Sunday, December 08, 2019

  • Sunday, December 08, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

It Must Be Heaven is the Palestinian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards in February.

Directed by and starring Elia Suleiman as himself, the plot is that Suleiman escapes the Palestinian territories only to find that he encounters similar problems wherever he goes.

Reviewers love the movie.

Describing himself at the Morocco film festival, Suleiman said "I wish to drown Israel, but I cannot. So I resort to ridicule the reality I live in, What I do is a way to resist .... When we laugh and enjoy a comic scene, time stops and gravity disappears, then we return to resistance, and when you put your feet on the ground and you return to bitter reality, you find strength for resistance."

(h/t WC)

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Saturday, December 07, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The sickening reality of Labour party Jew-hatred
It is horrifying that this party might possibly find itself governing the country after next weeks general election. It is appalling that so many people are planning to vote for it, and that its opinion poll ratings have actually gone up since the Chief Rabbi issued his dramatic warning about the threat it poses to the Jewish community. It is shameful that, in this election campaign, so-called “moderate” Labour candidates are campaigning to put this disgusting party into power.

But above all, this evidence leads to the inescapable conclusion that a spiritual sickness has not just spread within the Labour party but British society. A culture that produces so much derangement and moral depravity as is being directed at Israel and the Jewish people – and has been for decades, long before Corbyn became the Labour leader – is a society that has lost its moral compass.

Of course, Britain has a history of profound and enduring antisemitism. Its literature is infused with it; in the Middle Ages it burned Jews alive in pogroms and eventually threw them out of the country; in the 1930s and 40s, it was an accomplice to the Holocaust by barring European Jews from entry to Palestine, in flagrant repudiation of its treaty obligation as the Mandatory power to settle Jews in their ancient homeland. Its two periods of active philosemitism, under Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century and the heyday of evangelical Christianity in the 19th century, were exceptions to the rule. And there was a period after the Holocaust when antisemitism went underground and was regarded as utterly beyond the pale.

Epidemic Jew-hatred always signals a society in crisis. Its current eruption – which is happening not just in Britain but in America and Europe too – is sounding the alarm not just for diaspora Jews but for a western culture in freefall.
Douglas Murray: You can’t compare Tory Islamophobia with Labour anti-Semitism
In 2017, Darren Osborne drove a truck into a crowd of worshippers leaving prayers at a mosque in Finsbury Park. And yet, to date, Boris Johnson has not campaigned that Osborne should not have been charged, found guilty or sentenced for this appalling crime. So far as I am aware, no elected member of the Conservative Party has pretended that Osborne is some poor, misguided innocent.

And yet this is the sort of act that would have to be found in the ranks of the Conservative Party in order to find an equivalence to Jeremy Corbyn’s support for Samar Alami and Jawad Botmeh — two men who were convicted for a car-bomb attack on a London Jewish charity’s headquarters in 1994. While Corbyn acted as a long-time defender and indeed character referee for the anti-Jewish bombers, no senior Conservative appears to have made Darren Osborne into some kind of sick campaigning cause.

I could go on and on. While the Shadow Chancellor has spent years defending the “bravery” of the IRA when they tortured and murdered hundreds of innocent people, there is no evidence that the present Chancellor, Sajid Javid, ever praised or gave supportive speeches for the Red Hand Defenders or Ulster Volunteer Force. Is such evidence likely to emerge? I suspect not.

So why this strange emphasis from members of the commentariat who like to pretend that they are independent-minded, that they cannot vote for either main party because they are in some way equally bad? Perhaps some of them think it. Perhaps some genuinely cannot tell any differences between the two parties.

But a far more likely explanation is that many of these ‘independent-minded’ columnists are simply far more tribal than they would like the rest of us to think. When the Labour Party is led by a man who has spent his life mainstreaming the vilest and most deadly prejudice of all, the lifelong members of the Labour tribe who recognise that fact still feel too much a part of that tribe to do the one thing that is more appalling than anything to them — which is to switch sides and vote Conservative.

