Thursday, January 17, 2019

  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Over the weekend Islamic Jihad held a three day Scouts camp in Gaza.

Terrorist leaders were prominently displayed on posters as the boys wore the official Scout logo.

Islamic Jihad officials met with the boys.

Somehow, I think that these boys were taught some things beyond the standard Scout oath.







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  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

American Jews and Israel: Can this marriage be saved?

A great deal has been written lately about the problematic relationship between American Jews (the non-Orthodox majority) and Israel. Everyone wants to get into the act.

I don’t have any magic bullets. But as an American-Israeli I can’t help thinking about it. 

From an Israeli perspective, American Jews don’t meet our expectations as Jews. We shouldn’t be surprised. This is because most non-Orthodox American Jews are politically either liberals, progressives, or extreme leftists. For most of them their Judaism is either a very small part of their lives, or is a version of Judaism that barely exists in Israel, Tikkun-Olam Judaism.

When American members of If Not Now or Jewish Voice for Peace seem to echo the propaganda of Israel’s deadly enemies, Israelis are shocked that Jews could speak that way about the only Jewish state. But note that while anti-Israel Jews may add “as a Jew…” to their attacks, for rhetorical purposes, either they are really speaking “as progressives,” or worse, “as Tikkun-Olam Jews,” secular humanists with some vestigial trappings of Judaism.

There are strong political pressures driving American Jews away from Israel as well. Most Jews are Democrats, and strongly supported Barack Obama. Israel began to become a partisan issue in America when the Obama Administration made it so in the fight over the Iran deal. Obama quite deliberately introduced an element of anti-Israel ideology into the conversation, and his surrogates directly accused Jewish lawmakers that opposed it of dual loyalty or warmongering. 

Anti-Israel attitudes in the Democratic Party also received a strong boost in 2018 from the election of several new Muslim and far-left members of Congress who are outspokenly anti-Israel.

Republican President Donald Trump has adopted some high-profile pro-Israel policies, such as moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, cutting funding to UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority, and most importantly, taking the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal. For Democrats today, whatever Trump is for, they must oppose, and that, too, is having an effect.

Liberal American Jews are sticking with the Democratic Party, and moving leftward – and away from Israel – along with it. It’s not just politics. Assimilation and intermarriage is increasing, and Jewish identification is decreasing. There is no special reason to oppose the drift of their party. These changes make it likely that the trend pushing American Jews away from Israel will intensify.

Our expectation as Israelis is that as Jews they should feel some connection to Israel. But the reality is that they are no different in this regard from other American liberals, progressives, or extreme leftists. And why should they be?

Just as we don’t know who they are, they don’t know us. Most of their information comes through American media, much of which – for example, the NY Times and NPR, both favorites of liberal-to-leftist Jews – is biased to the point of complete disconnection from reality. They present an image of a powerful nation almost gleefully exploiting and punishing a weak, victimized minority, while ignoring the broader context of threats against Israel. They often reproduce charges made against Israel by her enemies without verification, and don’t make corrections when their stories are proven false.

American Jews are also targeted with disinformation from their own institutions: the Reform Movement in particular has pushed the Israeli Left’s position that Israel is becoming illiberal and theocratic, and has magnified and even provoked crises over issues like mixed-gender prayer at the Western Wall and non-Orthodox conversion, in order to pressure the Israeli government into fully recognizing and supporting their movement – something impossible in Israel’s political climate. Nevertheless, the campaign has damaged Israel’s image as a free and liberal society (which it mostly is).

Israel is not America. The language, the security situation, the population (containing 12% Haredim and 20% Arabs), the legal system, and the culture – as much Middle Eastern and African as European, and certainly not North American – mean that many aspects of our society will be unfamiliar to them. Americans who expect, for example, that Israel will provide the degree of freedom of expression to citizens that they have in the USA will be disappointed.

It’s very unlikely that American Jews will abandon the Democratic Party. And it’s equally unlikely that they will make the effort to get to know the state that claims to be their homeland, but that they don’t like very much.

There is one thing that could change all of this. The earthquake that could propel the American Jews into our arms would be the mushrooming of anti-Jewish attitudes in the Democratic party and the broader society. Could it happen? Something similar seems to have occurred in the UK with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The expression of antisemitism and outright Jew-hatred promoted by Labour-linked political operatives has become worrisome enough that some British Jews have decided to leave the country. Could this happen in the US? I’ve been away too long to feel confident enough to predict that.

