Wednesday, November 30, 2016

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Mahmoud Abbas gave a three-hour long speech the the seventh Fatah conference in Ramallah on Wednesday.

Although he mentioned many times that he only supports "peaceful and popular resistance" he did say "at this stage," meaning that he has no moral qualms with terrorism, but only tactical issues with it at this time.

And he proved that he is not against terrorism by calling out terrorists by name as "martyrs" in his speech. These included:

Dr. George Habash - founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, pioneer of airplane hijackings
Abu Ali Mustafa - also of the PFLP, responsible for ten car bomb attacks in Israel
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - founder of Hamas terror group, responsible for many suicide bombings and other attacks
Fathi Shikaki - cofounder of Islamic Jihad terror group, also responsible for numerous suicide bombings and other attacks
Muhammad Zaidan (Abu Abbas) - Founder of the Palestine Liberation Front terror organization, responsible for the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship where Leon Klinghoffer was murdered
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem who instigated deadly riots against Jews in the 1920s and 1930s and worked with the Nazis during World War II

Abbas said of all these "martyrs" that "they are all our heroes, you will not forget them, they are immortal in our people's memory, and the homeland of Palestine. Their sacrifices will not be in vain."

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From Ian:

JCPA: The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle Against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews, and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism (free book)
The War of a Million Cuts explains how the delegitimization of Israel and anti-Semitism can be fought. The book describes the hateful messages of those who defame Israel and the Jews, details why anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism have the same core motifs, and discusses the main groups of inciters, including Muslim states, Muslims in the Western world, politicians, media, NGOs, church leaders, those on the extreme left and the extreme right, Jewish self-haters, academics, social democrats, and many others. It explains how the hate messages are effectively transmitted to the public at large, and discusses what impact the delegitimization has already made on Israel and the Jews.

Revealed: In Private Fundraiser, Keith Ellison Said Israel Controls US Policy
Congressman Keith Ellison’s announcement earlier this month that he wants to be the Democratic National Committee’s next chairman drew quick support from several key lawmakers, including Jewish senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders.
Ellison’s backers have also defended him against claims that he may hold antisemitic views, as well as being anti-Israel. A column in Israel’s liberal daily Haaretz quotes two rabbis praising Ellison, as “the best of our constitutional democracy and the best of America” and “an extraordinary leader. Anyone who would associate him with any kind of hatred hasn’t met him and certainly hasn’t worked with him.”
But a 2010 audio of Ellison speaking at a private fundraiser obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism calls such praise into question. In a fairly intimate setting, Ellison lashed out at what he sees as Israel’s disproportionate influence in American foreign policy. That will change, he promised:
The United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?
The fundraiser for Ellison’s re-election campaign was hosted by Esam Omeish, a past president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), who was forced to resign from a Virginia state immigration panel in 2007 after an exclusive IPT videotape showed him praising Palestinians for choosing the “the jihad way … to liberate your land.” Omeish was a candidate for Virginia’s general assembly the previous year, and Ellison spoke at a fundraiser for that losing effort.
Keith Ellison’s Saudi Arabia Trip Included Meetings With Radical Cleric, Bank That Funds Suicide Bombings
Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) during a 2008 trip to Saudi Arabia met with a radical Muslim cleric who endorsed killing U.S. soldiers and with the president of a bank used to pay the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
Ellison, now a leading candidate to head the Democratic National Committee, was brought to Saudi Arabia for a two-week trip by the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood to act as its “overt arm” in the United States.
Details of Ellison’s religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia are scarce, but photographs discovered by the Washington Free Beacon show that Ellison met with controversial figures during the trip.
A photo album of Ellison’s hajj trip posted by MAS’s Minnesota chapter includes a picture of the congressman meeting with Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, who was vice president of a Muslim Brotherhood-created group that in 2004 issued a fatwa urging “jihad” against U.S. troops in Iraq and supported the Palestinians’ Second Intifada against Israel.
“The Jihad-waging Iraqi people’s resistance to the foreign occupation … is a Shari’a duty incumbent upon anyone belonging to the Muslim nation,” the fatwa said, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Bin Bayyah’s group, the International Association of Muslim Scholars, issued the fatwa after a conference in Beirut, Lebanon.

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

It is a terrible time in Israel. Arabs are setting fire to our land, our forests, our homes. This cruel occupier of Jewish land plagues us much as God plagued the Egyptians. But instead of hail; locusts; water turned to blood (and etc.), there are rocks; firebombs; missiles; shootings; knives; car rammings; suicide bus bombers; just plain people blowing themselves up in a crowd; and (just now) arson.

The arson has, thank God, not taken any lives. But it hurts almost as if it had. Every tree, every home, every precious school or photograph is a loss. My country is burning. And it is happening by design, by intention. By someone who has no respect for the land, nor love. 

Growing up in America, I attended a Jewish day school. We had a class once a week on the laws connected to the Land of Israel. I remember being very impressed to learn that it is not allowed to litter in the Land of Israel, because it shows disrespect for the land. The exception being biodegradable material that would compost itself and become part of the land itself.

They Kiss The Soil

From my perspective, there was and is a vast difference between not littering because you respect the law of the land, and not littering because you love the land. To Jews, the Land of Israel is holy and beloved. When Jews arrive in the land, they bend and kiss the soil.

