Tuesday, June 30, 2015

From Ian:

Obama signs anti-BDS bill into law
After a grueling legislative battle, US President Barack Obama signed into law a controversial trade measure that also contains landmark legislation combating the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Europe.
The broader legislation faced an uphill battle after Obama’s usual allies — Democrats in the House of Representative — bucked his authority and voted against key provisions out of concern that liberalization of trade could impact American jobs.
But on Monday, Obama signed into law the so-called “fast track” authorization that will allow US trade negotiators to work out a long-awaited deal with Asian states known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trade Promotion Authority legislation also contained the anti-BDS provisions, which make rejection of the phenomenon a top priority for US negotiators as they work on a more distant free trade agreement with the European Union.
These guidelines, sponsors hope, will discourage European governments from participating in BDS activities by leveraging the incentive of free trade with the US.
IDF Appoints Special Team to Plan Strike on Iran
A source close to Ya'alon was quoted by Walla! saying, "nothing has changed regarding the military option. Our working assumption is that Iran is lying all the time, beyond the fact that it is funding and directing terror in the Middle East. It (Iran) is our most bitter enemy today, even though we don't share a physical border with it, and we must not put off any kind of preparedness against it."
"In the end we don't believe Iran. We don't believe the (nuclear) project will be stopped. Therefore the (military) option will remain. ...We need to be ready also for the day in which Israel will need to make decisions alone. (What) if it becomes clear they are pushing the envelope in breach of the agreement? Or if Iran goes down deep underground (with its nuclear facilities)? And if new sites are found? Will we wait for the US to take care of them?"
"You have to prepare yourself for all of the threats. Not only for Gaza and Lebanon," added the source. "The military option costs money but the more time goes by, you're better prepared to carry out the mission."
Indicating Israel's growing preparedness ahead of a potential military clash with Iran, the IAF held a special drill with the Greek air force two months ago, in which roughly 100 members of the IAF took part including dozens of crews from all the F-16i squadrons.
‘Seeds of Conflict’ could sow confusion
One day in 1913, a group of Arabs stole some grapes from the vineyards of Jewish pioneers in Rehovot. An altercation followed, leaving one Arab camel driver and one Jewish guard dead. The incident marked an irrevocable break between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, and planted the seeds of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Far-fetched as it may sound, this is the theory advanced by a one-hour PBS documentary, ‘Seeds of Conflict,’ shown in the US on 30 June. Grievances between different communities, once happy to mingle in coffee houses, were allowed to fester, the programme argues, and the conflict soon took on the proportions we know today.

In truth, it could be argued that the breakdown of the traditional dhimmi relationship was one of the root causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Perhaps the decisive incident took place, not in 1913, but in 1908, when the Hashomer Hatza’ir pioneers of Sejera dismissed their Circassian guards — who protected their settlement against Bedouin raids — ­ and replaced them with Jewish guards. For the Jews, this was an ideological statement of self-sufficiency. But for the neighbouring Arab fellaheen, they had crossed a red line. They had reneged on their part of the bargain: the dhimmi, who was not allowed to bear arms, should always look to the Muslim for protection.
The arrival of the young Zionist pioneers, with their socialist vision of a brave new world, threatened to overturn the existing pecking order. Yet many Arabs benefited from the influx of European Jews. As the Jews toiled to drain the swamps and make the desert bloom, waves of Arab immigrants flooded in from neighbouring countries, eager to take advantage of the jobs and prosperity created.
The program’s creators say that 1913: Seeds of Conflict dispels a number of myths and is ‘an admittedly arbitrary glimpse that captures the Palestine of a hundred years ago’. But to substitute a tale of ‘European colonialists’ invading Palestine in order to trouble a multiculturalism of mythical equality would be to indulge in dangerous revisionism.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Iran secretly passed to the White House beginning in late 2009 the names of prisoners it wanted released from U.S. custody, part of a wish list to test President Barack Obama’s commitment to improving ties and a move that set off years of clandestine dispatches that helped open the door to nuclear negotiations. The secret messages... included a request to blacklist opposition groups hostile to Iran and increase U.S. visas for Iranian students, according to officials familiar with the matter. The U.S. eventually acceded to some of the requests, these officials said, including help with the release of four Iranians detained in the U.S. and U.K.: two convicted arms smugglers, a retired senior diplomat and a prominent scientist convicted of illegal exports to Iran.... With a deal in sight, some worry the U.S. will give up too much without getting significant concessions in return.

The Israel Project has released a factsheet to journalists covering the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna. It includes this amazing list of principles the White House has been willing to throw under the bus to pursue a nuclear deal:

  • -- China expansionism: Last week the NYT reported that the Obama administration has been loath to pressure China on a range of issues because they need the Chinese on Iran.
  • -- Russia expansionism: Articles have been circulating since 2014 suggesting the same thing is going on with Russia, and that Obama has taken a soft line on Ukraine because he needs the Russians on Iran (even Roger Cohen (!) rushed last November to editorialize against what he called the Iran-Ukraine tradeoff).
  • -- Middle East alliances: Differences over the Iran deal have badly undermined Washington's traditional alliances with Jerusalem and Riyadh.
  • -- Syria/U.S. WMD credibility: The President declined to enforce his Syria red line against the reintroduction of weapons of mass destruction to modern battlefields, shredding the U.S.'s nonproliferation credibility and leaving the French seething in the process. Administration spokespeople have been left trying to convince reporters that chlorine bombs don't count.
  • -- IAEA credibility: The IAEA has been kneecapped as the P5+1 global powers moved to conclude a deal with Iran, a country that still owes the agency answers on a dozen unresolved questions.
  • -- UN sanctions credibility: The U.S. has looked the other way while the Iranians busted through binding U.N. sanctions and has ceased providing information to a U.N. panel charged with monitoring the integrity of the U.N.'s sanction regime.
  • -- Iranian human rights: Obama administration officials kept the Green Revolution at arm's length so as not to inflame Tehran's paranoia about regime change.
  • -- Congress/Democrats: The President and his allies have repeatedly clashed with Congress, including with Congressional Democrats, over Iran diplomacy. There have been two full-blown media campaigns, each lasting several weeks, in which sitting Democratic lawmakers were accused of being warmongers beholden to Jewish money. Versions of those accusations came from administration spokespeople talking to reporters from White House and State Department podiums.
The US standing in the world is immeasurably worse in the reckless goal to appease the world's major state sponsor of terrorism whose pursuit of the ultimate weapon is barely hitting a speedbump as a result of the imminent deal.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon

Back in the day, the American Library Association (ALA) concerned itself exclusively with such issues as librarians’ pay and conditions, actual and attempted censorship of materials held by or recommended for acquisition by individual libraries, and – it seemed almost to the point of obsession – the comparatively low status of librarianship.  The heavyweights of the American library world (I speak from experience) tended to be men – out of all proportion to male numbers within the profession – and they were acutely conscious that the prevalence of women in their field ensured that librarianship, like teaching and nursing, was considered a “female occupation,” with all that portended for pay scales and for status.