Short of that – and I devoutly hope it will remain short of that – we can expect the disconnect, divide, whatever you want to call it, to get worse, not better.

“Can this marriage be saved?” was a popular column in the “Ladies Home Journal” until the magazine’s demise in 2014. It was based on true stories from a family counseling practice. Both sides presented their stories, a counselor made suggestions, and there was a follow-up. My wife says that usually the marriage could be saved by improved communication, but I remember that sometimes the answer was no, it could not. 

So I will play the counselor, and here’s my advice: stop criticizing each other so much. Live with your differences. And stay together for the sake of the children.




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From Ian:

The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

But whether Washington recognizes Israel's annexation or not, the Israelis are never withdrawing from the Golan Heights - conquered in the June 1967 war - nor should they.

Above all, the Golan does not require the control of a large hostile population, as the 27,000 Druze on the Golan Heights have accommodated themselves peacefully to Israel's rule.

The Golan Heights multiplies Israel's force in the event of a war, and is an unrivaled intelligence-gathering platform. From its posts atop the Golan Heights, the IDF can look and listen in on the valley below that leads to Damascus, only 45 miles away.

There is no question that holding onto the plateau is superior to withdrawing and the uncertainty of an agreement with the Syrian regime.

In the wake of the Syrian civil war, Iran and its expeditionary force, Hizbullah, are a threat to Israel's security. The Golan Heights is critical to keeping both from achieving their ends.

PMW: PA spends 6 times more on terrorists than on its own needy
In its 2017 budget, the Palestinian Authority allocated 550 million shekels to pay salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners. The salaries paid to these recipients, among them murderers, ranged from 1,400 shekels/month to 12,000 shekels/month. The beneficiaries of these payments are no more than a few tens of thousands of Palestinians.

In contrast, the PA spent only 605 million to provide financial assistance to needy Palestinian families. According to the PA budget, the 118,000 needy families received payments ranging between 750 to 1,800 shekels/quarter.

Of the 605 million shekel expenditure, 515 million shekels was funded by the international community (165 million shekels by the European Union, and 350 million shekels by the World Bank). As such, the PA contributed only 90 million shekels of the 604 million shekel expenditure.

In other words, while the PA spent 550 million shekels of its budget a year to incentivize and reward terrorists no more the a few tens of thousands of terrorists, it spends only 90 million shekels to support its needy population. In comparison, the amount it spent on the needy equals only 16% of the amount the PA prefers to spend on rewards for terror and murder!

The PA's policy and practice of paying financial rewards to terrorists prisoners, released prisoners, and the families of so-called "Martyrs" (including the families of suicide bombers) and wounded has been the subject of widespread international condemnation and was also the subject of 2018 legislation in the US, The Netherlands, and Israel.

While the US and Dutch legislation limits their countries' annual aid to the PA, the Israeli legislation requires the Minister of Defense to compile an annual report of the PA's payments in the previous year and then present the report to Israel's Security cabinet. Once the report is approved, the Israeli Government will deduct the amount the PA spent to incentivize and reward terrorists from the taxes Israel collects and transfers to the PA. The first such report should be submitted in the coming days.
Expel international observers from Hebron - top minister to Netanyahu
Netanyahu must oust the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), thereby ending the mandate of the international observer force, Public Safety Minister Gilad Erdan said on Thursday.

He issued his call 14 days before his decision to renew the mandate of the organization that has operated in Hebron for 12 years was expected to be in, based on an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

TIPH has 13 local staff and 64 other members who come from contributing countries, such as: Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

They are tasked with monitoring compliance with the 1997 agreement that split the city, and handed 80% of it to the Palestinian Authority and with 20% of it maintained under Israeli control. TIPH produces reports and patrols the city to give Palestinians a sense of security.

Edran has given Netanyahu a secret police report with data to back up his assertion that the organization is anti-Israel rather than a neutral force, and is harmful to both the soldiers stationed in Hebron and the small Jewish community that lives there.

The report has never been published and its contents have not been disclosed.

