Tuesday, January 25, 2022

From Ian:

80 years later the echo of Wannsee persists
Eighty years ago, in the House of the Wannsee, the Nazi elite passed a death sentence on millions of European Jews. There, they set in motion the process that would lead to the most brutal mass murder in the history of humanity. That did not happen in some backwater but in one of the world’s most culturally, technologically, and scientifically advanced societies. Yet our present remembrance of the Wannsee Conference would lose much of its value if it did not also serve to sharpen our attention with regards to the contemporary threats to the Jews.

It is widely known that the protocol of the Wannsee Conference talks about 11 million Jews in Europe who are to be killed. Less well known are the plans for the murder of Jews outside Europe. A few weeks before the Wannsee Conference Hitler, in a face-to-face meeting, had promised Amin el-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, that he also wished to take the earliest opportunity to kill the 700,000 Jews living in North Africa and the Middle East.

A special concern during this meeting was the destruction of Zionism and the annihilation of the Jews in Palestine. In the event, the Allies proved able to defeat the Nazis. However, the idea of thwarting a Jewish state at any cost lived on and found a new home in Egypt, where, after 1945, the Muslim Brotherhood built the world’s largest antisemitic movement. The Brotherhood defended the alliance between el-Husseini and Hitler, declaring in 1946 that, “This hero [el-Husseini] fought Zionism with the help of Hitler and Germany. Germany and Hitler are gone, but Amin el-Husseini will continue the struggle.”

The Mufti did indeed actively continue the Nazi struggle, playing a crucial role in inspiring the effort by the armies of several Arab states to snuff out the nascent Jewish state of Israel in 1948. Amin el-Husseini embodies the link between the Nazis’ big war against the Jews and the subsequent small war of the Arabs against Israel – a link that is described in detail in my latest book.

As we know, the Arabs too failed to defeat Israel. However, the idea of abolishing the Jewish state lived on. The Muslim Brotherhood passed on the baton to an Iranian cleric named Ruhollah Musavi, who would later become famous under the name Ruhollah Khomeini. Since the revolution led by Khomeini in 1979, Tehran has pursued the aim of destroying Zionism by force.
Not Just The Mufti - the real extension of the Palestinian-Nazi collaboration
When did the Palestinian Nazi connection really begin?

Was it limited only to the famous encounter between the Mufti and Hitler?

And how much did this connection affect Palestinian nationalism in the decades that followed?

First mutual understanding 1933–1936
On March 31, 1933, two months after Hitler came to power, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, called on Heinrich Wolff, head of the German Consulate in Jerusalem. In his report to the Auswartiges Amt (Foreign Ministry), Wolff wrote that Husseini said:
“Muslims inside and outside Palestine welcome the new regime in Germany and hope for the spread of fascist, antidemocratic state leadership to other countries.” In his view, “current Jewish influence on economy and politics” was “damaging everywhere and needed to be fought.”

In the hope of doing economic damage to the Jews, Husseini opined that “Muslims hope for a boycott of the Jews in Germany because it would then be adopted with enthusiasm in the whole of the Muslim world.” Further, he was willing to spread the boycott message among Muslims travelling through Palestine and to “all Muslims.” He also looked forward to trading with “non-Jewish merchants” dealing in German products [1] In Nov 1933, it was reported, a direct contact between the German Nazis and the Palestinian Arabs, Arab Riot Leaders, revealed by Nazis

Between 1932 and 1935, political parties were formed among men of education, such as mayors, teachers, businessmen and lawyers. In March 1935 the Husseinis also formed a party, called the Palestinian Arab Party. It was, as its president Jamal Husseini freely boasted, inspired by German Nazism. It included the ‘Al-Futuwwa’ (‘The youth ’), modelled on the Hitler Youth, for a while actually called the ‘Nazi Scouts’. The Mufti was on friendly terms with the German consul in Jerusalem and told him that the Muslims of the world, for whom he apparently felt he was spokesman, hoped for the spread of fascism to other countries and would assist a worldwide anti-Jewish boycott.[2]

When Hitler proclaimed the Nuremberg Race Laws in September 1935, a number of Palestinian Arabs sent telegrams congratulating him: “Delegations from the Arab world participated in the Nuremberg marches of the Nazis, during the 1930s, and expressed their common disgust toward the Jews and their joint accusations of the Jews… Upon the publication of the racist Nuremberg Laws in 1935, Hitler received greetings from the entire Arab world, from Morocco to Palestine, where Nazi propaganda had taken root.” [3] (h/t L_King)
Blaming Israel, not Muslims, for Christian woes
With all this, a recent declaration by church leaders in Jerusalem puzzlingly lays all blame for Christian woes in the Holy Land at the feet of Jewish and Israeli elements. They warned that Christians have become targets of “frequent and supported attacks by radical fringe groups”—Jewish ones, that is. Nowhere do they mention attacks, both physical and otherwise, initiated against Christians by Muslims. The religious leaders warned of a “systematic [Jewish] attempt to drive the Christian community out of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.”

Several days later, two leading Christian clerics, one in Britain—no less than the head of the Church of England, Justin Welby—and one in Jerusalem, wrote an article supporting the claims and clearly suggesting that Israel is at fault for the decline in the Christian population in the Holy Land. This, even though the Christian population in Hamas-run Gaza has plummeted by 80 percent (!) over the past 15 years, to around 1,000.

The article states: “The growth of settler communities and travel restrictions brought about by the West Bank separation wall have deepened the isolation of Christian villages and curtailed economic and social possibilities.” Again, these vague and undocumented accusations totally obfuscate the true picture of ongoing Palestinian-Arab persecution of Christians. The article does not even mention the P.A. or Muslims.

