Monday, March 20, 2023

  • Monday, March 20, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jordan complained that Bezalel Smotrich stood behind a map showing Jordan as part of the Jewish state under the original definition of Palestine before Sykes-Picot. They were quite insulted.

So I looked at the Jordanian geography textbooks, and saw plenty of maps (not all of them) that erased Israel, like this one:

But this map in a seventh grade geography book from 2019 has nothing to do with reality.

From left to right, the first one is captioned "1946."

The second one shows the 1947 UN partition plan that was never accepted by anyone, and the caption is "1949-1967."

The third shows the Green Line created in 1949, and is captioned "2008."

The key shows green as "Arab lands" and the white as "occupied lands."

According to this textbook, all of Israel is "occupied," and somehow in 1967 Israel occupied the lands it gained gained in 1948. (As far as I can tell, Israel isn't mentioned.) 

If Jordan is going to complain about Smotrich's map, they should explain maps like these.

(h/t Yoel)

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From Ian:

Ruthie Blum: The protest movement can’t unravel the thread of Israel’s unique tapestry
Observers at home and abroad of the current crisis fear—or hope—that Israel is headed for a full-fledged civil war. Hearing members of Israel’s military and other security forces join the fray by announcing their refusal to fulfill their duties causes them to consider this a real possibility; watching thousands of Israelis march to the beat of former prime ministers and defense officials calling on foreign governments to censure Netanyahu will do that.

What the ill-wishers purposely obfuscate, and the pearl-clutchers don’t take into account, is the way in which average citizens are going about their daily lives behind the lens of TV news cameras. This is certainly true of citizens who have little interest in and no clue about how the branches of government operate. But even activists are hard to discern at supermarket check-out lines and bus stops.

On Thursday night, for instance, as the so-called “Day of Resistance” came to a close, every trendy restaurant, bar and nightclub in the White City was packed to the brim with millennials eating, drinking and making merry. When I pointed this out to a friend, she quipped: “All that demonstrating must have made them hungry and thirsty.”

It’s unclear, though, whether this particular crowd—munching happily on shrimp and pork—had taken part in the protests at all. In fact, according to a recent Direct Polls survey, the civil “unrest” is populated mainly by silver-haired boomers. You know, the ones who think they’re at Woodstock or something.

In a lopsided debate (what else is new?) with two left-wingers, I cited this example of the “life goes on” resilience that’s characteristic of Israelis in the face of adversity. Their response was that the people I was referring to won’t be able to be out enjoying themselves, and certainly not in non-kosher establishments, if the government clips the wings of the Supreme Court.


“Ok,” I said. “So, you and the rest of the protesters can try to change the situation during the next elections.”

Their humorless answer was hilarious. If the judicial reforms proceed, they argued, elections will be banned.

It was a ludicrous pronouncement that Opposition leader Yair Lapid had made several days earlier. It’s baseless hype that he and the pundits parroting him know to be nonsense.

Despite the damage they’re doing to Israel’s standing and security, the one thing they won’t be able to shake is the underlying health of a society that cares deeply about preserving Judaism, Zionism and—yes—popular culture. Faith in this unique blend, which the over-reaching judiciary has been attempting to dilute, is what the majority reasserted at the ballot box on Nov. 1.

Voters must not be bullied into forgetting it. It’s no accident, after all, that Israel just ranked No. 4 in the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network report on world happiness.
Lapid: I believe High Court will rule against law that gives coalition control of justices; not sure we’ll still have a country on 75th anniversary
At a faction meeting of his Yesh Atid party in the Knesset, opposition leader Yair Lapid decries the coalition’s fast-moving “hostile takeover of the judicial system.”

Regarding the coalition’s updated legislation that gives it the right to fill the first two empty High Court justice seats in each Knesset session, and heavy sway over any after the first two, Lapid notes: “If they control the justices, there is no separation of powers. There is no independent judiciary. Israel is not a democracy.”

If the law passes, as the coalition vowed late Sunday would happen before the Knesset’s Passover recess, “we’ll go to the High Court,” Lapid says.

“If it passes, Israel stops being a democracy. We won’t let this happen. The liberal camp simply will not live in an Israel that is not a democracy. Hundreds of thousands of patriots will continue to take to the streets.”

He says the opposition is prepared to debate judicial reform on the basis of President Herzog’s alternative proposal.

“If the coalition wants to stop the destruction of the economy, the harm to security, the collapse of Israel’s international standing,” and the internal rift, Lapid says, it must stop the legislation. “Then we can talk — about a constitution based on the Declaration of Independence.”
Netanyahu, Biden discuss Huwara shooting, judicial reform, Iran threat
With respect to the Israeli government’s effort to reform the judiciary, Biden “underscored his belief that democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship, that democratic societies are strengthened by genuine checks and balances, and that fundamental changes should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support,” said the statement.

He furthermore offered support “for efforts underway to forge a compromise on proposed judicial reforms consistent with those core principles,” it added.

For his part, Netanyahu told the American president that “Israel was, and will remain, a strong and vibrant democracy.”

Finally, Biden expressed his “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the ongoing cooperation between [U.S. and Israeli] national security teams, including to counter all threats posed by Iran.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed in a report that its inspectors had found particles of uranium enriched to 83.7 percent at Iran’s underground nuclear site in Fordow.