By Daled Amos

Controversy is the bread and butter of radical left-wing anti-Israel groups. The key is to grab the headlines, whether it is by preventing pro-Israel speakers from speaking, attacking groups like Hillel and Birthright for an alleged lack of balance, or saying Kaddish for terrorists.

So it is really not all that surprising that often facts they claim to give are full of sloppiness and outright fabrications.

Take for instance Jewish Voice for Peace and their Jews From The Middle East Fact Sheet, which adopts both anti-Israel and pro-Arab narratives.





Trifecta


In the second paragraph of this sheet, JVP claims:
Middle Eastern Jews were generally indifferent or opposed to secular Zionism coming from Europe (Zvi Ben Dror, Invisible Exile: Iraqi Jews in Exile: 149).
That's 3 errors in just one sentence.

Just look online at a copy of the actual article and you will find:
  • Instead of "Zvi Ben Dror" -- the actual name of the author is Zvi A Ben-Dor Benite
  • Instead of "Invisible Exile: Iraqi Jews in Exile" -- the actual name of the article is "Invisible Exile: Iraqi Jews in Israel"
  • Instead of saying "Middle Eastern Jews were generally indifferent or opposed to secular Zionism coming from Europe" -- the article's claim is actually much more limited: "However, what seemed very logical in Palestine did not make much sense in Iraq, where Jews remained by and large indifferent to Zionism."

Other questionable claims by JVP in this "fact sheet" are not as blatant, but do offer an opportunity for setting the record straight:

Apologetics

According to the fact sheet, life for dhimmis under Islam wasn't so bad:
Prior to World War I, much of the Middle East was under Ottoman control, and Jews lived as Ottoman subjects with dhimmi status (people of the book). Under the Ottoman system, ethnic and religious groups had their own leadership and some autonomy over community affairs; they were protected through jizya, a poll tax. Depending on where in the region, violence against Jews was not a usual occurrence.
To claim that Jews were "protected through jizya" is the equivalent of euphemistically saying that store owners pay "protection money" to guard against theft -- without mentioning the 'protection' is from the very gangsters who are coercing the payments. The word 'dhimmi' itself is translated as 'protected' -- not "people of the book," but according to the Quran, the Jizya tax is not about protection, but humiliation:
“Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.” [9:29]
How much was the Jizya? Estimates vary.

The 2014 Wikipedia article on Jizya quotes scholars saying that the rate of jizya (head tax) and Kharaj tax (land tax) was more than 20% for all non-Muslim dhimmis. In the western Islamic states of Egypt and Morocco, these taxes had a minimum rate of 20% of all estimated assets and sales, while the highest rates averaged between 33% to 80% of all annual farm produce.

But according to the current Wikipedia article on Jizya, though the rate paid was not uniform, the jiyza tax was one dinar per year during the time of Mohammed, while the maximum was twelve dirhams. Muhammad Hamidullah is quoted as saying that the rate of ten dirhams per year was equivalent to the expenses of an average family for ten days. Old habits die hard, and 5 years ago, a Muslim cleric in Egypt claimed that US aid to Egypt was Jizya and that Egypt must "impose on America to pay aid as jizya, before we allow it to realize its own interests, the ones which we agree to."

What both versions do agree there are Muslim sources that advise humiliation, whether it means walking instead of riding a horse on the way to make payment or grabbing the beard of the dhimmi and hitting him in the face.

As for the claim "violence against Jews was not a usual occurrence," there is a long history of Muslim violence against Jews in then-Palestine, as there was in the rest of the Middle East.

Ethnic Cleansing?


JVP mirrors the Arab claim about "the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the making of over 700,000 Palestinians refugees," but the role of the Arab world in encouraging Palestinian Arabs to flee is documented by the Jewish Virtual Library:
The Economist, a frequent critic of the Zionists, reported on October 2, 1948: “Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit..It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”

o  Time's report of the battle for Haifa (May 3, 1948) was similar: “The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by orders of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city...By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.”

o  The Secretary of the Arab League Office in London, Edward Atiyah, wrote in his book, The Arabs: “This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boastings of an unrealistic Arabic press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders that it could be only a matter of weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re­enter and retake possession of their country.”

o  In his memoirs, Haled al Azm, the Syrian Prime Minister in 1948­-49, also admitted the Arab role in persuading the refugees to leave:
Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call to them to leave and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve on their return.
o  “The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade,” said Habib Issa in the New York Lebanese paper, Al Hoda (June 8, 1951). “He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean....Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.”
Jewish Virtual Library also notes the flip side, that in select strategic cases -- as described by Palmach Commander Yigal Allon -- Israel did encourage Arabs to leave from the Galilee, and from Ramle-Lod to relieve pressure on besieged Jerusalem.

