debate it using facts, not hyperbole. 

When people demonize political opponents, to the point that prominent people literally threaten violence to get their way, everyone loses. 

(h/t Yoel)





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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

Saturday, February 04, 2023

From Ian:

Netanyahu looks to cover West Bank with highway tunnels, in vision laid out by Musk
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed building underground highway systems across the West Bank to connect both Israeli settlements and Palestinian towns in order to maintain territorial continuity, The Times of Israel’s sister site, Zman Yisrael, reported Saturday.

Netanyahu is aiming for high-speed tunnels designed ostensibly to address the problems of traffic jams and congestion, per the vision of the billionaire Elon Musk, and his engineering firm Boring Company.

Netanyahu presented his plans during a conversation Friday with French investors in Paris at the hotel where he spent the weekend.

According to Netanyahu, the tunnels could refute Palestinian claims that they have no territorial continuity in the West Bank, as their communities would be linked underground.

He also said they would make it possible to travel between settlements in a matter of a few minutes, which would solve the settlement issue as in practice they would be annexed to Israel through a system of tunnels and highways. Additionally, the tunnels would provide Israeli motorists in the area with safety from Palestinian attacks.

During the conversation with the French investors, whose total wealth was estimated by the prime minister at $150 billion, he asked who would be willing to invest in such a project. Several of them raised their hands with joy, according to Netanyahu.

One of the investors told Netanyahu that he invests in Israel but has endless bureaucratic problems, mainly with the Israel Land Authority.
University of Michigan dismisses calls to condemn intifada-themed rally
In 2021, a University of Michigan music professor showed a 1965 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” which featured a white actor in blackface, in class. The professor apologized and stepped down, yet a dean at the university stated that the experience “was hurtful and upsetting to the students in the class,” and the professor’s actions “do not align with our school’s commitment to anti-racist action, diversity, equity and inclusion.”

When someone distributed racist fliers on the school’s Ann Arbor campus five years prior, the university’s president at the time, Mark Schlissel, stated, “While we continue to defend any individual’s right to free speech on our campus, these types of attacks directed toward any individual or group, based on a belief or characteristic, are inconsistent with the university’s values of respect, civility and equality.” The university has “a responsibility to create a learning environment that is free of harassment. These are core values and guiding principles that will help us as we strive to live up to our highest ideals,” he added.

When students chanted violent slogans threatening Jewish and Israeli students on campus during Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to campus three weeks ago, the university adopted a different approach. At first, it couldn’t muster a response, and then when it did respond to a letter of complaint from the Israel-based International Legal Forum, the response was “woefully inadequate, and quite frankly offensive,” Arsen Ostrovsky, the forum’s CEO, told JNS.

“It is unfathomable that the university, which purports to promote inclusion and a commitment to combating antisemitism and hate speech, refuses to even merely condemn a rally held on its grounds, calling for violence, with the most obscene antisemitic hate rhetoric,” he said.

Students chanted “there is only one solution: intifada revolution” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” among other hateful slogans, which call for the violent destruction of Israel, according to Ostrovsky.

Rather than responding that Jewish and Israeli students had a right to feel safe, and that such language constituted violence—as the university has plastered all over certain sections of its website—Rick Fitzgerald, associate vice president for public affairs, wrote to ILF that this was a matter of academic freedom.

“It is clear that many within and outside our university community heard certain chants as antisemitic,” Fitzgerald wrote. “We understand that perspective and thank you and others for sharing those views, especially during this time in our nation’s history when there has been a rise in antisemitic speech and violence.”
Seth Frantzman: Has Iran accepted growth of Israel-Saudi ties under Netanyahu?
It is clear from the report how much Iran relies on others for information, apparently due to fears of its media being seen as promoting Israel-Saudi ties; it even quotes a report from the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).

The Iranian report says that Saudi officials have concerns about their position in the Islamic world, noting other hurdles about American commitments and Saudi Arabia’s desire for new defense contracts in the US and a “nuclear agreement” between Riyadh and Washington.

“If these 3 conditions are met, Saudi Arabia is ready to shake hands with Israel next month,” the report says.

The article next mentions a Brookings report from 2022: “According to Brookings, the secret cooperation between the Saudis and the Israelis dates back to the early 1960s, when both supported the Yemeni royalists against the Egyptian republican government.”

It further notes that Saudi Arabia has permitted direct flights from Israel to the Gulf over its territory. The survey of reports then goes on to look at how Iran’s threats brought Israel and Saudi Arabia closer and how economic negotiations are taking place.

