Monday, February 29, 2016

  • Monday, February 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the official website of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un:
Ismail Ahmed Mohamed Hasan, Palestinian ambassador to the DPRK, hosted a reception at his embassy on Friday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il.

Present there on invitation were Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, and officials concerned.

The ambassador said in his speech that Kim Jong Il's revolutionary career is an outstanding example as a state leader possessed of brilliant idea and creative caliber. He devoted himself to the freedom of the country and its people's happiness and the victory of the oppressed people's struggle, the ambassador noted, adding:

The Korean people are making a fresh leap and innovations in all fields for building socialist economic construction under the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un who is leading the all-out advance for building a thriving nation as the successor to the cause of President Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Yang Hyong Sop said that Kim Jong Il made great contributions to firmly defending the country, the nation and the destiny of socialism and ensuring the peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world with his original Songun politics.

He noted that the service personnel and people of the DPRK would surely build a paradise of the people, a reunified powerful nation on this land as desired by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, rallied close around Kim Jong Un.

He said that the DPRK government and the Korean people would as ever send invariable support and solidarity to the just cause of the Palestinian people for regaining the legitimate national rights.
Birds of a feather.

(h/t בחור טוב)

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From Ian:

Howard Jacobson: Anti-Zionists are fools if they think they have a monopoly on compassion
Instead, this being Israel Apartheid Week, allow me, one last time, to address the charge made frequently against anyone for whom Zionism isn’t a dirty word, that such a personage wilfully and maliciously conflates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in order to discredit the former.
Since I am one of the personages so charged, no matter that I have never conflated the two, I will repeat my innocence of the accusation. No, I do not say that an anti-Zionist must be an anti-Semite. Might I ever have said it? Perhaps where anti-Zionism comes to mean that Jews can go to hell in a handcart I might have thought it; but where the anti-Zionism is contingent not eschatolgical, a condemnation of a particular series of political choices and events, not an indictment of heartless expansionism lodged forever in the Jewish character, then no, I am not a conflator. Condemn away, I say.
What I do, however, maintain is that an anti-Zionist might be an anti-Semite and, in some instances, demonstrably is. Whatever its originating motives, anti-Zionism has become, for those who want to use it this way, a get-out-of-jail-free card. Anything can now be said about Jews under cover of anti-Zionism, as though, because an anti-Zionist need not be an anti-Semite, it must, by a perverse logic, follow that he never is.
What those who warn against confusing Israel-hatred with Jew-hatred must answer is why the two frequently confuse themselves. The recent alleged goings-on at Oxford and other campuses suggests that the distinct line which anti-Zionists wish to see drawn between their ideology and anti-Semitism is not respected within their own movement. Call a Jew a Zio, perpetuate the blood libel and mutter of worldwide Jew conspiracy, and you either betray the purity of intention you claim for your cause, or you demonstrate there was never such a purity in the first place.
I won’t play the game of “you suspect my motives so I suspect yours”. I simply ask of those who believe I cannot make a distinction whether the blurring they see is theirs not mine. Look into your hearts. How innocent are you?
David Cameron is no friend of the truth
Last week, in what became a widely discussed incident here in Israel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a discussion at the British Parliament, called Israeli construction in East Jerusalem “genuinely shocking”, while insisting at the same time, that he is a “great friend of Israel”.
What's genuinely shocking, is David Cameron's historical ignorance, hypocrisy and utter lack of moral clarity.
From the Islamic theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, through the Sunni-Shia blood baths in Iraq and Syria, to all the offshoots of the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Muslim brotherhood across the entire length of North Africa, the Islamic Mideast is producing some of the most horrifying levels of rampant murderous violence and persecutions the world has seen in the 21st century.
In the 20th century, the Arab and Islamic mideast was ethnically cleansed of its Jewish population, people who had lived across many parts of the region for more than 2,000 years. Now in the 21st century, religious persecution of the remaining ancient Christian communities, along with other ancient minorities, is occurring before our eyes, as they are brutally persecuted and ethnically cleansed across many parts of the Islamic Mideast and Africa.
Gallup: Americans still overwhelmingly support Israel
Gallup released today its annual survey of American opinion regarding Israel and the Palestinians.
The survey shows that support for Israel versus the Palestinians remains near historical highs, slightly up from last year:
Americans’ views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained steady over the past year, with 62% of Americans saying their sympathies lie more with the Israelis and 15% favoring the Palestinians. About one in four continue to be neutral, including 9% who sympathize with neither side, 3% who sympathize with both, and 11% expressing no opinion.
This data shows, as I have argued frequently, that the “Israel Lobby” is the American people. That support is organic, not imposed by political donors or lobbying groups.

  • Monday, February 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Forward:

Palestinian human rights activist’s tour of Chicago-area college campuses ended on a sour note this week, after he was heckled and threatened by students and anti-Israel protestors. 
Bassem Eid, an East Jerusalem Palestinian who is the founder and director the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, cancelled his planned lecture at Northwestern University Hillel after experiencing unpleasant encounters with protestors at previous events he held at the University of Chicago and DePaul University that week.

