Monday, October 31, 2016

From Ian:

#IAmBalfour – Declaring 100 Years of Britain’s Support for Israel
The Balfour Declaration, published on 2 November 1917, was a letter addressed by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour that proclaimed Britain would support the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people”. This declaration paved the way for Israel to be reborn as a nation.
In September 2016, the Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly that Britain should apologise for the Balfour Declaration. To attack Israel’s very existence is at its root anti-Semitic. And in October 2016, anti-Israel activists launched a campaign to pressure the UK Government to apologise.
#IAmBalfour is a year-long petition, starting on the 99th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which provides YOU with an opportunity to declare solidarity with Britain’s 100 year support of Israel, seeks to raise awareness and urges the British Government to uphold its commitment to Israel and the Jewish people – without apology.
Sign the #IAmBalfour Declaration

UK's despicable liberals owe Israel an apology
We have just witnessed the shameful spectacle of a Jew-hating event hosted by the House of Lords and chaired by the notorious anti-Semite Baroness Jenny Tonge, who co-organised the event with the Palestine Return Centre. During the session, Israel was compared to Islamic State and Jews were blamed for pushing Hitler over the edge and bringing the Holocaust on themselves. Baroness Tonge appeared to enjoy the sessions. Her only concern was that someone might overhear them. There may be “Zionist ears in the room,” she warned her audience.
Baroness Tonge is no stranger to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist paranoia. A purveyor of the modern-day blood libel, she accused the Israel Defense Forces’ medical team in Haiti in 2010 of harvesting organs. Two years later, she appeared at an Israeli Apartheid Week event and called for an end to the Jewish state, which she described as an “aircraft carrier.” She has also expressed support for Arab suicide bombers and has repeatedly railed against the so-called pro-Israeli lobby, which “has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips.”
Baroness Tonge represents everything that is wrong with left-wing liberalism in Britain. Arrogant, elitist, self-righteous, smugly comfortable, she is completely out of touch with the lower middle and working classes (she is, after all, a Baroness in the House of Lords). She is also one of those ‘anti-racist anti-Semites’ who sees racism everywhere except when it presents itself as Jew-hatred. Baroness Tonge, like many left-wing liberals, believes that history is on their side when it comes to multiculturalism, the demise of national borders and the annihilation of Israel.
In a word, she is despicable.

  • Monday, October 31, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has a remarkable monograph published two years ago called "The Future of Christians in the Middle East" written by Rev. David Neuhaus.

Remarkably, the document tries to downplay the dangers of radical Islam to Christians, by pointing out that they are not the only targets:

Fear is linked to a term on the lips of many who observe what is happening: persecution of Christians. There is no doubt that some Christians have been killed because their Muslim extremist executors see them as infidels, polytheists or Western spies. However, as the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land pointed out:

In the name of truth, we must point out that Christians are not the only victims of this violence and savagery. Secular Muslims, all those defined as “heretic”, “schismatic” or simply “non-conformist” are being attacked and murdered in the prevailing chaos. In areas where Sunni extremists dominate, Shiites are being slaughtered. In areas where Shiite extremists dominate, Sunnis are being killed. Yes, the Christians are at times targeted precisely because they are Christians, having a different set of beliefs and unprotected. However they fall victim alongside many others who are suffering and dying in these times of death and destruction. They are driven from their homes alongside many others and together they become refugees, in total destitution.

It is also clear that the term “persecution” when it is used uniquely to describe Christian suffering in the contemporary Middle East, is often being manipulated within the context of a particular political agenda whose aim is to sow prejudice and hatred, setting Christians against Muslims.
Even worse, the document tries to lump the Jews together with (some) Muslims as persecutors of Christians:
Hundreds of thousands of Christians have left behind their homelands not only in Iraq and Syria, but also in Egypt, Palestine, Israel and elsewhere, and immigrated to the West, to the New World, to more welcoming Arab countries like Jordan and Lebanon, in the wake of the collapse of a known political order.
Christians are more comfortable in Lebanon or Jordan than in Israel? Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled Lebanon in the past 50 years, and the percentage of Christians in Jordan has plummeted from 20% in 1930 to 4% today.

These are the writings of a dhimmi who wants to ensure that the dwindling population of Christians in the Middle East don't rock the boat, so he tells them that Islam is tolerant and Israel is also a place from which Christians feel they must flee.

The author converted from Judaism to Christianity.

(h/t Irene)

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About a week ago, popular anti-Israel activist Rania Khalek arrived for a visit in her ancestral Lebanon and was immediately disappointed. As she announced to her almost 100,000 Twitter followers: “I’m back in Lebanon for the 1st time in 9 years and struck by how few ppl care about Palestine & Israel. Ppl are consumed by Syria & ISIS.”

