Friday, October 15, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: What lies beneath the progressives' favourite cause
The latest such useful idiot is the best-selling novelist, Sally Rooney. She has refused to have her new novel published by Modan, the Hebrew-language Israeli publisher of her first two books, because she supports a cultural boycott of Israel.

Rooney happens to be Irish; and the Irish Republic — one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe — is a boiling cesspool of Jew-bashing.

The dogged British antisemitism researcher David Collier has just published a 202-page report in which he chronicles horrific anti-Jewish attitudes in Ireland driven from the top down by Irish politicians and echoed by journalists, academics and other cultural leaders.

There are many plausible explanations for this Israel animus in Ireland and the west. Ireland sees itself as the victim of English colonialism and so identifies with the Palestinians’ false narrative of Jewish colonialism.

Rooney is a self-confessed Marxist. Israel is being demonised through a perfect intellectual storm: a combination of Marxist identification of capitalism with oppression; liberal internationalist hostility to the western concept of the nation-state; and the Palestinian propaganda programme cooked up in the 1960s with the former Soviet Union to turn the Arab war of annihilation against Israel into Israel’s oppression of the newly-minted “Palestinians”.

This propaganda narrative is now the signature cause of “progressive” folk who astoundingly therefore make common cause with deeply regressive Islamists, who endorse throwing gay people off rooftops and stoning women to death.

What actually binds these groups together, however, is a deadly animus against Judaism and the Jewish people.

The Palestinians’ hatred of Israel is based on hatred of the Jews founded upon Islamic theological sources. Medieval and Nazi-style antisemitism pour out of the PA in an unstoppable torrent.

Even those Palestinian supporters who harbour no ill-will towards Jews as people therefore promote a Palestinian narrative that is based on Jew-hatred. So it’s no surprise that threaded through pro-Palestinian western discourse are unambiguous antisemitic tropes.

The deeper question, though, is why it’s always the Jews who get it in the neck from so many different groups. No other people has ever had this experience.

Socialism Without Antisemitism
In “On the Jewish Question,” published in 1844, Karl Marx famously stood the notion of Jewish emancipation on its head, writing that “Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as Christians have become Jews,” i.e., admirers of Mammon. Far from being ghettoized and excluded, deprived of basic freedoms, and subjected to horrific individual and mass accusations and physical violence for centuries, Marx explained to his followers, the Jews of Europe were in fact historical oppressors bent on conquest. “The everyday Jew devoted himself to endless bartering ... It was still Judaism, practical in its nature, that was victorious,” Marx explained. “Egotism permeated society.”

Jews were not only all-conquering, Marx continued, but also maleficent. “We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time, an element which through historical development—to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed—has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily begin to disintegrate. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.” Case closed.

Quantities of ink worthy of a Talmudic discussion have been spilled explaining away the explicit content of Marx’s essay. But his private writings make it impossible to assert that Marx was not a carrier of a virulent strain of racist Jew-hatred that has infected some of his followers to this day. In a letter to Engels on July 30, 1862, attacking Ferdinand Lasalle, Marx’s Jewish opponent among socialists, for example, Marx wrote that “It is now quite plain to me—as the shape of his head and the way his hair grows also testify—that he is descended from the negroes who accompanied Moses’ flight from Egypt (unless his mother or paternal grandmother interbred with a nigger).”

But even Marx at his worst did not approach the venomous opinions of his rival, the father of anarchism, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Proudhon expressed his feelings for Jews in his notebooks in an entry dated Dec. 26, 1847, an entry less anti-capitalist than exterminationist: “Jews. Write an article against this race that poisons everything by sticking its nose into everything without ever mixing with any other people. Demand its expulsion from France with the exception of those individuals married to French women. Abolish synagogues and not admit them to any employment. Demand its expulsion. Finally, pursue the abolition of this religion. It’s not without cause that the Christians called them deicides. The Jew is the enemy of humankind. They must be sent back to Asia or be exterminated.”
ILF: How We Fought Against:Ep 24...the Soviet Union's Assault on Zionism
"There is absolutely nothing that anti-Zionists say that I, as a Soviet Jew, did not hear or cannot find in Soviet literature." ~ Izabella Tabarovsky.

The Soviet Union created the ideological underpinning of the modern anti-Zionist movement, including the infamous 1975 'Zionism is Racism' resolution at the United Nations, an ideological foundation that groups like BDS are built on today. Join our special guest Izabella Tabarovsky Senior Associate at the Kennan Institute (Wilson Center), as we delve into the history of the Soviet Union and how their anti-Zionist propaganda shapes the antisemites of today.

While this episode was filmed before the Durban Conference at the UN, in which 38 countries withdrew, it underscores the importance of remaining relentless in the fight against antisemitism in all its manifestations, including the assault on Zionism.

Mark Regev: Genocide, apartheid: Problems in extreme Left American Jews - opinion
I was born and grew up in the Diaspora (admittedly not in the United States) and like many of my generation my politics was of the Left – though mine especially so as I was a proud member of the Labor Zionist youth organization Habonim. At the time of Israel’s 1981 election, I eagerly volunteered to a public debate with a Likud supporter at a Melbourne University campus event. I spoke in favor of Shimon Peres’s attempt to unseat Menachem Begin, my loyalty to the Labor cause preventing me from being impressed with Begin who had signed Israel’s first-ever peace treaty with an Arab country and had just destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor.

I immigrated to Israel in 1982 with the goal of personally voting Begin’s Likud out of office. I chose to live on a kibbutz to realize my then socialist ideals, and after acquiring Israeli citizenship, I immediately joined the Labor Party. The Sabras on the kibbutz even voted this then idealistic young Australian immigrant to be their representative at the Labor Party congress (where from the perspective of defeating the Likud, I mistakenly supported Peres over Rabin).

