Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Friday, February 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)  just unveiled a report called "Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative." The report is book-length, 324 pages long.

It took two years and dozens of authors to write this.

The Foreword says:
There is general agreement that the current state of the Arab world warrants serious concern. Observers concur that the Arab countries appear to be at a development impasse, evidenced by persisting knowledge gaps, fragile economies and the prevalence of human injustice. But when it comes to the reasons for the status quo, or what it will take to change it, agreement gives way to heated debate.

This report, entitled “Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative”, suggests an alternative to the present predicament. Readers may wish to study its ideas and
recommendations, take up those which they find relevant and reflect constructively on how to adapt others that may seem contentious. The report results from an ESCWA initiative conducted with a group of distinguished Arab thinkers from various schools of thought, occupations and regional backgrounds. What unites this eclectic group is a common belief in the role of the Arab world and a shared desire to protect its future. Its members firmly agree on the main aims and recommendations of the report, if not with every detail in it.

In the overview, it says in a pull-quote: Israel’s policies threaten the security of all Arab citizens

Yes - every single Arab citizen is threatened by Israel.

In the speech launching the report, Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of ESCWA and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, said:

The effects of fragmentation have blighted all Arabs; observers cannot but notice the consequences of decades of division and underdevelopment. It is an explosive combination of threats and challenges, characterized by unconstrained foreign interference and human misery.

Foreign interference comes in various forms, such as violations of Arab rights and dignity, but its worst manifestation is the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights and Lebanese territories, in flagrant breach of all international conventions and resolutions.

The authors of the report claim that the damage caused by Israeli policies is not limited to occupation activities, but they believe that aggressive Israeli policies, including its support for discord aimed at establishing Arab sectarian mini-States and its nuclear programme that is not subject to international monitoring, pose a continuous threat to the security of Arab citizens in the region as a whole.

The most dangerous of these policies is Israel's adamancy that it is a Jewish State, which violates the rights of both the Muslim and Christian indigenous populations and revives the concept of state ethnic and religious purity, which caused egregious human suffering during the twentieth century.

The report claims that Arab rights would not have been trampled; Jerusalem would not have suffered under Judaization policies, land confiscation and the expulsion of populations; and Muslim and Christian holy shrines would not have been desecrated if Arabs had stood united and coordinated their efforts, or at least met their existing commitments to joint defence.
This sure sounds like the UN is saying that Israel shouldn't exist, and if only Arabs had been united, that scourge would never have arisen.

It is not surprising that when you get a bunch of Arabs who disagree about everything in a room to write a report about Arab problems, the one thing they will all agree on is to blame Israel. Privately they might think differently, but you will never find any of them to admit it publicly.So naturally the report will be top-heavy on blaming Israel for everything, especially their own disunity. From the report:
Before the State of Israel was established in 1948, the Zionist movement sought to thwart any Arab attempt at unity, or even cooperation. Post-1948, this policy extended to supporting civil wars in the region and sowing sedition among various groups. Israel took advantage of the sectarian and ethnic diversity of Arab countries, stoking feelings of injustice among minorities. In Lebanon, Israel supported certain parties in the civil war and sought to divide the country into a series of sectarian cantons. In the Sudan, it played a role in encouraging secessionist tendencies. In Morocco, Israel sought to strengthen its relations with Amazigh factions, but failed to penetrate the Moroccan social fabric.
Every page of the report indicates that the Arab world will never live with the Western world. It praises Nasser lavishly, even quoting his refusal to speak to Israel after the 1967 war to negotiate Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai.

You will not often see a UN report that praises a war of aggression, but when Israel is the object of such a war, then it becomes admirable:
Israel was to remain an obstacle to Arab unity. It occupied further Arab territories during the 1967 Six-Day War, which ended in the disastrous defeat of the Egyptian army. From then until his death, Nasser waged a war of attrition against Israeli occupation and sought to rebuild the Egyptian army in preparation for another war. He did not live to see the Egyptian army launch a surprise attack on Israeli positions and achieve a military victory in the 1973 October War, with the cooperation of several Arab States and the support of their peoples.

There are lots of lies and ridiculous assumptions in this report - downplaying if not ignoring Arab corruption and infighting and highlighting that the major problems are really everyone else's fault.

You really have to wonder why any enlightened nation give any respect to this thoroughly corrupt, immoral organization.
From Ian:

Richard Silverstein’s racist abuse of Chloe Valdary continues: calls her a ‘house slave’
So, Silverstein, a Comment is Free contributor, has now called Valdary a ‘Negro Uncle Tom’ and a ‘House Slave’!
This blog has previously exposed Silverstein’s defense of Hamas, his suggestion that Israel behaves like Nazi Germany (and, of course, his faux scoops), but after his latest racist outburst is there really anyone who can honestly claim that the Seattle-based Jewish blogger represents anything resembling liberal values?
Anelka gets five-match ban for ‘quenelle’
Nicolas Anelka’s future in English football was in the balance after the former France striker was given a five-match ban on Thursday for making a gesture widely condemned as anti-Semitic.
The Football Association found the French striker guilty of an “aggravated breach” of their rules for making the ‘quenelle’ playing for West Bromwich Albion in a Premier League match away to West Ham in December.
That saw the 34-year-old banned and fined £80,000 ($133,368).
'X Factor' Israel's Rose gets warm welcome upon return to Philippines
Rose Fostanes, the Filipina care-giving singer who took home first prize on Israel's X-Factor, returned to her home country on Wednesday to a warm welcome.
Appearing on popular evening talk show, Aquino and Abunda Tonight, hosted by Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino, who are known as the country's "King and Queen of talk," Fostanes showed off her pipes.

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: Those three no’s – reworded
This in effect is Abbas’s counterpart to Khartoum’s no-negotiation stipulation. Abbas has set up a hurdle so high that, without duplicitous pretense, it becomes unsurpassable and thereby makes genuine negotiations a farce.
Next comes Abbas’s present-day equivalent to Khartoum’s no-recognition proviso. While not identical in wording, its bottom line is no different from the 1967 prototype. Abbas repeats insolently that recognition of Israel as the legitimate nation-state of the Jewish people is out of the question – not now, not ever, no way, nowhere, under no condition.
This isn’t a negligible semantic equivocation. It means a refusal to accede even to the 1947 UN Partition Resolution minimum which determined that the Jewish people deserve a state. To crush said UN Resolution, seven Arab armies attacked the overwhelmingly outmanned and outgunned newborn Israel but lost, triggering their piteous lamentations to this day.
As long as the very notion of the rightful existence of a Jewish state is repudiated, the irredentist ambition to eradicate Israel as a Jewish state will fester and rule out even a remote likelihood of a true and lasting peace.
Why Israel No Longer Trusts Europe
Despite these discouraging experiences, every Israeli military action against radicals in Gaza or Lebanon is met with protests in Europe. Which doesn’t inspire confidence in Israeli leaders that Europe would accept Israel’s right to self-defense if a future Palestinian state in the West Bank became a similar hotbed of extremism and revisionist politics.
It is always comfortable for Europeans to demand that Israel make hard decisions for peace. But Europe must now ask itself some hard questions, too. What guarantees could Europe offer Israel in return for a Palestinian state to protect it if the peace experiment failed and radicals took over the West Bank? Would Europe be ready to offer membership in NATO and the European Union if the Israelis asked for it?
I am not sure there are any promising answers to these questions. But if all Europe has to offer Israel is criticism and disapproval, then it will be part of the problem, not the solution.
Watchdog Group Highlights Anti-Israel Credentials of Amnesty International’s Researchers
As Amnesty International published an anonymous 85-page report condemning Israel on Thursday, NGO Monitor, the Jerusalem-based charity watchdog, highlighted the backgrounds of Amnesty’s researchers, several of whom were full-time anti-Israel activists before joining the human rights group.
Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s international legal counsel, told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “We are not sure who wrote the report because Amnesty doesn’t say — in violation of NGO fact-finding guidelines established by the International Bar Association.”
The cover photography from the report was courtesy of Haim Schwarczenberg, who describes himself as a “photographer and activist in Israel” on the anti-Israel blog Mondoweiss, to which he contributed a report last year. Schwarczenberg’s Facebook account features a stream of hundreds of photos showing Arabs igniting tires to hurl at soldiers, aiming slingshots, and, of course, throwing rocks at the Israel Defense Forces.
Herzberg said that what NGO Monitor has been able to confirm is that “the Israel researcher based in London, Deborah Hyams, was a human shield in Beit Jala; the Amnesty US Israel researcher, Edith Garwood, used to be a member of the International Solidarity Movement. Also, another one of the researchers, Rasha Abdul-Rahim, describes herself as ‘a ranty Palestinian activist‘ on Twitter.”
Naughty NTB doctors amnesty international report
Apart from the cheek of the Amnesty International, it is much more serious that the Norwegian news agency NTB resorts to doctoring the Amnesty report in order to smear Israel (they must have suffered badly from withdrawal pains, there has been pretty much nothing that could be blamed on Israel for several months now) by adding a word that appears nowhere in the AI report: Atrocities.