Given how freely she admitted that she was utterly clueless about what’s going on in the region to which she dedicates so much of her “journalistic” output, it’s perhaps useful to recall that Khalek told a fan last year in an interview: “I became a journalist by accident … I majored in exercise science and was working in cardiac rehabilitation and preparing to go to nursing school.” But then, some day in 2008, exercise science major Rania Khalek discovered by chance that the mainstream media kept all sorts of important news from her, and she promptly decided to do something about it; in particular, she soon began devoting herself to educating the world about the endless evils committed by Israel.

A noble mission, no doubt – but despite Khalek’s undeniable passion for her new calling, her ‘accidental’ journalism has begun to look more and more like a terrible train wreck. To be sure, none of Khalek’s fans were much disturbed by her openly displayed antisemitism, though there were a few raised eyebrows when she once tried to argue that a site promoting Holocaust denial also provided “completely factual” material about the unspeakable evils of Zionism. More recently, however, Khalek got caught in the backlash against her good friend Max Blumenthal, who alienated many of his fans when he tried to present the heroic Syrian rescuer group “White Helmets” as part of a sinister Western conspiracy against jolly good old Bashar Assad. In the ensuing controversy about the unsavory views of some prominent anti-Israel activists, it turned out that Khalek had been rightly accused of plagiarism. At about the same time, a piece she had written in late September for The Intercept – a publication co-founded by Israel-hater Glenn Greenwald – suddenly attracted sharp criticism; the article on the supposed impact of sanctions against the Assad regime was even denounced as “yellow journalism” and – somewhat belatedly, in my humble opinion – there were complaints about “Khalek’s demonstrable contempt for factual accuracy and [her] proven record of misleading readers.” I’ll admit that I’m tempted to say “I told you so”…

But Rania Khalek was far above such criticism, and soon after arriving in Lebanon, she confidently asked her fans to finance her trip to the region on which she had “reported” for years without having visited for almost a decade. As she writes in her fundraising appeal: “I wanted to go to the region first hand to get a real sense of what’s happening.” Initially, she wanted $ 12,000 for a month; in the meantime, she has become a bit more modest and is now asking for only $8000 (she has received pledges for almost $2800). Interestingly, she lists among the services she has to fund “translators,” which presumably means that even though her parents are Lebanese and she sometimes complains about experiencing discrimination as an Arab and Muslim, she doesn’t know Arabic.

Shortly after Khalek started her fundraising campaign, it became clear what had finally brought her to the Middle East: it was quite obviously not just the urge “to go to the region first hand,” but rather a “conference” organized by none other than Bashar al-Assad’s father-in-law. As the Guardian put it, “critics” were denouncing this conference as “little more than a Syrian regime propaganda exercise.” The announcement for the invitation-only event described it as a “workshop” under the rather cynical title “State of Play in Syria.” The program featured several “sanctioned war criminals” and, astonishingly, Khalek was listed as co-chair and presenter for a session on the effects of Western sanctions, where she perhaps planned to recycle her discredited Intercept article.

When she was faced with a fast and furious backlash on Twitter, Khalek decided to dig herself in a little bit deeper: she posted an utterly insincere statement, claiming she was just visiting Syria “with other international journalists” and that the conference would also be attended by “reporters from major international outlets” such as the New York Times and the Washington Post – that is to say: media outlets for which Khalek had always expressed nothing but contempt were suddenly useful for providing her some cover. She also claimed that she had thought she would participate in the conference under “Chatham House rules” – i.e. the identity of speakers and participants would remain confidential – which amounts to admitting that she had hoped it wouldn’t come out that she had agreed to co-chair a session and also serve as a speaker.

She was bitterly mocked in response, with some people including graphic images of the victims of Assad’s atrocities. Soon the criticism also extended to Ali Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada, where she was not only a regular contributor but also an editor. Apparently, Abunimah was more interested in saving his own skin than in defending Khalek, and she eventually announced with considerable bitterness: “The outrageous attacks against me have expanded to @intifada. So I’m stepping down as an editor. The professional smear artists won.”

That turned out to be too little too late, as e.g. reflected in the disappointed musings of one fairly prominent (former) Intifada fan who lamented: “After years of fine journalism, the obtuse and abrasive nature of @intifada’s senior figures has caught up with them.” “Recent conduct of @intifada figures is a lesson for how you can build a strong activism brand, then destroy it in a few disastrous weeks.” “For years they used Palestine as a fig leaf; as an ‘instantly gain moral high ground’ card.” “I don’t know which is more sad. That @intifada shot itself in the foot, or that its leading figures were revealed for what they are.”

I will admit that I can see no reason for sadness – in fact, I think it’s great that leading anti-Israel activists have been “revealed for what they are.”

But Rania Khalek seems to be quite desperate now: she has posted yet another statement “[in] response to the ongoing deluge of questions, innuendo and attacks,” where she even admits that it was “a careless mistake” not to pay “close attention to the details of the workshop” – which she now claims not to have attended. That sounds like an admission that her critics were right, doesn’t it? It also sounds like an admission that her previous statement defending her participation in the workshop “under Chatham House rules” was just so much BS…

In the end, it has come to this: I find myself completely agreeing with a (now former) Intifada colleague of Rania Khalek: “If a journalist can’t figure out the nature of a conference she’s speaking at, she’s been discredited as a reliable judge of info + sources.”