Eid’s February 19 talk at the University of Chicago quickly turned contentious as members of the audience took issue with Eid’s opposition to boycotting Israel and with his focus on wrongdoings of the Palestinian Authority, not of Israel.

“Dr. Bassam, do not dare talk about us [Palestinians] anymore,” a member of the audience shouted toward Eid in Arabic. “You have shamed our God… you’ve shamed us, disgraced us, you are a traitor, you are a traitor, in the name of God you are a traitor… You are worse than the Jews and we will hunt you down and find you in every place, be prepared…”

Eid’s presentation, with its shift away from the Israeli occupation, also disturbed the dovish Israeli lobby, J Street.

J StreetU, the group’s campus organization, initially agreed to co-sponsor Eid’s lecture at Northwestern. But after hearing from students who attended his talk at the University of Chicago, the group withdrew its co-sponsorship. “We found some of the things he said troubling and not in line with our core values,” said Jacqueline Soria, co-president of Northwestern J StreetU. She noted Eid’s comment that Americans do not have a role in solving the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, which runs counter to J Street’s agenda of encouraging U.S. government involvement. Eid, she said, also “spoke exclusively about Palestinian responsibility” without talking Israel’s role.

Now you see how "pro-Israel" J-Street is. A belief that real peace cannot be imposed from outside is enough to drop sponsorship of an otherwise stellar human rights activist, but especially the idea that Palestinians are primarily responsible for Palestinian suffering. Even though there are scores of groups that excoriate Israel at colleges every month, J-Street U cannot stand sponsoring a lecture that doesn't.

Keep in mind that J-Street U insists that Hillel allow anti-Israel viewpoints to be hosted there, but it cannot countenance sponsoring any opinions that are not adequately anti-Israel.

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  • Monday, February 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Female driving student in Gaza, 2012
Hamas has started enforcing a six month old law that forbids driving schools in Gaza to have a male instructor teach a woman without a close relative of the woman in the car (mahram.)

Owners of driving schools in the Gaza Strip have been complaining that Hamas police have told them that there must be a mahram with any girl who wants to learn and practice driving.

Jaber Radwan, head of the Driving Schools Owners Association in Gaza, said: "Hamas security asked for the presence of a mahram with every girl trained to drive a car in order to preserve the country and its citizens."

"Schools use only qualified people with good morals."

There are 56 driving schools in Gaza and women make up 20% of the students.

Ayman Shaheen, a director of a driving school, said, "One of the trainers at the school was stopped in the center of Gaza City by security and they requested the presence of mahram with the girl."

Shaheen added that "the officer informed the driver that this is forbidden, and if we do not comply they will impose sanctions to close the schools and impose fines."

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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From Ian:

PA TV Antisemitism: When fish in the sea fight, "the Jews are behind it"
The Palestinian Authority teaches that Jews are "evil" and the source of all bad in the world. An official PA TV host and preacher of Islam explained in his weekly education program about Islam, that as long as Jews are spreading their corruption "humanity will never live in comfort." He illustrated this with an example: "An old man told me: If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it":
"Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land. Humanity will never live in peace or fortune or tranquility as long as they are corrupting the land. An old man told me: If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it. As Allah says: ''Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. They strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters'' (Sura 5:64)." [Official PA TV, Feb. 27, 2016]
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Antisemitism is a fundamental principle of PA ideology. Antisemitic hate speech was recently voiced by PA Chairman Abbas' advisor, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who said that throughout history Jews have represented "evil," "falsehood," "the devils" and "the satans," and accordingly Israel is "Satan's project." Islam and the Palestinians on the other hand constitute "the good" and "Allah's project":
"Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land" - Muslim preacher on PA TV

Isi Leibler: Despite World Challenges, Israel Is Stronger Than Ever
The same applies to Israel internationally. The US will in the long run remain Israel’s best friend and most important ally. Hopefully, the next president shall reflect the positive public support for Israel in the US and reverse the recent erosion of Israel’s international standing by restoring the close bonds between both countries.
But after our experience with the Obama administration, it is crucial that we broaden alliances. The European Union is unlikely to become a friend of Israel, but it is becoming a weaker force and we should seek to strengthen ties with individual European countries. The recent realignment with Greece and Cyprus – former adversaries – is an example. There is also the extraordinary – albeit highly delicate – positive relationship with the Russians and other East European countries.
There has also been extraordinary progress with the three major Asian countries – India, China and Japan, all of whom are today deeply engaged in trade with Israel.
Finally, the upheaval in Syria, the threat of Iran and the emergence of ISIS has brought Israel close to unspoken alliances with Egypt and some of the Gulf States including, ironically Saudi Arabia, the source of Wahhabism and the export of much Islamic extremism throughout the world. Their antisemitism remains unchanged but temporary alliances to confront the threats from the Iranians and ISIS has created strange bedfellows.
Despite the mushrooming antisemitism facing Jews in the Diaspora, especially in Europe, and notwithstanding the despicable bias the Jewish state faces at the UN and other international bodies, Israel today is in an objectively stronger position than it has ever been. But Jews and Israel must be prepared to be more flexible with their allies than has been the case hitherto. In order to be an or l’goyim – a light unto the nations – we must first ensure our own security and only then we can concentrate on tikkun ha’olam – repairing the world.
David Singer: End the West Bank Refugee Gravy Train
As of 14 September 2015, 136 of the 193 United Nations member states have been playing the PLO name-game change and recognised the “State of Palestine”.
These 136 States now need to answer two questions:
1. How can any person living in his own country still be classified as a refugee?
2. Shouldn’t the 760,000 registered Palestinian Arab refugees living in the West Bank have their refugee status revoked and be resettled and fully integrated among their fellow Palestinian Arabs?
Claiming the trappings of Statehood – whilst segregating its citizens into two different classes – is a recipe for continuing tension and future conflict.
Change the name – change the game – but be prepared to accept the consequences.