Regarding the insinuations that Israel is responsible for a drop in its Christian population, the facts tell a different story. Though the percentage of Christians in Israel has dropped drastically over the decades, largely because of the massive Jewish immigration to the Jewish state, in absolute numbers the Christian population in Israel proper has actually grown, and Israel is the only Middle East country in which this is the case.

It is notable that the Christian charity organization “Open Doors” attributes to “Islamic oppression” the steep decline of Christian numbers in the P.A.-controlled areas. The organization claims that “Islamic extremist militants” have been causing Christians to fear violent attacks.
Emily Schrader: Why is there an anti-Jewish bias in the media?
In the aftermath of the hostage situation, the FBI issued an absurd statement, which they later clarified, claiming the hostage taker’s demands were focused on the issue and not connected to the Jewish community. The irony is that the issue was antisemitism.

As if on cue, the media lapped up the statement, quick to minimize any antisemitic motivations of the terrorist. The Associated Press even ran the headline “FBI: Hostage taker was not focused on Jewish community.” Except he very much was, that’s why he researched rabbis ahead of time and stated he wanted to kill Jews. That’s why he referred to Siddiqui as his sister. Siddiqui notably demanded in her trial that the jurors be genetically tested to prove they aren’t Zionists or Jews.

Pretending that taking Jews hostage at gunpoint in a synagogue on Shabbat because you want a known antisemitic terrorist released is actively contributing to antisemitism today and that is what the media did with their outrageous coverage of the Colleyville hostage-taking attack. There is no excuse for the intentional misrepresentation of the facts of the case throughout the 10-hour ordeal and no excuse for the anti-Jewish bias that’s spreading in the media, while it is Jews who are actually being attacked just for going to synagogue.

What began with bias and inaccuracy over Israel has now expanded to bias and gaslighting of the American Jewish community as well, and we cannot remain silent about the role of the media on this issue.
  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
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  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
The official Palestinian Wafa news agency publishes every two weeks a survey of what it calls "incitement and racism in the Israeli media," in a transparent attempt to turn the tables on Israel pointing out the antisemitism and support for terror that one can see in Palestinian media daily.

But since Israeli media is not inherently racist, they have to fudge things a little.

This time, the "racism" was all around Israeli media coverage of the demolition of two houses in Sheikh Jarrah.

The occupation stressed, by covering, the "sovereignty in Jerusalem", claiming that the family "illegally took possession of the house," a narrative promoted by the occupation authorities and a large number of officials in the occupying country.

Maariv wrote, "Municipality employees, escorted by police and army forces, infiltrated yesterday at dawn a house in the Jerusalem neighborhood (Sheikh Jarrah), which was illegally seized by the Salhia family years ago. They evacuated the family members who barricaded themselves there and demolished the house, 18 detainees were arrested on suspicion of disturbing the order, and the Left was angry and declared that ethnic cleansing must be stopped.

Israel Hayom also discusses "Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem, saying, "In order to understand the hypocrisy of the voices calling for eviction under the guise of human rights, and to remember that all the courts that discussed the case recognized that these were squatters who rejected any settlement offered to them, the Shimon Hatsadeq neighborhood area (the name they gave Sheikh Jarrah) was purchased by the Jews in early 1875, but was abandoned during the War of Independence and liberated during the Six-Day War.After a complicated procedure, the houses were returned to their rightful owners, and it was agreed between the Arab tenants and the Jewish owners that the tenants would pay the rent, acknowledge the Jewish ownership of the place and pledge that by maintaining the property, in return he granted them protected resident status.”

The newspaper criticized the "concessions" of the "political level", indicating that it had been following a regressive approach during the last period, during which it waived "Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem", as it requested a postponement of the "evacuation of the occupiers" from Sheikh Jarrah, rejecting the escalation last May, and they opposed the "dance of the occupiers flags" and "Ascent to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day."
Apparently, Jews asserting their rights is "incitement and racism."

Because to Palestinians, Jews should be weak, cringing dhimmis, not proud fighters for their land.

From Ian:

Follow the Netherlands's example: Don’t fund terrorist fronts
In January 2020, Israel declared the UHWC to be an illegal organization. Then, in October 2021, with information gathered during the counter-PFLP operation, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz designated the UAWC, al Haq, the Bisan Center, Defence of Children International-Palestine, Addameer, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees as fronts for the PFLP.

Israel has not yet and might never publicly release the evidence behind this decision. The designations came amid a murder investigation, so Israel’s judicial system cannot release information that might influence the trial or that would compromise its intelligence collection.

However, a leaked Israeli dossier provides a clearer picture. It depicts a network of NGOs illicitly transferring funds from European donors to the PFLP. In a confession included in the dossier, Said Abedat, a former accountant for the UHWC, stated: “The institutions affiliated with the PFLP are interconnected and constitute a lifeline for the organization from an economic and institutional standpoint, that is, money laundering and funding of the PFLP’s activities.”

Wiretaps and other confessions in the dossier detail how Palestinian NGOs overinvoiced, well above the actual cost of projects, and sent the difference to the PFLP. According to the dossier, NGOs even worked with local contractors to produce fake receipts to justify the inflated figures.

With evidence mounting, institutions worldwide have started to cut ties with the PFLP NGO network. In recent years, credit card companies have terminated services to al Haq, the UAWC, and the DCI-P for their ties to the PFLP. As of December 2021, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed that they would no longer provide services to the UAWC and DCI-P respectively.