And yes, this obviously means that Khalek didn’t resign from Abunimah’s Intifada, but that she was fired: “EI fires Rania Khalek. her now ex EI colleagues disavow her to try to preserve whatever appearances are left.”

Abunimah himself has taken a vacation from Twitter – perhaps he needs some time to figure out how best to preserve whatever appearances are left?

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From Ian:

Palestinian cop shoots, injures 3 IDF soldiers
Three Israeli soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in a shooting attack by a Palestinian police officer at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, according to officials.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, the gunmen approached the Focus checkpoint, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle at the troops stationed there, the army said.
“The force responded [to the attack] with return fire at the terrorist,” the army said.
The assailant was shot and killed by Israeli forces, an IDF spokesperson said.
The gunman was named as Muhammad Turkman, a police officer, by the official Palestinian Authority news outlet al-Hayat al-Jadida.
The soldiers were all approximately 20 years old and sustained “penetrating wounds” — meaning gunshot injuries — to the extremities, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.
PMW: PA official defends naming school after mastermind of Munich Olympics massacre
Following Palestinian Media Watch's report on a new Palestinian Authority school named after Salah Khalaf, one of the planners of the murders of the 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, District Governor of Tulkarem Issam Abu Bakr, who is a PA official, defended the naming of the school after the terrorist.
After the Israeli Prime Minister's Arabic spokesman Ofir Gendelman responded to PMW's report and tweeted about the naming of the "Martyr Salah Khalaf School," the PA official replied with praise for the terrorist and others like him, stating that Palestinians will never forget them:
"The occupation is deluded if it thinks that the Palestinian people can change its culture and forget its leaders, Martyrs Yasser Arafat, Khalil Al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), Salah Khalaf, and a great number of the fighters who sacrificed their blood for the freedom, independence, and establishment of the independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem." [Ma'an, independent PA news agency, Oct. 26, 2016]
Fatah also glorified the Munich Olympics massacre this week, honoring Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, another of the planners of the terror attack, boasting that they "executed" the Israeli athletes "in the heart of Germany":
Posted text: "Picture of Muhammad Daoud 'Abu Daoud,' one of the leaders of Fatah's Black September organization and the main planner of the Munich operation that executed the Israeli Olympic delegation in 1972 in the heart of Germany."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Oct. 24, 2016, emphasis added]

Mosul, CNN, ISIS and Israel
An American led coalition is fighting Islamic State (ISIS) in its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. This is very similar to Israel's battles against the terror group Hamas. So why does CNN report on Israel so differently? Why the double standard?

  • Monday, October 31, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Fatah Facebook page is filled with posts about Yasir Arafat as the 12th anniversary of his death is coming up. Literally two out of every three posts is dedicated to Arafat. During the rest of the year, the ratio is about one in three posts on Arafat, a tacit admission that the current Palestinian leadership has not ignited any passion in the ensuring 12 years.

This one sums the Arafat posts up nicely::

It is Arafat's terrorism, not his supposed desire for peace, that Palestinians remember him for.

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  • Monday, October 31, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Things are starting to fall apart in both the PA and Hamas-controlled territories.

In Gaza, Hamas quietly arrested and reportedly tortured one of its own senior leaders, Mushr al-Masri, on alleged charges of embezzlement and treason.

Reports say that he was briefly transferred to a hospital because of the beatings he endured, only to return to the prison.

News reports say that Hamas has arrested a number of its own in recent months on charges of collaborating with Israel, and some have been executed while the official cover story is that they were killed "while performing tasks of jihad."

On the West Bank, however, things look even worse for the PA.

The pro-Fatah Palestine Press Agency reports that the increasing number of clashes between various armed groups, and between these groups and and PA security forces, are all part of attempts to position themselves ahead of any power struggle if Abbas dies or otherwise leaves without a strong successor.

There have been armed clashes between Fatah armed groups and other armed gangs who are making money on illegal drugs and arms, in the Balata camp and elsewhere. The PA security forces are reportedly providing weapons to some armed groups to buy their loyalty in case things go south quickly. Unemployed youths in the camps are susceptible to being recruited to these armed groups. The residents are very worried that a civil war will break out as soon as Abbas is gone without designating a clear successor that is accepted by the people - a prospect that seems dim.

The planned Fatah conference in November may make things worse if it doesn't address these issues. And the increased pressure from Egypt and Gulf states on Abbas to get his act together is putting everyone on edge.

There are big problems in the territories, and things could explode sooner rather than later.

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  • Monday, October 31, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

I glanced at the most recently released John Podesta emails on Wikileaks to see what might not have been reported yet.