  • Monday, February 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
After months of negotiations, there will be a Palestinian version of the worldwide "Got Talent" TV series.

But unlike all the other editions, this one is meant to be political.

Instead of saying that this show will help highlight Palestinian Arab talent, the producers have said explicitly that "the objectives of the program are based on the primary goal to deliver a message of Palestinian talent suffering under occupation and successive crises and give them a chance to appear on the local, regional and international level."

The program is not only for Palestinians in the territories. They want Israeli Arabs (what they call "1948 Palestinians") and people of Palestinian descent who were born in other countries to participate as well, in order to maximize the propaganda to push the "right of return."

The world would have a lot more respect for Palestinians if they didn't base their entire self-image on the negation of Israel. This program proves yet again that Palestinian identity is not strong enough to stand on its own and it would not exist without its apparent mandate to demonize Israeli Jews at literally every possible opportunity.

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  • Monday, February 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
EU Observer has an article about how the EU is biased - for Israel.

The piece is ridiculous, because its underlying assumption is that Israel is one of the world's worst violators of human rights. So, the author complains, there are no sanctions on Israel as there are for other countries - without mentioning that these are for things like selling arms to countries like Afghanistan and Sudan.

But perhaps more interesting than how the author twists facts is the author himself.

Martin Konecny heads the European Middle East Project (EuMEP), a Brussels-based NGO.

I had never heard of EuMEP, so I did a little research.

It has no logo. 

It has no Facebook page. 

It doesn't even have a Twitter account (although someone already had the @eumep account.)

It also does not have a functioning web page, even though the domain was registered nearly a year ago. Here is all that it says:

EuMEP is a new and independent project in Brussels that promotes a just and effective EU policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. EuMEP believes that the EU can and should use its leverage to induce respect for international law and help resolve the conflict. EuMEP combines analytical work and advocacy, working closely with a number of leading NGOs and experts. EuMEP supports security, freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.

This of course means that it is meant to convince the EU to pressure Israel, and only Israel, to make unilateral concessions. No one says that Palestinians should be pressured to respect international law, even though they have violated more than their fair share and no one talks about it.

But what has EuMEP done? And who works for it?

I have not been able to find a single employee outside of Martin Konecny himself.

Yet as director of this invisible organization, Konecny has managed to get himself quoted as an expert in various articles about how important it is for the EU  to act against Israel. He has also been used as an expert for meetings at the UN.

He also tweets implicitly anti-Israel cartoons:

The DNS registration for the domain gives an address of Huidevettersstraat 165 in Brussels. The occupant at that address is an NGO called Broederlijk Delen, an anti-poverty organization that also supports "peaceful resistance" by Palestinians.

Even though EuMEP has no apparent staff, no presence and no output, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave it it $70,000 last year for "peacekeeping." And that's just the one funder I could find.

It proves the point that Bassem Eid made when he said that many will throw lots of money at any anti-Israel NGO. Especially when they try to hide their anti-Israel agenda with a message of "peace."

Konecny did not respond to my request for information about the organization.

UPDATE: Bob Knot uncovered that the cofounder of EuMEP is Martin Siepermann, who has a history of anti-Israel activities at The Rights Forum and Electronic Intifada.

UPDATE 2: This document that mentions 5 founders - some that are well-known anti-Israel activists - was discovered:

(h/t Rudi)

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  • Monday, February 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Amnesty International cemented its reputation for anti-Israel bias with its 2015/2016 annual report.

Based on the number of mentions of countries in the report, Israel appears to Amnesty to be the second worst violator of human rights, besides Syria.

Here's how selected countries add up:

The fact is that the world trusts Amnesty to give an accurate portrayal of the relative severity of human rights abuses. And because of years of this kind of obscene anti-Israel bias from Amnesty and others, many in the world really believe that Israel is nearly as bad as Syria, and worse than every other country, in the area of human rights.

It is not even worth the time to disprove it. Those who actually believe that the Jewish state is this bad are either seriously lacking in basic fact checking abilities or they are de facto antisemitic. Even if you believe every one of Amnesty's charges against Israel, to compare the scale of Israel's alleged crimes against those of other countries - people killed by the authorities, amount of land taken, number of arrests, journalists detained, name your metric - Israel would not be close to the top for any of them. If you do a true comparison of how nations protecting their citizens under continuous attack protect human rights, Israel would be the best.