The Jews in Iraq


JVP tendency to adopt the pro-Arab narrative is also apparent in their description of Iraq's treatments of its Jews:
The Iraqi Denaturalization Law was enacted in March of 1950 when Iraqi Jews were allowed to immigrate legally to Israel if they gave up their Iraqi citizenship. In 1951, when the government realized that Iraqi Jewish registration increased after violent incidents, the government also froze Jewish assets, keeping Jewish resources in Iraq.
But according to Edwin Black, author of "IBM and the Holocaust," Iraq was not quite so generous to its Jews. He gives the missing context JVP fails to provide that already in October 1948, over a year before that law was passed, approximately 1,500 Jews were fired from their government positions, followed by the boycott and systematic expulsion of Jews from positions in commerce:
Now Jews began fleeing, mainly to neighboring Iran. They smuggled out whatever valuables they could to rebuild their lives. On March 3, 1950, to halt the uncontrolled flight of assets and people, Iraq passed a one-year amendment to Law 1, the Denaturalization Act. This statute revoked the citizenship of any Jew who willingly left the country. Upon exit, their assets were frozen but were still available to the emigrants for use within Iraq.

Thousands of Jews seized the opportunity to leave, believing at least that their assets, while frozen, would still be viable within Iraq until a better day. But when the one-year law expired, a successor anti-Jewish statute was enacted secretly on March 10, 1951. Law 5, known as the Law for the Control and Administration of Property of Jews Who Have Forfeited Nationality, permanently seized all the assets of Jews who had been denaturalized by the previous law and any others that would be pressured to leave the country.
Black addes that when the law was passed, the phones in Baghdad went down to keep Jews from transferring their assets to safety and the banks themselves were closed for three days.

Mizrachi Jews


The fact sheet emphasizes the treatment of Mizrahi Jews by Israel -- a controversial issue that has a painful history. Some of the points raised have a factual basis: the disappearance of Yeminite children - many of whom were adopted by Ashkenazi Jews and the thousands of eastern Jews who were given dangerous doses of radiation for ringworm, resulting in death or permanent medical problems. There is nothing to be gained in splitting hairs over the degree of the tragedy or over whom to assign blame.

But there are still false claims made by JVP:
Despite being the majority Jewish population in Israel, Mizrahim are represented in small numbers in the Israeli Parliament and in elite positions such as professorships.
While it is undeniable that Mizrahi Jews have battled for equal recognition and representation, the JVP claim again is incorrect.

A 2015 article in Haaretz reported that Mizrahi Jews already gained equality in representation in 1999:
"Various studies have also shown a significant reduction in the gap between the political representation of ethnic groups,” added Dahan. “The first Knesset had a negligible percentage of Mizrahi Knesset members. But this proportion grew until the 15th Knesset, elected in 1999, in which the proportion of Mizrahim was about the same as their representation in the population. The gap also decreased in the representation of Mizrahim in senior army ranks,” Dahan added."
As for other positions, Wikipedia has an article on Mizrahim with lists of prominent Mizrahi Jews in business, science, politics, the military and writing/academia.

Who's Indigenous?


Jewish Voice for Peace also tries to manipulate the issue of Mizrahi Jews to counter the indigenous ties of Jews to the land:
By defining Mizrahim as “indigenous” some political groups attempt to turn Mizrahim into a political tool to counter Palestinian claims to rights and redress from Israel. While there were Sephardi Jews living in Palestine for generations prior to modern Zionism, their relationships to the land, to their Arab and Ottoman neighbors, and to the surrounding cultures were entirely different than those of the European Zionists. The advent of Zionism rendered these longstanding relationships largely irrelevant, as power passed from the hands of European colonizers to those of European Jewish Zionists.
The meaning of the vague reference to the earlier relationships of Jews to the land and the Arabs is unclear -- and as already pointed out above, there is a long history of Arab discrimination and attacks against Jews in then-Palestine itself. The existence of Arabs on the land is a result of either being descended from the Muslims who invaded and conquered the land, having immigrated from other areas in search of better opportunities, or having converted from Judaism to Islam. In none of those scenarios do Arabs have cultural/historical ties to the land that come anywhere near the ties of Jews to the land. There is a reason why people with ties to Arabia are called Arabs and those with ties to Judea are called Jews.