Podesta seems to have subscribed to daily blogposts from the ultra-left Tikkun magazine. For example, one day during the 2014 Gaza war he received an article that started off with
For decades, Israel has slaughtered Palestinians with impunity, always protected by the U.S. government and its veto at the UN Security Council. But the latest bloody assault on Gaza has prompted more open talk about Israeli war crimes - and U.S. complicity, says Marjorie Cohn.
This daily demonization of Israel clearly didn't bother Podesta, and in fact there are lots of similar missives in his email box.

Other mailing lists that Podesta subscribes to include "Spiritual Progressives," which like Tikkun was also spearheaded by Clinton family favorite Michael Lerner, and the leftist website Truthout, which would quote anti-Israel media personalities like Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!"

Between this and what we already knew from Clinton's own emails, it is clear that the far-left Jewish community represented by J-Street and Tikkun are the only opinions that she and her aides listen to about Israel.

But I saw one email that showed that Clinton's leftist policy on Israel draws a clear line on BDS. An internal email from the pro-Clinton Saban Family Foundation, which was copied to Podesta, said:
Hi All - I thought you might find this of interest: the Israel on Campus Coalition held a recent call regarding polling that they conducted this past semester. I'll send a fuller sum later, but there was one statistic that I think you would appreciate:
* Once informed about Hillary Clinton's letter opposing BDS, the favorable/unfavorable views held by students regarding pro-BDS arguments shifted 11 points in the right direction.
Just a reflection that she remains a trusted source to students on these issues, and I'm glad to see she is out there conveying this viewpoint.
That is not insignificant. A single letter from Hillary Clinton to college students seems to have hurt the BDS movement on campus more than the millions being spent by Israel and by Jewish donors to combat it. Her progressive bona-fides give her credibility among young people that people who explicitly identify as Zionists can never approach.  

There's a lot more there, like discussions about how to get the media to report on this letter to help Clinton shore up her support from Jews.

The campaign's antipathy towards Netanyahu is total; I cannot find a kind word about him or Israel's elected government anywhere. There are emails about how Clinton should navigate speaking to the Jewish community about Israel without appearing anti-Netanyahu but also not anti-Obama.

In that vein, one letter from Stuart Eizenstat indicates that supposed right-wing Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, was essentially advising Clinton on how to support the Iran deal - which he knew she would never go against - and yet distance herself from the worst of Obama's policies concerning Israel. By my sights, Clinton is following Dermer's playbook fairly closely, although whether this is deliberate or coincidental is an open question.

The overall impression from the campaign is that Hillary is above all a politician whose views are more shaped by what would get her elected than what she really believes. The only way to guess what she believes is to look at who she chooses as her advisors, and the most consistent message from them is of a leftist, J-Street and Tikkun Magazine-oriented view of Israel.

Its existence is not questioned  - no one supports BDS, no one supports a one-state solution.  Everything else about the Jewish state is not only questioned but often harshly criticized by her team, which then scrambles to soften the message for the average Jewish voter to help her get elected, which is the only supreme value about her that shines through.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

  • Sunday, October 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

A Jerusalem Post story about the second president of the United States, John Adams, prompted me to look up the fuller context of two major quotes from him.

 Adams, who was born on October 30, 1735, in Braintree, Massachusetts, grew up in a household based on Puritan values. The Puritans believed themselves to be like the Israelite's fleeing Egypt, wandering into the vast and unknown wilderness and reaching the promised land of the New World.
As their guide, they used the Bible, adopting biblical customs, established biblical codes, such as observance of the Sabbath, and gave their children Hebrew names.
In 1808, in a letter to Dutch Patriot leader and American immigrant François Adriaan van der Kemp, Adams wrote:

I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations ...

They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.
Note that Adams, like most people throughout history, naturally thought of Jews as a nation, not merely a religion.

And he made that even more clear in this 1819  letter to Mordecai M. Noah:

M. M. Noah Esq. 
March 15th. 1819 
Dear Sir, 
I have to thank you for another valuable publication your travels in “Europe
Africa” which though I cannot see well enough to read. I can hear as well
ever & accordingly have heard read two thirds of it & shall in course hear all
the rest. It is a magazine of ancient & modern learning of judicious observa-
tions & ingenious reflections. I have been so pleased with it that I wish you
had continued your travels-into Syria. Judea & Jerusalem. I should attend
more to your remarks upon those interesting countries than to those of any
traveller I have yet read. If I were to let my imagination loose I should wish
you had been a member of Napoleons Institute at Cairo nay farther I
could find it in my heart to wish that you had been at the head of a hundred
thousand Israelites indeed as well disciplined as a French Army-& marching
with them into Judea & making a conquest of that country & restoring your
nation to the dominion of it. For I really wish the Jews again in Judea an
independent nation.
For I believe the most enlightened men of it have
participated in the ameliorations of the philosophy of the age, once restored
to an independent government & no longer persecuted they would soon wear
away some of the asperities & peculiarities of their character & possibly in
time become liberal Unitarian Christians for your Jehovah is our Jehovah
your God of Abraham Isaac & Jacob is our God. I am Sir with respect
esteem your obliged humble servant.
John Adams 
Like most British and American proto-Zionists, the desire for Jews to return to Zion was based on the idea that this would be a precursor to them being converted en masse to Christianity. Nevertheless, the desire by many prominent Christians for Jews to return to their homeland cannot be denied, and was a major reason why Zionism was politically successful.