Not uncommon were articles in the professional literature bemoaning the fact that librarians were not accorded the status of doctors, lawyers, and tenured university teachers.  Indeed, while women were the mainstays of the public library system, men dominated the most prestigious bastions of the profession – academic and research libraries – holding most of the administrative positions and what was considered the ne plus ultra of rank and file library jobs: employment at the reference desk.  But for all that, their egos chafed at the realisation that they were categorised as campus “general staff,” not as “academic staff”.  Starting about 1970 – the incipient women’s movement notwithstanding – there was a vigorous campaign to attract more males to university librarianship, in order to boost the profession’s standing vis-à-vis the academic staff: if the male recruit had a “subject” MA (that is, a master’s degree additional to the Master of Library Science or MLS), he was virtually guaranteed a quick and steady rise, the more so if he had a “subject” PhD.

 I would not be surprised to learn that this inferiority complex, this quest for recognition, on the part of sections of the library profession has propelled some members of the professional body – the ALA – to ape such academic and quasi-academic bodies as the American Studies Association and Modern Languages Association in their support for or initiatives favouring BDS, more specifically the “Academic Boycott of Israel”.  Such an affirmation of solidarity with other proponents of the “Academic Boycott” sends a signal that the ALA represents professionals who are equal partners in academia with professors and scholars.  Flirtation with BDS on the part of librarians is an odious development that in my view militates against the role and spirit of the profession: as information providers librarians and their representative body should stand for liberalism in that word’s traditional and best sense, and discriminate against nobody.

And then, regardless of such a motivation or possible motivation on the part of certain BDSers in the ALA, there are the hard-line radicals within the profession whose anti-Israel antics two years ago were described by Lee Kaplan.  As he notes (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/13691#.VY6LAPlEDIU), inter alia:

‘These recent “delegates” were, in part, from the American Library Association in the US, but in particular they represented a roundtable of radical communists and anti-Semites in the Association who hate Israel. Still others are librarians in Canada and EU countries. All were due to return to their respective countries on July 5th. They vaunted themselves as great humanitarians, but their goal was to give support to and conduct propaganda for the terrorist groups that would end the Jewish state. Their purpose was to found yet another way to delegitimize Israel, by gathering “evidence” that Israel destroys Palestinian books and has stolen Palestinian “literature” and should be shunned by the world’s library systems.’

One of the associated groups in the Israel-demonisation process is an organisation calling itself Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP).  Apparently it consists of people who self-describe as practitioners of those occupations, so presumably one need not be a professionally qualified librarian or archivist in order to belong: this does not seem to bother the ALA, which once upon a time would have distanced itself from any persons claiming to be librarians but who lacked the MLS from an accredited “library school”.  Anyway, LAP has its own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/390037541182068/), from which we learn that on June 27 this year members attended the ALA conference in San Francisco:

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) members will be at the 2015 American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco this weekend, and we want to see you! We'll be holding a reportback on our recent trip back to Palestine, followed by a screening of "The Great Book Robbery," followed by a casual meetup. Come to any or all of these events….
Now Showing @ ALA: The Great Book Robbery
Saturday, June 27, 4-5:30pm
Moscone Convention Center, 123 (N)
This documentary is about the systematic "collection" of 70,000 Palestinian books by Israeli forces (including librarians) before, during, and after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The film tells the story of the books and what has become of them -- many are now labeled "Abandoned Property" at Israel's National Library -- and explores issues of library ethics and cultural heritage. The film will be followed by a Q&A with LAP members
Runtime: 57 Minutes
Preview: https://vimeo.com/6303260

No doubt these librarians, archivists, and other anti-Israel propagandists (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3841252,00.html) spreading this canard about stolen books are unaware – and, if aware, unconcerned – that in Hebron in 1929 Jewish manuscripts, including notable ancient documents, were looted from Jewish homes and synagogues. I’m told by a specialist in Israeli history that it's possible that some of this loot surfaced among Jewish manuscripts shown by Arab dealers to the Rockefeller Museum.  Furthermore, says my informant, Jewish homes and synagogues/yeshivot were looted in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1929 and 1936-38; during the latter period, there was a pogrom in the south Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiyot, and at least one important Hebrew writer residing there had his books vandalised and plundered.  (Hat tip: E.G.)

Norman Bentwich, Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, noted in 1948, with regard to the work of the Ministry of Minorities, set up to safeguard the welfare of Arabs (and other non-Jews) in the newly-proclaimed Jewish State:

'Perhaps the most striking work in the Ministry is its effort to develop cultural life, in the midst of the uneasy truce, for the Arab population. It has already established some fifty primary schools in the towns and villages, with free education. A former Jewish Inspector of the Mandatory Education Department is in charge of the schools; another, an Oriental Jew, with a thorough knowledge of Arabic, assists him. The Ministry has also established one or two Arab clubs for reading and recreation, and has promoted a daily Arabic newspaper, El Yom (The Day). This is the first Arabic daily to appear in Israel. Several of the staff are Arabs, who have full freedom of expression; and some educated Arabs write to the Palestine Post, the English[-language] daily, voicing grievances about rent and employment, and the like.

A remarkable cultural enterprise is the establishment in Jaffa of an Arab library, which includes close on 100,000 books and periodicals salvaged from private houses that were deserted and broken into during the fighting. It includes, too, some Arab manuscripts from the ninth and tenth centuries, which may have value for scholars. The books and manuscripts are being catalogued by a Jewish scholar of Baghdad. The library is housed in a private mansion of one of the richer Arabs of Jaffa, and there is a project of making it a cultural centre. The whole cost to the Government so far has been only a few hundred pounds.

In Jerusalem 30,000 books were similarly salvaged and handed over for safe-keeping to the [Hebrew] University of Jerusalem. It is likely that the owners of the books will come to identify their property and collect it back; but the action of the Ministry will have prevented looting and destruction, and it has received the appreciation of the Arab population.'

