Friday, February 21, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: How many more school textbooks are spreading lies and hate?
School based revisionist history and antisemitism took centre stage again yesterday as more evidence of the rancid distortions that are freely taught to our children came to light. In a sign of how bad things are – this news didn’t even break in the UK.

I first got hold of the story through a post published on the US based blogger ‘JewishChick’s Facebook page. She had uploaded an image of what seemed to be a school textbook posing a question for students – asking whether Israel bore ‘long term’ responsibility for the 9/11 attacks:

I tracked it down. Hachette UK, which owns ‘Hodder Education’, published the book ‘Understanding History: Britain in the Wider World, Roman Times – Present’. The book was co-written by Michael Riley, Alex Ford, Kath Goudie, Richard Kennett and Helen Snelson, all people engaged in teaching history in the UK. It is for KS3 (ages 11-14) and seems to have been well received by teachers and students alike:

The book only referenced Israel once – on pages 240-241 – in a section about causes of 9/11. Popular publisher – popular book – outrageous question. How is it possible that this has been published, distributed, taught in schools AND yet it still took an American blogger to tell us about it? Where are our own guards?

For 1000s of years people who have had control of children’s education have found ways to tell lies about Jews. Today they do it through demonising Israel. Just a few months ago Pearson’s were forced to take a revisionist textbook off the shelves – and now this. How many more are out there? Children who are taught this stuff – are going to become adults – with opinions, votes and power.
John McDonnell attacked for 'deeply offensive' comparison of Julian Assange to falsely persecuted Jewish soldier
After visiting the imprisoned Wikileaks founder at Belmarsh, Labour’s shadow Chancellor said his planned extradition was “the Dreyfus case of our age”.

This refers to Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer who was tried and convicted in 1895 on false charges of treason, with many believing he was court martialled just because he was Jewish.

He was later exonerated thanks to a long campaign, which included the publication of J'Accuse by the novelist Emile Zola, criticising his prosecution.

Mr McDonnell’s comparison drew condemnation, with Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust tweeting: “Dreyfus was a French artillery officer falsely accused of treason because he was Jewish.

“Go figure how or why John McDonnell could make such an inappropriate comparison with the Assange case.

“Outrageous, ridiculous and so deeply offensive.”

Mike Katz, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, posted: “What an absolutely ridiculous and offensive thing to say.

“Though I can see how you could confuse Dreyfus, a loyal soldier wrongly accused of treason because he was a Jew, with an entitled bloke who hid in a foreign embassy to evade extradition on a rape allegation.

“If you view *everything* through an anti-American lens, obviously.”

Euan Philipps, spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism said: “It is deeply offensive of John McDonnell to compare Julian Assange to Alfred Dreyfus, and Mr Assange’s imprisonment to the Dreyfus Affair – a case that directly inspired a resurgence in the Zionist movement.”
Jewish leaders criticise McDonnell claim Assange case ‘the Dreyfus of our age’
The controversial case – which inspired Roman Polanksy’s 2019 drama “An Officer and a Spy” – divided public opinion and sparked a national debate on race.

Dreyfus’ plight inspired the acclaimed novelist Emile Zola, best known for his book Germinal, to pen an incendiary letter on the subject, accusing his contemporaries of antisemitism.

“I think it’s the Dreyfus case of our age,” McDonnell told reporters.

“The way in which a person is being persecuted for political reasons, for simply exposing the truth for what went on in relation to recent wars,” he said.

The remark sparked outcry from Jewish leaders, with Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, calling the comparison “inappropriate …. outrageous, ridiculous and so deeply offensive.”

A statement from the Antisemitism Policy Trust on Thursday called the remark “crass and offensive” and said McDonnell “should know better.”

Joining a chorus of criticism, Mike Katz, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement said it was “an absolutely ridiculous and offensive thing to say” in a tweet on Thursday.

A statement from the Community Security Trust claimed it was a “disgraceful false equivalence to one of the key learning moments of modern Jewish history.”

From Ian:

Who Will Protect the Children of the Holy Land From Palestinian Adults Who Serially Brainwash Them to Hate?
According to a new report by a coalition of NGOs, an estimated 10,000 children are trained in Hamas’ terrorist camps each year, and at least 160 have died digging terror tunnels into Israel. Those statistics alone should ring alarm bells about the generational child abuse of Palestinian children.

But that’s not how Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) sees it. Her US House “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act” — seeks to protect Palestinian children from Israelis, not Palestinian adults — among them terrorists.