But we cannot trust Amnesty to actually give us facts and figures. We cannot ever expect Amnesty to offer context. That is not their stock in trade. They prefer baseless accusations, exaggeration, belief in the most outrageous and allegations and no sense of context or proportionality when they write their anti-Israel screeds.

Amnesty can do this because it is guilty of the crime it most often hurls at others - impunity. No one goes after them and when they are shown to be liars, they don't even acknowledge their errors let alone correct them.

Amnesty is not about human rights. It is about confirming the existing biases that its researchers have and then shoehorning the data to fit those biases. Their Middle East researchers made up their minds that Israel is evil long ago - now they spend all of their time pretending to prove it by fudging the facts.

And all the proof you need is in the chart above.

UPDATE: Fixed Hamas issue and added North Korea.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

  • Sunday, February 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week, Israel agreed to release some NIS 500 million to the Palestinian Authority.

PA finance minister Shukry Bishara wrote a note thanking his Israeli counterpart for helping with that as well as other agreements they made about Palestinian worker permits in Israel

I would like to express my profound appreciation for last Thursday's meeting. I hope that throughout our discussions, I have succeeded in conveying to you the gravity of the financial challenges that I have to deal with, and in consequence the need to find satisfactory resolution to the issues which are under discussion," Bishara wrote.

I left our meeting heartened that, owing to your leadership and understanding, we have reached a positive turning point and set the stage for new beginnings in the commercial relationship between Israel and ourselves. Although the accommodations that you have already agreed to fall short of what is actually required to resolve comprehensively the outstanding issues, yet I do believe they constitute a welcome and positive step forward.

There is a great deal of hard work ahead of us, and I personally look forward for continued dialogue and cooperation with you.

Lastly, I would appreciate if you would extend my thanks to General Yoav Mordechai for his participation and constructive role during our meeting.

I look forward to seeing you again in the not too distant future.

With warm regards,

Shukry Bishara
Naturally, this letter - which uses fairly standard diplomatic language - is making many Palestinians upset.

One major complaint is the idea of thanking Israel for releasing money that (they believe) should have been given to the PA long ago anyway. Israel has withheld money for various reasons including non-payment of electricity bills and Palestinian reneging on promises not to unilaterally join international organizations.

But the main complaint is that the letter is addressed to Kahlon in Jerusalem, State of Israel. 

I don't think the reason is because they want to see Jerusalem become an international city.

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  • Sunday, February 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel is one of the top ten countries in exporting potatoes (2014 numbers)

  1. Netherlands: US$905.9 million (21.7% of total raw potatoes exports)
  2. France: $519.4 million (12.4%)
  3. Germany: $334.8 million (8%)
  4. Egypt: $326.8 million (7.8%)
  5. China: $272 million (6.5%)
  6. United States: $200.1 million (4.8%)
  7. Canada: $198.2 million (4.7%)
  8. Belgium: $197.6 million (4.7%)
  9. United Kingdom: $144.9 million (3.5%)
  10. Israel: $129.5 million (3.1%)
And that amount increased by 56% since 2010.

This is sort of amazing. Tiny Isrsel exports two thirds the amount of potatoes as the US?

And Israel exports 3.1% of the world's potatoes when it only takes up about 0.006% of the earth's surface?

Who knew?

BDSers did! They seem to have noticed this before anyone else.

I really should pay more attention to their webpages, they have lots of great news!

(H/t Birone)

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From Ian:

Obama’s BDS Bill Stand Hurts Peace
Last week, President Obama reluctantly signed into law a trade bill passed by Congress earlier this month that effectively banned U.S. cooperation with entities that support the BDS — boycott, divestment, sanctions — movement that targets Israel. But in his signing statement, he made clear that he would order the government not to enforce the will with respect to BDS campaigns that might target Israeli economic activity in the territories it has controlled since June 1967. He said this was consistent with longstanding U.S. policy on settlements. While the passage of the measure is to be applauded, there were three clear problems with the president’s stand from the point of view of support for Israel and the quest for peace.
The first is that he makes no distinction between isolated West Bank settlements and the blocs of communities that even he has at times conceded would remain part of Israel if a peace agreement were ever to be reached.
The second is that he also fails to draw any distinction between the disputed West Bank and Jerusalem. Though Obama is right that all of his predecessors did not recognize Israel’s control of a united Jerusalem, he, alone, has sought to treat the Jewish neighborhoods built in part of the city that were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967 as if they were hilltop settlements in isolated areas of the West Bank. In doing so, he has encouraged Palestinians and many of their foreign cheerleaders to believe that Israel’s ancient capital can be re-divided and that the hundreds of thousands of Jews who live in neighborhoods built in the last half-century will be forced out of their homes. Treating those neighborhoods like settlements is not only unrealistic, it alienates most Israelis who rightly view all of the Jewish sections of their capital as part of Israel.
The third is that treating boycotts of Jews in the West Bank and Jerusalem — about which the administration is presumably neutral or perhaps in favor — as somehow different from waging economic warfare against the state of Israel is a dangerous road to go down to. It is true that the U.S. recognizes some territory as Israeli and some not, but in term of boycotts; this is a distinction without a difference. It is also a standard that is not applied to other countries where unresolved territorial disputes linger, such as those of Morocco in the former Spanish Sahara. As it happens, neither the Palestinians nor the Islamist terrorists of ISIS or of Hamas, Hezbollah and their Iranian paymasters recognize any such distinction. Iran will pay a bounty to the families of terrorists who kill Jews inside pre-1967 Israel just as readily as they will to one slaughtered in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Palestinians honor the Arab who shot up a Tel Aviv café in January just as readily as they do those who shoot, stab, stone or incinerate Jews in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Let’s be clear that one doesn’t have to be a fan of West Bank settlements or Israel’s current government to understand that even selective boycotts of Jews in the territories are an attempt to undermine the entire Jewish state, wreck its economy and aid those committing violence against it.
Most important, BDS campaigns of any sort do nothing to advance peace.
Who said ‘occupied’?
A month ago I hosted the management of V15 [the US funded "anyone but Bibi" campaign] or, as it is known by its new name, “Our Way,” in Efrat. As I sometimes do with such get-togethers, I also introduced them to “a representative of our neighbors,” i.e. residents of the neighboring villages, to speak about their “vision” and the reality from their perspective. Not from the standpoint of the media, not from their “non-elected leadership,” but rather directly from them. Regularly, these representatives say that they believe in co-existence.
During this particular visit, one of our neighbors expressed an opinion that shocked the management of “Our Way.”
“By you, your democracy puts a prime minister and president in jail, by us, the president puts the democracy in jail. We don’t want independence, we want to be part of your democracy!” V15 and “Our Way,” who advocate two states for two nations, were shocked upon hearing this statement and went back home with quite a lot to think about. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon declaring in his Bar Ilan speech that he advocates a two-state solution brought upon himself a considerable amount of criticism from the Right and since that time he has reluctantly repeated this statement, but with the attached reservation that “there is nobody to talk to.” It turns out that also opposition leader Isaac Herzog has started to internalize that there is no one to talk to. Yesterday, it was the chancellor of Germany that learned the lyrics to “there is no one to talk to.”
Last week Gadi Taub published an article under the headline “Why would they let us leave?” He tells about a conversation with a Palestinian journalist that surprised him. The journalist said to him, “Why do you think that we’ll let you leave the territories? Who will watch over us?” It seems that Taub was also shocked upon hearing this. Since in the past I was a student of Taub’s, I allow myself to believe in his sincerity.
Playground at Beit El settlement comes under sniper fire
A children’s playground at the West Bank settlement of Beit El was hit by sniper fire Saturday night. No one was injured in the attack.
According to Channel 10 television, the gunfire is believed to have come from the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Jalazoun. The IDF launched a search in an effort to track down those responsible.
The incident came a day after a Palestinian teenager was shot dead as he tried to stab Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint close to the settlement. Palestinian sources later said that the youth had American citizenship, and named him as 17-year-old as Mahmoud Muhammad Shaalan, a resident of the village of Deir Daboun, north of Ramallah.

  • Sunday, February 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

In a January 18, piece for the Guardian entitled EU adopts resolution criticising Israeli settlement activity by Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem and Jennifer Rankin in Brussels, we read:
leavingThe European Union has unanimously adopted a tough resolution criticising Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, despite fierce efforts by Israel to persuade some EU members to block it. 
The resolution was agreed by the EU foreign affairs council on Monday after Greece, one of five countries Israel had hoped would block acceptance of the resolution, backed down following a weekend of wrangling and pressure from Palestinian officials and other European diplomats.
Europe seems intent upon making itself more and more irrelevant to the Jewish State of Israel, as well as to the Jewish people as a whole. The EU's open-door policy for Arab-Muslim migrants in the millions is contributing to the evacuation of many Jews throughout Britain and the continent. The reason for this is because of the amazingly high level of violently-inclined Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism as expressed in the streets of Malmö or Paris or any number of European cities today.

The problem is not merely that Europe is importing perhaps millions of Middle Easterners and North Africans onto the continent, but that huge percentages of these folk also happen to despise the Jewish people and tend to have no desire to integrate into liberal European society. They also tend to have an outright hatred for Gay people and a belief in the inferiority, and servitude, of women. We all know this, of course, but few decision-makers in Europe honestly seem to care or find it in their political best interests to publicly acknowledge this cultural reality.

What makes it so much worse, of course, is the inclination among those European decision-makers to isolate and reprimand the Jewish state as a kind-of unique evil. Of all the countries in the world, it is little democratic Israel that gets singled out by the EU and various European governments for sanction and continual reprimand because Jews actually dare to live in Judea and Samaria, the land that Jewish people come from.
The resolution emphasised that EU agreements with Israel applied only to the State of Israel within the pre-1967 border, adding that the “EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. This does not constitute a boycott of Israel, which the EU strongly opposes”.
This is a lie, of course.