Iran’s report concludes by saying Israel has spent 75 years of “crimes, killing, occupation and encroachment of the Zionists on Palestine and illegal presence in the country.” Therefore, the author wonders how normalization will occur, considering that Saudi Arabia has supported the two-state solution.

The conclusion, from the point of view of the Iranian regime, is that this is “a plan that England and America could not implement many years ago, and today the Saudis are looking for it.”

In essence, it accuses Riyadh of being the latest part of the historical support Israel has had from the UK and the US. The overall message of a report like this one is that Iran’s regime feels it has a number of ways to prevent normalization now.

It takes, at face value, the deluge of reports in Western and local media. It used to try to threaten the Gulf regarding normalization, but now it appears to think the train has left the station.

While the Iranian threats to the region, from drones to the use of proxies in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza and elsewhere won’t stop, it appears that Tehran views Israel’s continued diplomatic successes with a stubborn acceptance.

Friday, February 03, 2023

From Ian:

Dara Horn: A More Meaningful Way to Remember the Holocaust
Last week, an editorial in Kentucky’s Courier-Journal newspaper went viral for its sheer absurdity. In it, a group of noble public servants explained to primitive dolts like me that International Holocaust Remembrance Day is not, in fact, a day to remember the Holocaust. Instead, it is a day when we must “remember all the hate speech and all the violence that is perpetuated against religions, races and genders, all those acts committed in the past and those that continue to this day,” because “for one group, for one person, to claim that the hate and violence towards them is more important than another’s, only encourages more acts of violence against others.” Most of all, as the authors put it in their middle-school-worthy topic sentence, “Jews do not have a monopoly on persecution and atrocities.”

I don’t need to do the work of shredding this deeply antisemitic take, because the good people of the internet did it for me—pointing out that Genocide Prevention Day already exists, for instance, or that “with Black History Month coming up, it’s good to remember there are more races than black,” or “This September 11, we should also remember all those other plane crashes over the years.”

This low-rent spectacle, part of a genre of stupidities that tend to pop up like early groundhogs every Jan. 27, reminded me of how International Holocaust Remembrance Day always takes me by surprise. Why does this day even exist, I catch myself wondering every year, when the Jewish community has its own Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah? But the difference between these two commemorations exposes the deeper problem with the non-Jewish world’s way of remembering the Holocaust, and also the idea lurking beneath the self-righteousness of articles like this one. Fortunately, this Yom HaShoah, there is a new way for American Jews to find a more meaningful path to remembrance.
Leon de Winter:'In 2048 the last Jews will leave Europe'
In the last 50 years the Jewish population in Europe has decreased by 60 percent and a similar decline is expected in the next 30 years, explained Eldad Beck in a dramatic article in Israel's largest newspaper, Israel Hayom, while the Israeli government reveals that 52,000 European Holocaust survivors have gone to live in Israel in the last thirty years.

Wistrich, who headed the International Center for Anti-Semitism Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said European Jewry still had 10 to 20 years to live. “It's over,” Wistrich said. "It's a slow death."

In France there are cities, such as Grenoble, from which half of the Jewish community fled, while in Nice, which was home to the fourth largest Jewish community, Jews dropped from 20,000 to 5,000. In Lyon, as the chief rabbi recently said, "only the Jews remain who are too old or too poor to move". In Toulouse, a large part of the Jewish community arrived after the Islamic ethno-religious cleansing of North Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. What they fled followed them into the Midi-Pyrenees and now it's time to leave again, as elsewhere in Europe. Hundreds of Jewish families left Toulouse and the president of the Jewish community, Arié Bensemhoun, advised young people to leave the city. Toulouse had up to 20,000 Jewish people. Today there are 10,000 left.

Over the past ten years, 60,000 of its 350,000 Jews have left Ile-de-France. "In France, between 2000 and 2017, 55,049 Jews made aliyah to Israel, more than between 1970 and 1999, a period during which 48,097 Jews left" recounts Mark Knobel in the magazine La règle du jeu. Since 1972, 106,000 French Jews have left for Israel. Before 2012, 500 Jews left France every year. In 2021, 3,500 French Jews emigrated to Israel (not counting those who left for other countries). A sharp increase from 2,220 departures in 2019 and 2020. More than 1,900 left for Israel in 2012, another 3,120 in 2013. In 2104, 7,200 left France and 7,500 in 2015.

In 2000, France had 500,000 Jews. Today they are 400,000. At an average of 3,500 Jews a year, another 100,000 Jews will disappear in a generation. According to a survey, 40 percent of Jews still living in France want to leave. “In a few decades there will be no Jews in France,” said Richard Abitbol, president of the Confederation of French Jews and Friends of Israel.