But these NGOs have received tens of millions of dollars from the United Nations, the European Union , European charities , and individual European countries , particularly Sweden, Spain, and Norway. As the evidence continues to mount, it’s time to halt all aid to these terrorist-funding NGOs.
House letter urges Blinken to ‘prioritize’ better UNHRC treatment of Israel
A bipartisan group of more than 40 members of Congress is urging Secretary of State Tony Blinken to “prioritize reversing” the United Nations Human Rights Council’s “discriminatory and unwarranted treatment of Israel.”

The lawmakers — led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) sent a letter, obtained by Jewish Insider, to Blinken on Monday urging him to work to shut down the UNHRC’s open-ended Commission of Inquiry on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which was created in May 2021.

“COI’s mandate is designed to accelerate the political, economic, and legal challenges to Israel and undermine its legitimacy by pressuring international legal institutions to take action against Israeli leaders,” the letter reads. “This COI is outrageous and ought to be cancelled. With the UN budget in crisis, stretched by the COVID pandemic which affects all humanity, it is irresponsible to spend precious resources on yet another unjustified UN investigation of Israel.”

The letter calls on Blinken to “lead the effort” to eliminate the COI and requested that the administration pressure Congress not to provide funding the COI.

The letter enumerates several concerns about the COI in particular, including that the resolution that created it did not mention violence emanating from Hamas or Israel’s right to self-defense, that the U.N. already has six other bodies investigating Israel and that the COI is permanent, unlike other UNHRC investigative bodies. The letter’s authors also express concerns about several of the officials selected for the COI, whom they allege “have records of anti-Israel bias.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Iran's Palestinian Proxy: Jihad against Israel and America
The Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the second largest and hugely influential group in the Gaza Strip after Hamas, does not believe that the conflict with Israel is over Jerusalem, settlements, borders, checkpoints or Palestinian prisoners.

Qattati's article shows that PIJ and its masters in Tehran consider not only Israel as the "enemy," but the US too. This is the same Iran whose representatives are currently negotiating with the US and other world powers about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

PIJ is undoubtedly hoping that the talks in Vienna will allow Iran to proceed with its plans to deceive the world into thinking that it will end its support for terrorist groups throughout the Middle East or abandon its plan to obtain nuclear weapons.

PIJ's statement shows that its supporters understand resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict by the United Nations and anti-Israel organizations around the world as a license to continue the jihad against Israel and all Jews.

It is also most critical that the Biden administration immediately place Iran's other proxy organization, the Houthis, who just bombed Abu Dhabi, back on the US List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Since the US Department of State removed them from the list in February, they have returned the favor by becoming more aggressive than ever and are successfully destabilizing the region.

When these groups are enriched and emboldened, that just means even more bad news for the US and the region.

The Biden administration might do well to remember that its arrangements with the mullahs in Iran will spill over into bloodletting by Iran's proxies throughout the Middle East -- who will be only too happy to credit the Biden administration for their toxic, destructive success.

By Daled Amos

It's one of the great patterns in Jewish history ever since the Jews were invited into Egypt and then enslaved there.
Rabbi Ken Spiro, History Crash Course, Aish.com

How often is a people personally invited to come be part of a country? 

In 1264, Poland's King Boleslav issued a charter inviting Jews to come live there. According to the charter, in matters pertaining to Jewish money or property, the testimony of a Christian was insufficient -- it had to be accompanied by the testimony of a Jew as well. It decreed that any Christian who desecrates a Jewish cemetery would be severely punished. It also allowed Jews the freedom to buy and sell merchandise just as a Christian could.

The charter even included some items that we only wish were being enforced today, especially in France and New York City:

"If a Christian should attack a Jew, the Christian shall be punished as required by the laws of this land."

"We affirm that if any Jew cry out in the night as a result of violence done to him, and if his Christian neighbors fail to respond to his cries and do not bring the necessary help, they shall be fined."

Of course, King Boleslav was not the only one to see the benefit of having Jews in his country, especially for the economy. He was, however, the most successful. The Polish leaders who came after him followed his example to the extent that by the middle of the 16th century, 80% of world Jewry lived in Poland.

Now, invitations and gestures of friendship are again being offered, to Jews in general -- and to Israel in particular.

From Arab countries, no less.
And for a variety of reasons.

According to The Economist, The Arab world is re-embracing its Jews. And it is not solely based on fear of Iran on the one hand, or on economic benefits on the other, though of course that is part of it. Other reasons given are:
o Failure of radical Islamism has led to a rethinking of attitudes
o The need to modernize
o The Palestinian issue is no longer central to how they think of Israel
o Israel/Jews as a model for success
o There is a new generation of Arabs who didn't live through the Arab Israel wars of the last century
o Israel as a key to better relations with West

In Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman -- the crown prince of Saudi Arabia -- may not be ready to follow the example of the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco in joining the Abraham Accords, but he is taking measures to attract Jewish tourists. Towards that end, he has sponsored archaeological digs at Jewish sites. Bin Salman is also planning a $500 billion high-tech city to be called Neom, on the northwest coast -- the location intended to attract Israeli expertise. Meanwhile, last year an Israeli opened Habitas, a luxury hotel in Al Ula.

The changes in Saudi Arabia seem to go beyond external projects.

Not only are Jews being welcomed into Saudi Arabia -- Israelis are too, though only if they have a foreign passport. Hebrew is spoken at fairs and festivals. Antisemitic statements about Jews are being removed from textbooks. There is even an Israeli rabbi, Jacob Herzog, who often visits the Saudi capital, where he can be seen in public, dressed as an Orthodox Jew and handing out prayer books.

Rabbi Herzog's comment on all this is interesting. He says:

Jews used to be afraid of saying they were Jews in the kingdom. Now we’re getting embedded.

Contrast that with the situation Jews find themselves in today in the US and Europe.

In 2019, Germany’s commissioner on anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, said, "I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere all the time in Germany."