Barring an unforeseen miracle, another generation of kids will be brainwashed in school by war curriculum and trained to spend their summers learning how to shoot with live ammunition or filling booby-trapped balloons with explosives targeting Jewish kindergartens, fields, and nature preserves:

UN Watch identified 40 Palestinian teachers who use Facebook to encourage their students to model themselves into the next generation of Palestinian terrorists. Here are just three examples:

- Ghanem Naim — whose students venerate him as “Dear Professor” — posted pictures of Hitler identified as “our beloved” and “Hitler the great.”
- Teacher Khader Awad indoctrinates his students with an image of a Jew with three guns and a knife trained on his head over the Hebrew caption: “Blood = Blood. #Kill Them.”
- A post by “senior UNRWA” teacher Mohammad Alsayyed praised the “awesome kidnapping” of three Israeli teenagers killed in a Hamas terrorist operation which precipitated the 2014 Gaza war.

For years, such teachers were largely funded by hundreds of millions of American dollars and international largess given to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to care for “Palestinian refugees” — chief among them hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children enrolled in schools where they supposedly receive “a modern secular education.”

Palestinian Child Soldier Week Launched to Combat Child Abuse
This past week, about 30 NGOs joined the Coalition to Save Palestinian Child Soldiers to raise public awareness and to put an end to the use of Palestinian children as soldiers against Israel. Too often, Palestinian children (as well as children around the world) are used as political pawns during war and conflict. In fact, the United Nation reported about 300,000 children used as soldiers from 20 countries around the world. About 40% of child soldiers are young girls, who are often used as sex slaves and taken as “wives” by male fighters.

Palestinian children are often used as human shields to carry out terror attacks by Hamas operatives. Terror groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine exploit Palestinian children and raise them to become combatants, human shields, rioters, laborers, support staff, and even suicide bombers. These groups, along with the Palestinian Authority have allowed antisemitic propaganda to seep into their education system by providing school textbooks that teach Palestinian children to kill Israelis and become martyrs. In the Gaza strip, Hamas trains about 10,000 children and teens every year in terrorist “summer camps”. These training boot camps are practical lessons that are meant to be implemented in warfare and battle. fight and die alongside adult militants and terrorists. Hamas and other terror groups fully use trained child soldiers for battle, with the knowledge and intention that these children will die alongside adult militants and terrorists.

The international community has turned a blind eye to the abuse of Palestinian children as soldiers by these militant and terrorist groups and it’s time for the world to hold these perpetrators accountable.

Join the campaign now:

The rise of Trump’s new pro-Israel and anti-Iran intel director - analysis
Some critics assert Grenell lacks intelligence credentials. Grenell, however, has been immersed in intelligence and counter-terrorism matters for years. He is a veteran diplomat and foreign policy expert.

His years as ambassador to Germany coupled with his time as the longest serving US spokesman at the UN have equipped him to confront threats to the US and its allies.

Writing in the Washington Examiner, Tom Rogan, said, "In Grenell, Trump now has a smart, loyal voice to guide him on matters of national security. But the intelligence community also gets something: a leader with Trump's ear, and someone who is keen to impress. Both sides, then, can forge common ground in America's interest.”

Grenell will become the first openly gay cabinet member in the history of the US. Last year, the new intelligence director launched an international campaign to decriminalize homosexuality across the world.

Rogan, the political journalist, said that “appointing Richard Grenell as the new acting director of national intelligence. It's bad news for Iran, Huawei.”

Grenell will continue as US ambassador to Germany. That means the political camp – and it is not minor – that supports communist China’s Huawei network for Germany, Iran’s totalitarian regime, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia Nord Stream 2 energy project for the federal republic will not be pleased.
Rubin Report: US Ambassador: The Insane Ways The UN Wastes Money (Pt.2)| Richard Grenell
Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Richard Grenell (US Ambassador to Germany) about what it’s like to be the US Ambassador to Germany under President Trump. Richard also gives an insider’s look at how the UN really operates. He describes what he sees as the extreme waste due to the UN general assembly policy of distributing resources like jobs evenly whether or not countries have people with the necessary skills or not. People end up being hired who don’t have the necessary skill set to fill quotas, and money and resources are wasted. Richard also discusses how Donald Trump has been successful at being a disrupter and breaking up groupthink. Richard details what he calls the Trump doctrine to foreign policy and whether or not it’s effective.

  • Friday, February 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Palestinian Arabs started an initiative that has gotten some traction this year where they hold mass outdoor prayer services at dawn on Fridays near the Temple Mount and Tomb of the Patriarchs, among other places.

The event is called "Great Dawn" and it is meant to send a message that they are there to stay and they want to "defend" Jerusalem.

Today's Great Dawn took place at 200 mosques in the West Bank and included speeches about steadfastness and Jerusalem.

