Tuesday, January 31, 2017

From Ian:

Edwin Black: Replacing the UN with ‘The Covenant of Democratic Nations’
For years, foreign policy critics, politicians and outraged members of the general public have been urging the US to defund and quit the United Nations. Some have advocated that a rival or successor organization should be established. Now there is a movement calling to “defund and replace” the troubled organization with a new world body: The Covenant of Democratic Nations. This writer has been a participating witness to the birth of that movement.
Just days after controversial UN Security Council Resolution 2334 declared, among other things, that Israel’s Jewish connection to the Western Wall was effectively illegal, concrete replacement action began. It started with proposing an official international conference to endorse a diplomatic convention that would be ratified by countries as a binding treaty. The entire process would be limited to nations governed by democratic principles. Each member would or could defund the United Nations, while it labored to construct a successor entity dedicated to world peace along democratic principles with equal respect for all people regardless of religion, gender, race, identity or national origin. This body would also include a mechanism to resolve disputes.
A prime mission of the new world organization would be to re-ratify, amend or nullify all acts and resolutions of the United Nations and its agencies such as UNESCO. Just as unjust American laws perpetrating slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and institutional inequality were overturned, updated and reformed, so too could the damage done by the UN. Sensibly, most CDN nations would remain as vestigial members of the UN, overseeing its collapse — just like when the League of Nations was dissolved after World War II and replaced with the present UN.
Caroline Glick: The lessons of Roosevelt’s failures
The American Jewish uproar at Trump’s actions shows first and foremost the cynicism of the leftist Jewish leadership.
It isn’t simply that left-wing activists like Hetfield and Eisner cynically ignore that Trump’s order is based on Obama’s policies, which they didn’t oppose.
It is that in their expressed concerned for would-be Muslim refugees to the US they refuse to recognize that the plight of Muslims as Muslims in places like Syria and Iraq is not the same as the plight of Christians and Yazidis as Christians and Yazidis in these lands.
The “Jews” in the present circumstances are not the Muslims, who are nowhere targeted for genocide.
The “Jews” in the present circumstances are the Christians and Yazidis and other religious minorities, whom Trump’s impassioned Jewish opponents and Obama’s impassioned Jewish champions fail to defend.
Trump’s executive order is far from perfect. But in making the distinction between the hunters and the hunted and siding with the latter against the former, Trump is showing that he is not a bigot.
Unlike his critics, he has learned the lessons of Roosevelt’s moral failure and is working to ensure that the US acts differently today.
Shmuley Boteach: Playing politics with the US Holocaust Museum
The gravest sin he committed, however, one which should disqualify him for any association with the Holocaust Museum, is his complicity in the genocide in Syria.
Like Nero, Obama has figuratively fiddled while Syria burned. After stating that Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his opponents would cross a red line that would trigger a US military response, Obama failed to back up his threat. This cowardly act was universally viewed by friends and foes alike in the Middle East as a sign of weakness, and left allies, including Israel, questioning whether they could depend on the US to protect their interests.
Fortunately for Obama, he had Rhodes to manipulate the “echo chamber” and sell the amoral narrative that America could not act to stop war crimes and genocide in Syria because it would jeopardize nuclear talks with Iran.
A bystander to genocide has no business in a position of honor or responsibility at an institution devoted to documenting past genocides and preventing future ones.
Rhodes was worse than a bystander, he was an active participant in the decision not to act to prevent the slaughter.
President Trump should call for Rhodes’ immediate resignation. In addition, a campaign should be conducted through the echo chamber calling on the chairman and the rest of the museum’s council to remove Rhodes forthwith to prevent his presence from tarnishing the reputation and mission of this vital institution.

  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Islam Maquosi, a man in his twenties, died from burns suffered after setting himself on fire a few days ago in from of a charity for people with disabilities in the Bureij camp in Gaza

Maquosi poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire to protest against how he has been treated.

A few years ago, a Hamas jeep hit Maquosi, injuring him. Hamas refused to take responsibility for the accident that cause years of suffering to the young man.

Just another story from Gaza that you won't read about in the media.

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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Hamas today honored the memory of Mohamed Zouari, who was assassinated in Tunisia on December 15, with a parade.

Zouari was the engineer behind the Abadil drone that Hamas has used on occasion. At the ceremony, they unveiled a memorial statue for him.

During the ceremony Hamas admitted that Zourani had visited Gaza clandestinely many times.

Hamas has blamed Israel and the Mossad for his assassination, and when you read the details of the operation, they are almost certainly right.

France's Liberation describes the details:
In Jerusalem there is no comment on the assassination in Sfax, although the military reporters, a small caste of about thirty "trusted" journalists with access to classified information, have eyes that sparkle and smile in the corner [when asked]. In private, most of them suggest that the services of other countries would not be alien to the operation. Others stressed that Egypt also wanted to put an end to the engineer since Hamas would have helped the Islamists linked to Daesh who are fighting the Cairo army in the Sinai desert.

In any case, the "liquidation" of Al Zoari was conducted like a James Bond movie: a truck blocked his car and two European-type killers riddled it of with about twenty bullets, of which three hit him in the thorax.

According to the Tunisian police, at least eight men were involved in the case. Four suspects, including a Belgian of Moroccan origin and a mysterious Hungarian "journalist" who met Al Zoari on the eve of his assassination before disappearing without a trace, are currently being sought. In addition, four cars (including two rental) linked to the assassination were found as well as two pistols equipped with silencers.

In order to erase the traces of the operation, hackers broke into the surveillance system of a restaurant near the place of the assassination and erased the contents of the recordings made by the cameras.
Hamas, as always, vowed revenge.

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From Ian:

Yitzhak Rabin's Vision of Defensible Borders for Israel
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, almost everything has changed. Above all, new threats have emerged with a previously unknown military logic of their own.
The Oslo idea, in its quest to end Israeli control over Palestinian citizens, was largely realized by 1996, when Israel concluded the withdrawal of its forces from the populated territories of the West Bank. Some 90% of the total Palestinian population of the West Bank has been controlled since then by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Moreover, the Israeli presence in Gaza ended in 2005.
Eastern Jerusalem and Area C in the West Bank, held by Israel, are the minimum required for the conservation of a defensible territory. Without the buffer area of the Jordan Valley, it would be impossible to prevent the quick arming of Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in his last speech in the Knesset (October 1995), was resolute on Jerusalem and emphasized the crucial hold by Israel of the Jordan Valley and the lateral routes leading to it. Rabin envisaged a political entity short of a fully-fledged Palestinian state.
Rabin implemented the Oslo Accords to reshape the area delineated by Israeli security interests. As part of this effort, he led a drive to construct a network of bypass roads in Area C, without which the IDF would have had great difficulty advancing its forces during Operation Defensive Shield (2002).
Without a constant hold on Area C, Israel has no defensible borders. The way Rabin delineated the expanse of Area C demonstrates his farsighted understanding of the importance of those areas beyond the 1967 borders, which must be in Israel's full control.
Prof. Eugene Kontovorich PodCast: The UNSCR 2334 Against Israel: What Is President Trump To Do? - Podcast
(Kontovorich starts at 23:30, the first guy is terrible)
Since the Obama administration abstained from the United Nations Security Council vote on Resolution 2334 that condemns Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, there has been much speculation as to the force, effect, and consequence of this Resolution. There are many concerns, including that this United Nations declaration may enable boycotts of Israel and that the Palestinian government might attempt to utilize the pronouncement to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court. President Trump’s has stated that he intends to alter or blunt the instrument. What will be the effect of this United Nations censure, and what are the options available to President Trump?
Prof. Bernard Avishai, Adjunct Professor of Business, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Visiting Professor of Government, Dartmouth College
Prof. Orde Kittrie, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Professor of Law, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
Prof. Eugene Kontovorich, Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
PMW: “God, grant us Martyrdom... a million grooms and brides... have written the marriage contract in blood” in Fatah TV music video
A music video broadcast twice on the Fatah-run TV station Awdah featured photos of suicide bombers while the lyrics promoted death as a Martyr for the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The music video opens with a recording of Yasser Arafat infamously saying: "They [the Israelis] want me captive, exiled or dead - but I tell them: [I will be] a Martyr! Martyr! Martyr!" Excerpts from the song promote Martyrdom as an ideal. The video includes photos of two female suicide bombers who in total murdered 3 Israelis and wounded over a hundred during the PA terror campaign in 2000-2005 (the Second Intifada).
"Al-Aqsa has called, and its call is precious
For its sake, life is insignificant, even if it's precious...
God, grant us Martyrdom there
God, promise us, we beg of you...
A million grooms and brides at the celebration
Have written the marriage contract in blood on the veil
(visual of suicide bomber Wafa Idris, killed 1 and wounded over 100, in Jerusalem attack)
A million grooms and brides at the celebration
Have written the marriage contract in blood on the veil
(visual of suicide bomber Ayyat Al-Akhras, killed 2 and wounded 28, in Jerusalem attack)
Filled with desire, they are going to the Paradise of immortals
To a wedding procession with angels that fill Palestine with light."
[Fatah-run Awdah TV, Jan. 23-24, 2017]
The clip also shows pictures of two Palestinian children who died during the PA terror campaign.

It is 1967. What would become known as the Six Day War has begun and Menachem Begin, invited by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to join an expanded emergency cabinet, has an idea.

There is a meeting in the basement shelter of the Knesset and the news is announced that Jordan has decided to join Egypt and Syria in battle. Begin and Labor Minister Yigal Allon suggest that the reaction to Jordan's shelling of Israel should be the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem, lost in the 1948 War following a UN ceasefire. Begin urges quick action before a similar ceasefire again leave the city divided.

Moshe Dayan opposes the idea based on the human cost of expected house-to-house fighting in addition to the potential damage to Christian and Muslim holy places -- leading to a world-wide outcry against Israel and opposition to Israeli control over Christian and Muslim holy places. Instead, Dayan suggests it would be enough to just surround the Old City and wait for it to fall.

Allon responds that the Jordanian lines were crumbling and Israel could go in. More to the point, it is essential for there to be a Jewish presence both deep within the Old City and on the Temple Mount itself.

In the end, a 4am news report from the BBC that the UN is planning to declare a ceasefire leads to another meeting where it is agreed to recapture the Old City. [Source: The Prime Minsters, by Yehuda Avner, p157-9]

The rest is history.


The issues then have not changed over the years when discussing the step of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Israeli reaction has.

The question of Congressional legislation to move the embassy came up during the 1984 presidential campaign. Democrats Walter Mondale and Gary Hart both came out in favor of the bill introduced by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynnihan, while President Reagen threatened to veto such a bill.

The response of an Israeli Foreign Ministry official at the time was less warm: "I'm very leery of trying to tread on a Congressional debate and an argument between the President and Congress, a constitutional problem of who runs foreign policy."

A decade later, in May 1995, news about what would become enacted that November as the Jerusalem Embassy Act, did not excite Israelis either. Prime Minister Rabin, suggested the Likud was behind it with the aim of "torpedoing" peace negotiations. Foreign Minister Peres tried to distance Israel from the bill, saying there was "no need for our involvement."

Fast-forward to today. During his presidential campaign, Trump made a point of talking about moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

And now he is the President.

Again, it is not so simple.

Moshe Feiglin, founder and chairman of the Zehut party, was interviewed the day after the elections -- and he predicted that once moving the embassy became a very real possibility, Netanyahu would not be any more enthusiastic or outspoken than past Israeli officials. See the video below, starting at 1:03:

Events seem to justify Feiglin's pessimism.

This past Friday, Marc Zell, chairman of Republicans overseas Israel indicated that the Israeli government did in fact have cold feet:

He followed up on his criticism the following day:

Zell even went so far as to imply that once Israel indicated its approval, plans for the embassy move could proceed right away

But when Haaretz published an interview with him the same day:
The co-chair of the Republicans Overseas organization in Israel, Marc Zell, says that recent foot-dragging by Donald Trump's White House on moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, is happening at Israel’s request.

Zell told Haaretz, citing both Israeli and U.S. sources, that “Trump has been unequivocally in favor of moving the embassy and remains so” but “he is proceeding cautiously because of concerns raised by Israeli officials.”
...Zell used Twitter again -- this time to walk back what he said:
For his part, Netanyahu came out out Sunday with an apparent response to Zell:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced support on Sunday for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem but mentioned no time frame, after a Republican activist accused Israel of pressing the Trump administration to delay the pledged step.
Even in welcoming the idea, Netanyahu appears cautious.

Now as in 1967, a mix of of the threat of Arab violence and world disapproval appears to be the issue.

Back then, there was no time to delay, as the threat of a missed opportunity was very real. Then again, who today is as blunt and influencial as Menachem Begin?

The question is how much time does Israel really have to take Trump up on his offer, before he too decides to put the offer on the back burner or take it off the table altogether.

After all, at heart -- Trump is a businessman.

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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

From The Independent:

Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the US from some Muslim-majority countries has been denounced by the UN's rights chief as “mean-spirited” and illegal under international human rights law. 
Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said: “Discrimination on nationality alone is forbidden under human rights law."

The UN Human Rights Council that al Hussein heads includes  Bangladesh, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

All of those countries ban Israelis from entering.

Because of their nationality.

(h/t David A)

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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Refugees are in the news. People are pledging to help them any way they can.

And UNRWA USA is trying to cynically make money off of the phenomenon - even though the organization does not want a single "refugee" under its mandate to ever move to the US and become a citizen.

The entire point of the protests is to allow refugees to come and live safely in the US. The entire point of UNRWA is to keep Palestinians in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, not to give them opportunities to become citizens anywhere in the world. UNRWA teaches generations of kids that they will one day "return" and therefore they should not seek better lives elsewhere.

UNRWA calls some 2 million Jordanian citizens "refugees." They aren't.

But UNRWA-USA wants to call them that so they can raise money.

UNRWA calls some 2 million people who actually live in the areas of British Mandate Palestine "refugees" - even though they live in the land they are supposedly refugees from. They aren't refugees.

But UNRWA-USA wants to call them that so they can raise money.

UNRWA claims there are twice the number of Palestinian "refugees" in Lebanon than are actually there. Lebanon discriminates against them and they suffer horribly - but "non-political" UNRWA, not shy about attacking Israel, won't say a negative word against Lebanon. It raises money based on 200,000 phantom "refugees" who are now in Europe or spread through the Arab world.