That same year, an American Jewish Committee survey showed that nearly a third of American Jews were afraid of publicly wearing anything that would indicate they were Jewish, because of rising antisemitism. Attacks on Jews have only reinforced that fear.

In 2016, Tzvi Amar, the president of the local office of the French Jewish community’s organization responsible for religious services told Le Figaro that Jews should “remove the kippah during these troubled times” because “the preservation of life is sacrosanct.” The situation in France since then has only gotten worse.

Last year, it was predicted that 2021 would be the worst year on record for antisemitism in the UK

Yet of all places, there are now Arab countries where Jews are openly welcome and can walk there without fear.

As Middle East commentator Tom Gross put it:

I’ve witnessed far more hostility towards Israel among leftists in London and Paris and by some European-born Muslims, than people I have got to know who actually live in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iraq.

This move towards welcoming Jews is not limited to just the Gulf states.

The Economist also reports that in Egypt, al-Sisi is renovating Jewish cemeteries after having renovated the 14th-century Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue in Alexandria, which at one time was the largest synagogue in the Arab world.

And in Syria, Assad is not only restoring synagogues -- he reached out last year to the Syrian Jewish community in New York and hosted a delegation of 12 Syrian Jews in Damascus. No one is fooled that Assad's motives are altruistic.

According to David Lesch of Trinity University in Texas:

Syria is engaging with its Jewish exiles in order to buff up its image as a protector of religious minorities and to connect with communities who might possibly give it some political leverage in Washington at a time when it has very little of it.

It is a motive that might entice other Arab countries to welcome Jews and maybe even join the Abraham Accords, assuming Biden makes it worth their while to seek leverage with the current administration.

But there is the flip side -- the effect that this welcoming attitude in the Arab world is having on Israel.

According to The Economist, this is an opportunity for Mizrahi Jews in Israel who feel marginalized because of a larger focus on European Jewish history. The Abraham Accords provides an opportunity to travel to Morocco and the UAE, and maybe even to move there.

But more than that:

Those who stay put are more open about their heritage. In contrast to their grandparents, who listened to Umm Kulthum, an Egyptian diva, in secret, young Mizrahim blast Arabic music in public. In 2015 three sisters of Yemenite origin released Israel’s first Arabic chart-topper. “Coldness is turning to curiosity about the region,” says Liel Maghen, who runs the Centre for Regional Initiatives, a think-tank in Jerusalem. “There’s an Arabisation of Israeli culture.” [emphasis added]

What Maghen means by 'Arabisation' is not clear. Nor is it clear what the implications are. 

While The Economist says that Maghen runs the 'Centre for Regional Initiatives', actually the organization's full name is the Israel Palestine Center for Regional Initiatives. While one popular view of the Abraham Accords is that it may help Arab Israelis similarly develop a more positive view of Israel, Maghen might be hinting at developments in the other direction, of Israeli Jews becoming more sympathetic and open to Israeli Arabs, and to the Palestinian Arabs as well. And not necessarily that the Accords are only something that will leave Palestinian Arabs isolated. 

And yet with all the positives in the Abraham Accords and the varied reasons for its success, there is the matter of Jewish history.

Because for all the invitations to Jews over the centuries, there were also the expulsions.

the Jews were expelled from England (1290)
o  the Jews were expelled from France (1306 and 1394)
o  the Jews were expelled from Hungary (1349 and 1360)
o  the Jews were expelled from German states (1348 and 1498)
o  the Jews were expelled from Austria (1421)
o  the Jews were expelled from Lithuania (1445 and 1495)
o  the Jews were expelled from Spain (1492)
o  the Jews were expelled from Portugal (1497)

Following the expulsion from Spain, many Jews found new homes within the Ottoman Empire.

But that didn't last forever. 

After all, the title of The Economist article is "The Arab world is re-embracing its Jews." Jews have lived there before in Jewish communities, some that dated back to the time of the Talmud.

Rabbi Spiro's list reminds us, even when Jews were re-invited back, that second invitation sometimes ran out as well.

But for now, it is hard not to be optimistic.

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Daily Trojan of the University of Southern California gives an overview of recent events there:
USC will establish an Advisory Committee of Jewish Life and ensure Jewish representation in the University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, President Carol Folt announced in a Jan. 13 email to the “USC Jewish community and supporters.”

The announcement follows months of faculty open letters, accusations of antisemitism and “racial & ethnic harassment” toward a Palestinian student that highlights persistent conflict on college campuses across the country, including navigating free speech issues, protecting students with various identities and disputes surrounding Israel and Palestine. 

At USC, the most recent controversy stems from civil engineering major Yasmeen Mashayekh’s tweets last spring and summer that included statements such as “I want to kill every motherfucking Zionist,” “I fucking love hamas” and “yel3an el yahood,” — which directly translates to “curse the Jews” — though Mashayekh later on Twitter said she referred to the “apartheid regime” and that yel3an means a “request for God to cast judgment,” rather than “curse.
The article goes on to quote Mashayekh's defenders:

Mashayekh and online supporters circulated a letter addressed to Folt and Viterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis Yortsos on Dec. 2, writing that “the language of the oppressed towards their oppressor is a form of personal resistance” against “colonial violence,” and urging the University to “stand in support of an oppressed student.”
So if you define yourself as "oppressed," you can literally do whatever you want to your "oppressors." Whom you can define as well.

Mashayekh wrote on Twitter that she and her family have received death threats as a result of online harassment, as well as an FBI visit.

“Today my mom received a phone call from someone threatening to kill me, her and my entire family because of my tweets; the person claimed to know where I live. I do not feel safe on campus. This school has done nothing but cater to my oppressor,” wrote Mashayekh in a Dec. 14 Tweet.