In response, Netanyahu said that history has shown that in the absence of a credible military threat or actual military action, Iran will become a nuclear power.

“The longer you wait, the harder that becomes [to prevent]. We’ve waited very long. I can tell you that I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That is not merely an Israeli interest; it’s an American interest; it’s in the interest of the entire world,” he said.

During their call, Netanyahu thanked Biden for his commitment to upholding Israel’s security.

The leaders agreed to stay in regular contact over the coming weeks.
Biden Lectures Netanyahu on Judicial Reform — After Launching His Own Court-Packing Commission
President Joe Biden has warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against pursuing judicial reform — after his own administration considered a radical proposal to pack the Supreme Court with liberal justices.

The Times of Israel reports that Biden “raised his concerns with the judicial overhaul being advanced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government during a ‘candid and constructive’ phone call” on Sunday.

The article fails to note that Biden entertained his own, far more radical, proposals to change the U.S. judiciary after Democrats grew irate at the increasingly conservative composition of the Supreme Court after 2018.

For months, Democratic Party presidential candidates pushed proposals to “pack” the Supreme Court by adding four extra seats, then having the president nominate left-wing justices whom the Senate would confirm.

Biden dropped his former objections to such ideas and promised to consider them. He appointed a commission to consider the idea of court-packing, among other reforms, and it delivered its draft final report in 2021.

The commission warned that the benefits of packing the court were “uncertain.” However, Democrats — led by then-House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) — had already introduced legislation on the idea.

Ironically, Nadler has led Democrats in objecting to Israel’s judicial reforms. (He was joined by Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, who claims to be pro-Israel when campaigning among Jewish constituents in his district.)
  • Monday, March 20, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Palestinian Safa news agency is alarmed.

In conjunction with the escalation of the Israeli attacks on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, an extremist Jewish organization affiliated with the alleged "Temple groups" launched tourist "guided tours" for English-speaking intruders, in order to introduce them to the mosque, as the "Temple", in a dangerous precedent that is the first of its kind.

The "Beyadenu" organization, or what is known as "The Temple Mount in Our Hands", launched its first guided tour inside Al-Aqsa, in cooperation with the "Return to the Temple Mount" organization, which announced that this tour will be organized monthly for the English-speaking community in order to "connect with the Temple Mount." .

The occupation seeks, behind these "tourist tours", to perpetuate the Jewish presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque, falsify and Judaize Arab and Islamic history in it, as well as impose spatial and temporal division.

The Waqf categorically rejects these dangerous measures, which affect the sanctity of Al-Aqsa, saying: "Extremists are waging a new war on Al-Aqsa, with the aim of brainwashing its visitors, inciting against Muslims and Palestinians, and promoting the Talmudic narrative that contradicts our Quranic narrative, which leads to an imbalance in the mosque."

They warn of the danger of such tours and guidance programs, which are among the most dangerous Judaization programs, which will lead to an attempt to create a new reality in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The tourist guidance is a prerogative of the Waqf Department, and the occupation has no right to encroach and interfere in its affairs and management of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Whew! Jews telling the truth about the Temple Mount really gets these Palestinian Muslims upset!

You can see the Beyadenu website here, to help arrange your own English language tour of the most sacred spot in Judaism.

It has been ten years since I had my own personal English-language tour of the Temple Mount, provided by Yisrael Medad, and it still holds up:

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  • Monday, March 20, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Times of Israel:
Far-right lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich said Sunday that the Palestinian people were “an invention” from the past century and that people like himself and his grandparents were the “real Palestinians.”

Speaking in Paris... Smotrich said there was “no such thing as Palestinians because there’s no such thing as the Palestinian people,” a comment that was met with applause and cheers from attendees, as seen in a video from the event posted online.

“Do you know who are the Palestinians?” asked the head of the ultranationalist Religious Zionism party and Israel’s finance minister. “I’m Palestinian,” he said, also mentioning his grandmother who was born in the northern Israeli town of Metula 100 years ago, and his grandfather, a 13th-generation Jerusalemite as the “real Palestinians.”
We've discussed this topic many times before, and Smotrich is correct. Palestinian identity is a response to Zionism. Palestinian "culture" is a modern invention, and one that is explicitly political

Here's an Ottoman map of the region from a 1913 work "Jughrafiya-i Osmani" that doesn't even say Palestine. 

Even though there was no subdistrict of the Ottoman Empire known as "Palestine," one would expect every map to at least mention it if it was so important. 

But there is another piece of evidence that shows that there was no historic Palestinian people - and that is their surnames.

Even among Palestinians, you can see lots of surnames that show where they originated - al-Masri from Egypt, al-Sham from Syria, al-Hindi from India, al-Mughrabi from Morocco, al-Turki, al-Yamani, and dozens of others.

Have you ever heard of anyone with the name al-Filastini? 

I think I may have seen it once or twice, but it is exceedingly rare. Looking through Facebook, I see lots of people who claim that name but they all seem to be pseudonyms - I couldn't find one who listed a relative with the same name. I certainly cannot find anyone with that name in old newspapers or books. 

This indicates that even as Arabs would happily take on the names of the cities or even regions they were from (like al-Haurani from the Hauran region of Syria) essentially no one ever thought of themselves as "Palestinian." Nabulsi from Nablus, sure - but Filastini? Essentially no one. 