I have no problem with UNWRA helping Syrian Palestinians with food and shelter, but UNRWA's very existence means that they cannot be taken care of by UNHCR. These real refugees from Syria cannot take advantage of UNHCR's efforts to find homes for the other Syrian refugees.

UNRWA refuses to remove any "refugees" from that status - even if they become citizens elsewhere, even if their great-grandparents weren't born in the area of the Mandate  Many are descended from people who were never refugees to begin with, but UNRWA refused to remove them from the rolls even in the 1950s. . There is no cessation clause in UNRWA's rules and regulations. Once a "refugee," your descendants can claim benefits from UNRWA for centuries to come.

This campaign is pure cynicism, and it is immoral in that UNRWA-USA is trying to fool well-meaning people who truly want to help refugees into instead donating to a giant self-perpetuating bureaucracy that wasn't meant to exist past 1951.

If you want to help refugees, give to UNHCR - which actually tries to solve the problem of refugees. Don't give to UNRWA whose existence is based on perpetuating the Palestinian "refugee" problem for generations to come.

And they know that - because the slogan here implies that UNRWA will continue to exist forever, as the number of fake "refugees" increases every year.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

  • Monday, January 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The New York Times has an article about Israeli discussions of annexing Maaleh Adumim.

Buried in the article, not noticeable unless you really pay attention, are a couple of things that the media usually ignores altogether.

Here's one, in paragraph 15:
After eight years of little building, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just allotted 100 new building units to Ma’ale Adumim, part of 2,500 new proposed housing units around the West Bank settlements, and another 560 in East Jerusalem. 

For eight years we have been hearing about how Israel is building a huge number of houses in the territories and how that was preventing a two-state solution. And many of these charges came from Obama and Kerry.

Now that they are gone, the NYT admits that this is largely false - Israel hasn't built much at all during that time period.

Why was there no fact checking when Obama and Kerry made their statements? It isn't as if the facts were hidden; the numbers of new housing starts are public information and Peace Now has the numbers, also buried under the 8-fold counting of every single stage of building approvals making it appear that there were far more units being built than was true.

 If the New York Times cares about truth, and is so keen to call the current president a liar, than why did they not do the same for Obama's false claims?

Here's the second piece of truth that accidentally was revealed by the NYT article: a photo of the mall in Maaleh Adumim.

Two Muslim girls (and an Ethiopian child) hanging out in the mall of this "settlement."

If you read the New York Times or other media, you wouldn't think that Arabs ever appear in the Jewish communities (except as laborers.)

Here we have Arabs voluntarily going shopping in the  "Jewish only settlement" without any fear whatsoever.

Yes, sometimes the NYT reports the truth. But even when it does, you need to discover it - it won't be in the headlines or in the first several paragraphs of text.

(h/t Charlie in NY)

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From Ian:

Isi Leibler: Pseudo-liberal Jews cause great damage
There is only one example in Jewish history to which such behavior can be compared. The ‎Jewish Bolsheviks also turned against their own people and ultimately the revolution ‎consumed them. Unfortunately, the vociferous anti-Trump Jewish activists are a far ‎greater proportion of the American Jewish community than ‎Jewish Bolsheviks were among Russian Jews.‎
It is clear that in the Diaspora, committed Jews will remain overwhelmingly supportive of Israel ‎while the pseudo-liberal or progressive Jews will become less interested in Israel and ultimately ‎lose their identity. Indeed, Christian evangelicals now play a far greater role in promoting Israel ‎than some of the mainstream Jewish groups. ‎
We live in a world of chaos and upheaval.‎
Now is the time for all committed Jews to unite, stand together and concentrate primarily on ‎securing their own rights. Diaspora Jews who, from their comfortable armchairs, claim a ‎better understanding than Israelis of what is good for their security, should be treated with ‎contempt. Israel is entitled to expect support from committed Jews over the next few years ‎until it stabilizes its relationship with the world and creates an iron barrier to deter its ‎genocidal enemies.‎
Once the threats to the Jewish people have been overcome, we can and will become more ‎directly involved in tikkun olam and fulfilling Rabbi Hillel's wise advice.‎ (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Freedom of thought goes on trial in France
Wednesday 25 January 2017 will go down as a sad day in the annals of the French Republic. It was the day when France’s freedom of thought and expression went on trial: one of France’s leading historians, Georges Bensoussan, 64, was hauled up before a criminal court accused of ‘incitement to hatred.’
Arraigned against him was the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, together with various other ‘anti-racism’ groups. The hearing went on for a gruelling 12 hours. At the end, a weary Bensoussan announced: ‘for the first time in my life I am having thoughts of leaving the country.’
The drama had begun 18 months earlier. During a TV discussion broadcast on 10 October 2015, Repliques, Bensoussan commented that France could not hope to integrate its Maghrebi immigrants unless it recognised that these immigrants imbibe antisemitism ‘with their mother’s milk’.
Georges Bensoussan, the son of Moroccan Jews, is one of France’s leading historians and editorial director at the Holocaust Memorial in Paris. The author of an 800-page volume on the uprooting of Jews from Arab countries, Juifs en pays Arabes: le grand deracinement 1850-1975, he claims that he was merely paraphrasing the words of a ‘brave’ Algerian sociologist, Smain Laachar. “Everyone knows it but nobody will say it,” Laachar had declared of Arab/Muslim antisemitism.
(h/t Elder of Lobby)
The Telos Group: The True Identity of the "American Pro-Israeli, Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Peace Movement "
In 2014, the Telos Group was outed as an anti-Israel organization not living up to its "pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, and pro-peace" self-description.
Instead of building substantive bridges between Palestinians and Israelis, the bridge Telos appears most intent on building is a financial one between America and Ramallah. Telos's actions demonstrate the organization is pro-PLO/Palestinian Authority, not pro-Palestinian.
Telos is focusing its efforts on enabling a corrupt, oppressive PLO/PA government that has opposed peace on multiple occasions, oppressed its citizens by denying them freedom of speech and protection from religious persecution, and jailed journalists who dare to criticize the PA's undemocratic government and its abuses of its citizenry -- certainly not a pro-Israeli/pro-Palestinian/pro-peace agenda.
Peace with Israel is premised on Palestinians no longer supporting their children engaging in terrorist acts against Israel.
While Khalil appeals to UN Resolution 242's "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" to justify his position on Israeli settlements, he neglects to mention that this "land-for-peace" resolution was premised on the Palestinians halting all violence against Israelis and recognizing the State of Israel.
It is time to call the Telos Group for what it really is: Anti/Anti/Anti: anti-Israeli, anti-Palestinian, and anti-peace.

  • Monday, January 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

We've noted many times that Palestinians blame Israel for the many attacks by wild boars they experience. Mahmoud Abbas himself claims that Israeli Jews raise the animals (with rabbinic approval) just to train them to attack Palestinian Arabs and farms.

Now we finally have proof.

YNet reports that wild boars were found roaming around Bat Yam. Residents called police who tranquilized the animals and released them in an open area in Rishon LeZion.