“I don't want to live in a country whose chancellor brings in millions of anti-Semitic Muslims who attack Jews and Jewish institutions in Germany,” wrote the chairman of the Jewish community in the German state of Brandenburg, Semen Gorelick. “You can't live in a country where you can't wear a kippah on the street”. Most Jews in Germany today are Ukrainian, Russian or Israelis looking for work. And Jews are hiding in Bonn, Potsdam, Bochum and the rest of the country.

“Norway risks becoming a country without a Jewish population,” says an editorial in Aftenposten. According to the newspaper, 20 percent of the two largest communities (Oslo and Trondheim) have left. “Norway could be the first country in Europe to become jüdenfrei,” wrote journalist Julie Bindel. The synagogues of Oslo and Trondheim are the most protected buildings in all of Norway.
Two Eliyahu Mizrachis Ran To Help Exactly 75 Years Apart- And Were Gunned Down
On a frosty night in 1948, 35 fighters set out from Hartuv, a small village near what would later become Beit Shemesh, on their way to help the beleaguered Gush Etzion communities. The heavily armed men hoped to reach the Gush, a distance of some 30 kilometers away, by daybreak. However as dawn arrived they were still below the mountains of Gush Etzion and were ambushed by a huge Arab force.

The 35 bravely defended themselves with all the means at their disposal until they were wiped out to the last man, using stones against their attackers after their ammunition was spent. The Arab attackers later praised the heroism of “the 35”, stating that they would wish to die with such courage as they had seen on them. The remains of the 35 were brought back to Israel by Rabbi Goren after the 1948 war and buried on Mt. Herzl.

The battle occurred on Friday 5th of Shvat, 5708. One of the 35 soldiers who had left his studies to defend Gush Etzion was Eliyahu Mizrachi, a young Jerusalemite who dreamed of being an actor and writer.

Fast forward to Friday, 5th of Shvat, 5783. As Shabbat entered, a savage terrorist drives into Neve Yaakov and starts shooting innocent passersby indiscriminately. Shouts for help were heard as the victims desperately tried to flee. Eliyahu Mizrachi, a 48-year-old man living in the building opposite, head the cries and felt that he could not stand by. Even as his father warned him not to go outside, Mizrachi ran to help – just as the other Eliyahu Mizrachi had done in 1948. Unfortunately Mizrachi came face to face with the terrorist, who brutally murdered him and his wife Natalie who ran out after him.

In a remarkable coincidence and exactly 75 years apart, two people named Eliyahu Mizrachi, (the same name as one of the most illustrious rabbis of the 15th century and author of the Sifsei Chachamim commentary on Rashi) died Al Kiddush Hashem while seeking to save other Jews. May their memory be blessed.
From Ian:

Caroline Glick: What Blinken refuses to see
In other words, the Biden administration thinks that permitting Jews to lawfully build and buy homes and communities, to buy land or lease government land in Judea, Samaria or unified Jerusalem is unacceptable.

Furthermore, as far as he is concerned, Israelis living in Judea and Samaria should be compelled to receive government services from incompetent military officers employed by the military government rather than from Israeli government ministries. This includes, for instance, sewage treatment and environmental protection, protection of antiquities and archaeological sites, building rights and licensing guidelines.

Another step the U.S. opposes, Blinken said is “disruption to the historical status quo in Jerusalem’s holy sites.” Here, Blinken sides with the Palestinians in insisting that Jews should not be permitted to freely access–much less pray at–the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site.

Blinken went on to say the U.S. opposes “demolitions and evictions.” But he wasn’t referring to demolitions and evictions of Jews—that’s fine. He was referring to demolition of illegal Palestinian construction and eviction of Palestinian squatters from state land and from apartments and buildings owned by Israeli Jews.

In short, Blinken set out a policy of antisemitic discrimination and demanded that Israel abide by it on behalf of a society organized around the demonization and dehumanization of Jews and the delegitimization and aspiration to annihilate the Jewish state of Israel.

Blinken did say, in the end, that the United States opposes “incitement and acquiescence to violence.” But, as he made clear in his next sentence, he was just joking.

Blinken announced that the U.S. is giving an additional $50 million to UNRWA, the U.N. agency most responsible for prolonging the Palestinian conflict with Israel by among other things, inciting and acquiescing to violence. UNRWA schools indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate Jews and aspire to become terrorists and destroy Israel. Hamas and other terror groups use UNRWA installations as missile launching grounds.

Those $50 million are just a drop in the bucket. Blinken bragged that since Biden entered office two years ago, the U.S. has provided $950 million in aid to the Palestinians overall.

The Biden administration doesn’t oppose Palestinian incitement and acquiescence to violence. The administration is funding it.