  • Friday, February 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Earlier today I wrote that the State Department said that Shaun Casey, the head of the State Department's Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, had met with Jews, Christians and Muslims on his recent, unannounced visit to the West Bank. At the same time Yisrael Medad found a third meeting that Casey had with a virulently anti-Israel Christian group during his trip.

Since them I found that Casey also visited Episcopal Bishop Suheil Dawani in Jerusalem. Dawani was once accused by Israel of illegally transferring Jewish-owned lands to Arabs but it does not appear that he was ever tried for this, so I don't know if the accusation was withdrawn or placed on a back-burner.

I have also discovered that Casey visited Muslim leaders - on the Temple Mount.

In a move considered precedent-setting, and the first of its kind since the occupation of Jerusalem, Assistant Secretary of State for Interfaith Affairs Sean Casey met in the dome inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque with Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab, Chairman of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib al-Tamimi, Director General of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Dr. Yousef Natsheh, Director of Tourism and Antiquities in the Islamic Waqf
According to Sheikh Tamimi [Casey] was informed of all Zionist violations related to Al-Aqsa Mosque from the incursions of settlers and abuses of Zionism and breaches.

He said: 'We have provided a detailed explanation of the conditions of Jerusalemites of uprooting and Judaization and blocking of buildings and the demolition of homes, confiscation of land and interfering with the freedom of worship and access to the holy places of all the Palestinian territories.'

The Waqf religious leaders told the assistant secretary to convey the message clearly to the American administration, especially about the violations of the occupation and carried out by extremists against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which may lead to religious conflicts all over the world if the mosque is damaged or if the state of Jordan and the Islamic sovereignty is stripped from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites in Jerusalem.

... In turn, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State said he wants the city of Jerusalem to have safety and security and stability, and "I will truthfully convey what I heard from all of you to the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry."
I am not certain, but I do not believe that Ambassador Dan Shapiro ever crosses the Green Line from the Tel Aviv side. I see no evidence so far that Casey ever went to the Israeli side of the Green Line - every single meeting we've seen so far was in the "eastern" part of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Maybe he arrived from Jordan.

Still trying to find any Jews he might have visited. But judging from what we've seen so far, the only Jews he might deign to visit are "Rabbis for Human Rights."

By the way, I also see that he made a visit to the West Bank in 2011 as part of a Methodist delegation.

So far, nothing I am seeing about Casey is instilling confidence in this new office that he heads.

  • Friday, February 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
After my two posts expressing concern over Shaun Casey, the head of the State Department's Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, and his silent visit to the West Bank with some viciously anti-Israel (and antisemitic) Christian leaders, I asked Matthew Lee of AP if he would ask the State Department about what happened on this trip. (Lee is well known for his relentless questioning of State Department officials. )

He kindly agreed and submitted the questions yesterday. Here was the exchange that happened at today's press briefing:

QUESTION: Okay. So then, on the meetings that Mr. Casey had --
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: -- with the religious leaders, including some that are allegedly anti-Israel, can you – what do you have to say about that?
MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, during his recent trip to the region, Special Advisor Shaun Casey met with a wide range of religious leaders, from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths. So this is – part of the context here is, of course, very important.
QUESTION: Okay, wait. Just before you go on, he did not just meet with Palestinian and Christian leaders? He met with all members of all their different faiths?
MS. PSAKI: Correct. Exactly.
QUESTION: Or leaders of all --
MS. PSAKI: Exactly.
MS. PSAKI: And this was, of course, part of our ongoing outreach to religious communities vis-a-vis the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He also met with local interfaith organizations and international faith-based development groups, and he hopes to continue to engage on an even more diverse range of religious voices in future visits. As you know, this is kind of a newer position and he just came to the State Department a couple of months ago, so this serves an interesting utility in terms of reaching out to faith groups around these important policy issues.
QUESTION: And what do you think of the concerns expressed by some in Israel that he met – that he was giving credibility, credence to anti-Israel figures?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think I would point to the fact that he met with a very broad range of officials from across the faith spectrum. And it’s important to us, it’s important to Mr. Casey, to hear from a range of officials, to have a dialogue with them. And that was the pure purpose of his engagement.
QUESTION: Right. Well, there was one specific meeting that caused some extra concern. Do you – can you say anything about that?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything more to say about it.
QUESTION: All right. 
My very simple question is - what Jewish (and Muslim) leaders did he meet? No one seems to know.

UPDATE: Yisrael Medad found one more Christian site he visited, Bethlehem Bible College.

The President of Bethlehem Bible College, Rev Dr. Jack Sara together with members of the college leadership team, Dr. Bishara Awad, President Emeritus, Dr. Munther Isaac, Mr. Jamal Ateeq and Ms Nisreen Nassar, met Dr. Casey and his officers and together they discussed issues of importance to Palestinian Christians, and in particular, the role of the Palestinian church in politics and in the peace process. They also talked at length about the up-coming Christ at the Checkpoint Conference and the impact that such an international event can have in promoting peace.

"Christ at the Checkpoint" is a virulently anti-Israel conference that last year portrayed Israelis as "The Impossible People" who stand in the way of peace. It has speakers who support the PFLP terror group.

So far, Casey's record of who he secretly visited does not seem to be very conducive to peace.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
I mentioned on Monday that Haaretz made up some numbers of Israelis who boycott settlements pretty much out of thin air, because Gush Shalom assumed that everyone who visited their webpage listing settlement products were boycotters.

People then asked in the comments where to get this list so they could buy these products themselves!

Usually, when you see lists of Israeli products made by Jews across the Green Line, they are mostly wines and artwork. This is all very nice but I would like something more practical.

Luckily, the people who hate Israel already spend hour upon hour trying to figure out which products are made in Israel and in Judea and Samaria, so we don't have to!