Note that they didn't kill the beasts. They kept them alive, obviously for future mayhem against Palestinians!

The article notes that wold boars are a protected species in Israel - yet more proof that Israel is protecting the animals for their nefarious purposes of releasing them in Palestinian areas.

YNet notes that the wild boars can be found in the Sharon region, the coastal plain, the northern Negev, the Dead Sea and in some cities as well.

The Jews stop at nothing to raise them everywhere.

(h/t Bob Knot)

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  • Monday, January 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
It isn't only in America that criticism of leadership gets unhinged.

I occasionally look at the "divrei Torah" from Rabbis for Human Rights, and the one from Parashat Shemot (Exodus 1) was a doozy:

In these days of rock bottom in leadership in Israeli society (and perhaps not only here…) – it appears that there is no avoiding being suspicious and skeptical of leaders, and thinking of them in negative terms — for instance their pursuit of power, corruption and hatred of “the other”. 
And so, the first leader we meet in the parasha of Exodus, the new king of Egypt,  also strengthens this feeling. This is a cruel and unscrupulous leader who is willing to use all and any means to achieve his goals. He uses tactics well-known to us, unfortunately, until this very day: instilling fear, creating a collective sense of threat, labeling one group as “enemies of the people”, and the systematic repression of that group as a solution. It might be the case that the king thinks he represents the true interest of the Egyptian people, but in the end he brings great suffering also upon his own people.
If comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is antisemitic - and it is - then so is comparing Israeli leaders to Pharaoh.

Rabbis for Human Rights is using the tradition of modern antisemites to paint Jews with the brush of those who tried to kill the Jews.  Pharaoh, after all, also planned and attempted genocide against the Jewish people, and like Hitler he prioritized enslaving and murdering Jews over all else.

There is no moral difference between this sick parody of a Torah lesson and the modern Jew-haters who take great pleasure in saying that Jews have learned from their would-be exterminators.

People who call themselves rabbis have a moral obligation. This is immoral. It proves that "Rabbis for Human Rights" have far more in common with the antisemites than their targets do.

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From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians' Fort of Torture
Because it is not Israelis who are perpetrating the abuse, the reports are ho-hum to these journalists.
Hamas is an extremist Islamist movement that does not consider itself obliged to abide by international laws and treaties concerning basic human rights. Indeed, the concept of human rights simply does not exist under Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where public freedoms, including freedom of speech and of the press, are non-existent.
In 2013, two Palestinian detainees reportedly died of torture in the Jericho Central Prison.
A London-based human rights organization reported 3,175 cases of human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions, by the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces in the West Bank during 2016. Hundreds of those detained include university students and lecturers, as well as schoolteachers. During the same year, the PA security forces also detained 27 Palestinian journalists.
Unfortunately for them, they are not going on hunger strikes in an Israeli prison, where such actions garner the immediate interest of the mainstream media.
Many are willing to tell their stories. But who is willing to listen? Not Western governments, human rights organizations and journalists. Most of them seek evil in Israel, and Israel alone.
Hamas admits antisemitism, why do so many whitewash it?
A senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, told Al-Jazeera recently that the organization was going to revise its charter and “addresses the antisemitic language.”
The new charter would remove references to “religion and race.” Hamas would make clear that it was only “against the Zionists, against the occupation of our lands.”
The Hamas admission that its 1988 charter is anti-semitic leads to the question: why did so many commentators, including Jewish journalists and Israeli academics, claim for so long that Hamas was moderate and ignore the antisemitism? The same voices who condemn President Donald Trump for racism and accuse his advisers of antisemitism eschew any mention of Hamas antisemitism.
A Jewish Voice for Peace “fact sheet” from 2015 about Gaza barely mentions Hamas and when it does it portrays it as a victim of Israel “breaking” truces with it and complains “most disturbingly” that Israel assassinated Hamas leader Ahmad Jabari. For years the public has been subjected to a misinformation campaign about Hamas. Those who call for a more liberal Israeli and Western society have often sought to whitewash Hamas.
The truth about Hamas antisemitism is readily available.
Israeli professor Dina Porat wrote in 2014 that throughout the Hamas charter’s 36 articles there are descriptions that “contain clearly antisemitic motifs that are expressed without mincing words. Zionism constitutes a Nazi- and Tatar-like invasion of Palestine, the charter states that, and Jewish Nazism is an evil enemy (article 20) that conducts itself like Nazism... the historical description is informed by and directly based on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
Professor Meir Litvak wrote in 2005 in the Palestine-Israel Journal (PIJ) that “the harsh expressions made by Hamas should not be dismissed as mere rhetoric, as they serve to inculcate a state of mind among the movement’s activists and followers as well as socialize a younger generation of Palestinians.”
In short, Hamas provides education designed to create extreme antisemitism, welfare that comes with the Protocols attached.
Now you can come clean, Mr. Obama
Obama had the same schemes in mind as per Haman, consider his final trick at the last hour of his presidency.
No less than $221 million he parceled over to the same Palestinian Arabs whose main business is murdering Israelis.
Trump has since foiled the plot by placing a hold on the gift.
But there was much that could not be stopped as over a period of eight years Obama proved again and again that he had no love for the Jewish people.
No love for Christians, either, by the way. He would never bow to the Queen of England. But for the King of Saudi Arabia, yes he bowed.
He bowed to that type throughout his two terms. Never forget his joining the wolves at the UN to pass Resolution 2334 that was intended to devour the Jewish State.
Never forget his snubbing of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of America’s only true friend in the entire Middle East.
Never forget his secret deals with Iran – those billions of our money he forked over to his pals the mullahs.
The only reason for that was to give them the means to build bombs and rockets aimed at Israel and the United States.
Obama had no love for either country, certainly not Israel, and not even America, where by hook and by crook he got himself elected those two times.

One of the things I remember vividly from years spent traveling in Europe (Eastern and Western) in the 1980s was the prevalence of soldiers everywhere I went. 

The machine guns carried by police in France and Italy certainly caught me by surprise (especially after a stint in England where bobbies still relied on their billy clubs).  But it was large numbers of men (really boys) in uniform clogging up the trains I took from one city to another that was most jarring.

After all, despite America’s superpower status (rivaled back then by the Soviet Union), my interaction with military personnel at home had been quite limited.  A few friends joined the National Guard after high school, and occasionally a Dad who worked on a nearby Air Force base would show up at a Boy Scout meeting in fatigues.   But even today, the sight of large numbers of military personnel (like a line of soldiers getting off an airplane) seems so unusual that non-soldiers seeing such an “event” feel the need to act as if something extraordinary is happening (often by breaking into applause).

If my own experience raising members of the next generation is any indication, the connection between the people who defend the nation and those of us they defend has only grown more distant and abstract since the Cold War ended.  That airport applause is meant to show that the sacrifices others are making on our behalf is appreciated, but that appreciation is as much for the professional soldier giving us the space to “get on with our lives” in ways that don’t require us to strap on a weapon and go into battle ourselves.

The gap between what the soldier sacrifices to defend us (including killing and dying) and what we sacrifice to be defended (paying taxes and “supporting the troops”) is similar to the one a person might experience when contemplating an object they purchased (be it a house, a boat or a toy) vs. one they made with their own hands.  In fact, much of modern anxiety (at least in the West) likely stems from the disconnect between the things we enjoy (comfort, entertainment, freedom) and what we have actually created or sacrificed to possess those treasures.