Mashayekh did not respond to multiple interview requests from the Daily Trojan.
If she received death threats, then she should have called the police. Did she? Perhaps she doesn't want to talk to the Daily Trojan because she fears basic questions like that. 
Emad Askar, who graduated from USC in 2021 and is a past member of Students for Justice in Palestine, said the University has not properly supported Palestinian students, nor allowed for their recognition on campus. To Askar, it is “preposterous” that a girl tweeting “I want to kill Zionists” is inappropriate. 

You have every right as an oppressed group to violently rebel against your oppressor,” Askar said.
This SJP member just said that any Palestinian in America can violently attack any Jew that they perceive to be an oppressor. Not just tweet antisemitism, but physically attack Jews whom they believe are Zionist.

Where are the condemnations of this statement? Where are the "woke" people who should be deploring a call for violence on campus?

They are curiously silent.

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Baltimore Evening Sun reported on April 5, 1922, about an antisemitic sermon given by the Albert Norman Ward, president of Western Maryland College, at the opening of the Maryland Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church.

He said that the Jews controlled New York City and have taken the Bible out of the public schools. 

A Jewish woman wrote a letter to the editor of the Evening Sun, where she politely destroyed Ward's speech:

By the way, even today, there is a dormitory at what is now called McDaniel College named after the bigoted Albert Norman Ward.

I wonder if the people who are upset over buildings named after Jefferson or Washington would object to Albert Norman Ward Hall.  Somehow I don't think they would. 

But I'm willing to be proven wrong. 

I filled out a complaint at McDaniel College's Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, asking why they still have a dorm named after an antisemite. We'll see if they contact me. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

From Ian:

Has the Palestinian 'apartheid assault' backfired?
Today, as Israeli Arab affairs commentator Jackie Hugi has noted, Abbas and the PA sit isolated, alienated, and bankrupt among the leading members of the Arab League.

The PA committed political harakiri in 2020 when Abbas condemned Arab signatories to the Abraham Accords including United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Morocco and Sudan, for normalizing relations with Israel. In Abbas’ unprecedented public assault against Arab allies, he accused them of “stabbing the Palestinians in the back and betraying the al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and the Palestinian cause.”

Palestinian fury at Arab-Israel normalization brought the Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheik Mohammed Hussein, to issue a fatwa -an Islamic religious ruling- prohibiting leaders from Arab states, or any Muslim who normalized relations with Israel, from worshipping at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque. Arab countries reacted with unparalleled contempt towards the PA. Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan branded the PA and its leadership “failures,” and called Abbas’ snub a “transgression” and “reprehensible discourse.”

Abbas convened Palestinian terror group leaders including arch-rivals, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to coordinate responses and actions in opposition to the accords. Arab powers viewed Abbas’ destabilizing moves with contempt, particularly his outreach to Arab League's adversaries Turkey and Iran.

In 2022, Arab countries continue to loosen ties with the PA while tightening them with Israel. The UAE recently announced a 100-million-dollar investment in Israel’s high tech sector. Morocco seeks security cooperation. Libya’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, reportedly met with the Mossad Chief Barnea in Jordan to discuss normalization and security cooperation. Even Saudi Arabia, that quietly “green lighted” the Gulf states’ normalization agreements, has itself moved closer to Israel, reportedly weighing normalization.

Palestinian apartheid propaganda may still find supporters in the West where Jew hatred has reached new heights and animosity towards the Jewish state poses as political criticism.

However, from a Middle Eastern perspective, the Palestinian leadership and its ongoing political assaults have hit a brick wall both among the Israeli public and most of its Arab neighbors. The PA’s weakened position among the Arab powers and its pivot to the “rejectionist front” led by Turkey and Iran, cast an even darker shadow over its already fading prospects for political viability and independence.
Human Rights Watch: Australia, Like Israel, Is Guilty of Apartheid
The title of this article is a teaser. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has not labelled Australia guilty of apartheid. I also do not believe that Israel is remotely guilty of apartheid. However, based on the criteria that HRW outlined in its recent report stating the Israel is guilty of crimes of apartheid, there is no doubt that Australia is an apartheid state. HRW’s charge against Israel is based on a newly invented definition of apartheid and a deeply flawed analysis of the conflict that willfully ignores vast evidence that contradicts their thesis. The purpose of this article is not to provide a direct rebuttal which has been handled well elsewhere[1] but to demonstrate the absurdity of HRW’s charge against Israel by demonstrating that the same criteria applied equally to other nations – in this case Australia – would show that many, and not just dictatorships, would also have to be considered apartheid, rendering their report against Israel as grossly biased garbage solely intended to isolate and punish Israel.

An April 2021 report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled “A Threshold Crossed, Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” concluded that Israel commits crimes of apartheid, both within Israel and the West Bank & Gaza, a charge that is eagerly endorsed by anti-Zionists and those who loathe Israel.[2] The report suggests aggressive international sanctions against Israel and its officials for these alleged crimes. The misuse of the word apartheid and the inflammatory language against Israel has infiltrated the conversation where even a poll of American Jews showed a higher than expected number believe that Israel is an apartheid state.

The only country in history that has been universally recognized as an apartheid state is South Africa, where this Afrikaans term originated, and no other nation except Israel has ever been similarly labelled by recognized organizations. In order to formally apply this term to Israel, HRW unilaterally developed a new set of criteria to assess what constitutes apartheid. These criteria are of course completely subjective, decided upon solely by HRW, flagrantly contradicts international law that clearly defines apartheid, and importantly, have never been used before to evaluate any other nation.