That is the one thing they can never do. And so they come up with ways to reorient the political landscape; to present themselves as being the only people remaining stable while everyone else is disoriented. Whereas they — in their moment of pretended stability — may be the most lost and morally disoriented people of all.

Melanie Phillips: Islamists are not the same as other prisoners
The terrorist attack by Usman Khan on a prisoner rehabilitation conference in London was made possible by two catastrophic and tragic misjudgments.

The first was by the Court of Appeal, which changed Khan’s sentence. At the root of their mistake lay a failure to understand fanatical Islam.

This failure also characterised the second misjudgment, by both the group that had invited Khan to its conference and the probation service which enabled him to attend: believing that he was a reformed character. This was rooted in a deeper refusal to acknowledge the unique challenges of Islamic extremism, a mistake made by most of the justice establishment.

The liberal West wants to believe every criminal is redeemable. Some are. Others are not. Islamic radicalism challenges the liberal orthodoxy that there can be no difference in treatment between groups. The nature and scale of this challenge, however, requires a unique response.

With such observations being silenced as “Islamophobic”, rational concerns for public safety have been stigmatised instead as an obnoxious mental disorder. Unless the establishment gathers its courage and its wits to face that intimidation down, Friday’s atrocity is unlikely to be the last.
Douglas Murray: A picture of our criminal naivety: Ten years ago, DOUGLAS MURRAY was publicly confronted by Anjem Choudary. Standing adoringly next to the hate cleric was an accomplice of the London Bridge murderer. Why ARE we so lax about terror in our midst?
With a notorious reputation for whipping up anti-British Islamist hate, you could be forgiven for thinking that Anjem Choudary is like every other frothing-at-the-mouth Jihadi extremist.

But he's not, as I learnt in 2009 when an invitation to debate him turned into a tense stand-off on a central London street in broad daylight.

As you'll see in the photo on this page, Choudary didn't scream at me. He didn't get up close into my face. In fact, he hardly raised his voice.

Instead, mimicking the manner of a highly learned imam — which he is not — he tried to give out the impression of being a perfectly reasonable fellow. He knew that the thugs around him were doing the intimidating for him.

But as the twinkle in his eye that day revealed, he knew — and I knew — that he was playing a deadly but careful game.

A game intended to keep him just on the right side of the law and stay out of prison.

What both of us knew was that in private it was another matter.

Because behind closed doors he was already proving to be one of the most adept terrorist recruiters in this country.

  • Saturday, December 07, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

This is Hamas Al Qassam Brigades spokesperson Abu Obeida threatening Israel for something or other.

I just love that these people call a press conference but cannot show their faces. Abu Obeida himself seems to favor a red keffiyeh, perhaps to distinguish himself from the other masked people he surrounds himself with.

Hamas even makes poster with quotes from him - still masked!

It is hard to take seriously a group that claims to be so brave when their own spokesman is too scared to reveal his face.

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Friday, December 06, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Anti-Semitism Is a Unique Obsession
Anti-Semitism is not a prejudice like any other. It has unique characteristics applied to no other group, people or cause. It's an obsessional and unhinged narrative based entirely on lies; it accuses Jews of crimes of which they are not only innocent but the victims; it holds them to standards expected of no one else; it depicts them as a global conspiracy of unique malice and power. Anti-Zionism has exactly the same unique characteristics directed against the collective Jew in Israel.

Judaism is indivisibly composed of the people, the religion and the land. To attack the right of the people to the land is to attack Judaism itself. The onslaught on Zionism and Israel has therefore legitimized and encouraged anti-Semitism, with behavior of a malice and virulence directed at no other community.

In Britain there is a false equation of anti-Semitism with anti-Muslim abuse. But Jews suffer proportionately vastly more abuse and attacks than Muslims. Synagogues and Jewish schools have to be under guard and behind barbed wire, not mosques and madrassas.

People can't stand the uniqueness of anti-Semitism because they can't stand the uniqueness of the Jewish people. The refusal to acknowledge the uniqueness of Jew-hatred merely demonstrates precisely that Jew-hatred.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Sanctuary for Gays: Ignored or Jeered at by West
"Israel has always embraced this path [of liberty] in a Middle East that has long rejected it. In a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted, Israel stands out. It is different." – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the U.S. Senate, 2011.