There is a symbiotic relationship between Jews and the Land of Israel. It is the only place we are whole. Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, is the only place where, according to Nachmanides (the Ramban), Jews can properly execute the 613 commandments (mitzvot). Outside the land, said the Ramban, mitzvot don't count.

When I do a spot of gardening around my home, there's something special about it because I know I'm working in holy soil. It almost feels as though the land were vibrating under me and between my fingers, as I plop seeds into the ground, or weed. There's something about the smell of the soil that is more fertile, more fecund somehow than the soil in say, Pittsburgh, or Detroit. The sky above is different, bluer, closer somehow. The air is not the same. It feels alive, a thing that moves and breathes.

Act Of Love

Here is something I know deep down: when you make a seed grow in holy soil, it is an act of love.
Sometimes I'll be walking outside and I will say to myself, "I love Israel. I just love this place so much."

And sometimes I'll even say it aloud. If I'm with a girlfriend at the time, dollars to donuts she will answer, "I love Israel!" and she will mean it, too. As if we were competing. Competing to see which of us loves the land more. And we will have to agree to agree to a tie out of sisterly (Jewish) love for each other and for the land.

Now, I loved and still love my hometown. It was good enough for three generations of my maternal family. But I cannot recall feeling this kind of love for Pittsburgh, the kind that zings you in the heart and makes your spirits soar toward the heavens thanking God for this gift.

The gift of the land.

As it happens, just now I'm in a musical by and for women called Count the Stars. It's about the journey of Abraham and Sara to the Holy Land. My dear friends Sharon Katz and Avital Macales wrote this play, drawing on the words of the bible. There's one particular scene I'm in called Lift Up Your Eyes that gets me every time. We are a choir representing the voice of God's angels singing (in gorgeous harmony and accompanied by harp) the words of Genesis 13:14-17 (and Sharon Katz):

Sa na einecha ure'ei. Lift up your eyes. Lift up and see!
Min hamakom asher ata sham. From the place where you are.
Tzafona ve'negba ve'keidma ve'yama. North, South, East, West.
Ki et kol haaretz asher ata roeh le'cha et'nena ule'zaracha ad olam.
All this land you see I give to you and your descendants forevermore.
Vesamti et zaracha ka'afar haaretz. I will make your seed like the dust of the earth.
Asher im yuchal ish limnot et afar haaretz, gam zaracha yimane.
If one can count the dust of the earth, so your seed will be counted, too.
Kum hit'alech  baaretz le'orka ule'rochba, ki le'cha et'nena.
Arise and walk this land, its length and its breadth. To you I give it all.

I sing those words and think: Is there anything else to say? Anything else in the entire world?
"To you I give it all."

This right here is an eternal covenant. One that is all about love and completion. It cannot be erased by talking heads at the UN or in the White House. It doesn't care about Camp David or Nobel Prizes. It's in the bible and in the Quran, where, the Jews are referred to as Bani Isra'il (the Children of Israel, Bnei Yisrael).

Pick a language, any language, any holy book, it will say the same thing. The Jews are the Children of Israel.

And yet we are set upon by a cruel occupier, one who does not love the land. Does not feel it breathe and vibrate. Callously sets fire to beautiful trees that give shade, fruit, hold the land in place.

This cruel occupier wants only to rape and despoil. To destroy that which belongs to someone else, so that someone else won't have it. Namely, the Jews.

The people who set fire to Jewish land, has no room in its heart to love the land or to interpret the Quran in a way that is at all sympathetic to the people who do: the Jews, the Bani Isra'il.

The goal of the arsonists comes from hate. Their hatred is as much a part of them as my love for the land is a part of me. They are a people who must hate and hate and hate until they can find their way to something else. If they can find their way to something else. And that's a choice.

Always a choice.

Their hatred, the hand that sets a match to a fruit tree, to a home, something that someone built or grew, each time it happens it's a choice someone made to hate and destroy. Each person has the right to choose which path of the heart to travel. To love or to hate. To create or destroy.

This way or that. Collectively, separately.

It's a choice. Hate, love. Love, hate.

Pick one.

They have chosen. They chose the path of hate. And with their hate they continue to destroy. Nothing can satisfy or slake their thirst for yet more hatred, more destruction. This is the journey they chose and choose, this instead of that, with every act of terror.

But they will never make us leave this land. No matter what they do. No matter how much they hate and destroy.

So I say to them, "Take it in. Take it into the very pores of your skin.

"Then read this and read it again and yet again until it is etched on your hearts: it is not the settlements, not the building of Jewish homes on Jewish soil that prevent peace, but the burning them down."

Peace, you have to know, cannot exist in the same space as hate. Peace is the absence of hate. And this too, the act of absenting hate from the heart, is always a choice.

I chose and choose a different journey. We, my people, chose and choose the path of love.
We chose to make things grow, to build. And so will our children, their children, and the children of their children.


(feature photo credit: Sharon Katz)

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  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The story is from October:
The niece of a top official in the Palestinian Fatah party and a close confidant of the late leader Yasser Arafat says she loves the State of Israel so much, she had the word “Israel” in Hebrew tattooed across her shoulder blades.
Sandra Solomon, 38, was born a Muslim in Ramallah under a different name, but grew up in Saudi Arabia before moving to Canada where she converted to Christianity.
Solomon is the niece of Saher Habash, one of the founders of the Fatah party, a member of its Central Committee and a leader of the Second Intifada.
“I grew up in a home that hated the Jews, hailed Hitler and praised the Holocaust,” she told Channel 2 in an interview Wednesday.