HRW deliberately avoids comparing Israel to South Africa, which would be the most obvious method to evaluate if a nation is currently apartheid. HRW deals with this logical flaw by claiming that South Africa is conveniently no longer the model for apartheid: “The international community has over the years detached the term apartheid from its original South African context.” HRW does not explain how or when this “detachment” from the South African precedent of apartheid occurred, who comprises the “international community,” or why this new definition emerged but was never used to examine another state. In a report that HRW touts as extensively researched with over 800 footnotes, not one source is provided for the supposed shedding by the international community of the South African precedent for apartheid. In fact, a key source that HRW relies upon to support its definition of apartheid, the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (the “Apartheid Convention”), specifically states that the crime of apartheid “shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa.” HRW admits that “Few courts have heard cases involving the crime of persecution and none the crime of apartheid, resulting in a lack of case law around the meanings of key terms in their definitions,” but still decides that the only know precedent enshrined in international law – South Africa – is not useful in evaluating Israel. To further obfuscate its strategy of ignoring established international legal language defining apartheid, HRW offers this vague explanation attempting to separate “crimes of apartheid” from “apartheid state” as if an entity could commit “crimes of apartheid” but somehow not be an “apartheid state”:

The report does not set out to compare Israel with South Africa under apartheid or to determine whether Israel is an “apartheid state”—a concept that is not defined in international law. Rather, the report assesses whether specific acts and policies carried out by Israeli authorities today amount in particular areas to the crimes of apartheid and persecution as defined under international law.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Fund Makes Bank By Investing Only In Stocks BDS Urges To Divest (satire)
A securities-trading firm announced today that its most successful package of equity issues for the last five years consists only of shares in companies that have resisted the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement targeting Israel, outpacing its next-most-profitable offering by nearly eight percent in an already-lucrative period for the firm’s clients.

Diamond-Romm, LLP, which handles portfolios that include private equity, government-issue bonds, corporate bonds, and stocks, among other fiduciary assets, reported Monday that their Blue and White Fund, which restricts itself to stocks of enterprises that BDS has targeted, grew a cumulative 341% over the last half-decade, dwarfing the achievements of even its most profitable aggressive-growth fund, which grew by a comparatively paltry 195% over the same period.

DR executives attributed the success of Blue and White to a number of factors. “To begin with, Israel is just an excellent investment market,” explained Vice President for Research Vincenzo Giamatti. “The tech sector, and not only high-tech, keeps innovating in imaginative, lucrative ways. But its not only Israeli enterprises per se – international companies that partner with, or do significant business with, Israeli entities both civilian and governmental, report tremendous gains. The Israeli economy in general weathered the financial crises of the last decade-plus better than almost anywhere else. The growth potential remains enormous. Real estate alone is exploding. Any reasonably smart Israel portfolio is going to do well, and any reasonably-conceived presence of a multinational in Israel is going to do well.”
  • Monday, January 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

It had to happen. 

Al Quds has an article, "The unreported side of the Texas synagogue attack," where the author claims:

* Israeli (and American!)  media didn't report anything about Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker throwing the chair at the gunman and sparking the escape.

* The reason there is no coverage of Rabbi Walker is because he calls Israel an "apartheid state" and this embarrasses Jews who, it is implied, own the media.

Of course, the Jewish and Israeli media have had lengthy interviews with Cytron-Walker, and he is pro-Israel.

 Cytron-Walker said, he does not believe Israel is an apartheid state. “When I teach about Israel, I teach about how Israel is complicated. I’m a huge supporter of Israel,” he said, noting that the synagogue’s education program works with the Ofek Learning Hub to have Israeli teachers leading online learning for youth programs, and that “we sing ‘Hatikvah’ [the Israeli national anthem] at the end of every religious school.”
On Congregation Beth Israel's webpage, it shows that Rabbi Cytron-Walker has publicly said that modern antisemitism includes anti-Zionism:

Understanding Modern Antisemitism with Rabbi Charlie on Sunday, January 17, 2021, was an insightful, balanced, and sobering look at the recent resurgence of antisemitism on both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum, and on college campuses. Rabbi Charlie gave examples of antisemitism and explained the harmful impact of enablers: The utilitarian antisemite "pot-stirrers" who enable haters magnify the impact of the extremists by expanding the circles of influence. Modern antisemitism is shockingly similar to more ancient forms, with the primary differences being the addition of the new topics of Israel and Zionism, and the adoption of modern forms of communication. There were 42 people in the Zoom session.
But why should facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory?

  • Monday, January 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Yasser Arafat Museum in Ramallah just opened a new exhibit.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh opened the“Palestine and Yasser Arafat” cartoon exhibition, at the exhibition hall of Yasser Arafat Museum, Sunday, January 23, 2022. The opening was also attended by Dr. Ahmed Sobh, Director General of the Yasser Arafat Foundation, members of the Museum Committee, and Palestinian and foreign political, cultural and media figures.

During the opening, the Prime Minister said: 43 countries participated in this exceptional exhibition, to an exceptional man, which reflects the extent of international solidarity with Palestine, the firm roots in the memory of Yasser Arafat in the international community and the heart of every Palestinian and Arab and everyone who loves peace and freedom in the world.
So because they got artists from 43 countries to contribute, that means that everyone loved Arafat? This is a stretch, so say the least.

The exhibit included cartoons of Arafat as well as some of the usual anti-Israel cartoons. But some of the caricatures upset some Palestinians, who bullied the museum to take them down!

They removed the cartoons that "did not receive an understanding from Palestinian public opinion."

They claim they can run a state, but they can't even run a cartoon exhibition!

Meanwhile, the generic anti-Israel pictures with depictions of bombs with the Star of David falling on children, or of Israel undermining the foundations of the Dome of the Rock, or of a guillotine of an American flag and Israeli blade murdering thousands of Palestinians, are presumably still on view.