It’s hard to know how the Palestinian conflict with Israel will end. But two things are certain. First, demanding institutional discrimination and the denial of civil rights to Jews will not lead anywhere good. And second, we’ll know we’re moving in the right direction if the U.S., the E.U. and the U.N. stop discriminating against Jews and end their support for a Palestinian society organized around the dehumanization and demonization and aspiration to destroy the Jewish state.
Jonathan Tobin: The Ilhan Omar vote is a turning point for American Jews
Pro-Israel Democrats could have taken a stand against her and Tlaib. But, intimidated by the rise of the intersectional movement that has seized control of the left-wing base of the Democratic Party, and fearing that they will be branded as racists if they speak out, they have refused to ostracize them.

In doing so, they have essentially legitimized Omar’s views. Her anti-Zionist and antisemitic ideas are now routinely published in the pages of liberal mainstream outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post. And the ranks of the “Squad” have vastly expanded in the last two election cycles, with even more sympathizers among those who identify as progressive Democrats.

Republicans have their outliers, like Greene and others. They routinely make outrageous and often indefensible statements, although Democrats are equally guilty of the promiscuous use of inappropriate Holocaust analogies.

But they are not guilty of seeking to normalize antisemitism by masquerading as mere “critics” of Israel. And, unlike Omar, they lack the influence that comes with being part of a movement that already dominates academia and much of the media with its toxic myths about white privilege and lies about Israel’s being an “apartheid” state.

Republicans have been accused of making Israel a partisan issue. The GOP has pointed to its lockstep support for the Jewish state, and to the way Democrats are now divided on it with so much of their base embracing the myth—rooted in critical race theory teachings—that Israel is a “white” colonialist oppressor of people of color.

Hyper-partisanship is now so deeply entrenched in American political culture that many liberal Jews aren’t likely to be persuaded to be angrier at House Democrats for defending Omar than they are at Republicans for their ideology or support for Trump, who—though deeply flawed—was still the most pro-Israel president in history.

In giving Omar a pass for antisemitism, Democrats have crossed a line that no party or its supporters can transgress without being rightly accused of enabling Jew-hatred. By rallying around her, either out of party loyalty or hypocritical opposition to cancel culture that they never apply to embattled conservatives, is to make antisemitism a partisan issue. This is a historic development that may make it impossible to ever put the genie of intersectional hate for Jews back in the bottle. It’s also an unforgivable betrayal of their Jewish voters and the principles of tolerance that they claim to uphold.
Noah Rothman: Ilhan Omar’s committee removal was a long time coming
As for precedent, Omar’s defenders are on even weaker ground.

Before Republicans voted along party lines to oust Omar, some expressed reservations about the basis for it. But even those members, like Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana, conceded that it was Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who “took unprecedented actions” to remove Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committee posts. Prior to the 117th Congress, the majority party typically accepted the minority party’s recommendations for committees, and even staunch critics of Greene’s and Gosar’s often inappropriate conduct warned of this new precedent’s dangers. “Democrats may regret when Republicans regain the majority,” Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told her colleagues when Greene and Gosar were removed.

Contrary to Meeks, Republicans have policed their own on occasion. In 2018, for example, the House GOP leadership ejected Rep. Steve King of Iowa from all of his committee assignments after he wondered aloud why the term “white supremacist” is considered a slur. And like Omar, who has repeatedly and unashamedly advertised her intention to apply her worldview to the conduct of foreign affairs, Republicans had reason to believe King’s bigotry would color his policy preferences.

At no point did it occur to anyone that being deemed too bigoted to serve on committees called King’s very citizenship into question. Republicans can and should be criticized for having stomached King’s many racially provocative comments before the one that cost him his career, but Republicans’ late is better than Democrats’ never.

The decibel level at which Democrats are arguing in Omar’s favor is designed to convince you that a grave injustice is being done to her. But the relevant precedents, Omar’s conduct and the case her fellow Democrats made against her betrays the theater of it all.
The Forward has an op-ed by David Enoch, a professor of philosophy and law at Hebrew University:
If you want to support Israel, boycott its new government

....Even if the justification of boycotts has in the past been questionable, I think that American Jews owe it to Israel, and to Israelis like myself, to promote such measures now. After the disproportionate Israeli military incursion into Jenin, and the predictably tragic cycle of violence it engendered the next day in Jerusalem, Israel’s far-right government is using this as an opportunity to further their own political goals. We cannot allow this kind of illiberalism to continue.
Yes, boycott Israel out of love!

As you can tell from this paragraph, Enoch has no love of Israel. 

And Enoch's desire to boycott Israel includes an academic boycott.