No one can rewrite the history of their family surnames. And when we see so many Arabic surnames that proudly describe where they came from, and practically none say "Filastini," you know that nearly none identified as Palestinian. 

UPDATE: I should say "few." Zachary Foster has traced the beginnings of the term Palestinians to refer to the Arabs of Palestine in Arabic and he finds they began at the turn of the twentieth century, largely but not only as a response to Zionism.  (h/.t Yoel)

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  • Monday, March 20, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

This interview of one of the German victims of a near-lynching in Nablus when they drove a rideshare car with an Israeli flag  has an interesting implication:

I did not go if I would go our alive, because they had so much hate against us....Suddenly they came our of taxis and kind of surrounded us, and we tried to explain in English that we are tourists, we are from Germany, we are both not Jewish so we are not a target for them."
I can't really blame them for saying whatever they needed to in order to save their lives, but I cannot help but think that there is an implication that it is somehow more tragic to kill an innocent German non-Jew than to kill a Jew.

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Sunday, March 19, 2023

  • Sunday, March 19, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
The shooting of David Stern as he drove with his family today resulted, as always, with great celebrations by Palestinians. 

Here a crowd goes to his house to celebrate.

And here are the obligatory fireworks celebrating the shooting of a Jew.

But, you may say, these are only the extremists. Certainly normal, sober Palestinians support shooting random Jewish civilians.

Well, Muhammed Shehada - who has bylines in Haaretz, Newsweek, Vice and elsewhere, and is a columnist for the Forward, and who also has a job working for a "human rights" NGO - went out of his way to justify Stern being shot twenty times:

The settler wounded in today's shooting near Huwara is David Stern, a former US Marine soldier who provides combat & weapon training to #Israeli settlers.

He's Israeli-American & lives in the Itamar settlement, built on land confiscated from 5 Palestinian villages.
Under international law, Stern is a civilian. His job and where he lives does not affect that designation. So this celebrated writer who pretends to be a human rights professional is justifying a war crime.

And he is considered moderate enough to write for Jewish-owned media. 

If this is the best example of morality from Palestinian society, then Palestinian society is rotten to the core.

(h/t Adam Albilya)

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From Ian:

Terror attack: American-Israelis injured in shooting near Huwara
David Stern, an oleh from the US, was injured in a shooting attack near Huwara in the northern West Bank on Sunday afternoon, just three weeks after two Israelis were killed in a shooting attack in the Palestinian town.

Stern, a resident of the settlement Itamar and a former US marine, was transferred to Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva in moderate to serious condition. His wife, also a US citizen, was injured lightly in the attack as well.

After being shot, Stern succeeded in shooting back at the terrorist, injuring him. A soldier at the scene also shot the terrorist at the same time. The terrorist ran away, but was located shortly after by Israeli forces.

The terrorist was identified as Laith Nadim Nassar, a resident of the village of Madama, southwest of Nablus, according to Palestinian media.

A photo reportedly from the scene showed a vehicle with Israeli license plates with bullet holes in the windshield near the driver's seat. About 20 bullets were fired at the car, according to initial reports.

A senior Magen David Adom medic, Moshe Meir Shimon, who was present at the scene stated "We met up with the vehicle at the Einabus junction along with IDF medical personnel. We provided medical treatment to a man in his 30s who was seriously injured by a gunshot to his upper body and to a woman who fainted from anxiety. We quickly transferred them to ambulances and evacuated them to the hospital, as the man was in serious condition."

Israeli and Palestinian reactions to the terrorist attack in Huwara
"I've known the injured man for man years. He's a dear friend, a professional fighter and level-headed," Religious Zionist Party MK Tzvi Sukkot said in a statement.

"After a direct attack, he managed to return fire, hit the terrorist and take care of himself. A miracle has happened here!"
The Iran-led ‘axis of resistance’ is gearing up for a Ramadan terror offensive
According to security sources, Hezbollah Secretary-General Nasrallah increased his coordination meetings in Beirut’s al-Dahiya neighborhood with PIJ secretary general Ziad al-Nakhala and Hamas military chief Saleh al-Arouri, toward the beginning of Ramadan. An agreement was reportedly reached between Hezbollah, Hamas, PIJ00 and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to step up terrorist activities in the coming days.

Nasrallah said last week that Israel would collapse even before it marks the 80th year of its founding. The internal dispute in Israel and the wave of protests over the government’s judicial reform have increased the feeling among the terrorist organizations that Israel is on the verge of disintegration and that this is the time to increase the pressure.

Despite the hoopla at the time, the agreement regarding the division of Lebanon’s economic territorial waters designed by the United States, signed on October 27, 2022, did not reduce Hezbollah’s motivation for terrorism against Israel. Moreover, it allows Hamas to strengthen its military infrastructure in southern Lebanon and in the refugee camps in Tyre and Sidon.

Hamas officials say that the attacks on Israel in the coming days will be from all directions according to the doctrine of unification of the fronts, including rocket fire from southern Lebanon and infiltration operations from southern Lebanon into Israeli territory.

According to security officials in Israel, behind all this malevolent activity is Iran, which in the past year has smuggled arms and funds through Jordan to the northern West Bank into the hands of the terrorist organizations.

The axis of resistance led by Iran is preparing for a major escalation in the month of Ramadan. Israel is also seriously preparing for a scenario that may be bigger than the military conflict that took place in May 2021.
The Great Big Palestinian Brainwash: Why Children Are Turning Toward Terrorism
There is an issue with indoctrination in Palestinian society.