Here's her interview, subtitled in English:

Right after this was shown on TV, her family disowned her.

(h/t Yoel)

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Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

Mideast NASABaghdad, November 30 - Community elders throughout the Muslim Middle East voiced wistfulness today at the realization that present and future generations in their countries will never know the pleasure of kicking Jews out, since almost none remain anymore.

Once-thriving Jewish communities across the region suffered precipitous decline in the decades since the establishment of the State of Israel, as local Muslims, with government sanction, made Jewish life all but intolerable, and official policy led to the confiscation of Jewish-owned property and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the lands that had been home to them for thousands of years. Now all but bereft of Jews to persecute and expel, Muslims in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and elsewhere who remember what it was like to participate in pogroms, looting, or random anti-Jewish mayhem against their Hebraic neighbors expressed some regret that because of their thoroughness in conducting such activities, their children and grandchildren will never know the visceral pleasure of raping Jewish women and beating their husbands and fathers to a pulp for trying to prevent it.

"The people of Iran are fortunate," opined Mustafa Massikr, 78, of Sanaa, Yemen. "They have thousands of Jews they can still dump on, and against whom they can take out whatever frustrations they might have. But here in Yemen we have maybe a few hundred, and they're hardly worth the trouble. I wish I could give my descendants the same thrill and sense of vitality I felt when I helped my older brothers torch those Jewish shops in response to Israel's declaration of statehood. Good times."

In Egypt, where fewer than a dozen openly practicing Jews are known, older folks gave voice to similar sentiments. "It's not the same, persecuting Copts," observed Aiwil Qillemal, 80. "They're just everyday dhimmi, not the very embodiment of every kind of evil against which any and all violent measures are not merely justified, but a sacred duty. I miss having Jews to kick around." He noted that the handful of Jews remaining in the country have enjoyed official protection for many years so that the government can claim not to be antisemitic.
"Maybe for old times' sake we can knock off one or two of them?" he suggested. "You know, so the children can experience it in an authentic, close-up way, not the fake opposition to Israel that so many so-called Muslim countries have maintained since 1973."

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From Ian:

America’s Middle East Policy, From Eisenhower to Trump
Few American presidents have done so much to shape U.S. relations with the Arab world as Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, like many of his successors, believed that the Arab-Israeli conflict was central to the region and that he could win the respect of Arab leaders by demonstrating “daylight” between Washington and Jerusalem. But unlike subsequent presidents, he eventually learned that these and other assumptions were wrong. Michael Doran, Walter Russell Mead, and Ray Takeyh discuss several decades of American policy makers’ failures to understand the Middle East, and what the Trump administration can do to avoid making the same mistakes. (Moderated by Lee Smith. Video, 90 minutes.)

Where Talking to Israelis is Taboo
The indoctrination effort is assisted by the fact that most Palestinians today have no firsthand knowledge to counteract the vicious incitement churned out daily by Palestinian schools and media. That’s a result of the escalating terror that followed the PA’s establishment in 1994 severely curtailed the daily interactions between Israelis and Palestinians that were commonplace until then. Those interactions made it easier for both sides to at least view the other as human beings.
Today, outside the construction industry, most Israelis never encounter a Palestinian unless they’re doing army duty, and most Palestinians never encounter any Israelis other than soldiers. In other words, the only Israeli-Palestinian interactions that take place today are the kind that reinforces each side’s view of the other as an enemy. That is precisely what the “anti-normalization” campaigners want, and why they castigate any other type of contact with Israelis as tantamount to treason.
It’s going to take a long, long time, and probably a lot of pressure from the PA’s Western donors, to reverse these decades of hate education. But until that happens, the chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace are considerably less than a snowball’s chance in hell.

Caroline Glick: Castro's Greatest Victory
The Soviets also viewed their ideological assault on Zionism as a means of demonizing the US. The Jews’ native rights to the land of Israel were as old and wellknown as the Bible. If Westerners could be convinced that the Jews were colonial usurpers in Israel, they could be convinced that Western civilization was evil.
According to Pacepa, by 1968 the KGB completed its control over the PLO. It used Castro and his DGI agency as a means to promote the Palestinian political war against Israel. According to Cuban American researchers, Castro was a conduit for promoting anti-Zionism and support for Palestinian terrorists among Western radicals. For instance, the DGI introduced PLO terrorists to African American radicals like the Black Panthers, who were trained by Castro’s forces.
Castro’s lionization by the Palestinians and the international Left alike shows that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the legacy of the Soviets’ political war against the US-led West was not only successful during the Cold War, but is still very much a part of our world.
Castro never taught the Palestinians how to live in peace. He never taught them how to raise crops. He taught them how to murder and libel. He taught them how to indoctrinate others to believe lies about themselves and about their perceived enemies.
The fact that these lies are still believed by so many in the Left shows that Castro died a victor. The fact that the terrorist methods he developed with Arafat under the guiding hand of Moscow are still viewed by Western intellectuals as legitimate “tools of resistance” shows that he won.
And the fact that Palestinian murderers who learned the trade at his knee are still viewed as legitimate forces in world politics shows that together with his KGB bosses, Castro was able to get away with his crimes.
The West managed to defeat the Soviet state, but not the Soviet cause. And the flags at half-mast for Castro in Ramallah are proof of the Castro-executed Soviet victory over morality and over truth.

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today is the anniversary of the beginning of Israel's War of Independence.