Hardly a case of deliberate plunder!  I recommend the whole of Bentwich’s article to the librarians.  They of all people should be able to find it easily enough.  It’s in the Jewish Chronicle (31 December 1948) and is entitled "Arabs in Israel".  I’ll have more to say about it in a future article.
From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Why Salam Fayyad Lacks Popular Support
It is no secret that several senior Palestinian officials see themselves as potential successors to Abbas. Like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas has stubbornly refused to share power with anyone. And like Arafat, he continues to run the Palestinian Authority as if it were his private fiefdom.
In Palestinian culture, it is more important if one graduates from an Israeli prison than from the University of Texas in Austin. A Palestinian who carries out an attack on Israel has more credentials among his people than one who studied at Harvard or Oxford universities.
It took Salam Fayyad too long to realize that no matter how many good things he does for his people, in the end he will be judged on the basis of his contribution to the fight against Israel, and not how much humanitarian and financial aid he provides.
Police Bar Nazi Rally in London Jewish Neighborhood
A controversial neo-Nazi rally timed for Shabbat this Saturday in Golders Green, the center of the Jewish community in London, will be barred by police according to the Campaign Against anti-Semitism.
While police will be unable to ban the rally outright, the organization announced that police have imposed conditions meaning the rally will not be held in Golders Green.
Instead, the demonstration will be moved to central London, far from the Jewish community, and will be restricted to one hour only in a specially cordoned-off area, after which it will be dispersed by police.
"Today’s decision by the Metropolitan Police Service is a victory for British values and we applaud their firm defense of our community. This vindicates our policy of confronting anti-Semitism wherever it rears its head," said Gideon Falter, Chairman of the Campaign Against anti-Semitism.
Falter pointed out that "this neo-Nazi demonstration was an attempt to intimidate the largest Jewish community the UK on the Jewish Sabbath in the heart of Golders Green, on the very memorial to those who lost their lives fighting Nazis."
"We believe that ‘never again’ is a call to action from our history, which is why we called thousands of Jews and non-Jews to stand together against this disgrace in dignified defiance, unity and pride."
Telecom giant Orange to end Israel presence within 2 years
Orange’s Israeli brand licensee Partner Communications will cease to use the Orange name within 24 months, the two sides announced Tuesday. Partner had previously been expected to use the Orange name until 2025.
The new agreement stipulates that Orange will pay up to €90 million to Partner, a sizable chunk of which will be used to help Partner rebrand itself in the wake of Orange’s departure.
“The discussions were pragmatic, conducted in a positive atmosphere, and the two parties reached a mutually satisfactory agreement,” Pierre Louette, Orange’s deputy CEO, told AFP.
The announcement comes just weeks after Orange CEO Stephane Richard said he would pull the French telecom giant out of Israel “tomorrow” if he could, sparking a firestorm of criticism from Israeli and French officials.
Richard told a gathering in Cairo in early June that he would break off Orange’s relationship with Partner if it weren’t for the fact that the Israeli company would likely sue.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
The PA government dissolved two weeks ago and there has been no agreement on the new members as the PLO attempts to replace the "technocrats" with its own political hacks.

Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction issued a statement insulting Hamas for not being serious enough about forming a new national unity government.

Their specific charges against Hamas reveal yet again that there is nothing "moderate" about Fatah.

Fatah's statement said that Hamas' refusal to participate in the government of national unity just confirms that Hamas favors division and would rather negotiate with Israel than to work on true unity.

The spokesman said that Hamas is now negotiating with Israel on security arrangements, meaning that Hamas is committed to the preservation of the security of Israel to the last detail and is committed to comply with a long-term truce with the Zionists. This is, of course, a bad thing from the perspective of Mahmoud Abbas the supposed peacemaker.

Furthermore, Fatah claims, Hamas has committed to stop armed resistance above ground and underground. Hamas also vows to fight anyone who wants to resist Israel, all in return for opening the crossings and a seaport under the control and supervision of Israeli and international observers.

Fatah concluded that Hamas is fooling people when they talk about  its desire of national unity, while it is doing just the opposite on the ground - by wanting a truce with Israel.

Apparently, Mahmoud Abbas prefers it when Hamas shoots rockets and Israel responds.

Here's yet another question that reporters will never ask Mahmoud Abbas.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Tweeter StopBoycott noticed this gem - a "We Are All Gaza" T-Shirt that was manufactured in Israel!

BGood1 makes custom T-shirts and other items. 

(h/t StandWithUs)

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From an idea by UR:

Monday, June 29, 2015

From Ian:

Celebs Who Remind The World 'Jews Aren’t So Easy To F–k With Anymore'
In today’s era of hatred against the State of Israel becoming increasingly mainstream, there still remain those celebrities who speak truth to power.
This week, rock-star David Draiman noted he was removing his Twitter account after constant harassment from “unpleasant, anti-Semitic 'internet trolls.” Draiman went on to note that,
The mainstream media's biased, libelous, and often erroneous portrayal of Israel in the current conflict has fuelled a wave of anti-Semitism, the likes of which I have not witnessed in my lifetime. Well done [news networks], you've set the stage for a new holocaust.
Draiman – himself the son of Holocaust survivors – continued:
Maybe you'd be happy/satisfied when the extremist nutbags you defend so much, who eagerly martyr their own children. Who chant for the death of all Jews, not just the Israeli's, and who's ethics, morals, & values stand diametrically opposed to your own liberal views of freedom of religion, gay marriage, pro-choice, and even democracy itself, strip the region of the only bastion of true liberty that exists in the region. Well guess what? Never again. Jews aren't so easy to f–k with anymore."
 Type B Holocaust denial is the one to fear
In that case here is another Type A preacher who’ll never mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. Ali Khamenei, ultimate ruler of Iran, speaks with more finesse, but he and the cleric of Jeddah belong together. "Observe that no one in Europe dares to speak about the Holocaust even though it's not clear what the reality is about it, whether it even has a reality, or how it may have happened."
What is it about Type A deniers that turns one off? Surely they’re too blunt. “Over-the-top” some might say. They’re good for a titter – unless you’re a Noam Chomsky or a Norman Finkelstein, or even a Harold Pinter, who all flirt with crude deniers. We rank and file people, on the other hand, like being pitched in subtle and flattering terms: Eve’s serpent would have a good chance. We’d pay more attention to a feeling or a noble voice -- to a voice like that of David Ward, a British MP.
“I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians …on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza… The suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated."
Ward is a Type B denier. For clarity sake he shall not go alone. What better companion for Mr. Ward MP than a fellow denier in a suit. Here is Andrew Wilkie of Nuffield College, Oxford. “I have a huge problem with the way that the Israelis take the moral high ground from their appalling treatment in the Holocaust, and then inflict gross human rights abuses on the Palestinians.”
Attend closely. Type B deniers are sly. Observe how Ward and Wilkie contrive to kill two birds in one foul shot. A) They demonize Israel – “atrocities and gross abuses on Palestinians”; B) they downplay the Holocaust – “persecution and treatment.” After all, lots of people in the world are persecuted and treated appallingly. Yet many live to tell the tale. Persecution and treatment are worlds away from genocide, the methodical mass extermination of six million Jews, not sparing the newborn. Notice further how victimhood is shifted. Jews don’t suffer atrocities, they commit them. We’re invited to think that Nazi Germany treated Jews like third-class citizens: denied them rights and opportunities; deprived them of the basics; imprisoned them without trial; worked them for long hours at low pay; subjected them to curfews and check points; left Jews to cope with cramped conditions and bad food; locked up or eliminated troublemakers. ‘Treatment’ and ‘persecution’ -- even when appalling or unbelievable -- convey no hint of Holocaust elements. Type B deniers don’t want us to think of Jews worked to death; exterminated by factory methods; mowed down village by village, town by town; slaughtered in fits of fury.
Flaw In U.S. Policy: Even PLO Recognizes Israel’s Right To West Jerusalem
The U.S. position on Jerusalem also contradicts the Obama White House’s own controversial stance on the peace process. The White House has endorsed a Palestinian demand that the 1948-1967 cease-fire line that separated sovereign Israeli territory from the Jordanian-occupied West Bank and “East Jerusalem” should serve as the presumptive border of a new Palestinian state in all negotiations, with Palestine acquiring sovereignty over all the territory illegally occupied by Jordan, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. But when it comes to Israel and Jerusalem, says the White House, the cease-fire line should be forgotten and presumptive Israeli sovereignty should be erased.
Historically, the anti-Israel position of the U.S. on Jerusalem developed without any connection to the Israel-PLO peace negotiations that began in 1993. The U.S. never recognized Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, even in 1948, when Israel’s War of Independence left parts of Jerusalem in Israeli hands. When Israel declared Jerusalem (“West Jerusalem”) its capital in 1949, the U.S. refused to recognize it, even though international law makes states the sole determinants of their own capital. Indeed, for decades the U.S. lobbied foreign countries to move their embassies out of Jerusalem. To this day, the U.S. embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv, notwithstanding a law mandating the embassy’s move to Jerusalem.
As time has passed, U.S. hostility on Jerusalem has remained constant, while the excuses for the hostility have changed.
Defenders of the U.S. policy on Jerusalem like the fact that it gives the PLO a veto on Israeli rights pending a peace deal. But a more honest appraisal shows that the policy allows bureaucratic opponents of the Jewish state to harm U.S. credibility and foreign policy interests.