Scores of children are being taught by both their teachers and educational materials that Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth and that they should seek “martyrdom” by perpetrating deadly terror attacks against Israelis and Jews to do this.

And despite the problem being well documented — including pieces by HonestReporting — little has been done to tackle it.

According to the latest report by IMPACT-se, a non-profit watchdog group that monitors educational resources for extremist materials, and the non-governmental organization UN Watch, the extremist issue in UNRWA schools persists despite the UN refugee agency pledging to get to grips with it.

The most damning findings documented in the report include:
Numerous teachers whose social media accounts were awash with praise for terrorists who had perpetrated deadly attacks on innocent Israelis and Jews
One teacher shared Hamas propaganda videos that threaten the destruction of Israel and wrote tweets praising the proscribed terrorist organization
A teacher who liked posts praising the Jerusalem synagogue axe and shooting attack in which five Jewish worshipers and a Druze police officer were murdered
A teacher who wrote posts encouraging Palestinian children to commit attacks, labeling one such boy a “righteous hero”
An elementary school teacher who wrote antisemitic conspiracies online, including that “wealthy Jews… lead the world from behind”
A teacher who wrote social media posts venerating Adolf Hitler and Nazism, with one comment calling on Hitler to wake up because “there are still some people you need to burn” (three fellow UNRWA employees ‘liked’ this particular post)
Children taught in classrooms to lionize notable Palestinian terrorists, including Dalal Mughrabi, who was behind the 1978 Coastal Road massacre that left 38 civilians dead
Youngsters being encouraged to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which amounts to a clarion call for violence at the flashpoint site
Terrorists are portrayed in schoolbooks as heroes with explicit calls for children to follow in their footsteps
Exercises in school materials that celebrate a firebombing attack on a Jewish bus as a “barbecue party”
Schoolbooks that call on pupils to take up arms against Israel and murder Jews
Materials that promote anti-Jewish blood libels and falsely claim Israel is stealing Palestinian antiquities

and the problem is likely not confined to UNRWA-administered schools.
  • Sunday, March 19, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

Times of Israel reports:

Israeli and Palestinian officials meet in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in a bid to ease tensions between the sides and rein in a spiral of violence ahead of the upcoming holiday overlap of Ramadan and Passover.

The meeting comes a few weeks after the delegations met in Aqaba, Jordan, shepherded by regional allies Egypt and Jordan as well as the US, aiming to end a spike in violence in recent months.

Whatever progress emerged out of the previous meeting in Jordan late last month, which ended with pledges to deescalate tensions, was quickly derailed when a new burst of violence erupted on the same day. A Palestinian gunman shot and killed two Israeli brothers in Huwara, whereupon Jewish settlers rampaged in the Palestinian town, setting homes and cars on fire.
Palestinian militias are insulting the Palestinian Authority for attending. 

Hamas officials called it a "disgrace" to attend the meeting and Hamas issued a statement condemning the meeting. 

Islamic Jihad called for more terror during Ramadan, which starts this week.

Fatah responded to these criticisms saying that attending the conference shows courage

Meanwhile, there are reports that Israel has stopped all arrest operations in the territories for the past two days to try to calm things down before the conference. It also didn't respond to a rocket shot from Gaza at Israel last night. 

If the last conference in Aqaba is any indication, the terrorists might be redoubling their efforts for terror attacks today. 

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  • Sunday, March 19, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week I noted the absurd claim by the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature that Israel has destroyed 3 million trees between 2000-2012. 

It turns out that this group, founded in 2003, just started a major anti-Israel campaign - probably to attract lots of money from the EU which loves funding any anti-Israel organization.

They published a series of infographics to push a lot of lies.

The entire series is based on the lie that today's Palestinian Arabs are related to the Canaanites, so they discuss the thousands of years of history of the olive tree in the region, pretending that this has something to do with modern Palestinians. 

Of course, the Jews in the kingdoms of Judah and Israel also cultivated olive way before anyone ever heard of Palestinians. Olives are a major theme in the Hebrew scriptures. Ancient olive presses built by Jews can be found throughout the Land of Israel. 

They don't want to mention that!

This is not true. The agricultural sector as a whole (including cereals) is less than 5% of the Palestinian GDP, and olives are about 25% of that (Oxfam), so the olive sector is about 1% of the Palestinian economy. That is a far cry from 14%.

In fact, Palestinians spend far more on paying terrorists and their families than they earn from profits of olive trees.

It is true that the Jaffa orange was not a Zionist invention. But the Zionists are the ones to turn it into a major export.

In 1939, the majority of orange exports from Palestine came from Jews, not Arabs! The Jewish sector outgrew the Arab sector starting in 1933. And the exports were always mostly from the Jewish orange growers, as these articles from 1922 and 1935 show.

Most of the forests planted by the JNF were pine forests, and pine forests have been in the region for thousands of years. 

And guess who decimated those forests? The Arabs who lived there!

1881 Survey of Western Palestine:

From Underground Jerusalem: An Account of Some of the Principal Difficulties Encountered in Its Exploration and the Results Obtained. With a Narrative of an Expedition Through the Jordan Valley and a Visit to the Samaritans, by Sir Charles Warren, 1876:

And as for cypress trees:

 The Popular Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, 1856:
The tall cypress only exists in Palestine, as cultivated by man in gardens, and in cemeteries, and other open places of towns. 