Because in the hours immediately following the UN partition vote, Palestinian Arabs started attacking Jews wherever they could find them.

Here are articles from the Palestine Post the next day:

The descendants of these people are now pretending at the UN that they deserve a state based on the resolution that they so violently rejected.

And the UN now whitewashes the facts that the entire Arab world, and specifically the Palestinian Arabs, opposed the resolution in its video about the resolution. (As well as how Jordan and Egypt occupied "Palestinian land" in 1948.)

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.
  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Rabbis for Human Rights' Amy Klein wrote a commentary on last week's Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, which she felt was very important because it describes how Abraham bought the Tomb of the Patriarchs and RHR wants to ensure that Jews have no rights to the place that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives are buried.

I was struck by this part of Klein's description of the story of Abraham:
There are those who believe that the story of Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of Mahpelah established eternal rights to the land of Israel. ... Limiting the interpretation of the text to a record of land deeds strips the text of its heart. It is a text of human and social complexity. It is a story that brings to a close two overlapping triangles of tragedy: Abraham – Isaac – Ishmael and Abraham – Sarah – Hagar. Their tragedy is personal and national. It is the cruelty endured by Hagar at the hands of Sarah with Abraham’s acquiescence and the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael and with them, any threat to Isaac’s inheritance. 
Is that how she reads the story of Hagar's banishment?

Because the actual text (Genesis 21) shows that Abraham was reluctant to send off his son with Hagar - until God told him to listen to Sarah, assuring him that Ishmael will grow into a great nation:
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne unto Abraham, making sport.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham: 'Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.'
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight on account of his son.
12 And G-d said unto Abraham: 'Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah saith unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall seed be called to thee.
13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.'
14 And Abraham arose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away; and she departed, and strayed in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
15 And the water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow-shot; for she said: 'Let me not look upon the death of the child.' And she sat over against him, and lifted up her voice, and wept.
17 And G-d heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of G-d called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her: 'What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for G-d hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast by thy hand; for I will make him a great nation.'
19 And G-d opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
Sarah was protecting her son from the influences of Ishmael, who was tormenting Isaac, a toddler.

Abraham loved Ishmael, and didn't want to send him away - but God told Abraham that Sarah was right. 

Rabbi Amy Klein is calling God cruel! Apparently, the Lord doesn't satisfy her definition of human rights.

Indeed, we can learn a lot from the story about the difference between the love that the mother of the Jewish people had for her child and how the mother of the Ishmaelites treated her son.

Hagar threw her son under a shrub and left him to die alone. She didn't pray for him. She didn't comfort him. She simply felt sorry for herself at the possibility of watching him die, so she abandoned him.

This is not the first example of Hagar's cruelty. Sarah, selflessly, gave Hagar to Abraham as a wife when she couldn't have any children. Hagar repaid her kindness by despising Sarah and mocking her (Gen. 16) Sarah knew exactly what Hagar and Ishmael were like and she did not want these selfish, cruel people in her household while she was raising the most important person in the world, based on God's promise to Abraham.

Is there a better analogy between Sarah and Israel, and Hagar and the Palestinians? Sarah is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her family and her people's future, beyond even Abraham's wishes. Her motherly instinct is vindicated over Abraham's legendary kindness - God tells Abraham that too much kindness can endanger his own future.

Hagar cares only about herself, not caring who gets hurt along the way and not even lifting a finger to help her own son, whose impending death is an inconvenience to her.

But Rabbi Klein doesn't call Hagar cruel. Oh, no - that would be Arabophobic. Klein thinks Sarah is the cruel one, for not wanting her son to be influenced by a mother who cares so little for her own son, and who treated her like dirt. It is Sarah's love and protection for her miraculously-born child that Amy Klein considers cruel, while the truly odious Hagar - whose evil personality was already clear to Sarah some 15 years prior - is considered the victim.

Which is exactly consistent with how "Rabbis for Human Rights" views the Israel-Arab conflict, today.

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  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

We have heard about tensions between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority before, but this is stunning:

The Nov. 24 report in the Gaza-based Donia al-Watan website caught some by surprise. It stated that Jordan’s 26 delegates to Fatah’s seventh congress due to open Nov. 29 are no longer attending the congress due to “technical, logistical and security reasons.” The exclusive report stated that the Fatah leadership reassigned the seats to Syrian and Lebanese delegates to the congress.

Najeeb Qadoumi, who was to lead the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation to the congress, confirmed the report to Al-Monitor. “It was a request by the Jordanian government, and the Palestinian leadership accepted it,” he said.

Omar Kallab, a Jordanian Palestinian political activist from Gaza, told Al-Monitor that the decision follows rising tensions between Ramallah and Amman. “The last years have seen a cooling of relations for a variety of reasons. … The controversy over the FIFA [presidency] vote for Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan [Jordan claimed the head of the Palestinian Football Association did not vote for Prince Ali] and the disagreement over the installation of cameras in Al-Aqsa Mosque were some of the problems that have caused this tension,” he explained.

Kallab said that Palestinian rejection of a recent push by the Arab Quartet (Jordan, the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia) was the final blow in the relations. “The Palestinian delegates were unable to answer in the affirmative when asked if they can guarantee that the results of the Fatah congress would be to the liking of the Quartet,” he said.