Adam and Rami are among scores of Palestinian members of the LTBGQ community who, in the past few decades, have fled their homes to seek shelter in Israel. Yet, their plight is totally ignored not only by human rights organizations, but by but by people who purport to be advocates of gay rights. This is part of a far more malignant story: when Israel looks good, the international community looks away.

Hate for Israel has blinded people to the point where they align themselves with their own executioners.

alQaws pointed out that some Palestinian groups actually celebrated the police threat against the LTBGQ community, "raising (yet again) disturbing questions about the Palestinian Authority's commitment to human rights."

Palestinian gays have two choices: hide their sexual preferences and lead double lives in their villages, or flee to Israel and live as normal human beings. Groups such as Queers for Palestine, though, are too busy bashing Israel on college campuses and the streets of San Francisco to take much notice of the sanctuary to which their gay Palestinian friends have chosen to relocate.
MEMRI: Algerian Interior Minister Describes Political Opponents as Homosexuals and Traitors
Algerian Interior Minister Salah Eddine Damoune said ahead of the General elections set to take place on December 12, 2019 that "colonialist ideology" exploits "Algerian children – or rather, quasi-Algerians, who are traitors, mercenaries, queers, and homosexuals." His remarks were made on December 3, 2019 on Beladi TV (Algeria). On the same day, Algerian journalist Alsaid Bensedira said on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that the Algerian people demand that the elections be boycotted and the Interior Minister, whom he referred to as "queer effeminate" is fired immediately. He concluded that he doesn't know any homosexuals, if the Interior Minister knows homosexuals he must be one of them.

  • Friday, December 06, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Wikipedia:
Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson (March 21, 1880 – January 20, 1971) was an American actor, writer, film director, and film producer, who is best known as the first star of the Western film genre. He was a founder and star for Essanay studios. In 1958, he received a special Academy Award for being a pioneer of the movie industry.
Anderson was born Maxwell Henry Aronson[2] in Little Rock, Arkansas,[3] the sixth child of Henry and Esther (Ash) Aronson, both natives of New York.[4][5][6] His family was Jewish, his father's parents having emigrated to the United States from Prussia, and his mother's from the Russian Empire.[7]
Here is one of his films:

But perhaps more importantly, Anderson directed this film - about a man who harasses women and how they get him back - which features the first "pie in the face" gag in movie history.

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From Ian:

Caroline B. Glick: Preserving the peace with Jordan
Tuesday Israel’s Channel 13 reported that President Donald Trump’s Deputy National Security Advisor Victoria Coates held a meeting at the White House last week with the ambassadors of Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. She reportedly asked the emissaries to check whether their governments are willing to consider signing non-aggression pacts with Israel.

The story, which the White House did not deny indicates the Trump administration has embraced an Israeli initiative, raised publicly last month by Foreign Minister Israel Katz. The idea is that through the non-aggression pacts, which are less than peace treaties, Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to sidestep the issue of formal relations, replete with embassy opening ceremonies, and simply engage in open relations, for the benefit of all sides.

This has been the central goal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic strategy. For decades, foreign policy practitioners and activists in the US, Europe, and the Israeli left have insisted that peace between Israel and the larger Arab world is impossible so long as Israel has not concluded a peace treaty with the PLO. This view gives the PLO the power to dictate if, when and under what conditions Arab nations will be "allowed" to have normal relations with the Jewish state.

Netanyahu’s goal has long been to rescind the PLO’s veto. By working behind the scenes to build constructive, stable ties with the states of the region predicated on mutual interests, Netanyahu has made great strides in achieving this goal. The very fact that Coates reportedly held the meeting with the Arab ambassadors in the White House is a testament to the success of his efforts.