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, October 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Middle East Eye:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has failed to resolve his stand-off with Egypt or Hamas, according to senior officials who spoke to Middle East Eye.

The officials told MEE the recent meeting between Abbas and top Hamas leaders in Doha made no progress toward ending the long-running split between the two camps.

Dr Khalil al-Hayeh, a member of Hamas's political bureau, said that Abbas “clung to his old positions and showed no flexibility in the meeting".
Which is exactly what I wrote on Friday.

Arab media confirms that both sides didn't show any flexibility.

The article adds:
The relationship between President Abbas and Egypt's leader has deteriorated in the last couple of months, with Abbas decrying what he has called “Egyptian intervention in Palestinian affairs".

Egypt has reportedly led efforts to press Abbas to bring exiled Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan backed into Palestinian politics.

When Abbas rejected the efforts, Egyptian intelligence held a conference in Cairo discussing the relationship between Egypt and the Palestinian cause, which one Palestinian official said was an attempt by Egyptian intelligence to put more pressure on Abbas.

The official said Egyptian intelligence officers made phone calls to Palestinian study centers in Ramallah and tried to persuade them to participate in the conference in Cairo.

“That was a stark intervention in our affairs,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Dahlan enjoys the regional support of the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan. UAE leaders have also tried to persuade Saudi Arabia that Dahlan is a strong potential successor to octagenarian Abbas.

Abbas plans to hold a Fatah party convention by the end of November, which he is expected to use to block Dahlan's return.
Dahlan does seem to be an important if missing player in all of this drama.

Times of Israel, while making more out of the meeting than it appears to have been, notes the background:
These meetings took place after Abbas met the previous week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani.
Erdogan and Sheikh Tamim are considered strong patrons of the Muslim Brotherhood, the great rival of Egypt and its president, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
So what — or, rather, who — has led Abbas straight into the arms of the Muslim Brotherhood, and maybe even into those of Hamas, just days after a high-ranking Hamas official in Gaza called him a traitor?
The answer is simple: Mohammad Dahlan. This former high-ranking Fatah official, who has been challenging Abbas for several years, succeeded this week in areas where even Hamas has failed. He managed to get Cairo on his side in the fight against Abbas and proved how weak and shaky Abbas’s status is in the Arab world.
In addition, Dahlan organized a series of demonstrations in the West Bank against the Palestinian Authority and Abbas — to which hundreds of Fatah activists showed up. So Abbas, who has taken some hard hits in recent weeks (including for attending the funeral of Shimon Peres, in case anyone forgot), caught on to the conspiracy being wrought against him in Cairo, Abu Dhabi (where Dahlan lives), and even Saudi Arabia (which recently cut back its aid to the PA). So Abbas decided to approach the patrons of the Muslim Brotherhood and perhaps bring about a reconciliation with Hamas — mainly with the leadership of the group’s political wing abroad.
Why approach Hamas leaders in Qatar and not in Gaza?
One reason is that the high-ranking members of Hamas in Gaza seem to be collaborating with Dahlan, of all people. This means that the conventional division into various camps (pragmatic Sunnis, the Muslim Brotherhood, Shiites, jihadist Sunnis) created in recent years is once again melting before our eyes. The new Middle East transformed long ago into a juicy and tragic political-diplomatic soap opera, and we cannot predict where the plot of its next episode is headed.
Yet in the end...nothing happens.