Samih al-Qasim was not an ancient Palestinian poet - he died in 2014. 

Psalms mention olive trees a number of times - and they were written quite a long time before any Palestinian poets talked about them. 

The entire holiday of Chanukah is centered around a miracle of olive oil! 

The lies just keep on coming. 

Of course, this group has nothing negative to say about the current Palestinian penchant for setting fires against Israeli lands they consider to be Palestinian, or the history of their destroying Jewish crops that continues today. Their concern for nature is curiously partisan.

And make no mistake - the desire to separate Jews from the Land of Israel by pretending that they have no history there and that they have no love of the land is pure antisemitism. 

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  • Sunday, March 19, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

News item: 
The latest PCPSR survey of Palestinians shows that 71% supported the cold-blooded murder of the Yaniv brothers, executed in their car in Huwara with multiple gunshots.

Only 21% opposed murdering random Jews.

News item: 
German tourists who used a car share app drove to Nablus to get a coffee, and found themselves under attack because the car had an Israeli license plate. They were lightly injured and the car was heavily damaged.

News item: 
An Israeli man in Colombia was kidnapped by a would-be "date" and had to be rescued by police. Arab media has been very interested in this story, saying this happened "coinciding with the occupation forces committing massacres against the Palestinian people" and that "he got what he deserved."

News item:
A cute Palestinian girl on was shown on TikTok saying that she wants to stab Jews to death, making the videographer very happy.

(h/t Orli Sagi)

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Saturday, March 18, 2023

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Blame Biden for Iran’s diplomatic triumph
Following up on the Trump administration’s success with the Abraham Accords would have been even smarter. Helping the Saudis to normalize relations with Israel—with whom it already had a tacit alliance against Iran—would have constrained Tehran’s efforts to foment unrest throughout the region via its terrorist auxiliaries and made it easier for Washington to turn to Riyadh for more oil during an energy crunch.

Instead, Biden’s open contempt for the Saudi de facto ruler, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, prevailed. The willingness of Democrats to treat his autocratic regime as a unique threat to human rights, while seeking to enrich and empower a far more barbarous Islamist tyranny in Tehran, sent a clear message to MBS that doing the Americans’ bidding when the war in Ukraine led to just such an energy shortage was not in his country’s interests.

MBS has come to the not-unreasonable conclusion that rather than depend on an administration that is uninterested in the survival of the House of Saud, he’d be better off hedging his bets by trying to cool down the conflict with the Iranians.

Still, it would be a mistake to conclude that the Saudis have irrevocably linked their fate with Iran and China, or that there is no way for Washington to retrieve the situation. MBS understands how worthless Tehran’s promises are. The prince isn’t so foolish as to think that the Iranians aren’t still bent on toppling his family sooner or later.

That’s why the day before the deal with China and Iran was announced, The Wall Street Journal broke the news about the Saudis making clear to the United States the terms under which they would normalize relations with Israel.

Some believe the pact with Iran renders those discussions moot. But while the obstacles to changing the ties between the Saudis and Israel from an under-the-table relationship to one of formal recognition are still formidable, they are by no means insuperable. Or at least they don’t have to be, provided that Washington was interested in making it happen.

The price for normalization with Israel that the Saudis made public was steep. They want the United States to formally commit to guarantee their security. In addition to more arms sales, they want help in building a civilian nuclear program. That is really the beginning of a Saudi quest for a bomb with which they can deter Iran, which, thanks to Obama’s appeasement, is already a threshold nuclear power for all intents and purposes.

The United States has no interest in fomenting a Mideast nuclear race. The Saudi request, however, has more to do with their impatience with America’s unwillingness to keep Iran in line.

What was most conspicuous by its absence from the list of Saudi demands was any assurances from the United States or Israel about creating an independent Palestinian state, which is, at least according to foreign-policy establishment, the real obstacle to normalization.

Like other Gulf State governments, the Saudis have no interest in continuing to sacrifice their interests on the altar of Palestinian intransigence. They also rightly fear that any such state would be merely one more failed government vulnerable to overthrow by Islamists and provide Iran with more opportunities to create instability.

The real problem is not the Palestinians or even the Saudi nuclear wish list. It’s that the Biden administration has no desire to do something that would annoy Iran or help Netanyahu, who the Obama alumni hate as much as MBS.

But if Biden is serious about wanting to contain Iran, fend off China or even promote peace in the Middle East, then he needs to strengthen ties with Riyadh.

Guaranteeing the Saudis’ security will stick in the craw of Democrats, who inexplicably consider the murder of Jamal Khashoggi—an exiled Saudi ally of Iran who wrote for The Washington Post—to be a crime that is worse than any of those committed by Tehran. Yet the deal with Iran is a sign not so much of Saudi betrayal as it is that the United States has abandoned its friends.

By stepping up to formally assure the Saudis of American support, Biden can advance stability in the Middle East with a sequel to the Abraham Accords. It would also send a message to Iran and the Russians that the United States can still be a “strong horse” that can’t be slighted or ignored.