The dimensions of Netanyahu’s achievement are clear when you compare Israel’s constructive, mutually beneficial ties with states with which it lacks formal peace treaties to its ties with Jordan.
Jonathan S. Tobin: If NATO is going to fight terrorism, it needs Israel
Turkey joined NATO, alongside its historical antagonist Greece, in 1951 – two years after the alliance was founded. Admitting Turkey made sense at that time for two reasons. One was that its strategic position bordering the Soviet Union made it essential to any effort to contain Moscow’s expansionist drive to both undermine the stability of the postwar world and to spread communism. Post-war Turkey was also a thriving secular democracy whose governing parties were interested in becoming part of Europe, rather than focusing on the lost glories of the Ottoman Empire.

But contemporary Turkey is a very different country. In the last two decades, the rise of the AKP Party and its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has transformed an avowedly secular democratic republic into an Islamist authoritarian state. As such, it has turned away from NATO’s mission of defending European democracy. It plays both ends against the middle with respect to Russia by buying a missile-defense system from Moscow and refuses to coordinate security policy with the United States and NATO.

Erdoğan also criticizes NATO for being insufficiently concerned with terrorism. But by that he is referring to the understandable reluctance of the alliance’s members to share his enthusiasm for Turkey’s war on the Kurds. The Turks have attempted to wipe out Kurdish identity inside of their borders and regard Kurdish nationalism elsewhere as a threat to its own sovereignty, despite the sufferings of this group of people. There are, in fact, Kurdish groups considered to be terrorists, but to regard all Kurdish nationalism in that way is deeply wrong. And for a country like Turkey, which has consistently backed the terror group Hamas, the notion that it represents a bulwark against terror is absurd.

At the same time, the United States and NATO rely heavily on Israel when it comes to counter-terrorism. It’s no secret that the intelligence information shared by Israel is vital to US security and that of the alliance. Israel coordinates closely with the Americans and Western Europeans when it comes to the battle against ISIS and the threat from Iran. The joint exercises that America and some other NATO allies conduct with Israel are also an indication that even though the Jewish state is not part of a formal alliance structure like NATO, it is an essential element in the defense of the West. And yet Erdoğan was feted, along with the rest of the NATO leaders, at the anniversary summit in London while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pointedly excluded.

Talk about scrapping NATO – whether it comes from “America First” neo-isolationist Trump supporters or leftists who view the projection of US power as inherently evil – are equally wrong. But if NATO is to continue to play the role in defending democracy that its founders intended, then it will have to change. It can start by figuring out a way to sideline Erdoğan’s Turkey, while either formally or informally bringing Israel inside the alliance.
Britain’s Terrorism Superstitions
On November 29, Usman Khan went on a stabbing spree in central London, killing two and wounding three. The episode, as Theodore Dalrymple puts it, would have seemed too absurd had it appeared in a work of satire: Khan, a previously convicted terrorist who had been released after attending one of Britain’s rehabilitation programs for “extremists,” attacked a conference celebrating one of those programs. Dalrymple writes:
In 2012, Khan, along with eight others, was convicted for plotting to blow up the London Stock Exchange, kill Boris Johnson, then the mayor of London, and plant bombs in synagogues, among other places; he had also planned to set up a military training camp for terrorists on his ancestral lands in Kashmir. His 2019 attack was evidently no flash in the pan or rush of blood to the head. After all, he was a disciple and close friend of Anjem Choudary, the extremist preacher and founder of the now-proscribed Islamist terrorist group, al-Muhajiroun.

Despite the attack, Dalrymple continues, Britons remain in the grip of three “superstitions” propagated by criminologists, sociologists, and psychologists:
The first superstition is that terrorists are ill and are both in need of and susceptible of “rehabilitation,” as if there existed some kind of moral physiotherapy that would strengthen their moral fiber, or a psychological vaccine that would immunize them against terrorist inclinations. The second is that, once terrorists have undergone these technical processes or treatments, it can be known for certain that the treatments have worked, and that some means exist to assess whether the terrorists still harbor violent desires and intentions. The third is that there exists a way of monitoring terrorists after their release that will prevent them from carrying out attacks, should they somehow slip through the net.