Why is any of this important? Because I know from personal experience that disagreeing with the politics of a given Israeli government, should in no way alienate one from Israel as a country or from the Zionist vision of an independent Jewish homeland. American Jews who hated Trump didn’t stop being loyal Americans, and detesting Netanyahu is no valid reason to disengage from Israel.

That liberal American Jews would identify with the politics of their liberal Israeli cousins is understood. But there can be no excuses for those ultras who deny Israel’s right to exist and ape the lines of Israel’s sworn enemies. Such erroneous positions can only stem from alienation, ignorance and a psychological desire to fit in with a certain milieu (reminding me of my grandparents’ generation of German Jews who constantly felt the need to prove to their gentile neighbors that they were loyal Germans).

I know that there are many American Jews who are deeply troubled by the anti-Zionism and antisemitism prevalent in contemporary progressive circles. I also know that those who uncritically parrot the rejectionist Palestinian mantra are a marginal phenomenon. But while being an aberration, these young Jews repeating “Israel is committing genocide” are symptomatic of a larger failure. The incoming head of the Jewish Agency, whoever it turns out to be, has some very serious work to do.

From Ian:

US Rejoins UN Rights Council Days After Council Endorsed Anti-Semitic Hate Fest
The Biden administration on Thursday rejoined the U.N. Human Rights Council, just days after the council overwhelmingly voted to endorse an anti-Israel resolution that several Western nations boycotted due to its anti-Semitic nature.

The United States was elected to the body just three days after the Human Rights Council by a 32-10 vote endorsed the "Durban Declaration," a resolution that affirms support for the notoriously anti-Israel 2001 Durban Conference and its conclusion that, of all nations, only Israel is guilty of racism.

The Durban Conference, which the United Nations has endorsed repeatedly during the past 20 years, was called the "most potent symbol of organized hate against Israel" by the founder of NGO Monitor, an institute that analyzes non-governmental organizations. U.K. diplomats, in a statement on the council's latest Durban vote, said the United Nations "has downplayed the scourge of anti-Semitism" and that "this must end" immediately.

Whereas the Trump administration withdrew from the council in 2018, citing the body's anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitic agenda, the Biden administration says a seat at the table will help the United States reform the body. Former senior Trump administration officials and Republicans in Congress criticized the Biden administration's move, saying the United States should play no role in an organization that routinely targets Jews and includes among its members some of the globe's foremost human rights abusers, such as China, Cuba, Russia, and Venezuela.

"If President Biden truly cared about human rights, he would keep us far away from the cesspool that is the U.N. Human Rights Council," former Trump administration ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Washington Free Beacon. "America left it under President Trump because we refused to lend our credibility, as the most generous country in the world, to cover for the world's worst tyrants and dictators. [Biden's] actions today aren't just embarrassing; they're dangerous."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a statement thanking member nations for allowing the United States to rejoin the council, said the body "suffers from serious flaws, including disproportionate attention on Israel and the membership of several states with egregious human rights records." The Biden administration will use its voice to "push back against attempts to subvert the ideals upon which the Human Rights Council was founded," he said. Blinken did not mention the council's latest endorsement of Durban in his statement.
Haley: Decision to rejoin U.N. Human Rights Council is ‘embarrassing’ and ‘dangerous’
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called the Biden administration’s decision to rejoin the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday “dangerous” hours after the U.S. was elected to join the body.

“If President Biden truly cared about human rights, he would keep us far away from the cesspool that is the U.N. Human Rights Council,” Haley told Jewish Insider on Thursday afternoon. “America left it under President Trump because we refused to lend our credibility, as the most generous country in the world, to cover for the world’s worst tyrants and dictators. [Biden’s] actions today aren’t just embarrassing; they’re dangerous.”

Former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the council in 2018, citing hypocrisy among members of the body, whom the administration accused of committing human rights violations and bias against Israel.

“For too long,” Haley said at the time, “the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.”

Current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. “will oppose the Council’s disproportionate attention on Israel, which includes the Council’s only standing agenda item targeting a single country.”

“The Council provides a forum where we can have open discussions about ways we and our partners can improve,” Secretary of State Tony Blinken said in a statement on Thursday. “At the same time, it also suffers from serious flaws, including disproportionate attention on Israel and the membership of several states with egregious human rights records. Together, we must push back against attempts to subvert the ideals upon which the Human Rights Council was founded.”

Caroline Glick: Lapid and Bennett's old-new diplomacy
This brings us to Lapid and his weird visit to Washington.

While Iran was ostensibly the focus of Lapid's visit, the Biden administration made clear that it has no intention of reconsidering its commitment to maintaining its nuclear appeasement policy towards Tehran. Then there are the Palestinians. Ahead of Lapid's arrival, the administration used the anniversary of the Abraham Accords, (which it refuses to call by their name), to underline that they are with Merkel in their hatred of the peace deals and their determination to reinstate the Palestinian veto over Arab-Israeli peace.

"The Biden administration has started out with a clear commitment to the two-state solution…. We continue to welcome the economic cooperation between Israel and all countries in the region. We hope that normalization can be leverage to advance progress on the Israel-Palestinian tracks," an anonymous State Department spokesman said.

Lapid papered over Israel's concern over the administration's pro-Iranian stance and its diminution of the historic peace. And this makes sense. Just as Bennett ignores Abdullah's hostility and blames Netanyahu for bad relations with Jordan, so Lapid scapegoats Netanyahu as the cause of Democrat antagonism towards Israel.

In the interest of castigating Netanyahu, Lapid has long ignored both the radicalization of the Democrat Party and the rapid spread of antisemitism through the American Left over the past decade.