  • Monday, June 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an:
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees announced Monday that it will cut 85 percent of its international staff on short term contracts in coming months in light of a $100 million deficit.
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement that the agency "is taking this measure to reduce costs as much as possible without reducing services to refugees."

However, he added that UNRWA may have to make "difficult decisions" on its school system for half a million Palestinian children across the Middle East "if the deficit is not filled."

He said that 85 percent of the 137 internationals would be lost "in a phased process which will last until the end of September."

The first 35 percent will see their contracts end in the coming four weeks, while "another 50 percent will end by 30 September without further extension or renewal."

Gunness said: "With stringent austerity measures already in place beyond today’s announcement, the agency should be able to continue with life-saving services to the end of the year."

"These include our health programs, relief and social services, sanitation and emergency projects for which we have funds."

He said that the agency's school system in Jordan, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territories and Syria is "essential but some difficult decisions may be needed in coming weeks if the deficit is not filled."
Right now UNRWA provides free education to 115,000 students in Jordan, 50,000 students in the West Bank and 225,000 in Gaza. That's nearly 400,000 students who are citizens in areas that provide free public education who instead attend a separate school system - a school system that has bigoted teachers and that inculcates hate. 

If each student costs only $1000 to educate every year, that is $400 million being spent annually by UNRWA that should be paid for by the host governments.

Similarly, no one seems too upset that Lebanon and Syria do not offer free schooling for their Palestinian residents who were born in those countries. Other countries will allow non-citizens to attend public schools, but UNRWA's existence gives Arab nations an excuse to keep their apartheid systems in place. UNRWA could use its not-insignificant political clout to shame Arab countries into treating their Palestinian "guests" the same as citizens but instead it spends hundreds of millions more to build a completely separate school system - but one that uses the host country's curricula!

This story just highlights once again what a waste of money UNRWA is.

  • Monday, June 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an reported:

Israeli state media reported on Sunday that a number of senior Palestinian Authority officials spend more time abroad than in Palestine.

The report, published on the Israeli Broadcasting Authority's website Reshet Bet, alleged that some Palestinian officials spend 150 to 170 days in "fancy hotels" abroad every year.

The report gave details for 10 senior PA officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas, Jibril Rajoub and Saeb Erekat.

It said that Abbas spent 166 days abroad in 2013 and 188 days in 2012.

Erekat and Rajoub, meanwhile, reportedly spent 150 to 170 days abroad in each of those years.

The report ...questioned how there could be so much travel despite "financial hardships we have been hearing about for some time."
But Saeb Erekat defended himself:
PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Reshet Bet report on Palestinian Authority officials' days spent abroad is a “cheap” Israeli technique, and is a proved of the success of the PA’s diplomatic efforts.

His statement came shortly after the Israeli state media website reported on Sunday that a number of senior PA officials spend more time abroad than in Palestine, with some spending 150 to 170 days in "fancy hotels" abroad every year.

Erekat told local radio station Raya that the numbers published by the Israeli news source are correct, saying that “we work around the clock in all five continents to defend our cause and expose the Israeli crimes against our people."

"The Palestinian leadership roams the world so the world can listen to our narrative from us and not the Israeli narrative on us," he added.

Senior Fatah official, Nabil Shaath told Raya that Israel deliberately used the information for the purpose of defamation, referring to the alleged move as an “old Mossad trick.”
It is telling that the primary purpose of Erekat's travels is to delegitimize Israel. Also to tell people things like his family's bogus 9,000 year old history in an area that they never lived. 

So, pretty much his job is to travel the world to lie, often on the Western world's dime.

Not that this is any surprise.
From Ian:

PMW: PA-Fatah summer camp for kids: AK-47 automatic weapons and youth in military uniforms dancing with rifles
More than 150 children "of Martyrs and prisoners" participated in the camp "Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine" run by the PA's National Security Forces in coordination with Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah's youth movement "the Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine."
The camp's closing ceremony, in which the campers paraded and danced in military garb with rifles, was attended by PA and Fatah officials, among them Nablus District Governor Akram Rajoub, Secretary of Fatah's Nablus branch Jihad Ramadan, and representatives of the PA National Security Forces. [Fatah-run Awdah TV, June 12, 2015]
Using summer camps like this reinforces the PA and Fatah's message to adhere to violence as a means to "liberate Palestine," which Palestinian Media Watch has exposed numerous times.
An article in Al-Asima, a bi-weekly distributed with the official PA daily, likewise promoted this message. In the issue following Israel's Independence Day - what the Palestinians call the Nakba - "the catastrophe," each page of the supplement which dealt with the Nakba showed this image with the text:
"The anniversary of the Nakba - What was taken by force, can only be restored by force."
[Al-Asima, bi-weekly distributed with official PA daily, May 27, 2015]
An article in the supplement used the following terms to refer to Israel:
"the so-called 'Israel'"
"the occupation state"
"the Zionist entity"
Israel said to reconsider UN Human Rights Council membership
In a closed meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly announced he would reevaluate Israel’s membership in the United Nation’s Human Rights Council in light of the international body’s recent report on last summer’s Gaza conflict.
The announcement came as the commission of inquiry’s report on the 2014 Gaza conflict, released last week, was presented to the council in Geneva. The report concluded that Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip may have committed war crimes in the course of the 50 days of fighting. The UNHRC was set to vote on the findings later this week.
“As a result of the report, we will consider whether to remain or to leave the council,” the prime minister said, according to Army Radio.
In 2012, then-foreign minister Avigdor Liberman cut ties with the UNHRC over its probe into Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Israel returned to the council in 2013.
During the closed meeting on Monday, Liberman castigated Netanyahu for reversing the decision. “As foreign minister, I ended Israel’s involvement in the Human Rights Council. Why did you change that decision?” Liberman asked.
Col Kemp at UNHRC

  • Monday, June 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Neo-Nazis have been touting Ursula Haverbeck, an 86-year old Holocaust denier who smiles as she spouts her hate.