Im Tirtzu summarizes David Enoch's supposed love of Israel:

Signed a petition calling on EU member states to boycott “organizations and companies if they are active, directly or indirectly, in the occupied territories.”[1]
Draft-dodger.[2]
Compared the IDF’s activities during Operation Protective Edge to that of Hamas.[3]
Signed a petition in support of the Islamic Movement.[4]
Participated in a protest against the drafting of Christians to the IDF.[5]
Signed a petition in “support and appreciation” of students and lecturers who illegally refused to do IDF service in Judea and Samaria.[6]
Signed a petition advocating for the release of terrorist supporter Dareen Tatour, who was arrested and convicted for inciting violence and supporting a terrorist organization.[7]
Signed a petition in support of the anti-Zionist organization “Breaking the Silence.”[8]
Threatened to take legal measures against students who came in army uniform in support of an IDF officer who was reprimanded by a lecturer for arriving to class in uniform.[9]
Somehow, all these things happened before the current government was (democratically) elected. 

Enoch wants, along with many others, to use the excuse of the current Israeli government to push their hate that existed beforehand. 




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  • Friday, February 03, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon


This morning's article at the official Palestinian Wafa news agency is pretty much identical to articles written every Friday for months:
Tens of thousands performed Friday prayers at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, despite the strict military measures imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities at the gates of the mosque and the entrances to the Old City in occupied Jerusalem .

The Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem estimated that about 60,000 worshipers performed Friday prayers in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, from Jerusalem and the West Bank, and within the lands of 1948 [how Palestinians refer to Israel.]

Our correspondent reported that the occupation forces deployed in the streets of the city and the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and stationed at its gates, and stopped the worshipers and checked their identity cards .
I read these every week, with the only difference being the number of estimated worshippers - 70,000 last week, 75,000 two weeks ago, 55,000 three weeks ago. 

But what I hadn't noticed is that the worshippers are coming from the West Bank as well as Jerusalem and Israel. 

I thought that Israel didn't allow West Bank Palestinians to enter the compound. That's how things used to be, except for Ramadan.

Apparently, Israel eased the restrictions last Ramadan - and continued easing them. From AP, April 5:
Israel will allow women, children and men over 40 from the West Bank to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday in an apparent bid to help calm tensions during the holy month of Ramadan.

The government said in a statement that it could further relax restrictions if things stay quiet. 
I cannot find any articles since then on whether Israeli officials further loosened restrictions since then, but it appears that they have, even after Ramadan. In previous years articles would complain that "occupation forces prevented the entry of hundreds of citizens from the West Bank to Jerusalem to perform the Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa." That verbiage is gone. Now I'm only seeing that Israeli police are checking identity cards and not allowing a few people to enter, probably based on their inciting disturbances in the past. 

If younger men from the West Bank were being restricted from coming, I think that Palestinian media would be reporting it. Probably young men need entry permits to worship, but that's it. 

If this conjecture is true, that means that Israel quietly, without fanfare, allows thousands of Palestinians to enter Jerusalem every week to pray, very possibly including young men. 

And no one has reported this change in policy!

This is yet another proof that there is no "apartheid." Israel is concerned about the security of its citizens. The level of restrictions against non-citizen Palestinians has nothing to do with their being Arabs or Muslims or non-Jews; it is entirely based on their potential threat to Israeli citizens and whether they are inciting violence. 

The media, keenly interested in Israeli restrictions on Palestinians, loses interest when those restrictions are eased.  After all, no one is rioting so why inform readers that things have changed?

If anything, Jews in Jerusalem should be concerned that there are so many more potentially violent West Bank Palestinians coming every Friday. 

What are the rules? How is security done? What is done to ensure that the visitors don't stay in Jerusalem after prayers? These are the sorts of questions that Israeli media should be researching. 





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Human Rights Watch's website was silent on the Neve Yaakov massacre last Friday night. 

Six days later, they do mention it - in the context of an article condemning Israel for sealing up the houses of the family of the murderer.

The pattern, which we often see in the media as well, is predictable. When Gaza groups shoot rockets, the media only condemns Israel's reaction. When a terrorist kills Jewish civilians, human rights groups wait as long as they can to create a context where Israel is the guilty party.

In this case, murdering civilians is on the same  moral plane as sealing the house of a terrorist. 

Look how HRW frames the attack in Neve Yaakov:

Israeli authorities’ actions to seal the family homes in the occupied West Bank of two Palestinians suspected of attacks against Israelis amount to collective punishment, a war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. 