Palestine Today, the Islamic Jihad-run news site, speaks of the Great Dawn not in religious terms but in military terms. They repeatedly call it a "weapon" that supposedly "confuses Israelis."

According to the article, the Israelis are so frightened by it that they asked the Temple Mount groups to demand that Israel opens up the Mount for Jews on Fridays and Saturdays, the two days that Jews cannot ascend.

Similarly, the article claims that Israelis are creating new holidays as a pretext to "storm" to the Mount, like Tu B'Shvat (which has existed for thousands of years.)

One of the organizers of the Great Dawn program, Hussam Al-Masri, stressed the importance of continuing active participation in the initiative, saying it is a new weapon and method against the Judaic and Israeli attacks against Islamic sanctities.

The preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri says that the initiative "greatly irritates the occupation."

Similarly, Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Khader Adnan said, "The prayers of the Great Dawn are a joy for the believers and a grief for the occupiers."

I cannot see any evidence of Israeli irritation about Muslims praying outdoors, with the slight exception of the extra police that need to be around for crowd control.

The main question is whether the incendiary speeches that accompany these services will turn into incitement for terror.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Friday, February 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

In a bizarre antisemitic publicity stunt, pro-Hezbollah Shiites dressed up as Orthodox Jews and went to the center of Beirut holding signs demanding a boycott of US products - with some signs sarcastically thanking Lebanese for helping fund the IDF.

The tolerant, cosmopolitan Lebanese responded by assaulting the "Jews."

From The New Arab:

A group of Hezbollah supporters dressed as Orthodox Jews staged a demonstration in Beirut on Wednesday calling for the boycott of US products in response to Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan.

In a video shared online by supporters of the powerful Shia group, participants can be seen holding signs reading "Your money can boycott the deal of the century" and "Thank you IDF [Israeli Defence Force] for your support".

The demonstrators, dressed all in black with fake sidelocks  - traditionally grown by Orthodox Jewish men - walk through the streets of Beirut to a dramatic soundtrack as onlookers observe the protest.

Other signs read "Boycott US products until they are gone", while the protesters also carried slogans written in Hebrew.

The video was widely decried online as anti-semitic and ridiculed for its poor production value.

Members of the group were reportedly assaulted following the demonstration after being mistaken for Orthodox Jews, social media users said.

On Sunday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called for all Muslims to boycott US products, prompting responses like this:

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Friday, February 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

 Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki went to Europe where is appears to be double-daring the EU to attack and sanction Israel diplomatically and effectively calling them cowards for not doing so.

In an interview with Arabic-language Euronews, Maliki said the European Union could not put any pressure on Israel to force it to comply with international legitimacy.

I don’t think the European Union has enough courage to take punitive measures against Israel,” he said.

Al-Maliki said the European Union has the ability to act according to its principles. “But when anything related to Israel comes up, these principles completely disappear, and voices emerge within the European Union that prevent such steps from being taken, and thus prevent the European Union from issuing any steps or measures that may amount to sanctions.”

This didn't happen in a playground where a bully intimidates his victim into eating a worm. This is how the Palestinian Authority talks with the EU.

And the scary thing is that the EU often treats the Palestinians as if it holds all the power  in the Middle East and they must meekly go along.

I hope against hope that some European leader will say that this is a strange way to show respect for the people who provide the lion's share of funding the Palestinian Authority.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: Funded by the EU, driven by Palestinians. BDS activism in EU clothing.
Those of us involved in fighting back against spreading antisemitism and the lies about Israel understand that the deeper we dig – the more unbelievable the situation becomes. As I said to someone yesterday when news broke of a UK KS3 schoolbook which suggests the creation of Israel may be behind the 9/11 attacks – nothing surprises me anymore. There are no limits to the level of conspiracy and disinformation – no place that the lies do not exist. The EU have also just provided another example – here is what I found.
The EU photographers

Recently the EU advertised an EU ‘Photo marathon’. An opportunity open to young European photographers to spend a week ‘capturing different aspects of Palestinian life’. The week-long trip, flights, accommodation and meals is fully funded by the EU. As part of the process, there is a request to write a ‘motivation letter’, explaining why the applicant wants to participate and they are asked how they intend to ‘spread the word’ upon their return. The EU Press Team in charge of this process consists of two people – Inas Abu Shirbi and Shadi Othman:

EU spokespeople or BDS activists.
Before being an ‘EU spokesperson’ Inas Abu Shirbi spent some time at the Sharek Youth Forum. She was there when Boris Johnson made remarks about BDS during a 2015 trip to Israel. Soon after Boris ridiculed BDS activists, several Palestinian NGOs who had been due to meet Johnson – cancelled – including the Sharek Youth Forum. At the time Abu Shirbi was the public face of the NGO (she even spoke on LBC). In the public statement, the group put out – there is clear and unequivocal support for BDS.