She was interviewed for a German TV show in March and since then police have raided her house for hate materials.

Here is the interview with English subtitles, which has over 100,000 views on YouTube.

She easily segues from denying the Holocaust to saying that the Jews deserved to be ethnically cleansed because they were enemies of the Germans to saying that the Talmud supports raping children and is more hateful than any Nazi literature. She is an insane Nazi antisemite in a sweet old lady's body. Her husband was evidently an unrepentant WWII-era Nazi.

People always wonder how ordinary Germans could have condoned and justified the Holocaust. Haverbeck is living proof of how ordinary Germans could have accepted genocide as perfectly normal and defensible.

The interviewer is next to clueless on how to challenge her lies. She has a consistent story and he doesn't know enough to break through the soundbites to the hate beneath.

For example, when she claims that there were no gas chambers, she could have been shown the blueprints:

And those for the crematoria:

Holocaust denial is only going to get more prominent and there is surprisingly little out there calling out Ursula Haverbeck as a sickening, hateful piece of Nazi trash.

One more thing: Haverbeck is praised mightily by Intifada-Palestine website.

  • Monday, June 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon

In an address posted on the Internet on June 26, Egyptian cleric Muhammad Zaki, secretary-general of the Al-Azhar Dawa Committee, said that the Ramadhan "has never been a month for the lazy or "a month for tormenting one's body or for sleep." It is a month for Jihad, he said.

Following are excerpts:

Muhammad Zaki: The Muslims have never started a war. They have never initiated an attack against peaceful people. They are always the ones who are attacked. Can the fending off of aggression be considered terrorism? Or is it the legitimate right of people everywhere and anywhere? The Quran says: "Permission (to fight) has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged." The Quran does not say "those who fight" but rather, "those who are being fought." It means that the others are always the ones who initiate the fighting.


The wars have always been asymmetric - in the number of soldiers, in equipment, in capablities, and in preparedness. Nevertheless, because they were blessed by their (Ramadhan) fasting, and due to the spiritual might gained by their fasting, which had an effect on their wounded bodies... (The fast) bestowed calm upon their hearts and souls, and strengthened their wounded bodies. Thus came the victory from Allah in the Battle of Badr, followed by the even greater victory of the conquest of Mecca, as well as the surrender of the Hawazin and Thaqif tribes, and in our day and age (sic), the vanquishing of the Mongols at Ayn Jalut, and the greatest victory over the Crusaders at Hittin, followed by the conquest of Andalusia. Ramadhan has never been a month for the lazy. It has never been a month for tormenting one's body or for sleep. It is a month for Jihad - Jihad of the soul, Jihad against Satan, and Jihad for the sake of Allah.
This guy apparently works at the most influential Sunni school in the world, Al Azhar University.
  • Monday, June 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
You know how suicide bombers like to make videos to be released after they blow themselves up?

Meet the "progressive" anti-Israel equivalent, of passengers on the Marianne av Goteborg pleasure boat who made videos to be released if they are intercepted by Israel as they attempt to violate the legal naval blockade on Gaza:

Just like the "martyr" videos, they all sound the same.

Some assume that they are in "Ashdod Prison."

But unlike "martyr" videos, you can hear their drone message in Swedisn, too.

Even the UN says that the naval blockade of Gaza is legal.

Another pathetic failure of the flotidiots is trying to make the presence of New Zealand reporters on the boat into an international incident.

New Zealand responded that they told all their citizens to stay the hell away from Gaza;

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said it was aware two New Zealanders were on the intercepted vessel, the Swedish-flagged Marianne of Gothenburg, as part of the Freedom Flotilla III.

The ministry was monitoring the situation and advised the reporters to heed the travel advisory it had issued, the spokesperson said.

MFAT was advising against all travel to Gaza due to the threat of kidnapping, terrorism and potential for retaliatory military operations.

"They should obey all instructions and directions issued by the local authorities, including the Israeli Defence Force," the spokesperson said."Our travel advisory strongly advises against any attempt to enter Gaza by sea in breach of Israeli navy restrictions or participating in any attempt to break the naval blockade, including participation in flotillas to deliver aid."

UPDATE: The flotidiots indeed have a shortage of real "martyrs." Two of the other three boats that turned around were named after people who were murdered by Palestinians!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

  • Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Gisha is an anti-Israel NGO that is dedicated to denouncing Israel for its restrictions on movement an materials to Gaza. They claim to be non-partisan but they will almost always ignore Hamas violations on freedom of movement from Gaza, concentrating on Israel.

Gisha likes to gather statistics (although not from Israeli sources; they find Hamas and Arab sources more believable.) They created some nice interactive graphs showing the situation on various metrics that they care about, like people and goods allowed through crossings.

Their own graphs show pretty much the opposite of what they get a million dollars a year to prove. Israel is allowing more and more movement; Egypt is doing less and less.

  • Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Another day, lots more lies.

Ma'an reports:
Israeli forces on Saturday suppressed a Palestinian march protesting Israeli plans to turn a southern West Bank church compound into a settlement outpost.

The 38 dunam compound, known as Beit al-Baraka, is located to the north of al-Arrub refugee camp between Bethlehem and Hebron.

It has been in the spotlight since an investigative report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz last month alleged that an American millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, purchased the site through a Swedish company in 2012 with the intention of turning it into a settlement outpost.

The coordinator of a southern Hebron popular committe, Rateb al-Jbour, told Ma'an that the peaceful march had been called to condemn the Israeli plans and demand protection for the compound.

Israeli soldiers reportedly assaulted protesters, lightly injuring several of them with bruises.
The PA's official WAFA news agency echoed this:
Israeli forces cordoned off the area and physically attacked protestors, causing several to suffer from bruises and injuries.
There is a video of the events, and while there are plenty of soldiers around the 20 or so protesters, the protesters have no problem going right up against them without any fear. No indication of assault or injuries. One is seen being led away peacefully, that's it. It looks like they were able to protest freely for quite a bit of time without being "suppressed." It seems unlikely that the anti-Israel NGO that produced this video would have edited out any assault. On the contrary - that is what they pray for.

Note how they are framing this compound as a church. It hasn't been a church for decades. I found a description of the property from a tourist in 2010:

The Beit El Baraka building seemed abandoned. Its main building was closed up tight, behind barbed wire, and its smaller buildings were smashed with broken windows and shattered glass. I could imagine lots of teenagers walking around its large green grounds in better days, circles of friends playing guitar around a small campfire. But that was then and this was now.

A small sign hung above the door of the building, that it was once a Presbyterian Center, but perhaps there were no more Presbyterians in the area, so they closed up shop. The signs on Beit El Baraka were written in Arabic and English. Gershon insisted that the sign once had Hebrew as well. Since he's got a photographic memory, I had no reason to doubt his word.

According to a Presbyterian website, "Beit El Baraka, formerly a hospital established by Dr. Thomas Lambie in the late 1940s, received its license as a Pilgrim Youth Hostel in April 1995, after ten years of government paperwork. The spacious facilities with modest rates are available for local and foreign groups for camps, retreats and tours."