In the internal discussion between Jordan and the Palestinians, the issue of divided loyalty was brought up. According to Hani al-Masri, a leading independent Palestinian strategist, the issue of citizenship was used in the discussion to persuade the delegates to stay away from the conference in Ramallah. “Delegates to the Fatah congress were told that they risk losing their citizenship in Jordan if they chose to attend the congress,” Masri said in a column published Nov. 22 in the Lebanese daily As-Safir.
Abbas said that there were some 60 delegations from more than 20 countries at the conference. There are at least three lawmakers from Jordan there, but this article appears to say that the kingdom has banned any Jordanians of Palestinian descent from attending and it greatly reduced the original delegation of 26.

The conference is being shown live on Facebook.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
We all know that the UN is biased against Israel. All you have to do is look at one of UN Watch's many articles. One egregious example from Tuesday:
 The U.N. General Assembly adopted 10 resolutions singling out Israel today, with only 4 expected to be adopted later this week for the entire rest of the world combined, with one each on Syria, Iran, North Korea and Crimea. See UN Watch’s full list and voting records below.
The resolutions were adopted in their first reading today before the UNGA’s Second and Fourth Committees. All 193 UN member states participate in the committee stage, and then almost always vote the same way when formally adopting the texts at the GA plenary in December.
But UN officials themselves are usually careful not to sound too one-sided. They will happily allow special days, months or years, and countless committees and special sessions,  dedicated to bashing Israel - but they will almost always insist that they want peace and that Israel has the right to exist in safety. They do not want to lose that little shred of a pretense of objectivity, because to say outright that Israel should be destroyed or that they are against peace would be an explicit violation of the UN Charter. They are professional diplomats and they are usually careful with their words.

For example, Ban Ki-Moon has said "Israel is one of the 193 Member States, thus Israel should have equal rights and opportunities without having any bias, any discrimination. That’s a fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter and thus Israel should be fully given such rights.

Some UN agencies are not quite so circumspect, though.

Meet Rima Khalaf. executive secretary of UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA).

From the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA):
A growing number of individuals and institutions from four corners of globe are joining solidarity movement with Palestinian people, said Executive Secretary of UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) Rima Khalaf.

Speaking at an event held in Beirut to mark the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People, Khalaf said that the organized campaigns to boycott Israeli occupation authorities are gaining momentum and new grounds every day all over the world.

In the Arab region, there are much fiercer popular campaigns against those who naturalize relations with Israeli authorities, she said.
Rima Khalaf is praising boycotting Israel, which is bad enough, since the boycott movement's goals are not to end the "occupation" but to end Israel.

Beyond that, though, this major UN official is praising Arab nations that punish those who have any sort of relationships with Israelis. Khalaf is essentially saying that Israel does not belong in the family of nations and anyone who treats them equally - as Ban Ki Moon insists - should be ostracized.

Arabic reports add that she also accused Israel of being an "apartheid" state in setting itself up to be ethnically pure, she claimed that 850,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel, and any Palestinians who are killed - including terrorists - are murdered by Israel simply "because they are Palestinians who refuse to give up their rights and refuse to surrender to injustice."

"The years have proven that the Palestinian people did not get used to injustice, but chose resistance," Khalaf stated, using a code-word for terror attacks.

Khalaf is justifying terror and making up facts. By any yardstick, Khalaf is directly calling for nations to violate the UN Charter. This goes beyond even what Israel complained about her saying in 2015. 

And, just like last year, Khalaf will not suffer any consequences for her public display of hate that violates the charter of her employer. 

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:

Time to scrutinise foreign aid
From The Australian, 29 Nov 2016:
If the Israelis are right, the Australian taxpayer has been one of the biggest (unwitting) funders of the terror group Hamas in Gaza. The claim is that money given to World Vision for farms and other economic projects has been diverted to build a military base, tunnels and weapons for Hamas. The head of World Vision Gaza, Mohammad El Halabi, stands accused of funnelling $US43 million ($57.4m) to Hamas since infiltrating the charity in 2010. These are serious allegations. Australia gives aid money to the Palestinian Authority to encourage the economic development without which a two-state solution cannot be viable. It is a destructive fraud if those funds are used to bankroll terror.
There is much at stake. Through AusAID and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian government has been the world’s single biggest donor to World Vision in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as we reported yesterday.
Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision in August when charges were brought against Mr Halabi, stressed the agency’s work in Gaza was subject to “regular internal and independent audits”. This week, a spokeswoman for World Vision said it had “yet to see any substantive evidence to support the charges made by the Israeli authorities”. There is no suggestion that the World Vision hierarchy was aware of the alleged fraud. Even so, it was the correct step to suspend World Vision’s operations in Gaza and to put a freeze on funding from DFAT. The Israelis can answer for the integrity of their justice system but Australia must ensure that the DFAT review of Gaza funding is thorough and its results open to public scrutiny. The Australian allegations have a larger context. In June this year, a former British cabinet minister, Eric Pickles, complained that British financial assistance to the PA was being used to free up money to pay prisoners convicted of violent crime in the conflict with Israel. Last month, Britain suspended millions of pounds in financial aid to the PA pending an investigation into claims that money was ending up in the hands of terrorists.
The PA has received an estimated $US25 billion in financial aid from the US and other countries during the past two decades, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, a journalist writing for the Gatestone Institute. He argues that the failure of the US and Europe to hold Yasser Arafat accountable for this money encouraged the corruption that pushed Palestinians into the arms of Hamas. “Unless Western donors bang on the table and demand that the Palestinian Authority use their money to bring democracy to its people and prepare them for peace, the prospects of reviving any peace process in the Middle East will remain zero,” Abu Toameh says.