That means at least one of those leading this ‘photo marathon’ is a Palestinian with a history of support for BDS. We have here a similar issue to the one uncovered at Amnesty International where Amnesty’s ‘Deputy Regional Director turned out to be an obsessive Palestinian activist. Inas Abu Shibri is still active with other Palestinian NGOs – inclduing the pro-BDS ‘Sharek’. How is there not a conflict of interest? When someone references an ‘EU Communications Officer’ – don’t people assume they are from the EU?

Most people never read beyond headlines. Often they tell you all you need to know. Like this headline: that has the EU ‘slamming’ Israel:

EU Slams

Yet when you read the article, you realise the only EU employee mentioned is a Palestinian – Shadi Othman. That article was shared 500 times. Or this one – which becomes almost laughable. The Palestine News and Info Agency report that the EU ‘will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders’. Is it any surprise if the ‘EU spokesman’ is our Palestinian friend from Ramallah – Shadi Othman?

Beware: Communist paper that praised Hebron Massacre gets makeover
Now Jewish Currents is going back to its roots by bringing in Peter Beinart, who had called the murder of Jews by Islamic terrorists, “violent resistance”.

Terrorism, he had argued, was a “response to Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights.” And he suggested that, “the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed."

Beinart is certainly reaping what he sowed as his career tumbles down into the media sewer.

In 2012, Beinart had partnered with the Daily Beast to launch Open Zion, an anti-Israel blog. It closed a year later after failing to find an audience for its hate. Beinart moved on to Haaretz, a red rag whose racist publisher urged “international pressure” to end, “Israeli apartheid”, whose world news editor boasted that he is an anti-Zionist, and whose former editor had urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to “rape” Israel. "It had always been my wet dream to see this happen," the leftist told her.

Is there anywhere lower Beinart could go?

After Haaretz, he appeared at The Forward, the Morgen Freitheit’s old rival, which runs headlines like, "3 Jewish Moguls Among Eight Who Own as Much as Half the Human Race” and "Why We Should Applaud The Politician Who Said Jews Control The Weather."

There, he accused Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel of being “blind to the harm Jews cause.”

Last year, The Forward dumped its editor and cut 40% of its staff. Instead of taking the advice of Haman’s wife, Beinart doubled down and joined its old even more anti-Semitic Commie rival.

"I think a tremendous need for a kind of American progressive Jewish publication," Beinart babbled, explaining that he wanted to "confront what I see as the kind of moral corruption of the American Jewish establishment and its complicity in various ways with some of the things that Trump is doing and the direction that Netanyahu is taking Israel.”

The only moral corruption is 91 years of Communists, Marxists, and Lefties justifying the murder of Jews.

  • Thursday, February 20, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Iraqi site Sotal Iraq describes exactly how Jews are planning to take over the world.

It is through the Freemasons!

Wafaa Bhani "researched" freemasonry and discovered some startling "facts."
Freemasonry is a global secret movement that is a Jewish commodity first and foremost, and its work is hidden even for its members, except those who are the elite who reach the highest levels in it.

...Cosmic Freemasonry is the pinnacle of the levels, and all its members are Jews, and they are above emperors, kings and presidents because they control them, and all the leaders of Zionism are from Cosmic Freemasonry , and they are the ones who guide the world for the benefit of the Jews.

Here we see that the goal of global Freemasonry, which is the offspring of Zionism, is to establish a new world order that establishes the idea that the Talmudic Israel be the obedient master in the whole world.

Some concepts of the new world order are no state sovereignty, no religions, no community unity, no limits, and this is globalization. Globalization is a description of multiple phenomena such as the amazing progress in the means of communication and openness, and the seriousness of globalization is that its media arm is under the control of Freemasonry, which holds its strings, This force will flow in control in parallel with the brute military force in imposing globalization on others.

The function of the media system is to inculcate the values, concepts, beliefs, and patterns of Masonic behavior.
She then goes on to link this to the Deal of the Century and even to earlier peace plans like Olmert's which she says was essentially the same plan. I didn't quite understand why the people who run the world are so eager to give away their land to Arabs.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Bruegel - Tower of BabelBabylon, Land of Shin'ar, February 20 - Islamic authorities cautioned today against the completion of a planned project to construct a tower that reaches the heavens, reminding officials in charge of the initiative that Sharia law prohibits any non-Islamic building from exceeding the height of any nearby Islamic house of worship.