That would seem to be the most sensible course of action for the president. Should he fail to do so, it will be one more sign that he and his advisors prefer to focus on quarrels with MBS and Netanyahu, and ignore the threat from China rather than advance American interests or Middle East peace.
ZOA: Stop Biden/Blinken/Amr Unconscionable Plan to Establish Army of 5,000 Palestinian-Arab Terrorists plus U.S./Foreign Forces.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) denounces, in the strongest possible terms, the Biden Administration’s unconscionable, illegal plan to provide commando training in Jordan to 5,000 Palestinian-Arab army of terrorists or future terrorists; and to then equip and deploy this Palestinian-Arab commando army in Judea/Samaria, along with foreign and U.S. forces.

The administration’s horrific, frightening, dangerous plan also requires Israel “to sharply curtail IDF counterterror operations.” U.S. security coordinator Lieutenant General (LTG) Michael Fenzel, who is currently responsible for training Palestinian Authority (PA) police in Judea and Samaria, proposed training the new 5,000-strong commando army, and deploying foreign forces, including U.S. military forces, on the ground.

Thus, under the Biden administration’s plan, Israel would be restricted from defending innocent Israelis from terrorists; and much of Judea/Samaria would become a “safe haven” for terrorists to retreat to and be celebrated after perpetrating murderous terror attacks in Israel, with no consequences.

Moreover, American and other foreign forces on the ground would become sitting ducks, subject to Palestinian-Arab terror attacks. American and foreign soldiers would also become human shields, who block Israel from going after the terrorists, lest foreign forces be caught in the crossfire. Further, the PA will want foreign forces to include Iranians, thereby introducing even more terror into the region.

The Biden administration is promoting its abominable plan using the transparently absurd pretext that the 5,000 U.S.-trained Palestinian-Arab terror-commando army will act against their fellow terrorists in Judea-Samaria. It’s obvious that, as occurred every time the U.S. trained Palestinian-Arab forces, these new commandos will join with their fellow Palestinian-Arab terrorists, and use their U.S. training, guns, and other weapons to attack innocent Israelis (and to attack Palestinian-Arab dissidents such as Nizar Banat – who was beaten to death by PA police forces).
Democratic Senators Mull Legislation Conditioning US Aid to Israel
US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Thursday said that he believes the US should condition aid to Israel based on the country’s support for a two-state solution.

“I worry that we are at a moment in which we are watching a future Palestinian state be obliterated by the pace of settlements, by the legalization of outposts,” Murphy said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. “And I think the United States needs to draw a harder line with this government. If we’re going to continue to be in the business of supporting the Israeli government, they have to be in the continued business of a future Palestinian state. And that does not seem to be the policy of this government right now. So whether it’s conditionality of aid to Israel, whether it’s conditionality of visits to the United States, we have got to send a message that this assault on the two–state solution, in particular, is very bad for the US-Israel relationship in the long run.”

In December, the US provided some $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel and an additional $500 million for cooperative missile defense programs like Iron Dome. Israel is the largest regular recipient of annual US aid, and under the 2016 memorandum of understanding between the two countries, Israel will continue to receive $3.8 billion from the US each year until 2028.

While that money is spent by Israel largely on buying US-made arms, including the F-35, and on defensive systems like Iron Dome, making that aid conditional on Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians has become a rallying cry of the progressive wing of the Democratic party.
  • Saturday, March 18, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
According to Palestinian media, there were 16 "acts of resistance" in the past 24 hours.

These terror attacks included an attempted stabbing, 4 shooting attacks, the detonation of an explosive device and the throwing of a Molotov cocktail.

The stabbing attempt was near Beit El, and the explosive device was detonated at Itamar.

Here is the Palestinian tally of 193 attacks in the past week.

The media is silent on all these attacks, and only when Israel responds does it make the news.

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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



Friday, March 17, 2023

From Ian:

Dave Chappelle and ‘the Jews’
The Stylebook ended up retracting the term “the French,” while maintaining the stance that such labels poorly reflect the diversity of such groups.

Humor aside, there is something worth contemplating in the internet’s response to the AP’s gaffe. After all, can’t we rightly say, “the French speak a romance language,” “the French developed Haute Couture” or even “the French enjoy escargots as a traditional delicacy”?

Perhaps this usage is vague and does not represent the diversity of perspectives within French society (some French people may not like escargots). But we all have a certain conception of French culture and life. Is it such a travesty to use a catch-all term for convenience? Such generalizations exist because, frankly, language is a practice in brevity, not accuracy. What is so wrong with trying to get a point across quickly?

This incident led me to reflect on a story from earlier in the news cycle. In Nov. 2022, Dave Chappelle delivered a monologue on Saturday Night Live that was rightly received with concern and criticism. Chappelle’s performance included his thoughts on the Kanye West antisemitism scandal.

Among other antisemitic statements, West had tweeted that he would go “Death Con 3 on the Jews.” During his routine, Chappelle whispered, “There are two words in the English language that you should never say together in sequence: ‘The’ and ‘Jews.’” Chappelle then engaged in a wide variety of antisemitic tropes, mainly centering around the idea that “the Jews” control Hollywood.

“The Jews.” “The French.” Why are these two phrases different? Why do the French revel in being called French and Jews react to Chappelle’s “the Jews” with concern and anger?

The answer is simple: Chappelle did not use “the Jews” as a descriptor. He didn’t use it simply to point out an issue with Hollywood. He used the term as a storyteller. He tapped into familiar themes and ideas to build his narrative. He tapped into the poison that has lured entire societies into genocide and destruction. He used “the Jews” in the same way Nazi-era German signs warned “No Jews or dogs allowed.” He knew what the backlash to his statements would be; in fact, he planned on it. He knew what such statements have led to in the past, but he didn’t care.