Pro-Israel Christians Launch Video to Push Taylor Force Act, End 'Pay to Slay'
Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States, has launched a new effort to promote the Taylor Force Act, a bill that would make aid to the Palestinian Authority conditional on efforts to stop terror.
On Monday, CUFI released a new video promoting the act as an “opportunity for bipartisan cooperation,” and launched a new website,, that features the video and the stories of American victims of Palestinian terrorism.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) often provides public support for terrorism, including direct incitement against Israelis and Jews through the media, and indirect encouragement in the form of public monuments named to honor Palestinian terrorists. It also provides salaries directly from the Palestinian Authority budget to convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons.
CUFI states at its new website:
…the PA makes generous financial payments to terrorists. PA legislation actually requires these payments and specifies that the more Israelis (including other innocent bystanders) a terrorist kills, the more money the terrorist will receive. If the terrorist is killed or imprisoned, his family receives these payments. The sums involved are far more than most Palestinians could ever make through honest work.
In addition, the PA encourages violence by praising terrorists as “martyrs” and “heroes” and naming its streets, stadiums and town squares after them. The PA delegitimizes Israel by denying the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel in its textbooks and on its television. The PA’s recent lies about Israel’s intentions on the Temple Mount have fueled the latest “stabbing intifada.”
WATCH: CUFI Making A Big Noise About Murder Payments
Christians United For Israel (CUFI) has launched a campaign against US funding going to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and used to reward terrorists.
The website is Stop Money For Murder.
Britain has already suspended payments to the Palestinian Authority, for which the Israeli press gave Kay Wilson a huge amount of deserved credit. Lets see if the USA can follow suit and end these barbaric rewards for murder.
Stop Money For Murder - Christians United for Israel

  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Recently, there was (if I understand the articles correctly) a tribute at a Paris theatre to the songs of Umm Kulthum, the famous late Egyptian singer who was considered the greatest Arabic singer of all time.

Muslims who attended were shocked to see that over 50 Jews, of Moroccan descent, attended the performance.

From the Arab perspective, Umm Kulthum was a big supporter of Nasser and very much against Israel. One official was alarmed at their presence and informed security, but he was surprised that they listened to the performances respectfully and applauded wildly.

The director of the theatre approached the Jews afterwards and asked them how they could like someone who was such an opponent of the Jewish state. They answered that this has nothing to do with politics, they simply appreciate her talent.

This is an understatement.

Some of the tunes from Umm Kulthum songs - as well as other popular Arabic singers - are sung in Sephardic synagogues, and the late Sephardic chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef ruled that this was perfectly acceptable.

There have been Israeli concert series featuring her music.

That Umm Kulthum is highly, even increasingly popular in Israel, despite being an iconic symbol of the 20th century Arabic nationalist movement, is no surprise to Elad Gabbay, a prominent qanun (eastern zither) player and a teacher of Middle Eastern music and piyutim (Jewish religious poetry) at the Musrara School of Eastern Music in Jerusalem.
“For us, music is art, music is joy,” Gabbay said. “We love her, because her songs are beautiful. We grew up on them and we sing them. It doesn’t matter who she was.”
There was “never a question” in Israel, he added, of rejecting Umm Kulthum because of her background, because in the East, music and politics “are two different things.”
In the Western world, music gets mixed up with “spirituality, politics and ideology,” Gabbay asserted, but in the East, music is just “a job, a profession.” Just like “a Jew will go to an Arab carpenter to buy a good table… the Jews have no problem to listen to Umm Kulthum. We love her music, and that’s it.”
Of course, Israel’s Mizrahi Jews are not politically naïve and know very well “who our enemies are,” Gabbay said. Some people “look at old photographs of Arab and Jewish musicians playing together in Morocco or Iraq,” he said, and think that back then it was all “shalom and kumbaya, but it wasn’t. They played together, but afterwards one was a Jew and one was an Arab. The communities were separate, and there was anti-Semitism, and later they [the Arab countries] wanted to get rid of the Jews… but it didn’t affect the music.”

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From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Netanyahu’s vision
If the Trump administration implements this policy change, Netanyahu would come under tremendous political pressure from within the Likud and from his right-wing coalition members to advance settlement building not only inside established blocs but also in more isolated areas, something the prime minister has opposed until now.
Netanyahu has consistently supported a negotiated peace that would result in a creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state. This position acknowledges and attempts to solve the demographic threat presented by the Palestinian population if the West Bank were annexed.
Deterioration of the security situation on the West Bank combined with a radical change in US foreign policy vis-avis the Palestinians could, at least in the short-term, undermine Netanyahu’s optimistic forecast for the future. The interim between the end of President Barack Obama’s term and the beginning of Trump’s offers a unique opportunity for Netanyahu to take initiative. To the extent possible, Israel should attempt to stabilize the situation in the West Bank and prevent the infighting within the Fatah.
And if Netanyahu truly believes that only through a two-state solution with the Palestinians will Israel remain both Jewish and democratic, he must make this clear to the Trump administration.
'Attack on Balfour Declaration part of PA's rejectionist stance'
Former Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold and Israeli Ambassador to the U.K. Mark Regev were expected to speak in the House of Commons on Tuesday at an event called "Refuting Balfour's Detractors." The event comes 99 years after British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour wrote his historic letter stating that his government views "with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
In July, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said the Palestinian Authority would file a lawsuit against the United Kingdom over the 1917 letter, considered a major diplomatic milestone in the history of the Zionist movement.
In the wake of Malki's statement, the pro-Palestinian group Palestinian Return Center launched the "Balfour Apology Campaign" in October at an event held in the House of Lords.
"As the 100th year since the Balfour Declaration approaches, the Palestinian Return Center has decided to relaunch its campaign which started in 2013, called Balfour Apology Campaign, which asks the U.K. government to officially apologize for its past colonial crimes in Palestine," the center said. The center has been accused by Israel of being linked to Hamas, but has denied any ties to the terrorist organization.