Mufti 'Ana Akil Alqarf of Mesopotamia issued a warning today regarding the ongoing public works project in a central valley of the kingdom, admonishing the government and construction functionaries not to build the Tower of Babel to a height that even appears equal to or greater than any mosque in the area, and that violating the principle will lead to violence.

"To defend the honor of Allah and his greatest and last prophet," declared the mufti, "no structures may rise higher than our mosques. "This demand must be followed on pain of violent death. We therefore urge the authorities to alter the existing plan for the Tower of Babel to accommodate Muslim sensibilities." Municipal officials have yet to comment on the demand.

Babylonian leaders embarked on the public works project several months ago amid concerns that society's sprawl might create unwelcome divisions among those who live in disparate locations and thus develop clashing sensibilities. King Nimrod and his advisers therefore developed the Tower of Babel program to create a unifying focus for the civilization and to minimize or eliminate differences of opinion, ideology, or culture. To cement the idea of conformity, the engineers mass-produced identical oven-fired bricks instead of relying on the traditional method of fitting together stones, which most often occur in irregular, unique shapes.

Muslim leaders voiced support for the conformity initiative. "We fully endorse any effort that will bring all of humanity under the dominance of Islam," declared Imam Mustafa Massiqr. 

"Alternatively, making the tower itself a mosque will solve the comparative height problem. The main complication I foresee is informing our brethren in other places that the structure in fact serves as a mosque and not, as they might otherwise assume, an office tower so big and imposing that it comes to symbolize a culture in which Islam sees a mortal enemy, an assumption that could lead some enterprising martyrs-in-waiting to crash something large and flammable into it with the goal of bringing it down in dramatic, fiery fashion."

A small faction of Imam Massiqr's followers also contend that the tower, if built high enough, could serve as a base from which to attack God, who opened Zionist dams several generations before and deluged all of civilization.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: What Crimes Do the Companies on the UN Blacklist Engage In?
What horrendous activities do the 112 companies on the UN blacklist engage in? There are several supermarket chains which sell groceries to both Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. There are several fuel companies which operate gas stations where both Israelis and Palestinians fill up their cars. There are several bus and rail companies, which provide public transportation used by Israelis and Palestinians alike.

There are phone companies, banks, and a water company, which provides drinking water and sewage solutions. There are also several food and clothing manufacturers, like General Mills, Angel Bakeries and Delta Galil, whose crime seems to be the fact that their cereals, bread and underwear can be found on supermarket shelves in the West Bank.

In short, almost all the companies on the blacklist simply provide the most fundamental human necessities - food, water, transportation, communication. Some of these are defined by the UN itself as inalienable rights.

Only three were involved in providing "surveillance and identification equipment," which sounds sinister if you don't realize that such equipment is intended to prevent terrorists from slaughtering children in their beds.

Syrian and Russian soldiers have been slaughtering civilians in Syria on an almost daily basis for nine years now; the death toll is more than half a million and counting. Does anyone think the supermarkets that sell these soldiers food or the water company that supplies their bases with water are engaged in "activities that raised particular human rights concerns"?

Precisely because most of the targeted companies are basic service providers, the economic impact of the blacklist will likely be small. Most of these companies neither export and nor attract much foreign investment. And since their businesses depend almost exclusively on selling or providing services to Israelis and Palestinians, the only way to boycott them would be for the boycotters to actually move to Israel.
Clifford D. May: United Nations Human Rights Council delegitimizes Israel
Such boycotts harm Palestinians at least as much as Israelis. A study by Palestinian Media Watch found that “Palestinians prefer to work for Israeli employers” because Israeli employers provide wages four times higher than Palestinian employers, as well as health benefits and vacation time on a par with those Israelis enjoy.

Orde Kittrie, a legal scholar and senior fellow at FDD, points out that any boycotts spurred by the blacklist would likely “run afoul of some or all of the two dozen U.S. state laws that require divestment from companies that boycott Israel.” In addition, Congress is on record opposing “politically motivated actions that penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel, such as boycotts of, divestment from or sanctions against Israel.”

Mr. Kittrie notes, too, that “international law does not prohibit business in disputed territories.… That is the official view of the United Nations, expressed in a document titled ‘Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas: A Resource for Companies and Investors.’”

Congress could make its disapproval of the U.N.’s latest assault on Israel clearer. The most convenient vehicle would be the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which updates existing U.S. anti-boycott laws to include not just boycotts initiated by nation-states, but also those fostered by international organizations.

I’m betting that won’t happen because such far-left and anti-Israeli members of Congress as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib now routinely intimidate many of their moderate Democratic colleagues.

President Trump could do more, too, building on other steps he’s taken to repair the damage done to Israel in recent years by the U.N.