And one product that Israelis excel at is toys.

According to the hate site Inminds, no less than five toy manufacturers with international reputations are based out of, or have factories or stores in, the settlements. These toys help children develop cognitive and motor skills. If the haters want to boycott them and keep their kids at a disadvantage because of their disgust for Jews living across a non-existent border, that's fine by me.

TinyLove makes innovative toys for babies. Check out this video, showing only one of their many products:

Inminds, while telling us to boycott Tiny Love, mentions that "in 2004 the company held a 25 percent global market share for musical mobiles and activity gyms."

The boycotters also helpfully inform us that "the popularity of Tiny Love products has opened the doors for the marketing of Shilav children's clothing abroad, which has also proved successful." And that "one of the stores of Tiny Love parent company Shilav is located on the West Bank in Shilat in no-mans land."

Isn't that great? The haters do the research for us!

Any parent that decides do deprive their baby of these award-winning toys because of their hate for Israel  is a pretty lousy parent. Then again, who would have guessed that people who are so obsessed with telling others to boycott the Jewish state were bright to begin with?

Now we know where to get the perfect gifts for families welcoming newborns. They are wonderful to help with a baby's development, they are Israeli products, and they drive the haters insane. How much better can it get?

More great toy companies in upcoming posts.

UPDATE: A commenter noted that Tiny Love was sold to a Canadian company last month.

From Ian:

Scarlett Johansson defends herself for first time since Super Bowl SodaStream ad which saw her dropped as Oxfam ambassador for breaching charity's Israeli boycott
She quit her role as Oxfam ambassador in a row over her controversial Super Bowl advert for SodaStream - and chose to keep her links with the Israeli fizzy drink firm.
Now speaking for the first time since she severed her ties with the humanitarian group, Scarlett Johansson insists she never saw herself as a role model in the first place.
In an interview with Dazed magazine, Johansson did not directly address the row with Oxfam, but said: 'I don’t see myself as being a role model; I never wanted to step into those shoes.
The 29-year-old actress said she had a 'fundamental difference of opinion' with the charity after it said it opposed all trade from Israeli settlements because they say it is illegal and denies Palestinian rights
Forgotten Even By Us: Judaism’s Historic Ties to Israel
With Palestinian Arabs claiming Canaanite descent, the Jewish people must make their case for their historical ties to the land of Israel. The biblical era, from Israelite origins in the land through the Second Temple’s destruction, is well-known in the West. The tenacious continued Jewish presence thereafter isn’t.‎
Former President Carter voiced a widely-believed misperception when he wrote regarding the year 135 CE: “Romans suppress(ed) a Jewish revolt, killing or forcing almost all Jews of Judaea into exile.” But the forgotten fact is that the Jews never left.
The great significance of this, stated by eminent British historian James Parkes, is that Jews have always had strong ties to the land due to the “heroic endurance of those who had maintained a Jewish presence in The Land all through the centuries, and in spite of every discouragement,” which gave the Zionists’“real title deeds.” Every ruler in between was a foreign invader, and mostly non-Arab at that. The homeland Jewish Yishuv saw them all arrive and depart.
Irreconcilable Conflict
Literary editor of the New Republic Leon Wieseltier is calling a new book written by his TNR colleague John Judis, a senior editor, “shallow, derivative, tendentious, imprecise, and sometimes risibly inaccurate” and also “insulting” and “nasty.”
The scathing remarks are contained in an email Wieseltier sent to historian Ron Radosh praising his negative review of the Judis book, which argues that Israel should not exist. Marty Peretz, the longtime former editor of TNR, remarked in 2010 that on the Middle East, “John Judis knows zero.”

  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

In an Al-Arabiya TV interview, Kuwaiti columnist Fouad Al-Hashem, talking about the tendency of the Arab peoples to idolize leaders, said that they "need to have large portions of their brains examined."

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on January 16, 2014.

Fouad Al-Hashem: The late Saudi author Abdallah Al-Qusaimi wrote in one of his books that the Arabs are “all talk.” The truth is that the Arabs are, in fact, “all mental” – they need to have large portions of their brains examined.


I’ve come to believe that the entire issue of the robbing of Palestine was not just in order to establish a homeland for the Jewish people, but to enable the Arab and Muslim rulers to go on peddling this cause. Thus, they have turned their peoples into laughingstocks, and have managed to rule their countries.

Take Saddam Hussein, for example. As a Kuwaiti, this example is the most relevant to me. When he invaded Kuwait, he threatened to hang the bodies of the Americans from the walls of Baghdad. During his trial, Saddam said to the judge: “Without the Americans, neither you nor your father could have dragged me here.”

Interviewer: Besides, despite everything that Kuwait did for Iraq, when the moment came, Saddam decided to invade Kuwait, not Jerusalem.

Fouad Al-Hashem: This is another indication of the stupidity of this leader, who is still considered a hero by millions of Arabs. Saddam had already won the hearts of 90% of the Kuwaitis, and did not need to invade Kuwait and occupy it with his tanks. If only he had been smarter... I kept asking myself whether he was a collaborator, a madman, or a fool.


In my view, on Judgment Day, 90% of the inhabitants of Hell will be Arabs and people who pretend to be pious Muslims.


When Operation Cast Lead broke out between Hamas and Israel, I was one of the harshest critics of Erdoğan and his inflammatory statements. I warned the Arab youth and the Gulf citizens about him, and I was sentenced to prison for this. If not for the integrity of the Kuwaiti justice system, I would have spent months behind bars because of my articles against Erdoğan. People followed him as if he was a new prophet.

Today, however, 4-6 years later, Erdoğan has been exposed, and people see someone different from the man they used to idolize.

Hizbullah has also become disillusioned with Erdoğan. Nasrallah himself used to refer to him in his speeches as “the good Erdoğan,” and used to place him on the same pedestal as Ché Guevara and the great freedom fighters, whose people still talk about them to this day.

Even Hassan Nasrallah, who talked about bombing “beyond Haifa” – where have his aspirations shifted to? Talk of “beyond Al-Qusayr” and “beyond Aleppo” has replaced “beyond Haifa” and “beyond Tel Aviv.”
Notice that even intellectual Arabs, those engaged in self-criticism,  take it for granted that it is desirable to bomb Israel.
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
AP's Josef Federman writes:

Israel has opened a new front in its attempts to halt weapons smuggling to Hezbollah, striking one of the group's positions inside Lebanon for the first time since the sides fought a war eight years ago.
Hezbollah attacked Israeli soldiers in a border incident in 2010. An IDF soldier was shot and killed on that border in December. There have been a dozen rocket attacks on Israel from Lebanese territory in recent years.

But Arab attacks from Lebanon to Israel are meaningless, in AP's estimation. Only Israel acts aggressively and recklessly. Just read on:

This week's airstrike, meant to prevent the Islamic militant group from obtaining sophisticated missiles, is part of a risky policy that could easily backfire by triggering retaliation. But at a time when the Syrian opposition says Hezbollah has been striking major blows for President Bashar Assad's government in neighboring Syria by ambushing al-Qaida-linked fighters there, it shows the strategic importance for Israel of trying to break the Syria-Hezbollah axis.
Hezbollah firing rockets or shooting soldiers isn't a risky policy. Hezbollah illegally acquiring advanced missiles isn't a risky policy that could backfire. Israel having the audacity to defend itself, though, is a risky policy.