All three superstitions are false, though they have provided much lucrative employment for the tertiary-educated and have contributed greatly to Britain’s deterioration from a comparatively well-ordered society to a society with one of the West’s highest rates of serious crime. . . . Meanwhile, the father of the slain young criminologist said that he would not want his son’s death to be “used as a pretext for more draconian sentences.”

  • Friday, December 06, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Israel Hayom:

Palestinian officials expressed "great concern" Thursday over a report by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor that includes a warning that Palestinian stipends to attackers and their families could constitute a war crime.

Ramallah's "pay-for-slay" policy has long been condemned by Israel and the US as a practice that encourages violence. The Palestinians argue these payments are a national duty to families affected by decades of violence.

The Palestinian Authority routinely spends hundreds of millions of dollars on payments to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to the families of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks against Israel.

In 2018, for example, Ramallah spent $135 million on salaries and other payments to terrorists. In 2017, terrorists' stipends came to $358 million – 7% of the Palestinian Authority’s total budget for that year and about 20% of the foreign aid it receives. In 2016, the PA allocated $322 million to these payments.

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Malki said the prosecutor’s office’s report was "based on misleading narratives of a political nature ... rather than an objective and accurate description of the relevant facts."

The actual report by the prosecutor, in the middle of seven pages of allegations against Israel, says:

In addition, the Office has also received allegations that: (i) Palestinian security and intelligence services in the West Bank have committed the crime against humanity of torture and related acts against civilians held in detention centres under their control; and (ii) the PA have encouraged and provided financial incentives for the commission of violence through their provision of payments to the families of Palestinians who were involved, in particular, in carrying out attacks against Israeli citizens, and under the circumstances, the payment of such stipends may give rise to Rome Statute crimes. These as well as any other alleged crimes that may occur in the future require further assessment.

Apparently the prosecutor is just listing things that have been submitted to her; she has not even begun an investigation.

It is interesting that the PA jumps to defend the idea of paying salaries to terrorists, and doesn't even mention or deny the other charge of torture.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Friday, December 06, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ever since November 25,  when the UK's Chief Rabbi wrote an article for The Times of London about how toxic a Labour government would be for Jews, there has been daily coverage in the British press about antisemitism in Labour under Jeremy Corbyn.

The most recent bombshell was the leak yesterday of  the Jewish Labour Movement dossier into the party's handling of antisemitism allegations that was submitted to the UK  Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Among the revelations by Labour members in that document:

One respondent who listed 22 examples of antisemitic abuse at party meetings where he was called “child killer”, “Zio scum”, and “Tory Jew” as well as being told “Hitler was right” and that he was “good with money”.
Another who witnessed a comment at a ward meeting that “the only reason we have prostitutes in Seven Sisters is because of the Jews”.
One member reported that other members defended an individual when they said it was “over-representation of Jews in the capitalist ruling class that gives the Israel-Zionist lobby its power”.
A parliamentary candidate who described a councillor being told by a fellow member to go home and count their money after being deselected.
A speaker at a fringe event at the 2017 Labour conference asserting the right to discuss whether the Holocaust happened.
One respondent reported that the membership secretary in South Tottenham, north London, objected to 25 applications for membership from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, and required home visits to these prospective members’ houses.
Given this wall to wall coverage of the antisemitism in Labour, even by left wing publications, has this had an effect on voter polling?

Since there are many factors and polling is an inexact science, this is difficult to know. Based on two pollsters, YouGov and SavantaComRes who have been polling often, it looks like Labour's numbers were improving from the beginning of November up until the antisemitism story blew up, and since then it has lost only a single percentage point.

It seems possible that people who might have been swayed to change their votes to Labour decided not to since the Chief Rabbi's article, but very few who had already leaned towards Labour changed their minds as a result.

A much scarier graph shows that young people are heavily pro-Labour, and antisemitism seems to bother them not at all.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Friday, December 06, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

We have been told countless times how Muslims have to go through a gauntlet of oppressive checkpoints in Hebron. Entire NGOs are dedicated to documenting every incident and to harass Israeli soldiers.

Yet somehow, for the second Friday in a row, thousands of Muslims  have gone to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the second holiest place in Judaism, to attend dawn prayers.