One wonders what would have happened if the Stylebook tweet had said “the Jews” instead of “the French.” Would there have been similar viral mockery of the Stylebook? Would Jews have been outraged? Or would the tweet have gotten no reaction at all?
Double standards on racism by the BBC
To recap: a few teachers in one Israeli school made disparaging and racist comments about Israeli students of Ethiopian descent. The teachers were fired, the school is launching an investigation and the country’s education minister offered an official apology – in other words, exactly what you’d hope would occur in a normal democratic country following such a racist incident.

Let’s pivot now to another story, which Berg and his colleagues will – if the past is any judge – almost certainly ignore: Revelations that teachers and schools at UNRWA, the UN agency that runs education and social services for Palestinians, regularly call to murder Jews, and create teaching materials that glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom and incite antisemitism.

This was revealed a new report by UN Watch and IMPACT-se.

The report identifies 133 UNRWA educators and staff who promoted hate and violence on social media, and another 82 UNRWA teachers and staff affiliated with over 30 UNRWA schools involved in drafting, supervising, approving, printing, and distributing racist and extremist content to students.

To cite just one of many examples: UNRWA’s Al-Maghazi Middle School for Boys B in Gaza used an UNRWA-created Arabic reading comprehension exercise for 9th graders which celebrated a Palestinian firebombing attack on a Jewish bus as a “barbecue party.” At the same school, 5th-graders learned that martyrdom and jihad are “the most important meanings of life”

The press release by UN Watch notes that UNRWA’s annual budget includes £14 million from the UK.

Moreover, unlike in Israel, we can be sure there will be no negative repercussions within Palestinian society for the promotion of such extremism within their school system.

It should be stressed that the problem with antisemitism at UNRWA is the opposite of a one-off.
Ben Cohen: ‘Auf Wiedersehen,’ Roger Waters?
Waters will doubtlessly be spouting plenty of nonsense between numbers during his tour, and he will likely make use of the offensive symbols that have appeared on previous tours, such as an inflatable flying pig embossed with a Star of David. This sort of imagery sails close to the edge in most European countries. It remains especially so in Germany, the land of the Holocaust, where in the postwar era, Nazi symbols, Holocaust denial, Holocaust mockery and demands for Israel’s elimination as a sovereign state can run afoul of the law.

Indeed, those politicians advocating for Waters’ dates in Germany to be canceled as a protest against his antisemitism and his affinity for Putin have repeatedly referred to the country’s democratic constitution in making their case, as well as the corresponding moral values arising from Germany’s rebirth as a liberal democratic polity. Last month, the municipal council in Frankfurt announced the cancelation of Waters’ May 28 concert at the city’s Festhalle venue, citing his status as one of the world’s “best-known antisemites” as the reason. Similar moves are afoot in Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin, where Waters is also scheduled to appear.

The situation in the latter four cities is complicated by the fact that Waters will appear at commercially run arenas, whereas the venue in Frankfurt is owned by the city. Countering the concern that Waters will use stages in Germany to promote a hatred of Israel that looks and sounds a lot like a hatred of Jews is the fear that the notoriously litigious singer will sue for breach of contract. Indeed, last week, the musician’s management company announced just that, disclosing that the singer had been in touch with lawyers for the purpose of defending his “freedom of speech.”

Given that there are two months to go before the German dates are intended to take place, it remains distinctly possible that Waters will lose one or more of the four cities still hosting him. The challenge for local politicians is whether they can convert their frequently expressed horror of resurgent antisemitism into concrete action. In this regard, Germany’s recent record is very poor; in the last year alone, the Documenta contemporary art festival exhibited a series of viscerally antisemitic artworks, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of waging “50 holocausts” against the Palestinians while sharing a podium with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and there was a near 40% increase in the number of violent antisemitic incidents—all while its politicians wrung their hands and did very little to curb the phenomenon.

An outright ban on Waters would send the message that Germany is serious about tackling antisemitism beyond mere rhetoric. Yet that is by no means a perfect solution because it does not engage the minds of the legions of fans who are sufficiently unconcerned by Waters’s antics to spend a three-figure sum on a ticket for one of his gigs.

Alongside the argument for a ban on Waters, there must be an even more compelling argument urging his admirers not to indulge his antisemitism and his penchant for dictatorships by buying concert tickets and merchandise. As it stands, however, prospective concert-goers in Berlin are not being challenged to consider the irony of seeing an antisemite like Waters play at an arena named for Mercedes-Benz, which deployed slave labor during the days when the automobile manufacturer was patronized by the Nazi regime.

If the gigs do go ahead, Jewish and anti-racist groups in Germany have pledged massive demonstrations outside the stadiums. These will provide an opportunity to explain why Waters is such a toxic proposition to the masses in attendance. The degree to which they pay heed to this message will give us valuable insight into whether ordinary Germans take antisemitism as seriously as their politicians seem to do.
Whenever someone posts a photo of Palestinian kids with guns, like these:

Israel haters like to respond with photos like these of Israeli kids with guns.

The message they try to convey is that there is no difference.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

As far as I can tell, all the photos they show of Israeli kids are at military museums. The guns aren't loaded, there is plenty of adult supervision, and there is no difference between these kids and kids worldwide who visit their own countries' military museums. 