While Israeli experts agree that Israel would never want to help al-Qaida, in this case Israel and the al-Qaida-linked fighters have as a common goal opposing Hezbollah and its alliance with the Syrian government. This puts them at least indirectly on the same side.
Say what?

Would AP ever report that the EU and USA, by demanding that Assad step down, is "indirectly" on the same side as Al Qaeda??

What is sad is that this sort of biased, amateur reporting is the norm.

(h/t Irene)

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas: Teaching Human Rights is Against Palestinian, Islamic Culture
What is also worrying Hamas is that UNRWA is seeking to teach Palestinian children about the disastrous repercussions of wars and violence by depicting a child burning a military uniform. "This does not serve the cause of human rights," the Hamas official said. "They want to raise children on calmness."
The Hamas protests forced UNRWA to suspend its plan to teach the subject of human rights in its schools. Some Palestinians criticized UNRWA for "succumbing" to threats, while others said they were aware that the international agency had no choice but to comply.
In an attempt to calm Hamas, UNRWA denied that its school curriculum contravened Palestinian tradition and culture.
A spokesman for UNRWA said that his agency consults with "all components of Palestinian society" about its human rights courses.
Hamas's real problem with the UNRWA curriculum is that it could spoil the Islamist movement's ongoing efforts to stir the hearts and minds of Palestinian children to wage jihad against the "enemies" of Islam.
Hamas wants Palestinian children to be taught how to become suicide bombers and seek the death of Jews and "infidels."
Israeli Foreign Ministry report on PA incitement with links to PMW reports
This week, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release criticizing Palestinian Authority incitement. The government's release included a section entitled "Examples of Incitement" with examples taken from Palestinian Media Watch reports. PMW welcomes the Israeli government's utilization of our findings. Below is a shortened version of the MFA press release into which we have added links to the original PMW bulletins to enable viewing of the videos, reading of the full translated texts and citation of the original sources:
IAEA nixed delicate report on Iran nuclear program
A UN report on Iran’s nuclear program was shelved by the International Atomic Energy Agency for fear that publicizing sensitive information contained within the report would anger Tehran and harm the international community’s efforts to reach an interim agreement with the Islamic Republic, Reuters reported Thursday.
Sources familiar with the subject told the news agency that the IAEA had planned last year to issue the report, which contained what one source called worrying information about the state of Iran’s nuclear program. This may have included new information on the possible military aspects of the program.
But officials decided against it after Iran and Western powers announced they would begin negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.

  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

David Ze'ev Jablinowitz is an English-language Kol Israel reporter. This is from his Facebook page:

So I'm speaking on a US campus, and during the question time that followed my remarks, a student asks how it can be that Judaism is older than Islam if the State of Israel wasn't established until 1948.
He adds:
This anecdote is part of an upcoming article; will keep you posted.
I am looking forward to it!

A commenter asked him what he answered, and he replied, "We have a little work to do here."

Unfortunately, he wouldn't say what campus he was on at the time.

(h/t Yisrael Medad)

  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestine Press Agency reports that two nights ago people attacked a Latin church in Gaza City, and they spray painted slogans against attacks on Muslims in the Central African Republic.

The attackers tried to blow up a car belonging to the pastor, Father Jorge Hernández, but their Molotov cocktail failed to ignite.

Before they left the scene the attackers wrote that they vowed revenge for the Muslims in the Central African Republic, writing "The days of you O worshipers of the cross, in revenge for the Muslims in Central Africa."

Gaza has about a thousand Christians remaining after a series of attacks in the early days of Hamas rule.
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
As I mentioned yesterday, Amnesty released a ridiculously biased report against Israel this morning. Now that the report is released, we can confirm Amnesty's bias.

Here is their commentary on one incident, in August in Qalandiya, where the IDF fired live ammunition at stone throwers:

Although the army stated that Palestinians were posing a danger to Israeli soldiers’ lives when the latter opened fire, the fact that one soldier only was lightly injured in the incident inevitably raises the question whether the Israeli soldiers who used live ammunition gunfire against the Palestinians protesters acted proportionately or resorted to the use of lethal force when this was not justified.

Here is video of the incident. Notice the size of the stones being thrown, including those stockpiled on the roofs, as well as some stones coming from much higher roofs that are out of the view of the camera:

Nah, nothing life-threatening about that!

According to Amnesty, the IDF must wait until a soldier is killed before using lethal force. I guess there is a concept in international law that I am unaware of that you may not defend yourself until you are physically injured first.

Or does that only apply to a single party?

A quick comparison:

This report on Israel killing (by Amnesty's count) 22 civilians in 2013 is 87 pages long.  It goes into detail about every single one of those deaths, humanizing the victims and interviewing multiple friends of each, al lin an attempt to paint Israel in the worst light possible.

Amnesty's report about Egyptian repression since July 2013, where 1400 people were killed, is only 49 pages long. It only provides details on a few specific cases, and most of those aren't even for people being killed but for other violations of human rights.

In the report about Israel, Amnesty serves as judge and jury in its "conclusions and recommendations:"

Israeli soldiers have repeatedly committed serious human rights and humanitarian law violations, including unlawful killings, in response to Palestinian opposition and protests in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The cases documented in this report represent only a minority of the cases that have occurred over recent years and which follow a general pattern, in which Israeli forces use excessive, often lethal, force against Palestinians who pose no threat to their lives or the lives of others. Soldiers are permitted to do so effectively with impunity – inasmuch as the official system established to investigate alleged human rights violations or other abuses by Israeli soldiers is neither independent nor impartial. This creates a situation of absolute absence of justice and the growing environment of impunity which the Israeli army and police enjoy
But for Egypt, Amnesty makes no such determinations. It does not flatly accuse Egyptian forces of human rights violations. It is merely "concerned" about the 1400 deaths, sexual abuse cases and destruction of basic freedoms:

Amnesty International is concerned that the Egyptian authorities are utilizing all branches of
the state apparatus to trample on human rights and quash dissent. Armed with repressive
legislation, including the latest assembly law; unaccountable security forces ready to
implement it against political opponents; and a complacent judicial system that punishes
critics while allowing perpetrators of human rights violations to walk free – the Egyptian
authorities have the necessary tools to take the country further on the path of repression.
Unless, the authorities change course and comply with commitments to respect human rights
and the rule of law, the future of Egypt looks bleak and the hopes of the “25 January
Revolution” have little chance of becoming a reality.

The anti-Israel bias is blatant.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
If you haven't seen this yet, you have got to check it out. From The Daily Caller:
A student at the University of California Los Angeles broke down in tears after the student government voted against the resolution she favored, which would have condemned the state of Israel and asked the university to support divestment.

The unnamed student was taking notes at the meeting where the vote occurred, according to Legal Insurrection. After the result — a 7-5 vote against the anti-Israel resolution — was announced, the student began crying hysterically and swearing at the student representatives for their failure to take a firm anti-Israel stance.
I wasn't going to post this, but I promised commenter jzaik that I would if he could provide a transcript. It is far from complete but it is the best anyone has. And even his best guesses are funny.

I never talk and I'm always like
(I don't always on the side..)
I always like respect all of you all so much.
But I've never been more F'ing disappointed than tonight.
Voting yes......Terrorize.
I respect all of you all so much.
I'm not like trying to be..
I'm so deep throat?
And I always bite my tongue through these meetings.
But I have my opinions
But I've never been so F'ing disappointed than tonight.
And we could've stopped it.
And we F'ing blew it.
I'm sorry. 12 hours
I'm sorry I'm like
And I'm just so disappointed.
I just want you to know that like
I know I've like done it all the time
But like..I still think it
And there were so many.....
I don't understand...
last thing
he got Paris.
it was just so terrible
And my sister was like
Cause she saw me on live screen
She's like oh what's wrong...why are you crying?
The whole world should be crying right now.