IsraellyCool: Know Your History: The Jewish And Arab Reactions To The Partition Plan (NY Times Nov-Dec 1947)
A series where I bring to you news from the newspaper archives and historical documents to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
This post is for dedicated to Roger Waters, who just lamented the fact a palestinian state did not arise from the 1947 UN Partition Plan, without explaining what happened.
We can see what happened by looking at some old New York Times reports from after the UN voted in favor of the plan. The Jewish reaction is one of acceptance of the plan (even though it encompassed way less than our ancestral lands) and unbridled joy, with Chief Rabbi Herzog proclaiming it as “an outstanding epoch of Jewish history” “after a darkness of 2,000 years.”
The Arab reaction? Anger, rejection of the plan…and terrorism in Palestine and overseas, as well as threatening a Holy War. Note also the Arab threat to crusade against the “Jews” – not the “Zionists.”

  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The beginning of the Times of London's coverage of the proposed Israeli law to limit the volume on the Muslim call to prayer shows nothing but anti-Jewish bias:

Ear-splitting loudspeakers are now considered a "call to prayer that has echoed for centuries"?

The rest of the article is nearly as bad:

The Knesset will vote this week on a bill to restrict the use of loudspeakers in mosques, which sound out five times a day. Supporters say it is a quality-of-life issue: the broadcasts are a nuisance, they argue, particularly the pre-dawn call at 4.45am.
Arabs, who make up one fifth of Israel’s population, see it as an attack on their religious freedom. “It’s a populist and racist law, shrouded in excuses,” Amir Badran said at a weekend protest. “They’re trying to delegitimise the Arab public.”
But way towards the end, we find out that the version of the bill that is being voted on will only ban the loudspeakers for the very first call to prayer of the day, and allow the other four:

The bill now under discussion would only apply between 11pm and 7am, only affecting the earliest Muslim call to prayer.
If the article would have led with this fact instead of framing it as an attack of Jews against Muslim human rights, the readers would have gotten a different impression.

The comments on the article indicate that the Times of London has completely ignored the fires in Israel over the past week, but instead chooses to publish this other type of incendiary article.

(h/t Howard S)

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  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel's Tax Authority announced that some of the major fires that swept through Israel last week were set deliberately.

Here's their list so far, with dates and times of the fires:

Tal-El, 20.11, 02:00
Zikhron Ya'akov, 22.11, 11:30
Dolev, 22.11, 20:30
Gilon, 23.11, 00:00
Talmon, 23.11, 21:00
Haifa, 24.11, 10:00
Nirit, 24.11, 15:00
Nataf, 25.11, 15:00
Halamish, 25.11, 22:50

The fires didn't make the headlines until last Wednesday November 23, which means that some of the arson was not opportunistic based on the news coverage, but was deliberately planned.

And these were not small fires. The Tal-El fire burned 150 dunams and caused evacuations. The Zichron Yaakov blaze caused injuries, burned houses and caused mass evacuations. The Dolev blaze was 20 meters high. 

And of course, the Haifa blazes were gigantic as well.

Officials say roughly one third of the fires were terror attacks.

(h/t Yoel)

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Jimmy Carter wrote yet another tendentious op-ed for, who else, the New York Times.

The first paragraphs show yet again that he is simply a liar.

We do not yet know the policy of the next administration toward Israel and Palestine, but we do know the policy of this administration. It has been President Obama’s aim to support a negotiated end to the conflict based on two states, living side by side in peace.

That prospect is now in grave doubt. I am convinced that the United States can still shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before a change in presidents, but time is very short. The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership.

Back in 1978, during my administration, Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, signed the Camp David Accords. That agreement was based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was passed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. The key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”

The agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the Parliaments of Egypt and Israel. And those two foundational concepts have been the basis for the policy of the United States government and the international community ever since.
The words "key words" links to a UN publication that also says that there were two main points to the resolution - but not the ones Carter says.

The resolution stipulated that the establishment of a just and lasting peace should include the application of two principles:
✹ Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; and
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
The part that Carter quotes about "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" was not from the operative part of the resolution, but from the preamble - which has no legal standing. And the part that he ignores is the part that was meant to say that the final borders would be the result of negotiations, not the 1949 armistice lines.

So Carter spins a double lie: one is that he elevates a meaningless preamble phrase to importance it doesn't have, and he ignores the phrase that insists that Israel's neighbors (which do not include the Palestinians, who are not mentioned at all in the resolution) allow Israel to have secure borders, which it most certainly didn't have before 1967. That is why the language doesn't call for Israel to withdraw from all territories - but to create a border that would allow it to be secure from attack, borders that would be negotiated with its neighbors.

Also, the text he links to mentions this fact that he ignores: the PLO strongly rejected UN 242 at the time.