The broader problem is the continued existence of such an Orwellian institution as the UNHRC. The U.N. was supposed to help prevent the “scourge of war and advance human rights and dignity.” Seventy-five years after its founding, it generally impedes both — at considerable expense to American taxpayers.
UN sinks to a new low with BDS-inspired blacklist
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland's Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC's publication of a "database" of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.

Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, "The long-awaited release of the UN settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes."

Ponder that: For the 112 companies on the list – including 18 foreign companies, like General Mills, Airbnb and Expedia – to do business in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank" to the UN) is a war crime.

But what exactly is the crime here? Employing 20,000 Palestinian Arabs as managers, software engineers and in other capacities for triple the pay offered by local Arab businesses, and with far better health and other benefits?

Or perhaps it is a war crime for the wily Israelis and others to have Palestinian Arab and Jewish Israeli workers learn to view each other as colleagues and friends, rather than as adversaries.

Back in 2015, then-Secretary of State Kerry expressed his concern for Israel:
I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn [the Iran Deal], our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed.
Of course, Kerry need not have bothered.

As we now know, Obama's deal with Iran succeeded to bring elements of the Arab world and Israel closer together in opposing both the deal and Iran as well.

But Netanyahu has, on his own, built alliances outside of the Mideast as well.

When the UN General Assembly voted in 2017 to overwhelmingly to reject the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Israel found new allies to come to its aid:
Hungary in December abstained when the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to reject the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The nation also joined the Czech Republic and Romania in blocking a European Union statement criticising Washington’s decision to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.
This did not go unnoticed.

In 2018, The German Institute for International and Security Affairs noted that this alliance was a sign of things to come:
Since 2017, relations between the Visegrรกd Group (V4) and Israel have been changing. Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are increasingly developing shared views and values on international politics and show a greater willingness to cooperate economically. This coincides with growing European Union (EU) criticism of the Isra­eli government’s stance on the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, the V4 states’ leaders do not necessarily share that criticism, and they have even aligned themselves with Israeli viewpoints on issues such as migration, security, and threat perceptions, all of which are disputed in the EU.
The group warned that the growing ties between Israel and the Visegrad Group could lead to internal divisions within the EU when it comes to its Israel policy.

Actually, this led to more than just divisions.

In November 2019, Netanyahu's alliance with Eastern Europe bore fruit again:
An effort to get all 28 European Union member states to issue a joint statement condemning the US decision to no longer consider Israeli settlements as illegal is being blocked by Hungary, according to a diplomatic source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Because joint statements issued in the name of EU member states require unanimous agreement, the EU was reduced to a statement by then-EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, an admission that the EU was divided over the issue.

And just this month, the EU again failed to get a consensus when it tried to unanimously condemn Trump's peace plan:
The European Union’s statement on the US peace initiative on Tuesday, which the Foreign Ministry called a threat, was by High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell alone. However, Borrell had circulated a draft of the condemnation in hopes that it would be signed by all 27 member states.

The EU acts on its foreign policy by consensus, and had all of its member states agreed to the statement, it could have had far-reaching consequences, making it their united position in the UN and other international organizations. [emphasis added]
Another example of Israel's new-found friends is in connection with the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda statement in December that there was enough evidence for an investigation into alleged war crimes by Israel. One issue that must be decided still is whether the court has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories.

On that issue again, Israel has allies that are coming forward:
Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic have asked the court over the past two weeks to let them file "amicus brief" opinions on the case, ICC records show.

Some said they would argue the court's jurisdiction did not extend to the Palestinian territories.

Brazil said it would argue the Israeli-Palestinian crisis should be resolved through political dialogue, not a court ruling.
Speaking of the Palestinian Arabs, there are some indications that despite their diplomatic successes up to this point, Abbas and the Palestinian Arabs may be becoming somewhat isolated themselves.

Last month, YnetNews reported Sidelined and isolated, Palestinians say disappointed in international community:
As dozens of world leaders converged on Israel for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum 2020, some Palestinians expressed frustration that only a few of these leaders would be visiting the Palestinian territories for a one-on-one meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

...Abbas has long sought international support. Back at the beginning of his presidency in 2005, he began to galvanize the international community for the Palestinian cause, and for a time, he gained momentum.

But Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, says that in recent years, Abbas’s popularity has declined and his approach has lost support.

“Most Palestinians believe this internationalization of the conflict has been a failure. In a sense, it hasn’t delivered. It didn’t influence the Israeli calculus in any effective way to stop settlements, or contribute to ending the Israeli occupation,” Shikaki says.
Another indication of Abbas's decline came this month at the UN, where he has usually been successful: Palestinians delay vote at UNSC against Trump’s peace deal
In a surprise move, the Palestinian Authority has delayed a scheduled UN Security Council vote on a resolution against the Trump administration’s peace plan. But the meeting will otherwise continue as scheduled.