UPDATE: I couldn't resist.

From Ian:

Norwegian Store Chain Drops SodaStream Boycott
MIFF notified Staples it would publicize that Staples was a boycotting company, thus potentially hindering its international sales. Staples announced: “We want to make it clear: We still sells SodaStream. We take no position on political issues.”
General data shows BDS organizations have failed not only with Staples and SodaStream, but in regards to all trade between Israel a Norway. Norway’s Bureau of Statistics has recently published the preliminary figures for Norwegian external trade in 2013, and statistics show that Norwegian imports from Israel were at a total of 807 million Norwegian Krones (NOK), ($131 million), up from 761 million NOK in 2012.
In fact, for the fifth consecutive year imports from Israel to Norway have increased more than imports from other countries.
California Chapter of ASA refuses to apply anti-Israel academic boycott
Despite the ASA Executive Committee attempt to shut down the flow of information to me from ASA Regional Chapters, I again reached out to multiple Chapters as to whether the boycott would be applied at the regional level.
I can confirm that one of the most active ASA Chapters — the California American Studies Association (CASA) — will not apply the boycott to any of its activities, incuding the upcoming regional conference in April in Berkeley.
…. CASA has no intention of adhering to the ASA resolution; the boycott guidelines will not be applied to our upcoming conference in April…. The CASA officers discussed the ASA resolution, and we all agreed that CASA would not abide by the boycott.
UCLA Student Council rejects anti-Israel divestment resolution
After an all-night session, the UCLA student council defeated an ant-Israel divestment resolution by a vote of 7-5. (Featured image is moment vote announced.)
The vote received enormous attention, and was trending in the U.S. on Twitter.
This is a huge defeat for BDS on campus. Divestment resolutions recently were overturned at UC-Riverside and defeated at UC-Santa Barbara. I can’t say whether this is a national trend, but it does signify that pro-Israel students now are more organized than in the past.
BDS bad Karma: Co-op to report worst results in history
The Co-op Group's losses for 2013 are expected to be greater than £2bn, by far the worst in its history, when they are announced on 26 March.
I also understand that as the first stage in trying to revitalise the group as a whole, its chief executive, Euan Sutherland, will tell members of the Co-op's regional boards on Saturday that its substantial farming operation, which includes 15 farms, will be sold.
He will also reveal that Co-op is actively considering the sale of its 750 pharmacies, which generated revenues of £764m in 2012. "They are likely to be sold, but a formal decision hasn't yet been made," said a source. (h/t Rabbi Burns)

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
A new Jordanian group to boycott Israeli goods has started going to stores in Jordan to ensure that they do not sell any "enemy" products.

When stores are found to adhere to the boycott, they are asked to prominently display this tasteful poster of a bloody handprint on an Israeli flag so people know they can buy goods safely there.

The poster says:

Don't pay the price of the bullet that kills our sons 
This store has no enemy products

The Nasheron gathering - cleansing initiative

According to the organizers, 30% of Jordan's shops already don't sell Israeli goods, 50% weren't aware of the issue and are willing to join the boycott, and 20% don't care.

Judging from the history of anti-Israel boycotts, we can expect soon to see violent threats and physical attacks against stores that sell Israeli goods in Jordan.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Tomorrow, Amnesty International is releasing a new anti-Israel report.

Before it is even released, we already know how ridiculously biased against Israel it will be - because of the title.

It is called "Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank."

Let's look at some numbers.

Last year, according to B'Tselem and the UN, the IDF killed 27 Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank. Compared to 2012, when 8 were killed in 2012, that is a 237% increase. It can be assumed that Amnesty will trumpet that number as evidence of the "trigger-happy" IDF.

What the report won't calculate is the percentage increase of Israeli deaths at the hand of West Bank Palestinian Arabs during the year. You see, in 2012, there were no Israelis killed by Arabs from the WB, but in 2013 there were five.

That's not an increase of 237% or 1000% or a million percent. That is an increase of infinity percent.

If Amnesty is going to compare percentages between two years, they should do it for both sides of the equation. But you know they won't, just like the UN didn't.

Now, let's return to the title.

Of the 27 killed, according to B'Tselem, the vast majority were either known terrorists, were involved in throwing stones or Molotov cocktails at soldiers, or were resisting arrest raids. Maybe 5 or 6 were in the wrong place at the wrong time during riots.

That isn't exactly wonderful, but it is a far cry from "trigger happy." One killed every two weeks when there are several violent riots every week, and over 75% of those killed being involved in attacking the soldiers first or being terrorists, is hardly a bad record and far from indicating the IDF being "trigger happy."

In contrast, in Egypt earlier this year, in a single day, over 54 protesters were killed. since July there have been nearly 1500 killed by Egyptian security forces. They are not called "trigger happy" by Amnesty.

In the Ukraine, more than 70 protesters were killed last week. Amnesty did not call Kiev's police "trigger happy."

Venezuela killed 11 protesters in the past couple of weeks. Nothing about them being called "trigger happy" by Amnesty.

Amnesty has never titled any other of its reports with the phrase "trigger happy."

All the others countries, while perhaps acting excessively, aren't as anxious to kill as those bloodthirsty, trigger-happy Zionist Jews, if reading Amnesty's report titles indicates anything.

We already knew that Amnesty was hopelessly biased. I've seen it first hand.

This is just another in the long line of examples, and yet another reason to prove that at least when it comes to Israel, Amnesty is utterly untrustworthy and hateful.

(h/t NGO Monitor)

From Ian:

Ex-Gitmo detainee latest to be suspected of terrorism
Western human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, promoted Begg's account of his experiences as a U.S. detainee but their association with him was controversial even among their own staffers.
Gita Sahgal, who headed Amnesty International's gender unit, was suspended by the organization in 2010 after objecting to Amnesty's association with Begg, whom she described as a leader of a pro-jihadi group and "Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban," according to the London paper The Guardian.
The arrest of a former Guantanamo prisoner in England on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism is the latest example of a failed release program that is setting free unrepentant jihadists, an analyst says.
United Kingdom authorities on Tuesday arrested Moazzam Begg, a British citizen of Pakistani descent, on suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism in Syria. Three others were arrested with him.
Guardian fails to reveal that Brit arrested for terror is ‘Comment is Free’ contributor
As we first learned from Guido Fawkes, Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who became a spokesman for the “human rights” group Cageprisoners, was arrested by British police on Tuesday morning for terror offences which he is alleged to have committed in Syria.
Begg is widely believed by American intelligence officials to have been a jihadist involved with Al-Qaida and reportedly attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the UK “so he could assist in waging jihad against enemies of Islam.” Begg reportedly assisted several prominent terrorists, recruited young operatives for jihad and provided financial support for terror camps.
Amnesty International Report Reflects Lack of Expertise and Methodology
Report based on faulty data calls for sanctions, coincides with annual BDS campaign
Jerusalem – A report scheduled to be released by Amnesty International tomorrow, Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, falsely and maliciously accuses Israel of “callous disregard for human life,” according to analysis by NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research organization. The report also repeats Amnesty’s calls for political warfare against Israel, in the form of an arms embargo.
“Amnesty International accusations are reckless, blatantly biased, and reflect the lack of a credible research fact-finding methodology,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Amnesty lacks the expertise and credibility to analyze or assign blame for deaths in the context of violent confrontations in the West Bank. As in the past, the allegations in this report repeat unverifiable Palestinian ‘testimony.’”