Not only does the EU not strongly oppose the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the State of Israel (BDS) it absolutely encourages that political movement via efforts such as this one. What the EU is telling the world - much to the happiness of Islamists everywhere - is that Jewish people have no right to purchase housing on historically Jewish land..

There is an irony in the fact that while western Europe has flung open its doors for Arabs to come and live wherever they want, the western European elite wrinkle their noses at the whif of Jews building housing for themselves on the land that Jewish people have lived upon for something close to four-thousand years.

Furthermore, by sanctioning the Jews of Judea and Samaria - which Jordan dubbed "West Bank" for the purpose of erasing Jewish history and thereby undermining Jewish claims to their own homeland - the EU encourages violence toward European Jewry by those very same immigrants who often tend to despise Jews for religious reasons to begin with.

When the EU adopts resolutions such as the one above it sends a very clear message not only to the great Arab-Muslim majority in the Middle East, but to the Arab-Muslim minority in Europe, that it is open-season on Jews.
Hinting that further measures may be in the pipeline, it continued: “The EU will continue to closely monitor developments on the ground and their broader implications and will consider further action in order to protect the viability of the two-state solution, which is constantly eroded by new facts on the ground.”
The two-state solution is dead for the very simple reason that the Arab powers, including the Palestinian Authority, never wanted it to begin with. The tendency among Europeans to blame the Jews for Arab behavior is a measure of European dislike of Jews, in general.

It certainly has nothing to do with Israeli-Jewish intransigence on the question of a 23rd Arab state because the Jewish people have acknowledged their readiness to give away their heartland for peace since the Peel Commission of 1937. The reason that there is no peace between the Arab majority and the Jewish minority in that part of the world, despite the fact that Israel treats its Arab citizenry far better than does the rest of the Arab-Muslim world, is because of Koranic forbiddance.

So, can you blame Jewish people for wanting to leave Europe? Were I a European Jew I would be pondering every possibility for relocation to Israel, North America, or Australia.

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.

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

  • Sunday, February 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Saudi cleric Sheikh Sa’d Al-Ateeq said in his fatwa show on the Saudi Ahwaz TV channel that when people post pictures of themselves and their children on social media platforms, they risk becoming afflicted with diseases, including cancer. Sheikh Al-Ateeq warned that people might print these pictures and apply sorcery to them, causing those photographed to fall ill. The show aired on February 3, 2016.

Here are screenshots of Al Ateeq so you can print them out and practice your sorcery skills on them.

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  • Sunday, February 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Amnesty International has issued another one-sided anti-Israel report accusing the Jewish state of "arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions" by closing off and adding checkpoint to areas of Hebron where Arabs have been stabbing Jews.

Obviously, the mere murder and attempted murder of Jews is not enough of a reason to take any measures to protect them, since Amnesty does not seem to believe that Jews (especially Jews who choose to live in Judea and Aamaria) have any human rights.

Yes, even though there have been over 20 violent attacks resulting in injuries and at least four deaths in the area of Hebron since October (Amnesty only counts one,) Amnesty believes that it is "arbitrary punishment"  to limit access to the specific areas where Jews are being attacked.

Amnesty claims that the closing of stores along Shuhada Street - where there had been several attacks on Jews  -  collectively punishes "tens of thousands" of Palestinians in Hebron. Yet Shuhada Street is only a tiny part of  the Jewish part of Hebron, most of which is closed to all Jews. Is that collective punishment for Jews? Obviously not from Amnesty's point of view. Jews have no rights.

One part of the report praises an NGO called Youth Against Settlements:
Alongside the recent restrictions on movement in the centre of Hebron, human rights defenders – Palestinian, Israeli and international – have come under renewed pressure from Israeli forces and settlers. The area of the closed military zone extends to a house in Tel Rumeida owned by Issa Amro, a human rights defender and director of Youth Against Settlements, a Palestinian activist group committed to non-violence. The house functions as the group’s headquarters and an education centre, but is now only accessible to Issa Amro, as he is the legal owner.
Is Youth Against Settlements really committed to human rights and non-violence?

Here are photos from their Facebook page glorifying stone throwing and shooting projectiles:

Here the organization calls explicitly for its "non-violent youth" to attend a violent demonstration:

And here they reproduce a poster with fake Talmud quotes using a generic Jew (taken from a wedding photographer page) as the embodiment of evil.

This is pure antisemitism from an organization that Amnesty regards as "non-violent" and pro-human rights.

Amnesty actually timed this report to coincide with Youth Against Settlements' annual Open Shuhada Street campaign, showing that Amnesty is in a real sense partnering with an organization that supports violence and Jew-hatred.

Way to go, Amnesty!

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

  • Saturday, February 27, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
In late January, Amira Hass gave a speech at the University of Kent where she accuses the "Elders of Zion" - a group of  Jews - to have planned the eternal subjugation of Arabs in the territories:
And I ask myself did the Elders of Zion really sit together at the beginning of the Seventies and then during the nineties, and plan, and have all these military orders, all these changes? I believe that they knew for sure that they don’t want to give back the land and in the Nineties, my conclusion is that they wanted to do everything possible to stop(?) the two state solution.