I wondered what happened to Beit El Baraka. I found a google earth picture captioned, "Beit El Baraka American tuberculosis hospital, rebuilt to hostel, now abandoned."
The name, Beit el-Baraka, "House of Blessing," comes from the Hebrew Bible. In II Chronicles 20:26 the area is called "Valley of Blessing" after a successful battle against Ammon and Moab (from Transjordan.)

If any Christian or Arab had bought an abandoned building complex that lies in ruins, even to raze it to the ground, no one would say a word. Indeed, it appeared that a Swedish group bought the complex years ago and no one cared. But if a Jew buys it - that is worth lots of coverage from SkyNews Arabic. 

By the way, where else in the world would 20 protesters be worth a news story?

From Ian:

Netanyahu: The enlightened world is battling dark forces
After nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France kill dozens of people, PM Benjamin Netanyahu calls for unity in fight against radical Islamic terror • Interpol chief: Attacks show global dimension of current terrorist threats.
"The brutal murders in France, Tunisia and Kuwait again underscore that the enlightened world is struggling against dark forces," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, after dozens of people were killed in three attacks that followed a call to violence by the Islamic State group. "The fight against the murderous terrorism of extremist Islam requires unity, the beginning of which is the unequivocal condemnation of the murderers and those who support them."
In the deadliest of Friday's attacks, a young man pulled a Kalashnikov assault rifle from a beach umbrella and sprayed gunfire at European sunbathers at a Tunisian resort, killing at least 39 people.
The shootings in the Tunisian resort of Sousse happened at about the same time as a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and an attack on a U.S.-owned factory in France that included a beheading. It was unclear if the violence was linked but it came days after Islamic State urged its followers "to make Ramadan a month of calamities for the nonbelievers." In all, the assailants killed at least 65 people in Friday's attacks.
The SITE Intelligence Group reported later that IS claimed credit for the Tunisia attack on its Twitter account and identified the gunman as Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani.
PMW: PMW responds to UN: Hamas used civilians as human shields in 2014 war
In response to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry report which cites that the high number of Palestinian civilians killed during the 2014 Gaza war indicates that “possible war crimes” were committed by Israel, Palestinian Media Watch is re-publicizing the PMW reports released during the war, documenting that Hamas actively used civilians as human shields.
PMW’s documentation explicitly showed that Hamas openly and intentionally demanded that civilians ignore Israel’s warnings prior to bombings of areas in which there were civilians. Instead, Hamas insisted they endanger their lives and even welcome death, so that Hamas could use them as human shields for their fighters and rocket launching positions.
When Israel warned Palestinians who lived near the Israeli border in the Northern Gaza Strip, an area from which Hamas launched long-range missiles, to evacuate their homes to areas of safety before Israel would bomb the launching sites, Hamas told civilians to remain in their homes in spite of the danger.
Expose UNRWA's absurdity
The U.N. report on Operation Protective Edge was predictable. The harsh and one-sided criticism of Israel, the turning of a blind eye to Hamas' war crimes and the piercing remarks against Israel proved that nothing has changed in regard to the U.N.'s lack of fairness and fairness.
The Israeli government's response to the report, ranging from disregard to criticism, was legitimate, but not something that would change the balance of the relationship between Israel and the U.N. The extent of the condemnation Israel has endured from the U.N. and several of its subsidiary bodies is enough to understand the biased rules of the game the U.N. is playing.
It is time to pass the ball to the court of our adversaries, in this case the U.N., and expose its hypocrisy and double standards. Most importantly, we must highlight the fact that the U.N. is the entity largely responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians, by means of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
For this reason, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice has decided to launch a campaign calling for the dissolution of UNRWA and the absorption of its powers by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The campaign will mainly address members of the U.S. Congress. In a video we produced, we present the absurdity of UNRWA's activities.
UNRWA and UNHCR both work with displaced persons. UNHCR is responsible for integrating refugees in their host countries, while UNRWA focuses solely on refugee aid. In effect, UNRWA helps Palestinians preserve their refugee status and pass it on from generation to generation, contrary to the logic and policy of UNHCR.

  • Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon

deathAs I write this on Friday morning, there it is all over the headlines, again.

Islamist Terror Wave Hits Tunisia and Kuwait.

Man Beheaded in France.

What we know as of this moment is that terrorists shot up the resort town of Sousse, some 150 kilometers from Tunis, killing at least 27 people.

Meanwhile, the Times of Israel is reporting:
A suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during the main weekly prayers Friday, killing and wounding dozens, officials and witnesses said. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.
And, needless to say:
At least one person was killed and several were injured in a terror attack on a factory in the Lyon region in southeastern France late Friday morning.

The decapitated body of a man was found on the premises, according to Sky News. It reported that the 30-year-old suspect was known to the foreign intelligence services.

The victim was reportedly an employee of the factory. His head was discovered by police perched on the fence outside the factory, covered in Arabic writing. 
By the time that you read this it will be old news, but I suppose the question that many of us are asking ourselves is just what is it going to take for our media and our academia and our elected officials to start taking political Islam seriously?

There are two things that must be acknowledged.

1)  The rise of political Islam in recent years is the single most significant geo-political happening since the demise of the Soviet Union. 

I do not understand why so many people seem to have a difficult time understanding that political Islam is not just a religion, but a political movement, and like any political movement it is open to criticism and opposition.  The fact is that political Islam, in the form of organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, and all the rest, do not represent Islam as a whole.  What they represent is Islam in its Islamist form.

The form of Jihad.

Too many people seem to think that opposing political Islam is "racist" because it is seen as "Islamophobic" or an attack on regular Muslims.

It isn't.

In fact, cliché as it may sound, no one is abused more under al-Sharia than are Muslims.  What is really bigoted is holding different people to different standards of humanity.  In the Europe and the United States this generally takes the form of "humanitarian racism" and it is the most prevalent form of bigotry found in the West today.

The old-timey, flat-out racism of people like Dylann Roof is, sadly, not dead, but it is certainly dying.

Coming on the heels of Ferguson and Baltimore it is politically-incorrect to say so, but mid-twentieth-century KKK-style, or SkinHeadStyle, American racism is pretty much over - despite this heinous scum in Charleston.

The Klan is not taking over countries.

Neo-Nazis are not destroying ancient artifacts in Palmyra.

On the liberal-left concern with right-wing racists in Europe and the United States is genuine, and politically entrenched, but we should not allow that concern to be used as an excuse to ignore, or downplay, the far more dangerous fact of the rise of political Islam.

2)  The Obama administration sold us out on the issue.

On the question of political Islam the Obama administration simply has nothing to say other than to downplay the seriousness of it and to protect Islam's reputation from itself.

I know that I am not singing to the choir here, and that is a good thing, but it must be stressed that this administration not only refuses to acknowledge the rise of political Islam during the misnamed "Arab Spring" as a serious problem, but has actually aided and abetted that very problem.

The pro-Israel / pro-Obama American-Left must acknowledge that which is directly before their very noses.