Because showing Arafat with a big nose is offensive, but saying that Jews are mass murderers is perfectly OK, in the twisted world of the Palestinian territories. 

(h/t Khaled Abu Toameh)

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: 'Stolen land' myth doesn't stand the test of reality
One of the tragicomic if all too prevalent customs of contemporary woke corporate culture is the way many groups and corporations now open meetings with ritual acknowledgments that they are on "stolen land." It involves the convener of the gathering to begin any proceedings by first stating that those speaking are "on the lands" of whatever Native American tribe once lived there as the indigenous inhabitants of the North American continent.

That is part of the context of the claim that the State of Israel was built on "stolen land," a phrase that was used by Hussain Altamimi, one of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's staffers when he smeared it as a "racist-European ethnostate." Unsurprisingly, Altamimi didn't lose his job when this came out. Why would AOC fire someone who reflects the same hatred of the Jewish state that she and other "Squad" colleagues have often expressed?

This is a commonplace myth spread by those who believe in intersectional ideology, which deems the efforts of all oppressed "people of color" to resist the racist oppression of those possessing "white privilege" to be part of one great righteous struggle.

Part of the problem with this facile and toxic idea is that whatever you think the answer to the question about the identity of the rightful owners of the North American continent might be, the notion that Jews are merely "European" or non-indigenous to the Middle East or the land of Israel is a lie.

Unfortunately, individuals who accept and spread that lie are not confined to those who work in the offices of radical members of Congress, even if their bosses are one of the young rock stars of the Democratic Party who are planning on taking it over once the current octogenarian leadership departs.

These myths are widely accepted throughout academia and the mainstream media. They are reflected in the coverage of Israel in which, as one recent article in The New York Times about a Jerusalem property dispute put it, the Jews were accused of trying to "Judaize" their own ancient capital.
How an Israel victory can become a become a win for the region
For many years, one of the more prominent fault lines in the Middle East was perceived as being between the Jewish State and the Arab world. There was an almost facile western understanding that all of the centuries-old conflicts in the region could be seen through the prism of the 100-year conflict between Jews and Arabs in the Land of Israel.

Thankfully, this tired idea of ‘Linkage’ has long been debunked by the realities on the ground.

However, there is a very real fault line in the Middle East that has become even more stark in recent weeks.

The situation in Lebanon where Iran’s proxy Hezbollah is holding a nation hostage to its whims and narrow political and ideological aims is creating new understanding and alliances there. This, coupled, with the recent attacks on the UAE by the Iran-backed Houthis from Yemen, are demonstrating that the Middle East is now divided by the moderates who want a more stable and peaceful future for the region, and those who seek to sew chaos, conflict and bloodshed.

The peace and normalization agreements between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, as well as warming ties around the Sunni world, have demonstrated a historic understanding of the reality that the Israel-Arab conflict is dead.

The result has seen economic, security and cultural agreements between the Jewish State and its neighbors.

Nevertheless, I believe the time is ripe to go even further.
Update on the Abraham Accords

NGO Monitor: Candidates for the UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinians, Biased Candidates for a Biased Mandate
The Special Rapporteur on the “situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967” is a UN mechanism that is marred by extreme bias, selectivity, and partiality. In contrast to every other country-specific mandate that must be renewed by the UN Human Rights Council on an annual basis, the Rapporteur is the only indefinite mandate, as noted on OHCHR’s webpage, enduring “until the end of the Israeli occupation.” In addition, it is the only mandate that is manifestly selective and partial, aimed at examining alleged violations by Israel alone. Palestinian violations and systematic atrocities committed by the PA and Palestinian terror groups are expressly excluded.

According to the selection criteria for Special Rapporteur, the basic requirements for the role include knowledge of international human rights and humanitarian law, experience in the field of human rights, and credibility in advancing human rights and peace. In addition, under Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, Special Rapporteurs are required to exhibit personal integrity, expertise, independence, impartiality, and objectivity.

In contrast to these stipulations, the position of Special Rapporteur has mainly been filled by individuals with extensive histories of anti-Israel animus and who have used their platform for activism and to promote extreme hostility towards Israel, including boycott campaigns, and antisemitism. Former Rapporteurs John Dugard and Richard Falk, and outgoing Rapporteur Michael Lynk, are responsible for promoting the apartheid slander and BDS, downplaying or erasing Palestinian terrorism, and mislabeling terror-linked NGO officials as “human rights defenders.”

StopAntisemitism received these photos of material that Joseph Massad is teaching in his Columbia University "Palestinian/Israeli Conflict" course. It came from a student taking the course.

Ths comes from "Holy land, hollow jubilee: God, justice and the Palestinians" which is a collection of speeches given at the1998 Sabeel International Conference. Sabeel is the antisemitic Palestinian Christian organization that preaches Christian supersessionism. The co-editor of the book, Naim Ateek, is an antisemite

The quote here is undeniably antisemitic, saying that Jews collaborated in the Holocaust. Zionists were trying to save Jewish lives, Nazis were trying to destroy Jewish lives. If this isn't antisemitic, nothing is.

And this is in a curriculum of a Columbia University professor.

This is from an out of print book published in 1967 before the Six Day War. Commentary wrote a review:

Anyone who has ever perused a John Birch Society pamphlet about the Communist Conspiracy will experience a similar sensation on reading this little book about Israel and Zionism. An impressive mass of data and facts has been assembled; historical perspectives have been traced; all the right quotations have been adduced; a good deal of the argument even manages to make sense; yet the outcome corresponds to a reality that exists solely in the mind of the author.
The point of the book is that Israel acted in a racist way towards its Mizrahi citizens. This is true - but this was also 54 years ago. The author of the book says that Israel should become more Oriental and integrate more fully into the Middle Eastern culture in order to have a chance to make peace with Arabs, and what has happened since then is that the Arab nations have (slowly) become more Westernized - and many of them have made peace with Israel.