This punitive measure, which Israeli authorities have said they will follow by demolishing the homes, comes amid a spike in violence that has cost the lives of 35 Palestinians and 6 Israelis since January 1, 2023. The violence has included Israeli army raids that unlawfully attack Palestinian cities and refugee camps, Palestinian attacks on Israelis, and attacks on Palestinians and their property by Israeli settlers, who rarely face punishment for these crimes. 

“Deliberate attacks on civilians are reprehensible crimes,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. “But just as no grievance can justify the intentional targeting of civilians in Neve Yaakov, such attacks cannot justify Israeli authorities intentionally punishing the families of Palestinian suspects by demolishing their homes and throwing them out on the street.”
Notice how you can never find a straight condemnation of attacks on Jews without a caveat or a "context" in the same sentence.  As if sealing or demolishing a home is just as bad as murdering people. 

Neither Amnesty nor Human Rights Watch had a stand-alone article condemning Palestinian terror attacks last year when there were several mass casualty events against civilians. Those attacks are also buried in this HRW article, seemingly mentioned for the first time on the site, and do not rate a full sentence: "The [Jenion] raid follows more than 10 months of intensified Israeli army raids in the West Bank, after several deadly attacks by Palestinians inside Israel in March 2022."

There were also fatal attacks in April and May and October and November, but HRW already dedicated about 10% of the article to attacks on Israelis, and that is way above their quota already. 





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Thursday, February 02, 2023

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The entrenchment of Western Jew-hatred
The demonization of Israel is the defining cause of the progressive left. As such, it has become the default narrative in all higher reaches of the culture.

In America, where there is still a bedrock of public support for Israel, this poison has spread through the universities into the schools and infiltrated the Democratic Party. Unlike in Britain, however, the Democrats haven’t even gotten to the Labour Party’s stage of seeking to rid themselves publicly of this moral stain.

The ousting of the Jew-bashing Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee was organized by the Republicans. The Democrats, who refused to take action against her when they governed the House, opposed the ouster, complaining that it was “revenge” for the Democrats’ removal of two GOP representatives from committees during the previous session of Congress.

Accordingly, the Democrats continue to sanitize Omar’s egregious Jew-hatred. In 2019, she tweeted that U.S. support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins”—that is, hundred-dollar bills. In 2012, before she arrived in Congress, she claimed that “Israel has hypnotized the world” and added, “May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

Last weekend, Omar claimed on CNN that she was unaware that the word “hypnotized” and conspiracy theories about Jews and money are anti-Jewish tropes.

“I might have used words at the time that I didn’t understand were trafficking in antisemitism,” she said.

Her protestations of ignorance have drawn widespread incredulity and scorn. In fact, they imply something more unpalatable than being disingenuous.

Omar knows that there’s a prejudice called antisemitism. However, she self-evidently believed that Jews do use their money to exercise covert and harmful power and that they do hypnotize the world.

In other words, Omar thought that what others know to be Jew-hating tropes couldn’t be prejudice because they’re true. So, when she says she didn’t think these tropes constituted antisemitism, she reveals just how antisemitic she actually is.

Yet even now, the supposedly anti-racist Democrats refuse to condemn her. This is because Western progressives either support or refuse to condemn “intersectional” Critical Race Theory.
Ilhan Omar removed from House Foreign Affairs Committee
The US House of Representatives voted on Thursday to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The vote was approved along party lines, 218-211.

Republicans argued that Omar should be removed for past comments against Israel and the use of antisemitic tropes.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy defended the decision to remove Omar from the powerful committee. Speaking to the media after the vote, he said her past statements “make it clear she is unfit to represent the US on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

“She repeatedly used antisemitic tropes” and “compared America and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban,” he said.

“She said Americans only like Israel because it’s all about the Benjamins,” McCarthy said. “And three years later, she said, ‘I didn’t know there’s a trope when it comes to referring to someone who’s Jewish with money.’ What does that say to other people around the world? We were right in our action, and she can serve on other committees.”

Omar said regardless of the vote’s outcome, she was “here to stay.”

“My leadership and voice will not be diminished if I am not on this committee for one term,” she said in a speech. “My voice will get louder and stronger, and my leadership will be celebrated around the world as it has been.”

“This debate today, it’s about who gets to be an American,” Omar said “What opinions do we have to have to be counted as Americans? This is what this debate is about.”

RJC applauds the dismissal of Omar
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) applauded the Republican-led House for passing the measure.

“For years, Democratic leadership has failed to hold Rep. Ilhan Omar accountable for her vile, hateful, and dangerous anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric,” the RJC said in a statement. “Today, Republicans, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership, kept their promise to remove Rep. Omar from the prestigious and crucially important House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

“RJC has long advocated for Rep. Omar’s removal from this critical committee,” it said. “RJC thanks Rep. Max Miller for introducing the resolution and House Republicans for their principled votes to pass it. We are gratified that Rep. Omar will no longer be in a privileged position to influence legislation regarding US policy toward Israel and the Middle East.”