Hebron activists called on Muslims to come to the site in response to the tens of thousands of Jews who visited Hebron two weekends ago for Parashat Chayei Sarah.

There are no news stories about how Arabs couldn't make it. On the contrary, children were encouraged to rise and pray there, with no worries about Israeli security forces attacking or hurting them.

It is almost like all the news we hear from Hebron is twisted beyond belief.

Last Friday, an estimated 15,000 worshipers attended, which would mean that about 7% of the entire Hebron population went to the infamous H1 area.

Arab leaders freely admit this is a political action, not a religious one. The activists behind this gave it a military type name "The Great Dawn" to, as they said, "emphasize the Islamism of the mosque and protect it from Israeli ambitions."

Campaign activist Muhannad al-Ja'bari said: "We are sounding the alarm. We must protect the mosque and not leave it alone."

The head of the Muslim section of the Jewish holy space said "The mosque is purely Islamic, and there is no right for non-Muslims in it. "

Meanwhile, Saeb Erekat met with Christian pastors in the US and told them that the conflict was political, not religious.

This is only one proof that Palestinians disagree.

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Thursday, December 05, 2019

  • Thursday, December 05, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Something I've been playing with. This one took me about 75 minutes to make (using free video tools.) "My" eyes are shut a bit too often, and it looks like I am winking, but nothing I can do to fix i with the software I have.

Anyway, let me know what you think. I'm trying to keep it at about 2 minutes because you youngsters don't have a long attention span (and I want to be able to Tweet it.)

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

Bari Weiss (published in the NYTs): Inconvenient Murders (free link)
Two years ago, a 27-year-old man named Kobili Traoré walked into the Paris apartment of a 65-year-old kindergarten teacher named Sarah Halimi. Mr. Traoré beat Ms. Halimi and stabbed her. According to witnesses, he called her a demon and a dirty Jew. He shouted, “Allahu akbar,” then threw Ms. Halimi’s battered body out of her third-story apartment window.

This is what Mr. Traoré told prosecutors: “I felt persecuted. When I saw the Torah and a chandelier in her home I felt oppressed. I saw her face transforming.”

One would think that this would be an open-and-shut hate crime. It was the coldblooded murder of a woman in her own home for the sin of being a Jew. But French prosecutors decided to drop murder charges against Mr. Traoré because he … had smoked cannabis.

If France’s betrayal of Sarah Halimi is shocking to you, perhaps you haven’t being paying much attention to what by now can be described as a moral calamity sweeping the West of which her story is only the clearest example. A crisis, I hasten to add, that’s perhaps less known because it has been largely overlooked by the mainstream press.

The most generous read of this enormous blind spot is that the story is not always straightforward; there have been some laudable steps to fight back. On Tuesday, for example, the French Parliament formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism when it passed a motion declaring anti-Zionism a form of Jew-hatred. Yet on the same day, more than 100 Jewish gravestones were found spray-painted with swastikas in a cemetery near Strasbourg — a potent reminder that governments are only as good as the culture and the people upholding them.

So allow me to put it plainly: We are suffering from a widespread social health epidemic and it is rooted in the cheapening of Jewish blood. If hatred of Jews can be justified as a misunderstanding or ignored as a mistake or played down as a slip of the tongue or waved away as “just anti-Zionism,” you can all but guarantee it will be.
The Tikvah Podcast: Avital Chizik-Goldschmidt & Batya Ungar-Sargon on Why No One Cares about Violence Directed at the Orthodox
A Jewish man hit in the face with a brick. An observant woman’s wig pulled off her head. An Orthodox mother and her baby assaulted in the street.

These incidents took place not in 19th-century Russia or pre-war Germany, but in Brooklyn—which has one of the densest Jewish populations in America—in 2019. The recent spike in anti-Semitic attacks in New York against the most visibly Jewish members of our community, the ultra-Orthodox, is a worrying sign in a nation experiencing rising levels of Jew-hatred. Yet the mainstream press and many on the political Left, groups otherwise worried about the supposed rise of racism and bigotry in America, seem blithely unconcerned.