Tuesday Lapid met with Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday. Lapid heaped praise on Harris just two weeks after she praised a student who accused Israel of committing genocide. Harris, he said, is "one of Israel's best friends in Washington. A leader who always stands with us in all the important struggles and who we can always count on in difficult moments."

In Lapid's follow-on he didn't simply ignore what Harris had just done. He indirectly justified her behavior. In his write-up of the meeting on his Twitter feed, Lapid said that in addition to discussing Iran's nuclear program, he and Harris spoke about how to "strengthen the bipartisan connection with the next generation of Americans."

Lapid didn't express concern over galloping antisemitism on campuses. He heaped praise on younger Americans. "They aren't just busy with wars and confrontations but also with the climate crisis, the global immigration crisis and with questions of identity," he cooed.

Last year Israel had a reality-based foreign policy. It was predicated on the basic truth that the justice of Israel's existence and power is immutable. That foreign policy ended the Palestinian veto and brought four robust peace agreements with Arab states. Now Israel has a reality- denying foreign policy which is reinstating the Palestinian veto and glorifying Israel's enemies.
The Caroline Glick Show: Ep22: Lapid’s PR Diplomacy and Gadi’s War Against Israeli RINOs
In Episode 22 of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline and co-host Gadi Taub talked about Israel’s diplomatic week. In a week marking the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords, the Lapid-Bennett government worked with Angela Merkel, King Abdullah of Jordan and the Biden administration to push a completely different diplomatic approach. The last part of the show focused on the battle Gadi is leading against right wing media organs in Israel that are legitimizing the government.
  • Friday, October 15, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is a really good CNN report on how the IsraAID NGO has, for the second time, gone into Afghanistan to save people.

Newsweek reports:
IsraAID, an Israeli-based non-government organization (NGO), helped to evacuate 125 refugees from Afghanistan earlier in October, according to a statement from the group released Wednesday.

The NGO stated that it had helped coordinate the evacuation of prominent Afghan nationals, including "judges, cyclists, journalists, TV presenters, human rights activists, family members of Afghan diplomats, artists, law enforcement officers, scientists, and more."

The refugees fled the country with IsraAID and were brought to Albania, located 2,600 miles from Afghanistan along the Balkan Peninsula.

There, they joined about 1,000 other Afghan refugees currently in Albania.

IsraAID said that the evacuated refugees were "considered particularly vulnerable under Taliban rule," and that "many of the women and girls among them have served as symbols of female empowerment and leadership."

This marks the second time in two months that IsraAID has helped at-risk Afghans escape the country. A previous venture on September 6 saw the NGO evacuate 42 women and girls to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The humanitarian group said that the 167 refugees from both the September and October missions would eventually be re-settled for the long term in a number of different countries, such as France, Canada, and Switzerland.

The head of IsraAID, Yotam Polizer, said in the press release that the NGO would do whatever it could to try and help Afghan refugees escape the Taliban.

"We would like to thank the governments of Albania and the United Arab Emirates for their hospitality and willingness to provide safe passage to these vulnerable people out of Afghanistan," Polizer [said].

Journalist Danna Harman, who helped run the operation, said that "if there is a bright spot in the story of Afghanistan's latest crisis, it would be how many regular people, Afghans and those who care about Afghanistan alike, came together to respond to calls for help."

Harman was assisted by a number of other philanthropists and supporting groups, including the Chairman of the Euro Asian Jewish Congress, Aaron G. Frenkel and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

A prominent Israeli-Canadian philanthropist, Sylvan Adams, also helped to raise money for the refugees. 
I'm waiting for Israel haters who are doing literally nothing to help the Afghans in danger to claim "Afghan-washing" while they sit in their coffeehouses.

  • Friday, October 15, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Noura Erakat, the lawyer who is a darling of the anti-Zionist Left, tweeted (I corrected numerous spelling errors)

In today's edition of living while Palestinian. Journo interested in IHRA critique asks me if Palestinian protest doesn't risk turning into anti Jewish hate. So here we go #Thread #IHRA 

First off, the fact that young Palestinians who have only known Israeli siege and massacre and aerial bombardment & snipers in Gaza distinguish between  Zionists and Jews and rally for a decolonial future for all. THAT is a remarkable example of humanity and what should be the story. 

Second, since the only thing that has been hateful has been Israel’s racialized violence, its siege, its shoot to kill policies, its home demolitions - the story is about Zionist settler hate. It is THE primary teacher and exemplar of hate. 

Third, as much as we try to distinguish Zionism and Judaism, our adversaries want to collapse the two and obscure the distinction between a people and a state. We are not responsible for this gross reduction and  resist it. No state or ideology is beyond critique. 

Fourth, the greatest source of antisemitism is white supremacy/ists. Go do interviews with them rather than interrogate Palestinians if they really think they deserve freedom and have the right to condemn the racist ideology that has marked them for removal. #IHRA 
Every single one of her four points is a lie, and Erakat knows it.

Young Palestinians don't distinguish between Zionists and Jews. All you need to look at are the numerous terror attacks against Jewish targets in Israel - rabbis while praying in synagogueschildren studying in yeshivas, and the 1929 pogroms against religious Jews in Hebron and elsewhere still celebrated by Palestinians. In Arabic, children are taught to hate the Jews - and they proudly say it on TV (even if in this case they say "sons of Zion" itis clear they mean Jews when they say "murderers of Allah's prophets.")

Her second assertion that "the only thing that has been hateful has been Israel’s racialized violence" is nothing short of absurd. Certainly she is aware of Palestinian terrorism that pre-dates Israel's existence. And how many ways can Palestinians glorify stabbing Jews?

Her claim that Palestinians try to distinguish between Jews and Zionists is also a lie. In print, they are more sensitive than they had been years ago because of MEMRI and Palestinian Media Watch, so they are a bit more careful about replacing the word "Jew" with "Zionist," but in the end, they don't ask a Jew they are about to stab if they support settlements or not. 