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

Palestinians funded UK Labour leader’s 2009 trip to meet Assad
The leader of the UK’s Labour party visited Syria in 2009 on a trip paid for by a Palestinian rights group and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Jeremy Corbyn made the trip along with other members of parliament from all three of Britain’s major political parties, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.
A far-left politician who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends” – an expression he recently said for the first time he regretted using – Corbyn has been accused of encouraging vitriolic speech against Israel as well as Jews by befriending anti-Semitic movements and individuals.
The Syria trip seven years ago was funded by the Palestinian Return Centre, which recently organized an event in the House of Lords during which one member of the audience won applause for claiming that Jews were to blame for the Holocaust and comparing Israel to the Islamic State group.
Members’ Register of Interests records showed Corbyn reported the Syria visit as costing £1,300 ($1,500) and that the purpose was “to visit Iraqi and Palestinian refugee camps in Syria.”
The visit was held to mark the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which the United Kingdom committed to viewing favorably the establishment of a Jewish national home in what would later become the British Mandate on Palestine.
Following his return to Britain, Corbyn told parliament at the time that “I pay tribute to the fact that Syria has accommodated a very large number of refugees and ensured that they are able to live in that country in safety.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Trump Threatens to Release Video Proving Obama, Clinton Carried out Harambe Murder (satire)
At his most recent rally in New Hampshire, Donald Trump dropped a bombshell that has the general public scared, confused and shocked.
“Folks, it seems that creating the most violent terrorist organization in the world was not enough for Obama and Crooked Hillary, and nor is the current “reinvestigation” by the FBI into Clinton’s emails. No, something far more nefarious is going on in the Democratic Party,” the Republican nominee told an enraptured crowd of supporters hanging on to his every word. “I have proof from a very not-credible source that they together, Hussein and Crooked, shot and killed Harambe, that poor innocent gorilla. Terrible, just terrible.”
When questioned whether he was implying that government policies indirectly resulted in Harambe’s death, he quickly clarified that he meant they literally shot the Gorilla themselves. “Listen, I saw the video, I saw it, you will see it too (thank you, Assange). It shows Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary setting up an M40 sniper rifle in the meerkat exhibit, lying on either side of the rifle, and pulling the trigger together. The only part of Hillary that isn’t crooked is her shot when killing innocent gorillas. They are really dangerous! Really bad people!”
Republican supporter Nathan Edelpitz commended the republican candidate for bringing out the truth. “We all knew Harambe was an inside job. Finally we have someone courageous enough to tell it like it is.”
When asked to comment on the allegation, Clinton was visibly confused “I’m pretty sure I never left that video on my email server….not that I killed Harambe with a well-placed sniper shot…that would be silly.”
IsraellyCool: Citi Should Follow The Lead Of American Express
Citibank is the largest foreign bank in Israel. It placed its Citibank Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv. It invests so much in Israeli innovation because to quote a Citibank representative himself it was a “no brainer” to use Israeli talents for this purpose.
Roger Waters has campaigned to prevent every single act from appearing in Israel and sometimes succeeds in doing so using classic antisemitic tropes and lies. He considers Hamas a “peaceful” organisation and actively promotes violence against Israelis calling it “legitimate resistance”.
Considering how much Citibank invests in Israel, and considering the hate and violence Waters represents we ask that Citibank follow the lead of American Express and drop their sponsorship of Roger Waters.
I have complete respect for Citi in Israel. They utilize our innovative workforce, I’ve banked with them. Maybe it’s someone in their corporate office who is simply unaware of who Roger Waters is and represents. But we need to get the message out.
I don’t know who put up this petition, but I signed it and so should you.

A Symbol of the Pro-Palestinian Movement
As the progressive-left and Democratic Party fling around charges of racism like confetti, perhaps it is time to remind people of the forms of western-left racism.

Why, after all, should Republicans and independents get all the fun?

There are charges of racism to be flung with wild abandon on all sides!

The racism embedded in the progressive movement, and thus embedded in the Democratic Party, takes three interrelated forms.

These are humanitarian racism, anti-white racism, and anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.

Humanitarian Racism

The most prominent form of western-left racism is what scholar Manfred Gerstenfeld dubbed "humanitarian racism." 

Humanitarian racism is the primary form of racism practiced in the West, today, but it is a socially acceptable form of racism. It is a type of racism that currently flies under the radar of most Americans even as a form of racism. Humanitarian racists regard all minority groups, and all individuals within those minority groups, as perpetual victims of white racist imperialism, including minority students at elite American universities.

Western-left humanitaran racism acts as a sort-of umbrella racism that shields and nurtures hostility toward white people, malice toward the Jewish state of Israel, and demeaning condescension toward all peoples of non-European backgrounds.

As an underlying theme within the western progressive-left, humanitarian racism can be defined as a prominent form of discrimination typified by the tendency to see minority groups as mere pawns on a world stage dominated by malicious white people intent upon imperial dominance.

Wherever the humanitarian racist casts his eye he sees aggressive western imperialists intent on stealing the resources of non-white peoples in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He sees aggressive western corporate marauders endeavoring to impose their vapid and inauthentic Playstation Culture on the peaceable indigenous peoples of the world. He sees People of Whiteness absconding with the cultural creations of indigenous cultures. 

And, of course, he sees the United States reeking havoc throughout the world in order to yank another filthy dollar out of other people's lands and labor.

Among the things that the humanitarian racist refuses to see, however - aside from the idea that white people are not evil - is the fact that non-white people have dignity, history, and agency. While those of us who are concerned about the rise of Political Islam respect that movement as an aggressive power in the world, humanitarian racists pity Jihadis as Victims of the White Man who can be sympathized with when they endeavor to kill non-Muslims. 

The Muslim worlds, in particular, represent ancient peoples with long histories of struggle and dominance that created highly influential works of science, art, architecture, religious innovation, and various other forms of cultural production. Islam, after all, is the most successful example of aggressive imperialism in world history. Of the great national powers, only Islamic imperialism to this day maintains far-flung colonies thousands of miles from the imperial bases of Mecca (for the Sunnis) and Tehran (for the Shia).