So this Haaretz writer went down to the depths of classic antisemitic conspiracy theories and used it at a university lecture.

People naturally complained. And the university response is almost as sickening as the original statement.
Asked to clarify the University’s position and what action will now be taken to prevent the use of further antisemitic rhetoric at the University under the guise of political discourse about Israel, David Powell, Head of the Office of the Vice Chancellor told us to confirm that no action would be taken, writing:

“A debate may doubtless be had about the precise point that Ms Hass may have been making in her own presentation but we would note that she is a bona fide (and award winning) journalist working for a respected Israeli newspaper.”
There you go! If you are a "bona fide" and award wining journalist, you cannot be possibly say anything that is too offensive for college audiences!

It's a get out of jail card for antisemites!

Antisemitic conspiracy theories are not to be shunned, as long as they are promulgated by someone who is famous. Hass' fame allows antisemitism to rise from something that is reprehensible into something that can be legitimately debated.

That is exactly what Kent University is saying.

As far as this new guidance that being an award winning journalist may say whatever he or she wants on campus without consequence, I wonder if that rule applies to all forms of bigotry, or only one specific kind?

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From Ian:

SFSU’s Deafening Silence on Partnership with Palestinian University
According to Matthew Levitt, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, An-Najah is known for “terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of students,” particularly those associated with the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. Likewise, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes that An-Najah’s student council “glorifies suicide bombings and propagandizes for jihad against Israel.” An-Najah put off its 2015 student elections indefinitely for fear of a Hamas victory.
An-Najah’s June 2014 graduation ceremony featured banners paying tribute to Hamas leaders and graduates posing for a picture, holding up three fingers to represent three Israeli teens kidnapped by Hamas, the terrorist act that ignited the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. An-Najah students are notorious for having constructed a gruesome replica of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria Jerusalem suicide bombing.
While Abdulhadi’s allusion to steering these radical students away from violence and towards democratic activism may be admirable, the fact remains that a student exchange program with this university could pose a significant security risk. And Abdulhadi doesn’t plan to stop there. In a 2014 interview, she pledged to further such collaboration:
[I]t’s not going to be exclusive to two Palestinian universities; we plan to connect with other universities in Palestine and elsewhere in the Arab world as well as in Muslim majority countries.
When asked by email to confirm the MOU with An-Najah and to comment on potential security concerns, SFSU President Leslie Wong did not respond. Indeed, SFSU has remained remarkably quiet on the subject, other than defending Abdulhadi from allegations of improper use of university funds with a controversial 2014 “Academic and Labor Delegation to Palestine” for the purpose of meeting with An-Najah and Bir Zeit representatives to cultivate the MOU (and, in the process, individuals affiliated with U.S. State Department-designated terrorist organizations).
If, as Abdulhadi boasts, the alliance with An-Najah is such an impressive accomplishment, what accounts for SFSU’s reticence? Could it be that President Wong is less than eager to publicize SFSU’s relationship with a Palestinian university that is a hotbed of radicalization, particularly given SFSU’s own troubled history of anti-Israel extremism? In a matter of this gravity, silence from SFSU’s administration is not an option.
Top Dems Outraged Over Obama Efforts to Ignore Pro-Israel Provisions
Leading Democrats are taking aim at the Obama administration for its opposition to newly passed legislation that aims to bolster the U.S.-Israel economic relationship and combat boycotts of Israel, according to a statement issued this week.
The Obama administration announced that it opposes portions of a bipartisan trade bill that would strengthen economic ties between the U.S. and Israel and force trade partners to sever ties with backers of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, an anti-Israel movement that seeks to economically isolate the Jewish state.
President Barack Obama issued a rare statement opposing the bill’s pro-Israel language this week, claiming that it sought to legitimize Israeli settlements. Obama stated that he would not enforce the pro-Israel provisions as a result of his personal disagreement with the policies.
The statement prompted top Democrats to break with the president.
The fracture between these Democrats and the administration comes amid White House support for efforts to label Jewish-made goods produced in disputed areas of Israel. These efforts have been described as anti-Semitic by Israel’s government.
“While the Obama Administration has reiterated its opposition to boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel, it has mischaracterized the TPA and Customs bill provisions as making a U.S. policy statement about Israeli settlements,” Sens. Harry Reid (D., Nev.), Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), Ben Cardin (D., Md.), Michael Bennet (D., Colo.), and Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said in a joint statement released Thursday.
The senators accused the Obama administration of lying about the pro-Israel bill and pushing a false narrative in efforts to oppose it.
Speaker Ryan: Congress Will Fight Obama Efforts to Ignore Pro-Israel Law
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) told the Washington Free Beacon on Friday that Congress will fight against an Obama administration decision to not enforce portions of a new bill aimed at strengthening the U.S.-Israel economic relationship and combating boycotts on the Jewish state.
Ryan’s statement comes in response to a White House effort to waive portions of a new bipartisan trade bill that would boost U.S.-Israel economic ties and fight against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which seeks to economically isolate Israel.
Top Democrats recently broke with the White House’s position on the bill, accusing it of lying about its pro-Israel provisions. These Democrats—including Sens. Harry Reid (Nev.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), and Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.)—demanded that the president follow the law as Congress wrote it.
Ryan agreed with his colleagues across the aisle, telling the Free Beacon that congressional leaders will use their oversight authority to ensure that the pro-Israel measures are upheld.