Reverse Transfer

JVP wants us to take invitations to return to Arab countries seriously -- and reciprocate:
It is interesting to ask, given that some Arab countries have invited Jews to return and regain citizenship, would Israel make the same offer to Palestinians
More interesting is how one can compare inviting Arabs back to Israel where they may be a potential terrorist threat, with Jews returning to Arab countries where they would live in danger in response to an invitation that is likely less than sincere.

Bottom line, Jewish Voice for Peace consistently takes on narratives that are either anti-Israel or pro-Arab. Nothing wrong with that -- if in fact those narratives were based in fact.

The problem is that JVP's fact sheet, isn't.



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  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon


The Hamas Ministry of Prisoners and Detainees in Gaza held a lottery to award 26 units in a newly constructed apartment tower in Gaza.

Only former prisoners in Israeli prisons were eligible for the lottery, which was held publicly.

The Al Salhi Tower I was built with the support and funding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iran is funding the building of more apartment houses specifically for Gaza terrorists.

The Islamic Republic of Iran thanked the heads of Hamas and Gaza for their support of the "liberated prisoners." praising the terrorists who "sacrificed their most precious possessions in order to live in the homeland."

Only terrorists who have been imprisoned for over 10 years and who were released since 1998 are eligible for these apartments, which are each 145 square meters (1560 square feet.) 165 people entered the lottery.

All of them will eventually receive a free apartment, thanks to Iran. Gazans are being taught every day that terror pays.



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  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Even without talking about the antisemitism of the Women's March leaders, the entire movement is hypocritical.




It is a good thing that its sponsors are bailing as fast as they could.



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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

  • Wednesday, January 16, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The New York Post:
The Forward is stopping — its print editions.

The storied Jewish-American publication is suspending its print operations and plans to lay off about 40 percent of its editorial staff — including Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner — while moving to digital-only.

A print publication for 121 years, The Forward will continue to produce an English-language and a Yiddish-language edition online.

The Forward is eyeing growth among its under-35 readers who prefer to read news online. Currently that segments amounts to a third of total readers.

“The revenue is not really there,” said a source. “They’ve been losing money for years but lately the losses have been more than $5 million a year.”

The publication is owned by The Forward Association, a not-for-profit whose endowment swelled to more than $100 million when the association sold its former headquarters on the Lower East Side as well as the radio station WEVD.
Back in November, Forward writer Jonathan Nathan-Kazis asked people to help him find dirt on Jewish charities - but his own non-profit employer has been throwing away far more money than most of the supposed scandals he has been reporting on in the Jewish world.

That $100 million that the Forward Association used to have? That was in 2001, when it sold WEVD to Disney for $78 million.

As of 2016, its total assets dipped below $40 million, and at the rate of losing over $5 million a year, that means it is now down to probably less than $30 million. (They have not yet filed their 2017 forms, let alone 2018.)

Eisner's compensation of some $250,000 a year will hardly make a dent in the amount The Forward is hemorrhaging.

My back of the envelope estimate is that the annual losses at the Forward will now be trimmed to "only" $3.2 million or so (possibly more if their print subscriptions were a majority of the subscription revenue.)

As far as trying to appeal to more people under 35, I guess we can expect more "journalism" like the literally antisemitic article about the 15 Women You Meet When You Date Jews In New York.



The Forward has already slid into irrelevance. Young Jews who care about Judaism and Israel won't read it, so the new webzine will amp up its articles targeted at its audience of young Jews who hate Israel and Judaism. And why should they want to read an ostensibly Jewish newspaper?

I predict that The Jewish Daily Forward will drop the "Jewish" part within five years.