And according to the ADL, an astounding 97% of Palestinians hold antisemitic views - the highest in the world. Her assertion that Palestinians are only anti-Zionist and not antisemitic is laughable gaslighting.

Finally, the center of today's antisemitism is not white supremacists but the Arab world. White supremacist websites get only a tiny percentage of the readership as mainstream antisemitic Arab media. The Palestinian Al Quds news site published in Britain includes regular Holocaust inversion and references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as being obviously real, and it is one of the top 4000 websites in the world - compared to the most notorious neo-Nazi website, Stormfront, which doesn't crack the top 200,000. 

Actual Holocaust denial is still a regular feature of Arab websites, like this one in Al Mayadeen (ranked #10,131 in Alexa.) This top Egyptian newspaper (#1856) headlines an article with the Nazi claim that Kristallnacht was a response to what a Jew did.

Thankfully, this has been slowly changing, in no small part because of the Abraham Accords. Antisemitism in the UAE and Morocco has been tempered with articles that are sympathetic to Jews and Judaism. Of course, the peace agreements that are prompting this major pushback against antisemitism in the Arab world is opposed by Noura Erakat.

Noura Erakat is not stupid nor is she ignorant. She knows everything I have written is true. Her entire goal is to spread false propaganda. It must be exposed - every time. 

  • Friday, October 15, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

On Wednesday, the Secretary General of Islamic Jihad,  Ziad Al-Nakhala, threatened to go to war with Israel if the terror group is not satisfied with how Israel is treating its terrorist prisoners.

Israel has separated many prisoners as a result of the Gilbo prison break.

"The jihad movement will not leave its sons in the Zionist prisons as victims at the hands of the enemy, and accordingly we will stand with them and support them with everything we have, even if that requires us to go to war for them. No agreements or any other considerations will prevent us from that (the option of war),"  Nakhala said.

On Thursday, the Al Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad announced their full readiness to go to war.

Even though this was front page news in Arabic, the Western media ignored it.

Two weeks ago, Iran publicly said that they consider Islamic Jihad to be one of their proxy armies. Which makes this threat something to take seriously, since Islamic Jihad wouldn't do anything without permission of its Iranian patron. 

Still, the Western media is ignoring it.

Islamic Jihad met with Hamas on Thursday and jointly issued a statement calling on   Palestinians to "escalate the resistance in all its forms in solidarity with the prisoners." Which is pretty much an incitement to terrorism against Jewish civilians.

The hundreds of Western reporters in Israel somehow missed this story.

The PFLP terror group announced that it will militarily support any war Islamic Jihad would start.

If all of this incitement succeeds in causing bloodshed, then the media will wake up from its long sleep.

And blame Israel.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

From Ian:

The Woke Threat to America— and to American Jews
A century ago, anti-Semites sought to deny entry to Jewish immigrants on the grounds that they lacked the superior character traits of Northern Europeans who had populated this country in the 18th and 19th centuries and brought it to greatness. Now Jews face discrimination because they allegedly are co-conspirators with white supremacists or are simply part of the undifferentiated mass of American whites, the oppressor class.

The name-calling and stereotyping are bad enough, but if the equity agenda is broadly enacted, Jews will find few opportunities to land jobs in the civil service, education (especially in higher education), corporate America, and the innovation-based, creative economy emerging today. After all, Jews constitute only 2 percent of the population, but they are overrepresented in these fields. In the cause of pursuing equality of outcomes, quotas are now proposed as the solution to ensure proportional representation by every subgroup in every sector of the economy. Jews have seen this movie before: Their numbers at European universities were limited, as was their representation in the civil service of some countries; during the interwar era and well into the 1950s, American universities placed unofficial but very real quotas on Jewish enrollments on both the college and graduate-school levels. Under the “equity” regime, Jews will face the same obstacles. For a small minority population, this would lead to marginalization and downward mobility, and eventually emigration to countries that value merit.

The high-minded Jewish defenders of the “intersectionality” and “white privilege” (or “white supremacy”) industry are right about one thing: These terms and their implications are not sufficiently understood. In the name of these ideas, Jews are cast as part of the white, oppressor class, and their achievements through hard work, merit, and investment in vital institutions are denigrated. If Jews do not wake up to the threat that progressive ideology poses to their way of life in America, they will find themselves on a steep slope of downward mobility, or worse. For Jews, nothing less than their equality is at stake.

They are not alone. Other American minorities also have much to lose if these ideas gain traction. Hispanic Americans have been redefined by progressives as nonwhites and given a new name that means nothing to them—Latinx. This catch-all effaces the very real cultural, ethnic, and historical distinctions among immigrants of various Latin American origins. Even more damaging stereotyping now is applied to Asian Americans, perhaps the greatest victims of the progressive ideology. Arriving in the United States as poor immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, and other countries, these newcomers invested themselves in hard work and transmitted a strong work ethic to their children, with the result that their offspring have risen rapidly. Now these same Asian Americans are told that they actually are “white allies,” accomplices of the white oppressor group whose advancement in society should be limited by quotas and their earnings redistributed. As cases making their way through the courts make clear, some of these minorities are fighting back. A still silent majority of white and black Americans also does not accept the assumptions undergirding woke ideas.

Jews, once again, are the canary in the mine, but if they engage in the battle of ideas, they will find large numbers of allies prepared to marginalize the woke ideology threatening our country.
Bari Weiss: We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out With Courage
Courage means, first off, the unqualified rejection of lies. Do not speak untruths, either about yourself or anyone else, no matter the comfort offered by the mob. And do not genially accept the lies told to you. If possible, be vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Courage can be contagious, and your example may serve as a means of transmission.