Barack Obama is not an Israel-friendly president.  Period.  End of story and stop making excuses.

Barack Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood and is enabling an Iranian bomb.  All we can do is oppose the administration's foreign policy and hope to put enough pressure on Congress, and the powers that be, to oppose political Islam and prevent that bomb from coming into being.

If you think that the rise of political Islam is a problem now, just wait until you get a gander at what it looks like after an Islamist nuclear umbrella covers the region.

That will be, as they say, game over and a nuclearized Iran will be Barack Obama's foremost legacy.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.
  • Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Friday, I quoted Ma'an about the lead ship in the "flotilla" to Gaza:

One of the ships taking part in a flotilla headed towards Gaza strip was sabotaged south of Crete, an activist aboard one of the ships said Thursday.

Israeli-born Swedish activist Dror Feiler told Nazareth-based al-Shams radio that the ship had been sabotaged by professionals, and would have sunk if sailed at sea.

"Somebody went underneath the ship at night and sabotaged its propellers, just like they sabotaged the same ship in 2011,” Fieler said referring to similar damage that was inflicted upon a ship participating in a previous flotilla.

Feiler, who relinquished his Israeli citizenship after moving to Sweden, boarded the trawler Marianne of Gothenburg in Sweden with 18 other activists six weeks ago. The crew had refrained from stopping at European ports prior to avoid being held by authorities, but their trip was cut short after realizing that they might have drowned had they continued.
There has been a miracle!

Here is its track as of Thursday night/Friday:

The pleasure craft is now on its way towards Gaza, without having docked in any port according to online vessel tracking.

Israeli-born Swede Dror Feiler told an Arab Israeli radio station that one of the flotilla's ships had been sabotaged by "professionals", and that a propeller had to be fixed before setting off.

"There are dark forces that are trying to stop us," he told Radio Ashams, without elaborating.

A propeller that was so heavily damaged that it might have sunk the boat as repaired within hours without even going to a dock!

These guys lie as second nature. And the media has no scruples about believing a bunch of Israel-haters.

Here's the latest 24 hour track of the Marianne av Goteborg. It looks like it will be intercepted sometime Monday morning.

  • Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Firas Press reports that Fatah distributed food parcels in Jenin to prisoners and released prisoners - meaning, terrorists - on Saturday evening.

The packages came from the Arab League.

More such gifts will be distributed to terrorists and their families throughout the territories, and, they say, within Israel as well.

The article says that the Arab League created a fund to support Palestinian terrorists and their families, and initiate 30 projects over the past several years to support the prisoners and released prisoners.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

From Ian:

What’s Israel supposed to do? Ask the UN for help?
Hamas, the gang that controls the Gaza Strip and hopes to destroy Israel, makes war in its own peculiar way.
It conducts a terror campaign by randomly sending unguided missiles across the border, traumatizing the civilian population. Rather than using its payments from Iran to feed its own people, it spends a fortune digging tunnels under the border to Israel, infiltrating the country from beneath the ground. It places artillery on top of apartment buildings and beside schools, so that Israel’s attempts to destroy the artillery will kill as many Palestinians as possible. Hamas built a military command centre underneath Shifa hospital, which Israel built for the Gaza population.
Having counted the dead, Hamas announces the fatal casualties, attempting to shame Israel for mass killing. This is an original form of propaganda warfare, suicide-by-proxy.
If someone attempts to arrange a cease-fire between the combatants, Hamas at first refuses to co-operate, then finally signs on and accepts praise for its peace policy. Eventually, it breaks the cease-fire. Between wars Israel maintains a permanent one-sided cease-fire, having no reason to attack Gaza; in 2005 it closed its Gaza settlements and removed its military forces from the Strip. Hamas can always re-start the war, arousing the ire of their soldiers by complaining about Israel’s enforcement of Gaza’s borders. The borders are shut to keep Hamas from importing arms but Hamas depicts it as hard-hearted retaliation. (h/t Josh Korn)
Students Supporting Israel: Breaking the Silence
This week the United Nations Human Rights Committee published a report on the Israeli operation in Gaza - Operation Protective Edge. Ironically enough, right after the report was published, the Palestinian organization Hamas, which is recognized by the United States and the European Union as a terror group, congratulated the UN on aspects of the commission's findings mentioning that Israel committed War Crimes. The UN has officially lost its sense of morality by announcing that the Israel Defense Force committed War Crimes in Gaza. As the British Commander to Afghanistan Colonel Richard Justin Kemp said in the past conflict in Gaza "We know that the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare".
One of the organizations that provided testimonies for the UN report was “Breaking the Silence”. The testimonies they provided are being spread around the world and used as anti-Israel propaganda by different campus groups, such as Students for Justice in Palestine. Thus, it comes as no surprise that out of all of the organizations that represent Israeli soldiers, Breaking the Silence was the only one invited to speak by the Human Rights Committee, even though they don’t represent mainstream Israeli society or veterans. In this article, I would like to share my truth, to break my silence.
I was born in Israel, a first generation Israeli in my family, and most of my relatives and friends currently live in Israel. My family lives in the city of Ashdod, where Israeli citizens have no more than thirty seconds to run for shelter from Hamas rockets. One of my biggest heroes is my younger cousin Daniel, who just started first grade. Daniel was six years old during Operation Protective Edge. I tried to Skype Daniel and his brother Tal (an 8 year old) as much as I could throughout the war. At some points during our conversations the siren would go off and the rockets would start flying. I had a brief second to ask my cousins “Aren’t you afraid?” Their answer was: “We aren’t, those are just rockets. We must run now, we will talk to you later.” Tal and Daniel hung up the phone and ran for shelter, while I stayed frozen on the other side of the line. For a few minutes I kept repeating to myself their response. “Those are just rockets.” I realized that I must break the silence and tell my family’s’ story, because young kids should not grow up this way. My cousins, like thousands of other Israeli kids, should not have to run away from Hamas’ rockets.
Douglas Murray: ‘Religion of peace’ is not a harmless platitude
The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault.
In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack last month. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London, when ‘Jihadi John’ cut off the head of aid worker Alan Henning in the ‘Islamic State’ and when Islamic extremists attacked a Kenyan mall, separated the Muslims from the Christians and shot the latter in the head. It is what President François Hollande said after the massacre of journalists and Jews in Paris. And it is what David Cameron said yesterday after 38 people, mainly British, were murdered on a beach in Tunisia and a man was beheaded in France.
All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent.
If politicians are so worried about this secondary ‘backlash’ problem then they would do well to remind us not to blame the jihadists’ actions on our peaceful compatriots and then deal with the primary problem — radical Islam — in order that no secondary, reactionary problem will ever grow.
Yet today our political class fuels both cause and nascent effect. Because the truth is there for all to see. To claim that people who punish people by killing them for blaspheming Islam while shouting ‘Allah is greatest’ has ‘nothing to do with Islam’ is madness. Because the violence of the Islamists is, truthfully, only to do with Islam: the worst version of Islam, certainly, but Islam nonetheless.