Hakeem Jeffries: Democrats “Unanimously” Support Ilhan Omar Though "She Has Used Antisemitic Tropes" (h/t MtTB)

More than 2,000 Rabbis Urge Congress To Kick Ilhan Omar Off Foreign Affairs Committee
An organization representing more than 2,000 rabbis is urging congressional leaders to keep Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) off the House Foreign Affairs Committee over her extensive history of anti-Semitism.

The letter comes as a small group of Republicans, including Reps. Nancy Mace (SC), Victoria Spartz (IN), and Ken Buck (CO) have suggested that they may not support House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) bid to kick her off the committee.

The Coalition for Jewish Values addressed the letter to McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), asking that Congress follows through on McCarthy’s pledge to remove her from the committee.

“This is not a political matter, but one of moral conscience, and a necessary step to quell the rising tide of antisemitic speech and violence now impacting Jewish communities across America,” wrote Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, President; and Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director.

The letter also comes after Omar claimed during a CNN interview on Sunday that she had no idea that her anti-Semitic statements “were trafficking in antisemitism.”

“On three separate occasions, we wrote to the previous Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to make this same request,” the rabbis wrote. “We were ignored all three times, while antisemitic hate crimes became ever more common in this country. Upon learning of the appointment of Rep. Omar to the Foreign Affairs committee, we wrote to express our ‘alarm, dismay and outrage,’ given that even before her election to Congress, Ms. Omar had repeatedly used antisemitic tropes.”




AI helped me get a terrorist in a suit, but it wasn't easy.




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Arab graduationRamallah, February 2 - A sophomore at Bir Zeit University closing in on the deadline to select a focus for his course of study toward a Bachelor's Degree admitted today he feels too torn to decide among the options available: engineering murder against Jews by joining Hamas; engineering murder against Jews by joining Palestinian Islamic Jihad, engineering murder against Jews by joining Fatah; or engineering murder against Jews by joining one of the smaller, more niche jihadist groups vying for glory in the Resistance against Zionism.

Hamdi Halabi, 19, has already completed most of his core requirements plus a smattering of elective courses, and must now choose a major if he is to complete his degree in time - but the aspiring shahid acknowledged today that he hesitates to commit to any one course of training to kill Jews, for fear that he will regret his choice later when some other path he could have chosen proves more productive and likely to result in his achieving Palestinian immortality through the violent murder of Jews impudent enough to live proudly as sovereign Jews in the ancestral Jewish homeland, an affront that no Palestinian can take lying down.

"I'm having a hard time, weighing the pros and cons of each," he confessed. "The safe bet would be Hamas or Fatah, because they have the established reputations and the most robust resources for training and arms. Fatah, especially, pays you or your family after you conduct an operation to kill Jews. But there's stiff competition to stand out. I'm not a hundred percent confident in my ability to rise above the crowd. That's why I'm also considering one of the less-prominent groups to major in - big fish, small pond, you know the deal."

"It's too bad I'm not allowed to have a double major," he continued. "The rival departments don't like it - even though they try to claim credit for the accomplishments of students or former students from other departments. I can't even choose Fatah, Hamas, or PIJ and a major and one of the smaller organizations as a minor. I know all sorts of collaboration and cross-pollination goes on unofficially. Just not in a way that I can formally join."

Press time saw Halabi weighing the possibility of auditing some Popular Resistance Committee classes in which he couldn't officially enroll as a Hamas major. A friend also warned him that on occasion, students in rival tracks denounce one another to the administration as collaborators or homosexuals, resulting in the accused student getting expelled from the rooftop.



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From Ian:

NGO Monitor: The Role of NGOs in Supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC) Investigation
On December 20, 2019, then Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda announced that she intended to investigate alleged war crimes in the “State of Palestine” and filed a request with the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber to confirm her jurisdiction. On February 5, 2021, the Pre-Trial Chamber in a controversial 2-1 opinion confirmed the Prosecutor’s jurisdiction. On March 3, 2021, Bensouda announced the launch of a formal investigation.

This move is to a significant degree the product of consistent and heavy lobbying of the ICC for over a decade by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Throughout, these NGOs have been central to promoting the Prosecutor’s activities: lobbying the Court to accept the Palestinian Authority, filing complaints, representing “victims,” and submitting briefs. Key NGOs include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, FIDH (France), and Palestinian and Israeli NGOs. The European Union, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and other European governments have provided tens of millions of dollars to anti-Israel ICC campaigns and lobbying. In some instances, the European funding was explicitly earmarked for NGO activities vis-à-vis the ICC.