I bring this up in the context of a point I’ve made before about why Israel seems so unusual, even to those of us dedicated to that nation and her people.  Some of that unusualness is the lack of a soldier-citizen distinction we experience at home, represented by men and women in uniform everywhere in Israel, an armed citizenry, and ubiquitous machine guns. But I would also highlight that the average Israeli you run into can list things they, their parents and grandparents did to actually create and build a nation – something few of us can do beyond listing a “Greatest Generation” relative who might have fought in World War II.

If happiness derives from purpose, this might explain why Israelis are among the happiest people on earth, despite living under constant threats ranging from random knifing to complete annihilation.  In recent posts, I’ve alluded to Israel’s early days when the nation was founded, exiles became citizens and the nation triumphed in war after war with far larger deadly rivals – all without the patronage of a superpower. 

Some might attribute this spectacular success to God or Jewish genius.  But examples of other nations (such as South Korea) picking themselves up and transforming through commitment and will demonstrates that a citizenry with a sense of purpose and mission can do stunning things, beyond even what can be accomplished by much larger nations with far more resources whose citizens act as if they inherited vs. built their society.

Getting back to our old friend BDS, I suppose it’s possible that getting a few B-list celebrities to cancel gigs in Israel or getting a West Coast food coop to stop selling Israeli bouillon cubes will completely demoralize a people whose sense of shared purpose allowed them to build a country, resurrect a language and culture, rescue men and women who survived genocide, helped citizens achieve meaningful lives, and emerge victorious through nearly a century of armed conflict.  It doesn’t seem like a good bet to me, but if any BDSers out there want to commit another decade or three to the effort: knock yourself out. 

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  • Monday, January 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Mahmoud Abbas managed to get one of the keynote speeches at the African Union Summit happening now in Addis Ababa.

His speech had little to do with Africa and was filled with Israel bashing. Excerpts:

It is my pleasure, dear brothers and friends, for your kind invitation to us to attend your esteemed summit, here in Addis Ababa, and I highly value the support your association and its member states gives the State of Palestine in international forums, hoping for the continuation of this initial support and solidarity with the rights of our people to freedom, sovereignty and independence, and salvation from the Israeli occupation and its devastating effects on our people, and leading a comprehensive, just and lasting peace which guarantees the independence of the state of Palestine with its capital East Jerusalem, to achieve, to live in peace and security with the State of Israel on the borders of June 1967.

...We commend your efforts against the face of terrorism, we express our full support to cooperate with your association and your nations to combat terrorism, which we condemn in all its forms in our region and everywhere in the world.

...The achievement of a just and comprehensive peace that we seek, through the two-state solution, is in danger, because Israel's occupation means to undermine the chances of establishing an independent state of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem, and by continuing its occupation and control of the land of the State of Palestine occupied since the year 1967, and establishment of settlements, and the transfer of its own citizens to it, which creates a one-state reality on the ground with an Apartheid system imposed on the Palestinian people.

Here we emphasize that any prejudice to the status quo in the city of occupied East Jerusalem, and all the occupied Palestinian territories in 1967 would undermine the chances of achieving peace and laying the foundations of stability in our region.

The State of Israel is the occupying power in Palestine, it is still carrying on the same occupation, which was rejected by your predecessors the top leaders of Africa in the sixties and seventies of the last century, but they have increased their extreme and racist occupation and daily oppress the Palestinian people.

On this occasion, we thank and appreciation to all the members of the Security Council, particularly the African countries Senegal, Angola and Egypt which voted in favor of Resolution 2334, which condemns the settlements, and calls for suspending them as devastating to the two-state solution, and we urge the international community to work on the application of the protection of security and stability, and the chances of achieving peace in the our region. This will contribute to eliminate  the forces of extremism and terrorism in our region and the world.
This is the most interesting part:
...We know very well that you have your interests, and that Israel is seeking to gain relationships with your countries.

 But we ask you, dear friends and brothers, that this not be at the expense of the cause of the Palestinian people, and that as you stand with them over the past decades, which is still in need for cohesion of your positions and persistence in support, solidarity and support for Palestine, for the salvation from the obnoxious Israeli occupation .

Of course Abbas lobbied against any sort of cooperation between  Africa and Israel, and he realizes that he has lost. So instead he is begging to maintain the solidly pro-Palestinian political positions of the African states, worried that he might lose that too.

Abbas also offered help to African nations, although what he can actually offer is not clear.

One wonders what the African nations' delegates think when they are subjected to another attempt by Palestinians to hijack a world forum for their own interests. Abbas paid lip service to Africa but that was window dressing for the main point of this speech - don't become too pro-Israel.

Observers say that the official proceedings of the African Union summit have little to do with what actually happens there in closed-room meetings, so this was a symbolic victory for Abbas and it was practically meaningless.

I have some thoughts on that, for an upcoming post.


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  • Monday, January 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Times of Israel:
After his girlfriend called him a “Zionist Jew” and a “Jew lover,” an Arab Israeli man allegedly carried out two shooting attacks, which left one man dead and another seriously wounded, in the northern port city of Haifa earlier this month, the Shin Bet security service said.

On Monday, the suspect — 21-year-old Muhammad Shinawi — was charged with murder and attempted murder in a Haifa court for the attacks, along with two other men accused of helping him.

Yehiel Iluz, 48, a senior judge on a Haifa rabbinic conversion court, was moderately wounded at 9:30 a.m. on January 3, in the first shooting on the city’s Haatzma’ut Road. A few minutes later, the shooter opened fire at a Jewish woman, but missed. And a few minutes after that, Guy Kafri, 47, a van driver from Haifa’s Nesher neighborhood, was shot and killed on the nearby Hagiborim Street.

During his interrogation, Shinawi said he carried out the attacks “out of a nationalist motivation and hatred of Jews,” the Shin Bet said Monday in a statement.

According to the Shin Bet, before the attacks, Shinawi adopted more radical Islamic beliefs, considering Jews to be “unbelievers whose judgment is death.”

The “catalyst” for the attack, the Shin Bet said, was Shinawi’s girlfriend calling him “Jew lover” and “Zionist Jew.”

Rafat Asadi, a lawyer who lives in the neighborhood, told Ynet that he was surprised by the identity of the suspect, “an honors student” who comes from a “completely normal family, an exemplary family, that has had no run-ins with the law.”

In 2006, Shinawi also set fire to a Jewish family’s car, during the Second Lebanon War, the Shin Bet said.
So how else can a self-respecting Arab respond to being called a "Jew-lover," the worst of all insults, except to murder Jews?

Once again, the impetus is being shamed and a desire for honor.

In a couple of hours we will see Palestinian groups say that this is a "natural response to the crimes of the Zionist entity." Bit for now we are still in the stage where his lawyer insists he is innocent.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

  • Sunday, January 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the UN website
The new UN Secretary General, António Guterres, gave a very good speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Here it is:

Today is a day to remember, reflect and look forward.

We are here to honour the victims of the Holocaust, an unparalleled crime against humanity.