In this podcast, Tikvah’s Jonathan Silver is joined by two Jewish journalists who have given these attacks the attention they deserve. Avital Chizik-Goldschmidt is the life/features editor at the Forward and Batya Ungar-Sargon is the Forward’s opinion editor. Founded in 1897, the Forward has long been a voice of the Jewish Left. Yet among progressives, few have been as honest and clear-eyed as our guests about the ideology that blinds the many on the Left to anti-Semitism directed at the ?aredi community. In this conversation, Chizik-Goldschmidt and Ungar-Sargon discuss the nature of the recent violence in Brooklyn and Monsey, what might be causing it, and why so many in the media have ignored this slow-moving pogrom.
Losing the Semantic War on ‘Palestine’
Referring to the Israel-Palestine conflict also reinforces the idea that the dispute is over land. Often misleadingly described as a fight by two peoples over one land, the reality is more complex, as it involves politics, psychology, history, and religion. In recent years, the Islamization of the conflict has eclipsed other factors, as many Palestinians reject the historical Jewish connection to the land and will not contemplate Jews living on Islamic territory or ruling over Muslims.

The most pernicious aspect of the reference to “Palestine” is to create a false equivalency with the sovereign nation of Israel. Israel is a democracy that shares the values and interests of the West. Palestine does not exist; it may one day in the future, but for now, there is only the Palestinian Authority, which is autocratic, denies its people their basic rights, and does not share the values or interests of the West.

The equation is also a political statement that accepts the position that a Palestinian state already exists. One could argue this is reasonable given that “Palestine” is recognized, according to Wikipedia, by 138 of the 193 member states of the United Nations. That legitimacy is undermined, however, by the fact that the European Union, the United States, and other democracies such as Australia, Japan, Canada, and Mexico do not recognize a Palestinian state.

This usage is another reason for concern about the campus situation. Professors are knowingly presenting their students with this specious formulation, with all the aforementioned implications. Students are ill-equipped to challenge this narrative on the merits and will likely be castigated as anti-Palestinian if they try.

It is unlikely anything could have been done to preempt the shift in language, and now it is yet another genie that cannot be put back in the bottle. The usage is widespread. Still, it is important to point out the bias, inaccuracy, and misleading nature of the word “Palestine” when used in the context of the conflict with Israel.

  • Thursday, December 05, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From a Twitter thread I wrote today:


For the past few weeks, @KenRoth and @hrw have been claiming that Israel not renewing the work permit of an anti-Israel activist shows how Israel treats human rights orgs.

Here's an indication of how many human rights NGOs are in Israel today. (I created this picture.)

Don't believe HRW's lies.
If any country on Earth has more NGOs per square kilometer, and more NGO workers per capita, than Israel, I'd love to know about it.

Yet instead of showing how open Israel is to criticism, these NGOs compete as to who can make Israel look the worst.

It's their business model! 
Their mostly Western funders aren't paying them to find what is good about Israel, or how Israel compares favorably with EVERY other country at war in history. They only pay for dirt, and the workers know that their jobs depend on vilification, not accuracy and context. 
Israel's very openness is what allows more NGOs to criticize Israel more, with more critical reports and articles and tweets, than any other state in history. (Any counterexamples are welcome. Don't think you'll find them.) 
Who will pay to read a report that Israel is more tolerant of Muslims than France (burkini ban) or Switzerland (minaret limits)? No one cares. They want to show Israel is evil, and with enough money thrown at NGOs, amazingly, they find (or create) all the dirt they need! 
It is an entire industry that is funded by people and organizations who generally have a problem with a Jewish state or Jewish sovereignty.

Yet these NGOs, and their funders, have no accountability. No independent audits of their methodology. No fact checkers. No ombudsmen. 
So that's why @KenRoth can keep obsessing over Israel. He, and the other NGOs, have full impunity - the very thing they falsely accuse Israel of.

Besides @NGOmonitor and sites like mine there is essentially nothing that exists to check this power to unfairly vilify Israel. 
Because Israel is indeed the democracy and open society that these NGOs all fall over themselves to say the opposite. 

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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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