The Palestinians kids are playing with or shooting real (or realistic) guns, without supervision.

In Israel, there is a specific place and circumstance for guns, which are necessary for defending the nation.  Killing Arabs does not make one into a hero (unless that Arab was in the middle of a terror attack and killing him saved lives.) There are very strict gun control laws. 

For Palestinians, terrorist weapons are meant to be everywhere. Guns are shot in the air all the time. They are shot without aiming. People are encouraged to buy and own their own weapons. There are no rules. There are no Arabic-language manuals on gun safety. There is no NGOs to teach responsible gun ownership or that combat gun proliferation.   (But there are such organizations for Arabs in Israel.

Palestinians who shoot Jews are heroes. You can see kids with guns emulating them in their own homes, streets and even mosques. 

We've seen this year Palestinian kids who were recruited to terror groups and killed while trying to attack Israelis. Still, no NGO dedicated to protect children has said a word against this.

Guns aren't evil in and of themselves. They are a tool. Israelis teach kids to use them responsibly and only as a last resort. Palestinians teach their kids that guns are cool and meant to murder Jewish civilians.

Anyone who can't tell the difference between the two has no moral compass.

(h/t Andrew)

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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



From Ian:

Melaine Phillips: Israel's two-faced allies
America and Britain claim to be allies of Israel. There is no gainsaying the deep links between them of military assistance, intelligence and trade. Israel is the invaluable strategic asset for America and Britain in the Middle East, a crucial bulwark in the defense of the West.

And yet, both America and Britain undermine Israel's security and defense against existential attack by sanitizing, promoting and funding Palestinian Arabs, whose active cause remains the destruction of the Jewish state.

A recent event illustrated this particularly sharply when British diplomatic officials in Jerusalem effectively endorsed the Palestinian Authority's agenda to eradicate Israel.

Palestinian Media Watch has revealed that at last Friday's annual "Palestine Marathon" held by the PA, seven British officials taking part as "#TeamUK" wore marathon T-shirts displaying the PA's map that erases Israel and represents the whole country as Palestine.

The Jewish Chronicle reports that the team consisted of the UK's Deputy Consul General Alison McEwen and Foreign Office colleagues. A picture of the team was tweeted from the official account of the British Consulate in Jerusalem, hailing "the incredible Palestine Marathon to support #FREEDOMOFMOVEMENT for all Palestinians."

Palestinian Media Watch observes that this hashtag was conceived to support the PA's demand that Israel remove the security measures it has adopted to prevent the flow of Palestinian terrorists from PA-controlled areas into Israel's cities.

According to The Jewish Chronicle, the marathon was organized by a group called "Right to Movement," which campaigns against "the many obstacles that we live daily under fascist racist occupation."

The race was held under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organization Supreme Council for Youth and Sports headed by Jibril Rajoub, a man who has been convicted of numerous terrorist offenses and who persistently glorifies Palestinian terrorist murderers.

So these British diplomats took part in an event supervised by a terrorist sympathizer; openly supported the Palestinian Arabs' lie that Israel is subjecting them to "fascist racist occupation"; openly opposed Israel's measures to protect its citizens against attack; and openly endorsed the eradication of Israel altogether.
Biden Is Delivering the Middle East to China
In return for participating, at least partially, in a China-centric economic sphere, Xi is presenting Beijing to the Gulf Arab states as an alternative to Washington for managing the Iranian threat. The Saudis made their Iran focus clear when, in exchange for normalizing relations with Israel, they recently asked the United States for security guarantees, help in developing a civilian nuclear program, and missiles and drones, the very weapons that tilt the regional balance of power in favour of Tehran. In essence, the Saudis said that if Washington will check the rise of Iran, they will participate with Israel in an American-led regional bloc.

Biden perhaps fears that the Saudis are bluffing, that they will pocket any concession the United States makes and still continue to hedge toward Beijing. Or perhaps he fears that Iran will draw the U.S. into a military confrontation. With a war raging in Ukraine and the threat of war looming over Taiwan, neither Biden nor the Pentagon relish the prospect of an escalation in the Middle East.

But American options are diminishing by the day. In the Middle East, the United States cannot outcompete China economically. The Chinese are now the world’s largest purchaser of oil from the region, and they are rapidly expanding their exports to the Middle East. As a great power patron, the only thing that distinguishes the U.S. from China is its military might.

But the Biden team refuses to check Iran militarily. In that case, what good is Washington to Saudi Arabia? Why wouldn’t Riyadh turn eastward? In contrast to Washington, Beijing at least wields influence in Tehran. It is eager to export drones and missiles, it won’t hesitate to provide assistance with a civilian nuclear program, and it won’t deliver sermons on human rights. Best of all, Xi’s grand economic strategy compels him to woo Riyadh.

America’s refusal to build an anti-Iran bloc is delivering the Middle East to China.
ICC issues arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin over Russian war crimes in Ukraine
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Friday against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine, but Moscow said the move was meaningless.

Russia has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its one-year-old invasion of its neighbor.

The ICC issued the warrant for Putin's arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

The court also issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's Commissioner for Children's Rights, on the same charges.

Moscow: ICC's arrest warrant has no bearing on Russia
In the first reaction to the news from Moscow, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel: "The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view."

"Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it."

There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin.

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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 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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