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From Ian:

Victor Davis Hanson: The New, New Anti-Semitism
Out on the barricades, some Democrats, feminists, and Muslim activists, such as the co-founders of the “Women’s March,” Tamika Mallory and the now familiar Sarsour, have been staunch supporters of Louis Farrakhan (Mallory, for example, called him “the greatest of all time”). The New York Times recently ran a story of rivalries within the Women’s March, reporting that Mallory and Carmen Perez, a Latina activist, lectured another would-be co-leader, Vanessa Wruble, about her Jewish burdens. Wruble later noted: “What I remember — and what I was taken aback by — was the idea that Jews were specifically involved, and predominantly involved, in the slave trade, and that Jews make a lot of money off of black and brown bodies.”

Progressive icon Alice Walker was recently asked by the New York Times to cite her favorite bedtime reading. She enjoyed And the Truth Will Set You Free, by anti-Semite crackpot David Icke, she said, because the book was “brave enough to ask the questions others fear to ask” and was “a curious person’s dream come true.” One wonders which “questions” needed asking, and what exactly was Walker’s “dream” that had come “true.” When called out on Walker’s preference for Icke (who in the past has relied on the 19th-century Russian forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in part to construct an unhinged conspiracy about ruling “lizard people”), the Times demurred, with a shrug: It did not censor its respondents’ comments, it said, or editorialize about them.

These examples from contemporary popular culture, sports, politics, music, and progressive activism could be easily multiplied. The new, new anti-Semites do not see themselves as giving new life to an ancient pathological hatred; they’re only voicing claims of the victims themselves against their supposed oppressors. The new, new anti-Semites’ venom is contextualized as an “intersectional” defense from the hip, the young, and the woke against a Jewish component of privileged white establishmentarians — which explains why the bigoted are so surprised that anyone would be offended by their slurs.

In our illiterate and historically ignorant era, the new, new hip anti-Semitism becomes a more challenging menace than that posed by prior buffoons in bedsheets or the clownish demagogues of the 1980s such as the once-rotund Al Sharpton in sweatpants. And how weird that a growing trademark of the new path-breaking identity politics is the old stereotypical dislike of Jews and hatred of Israel.

David Collier: Nazis in disguise. How anti-Israel messaging is extreme-right rhetoric
We are witnessing a legitimisation of Nazi messaging against Jewish people in Israel. Some of it is our own fault. We have become so desensitised that we no longer differentiate between ‘a simple lie’ and full on extreme-right rhetoric. We see the messages everyday. They have entered the mainstream and celebrities, newsreaders and lecturers all use it. ‘The left’ as Nazi. We should display zero tolerance of this. Instead of pointing out the blatant swastika hidden behind the image, we enter ‘rabbit holes’ of discussion about historical accuracy. When we respond, at best, we just call it ‘propaganda’.

There is a difference between anti-Israel propaganda and Nazi messages. Arguments over cease-fires, settlements and proportional response are ‘narrative’ or ‘propaganda’ discussions. There is also clasic Soviet style anti-Zionist antisemitism on the circuit. But what I put forward here has nothing to do with legitimate discussion or hard-left antisemitism. It isn’t about whether the other side has created a myth or not. What I deal with here is Nazi messaging and when you see it, reject it as swiftly as you would if it was in the shape of a swastika. Here are just a few examples.

From Hebron to Jerusalem and Baghdad to Tulkarm 1929-1949
The next example is a simple one. The Jewish community of Hebron was ethnically cleansed following a massacre of Jews that took place in 1929. That ancient community had a virtually unbroken presence in Hebron, aside temporary expulsions (Crusaders) and an exodus following a pogrom in 1517.

Throughout most of the mid 1800s, Jerusalem had a Jewish majority. For several thousand years, temporary denials of access aside, the Jewish people were a sizeable part of the city’s population. Much of Jerusalem’s Jewish community were ethnically cleansed in 1948. The commander of the Jordanian forces is reported to have said: ‘For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter‘.

Descendants of all of these Jewish families, live in Israel today. They are counted as ‘invaders’ ‘colonial settlers’ and ‘usurpers’. Why? Because they are Jewish.

There is no doubt that an influx of Arab migrants entered the Mandate of Palestine throughout the 1900s. That flow of human traffic had started decades before. Egyptians fleeing military conscription in the late 1800s for example. European interest (Britain/France) alongside a Jewish Zionist influx also brought investment, and people gravitated towards economic growth. There are many such clues. Bushnak for example is the surname of Arabs who came from Bosnia. Many other surnames, such as Al-Baghdadi, Tamimi, and Al-Tachriti are clan-based and clearly not local. Martin Gilbert estimates 50,000 Arab immigrants arrived under British rule, others suggest double that.