When you’re told that valued traits such as industriousness and punctuality are the legacy of white supremacy, don’t hesitate to reject it. When you’re told that statues of people such as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass are an offense to Americans of color, don’t politely nod along. When you’re told that “nothing has changed” for African Americans, don’t dishonor the memory of civil-rights heroes by agreeing. And when you’re told that America was founded to perpetuate slavery, don’t take part in rewriting the country’s history.

America is imperfect. I always knew it, as we all do—and the past few years have rocked my faith like no others in my lifetime. But America and we Americans are far from irredeemable.

The motto of Frederick Douglass’s anti-slavery paper, the North Star—“The Right is of no Sex—Truth is of no Color—God is the Father of us all, and all we are brethren”—must remain all of ours.

We can still feel the pull of that electric cord Lincoln talked about 163 years ago—the one “in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.”

Every day I hear from people who are living in fear in the freest society humankind has ever known. Dissidents in a democracy, practicing doublespeak. That is what is happening right now. What happens five, 10, 20 years from now if we don’t speak up and defend the ideas that have made all of our lives possible?

Liberty. Equality. Freedom. Dignity. These are ideas worth fighting for.

Elisha Wiesel [WaPo]: Elie Wiesel's Legacy Includes Unapologetic Zionism
What would my father have thought of being carved into a church?

Today a likeness of my father — author, activist and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel — is being unveiled in the stonework of the Washington National Cathedral. My family and I are deeply grateful to Dean Randy Hollerith and all the leadership at the cathedral for this profound measure of respect. It is good to see that five years after his passing, my father is still being recognized for his global work for human rights and his singular message of hope amid darkness.

But I wrestled with this honor, and I think he would have done the same.

My father - author, activist and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel - didn't advocate just for the people of Kosovo, Darfur and Cambodia. He also supported Israel and defended her right to exist in peace and security. My father understood what it meant to live in a world without a Jewish state, and he saw the anti-Zionist movement as an extension of millennia-old anti-Semitism, which unfortunately is becoming more common and acceptable today.

Accusers throw the word "apartheid" at Israel, ignoring that thousands of Arabs serve voluntarily in the Israel Defense Forces and take their oath on a Koran or New Testament. Some celebrities charge Israel with ethnic cleansing, disregarding that as of 2017, the population of Palestinian citizens in Israel is more than nine times as high as it was in 1948. Meanwhile, almost all states in the Arab Middle East are Judenrein - "cleansed" of Jews.
  • Thursday, October 14, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The 40th annual Istanbul Book Fair is being held now.

On its Facebook page, the organizers feature a video  and photo montage of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visiting, browsing, and shaking hands of exhibitors, like a head of state.

He should have been arrested, but instead he is treated like a celebrity in Turkey.

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

Check out their Facebook page.

Rejecting My Jewish Heritage In The Face Of Antisemitism Will Work *This* Time

by Simone Sheodlo-Higanu

upset womanNew York, October 14 - An aphorism attributed (wrongly) to Albert Einstein characterizes insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. With all due respect to the professor, I believe my current course will defy that pattern: unlike all the efforts of my ancestors who sought to relieve themselves of anti-Jewish persecution and discrimination by assimilating into the wider culture, only to find that the wider culture still considered them Jewish and therefore ripe for discrimination, in my case the effort to jettison everything of substance in my Judaism will engender only acceptance and approval from those whom I seek to join. I just know it.

I certainly will fare better than the hundreds of thousands of Jews who decided to convert to Catholicism rather than leave Spain in 1492, only to discover over the next several hundred years that their loving, tolerant neighbors and the Office of the Inquisition continued to suspect them of heresy and clinging to Jewish beliefs and practice, no matter how loudly or publicly the protestations of adherence to good Christian doctrine.

Nor will I face the fate of my predecessors in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century Germany, where acculturation of Jews into every echelon of society proceeded with more thoroughness than anywhere else in history, but whose ancestry became subject to examination when Nazi racial purity laws went into effect in the 1930's.

Similarly, my path will prove other than that of the Yevsektsia, those proudly Communist Jews of the early Soviet Union who made it their mission to discredit, harass, and destroy all vestiges of Jewish life and culture so as to spare themselves the wrath of Lenin, Stalin, et al., and to prove themselves proper, loyal Soviet citizens. Then they were purged and executed when Stalin decided he no longer needed them.

That means my ongoing efforts to gain approbation from prominent progressive figures by disparaging the nine-out-of-ten Jews who profess support for Israel, and the rich tradition they preserve of longing for Zion through millennia of exile and outsider status, will end differently. I cannot explain why or how, exactly, that difference will manifest, but I can just feel it, just as I feel genocide happening in Palestine. Your efforts to explain to me that Jews who respect their Jewish heritage command respect, while those who do not, achieve the opposite result, will amount to nothing. I have already redefined my "Jewish heritage" to mean divorcing myself from anything authentically Jewish except where I can cherry-pick it to support my politics.

There's no way this goes sideways.

From Ian:

A New Jerusalem Consulate Will Again Proclaim: Jerusalem Is Not in Israel
Many consider the Biden administration's oft-expressed intent to open a U.S. consulate-general in Jerusalem a minor administrative change. In fact, it is a dangerous resurrection of a fiction that dominated American attitudes and policy toward Israel for decades.

It is nothing less than a devious scheme to reverse U.S. recognition that Jerusalem is in Israel by pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to abandon Israel's claim to sovereignty over its own capital city. If Bennett acquiesces to U.S. pressure, he will go down in history as the Israeli leader who gave away Jerusalem.