We are together to mourn the loss of so many and of so much.

The world has a duty to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people and so many others.

I am humbled by the presence here today of Holocaust survivors. Thank you for bearing witness across seven decades so that others may live in dignity. There is no better education for the future than the guarantee that we will always be able to remember the past and to honour the victims of the tragedies of that past.

I would like to pay tribute to one survivor in particular, Elie Wiesel, who passed away last year. He became one of the world’s most passionate voices for mutual respect and acceptance, and the United Nations was proud to have him as one of our Messengers of Peace.

It would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis. On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred and discrimination targeting the Jews – what we now call anti-Semitism.

Imperial Rome not only destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, but also made Jews pariahs in many ways. The attacks and abuse grew worse through the triumph of Christianity and the propagation of the idea that the Jewish community should be punished for the death of Jesus – an absurdity that helped to trigger massacres and other tremendous crimes against Jews around the world for centuries to come.

The same happened in my own country, Portugal, reaching its height with the order by King Manuel in the 16th century expelling all Jews who refused to convert. This was a hideous crime and an act of enormous stupidity. It caused tremendous suffering to the Jewish community – and deprived Portugal of much of the country’s dynamism. Before long, the country entered a prolonged cycle of impoverishment.

Many Portuguese Jews eventually settled in the Netherlands. Lisbon’s loss was Amsterdam’s gain, as the Portuguese Jewish community played a key role in transforming the Netherlands into the global economic powerhouse of the 17th century.

The Portuguese example also demonstrates that anti-Semitism, more than a question of religion, is essentially an expression of racism. The proof is that the converted Jews, the so-called “new Christians”, faced discrimination by the old Christians, and suffered continued persecution by the Portuguese Inquisition.

When I became Prime Minister in 1995, I felt it was absolutely necessary, even if only with a symbolic gesture, to demonstrate my country's rejection and repentance of Portugal’s
merciless attacks against the Jewish community.

In 1996, Parliament revoked the letter of expulsion. I then had the honour of visiting the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam to formally present a copy of that decree and apologize on behalf of my country. Tragically, that beautiful synagogue was almost empty, because the community Portugal had expelled was almost completely destroyed by the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism always tends to come back.

Portugal recently adopted a law allowing the descendants of those expelled in the 16th century to regain Portuguese nationality. Last year, more than 400 took advantage of this offer.

I am also very proud to note that just a few weeks ago, my wife signed, on behalf of the Lisbon Municipality, an agreement with the Israeli Community of Lisbon to establish the Lisbon Jewish Museum. This will be a way to pay tribute to the memory of those my country mistreated so badly.

History keeps moving forward, but anti-Semitism keeps coming back.

The renowned scholar Simon Schama has noted that in the 19th century, Jews were even blamed for modernity, including for disasters of international finance in which they themselves were among the first victims.

Schama also noted that Jews often faced a lose-lose situation. When they successfully integrated and came to “look like” anyone else, they became subjects of suspicion. Others who looked different were blamed for that, too. Both groups came together in the Nazi crematoria.

After the Holocaust, the world seemed eager to find a more cooperative path. The founding of the United Nations was one expression of that moment. The UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention enshrined a commitment to equality and human rights.

Humankind dared to believe that tribal identities would diminish in importance.

We were wrong. Those like me who grew up in the post-war era never imagined we would again face rising attacks on Jews in my own part of the world – in Europe.

Anti-Semitism is alive and kicking. Irrationality and intolerance are back.

But we still see Holocaust denial, despite the facts. There is also a new trend of Holocaust revisionism, with the rewriting of history and even the honouring of disgraced officials from those days.

Hate speech and anti-Semitic imagery are proliferating across the Internet and social media.

Violent extremist groups use anti-Semitic appeals to rouse their forces and recruit new followers.

All this is in complete contrast to tolerance, the primacy of reason and universal values.

Moreover, as the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Lord Jonathan Sacks, said last year, “The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews”.

Today, we see anti-Semitism, along with racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of intolerance, triggered by populism. I am extremely concerned at the discrimination faced by minorities, refugees and migrants across the world.

I find the stereotyping of Muslims deeply troubling. A “new normal” of public discourse is taking hold, in which prejudice is given a free pass and the door is opened to even more extreme hatred.

Steps from this chamber, you will find a powerful exhibition on Nazi propaganda. It is called “State of deception” and is the product of our fruitful partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

As this exhibition details, propaganda helped erode the bonds of humanity. The word “Jewish” was used constantly in association with society’s ills. Hardship and instability created fertile ground for scapegoating. It is true that many citizens disapproved of discrimination. But a majority accepted such sentiments, even if only passively. Ultimately, indifference prevailed, dehumanization took hold, and the descent into barbarity was quick.

These are lessons for our time, too.

We need to be vigilant. We need to invest in education and youth. We need to strengthen social cohesion so that people feel that diversity is a plus, not a threat.

The United Nations itself must do more to strengthen its human rights machinery, and to push for justice for the perpetrators of grave crimes.

Our “Together” campaign is focusing on countries hosting refugees and migrants. Our Holocaust Outreach Programme is active on all continents.

The Holocaust also saw great acts of heroism, from ordinary people who protected others to diplomats who, at grave risk to themselves, defied the Nazis to enable thousands of people to escape certain death. Some of these are well known – Sweden’s Raoul Wallenberg and Japan’s Chiune Sugihara. Some are less so -- Iran’s Abdol Hossein Sardari and, I am proud to say, Portugal’s Consul in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

Today, we can be inspired by many cooperative efforts to bring diverse groups together. We need to deepen this solidarity.

After the horrors of the 20th century, there should be no room for intolerance in the 21st.

I guarantee you that as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will be in the frontline of the battle against anti-Semitism and all other forms of hatred.

That is the best way to build a future of dignity and equality for all – and the best way to honour the victims of the Holocaust we will never allow to be forgotten.

Thank you very much.

Khaled Abu Toameh tweeted:

Yes, the Palestinians were upset that Guterres said "Imperial Rome not only destroyed the temple in Jerusalem..."

Guterres ended his speech with "I guarantee you that as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will be in the frontline of the battle against anti-Semitism and all other forms of hatred."

Will he recognize that Palestinian demands to sever any connection between Jews and Jerusalem is one constant example of antisemitism happening today?

Will he have the guts to publicly say that today's anti-Israelism is simply a modern form of antisemitism?

He is saying the right things. The question is whether he will act on them.

UPDATE: Here's the Palestinian reaction:
Palestinian officials on Sunday criticized the statements made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, on the city of Jerusalem, calling it "a serious political encroachment."

The Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Adnan Husseini told the news agency "Xinhua" that Guterres' statement was "bias" for Israel.

Husseini said that Guterres was "ignoring the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  (UNESCO) decisions, which considered the Al-Aqsa Mosque of purely Islamic heritage," pointing out that the Secretary-General of the United Nations "violated all legal, diplomatic and humanitarian norms, and exceeded his role as secretary general with these remarks, and he must apologize the Palestinian people. "

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  • Sunday, January 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

From The JC:
Baroness Jenny Tonge has claimed that she was “interrogated”, after taking part in an interview where she found it difficult to name any books she had read on the Palestinian conflict and had trouble explaining why she feels it is the job of the pro-Israel “lobby” to disprove her allegations that it bribes UK politicians.