This is what 242 says. The drafters of the resolution from the US and UK are unanimous in this interpretation. Carter, however, pretends that UNSC 242 says that all Israeli communities beyond the artificial 1949 armistice lines - that were never secure nor recognized - are illegal. And he is including the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem! (Carter counts all Jerusalem residents across the Green Line to be living there illegally.)

242 also says that, even if you do recognize a new entity called "Palestine" in part of the territories, that state must acknowledge Israel's right to live in peace. Given that Fatah, which dominates the PLO which controls the Palestinian Authority, explicitly says that violence is an acceptable form of "resistance," clearly Israel's Arab neighbors do not accept that clause that is indeed one of the main parts of 242 that Carter ignores.

There's plenty more that Carter twists in the op-ed, but really, when he lies as far as what the two main points of 242 are, he's already proven to be a liar.

After January 20, we will have another ex-president who will have free rein to make up anti-Israel lies in op-ed pages.

The New York Times yet again shows that it allows anti-Israel op-ed writers to not be subject to basic fact checks.

(h/t David B)

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Monday, November 28, 2016

  • Monday, November 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Unfortunately I don't know what the source is; this came from a Twitter account that translates Arabic news into Hebrew. 

(h/t Yenta)

UPDATE: It was drawn by Jew-hating Omayya Joha, whom I have discussed before (h/t Bob Knot)

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From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: International NGOs: The new feudalism
Recently a man named Sherzad Mosa walked into a bar in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq, and was surprised to overhear a woman describe it as an “NGO bar.” Mosa wondered on Facebook why hundreds of thousands of refugees are living in the Kurdish region, and “kids and women” are suffering while “200 NGOs have more than 1,600 foreign people working for them and they are getting paid more than $10,000 per month and staying in the best hotels?” Others commented on his thread that NGO workers were driving around in brand new vehicles and spending just a few hours with refugees and then driving back to their hotels.
What these men had seen was only a small piece of a new kind of feudalism that involves governments, NGOs, international organizations and to a lesser extent media and academics.
Trying to quantify the extent of it is like the parable of the elephant in the room.
Everyone is touching one part of the feudal empire, but unable to see the whole of it.
Working in the Palestinian territories I came across these kinds of NGO employees and members of UN and EU government staffs over the years. Their fleets of SUVs plied the streets and their workers made ten times the local salaries. On their own they joked about the job they were doing. One German working on Palestinian election issues admitted it was all a financial windfall. There would never be elections, he said, “but I make great money here and get a resume builder.” A man we met who had a political science degree had somehow become a “security expert” for an international organization, giving “assessments” about threats in Gaza. Organizations such as the “Temporary International Presence in Hebron” are not temporary, existing for decades and paying salaries to Europeans who spend their weekends, as evidenced by their vehicles, enjoying themselves at Jerusalem or Tel Aviv bars. The new colonials call themselves “internationals.”

Horror and carnage in the Middle East – in historic context
With major battles taking place in Gaza, on April 6, 1917, the eve of Passover, the Turks ordered the expulsion of approximately 8,000 – 10,000 Jews from Jaffa and Tel Aviv.
An estimated 20 percent of the expelled died from hunger and contagious diseases.
On October 31, 1917, Australian light horsemen captured Beersheba, opening the way for Jerusalem’s capture in December 1917. At the major Turkish base in Beersheba, scores of Jewish forced laborers were employed by the Turks in construction, milling, tailoring, railroad work, cutting wood, and as teamsters. They fled as the Australians and British approached. Many others died from disease, flash floods and British aerial attacks.
It was at this point of history that the Balfour Declaration was declared on November 2, 1917. And on December 9, 1917, the British army liberated Jerusalem.
In 1918, even after the liberation, poverty was still crushing.
The first British military governor, Roland Storrs, reported finding “many ladies of doubtful reputation [presumably not all Jewish]... On our entry into Jerusalem we had found no less than 500 such women living in a special quarter.” Thousands of orphans were living in the streets.
For the indigenous Jews of the Holy Land, Arthur Balfour was no less a hero and savior than British commander Edmund Allenby. When Balfour toured the Jewish communities in Palestine in 1925, he was tumultuously received by appreciative throngs of Jews who had survived hardships and punishments of truly biblical proportions.
Whatever the intent, the Balfour Declaration was a humanitarian proclamation as much as a political/diplomatic announcement.
Battle over Balfour Declaration heats up... 99 years after it was issued
A month after a Palestinian group met in Britain’s House of Lords with the aim of burying the Balfour Declaration, an Israeli group on Tuesday will take to a room in the House of Commons to praise it.
Dore Gold, the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and up until a month ago the Foreign Ministry’s director-general, will hold a meeting titled “Refuting Balfour’s Detractors” to provide a high-profile response to Palestinian efforts to get a British apology, or even to extract compensation, for the November 1917 declaration that paved the way for the Jewish state.
Rather than take the affirmative step of recognizing the Jewish right to a nation-state in Israel, Gold said, the Palestinians are “doing the exact opposite by denying actively the very request for a Jewish homeland.”
On October 25, the Palestinian Return Center held a symposium in the House of Lords it trumpeted as the “launch of the Balfour Apology Campaign,” aimed at getting a British apology for the Balfour Declaration, which it described as “an historical breach against the aspirations of the people of Palestine” that “shattered its hopes for freedom and self determination.”
Gold said he will prove at Tuesday’s meeting that the Palestinian Return Center is a Hamas entity.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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