When humanitarian racists look at Muslim societies outside of the West they see little children in need of protection in a way suggestive of nineteenth-century European notions of "white man's burden." When non-racists, of any type, look at Muslim societies, outside of the West, they see the inheritors of a once great theocratically-based empire that fell into decline when faced with superior western technology, but now resurgent as the West loses confidence in itself.

Whatever the influence of white westerners in the world - good, bad, or otherwise - the humanitarian racist refuses to recognize that non-whites are not merely victims. This is due to the essential narcissism of the movement which insists that ultimately everything is about white people.

Here's a newsflash.

It isn't.

Anti-White Racism

It is not unfair to say that following the Vietnam War, within academia, post-structuralist theorists undermined the knowability of truth, while post-colonial theorists reduced the world to indigenous victims "of color" and their white, imperial victimizers.

It is for this reason that the well-meaning students at the University of Wisconsin sell "All White People are Racists" hoodies, which is an act that ultimately encourages violence by thugs upon ordinary Anglo-type nobodies walking home from work.

It is also for this reason that so many anti-white humanitarian racists believe that there is something inherently malicious within white Wonder Bread culture, particularly in the United States. It is not merely that the petite bourgeoisie support western imperialism through their very act of being - that and paying taxes - but that there is something deplorable and irredeemably awful in White Ways of Being.

The concept is entirely nonsensical, of course, yet it is fascinating.

Many anti-white bigots think that Whiteness is not merely about skin-color, but about ways of being (ontologies) and ways of knowing (epestimologies).  In this way Whiteness is essentialized into a form of evil that is directly embedded not only into white-European cultures, but into every aspect of white lives. White people are "white" not merely for coming out of the Euro-family of peoples, but as a matter of consciousness characterized by vapid inauthenticity, rapacious greed, and heartless militarism.

Like Ahab's Great White Whale, "whiteness" symbolizes a form of evil in the world and, therefore, irrepentant white people, much like Jewish-Israelis and their "Zionist" supporters, are fabricated as an enemy of "indigenous" people, everywhere.

Anti-Semitic Anti-Zionism

Humanitarian racism should be of particular interest to those of us concerned about the rise of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism and the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel.

Jewish-Israelis are surrounded by a hostile population in the Middle East that outnumbers them by a factor of 60 to 70 to 1. Many of those neighbors advocate for the destruction of those Jews given any real opportunity. The Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East is grounded in an irrational, Koranically-based rancor, but sold to the West as a matter of "social justice."

Following World War II, Nazi-flavored anti-Semitism met with (and married) traditional theocratically-based anti-Jewish Muslim bigotry which then heavily influenced the Palestinian Narrative. Within that narrative, the returning Jewish remnants, including Holocaust survivors, are portrayed as violent colonialist intruders intent on the ethnic-cleansing and exploitation of the Palestinian-Arabs. 

This, in a nutshell, is the so-called "Palestinian narrative" and western humanitarian racists gobble it up like cherry pie.

Jewish-Israelis, who want nothing so much as to be left the hell alone to create their medical and technological doo-dads and live their lives without friends and family blown to smithereens by Jihadis, are depicted as the very worst people on the planet.

The Muslim peoples of the Middle East have persecuted the dhimmi minorities in that part of the world since Muhammad started receiving astral visitations from the Archangel Gabriel in the seventh-century.

And every generation Jews are told by both Arabs and Europeans just why it is that we deserve a good beating.

This generation is no different.

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.

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  • Sunday, October 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an:
 Israeli settlers on Saturday morning cut down 18 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian family in the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank. 
Journalist Hani Fanun, whose family owns the trees, said his family went to harvest olives on their land in the Wadi al-Hariq area of Nahalin, and found that settlers from the nearby illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc had cut down over 18 large olive trees.
Whenever I see these stories, which almost invariably come out on Saturdays, I look for photos.

Most of the photos accompanying the stories show old, archive photos. but this time I actually found some photos apparently taken on Saturday of the damage:

In the photos where one can see the fallen branches, the leaves are wholly or mostly brown.

So how likely is it that these trees were cut down only hours beforehand?

We've mentioned before that cutting down olive trees is a very time consuming and difficult job. And Palestinian Arabs often prune olive trees and then claim that "settlers" are chopping them down - in order to claim compensation.

The top two pictures in particular make it appear like the trees were pruned almost down to the trunk, which is common for olive trees. Why would the "settlers" chop down the branches individually?

As usual, there is no evidence that Jews skipped synagogue on Saturday morning to cut down olive trees. This appears again to be a case where Palestinians cut or pruned the trees themselves, perhaps weeks ago, and went to the media yesterday.

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The headline in Haaretz says "Papyrus With Earliest Hebrew Mention of Jerusalem Likely Fake, Experts Say."

The article itself shows that this is a lie.

It quotes two experts, neither of whom say that it is "likely" to be fake.