In May 1948, President Harry Truman was the first world leader to recognize the modern State of Israel, only 11 minutes after its creation. But for the following 70 years, successive U.S. presidential administrations steadfastly refused to formally recognize the City of Jerusalem as being in the State of Israel. It took us 18 years of pro bono litigation, with two appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court and working with the prior administration, to overturn the State Department's long-running position. That position had effectively treated as stateless thousands of American citizens born in Jerusalem.

We began representing Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky soon after he was born in Jerusalem. His American-born parents sought for him what most people take for granted—the right to list his country of birth on his American identity papers. That right was denied to him for almost two decades. His government-issued American birth certificate left blank the space for his country of birth. Although U.S. passports routinely designate the country of a foreign-born passport-holder's birth, Menachem's listed "Jerusalem" instead of "Israel"—as if the City of Jerusalem was not actually in any country.

Congress had overwhelmingly endorsed Israel's assertion of sovereign jurisdiction over Jerusalem in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. Nonetheless, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—yielding to the State Department's Arabist contingent—overrode Congress' decision with various baseless "findings." They continued to deny that any portion of the city (neither "West" nor "East" Jerusalem) was actually in Israel. This led to confusion and embarrassment.

US Will Move Forward With Reopening its Palestinian Mission in Jerusalem: Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday the Biden administration intends to press ahead with its plan to reopen the Jerusalem consulate that traditionally engaged with Palestinians, despite Israeli opposition to such a move.

Blinken reiterated a pledge he originally made months ago on re-establishing the consulate, which had long been a base for diplomatic outreach to the Palestinians before it was closed by President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, in 2018.

But Blinken, speaking at a Washington news conference with visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, stopped short of setting a date for reopening the consulate, which would strain relations with Israel’s new ideologically diverse government.

“We’ll be moving forward with the process of opening a consulate as part of deepening of those ties with the Palestinians,” Blinken said at the State Department.

The Biden administration has sought to repair relations with the Palestinians that were badly damaged under Trump.

The consulate was subsumed into the US Embassy that was moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in 2018 by Trump — a reversal of longtime US policy hailed by Israel and condemned by Palestinians.

The Biden administration says it will reopen the consulate while leaving the embassy in place.

The right wing from the Israeli government will block US East Jerusalem consulate, says Michael Oren
  • Thursday, October 14, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
In March 1937, New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia spoke at a women's meeting of the American Jewish Congress Women's Division:

Michael Williams, editor of Commonweal, Catholic weekly, warned against the spread of Nazism and anti-Semitism in the United States. He suggested that the 1939 New York World’s Fair establish a building devoted to “human and divine liberty.”

Mayor LaGuardia, seconding the suggestion, said: “I will add an annex to Dr. Williams’ suggestion. I would have a chamber of horrors added to this temple. In it I would place that brown-shirt fanatic. I’d give them an example they could look at and learn.”
The Third Reich responded furiously, calling LaGuardia the most vile epithet in their vocabulary: a "dirty Talmud Jew." (Sound familiar?)

Because Germany formally demanded an apology, the spineless State Department gave them one:

LaGuardia doubled down:

Time magazine reported on the story, and suggested that LaGuardia was pandering to Jewish votes, by saying - no joke - that "In New York City, as any political nose-counter knows, the hooked far outnumber the Aryan noses. " (Time, Mar. 15, 1937)

  • Thursday, October 14, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The socialist, anti-Israel "Jewish Currents" site published a comic by JB Brager that positions itself as a sober argument against Jewish indigeneity to Israel. 

Like all good propaganda, it hand-picks the pro-Zionist arguments it wants to debunk, twists them, and then gives its own answers from within its own false framing. People who agree with the anti-Israel side think they have read a brilliant work that demolishes the Zionist arguments taken one by one. But in reality it ignores the real arguments and engages in a lot of misdirection and handwaving to make it look like it is objective.

Brager self-describes as a a "white, Jewish, queer & trans self-taught comics artist, illustrator and PhD currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Lenapehoking." They gained publicity when they were fired from an elite New York school for tweeting support for a speaker who said that Jews have become the same as Nazis. 

The comic claims to show how Jews are rebranding themselves as non-white natives of Israel when in fact, they claim, Zionists made that all up to give Jews a common ethnic identity. 

Their final frame:

While it is true that Zionists emphasize that argument of being a people, it doesn't mean that it isn't true. And in no way does Brager disprove it, instead using misdirection of pretending to address it. Like here:

There are no references or footnotes to the idea that DNA research is useless past seven generations. Brager appears to be mixing up the popular, commercial DNA tests like 23AndMe and the more rigorous testing done by scientists. 
This is the sort of half-truth that can be seen throughout the comic. 

The comic begs for fisking, but that is not how to debunk it. 

The fact that Brager quotes Herzl as referring to "colonization" but not Herzl when he says "we aspire to our ancient land" shows that they pick and choose the arguments they want and discard the rest.

 The fact that they base so much of their argument on the idea that Jews returning to Zion is "settler colonialism" without mentioning the many arguments against it show that they are not intellectually honest. 

The fact that they  conclude their argument with this photo as proof of Zionist racism while deliberately erasing the cover of the book to show that the Arab woman had snatched the angry man's Psalms seconds before proves Brager's mendacity.

But in the end there are much more obvious proofs that Brager's theses are wrong to begin with.

The idea that Jews are a people and a nation is not a new Zionist idea. On the contrary - the idea that Jews are only a religion and not more is a brand new anti-Zionist idea, created specifically to disconnect Jews from their ancient homeland. The words "Hebrew nation" and "Jewish nation" in describing contemporary Jews can be seen hundreds of times in pre-Zionist literature - both from Jews and non-Jews.