Many of the descendants of these non-Jewish families live in Israel, or the 67 lands today. They are considered indigenous people, whose rights to the land override all other claims. Why? Because they are not Jewish.

When UNWRA created the definition of a Palestinian refugee they based it around residency of only two years. This means that a 1946 immigrant from Iraq is counted as an indigenous person whose rights in places such as Hebron override those of a Jewish person whose family had lived there forever. That is nothing to do with settlements or checkpoints. It is another Nazi narrative.




I can never understand right-wing people who vote for Naftali Bennett. I mean, even if I could forgive him for joining forces with Yair Lapid that time, how can someone with a plan for ceding land at all be considered right wing? And how can a vote for Bennett be anything but a betrayal of my deepest beliefs about the land?


I totally understand right-wing people who vote for Naftali Bennett. He’s got Ayelet Shaked on his list, and she’s done amazing things to reform Israel’s justice system. He’s got fiery right-wing columnist Caroline Glick onboard. Would Glick throw her lot in with Bennett if she thought he were going to give away my grandchildren’s land?


I can never understand right-wing people who vote for Moshe Feiglin. He says all the right things, but he doesn’t have the personality to get the votes. He lacks leadership charisma—he’s not a statesman. These things will never change and Feiglin will never have the power to do anything he talks about. A vote for Feiglin is a throwaway vote.


I totally understand right-wing people who vote for Moshe Feiglin. He’s uncompromising in his right-wing views. He doesn’t say one thing and do another. He says and does all the right things.

I can never understand right-wing people who vote for Bibi. Bibi talked reciprocity then gave away Hebron. He left the government over Disengagement, then voted in favor of it, four times. 


Bibi denounced Oslo then gave a speech touting the failed two-state solution.


He’s the head of the Likud, the “Greater Israel” party, but caved to pressure from Obama and froze building in Judea and Samaria. Bibi wrote a book about not caving in to terror, then released thousands of terrorists. He set up a commission to examine the legal status of Judea and Samaria, then failed to act on the recommendations of that committee. He apologized to Erdogan for the Mavi Marmara incident, a breach of Israel’s legal maritime blockade by Turks that left IDF soldiers with serious injuries. Bibi, from my purview, masquerades as the leader of the right, while effecting left-wing policy.


I totally understand people who vote for Bibi. He’s the only Israeli leader alive with true leadership skills. He’s a great orator and a genius. He’s the grand master of the chess board that is Israel. Were anyone else to take over, Israel would descend into chaos.

I can never understand right-wing people who don’t vote. If you don’t vote, how will you ever change things or be a force for good in Israeli society?
I totally understand right-wing people who don’t vote. They’ve given up. They figure that anyone they vote for either can’t get enough votes to rise to power, or if they do, they won’t really be right-wing once they get into office.
Voting in Israel is a lot like watching cable TV: 1000 television channels but there’s nothing to watch.


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Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory


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jesus-facepalmBethlehem, January 16 - The Prince of Peace, King of the Jews, Son of God, Jesus Christ filed a lawsuit today against an evangelical institution for invoking his name and likeness without permission for commercial purposes, depicting Him as opposed to Israel's security measures to protect its citizens, as part of the institution's efforts to raise funds, court documents indicate.

Jesus filed the lawsuit in the State of Texas against Bethlehem Bible College, which operates in the Holy Land but maintains fundraising offices in the Lone Star State. In the lawsuit, the Redeemer charges that the college misappropriates his name, works, and reputation for its "Christ at the Checkpoint" conferences and events, falsely implying that He endorses their activity, an endorsement that BBC and CATC use to attract donors. The Savior seeks a cease and desist order against the college and an unspecified amount in monetary damages.

A spokesman for the divine incarnate told reporters that the Christ has in fact visited numerous Israeli checkpoints and found them to be an unfortunate necessity, the most efficient way to promote safety for Israelis while allowing Palestinian workers, students, and patients to meet the needs they cannot under Palestinian self-rule.