The Baroness, who was suspended and subsequently resigned from the Liberal Democrats in October 2016 after years of inflammatory statements on Israel, was interviewed for the J-TV YouTube channel.

When asked by the interviewer, Dr Alan Mendoza, what the “best book” was that she had read on the subject of the Balfour Declaration, or the events of 1948, she responded by saying “I haven’t read great tomes on it.”

When pressed for an answer, she said “I have read books by Ghada Karmi and Ilan Pappe.

“Now you’re going to tell me that I haven’t read books written by the right people" - both Karmi and Pappe are known for their anti-Zionist rhetoric.

“I’m not going to say that”, Dr Mendoza responded. “But do you not believe that someone who has been so involved in this [issue] during her political career ought to at least have taken a contrary view here and there and read something on it?”

Baroness Tonge responded only by claiming that she was “not involved in any political sense. I’ve never been spokesman for foreign affairs in my party.”

When asked whether she really thought that secret funds were funnelled by the pro-Israeli lobby to UK politicians, she said “there could be.

“I’m making the allegation and asking people to prove [to] me that I’m wrong.”

She went on to say “it is up to the lobby to clear their own name. It is not up to me to clear their name.”

Dr Mendoza responded: “but that’s not the way it works. If I said that Jenny Tonge was a murderer, that’s manifestly not true, but a number of people start saying it, that doesn’t make it true… it wouldn’t be for you to clear your name in that context, would it?”

“No, I think it would be up to me”, she replied.

“So you don’t believe in innocence until proven guilty, you believe in guilty until proven innocent, which is not the basis of our legal system in this country”, said Dr Mendoza.

Baroness Tonge responded by saying “that’s a good point.”

The member of the House of Lords claimed that she has “spoken out when asked” on the issue of Israel/Palestine, and has been “misquoted time and time again.”

Dr Mendoza then read one of her own quotes back to her: “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western world, its financial grips.”

“Do you know,” she said, “of all the things I’ve said I will probably accept to you that that was a bit over the top.”

After being interviewed, Baroness Tonge posted on her Facebook page that she had been “caught in a trap” by doing the interview.

“I was seated under glaring lights in a huge loft studio, she said, “and interviewed – no, interrogated – by a very nasty character who was determined to blacken my name and stop me saying anything meaningful.

“I was accused of not knowing enough about ‘the history”. They casually wore this tough old lady down.

“At the end I felt I knew how people are interrogated until they break down and sign confessions! My own fault I guess for being decent and wanting to connect with Israel’s supporters.”
Other topics are how Tonge believes that the Zionist lobby controls politicians and how Muslim terrorism is all rooted in what Israel does.

It is a remarkable interview, and Mendoza is polite throughout as he gets her to admit repeatedly that she has no idea what she is talking about.

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From Ian:

JPost Editorial: The mouse that roars
As suspense builds over whether US President Donald Trump will fulfill his campaign promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital, the Palestinian leadership is pressing panic buttons daily, appealing to the world community to agree with its absurd policy that the Jewish people’s capital for 3,000 years is in occupied Palestinian territory.
The Palestinian Authority’s escalating campaign to delegitimize Israel accompanies its ongoing incitement of terrorism. But the PA last week exceeded previous attempts at bullying the world community with delusional threats of the consequences of the embassy move.
This was achieved by Fatah Central Committee member Nasser al-Kidwa, who threatened to downgrade the PA’s ties with the US if Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas added that the Palestinian leadership would also declare that the US is no longer a broker in the Middle East peace process and “turn to the UN” – as if the Palestinian tail has not been wagging the UN dog for years.
“If that [the relocation of the embassy] takes place, the Palestinian side would have to sever its ties with the official staff of the illegal US Embassy in Jerusalem. In addition to that, there is the issue of the Palestinian political representative’s office in Washington; it would also be necessary to close [it],” Kidwa told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds, adding that the Palestinians would have “no other choice.”
No other choice? How about continuing to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the US? More to the point, how about admitting that the Arab refusal of the UN’s original two-state solution in 1947 has resulted in decades of war and suffering by both peoples? Abbas’s continued refusal of Israeli offers to negotiate the establishment of a Palestinian state has made it clear that he is incapable of making a sincere effort to rectify that historic mistake.

PMW: Fatah proud of suicide terrorist: Her pure body exploded into pieces in the Zionists’ faces
Referring to suicide terrorist Wafa Idris - who murdered 1 and wounded over 100 Israelis in 2002 - as "a daughter of the Fatah Movement," Mahmoud Abbas' party praised her and her "operation" on Facebook. Fatah's post highlighted the fact that her suicide bombing was carried out "so that her pure body would explode into pieces in the Zionists' faces":
Posted text: "Today [Jan. 27, 2017] is the 15th anniversary of the first Martyrdom-seeking operation of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (i.e., PA terror campaign 2000-2005), which was carried out by Martyrdom-seeker Wafa Idris, a daughter of the Fatah Movement. She planted an explosive belt on her body on Jaffa Street in occupied Jerusalem, so that her pure body would explode into pieces in the Zionists' faces. One Israeli was killed in the operation and an additional 90 were wounded (sic., over 100), and it came in response to the assassination operation against commander Raed Al-Karmi (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 9)."
Text on image: "First female Martyrdom-seeker
Martyr (Shahida) Wafa Idris
Jan. 28 (sic., 27), 2002"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Jan. 27, 2017]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented Fatah's policy of honoring suicide bomber Wafa Idris on the day of her attack.
Fatah justified Idris' suicide bombing as a "response" to Israel's killing of another of Fatah's "heroes" - terrorist Raed Al-Karmi - a week earlier. Al-Karmi murdered 3 Israelis and planned the murder of 6 additional Israelis in 2001 and 2002.
Sheri Oz: Punctuating History And Narratives In The Middle East
Below is a list of possible punctuation marks in history. I think it becomes obvious how that changes the entire narrative.
If you only started paying attention to the story beginning in the late 1980s, when everyone really starting going on about Israeli occupation of Gaza, The West Bank, and East Jerusalem, then you believe that Middle East peace requires Israel to end an occupation. You may think that Judea and Samaria was always called The West Bank. You also think that there was once an Arab country named Palestine and an Arab people who were always called Palestinians and that they are indigenous to that country that you think once existed.
If you only started paying attention to the story, or believe it began shortly after the 6-Day War in June 1967 that saw Israel regaining control over Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, when the stage was set to invent the phrase “land for peace”, then you believe that if Israel would just relinquish land recaptured in that war, there would be peace in the Middle East. You might know there was never an Arab country called Palestine and that most Arabs would never countenance being called Palestinians before the mid-1980s. Then again, you might have known it once and since forgotten that fact.
If you think the story began in 1948, with Israel’s declaration of independence and recognition by the UN, then you believe that the UN created the State of Israel, and that Israel was created because of the Holocaust. You may believe that peace requires that the Arab world simply accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.

Women's March poster (2017)
Future historians may find the recent "Women's March" interesting for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that it nicely illustrates the tensions between the ideals of multiculturalism and universal human rights within contemporary western-left ideology.