Friday, February 26, 2016

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: Obama signs Israel anti-boycott provisions into law, settlements and all
Congress recently passed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. The massive trade and customs bill contains, inter alia, provisions designed to oppose boycotts and similar economic warfare against Israel. Yesterday, President Obama signed the bill into law.
While signing it, he made a statement, objecting to parts of the law that oppose boycotts of Jewish Israeli enterprises in the West Bank and Golan Heights. (The law’s anti-boycott protections apply to “Israel” and “Israeli-controlled territories.”)
The actual effect of the signing statement, however, is nil. It does not in any way limit the reach or finality of the law. Indeed, the statement does not even purport that parts of the law are unconstitutional or unenforceable. Nor could the president easily have done so: Congress in passing the law used core Article I powers that the president cannot unilaterally restrict — in particular, the powers to regulate foreign commerce and the federal courts.
Thus after Obama’s signature, the provisions of the law that apply to Israeli-controlled territory are as much binding legislation as the rest of the bill.
Eugene Kontorovich: Obama’s conflation and obfuscation about Israeli settlement boycotts
President Obama signed into law this week important measures opposing boycotts of Israel. While signing the law, he complained about its application to “Israeli-controlled territories.” He claimed the provisions were “contrary to longstanding bipartisan United States policy, including with regard to the treatment of settlements.”
In a previous post, I explained how the signing statement does not change, or purport to change, the binding legal force of the law. But it is more important as a political statement, and as such it is wrong on the facts. The law does not, as he complained, “conflat[e]” settlements with Israel proper. Indeed, it distinguishes sharply between them. The law speaks of two distinct areas: “Israel” and “Israeli-controlled territories.” That means that those “ territories” are something different from “Israel” — precisely the position of the administration. To be sure, the law opposes boycotts of both areas, but that is not conflating them, any more than opposing terrorism, or the use of foreign armed force, against both areas would be conflating them.
Rather, the law treats Israel and the settlements as distinct. However, in terms of certain foreign commerce issues, it applies the same legislative approach. Obama’s definition of conflation means that Congress is prohibited from enacting the same foreign commerce legislation for these two areas because the president does not like it on policy grounds — an absolutely unheard-of limitation on the foreign commerce power. Indeed, Congress has already given the same customs treatment to both, and otherwise applied identical rules to both, without any complaints about conflation.
The real conflation here is on the part of the White House — and J Street and Peace Now, which provided its talking points. They have conflated opposition to settlements with openness to using boycotts against them.
Oberlin Professor Claims Israel Was Behind 9/11, ISIS, Charlie Hebdo Attack
A professor at Oberlin College, one of the most prestigious institutes of higher education in the country, has written and shared a series of Facebook posts claiming that Jews or Israelis control much of the world and are responsible for the 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo attacks and the rise of ISIS.
Joy Karega, an assistant professor of Rhetoric and Composition, shared a graphic shortly after the Charlie Hebdo shooting last year of an ISIS terrorist pulling off a mask resembling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The terrorist has a tattoo with a Star of David and the acronym “JSIL” – presumably a Jewish version of ISIL/ISIS. The picture includes graphic text implying that the murder of cartoonists was a “false flag” conspiracy designed to stop French support for Palestinians. In the accompanying status, Karega wrote, “This ain’t even hard. They unleashed Mossad on France and it’s clear why.” The Mossad is Israel’s national intelligence agency.
She wrote the same day that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to the massive free-speech rally in Paris “uninvited and of course he went even when he was asked by Pres. Hollande (France) not to come. Netanyahu wanted to bend Hollande and French governmental officials over one more time in public just in case the message wasn’t received via Massod [sic] and the ‘attacks’ they orchestrated in Paris.” She neglected to mention that Netanayhu was in Paris to honor four Jews who were killed in a terror attack in a kosher supermarket that same week. Karega also wrote in November that ISIS was not really Islamic, but rather “a CIA and Mossad operation, and there’s too much information out here for the general public not to know this.”
Anti-Zionist Max Blumenthal jeered at Toronto event
A sold-out evening headlined by controversial Jewish anti-Israel activist Max Blumenthal went ahead as scheduled on Wednesday evening in Toronto, despite drawing heavy condemnation from Canada’s organized Jewish community.
He spoke to upwards of 500 guests at an event titled “Embattled Truths: Reporting on Gaza with Max Blumenthal.” It was organized by PEN Canada — a charity which advocates for free expression and other basic rights for writers — and hosted at the Toronto Reference Library in honor of Freedom to Read Week in Canada.
The talk, which featured a question and answer period, was marred by constant heckling and jeering from more than a dozen protestors who attended, most of whom from the far-right Jewish Defense League of Canada.
Blumenthal addressed the controversy surrounding his appearance, saying that pro-Israel groups attempt to make an example of him.

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