"It's disingenuous for this so-called 'Christ at the Checkpoint' operation to assert that the Son of God would oppose such checkpoints," stated St. Thomas the Apostle. "It also, by the way, violates the very Scriptures they purport to revere, most notably the parts that proscribe theft, falsehood, and taking the Lord's name in vain. But of course the leaders of the so-called Bethlehem 'Bible' College prefer not to give too much attention to that section of the Bible that enshrines God's commitment to the descendants of Jacob, His granting of the Holy Land to them in perpetuity, and the special relationship manifest in that arrangement."

St. Thomas identified what he called a tragic irony in the episode. "Where the defendant's institution operates, followers of Jesus have been dwindling for many years," he observed. "The phenomenon began many decades ago, but accelerated once Palestinian self-rule began a quarter-century ago. The one place in the entire Middle East with a growing, thriving Christian population is the one country these people oppose because it's a Jewish state, and the idea that God has not rejected the Jews forever really grates on them. Also, Jesus is Jewish, an obvious fact of which they appear to be entirely ignorant. One wonders at this irrational opposition to control of Jesus's homeland by His own people."



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From Ian:

Matti Friedman: There Is No ‘Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’
To someone here in Israel, there isn't an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think. In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren't just two sides. There are many, many sides.

Most of Israel's wars haven't been fought against Palestinians. Since the invasion of five Arab armies at the declaration of the State of Israel in May 1948, the Palestinians have made up a small number of the combatants facing the country.

Today Israel's most potent enemy is the Shiite theocracy in Iran, which is more than 1,000 miles away and isn't Palestinian or Arab. The gravest threat to Israel at close range is Hizbullah on our northern border, an army of Lebanese Shiites founded and funded by the Iranians.

A threat of a lesser order is posed by Hamas, which is Palestinian - but was founded as the local incarnation of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and is kept afloat with Qatari cash and backed by Iran. There are also Islamic State-affiliated insurgents on our border with Egypt's Sinai.

By framing it as only an "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict, Israelis seem stronger, more prosperous and more numerous.

But many in Israel believe that an agreement signed by a Western-backed Palestinian leader in the West Bank won't end the conflict, because it will wind up creating a power vacuum destined to be filled by intra-Muslim chaos or Iranian proxies. That's exactly what has happened around us in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

Reining in Saudi's prince of the blood
The United States has close security partnerships with many leaders who abuse and mistreat people like Samar Badawi. Yet the responsibility of global power requires striking a balance between our interests and ideals and those of our partners, while at the same time not ignoring flagrant human rights abuses.

This is a balance that the Trump administration appears to have little ability to strike. Whether it is the crown prince in Riyadh, the Sisi regime in Egypt that has detained thousands of political prisoners, or U.S. partners such as Bahrain, where a tweet or blog post leads to extended jail time, the United States has remained purposefully silent. The president’s pandering to the Saudis and the broader Arab world, despite the corrosive actions of many of these partners, appears to be a mixture of ideology and practicality.

The Trump administration believes the national interest is served by disengaging from the Middle East and relying on local proxies to advance U.S. interests. The Saudi crown prince was key to the administration’s efforts to further a desired peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as reducing the American footprint in the Middle East. When Trump announced he was withdrawing troops from Syria, he argued his election came, in part, as a result of promising to get out of “endless & costly foreign wars.”

The administration’s national security policy documents embrace a framework of great-power conflict focused on Russia and China, while deprioritizing American engagement in the Middle East. In a late 2017 trip to Israel, the officials and experts I met with spoke openly of an emerging “post-American Middle East.” Obama started the trend, and the Trump administration was accelerating it. Israel has experienced the consequences acutely, with Russia and Iran now on their northern border preparing to fill the void.

Yet it was just such a void that led the Saudis to enter into the Yemeni civil war in the first place. The Obama administration withdrew from Iraq, “led from behind” in Libya, and watched while hundreds of thousands of Syrians were slaughtered in a civil war that destabilized the region and eventually threatened Europe and the United States. Despite differing approaches toward Iran, the assumption by both the Obama and Trump administrations was that Arab partners would bear most of the burden in dealing with the consequences of U.S. policy toward Tehran. On the surface, drawing back from the Middle East and handing off to local proxies appeals to Americans tired of fighting a war for over 17 years with no end in sight. But the Obama experiment in “leading from behind” in favor of “nation-building at home” has repeatedly shown that U.S. partners are wholly incapable of addressing the region’s core challenges.

Latest in the series...

Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

Here is part 16.






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

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