From Peter Beinart in Haaretz:
Last spring, some students at New York’s most prestigious Orthodox Jewish high school, Ramaz, eager for a greater diversity of perspectives on Israel, invited me to speak to their club. I did - and enjoyed it immensely - but told them I hadn’t solved their problem. If they wanted a truly open discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I ventured, they needed to do more than hear from both hawkish and dovish Zionists. They needed to hear from Palestinians.

To my surprise, they asked me to help make it happen. I recommended Columbia Professor Rashid Khalidi, partly because he’s a world-renowned expert on Palestinian history and partly because I know Orthodox Jewish graduate students who consider him a mentor and friend. Khalidi agreed; the students were thrilled. He was set to speak on February 19.

Next thing I knew, the head of the Ramaz Upper School had canceled the talk and students had gathered a petition demanding “open dialogue” about Israel.

...What does it say about the administrators at Ramaz that after immersing their high school students in a passionately Zionist environment for years and years, they lack the self-confidence to expose them to one lecture from a Palestinian?
When Peter Beinart was the editor of the ill-fated "Open Zion" experiment, he did not seek to include a single Jewish resident of Judea and Samaria as a regular writer. (He had one token right winger, and people he claimed were right-wingers but who support a two-state solution.)

I have never seen a Jewish resident of Judea and Samaria invited to speak at any event at Amnesty International, at Human Rights Watch, at any non explicitly Zionist event at any university, at any "Jewish Voice for Peace" event, or at any "Peace Now" event.

Why isn't Beinart deriding all of these groups for being against "open dialogue?" Doesn't their failure to invite right-wing Zionists to speak prove their lack of self-confidence in their positions?

Oh, no. Only right wing Zionists and right wing Orthodox Jews are uninterested in dialogue.

The media is filled with anti-Zionism as a given. The idea that Jews have a right to live in their ancestral lands - even those legally purchased by their very grandfathers - is anathema in the press. Right-wing Zionists are far, far more exposed to leftist opinions than vice versa. The extent of leftist knowledge of right-wing Zionist positions is that they are all either religious fanatics or hell-bent on ethnic cleansing; they could not even fathom any arguments for Jews living in Judea and Samaria based on international law, human rights or basic ethics. I've seen their arguments, and they do not usually go beyond proof by assertion. Doesn't that betray a lack of self-confidence in their positions?

Beinart, supposedly so interested in openness, only advocates openness for one side.

High school students don't exactly have the most mature knowledge of subject matter, yet Beinart insists that Zionist students be exposed to positions that go against their upbringing and their parents' wishes. But right-wingers are not welcome by leftist groups meant for adults!

Who is lacking self confidence?

Are there any Catholic high schools that would invite an atheist to speak to their students? Are there any that would invite gay activists to speak to their students? For that matter, would any public high schools ask people who advocate open marriages to speak? Would they invite the people behind websites that encourage people to cheat on their spouses to discuss Internet entrepreneurship? Isn't everything fair game? Doesn't this show a lack of self-confidence?

Or is that only an issue for Zionist Orthodox Jewish high school students?

If Ramaz students want to hear from Khalidi, there is no shortage of ways for them to access his books and articles. No one is stopping them. But that doesn't mean that their private school must invite an entire gamut of opinion that is antithetical to what that school teaches. This is common sense - to all except Peter Beinart.

Even worse, Khalidi - who Beinart praises so highly and wants to speak to young Zionists - is a liar. He claims that the 1936 riots that killed hundreds in Palestine were "non-violent." He claims that Jews are not a people. He lies about Avigdor Lieberman's positions. His history is filled with inaccuracies.  And here we see that he pushes bizarre conspiracy theories.

So Beinart wants a lying, viciously anti-Israel activist who is against a two-state solution to spout propaganda  to impressionable young Jews, but he does not say a word about dedicated Zionists making a fair case to non- and anti-Zionists. (Of course, Beinart's brand of "Zionism" is the most right-wing that is acceptable for dialogue, everyone to the right of him must not be heard.)

Is that hypocritical? You bet.

(h/t Alex)

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Hezbollah on Tuesday charged Israel with planning to demolish the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Now, where have I heard that before?

Maybe in 1929.

And in 1931, seen here.

And in 1936.

And 1991.

And in 2001.

And in 2007.

And in 2009.

And in 2010.

And in 2012.

And in 2013. Including from Abbas.

It sure takes a long time to do a simple demolition job, doesn't it? It's taking Israel longer to destroy it than it took people to build it!

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Sunday, the Egyptian army held a press conference where they announced that after years of research, they have developed cures for the AIDS and hepatitis C viruses.

The cures are virtually total and there are no side effects, according to the spokesmen.

The cure seems to be a combination of pills and some sort of medical device. It was found ten years after the army came up with a simple device to detect the viruses.

After animal testing, clinical trials showed a near-100% cure rate.

According to documents shown in this stirring video announcement, the devices use "innovative electro-magnetic signals"  to eliminate the diseases.

Here is a picture of the device that either detects or cures the disease. It does not touch the patient at all!

The President of Egypt as well as General Sisi and other officials praised the announcement.

Unfortunately, a leading Egyptian scientist is raining on this parade.

Dr. Essam Heggy, Science Advisor to the President of the Republic, launched a sharp attack on the invention, describing the innovation as a "scientific scandal." In remarks to Al-Watan newspaper, he said that the invention is not convincing and has no scientific basis and this is clear from the demonstration of the device which was broadcast on TV. In addition nothing about this "cure" has been published in any prestigious scientific journals.

"In my personal opinion this hurts the image of the state, and would be counterproductive in scientific research, and I had hoped that there will be greater advanced warning about what was said in the dissemination of such information," Heggy said.

"I want to be clear and explicit, what has been said and published about the invention of the armed forces hurts the image of scientists and science in Egypt; the foreign press will translate the press conference announcing the invention and it will be used negatively in abusing the image Egypt internationally."

UPDATE: MEMRI  has video, and it is hilarious:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
JTA picked up on my scoop about the anti-Israel ASA conference scheduled for NYU this weekend:

The New York University American studies program’s annual conference this year is focused on the boycott-Israel movement and dominated by its supporters.

The student-organized conference is scheduled to take place this Friday and Saturday and is titled “Circuits of Influence: U.S., Israel and Palestine.”

A flyer advertising the conference promises discussion on how “recent American Studies scholarship on the political economy of racialization, empire, and settler colonialism led the highlighting of this particular ‘triangle.’”

The flyer notes the American Studies Association’s decision in December to boycott Israeli educational institutions.

Lisa Duggan, a professor of social and cultural analysis at NYU who is the president-elect of the ASA, is moderating one of the conference’s panels, on the “History & Efficacy of Boycotts.”

Individuals and organizations identified with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement feature throughout the conference.

The conference’s three workshop sessions are all led by representatives of groups that advocate for various Israel-related boycotts: Adalah-NY, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. These sessions focus on activism, with titles like “Movement Building,” “Student Organizing” and “Public Engagement.”