And not only from the West but from the East as well, as in this announcement from the Ottoman Empire that they will protect members of "the Jewish nation" in their areas:

And of course Jewish scripture itself never refers to Jews as a religion but as a people and a nation (this example is 1 Chronicles 17, said weekly in prayers):

Beyond that, Jews didn't only start yearning for Zion with Zionism. Without any political organization, Jewish leaders have returned to Zion throughout the Diaspora - because, for them, Israel is where Jews belong. It is widely considered to be a Biblical commandment for Jews to move to Israel. For example, many prominent French rabbis moved to Israel in 1211 CE, rabbinical giant Nachmanides moved there in 1270. A bit before anyone heard of Herzl.

This idea of Judaism linked with Zion permeates Jewish prayer and Jewish thought. Anyone who is Jewishly literate would know all this. The claim that Jewish ties to Israel are a new phenomenon, or is peculiarly linked to modern Zionism, is gaslighting on a global scale.

Brager goes into antisemitic territory when they claim that Jews asserting their own heritage, history and links to Israel are "eugenics and racial fascism." 

That isn't an attack on Zionism - it is hate-filled attack on Judaism itself.

This comic is anti-Jewish bigotry of the most basic kind using the language of wokeness. 

  • Thursday, October 14, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The New Arab has a profile of an 88 year old woman, Amna Hasan Mawd, who fled Palestine during the 1948 war and ended up in Lebanon.

At the end of the interview, Mawd says, "[My husband] had written on his picture, before he died: “I want to die in Palestine.” But he died as a refugee and did not return to Palestine, and it seems that I will die as a refugee too."

The point, of course, is to say how awful it is that she is still a refugee after 73 years. But the real question is - why is she not a citizen of Lebanon after 73 years? 

That could be changed, of course. Lebanon could offer citizenship for Palestinians who have lived there for, say, over thirty or fifty years, let alone seventy.

What country keeps its refugees without any options of becoming naturalized for over seven decades?

It is fairly rare where you will see an article criticizing Lebanon for how it treats its Palestinian refugees. For any other kind of refugee, this would be major news. But there is an unwritten contract between the Lebanese, Arabs, human rights organizations and the media that only Israel can be blamed for 73 years of Lebanese mistreatment of Palestinians. That Palestinians, alone among all refugee groups, should never be naturalized. 

Because these groups, who all claim to care so much about Palestinian human rights, want to keep these people stateless indefinitely, so that they can become cannon fodder for the eventual destruction of Israel.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Weekly column by Vic Rosenthal

All of my writing is informed by two principles. The first, both logically and rhetorically, is that there is no moral principle more important than the value of preserving the Jewish people. This is axiomatic for me: if we don’t agree on this, then there is no point to continue the discussion.
This means that preserving the Jewish people is more important to me than anything else, including democracy or even considerations of human rights. Not that I think that there is a conflict between the continued existence of this people and the legitimate rights of others; I do not. But if, in any particular case, I have to choose between Jewish survival and the good of others, I will choose Jewish survival.

Some say that this disqualifies me as an “objective” observer of events. Actually, it makes me like everyone else. We all have loyalties that override universal obligations to humanity. Who would sacrifice their immediate family in order to protect the rights of others?

The second principle is the necessity of a Jewish state. If the Jewish state were to disappear, so – in short order – would the Jewish people. Unlike the first principle, this is an empirical one. The early Zionists who called for a Jewish state did so to a great degree because the history of the treatment of the Jews in the Christian and Muslim worlds impelled them to the conclusion that a sovereign state was necessary to ensure the continuance of their people despite persecution and assimilation. Subsequent events – the Holocaust among them – provided evidence that they were correct.

So what are the consequences of these principles?

Here is an example: Hezbollah has 130,000 rockets aimed at Israel. If they were to be launched, they would kill thousands in Israel and imperil the continued existence of the state. Therefore I believe that a preemptive attack on the launchers, even if it would kill numerous innocent Lebanese civilians, is morally justified (whether such an action is a good idea from a military or political standpoint is another issue, which I am not discussing at this point).

Another example: the geographic characteristics of the State of Israel require that she maintain control of the high ground of Judea and Samaria and the western ridge of the Jordan Valley in order to have defensible borders. Therefore, regardless of political considerations, these areas cannot be transferred to Arab sovereignty. If you believe that Israel’s holding on to these territories poses a demographic threat to her Jewish majority, then you must find the solution in reducing their Arab population rather than in Israeli withdrawal.

I do not believe that the Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” have a valid legal claim on the area called Eretz Yisrael. But even if I did, I would be opposed to them realizing it, because it is in direct opposition to the continued existence of the Jewish state. In other words, I am not impartial on this question. I do not give equal weight to Jewish and Arab aspirations in our little land.

That’s enough for many people to declare me a “racist” whose opinions are worthless. But there is no human being who does not privilege some group over others, even if it’s just their immediate family. The ideal of valuing all human beings equally always breaks down at some point. This is unsurprising. We are not abstract entities, we are animals, and like all living creatures we function according to evolutionary rules established by forces far more powerful than our reason (incidentally, this isn’t an anti-religious statement: halacha was developed with this in mind). Family feeling, tribalism, and peoplehood are not things that can be erased.

Here is the reality: it is not Jewish paranoia to think that much of the world opposes Jewish self-determination, and sometimes the existence of Jews themselves. It is not paranoid to notice that Jews living in the diaspora are facing more antisemitism and anti-Jewish discrimination and even violence from day to day. And neither is it paranoid to think that the Palestinian Arabs would kill, enslave, or expel all the Jews from the land if they had the ability to do so. Indeed, they’ll gladly tell you so.

I am not going to argue for the value of the existence of the Jewish people. And we don’t need to convince anybody. What matters, as Ben Gurion said, is not what the nations think, but what the Jews do.