The irony is that every time Israel adopts Middle East culture, whether it is cuisine or dance or dress or music, people like Joseph Massad freak out and say that Israel is stealing it. 

Massad has a history of antisemitic rhetoric. The late Petra Maquardt-Bigman once made a quiz to see if anyone can distinguish between phrases written by Massad and the far right antisemites at Stormfront. He pushes the discredited Khazar theory. Oh, and he's a homophobe

The question isn't whether Massad is an antisemite who is teaching antisemitism to his students. The question is why Columbia allows a professor to spew hate disguised as pseudo-academia.

  • Monday, January 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestinian Labor Minister Nasri Abu Jaish announced a program to try to fund jobs for Palestinian women, as he announced the news that 6,250 women work in Jewish settlements.

About 20,000 Palestinians altogether work in the settlements, out of roughly 140,000 who work for Israelis altogether. This contributes a significant proportion of the Palestinian GDP, since 18.6% of all West Bank workers are working for Israelis. 

In the Palestinian labor market altogether, only about 22% of workers are women, which means that proportionately, the hated settlements provide more opportunity for women than the local market.

On average, Israelis pay Palestinians more than double the salaries they receive for local jobs. The Q4 2020 Labour Force Survey for Palestinians shows that the average daily wage for those working in Israel and in settlements was 260.8 shekels compared to 123.5 shekels in the West Bank and 65.6 shekels in Gaza.

The Palestinian Labor ministry is alarmed at so many women working for "settlers" so they announced yet another program to encourage the women to work locally. They started a program worth 10 million shekels to provide jobs for women in the Jordan Valley. 

Every previous time that they tried to discourage Palestinians from working for Israelis they have failed, badly. There is no reason to think this initiative will do any better - the average Palestinian is not going to take a 53% pay cut because the PA wants them to be more patriotic.

  • Monday, January 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
I did a quick survey through the earliest printed Haggadot on Google Books which showed a depiction of Jerusalem and the Temple inside.

The earliest I found was from Amsterdam in 1695.

This 1712 edition, also from Amsterdam, has a beautiful woodcut of Jerusalem that looks like it is based on the 1695 one but with much more detail:

Here's a 1716 edition, from Rabbi Aharon ben Uri Lipman:

There was a 1744 Haggadah whose woodcut that was identical to the Lipman one.

The Jerusalem depiction in this 1746 is almost an exact mirror image of the 1695 one:

The one picture of the Temple that most interests me is this one, from 1738 and also from Amsterdam, but with a much different woodcut:

No one has ever depicted the Temple as an octagon.

But, perhaps, the artist was not depicting the previous Temple - but a future one. (The last three words on the top margin, "וכן יהי רצון", would seem to indicate that.)  And if that is so, it seems possible that he had heard about the majestic, octagonal Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount which is at the exact spot of the two Temples - and thought that the new Temple could be built using its walls!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

  • Sunday, January 23, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Okaz is one of the most popular and influential newspapers in Saudi Arabia.

On Sunday, it published an op-ed by Mohammed Al Saed titled, "Is it time to break with the Palestinian cause?" And his answer is an emphatic "yes." He describes how the Palestinians have been political opponents of Saudi Arabia for over 30 years.

In the year 1990, in the fiercest challenge faced by Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, following Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait, nobody was surprised by the Palestinian leadership’s support for Saddam. Both  inside Palestine and in the diaspora, the Palestinians chanted for Saddam and demanded for him to kill the Saudis and destroy their cities with internationally prohibited weapons. The chants of “Chemical, Saddam, from Khafji to Dammam” still resonate in the Saudis’ memory today.

32 years have passed since the invasion of Iraq, and the Palestinians have come out time and again against the Saudis in demonstrations, rallies and burning flags, the last of which was at the beginning of this week in support of the Houthis, and their demand that the Iranian backed terrorists bomb Saudi cities and their civilian targets. The years have changed and the Palestinians have not. They are on the same path, making the same wrong choices, and holding the same grudges that hardly leave their elders until their young ones inherit them.

In my opinion, it is time for a rupture with the Palestinian cause, for the Saudis did not cause it and do not bear responsibility for the major crimes the Palestinians committed against themselves, from neglecting solving their division, and not finishing the Oslo Accords of 1993....

Saudi Arabia has suffered enough for Palestinians, paid a lot for them, overlooked a lot, and borne its burdens.. ..There is no enemy that they have not aligned themselves with. For what, and for whom do we sacrifice our money, positions, and political alliances?

They deliberately kept a permanent path to be an obstacle to Arab countries' development. Every country that tries to work for their future is obstructed by the cause and burdened with it, and one can see this with a simple look at Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus, Jordan, Beirut and every land that the Palestinian cause has trampled upon.

The Palestinians have to live with the mistakes of their fathers and grandfathers. They are not the liberators who sacrificed for their lands as the Vietnamese did, nor are they the skilled politicians who managed their cause professionally and justly as the Indians, except for their wrong alliances, selling lands by consent and acceptance, and agreeing to employment and contracting to any forces that intersect with their psyches and thinking, from Baghdad, the Baath in Damascus, and the new Persians in Tehran and Saada, and the implementation of the policies of the Mongols of the hour in Ankara and Istanbul.
He doesn't say to embrace Israel, but in a region where people think in terms of zero-sum games, that seems the only logical conclusion. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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