A pro-Israel blog, Elder of Ziyon, on Sunday re-posted the conference flyer after Duggan posted it on Facebook. In a comment below her Facebook post, Duggan asked that the flyer not be widely distributed, writing, “We are trying to avoid press, protestors and public attention.”
NYU downplayed the event:
In a statement issued to JTA, New York University said that the conference was intended for academics, not the press or the public.

“This weekend’s American Studies Program Annual Conference is an annual academic conference that is organized by graduate students in NYU’s American Studies Program and designed for faculty and students in this and related disciplines,” said Philip Lentz, the university’s director of public affairs. “Given the purpose of the conference and space considerations, it is not open to the general public or the press.”

Duggan told JTA in an email that nothing was unusual about how the conference was planned or announced.

“It is not ‘secret,’ it is simply a limited registration academic conference, not a public event,” she wrote in her email.

She said that the student organizers did not deserve to be caught up in “the maelstrom of publicity surrounding the ASA boycott vote.”

“I wish our students could have their conference in relative peace and obscurity, as is usual for their conferences,” she wrote.
This is somewhat contradicted by Duggan's Facebook post about the conference, where she urged like-minded Israel bashers to "Feel free to share [the conference invitation] with friends, colleagues and grad students." She said nothing about limiting it to faculty and students only.

Likewise, the registration page says nothing about the conference only being intended for academics and students. And neither did the flyer.

It appears that this limitation on who could attend was created after the publicity from my scoop. I am quite certain that if Mondoweiss or Electronic Intifada wanted to send someone to report about the conference, no one there would have objected. In fact, I still expect them to post articles about the conference afterwards.

NYU is simply covering for its American Studies Program and trying to avoid bad publicity.

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Ian:

Palestinian State of Failure
A fascinating discussion from Jonathan Schanzer on the John Batcheler show.
Listen to the whole thing and learn yourself something.
I was not aware, until Batcheler’s introductory comments, about the NYC bomb plot targeting Golda Meir. Guess who uncovered the plot. The NSA.
Note how Fatah was formed in 1959, 8 years before the “occupation” of the West Bank. It’s never been about the West Bank, it’s been the failure to recognize Israel, and the use of the “peace process” as just a stepping stone.
Schanzer’s book is State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State.
The punching bag bigots of anti-Israel boycotts
The question worth asking would be; what drives elements like Hamas and Hezbollah to hate Israel. It is not about the “settlements”, the “refugees” and the “occupation”. It is about the very existence of Israel; the existence of a free, humane and enlightened society in a neighborhood of bigotry, despotism and tyranny.
The contempt and hatred of Israel is in fact contempt and hatred of Western Democracy and Civilization. The radical Left in the West hates the values signified by Israel just as much as the religious supremacists in the Arab world do. It is a match made in hell in which the BDS campaign plays cupid bringing these sadists and masochists together to form an unholy alliance.
It would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so tragic. The BDS campaign uses the avenues and free spaces provided by the liberal and open societies to hit at the very core of values that built them in the first place. It uses University campuses, faculty unions and student bodies to divide and polarize. It targets trade unions, local communities and churches to spread the mean-spirited gospel of BDS.
The BDS campaign will never achieve its intended goal of “bringing Israel to its knees”. However, it is bound to have unintended consequences.
The practitioners of BDS are bent upon disrupting the free flow of knowledge, academic discourse and civilizational advancement in the Western World. They must not be allowed to do so, for we are all in peril if they are.
Stand With US "Divestment" in Action on Campus

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

(h/t Yerushalimey)

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Two weeks ago I noted how the PLO was successfully using water as a weapon against Israel.

Here is the beginning of a must-read paper by Prof. Haim Gvirtzman showing the truth about the water situation in the territories.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes, build sewage treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern water-saving devices, or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage, leading to enormous waste. At the same time, they drill illegally into Israel’s water resources, and send their sewage flowing into the valleys and streams of central Israel. In short, the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is not interested in practical solutions to solve the Palestinian people’s water shortages, but rather perpetuation of the shortages and the besmirching of Israel.

A significant public debate has been sparked by the assertion of European Parliament President Martin Schulz that the amount of water available to the average Israeli unfairly overwhelms the amount of water available to the average Palestinian. The main issue that should be discussed – and has not been sufficiently analyzed – is: What are the causes of Palestinian water supply problems?

The discussion must be informed by the following basic facts:

1. The Oslo agreements grant the Palestinians the right to draw 70 million cubic meters from the Eastern Mountain Aquifer (ground water reservoir). Yet this water resource is not currently being capitalized on by the Palestinians; the waters spill untapped underground into the Dead Sea. As per the Israeli-Palestinian agreement, some 40 sites were identified for drilling into this aquifer in the eastern Hebron hills region, and permits were granted to the Palestinians by the Israel-PA Joint Water Committee. Nevertheless, over the past 20 years, the Palestinians have drilled at just one-third of these sites, despite the fact that the international community has offered to finance the drilling of all sites. If the Palestinians were to drill and develop all these wells, they could have completely solved the existing water shortage in the Hebron hills region. But the Palestinians have preferred to drill wells on the Western Mountain Aquifer, the basin that provides groundwater to the State of Israel. Instead of solving the problem they have chosen to squabble with Israel.

2. The Palestinians do not bother fixing water leaks in city pipes. Up to 33 percent of water in Palestinian cities is wasted through leakage. Upkeep on the Palestinians’ urban water infrastructure has been completely neglected. By comparison, leakage from Israeli municipal water pipes amount to only 10 percent of water usage.

3. The Palestinians refuse to build water treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so under the Oslo agreement. Sewage flows out of Palestinian towns and villages directly into local streams, thereby polluting the environments and the aquifer and causing the spread of disease. Despite the fact that donor countries are willing to fully fund the building of treatment plants, the Palestinians have managed to avoid their obligations to build such facilities. (Only over the past two years has Israeli pressure moved the PA forward a bit on this matter.)

4. The Palestinians absolutely refuse to irrigate their agricultural fields with treated sewage effluents. By comparison, more than half the agricultural fields in Israel are irrigated with treated waste water. Irrigating Palestinian agricultural fields with recycled water instead of fresh water would free up large amounts of water for home usage. This would greatly reduce the water shortage in many places.

5. Some Palestinian farmers irrigate their fields by flooding, rather than with drip irrigation technology. Drip irrigation, as practiced in Israel, brings water directly to the root of each plant, thereby reducing water consumption by more than 50 percent. Flooding fields causes huge water evaporation and leads to great waste.

6. The international community has offered to build a desalination plant for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have refused this gift. A desalination plant could completely solve the Gaza Strip’s water shortages. The Palestinians refuse to build this plant because they claim they have the right to access the fresh groundwater reservoir in Judea and Samaria, and they are prepared to suffer until they realize this dream. In the meanwhile, Gaza residents suffer from severe shortages of water.

These basic, undeniable facts are extremely important because they have wide-ranging consequences.

Today, the Palestinians consume some 200 million cubic meters of water per annum in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians could easily raise that amount by at least 50 percent, without any additional assistance or allocation from the State of Israel. This would require several simple actions:

If the Palestinians were to begin drilling the Eastern Mountain Aquifer, at the sites already approved for drilling, they very quickly would secure an additional 50 million cubic meters of water per year.

If the Palestinians were to reduce urban water waste from 33 percent to 20 percent by fixing the main leaks in their urban water pipes (something that can be done without great effort), they would immediately benefit from 10 million additional cubic meters of water per annum.