...There was immediate speculation that the delay was a backhanded way of pulling the resolution because it lacked the requisite support of nine members for passage. Otherwise, it would have been considered that the resolution had failed.
Of course, US influence played a role as well, just as it has during the rest of Trump's term up to this point.

Trump's actions on behalf of Israel may not win him much in terms of the Jewish vote come November, but Israelis appreciate what he has done -- and hope he will be in a position to do even more for another 4 years.

Whether Netanyahu will be in a position to further strengthen and increase alliances, is, of course, another question altogether.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Thursday, February 20, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

It has been pointed out many times that Palestinians have rejected every peace plan offered to them since 1937.

Saying "no" is not simple rejectionism. It is an active choice. The leaders who say "no" to various compromises and peace offers are giving the world two messages: they don't accept the proposal, and they prefer the status quo as being a preferable option.

The decisions aren't made in a vacuum. When Palestinians say "no" whether to Clinton or Olmert or Obama or Trump, they are saying "yes" to the situation they are currently in. They are saying that, until circumstances change such as a new peace offer or international pressure on Israel, the status quo is better than any other option at this point in time.

Palestinians will tell anyone who listens how terrible life is under "occupation" and under "siege." They will complain about checkpoints and humiliation and "ethnic cleansing." Yet every time they had a chance to put an end to all of those things, they made a decision that their current reality was preferable to the alternatives given them.

There are lots of factors that come into such a decision, of course. Palestinian leaders are wagering that their refusal to compromise will one day pay off with a better permanent solution. This is a bet they have made, and lost, for over 80 years. However, there is no escaping that each time they make that bet they are choosing the current situation over any realistic alternative. Every time they say no, it is with the full understanding that this decision keeps them in a stateless limbo, albeit one where most of them who live in the territories live under autonomy, with a government, membership in various international bodies, unwavering support from the UN and an Olympic team.

Every "no" is a specific and deliberate choice to keep things as they are.

You can say the same about Israel as well. Israel rejected the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, also accepting that the status quo - which at the time included a wave of terrorism - was better than the alternative pushed by the Saudis.

When you realize that the current situation as a result of active choices rather than passive rejection, it is apparent that the status quo cannot be so bad. If it was truly bad, any sane leader would choose an alternative that is better for his or her people. Yet both Israel and the Palestinians have chosen the imperfect way things are today.

People trying to find a comprehensive peace plan acceptable to both sides are wasting their time. We have enough evidence that any plan will not work. At least one side will reject any suggested plan.  The point is that we have enough evidence that what exists now is the active preference for both sides compared to any possible alternatives.

When things are framed this way, it becomes apparent that rejectionism has consequences, just like any other decision. Palestinians like to pretend that their saying "no" somehow freezes the region, that the next time they can reset the clock. But Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria grow, Israel devises new defensive methods, the Arab world evolves. Time does not stand still when Palestinians say "no" - and each "no" has real world consequences.

Once the conflict is viewed through this lens, then the focus must be changed from finding a comprehensive peace plan to finding an optimal solution for today. The demands of each side are absolutely incompatible. The optimal solution is to start with the status quo, which both sides have shown they can live with and prefer, and then trying to optimize it in ways that both sides can accept.

For example, Israel has to balance security and Palestinian freedom of movement. It plays this game solo, trying to find ways that Israelis can feel secure without hurting innocent Palestinians. It doesn't know if its decisions will be effective - think about home demolitions - so it resorts to trial and error.

But the very fact that Israel makes these decisions by itself is a result of the mindset that unless Palestinians and Israelis are negotiating a grand peace plan, they should keep their communications at an absolute minimum. This is a mindset encouraged by those who keep pushing a comprehensive peace instead of a de facto, livable detente.

Under the paradigm of optimizing the status quo, though, Palestinians can discuss with Israel how various security measures can be loosened while providing Israel with compensating measures. Just the fact that they are talking instead of playing childish games of avoidance and blame would by itself prompt the Israeli side to loosen various restrictions. There should be full cooperation on all issues - imports/exports, movement, water - instead of unilateral moves that cause resentment from the other side by the very virtue of them being unilateral.

The current spat where Israel refuses to export Palestinian goods while Palestinians refuse to import Israeli cattle, with each side threatening to escalate their positions, is an example of childishness that could have been avoided if both sides just owned their decisions and worked to help their own people instead of punish the other.

The choice by Palestinians to avoid even talking with Israel today is a choice to hurt their own people unnecessarily, seemingly for reasons of "honor."