Friday, June 26, 2015

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: Zilch, zippo, nada, gurnisht, bubkes
Fledgling Israel found itself pitted against immense odds but, despite them, Ben-Gurion didn’t bow to pressure – American or otherwise.
He mounted the Knesset rostrum yet again on December 13 to repeat what he had enunciated a few days earlier: “We cannot assist in the forcible separation of Jerusalem, which would unnecessarily and unjustifiably violate the historical and natural rights of the Jewish people.”
He assertively stressed that “the State of Israel has had, and will always have, only one capital—eternal Jerusalem. This was so three thousand years ago and so it will be, we believe, to the end of time.” Ben-Gurion then put to the plenum’s vote his proposal to transfer the Knesset and the government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It was approved.
Washington, however, sternly disapproved and still disapproves. Although the General Assembly’s resolution was ignobly consigned to history’s rubbish bin, the US Embassy never budged from Tel Aviv.
Israel was incalculably weaker when it dared to stand up against sinister designs to install foreign overlords in Jerusalem. There literally wasn’t enough food to feed the population.
We clearly and painfully weren’t the world’s darlings even when we fought for our very lives merely three years post-Holocaust.
During their entire long UN-flouting invasion of newborn Israel, the Arabs were actively aided and abetted by the Brits. The UN, which didn’t impede the Arab assault, found nothing better to do than send observers to keep tabs on “illegal” Israeli moves. The Americans chillingly slapped an arms embargo on the terrifyingly endangered Jewish state.
Yet embattled little Israel didn’t cower.
Gaza Flotilla NGO Funded by French Government
One of the NGOs behind the latest anti-Israel flotilla to Gaza is funded by the French government, Arutz Sheva has learned.
The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine) is among the groups supporting the Freedom Flotilla III, which seeks to directly defy the Israeli government's blockade of the Hamas-ruled enclave.
On Friday the Platform announced that the latest boat to join the flotilla, The Marianne of Gothenburg, had set sail from Sicily and was set to join four other vessels carrying some 70 anti-Zionist activists en route for Gaza.
Among those on board will be former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, Spanish MEP Ana Maria Miranda Paza and Arab-Israeli MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List), whose planned presence has triggered widespread controversy in Israel.
But another potentially controversial aspect of the flotilla that has been largely overlooked is the role played by European government-funded NGOs.
Nearly half of Israelis see Iran deal as existential threat
US President Barack Obama has failed to persuade Jewish Israelis that the deal his administration is seeking with Tehran will prevent it from becoming a nuclear power, according to a Geocartography Institute poll.
Some 48.5 percent of respondents said the proposed deal was a threat to Israel’s existence, while 22% said they did not, according to the poll taken last month. The rest of the respondents said they did not know or were divided between the two options.
When asked whether they trust Obama to maintain Israel’s security, 44.5% said they did not and 21.9% said they did. The rest of the respondents said they did not know or answered with the Hebrew phrase “kacha-kacha,” meaning “yes and no.”
Just 7.4% of respondents said they would advise Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the Iranian nuclear deal as is.

  • Friday, June 26, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Tony Badran in Now Lebanon:
The agitation in the Druze community in Israel over the situation of their coreligionists in Syria turned bloody on Monday. A Druze mob near Majdal Shams attacked a military ambulance carrying wounded Syrians for treatment in Israel, killing one of them and critically injuring another, while also lightly injuring two Israeli soldiers. The deadly attack followed another attempted assault earlier in the day in the town of Hurfeish in the Galilee.

This was no spontaneous outburst of an angry community. It was, rather, a premeditated, orchestrated campaign designed to use the Druze to embroil Israel in Syria. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is under no illusions. “Behind the scenes, Hezbollah and the Assad regime,” veteran journalist Ron Ben-Yishai wrote last Thursday, “through the Syrian Druze, are trying to play on Israel’s commitment to the loyal Druze community in order to get the IDF to pull their chestnuts out of the fire.” Ben-Yishai's information most likely came from the IDF, as part of its effort to contain and counter what was clearly a targeted information campaign.

Israeli intelligence, Ben-Yishai added, had identified a stream of disinformation about the situation in Quneitra and Suweida that originated in Syria, and which was disseminated to Israel’s Druze through social networks and mobile phones.

Following the deadly attack on the IDF ambulance near Majdal Shams on Monday, Druze communal leaders fingered Lebanese killer Samir Kuntar as being behind the incitement among the Druze of the Golan, especially in the Majdal Shams region. The Israelis have long disclosed that Kuntar was acting on behalf of Hezbollah among the Druze of the Golan and Suweida, facilitating the group’s reach in the area.

Whether or not Kuntar was the liaison on the ground, it was another Lebanese Druze ally of Hezbollah, Wiam Wahhab, who publicly gave the command to launch the assault that would target the IDF ambulances. His participation means there is a straight line between the lynching and Assad/Hezbollah. Several days before the attacks, Wahhab went on a local talk show and urged Druze everywhere to come to the aid of their Syrian brothers. Then he made a specific call on the Druze “in the Golan and in Palestine,” to “prevent the transfer of the wounded (into Israel), to cut off roads, even if they have to clash with the Israeli police which is transferring the wounded.”
Assad and Hezbollah's operation was designed to employ Israel in Syria on their behalf. The Israelis are not fooled. They are more than content to let Assad’s chestnuts in southern Syria continue to burn on an open fire. 

  • Friday, June 26, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Middle East Monitor:
The Kingdom of Morocco has expressed its anger at the report published a few days ago by Iranian Fars news agency accusing Morocco of executing an "Israeli agenda". The report was entitled "Morocco prisoner to Zionist policies".

The official spokesman for the Moroccan government, Mustapha El Khalfi, stated yesterday that "Rabat strongly rejects any abuse directed at the Kingdom, regardless of its source," stressing that "regardless of the intentions and pretexts for the abuses directed at the country, they are rejected and unacceptable and must be condemned."

El Khalfi also added that, "Morocco is a sovereign, free, independent country that exercises its policies and sovereignty in accordance with the constitution that frames the state and is not subject to the dictations of any other party." He noted that "just as Morocco does not interfere in the internal affairs of any country, it firmly refuses to allow any other party to interfere in its affairs."
The next part is actually quite interesting:
The report was published by Fars, the media agency of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, one day after King Mohammed VI of Morocco hosted several foreign ambassadors appointed to work in the diplomatic sector in Rabat. These ministers included the new Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Taqi Moayyed, marking the thawing of relations between the two countries that's have been icy since 2009.
After five years of no diplomatic relations, Iran finally achieved its goal of rapprochement with Morocco - and the very next day they spit in Morocco's face.

What's going on?

Perhaps the answer is that Iran doesn't want friendly relations with the rest of the Muslim world - it wants to dominate the Muslim world. The hardliners in the Revolutionary Guards seem to subscribe to the view that weakness is despicable, and Morocco's making peace with Iran is a sign of weakness. Therefore, it invites Iran to assert its superiority by insulting its new friends.

It sure looks like that is how Iran treats the US with every new concession.


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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 19 years and 40,000 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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