According to the legal principle of “complementarity,” the ICC is only authorized to investigate when a country’s judicial system has proven unwilling or incapable of prosecuting cases that fall within the ICC’s jurisdiction. Even if there is evidence of alleged war crimes, the Court is supposed to respect serious local investigations.

Importantly, as part of the NGO Durban Declaration and accompanying BDS campaigns, advocacy organizations have sought to turn the ICC into a court of universal jurisdiction. Like their exploitation of the UN and other international frameworks, these NGOs seek to use the ICC for demonization and to brand Israeli officials as “war criminals.” In contrast, the ICC was created for the explicit and narrow purpose of prosecuting individuals accused of specified crimes, and not for political legal warfare.
NGO Monitor: NGOs Blame the Victims: A False “Massacre” in Jenin and “Legitimate Resistance” outside a Jerusalem Synagogue
On January 26, 2023, the IDF conducted a preemptive counterterror operation in Jenin, during which nine Palestinians – eight of whom were armed members of Islamic Jihad and other organizations – were killed. The Palestinian Authority, reviving the blood libel from Jenin in April 2002 (Defensive Shield), accused Israel of committing a “massacre” and Gaza-based terrorist organizations launched rockets at Israeli cities.

The next day (Friday night, January 27), a Palestinian murdered seven Israeli civilians outside a Jerusalem synagogue; a few hours later (Saturday morning, January 28) a 13 year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two Israelis in a separate incident in Jerusalem.

NGO responses to these incidents reflect an immoral agenda that stands in direct contradiction to the human rights mandate that they and their funder-enablers claim. Palestinian, Israeli, European, and international NGOs and their officials that commented on Jenin before the Sabbath terror attacks repeated the PA propaganda of a “massacre.”

Other NGOs appeared to justify the terror attacks in Jerusalem, or otherwise blamed Israel for the targeting of Israeli civilians. Even those groups that directly condemned the terror attacks simultaneously included condemnations of Israel. One NGO, the Rights Forum (Netherlands), bizarrely denied that the murder of Jews because they were Jews constituted antisemitism.

Importantly, several very vocal and active Israeli advocacy NGOs, including Adalah, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, and Yesh Din, appear not to have issued statements.
The Tragic Palestinian Children's Crusade
On December 12, 2022, 15-year-old Jana Majdi Zakharna was killed during an IDF operation in Jenin. The IDF's investigation revealed that the girl was shot to death on a rooftop as she stood in proximity to a Palestinian gunman who had opened fire at Israeli troops below and that she assisted the gunmen by observing the soldiers' movements.

The Telegram channel "Jenin Al-Qassam," which serves armed Palestinian groups in the Jenin region, has published instructions for "Jihad fighters" that deal with the use of children "to conduct visual observation and information gathering." The Telegram channel also noted that Jenin has a network of observation units staffed by "young people" assisting terrorist groups by documenting on video and delivering reports about the activities of IDF forces.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has written that under international humanitarian law, "Individuals whose continuous function involves the preparation, execution, or command of acts or operations amounting to direct participation in hostilities are assuming a continuous combat function."
Biden Admin Announces $50 Million in New UNRWA Funding
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday announced $50 million in new funding for a UN agency that is dedicated solely to the descendants of Palestinian refugees and which has been widely denounced for propagating antisemitism, eliciting rebuke from a top Senate Republican.

Speaking in Ramallah alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Blinken said that the money, alongside the $890 million the Biden administration has already provided to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) in the past two years, was intended to “rebuild” the relationship between the US and the Palestinian Authority.

“All of these steps are part of the longer term ambition to re-establish, but then not just re-establish, rebuild our relationship, as I said, with the Palestinian people and with the Palestinian Authority,” Blinken said. “And this will allow us to more effectively work toward the goal of Palestinians and Israelis enjoying equal measures of democracy, of opportunity, of dignity in their lives. We believe that that can be achieved by a realization of two states. President Biden remains committed to that goal.”

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, slammed the move Wednesday.

“The Biden Administration is far too eager to give out US taxpayer dollars to UNRWA,” Risch told The Algemeiner. “I do not support a single US taxpayer dollar going to UNRWA without serious reform, in part because their textbooks continue time and again to include antisemitic content. That is why I will be re-introducing my UNRWA Accountability & Transparency Act which would halt funding to UNRWA until all of its antisemitic issues are thoroughly addressed.”

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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 18 years and 38,000 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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