Palestinians would say that this idea of accepting and optimizing the status quo is not an acceptable framework. They would say that treating Israelis as partners in co-existence would "institutionalize the occupation." But their rejectionism has done the exact same thing. Their decision to say "no" does not freeze life for the parties until the next peace plan - it causes other decisions to be made by the dominant power in which the weaker power has no say. There is no contradiction between using the status quo as a starting point to optimize the situation and for Palestinians to continue to battle for their maximal demands. But until there is a comprehensive peace - which seems more unlikely every year - optimizing the current situation would benefit everyone.

Of course, if Palestinian leaders reject even this, that action shows that their current situation is already close to optimal from their perspective. They are making a calculation that their rejections are more important to them than the welfare of their people, short or long term.

One way or another, the world must realize that Palestinian leaders have responsibility for their decisions - and saying "no" is just as much a decision as saying "yes," with consequences that are just as real.

This reframing of rejectionism as being an active choice can improve the lives of millions of people.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Thursday, February 20, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
David Collier posted this page 241 of a UK KS3 textbook published by Hodder Education (with a hat tip to Jewish Chick):

The central question on the page is almost too offensive to be believed. The author is suggesting that Israel's very existence is the cause of all terror attacks and wars in not only the Middle East but even in New York and Washington. Not the "occupation" - Israel itself is the source of all evil in the world.

This unbridled and absurd hate of Israel still astonishes.

Beyond that, this history textbook is riddled with errors on just this one portion of a page. The map refers to "Palestinian territory in 1949," which is simply untrue. Not all Palestinians moved to refugee camps in 1948.The "support" of Palestinians by Muslim nations has been lip service - they have left them stateless and have restricted their rights in their countries. And under Nasser, Egypt went into the Soviet orbit, not the West.

This textbook does not even have a pretense of objectivity or truth. Yet it is used to indoctrinate thousands of students every year.

Textbooks remain one of the worst sources of anti-Israel bias, but because they are typically not easily available outside of the classroom, there is little independent checking of their facts. Just now I found a more subtle but no less biased page about the day Anwar Sadat visited the Knesset from History for the IB Diploma: The Arab-Israeli Conflict 1945-79, by Jean Bottaro, 2012, Cambridge University Press:

Source J is an excerpt from Sadat's speech. Source K is an interpretation from hostile historian Avi Shlaim to Begin's response.

Instead of asking students to compare the actual speeches, the textbook is asking them to compare Sadat's words with a wholly inaccurate and biased view of Begin's response.

In fact, both Begin and Sadat restated their country's positions - Sadat emphasizing how Israel must return all territory gained in 1967, Begin emphasizing Israel's own positions on Jerusalem and territory. Sadat was frank while optimistic, and Begin was as well. The textbook could and should have quoted Begin directly, contradicting Shlaim's bias:

President Sadat knows, as he knew from us before he came to Jerusalem, that our position concerning permanent borders between us and our neighbours differs from his. However, I call upon the President of Egypt and upon all our neighbours: do not rule out negotiations on any subject whatsoever. I propose, in the name of the overwhelming majority of this Parliament, that everything will be negotiable. Anybody who says that, in the relationship between the Arab People - or the Arab Nations in the area - and the State of Israel there are subjects that should be excluded from negotiations, is assuming an awesome responsibility. Everything is negotiable. No side shall say the contrary. No side shall present prior conditions. We will conduct the negotiations with respect.

If there are differences of opinion between us, that is not exceptional. Anyone who has studied the history of wars and the annals of peace treaties knows that all negotiations for peace treaties have begun with differences of opinion between the parties concerned, and that, in the course of the negotiations, they have reached solutions which have made possible the signing of agreements or peace treaties. That is the path we propose to follow.

We shall conduct the negotiations as equals. There are no vanquished and there are no victors. All the Peoples of the region are equal, and all will relate to each other with respect. In this spirit of openness, of readiness of each to listen to the other - to facts, reasons, explanations - with every reasonable attempt at mutual persuasion - let us conduct the negotiations as I have asked and propose to open them, to conduct them, to continue them persistently until we succeed, in good time, in signing a peace treaty between us.
Again, this is indoctrination. It pretends to be teaching students how to think critically, yet it doesn't give them the tools to do exactly that - instead, it tells them what to think, and places an opinion above the easily obtained facts.

There are hundreds of such examples. Textbook authors have near total impunity because they know that their interpretations of history are unlikely to get the same kind of scrutiny that newspapers do, and their editors trust them implicitly.

UPDATE: Hodder responded:

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Elder of Ziyon - ุญู€ูƒู€ูŠู€ู… ุตู€ู‡ู€ูŠู€ูˆู†

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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