Whatever else the march may have accomplished, however, it definitely propelled Linda Sarsour into the political night sky.

Sarsour is a Palestinian-American, pro-Sharia, Obama advisor, feminist, activist who also participated in the Standing Rock protests.

While she has a fascinating resume, the problem is that Sharia is a Muslim Supremacist judicial system and is, therefore, fundamentally incompatible with the Constitution of the United States.

It is out of this tension within the Left that the central ideals of multiculturalism (as represented by mass Muslim immigration into the West) and universal human rights (as represented by the right of women not to be stoned to death for the crime of being raped) are locked in a largely unspoken death-struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party and the progressive-movement.

The resolution of this contradiction between Islam and western political values will loom large in determining the lives of coming generations.

The Progressive-Left and the Multicultural Dilemma

It was out of the multicultural ideal that Angela Merkel and the European Union opened the doors of Western Europe to mass Muslim immigration in what is perhaps the most audacious social experiment in world history.

Much like the unwarranted optimism by westerners concerning the "Arab Spring" before it, many Europeans looked forward to the cultural enrichment of Europe by Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa. The horror of the Syrian civil war strained the heart-muscles of many westerners who wished to help a population devastated by widespread violence and civil strife. Meanwhile western politicians promoted the idea that Europe needed an influx of young workers for economic reasons, anyway.

In the progressive-left imagination, however, this multicultural ideal slips at the thought of Muslim rape gangs in Britain and the horrendous treatment of women under Sharia Law.

It staggers upon recognition that Islam, whatever else it may be, is a theological-political philosophy that, from the time of Muhammad until today, seeks to expand its territorial boundaries with no interest whatsoever in women's rights.

It should also be noted that beyond the liberal West (with the funny exception of Antarctica) there were no women's marches anywhere. There was a considerable dearth of women marching in Riyadh and Teheran and Mogadishu.

For some reason the women of the Middle East did not care to join their western counterparts in women's solidarity.

There were no pink "pussy hats" in the streets of Karbala or Kandahar or Ramallah.

Nonetheless, one can easily imagine how the authorities in those places would have reacted had there been... or is that a racist assumption?

Meanwhile, American Jewry is going through a dark night of the soul as it awakens to the fact that not only are progressives and Democrats increasingly hostile toward Israel, with only 33 percent of Democrats supportive of the Jewish state, but that they could not care less that young Islamists are driving Jews out of Europe.

Western Jews and the Multicultural Dilemma

If the Obama administration has taught Jews anything it is that the progressive-left and the Democratic Party have considerable empathy for Islamists. The source of that empathy is what philosopher Pascal Bruckner referred to as The Tyranny of Guilt. It is the growing sense - refined and promoted at the universities and within progressive-left circles - that Europeans owe a blood-debt to the rest of the world.

Related to this notion is the idea that the ongoing Arab-Muslim war against the Jews of the Middle East is a righteous struggle against western imperialism.

The slowly-dawning realization among progressive-left Jewry that their own political movement has turned against them is causing consternation and conflict within the community.

The Women's March froze out many progressive-left Jewish women because Linda Sarsour is a pro-Sharia anti-Zionist and the poster above reflects that. The chilling message is that Sharia, as represented by the hijab, is "as American as apple pie" and only feared by hard-right, racist, sexist "deplorables" of the sort despised by Hillary Clinton and that voted for Donald Trump. The flag as a hijab is meant to emphasize the compatibility of Sharia with American sensibilities, as the bright red lipstick suggests a nod toward western sexual-aesthetic mores.

While Sarsour claimed to stand for freedom at both Standing Rock and the post-inaugural streets of Washington D.C., and is unquestionably receiving more attention now than at any time in her White House-visiting past, she also argues that Sharia Law is a good thing that "We The People" should embrace.

Interest free loans and credit cards sounds terrific.

Who, outside of bankers, wouldn't want to see interest free loans and credit cards? Of course, she fails to reference the little Koranic details, such as the practice of public head-chopping, that remains so popular throughout much of the Islamic world.

The core of Sharia, beyond its generous money-lending practices and public brutality, is second and third-class non-citizenship for dhimmis within an Islamic theocracy. Of course, "protected" or dhimmi status is offered only to "people of the book" which includes Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.

Everyone else caught within traditional Sharia-dominated societies received the choice of enslavement or death.

The highly-respected and recently deceased Professor Martin Gilbert reminds us that for Jews and Christians under Sharia in the Middle East:
There could be no building of new synagogues or churches.  Dhimmis could not ride horses, but only donkeys; they could not use saddles, but only ride sidesaddle.  Further, they could not employ a Muslim. Jews and Christians alike had to wear special hats, cloaks and shoes to mark them out from Muslims.  They were even obliged to carry signs on their clothing or to wear types and colors of clothing that would indicate they were not Muslims, while at the same time avoid clothing that had any association with Mohammed and Islam. Most notably, green clothing was forbidden...

Other aspects of dhimmi existence were that Jews - and also Christians - were not to be given Muslim names, were not to prevent anyone from converting to Islam, and were not to be allowed tombs that were higher than those of Muslims.  Men could enter public bathhouses only when they wore a special sign around their neck distinguishing them from Muslims, while women could not bathe with Muslim women and had to use separate bathhouses instead.  Sexual relations with a Muslim woman were forbidden, as was cursing the Prophet in public - an offense punishable by death.

Under dhimmi rules as they evolved, neither Jews nor Christians could carry guns, build new places of worship or repair old ones without permission,or build any place of worship that was higher than a mosque.  A non-Muslim could not inherit anything from a Muslim.  A non-Muslim man could not marry a Muslim woman, although a Muslim man could marry a Christian or a Jewish woman.

Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010) 32 - 33.

Ideological Square Pegs

The western-left, including the Democratic party, desperately wants to see a harmonious integration of Muslims from the Middle East and Africa into North America, Europe, and Australia.

They do so out of a moral imperative grounded in multiculturalism and universal human rights.

Thus pro-Israel Jewish progressives throughout the western world look at one another with their palms in the air saying, "What the hell do we do now?"

And this, it must be understood, points directly to a central problem not only between the Jewish and the western-left, but between the western-left and its own ideals.

You cannot stand for social justice if you give a pass to slavery throughout much of the Muslim world. You do not stand for social justice if you allow, without complaint, the hundreds of millions of Arab and Muslim women treated as chattel according to Sharia Law or to the genocidal Jew hatred that infuses between 75 and 95 percent of the Arab-Muslim Middle East.

Yet, at the same time progressives look upon the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors as something akin to Nazis if we don't do backflips at the thought of a mass Arab-Muslim influx into the United States.

Left, right, or center, the western Jewish community does not care about the skin color of immigrants.

We do not care about what particular patch of Earth that they happen to come from.

What we do care about is the transmission of Koranically-based hatred for the infidel onto the lands of our families because we've been down this road before.

If this makes us racist then it is equivalent to Jewish "racism" toward Nazis during World War II.

The problem is not Arabs or Africans or any other ethnic group. The problem is not even most Muslims who want nothing more than to raise their families and earn a living in peace.

The problem is Islam in its political aspect and that is precisely what the Left cannot bring itself to face.

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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