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: BDS again proves it's all about antisemitism
It's no accident that Israel is the country that is always singled out by so-called human-rights advocates for its alleged crimes even though other nations, which are actually tyrannies, get ignored. Israel is the only nation in the world that has spawned a worldwide movement that aims at its destruction. Only Jews and Jewish rights are treated in this manner, which is to say that BDS, in whatever form it takes, is, like anti-Zionism itself – inherently anti-Semitic. And the fact that some Jews, like Cohen and Greenfield, or groups with Jewish names like Jewish Voices for Peace, which promotes anti-Semitic blood libels, support it doesn't give them a pass for a movement that targets their own people for hate and discrimination.

That's why laws being pushed in states all around the country to punish those companies that engage in discriminatory commercial conduct against Israel and Jews are not only not a violation of free speech but desperately needed.

In much of the mainstream media and polite liberal society, BDS is still treated like a legitimate protest rather than antisemitism. The growing acceptance of critical race theory and intersectionality is part of the reason for this since those toxic ideas provide a permission slip to antisemitism so long as it is cloaked in the rhetoric of the left.

But the actions of people like Rooney and Ben & Jerry's rip the veil from this subterfuge. Those who think that only Israel's efforts to defend itself against the Palestinian war on its existence or to assert Jewish rights are the most intolerable acts happening anywhere on the planet mustn't be allowed to pose as do-gooders. Whether actively or passively, they are complicit in a hate campaign with an anti-Semitic goal that essentially justifies terrorist violence. Those who engage in such despicable behavior deserve the same opprobrium and boycotts that they would use against Israel and the Jews.
David Collier: An open letter to Sally Rooney – on the boycott of Israel
BDS is about destroying Israel – the only Jewish state in the world and the only democracy in the entire MENA region. And you support it. Yet as the slave trade flourishes in some Arab nations, democracy is non-existent and human rights are unheard of – you do not take an issue with translations into Arabic. Nor do you have a problem with Chinese – with China a Titan of human rights abuses. Nor Russian, or any of the languages of the world’s real human rights abusers.

But it isn’t just about brazen hypocrisy. Last week I published a devastating report on antisemitism in Ireland. Those people you seem to feel comfortable surrounding yourself with are neck deep in anti-Jewish hatred. You side with those that believe the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are real, push Holocaust denial, rabid anti-Jewish conspiracy and wish for a violent end to Jews and Zionism. Not all of them sure, but how many antisemites do you have to stand alongside before you feel uncomfortable?

Because BDS plays on people’s antisemitism. The BDS National Committee is fully aware that they can make up any old story about Jews and Zionism and there are enough antisemites to drive their twisted demonising narrative into the mainstream. Once in the mainstream it find support from the naive virtue signallers. People it seems, such as yourself.

This obsession with Israel exists in certain bubbles, but like most false paradigms, eventually the bubble will burst. I don’t know whether it will be 10 years from now (doubtful), 20 (probably a little too soon), or 50 years from now (almost certainly) but at some point mainstream researchers will be looking at the obscenity that is the ‘obsession with Israel’ and tearing it apart. They will point to the UN and the UNHRC targeting of the world’s only Jewish state and explain them away as despots ruling the roost – and they’ll go on to wonder at how it was that anyone took these organisations seriously. They will talk about the damage done by the increasing Islamist influence of global NGOs like Amnesty and HRW too. But they will also turn to the players who supported the BDS boycott. By then it will be seen for what it is – just another attempt by the Arab ’empire’ to do away with the tiny Jewish enclave that fought for freedom in its midst. And those fools in the west that played along – boycotted the products of the Jewish state – or refused to have anything to do with publishing houses there – will be seen just as racists are always viewed through the lens of history. I have no doubt that your current actions will be held up as an example of the antisemitic fervour of the day. That will forever be part of Sally Rooney’s legacy.

So go ahead – boycott Israel. It isn’t like the Jews are not used to people boycotting them. Let your books continue to be translated into Chinese and not Hebrew – Israel will continue to thrive without the Israelis reading them. But you should always remember that the brave folk are the ones that stand up against the tide of rising antisemitism. Those who see the anti-Israel obsession for what it is and refuse to partake in the blatant attack on Jewish self-determination are the heroes worthy of remembering. Your actions are those of a coward.
Naked double standards: Raunchy Marxist author Sally Rooney refuses to have her new novel translated into Hebrew because of her left-wing beliefs about Israel but is quite happy to see it sold in repressive China
Rooney is entitled to her political beliefs, however simplistic and ill thought through they might be.

But she is also a novelist, a highly regarded one at that. And all novelists – indeed all artists – should properly believe in free speech, the free exchange of ideas and art for art's sake.

As a committed Left-winger, she might also espouse some of the internationalist instincts that motivate Left-wing parties around the world. By allowing Hebrew speakers to read her books, she might in time convert some to her passionate cause.

Plenty of artists are clever enough to understand this.

One is the great Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave: he has called the BDS boycott 'cowardly and shameful' – while also making it clear that he doesn't support everything Israel does and that he hopes fervently for a resolution to the plight of the Palestinian people.

Yet all too often the Left is incapable of understanding this – as the wretched regime of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party showed us all. (I will never forget the time a Left-wing BBC journalist chillingly told me to my face that he thought that Israel, a state created out of the worst genocide in the history of our species, 'had no right to exist'.)

The same is true in Rooney's native Ireland, where Leftists and nationalists have long-standing links with Palestinian activism, seeing Ireland and Palestine as both being involved in a struggle against 'colonialism'.

If Rooney really wanted to address the serious injustices of the world, she might instead be campaigning on Communist North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe or plenty of others … and so aim for a shred of consistency.

Instead, she does a terrible disservice not only to Hebrew speakers around the world – but to all of us who believe that art should be widely shared.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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