The first one, is Professor Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University:

Maeir said there were too many unanswered questions about the papyrus. “How do we know it isn’t a forgery intended for the antiquities market?” he demanded, adding that forgers could have deliberately “sacrificed” this document in order to prepare the way for selling other papyri that they would “discover” later.
The fact that carbon-14 dating proved the papyrus’ age is insufficient, he added. “After all, there are well-known cases in which writing was forged on an ancient ‘platform,’” he said. “It’s very possible that only the papyrus itself is ancient.
“In my humble opinion, the need for additional tests is glaring, especially if a government agency is publishing this and giving it a seal of approval. Why wait for the arguments and only then do the additional tests? They should have done them first.”
Maeir is not saying that the papyrus is "likely fake," just that authorities should have done more testing and vetting before announcing it.

The other expert is from the US:
Prof. Christopher Rollston of George Washington University also voiced skepticism, writing on his blog that he believed the document was a forgery.
“The fact that the papyrus itself has been carbon dated to the 7th century BCE certainly does not mean that the writing on the papyrus is ancient,” he wrote. “In fact, it really means nothing. After all, ancient papyrus is readily available for purchase online (check the web and see!), thus, no modern forger worth his or her salt would forge an inscription on modern papyrus.”
But Rollston did not write on his blog that the document was a forgery.  He enumerates many ways for motivated forgers to use ancient papyri and even to forge ancient inks, thereby invalidating any modern methods of dating texts. He concludes:
In short, to those wishing to declare that the letters on this papyrus inscription are ancient, I would say: ‘Not so fast!’ Ultimately, I believe that there is a fair chance that although the papyrus itself is ancient the ink letters are actually modern…that is, this inscription is something that I would classify as a possible modern forgery.
Rollston is writing a book on modern forgeries of ancient Biblical-period texts, so he is an expert on forgeries. However, he has not examined this scroll itself; his caution comes from seeing other examples of sensationalist finds that ended up being forgeries. He is saying to be cautious, not that the papyrus is "likely" to be forged.

(Rollston also has a history of casting doubt on ancient Hebrew texts in other contexts, garnering criticism from other scholars.)

Haaretz, after making this false claim, then buries the responses from the scholars who actually studied the texts at the very bottom of the article, where the critics are answered:
Ahituv, however, rejected the critics’ arguments. First, he said, the papyrus was folded up when it was found, which makes forgery seem unlikely. “Would a forger buy an ancient, dry, fragile papyrus, write text on it that’s typical of the seventh century, and then fold it up and tie it with a cord and thereby endanger all his work?” he demanded.

The text itself also suggests it’s not a forgery, he continued. He and his colleagues read the text as “[me-a]mat. ha-melekh. me-Na’artah. nevelim. yi’in. Yerushalima,” meaning “From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.”

But both “Na’artah” and “Yerushalima” are very rare words, and thus unlikely to occur to a forger, “even if he’s an expert in Bible,” Ahituv said. “If I were a forger, I’d choose a more impressive text,” he added.

Ganor also rejected the criticisms. “We tried in every possible way to check the papyrus,” he said. “We used the methods used to check the Dead Sea Scrolls. If someone has an additional method, he’s invited to apply it. We, as a country, were obligated to get our hands on this, and I’m certain it’s authentic.”
There is nothing wrong with asking the Israel Antiquities Authority to be more cautious before publicizing bombshell finds. But Haaretz is simply lying in its headline claiming that the papyrus has already been debunked. Which tells you a lot about Haaretz' journalistic integrity.

(Of course,  idiot anti-Israel bloggers are seizing on the Haaretz headline as proof that the papyrus is fake.)

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

  • Saturday, October 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

The "US Campaign for Palestinian Rights" and other anti-Israel activist groups are now going after PayPal for not supporting payments to Arabs under PA or Hamas rule.

It is true - PayPal doesn't support payments to PA- and Hamas-controlled territories. But it isn't because of "discrimination," as the haters pretend.

PayPal also doesn't support payments to Lebanon, Afghanistan. Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), North Korea, Haiti, Liberia, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Timor-Leste, and Uzbekistan.

According to this 2013 article, the likely reasons for PayPal not to support a country are simple: "insufficient regulation and security in a country's banking system, failure of a country to comply with U.S. tax law, or a U.S. trade ban affecting a country."

In this case, the reason is almost certainly because most or all Palestinian banks do business with Hamas, and Hamas is an internationally recognized terror group, which puts their assets at risk from lawsuits. This makes the Palestinian banking system inherently unstable, and therefore a risk.

It isn't discrimination - it is business. PayPal would love to expand their offerings in a safe manner - why wouldn't they? They operate in Egypt, Jordan and plenty of other Arab states. If they thought could make money from Palestinians, they would.

If the Israel-haters cared so much about Palestinian Arabs having access to PayPal, they would insist that Palestinian banks cut off all ties to Hamas in Gaza.

But I don't think they care that much. After all, these supposedly pro-Palestinian groups will never say a word against Hamas or terrorism.

It hurts their credibility, you know.

(h/t/ Spotlighting)

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