If the Palestinians were to collect and treat their urban waste water, they would gain at least 30 million cubic meters of water a year. This would free up 30 million cubic meters (per annum) of fresh water, currently used for agriculture, for home usage. This would allow them both to improve their urban water supply and to expand agricultural lands.

If the Palestinians were to adopt drip irrigation technology, they would save 10 million cubic meters a year. This would allow them to expand their irrigated lands.

In the Gaza Strip, too, the Palestinians could easily double the amount of water available, without additional assistance from the State of Israel. If the Palestinians agreed to build a desalination plant on the Gaza coast (funded entirely by the international community), they would increase the amount of water available by 60 to 100 million cubic meters a year. If they fix leakages, treat and recycle sewage, and adopt drip irrigation, they would double their water allocation, as well.

...The sum total of the situation described above is that the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is more interested in reducing the amount of water available to Israel, polluting natural reservoirs, harming Israeli farmers, and sullying Israel’s reputation around the world than truly solving water problems for the Palestinian people. The Palestinians are not interested in practical solutions to address shortages; rather, they seek to perpetuate the shortages, and to blame the State of Israel. 

Unfortunately, President Schulz’s Knesset address, with its seemingly straightforward but baseless accusations against Israel, suggests that the PA is succeeding in this effort to befuddle international observers and besmirch Israel. 

An astonishing 150-200 million cubic meters of water a year are available to Palestinian Arabs, virtually for free, with only changes to policy and accepting help from the West. They are refusing to take it.

This proves two things:

  • Palestinian Arab leaders don't care about their own people.
  • Rather than act as a peace partner, Palestinian Arab leaders prioritize demonizing and damaging Israel in the international arena.
The water issue is merely a symptom, albeit a very important symptom, of a much larger problem, a problem that the international community refuses to recognize. Every single action that the Palestinian Arab leaders - namely, all of their "red lines" in negotiations with Israel -   adhere to these same two principles.

And the world closes its eyes.

From Ian:

The Myth of Israel’s Refusal to Make “Tough Decisions” for Peace
The relentless calls for Israel to take difficult decisions for peace not only neglect to account for the attitude of the Palestinian side but also of the extensive concessions already offered by the Israelis. Both under Ehud Barak during the Camp David talks in 2000 and certainly under Ehud Olmert in 2008, Israel’s offers for peace went just about as far as possible without Israel either ceasing to exist as a Jewish state or rendering its remaining territory indefensible. Similarly, the current Israeli negotiating position does not appear to be measurably different from that of Barak or Olmert’s. Certainly, if Prime Minister Netanyahu’s negotiating stance was falling significantly short of previous offers then his dovish chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, who served in the Olmert government and remains a political rival to Netanyahu, would doubtless call him out on this. Israel is once again offering as much as it can without ceasing to survive as Israel. But then this is the crux of the matter. It really looks as if it may just be the case that no offer that leaves the Jewish state in existence will be acceptable to Palestinians. (h/t Bob Knot)
Challenging the Long-Held Notion That Israeli Settlements Are ‘Illegal’
In a 2010 column for the American Interest, Nicholas Rostow, then-counsel and vice chancellor for legal affairs at the State University of New York and today director of the Center for Strategic Research at National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, described five of the arguments made by those who disagree that the Geneva Convention prohibits Jewish Israelis from living legally in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
In their view, the Geneva Convention is inapplicable because under Article 2, the Convention applies only to territory that is occupied by “a High Contracting Party.” Because no country has a legally recognized claim to the “occupied territories,” the argument goes, the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem do not belong to any contracting party.
Rostow wrote: “In making this argument, advocates of legality stress that the international community did not recognize Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank and that now Jordan has withdrawn its claim.”
Terrorism pays – literally
Nor is jail time a deterrent. “Nobody believes they’re going to serve [a full] sentence,” he said, “because they are going to be part of the next prisoner release, or of the next discussion even to have a discussion about a prisoner release.”
This travesty is supervised by the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoners and written into PA legislation. The law determines an ascending pay scale for terrorists: The more the carnage and the longer the prison term, the higher the salary.
According to [Edwin] Black, “This takes up $5-7 million a month – approximately six percent – of the PA budget. If you add in the other payments [to terrorists] for weddings, social events, special bonuses, academic scholarships, it comes to 16% of the Palestinian budget.
"And where does the money come from? From American and European taxpayers.”

Until the blood-for-money law is rescinded, he said, “There can be no peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
It seems to have started with an Iranian PressTV reporting:
Ukrainian media have reported that a former Israeli army officer is playing a leading role in the anti-government protests in the former Soviet republic.

According to reports, the unnamed Israeli commands a group of 20 Ukrainian militants.

Four other Israelis, who had previously served in the army, were recently reported to have taken part in opposition rallies in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.

They were born in Ukraine but migrated to Israel and joined its armed forces before returning to the European country for the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian media said that an Israeli tycoon provides financial support to the opposition in Ukraine, adding that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is one of the instigators of the unrest in the country.
That's it. No names, no source listed, nothing. Yet it was quoted by International Business Times (UK). (UPDATE: There are sources for this.)

Then a little known French antisemitic website named "PlanetNonViolence" claimed that "the Jewish mafia" is behind the Ukrainian protests, that Israel is sending "surveillance equipment and other high tech gadgets ostensibly to protect Jews" to the region, and that Israel is fomenting violence in order to get Jews to leave the Ukraine and move to Israel.

Now mainstream Arab media is reporting all of this as fact, adding that a Jewish Ukranian businessman, Viktor Pinchuk, is also acting behind the scenes to foment revolution so he can get the Ukraine to get  into the orbit of the EU to help his fortune.

No doubt the Jew-haters will claim that the Mossad was behind this Molotov cocktail attack on a synagogue in Zaporozhye on Monday, captured by security cameras.

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday I reported that the US State Department silently sent its new head of Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, Shaun Casey, to meet with Palestinian Christian leaders, although apparently not to meet with Jewish leaders.

The leaders that Casey chose to meet with are anti-Israel (and antisemitic) extremists.

Yisrael Medad points out that Bishop Munib Younan of the Lutheran Church, who Casey met, signed the Kairos Palestine document which argues, on theological grounds, that the concept of a Jewish state is illegitimate and an affront to human rights. It also implicitly supports anti-Israel terror and it implies that the "occupation" is over all of British Mandate Palestine, not just the portions over the Green Line.

However, Younan is not only a signatory to this anti-Israel screed - he was one of the authors. He later asked to have that role erased so he could maintain his relationship with Israeli and Jewish leaders.

Another bishop that Casey met with is even worse. In an interview with Famiglia Cristiana he said:

The Talmud, the holy book studied by the ultra-orthodox, more highly venerated than the Bible itself, invites religious hatred, speaks badly of Jesus, and even worse of Mary and, in general, of Christians” he said, adding that “in Israeli schools love for the other is not taught but rather the destruction of the other.
His statements on the Talmud echo those of the most vicious antisemites through history, and his blanket statement that Israeli schools teach genocide is reprehensible.

And this is one of the people Casey decided to meet.

The fact that Casey chose these people to meet, combined with the secrecy over the trip altogether, is concerning. If he would have met with any Jews who would argue that non-Jews should have no political rights between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river he would be universally condemned, yet the people he met with make the same argument about Jews, and worse.

What is Casey's - and the State Department's - objective in choosing to meet with these anti-Jewish extremists?

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