Thursday, August 31, 2017

From Ian:

Young Anti-Zionist Jews Claim to Speak For My Generation. They Don’t. It’s Time We Called Them On It.
“If six million people were walking around saying that they were ‘chosen,’ you would want to kill them, too.”
A few months ago, I was shocked to hear these words from a fellow Brown University student. With a remarkable degree of ignorance about the history of the Holocaust and Jewish theology, he suggested that the Jews are so repulsive that we brought the Nazi genocide upon ourselves. He shut down another student for daring to bring up her grandparents’ Holocaust experiences at a Shabbat dinner conversation, calling her selfish for recounting her own family’s history. He declared that Jewish religion and ethics are meaningless as long as Israel, which he regarded as the epicenter of global evil, exists.
He was Jewish.
He had internalized a toxic culture of anti-Semitism and grown to resent Holocaust survivors, Zionists, and all who represented resistance to the mentality that he had chosen to adopt. Anti-Zionists had repeated the narrative that they represented “young Jews” and “our generation” until he believed them. He couldn’t stand to be confronted with millennial Jews like me who had taken the harder path, had chosen to name anti-Semitism, talk about it, and fight back.
People like him claim to speak for the whole of my generation, but they are a small minority of Jewish millennials. According to Pew’s comprehensive study of American Jews, a full 81 percent of Jewish 18-29 year-olds consider “caring about Israel” to be “essential” or “important” to being Jewish. Only 11 percent of us say we are “not at all attached” to Israel. We may be critical of its policies and politicians, but not its existence.
Judea Pearl: The Basel Conference — 120 Years Later
However, I believe that Herzl, in effect, founded the Jewish state much earlier. True, Herzl’s specific plan to persuade the Ottoman sultan to allocate land for a Jewish state was sheer lunacy and led to painful disappointments. But transforming Jewish statehood into an item on the international political agenda was a monumental achievement; it maintains this position today.
Moreover, the idea that Jews are reclaiming sovereignty by right, not for favor, completely changed the way that Jews began to view their standing in the cosmos. It transformed the Jew from an object of history to a shaper of history.
This new self-image was the engine that propelled history toward a Jewish statehood already in the early 1900s. The 40,000 Jews who made up the Second Aliyah (1904-1914) were different in spirit and determination from the 35,000 Jews who came earlier with the First Aliyah (1882-1903). At their core, the second wave knew that they were building a model sovereign nation and that Zionism was the most just and noble endeavor in human history. They established kibbutzim, formed self-defense organizations, founded the town of Tel Aviv and turned Hebrew into a practical spoken language. This spirit of hope, purpose and immediacy emanated from the Basel Congress, not from the utopian “in time to come” Zionism of Ahad Ha’am.
The diplomatic efforts that led to the Balfour Declaration and the subsequent ideological immigration of the Third Aliyah (1919-1923) all were direct products of the Zionist movement and made statehood practically inevitable.
The miracle of Israel was planted, indeed, in 1897.
If I had to choose the single most significant impact that the Basel Congress has had on our lives here, in 2017 America, I would name one forgotten statement that Herzl made in his first speech at the Basel Congress. On the morning of August 29, 1897, after 15 minutes of wild cheering, Herzl took the stage and said: “Zionism is a homecoming to the Jewish fold even before it becomes a homecoming to the Jewish land.”
As I observe how the miracle of Israel is becoming the most powerful uniting force among our divided communities, and as I witness the excitement of our children, grandchildren and college students as they internalize the relevance of Israel to their identity as Jews, Herzl’s statement about “homecoming to the Jewish fold“ stands out, perhaps, as more visionary than his prediction about Israeli statehood. It was the future of the Jewish people, not just of Israel, that was forged there in Basel, 120 years ago.
Reflecting on Zionism
Some 120 years after this historic congress, the State of Israel today deals with questions Herzl has already asked. In our day, he represents the connection between the State of Israel in the Land of Israel and the solution to the Jewish problem.
Herzl searched for a real solution to this problem from the roots up. He completely changed how the future of the Jewish people was conceived. The idea of uprooting Jews from Europe and transferring them to Israel depended on re-evaluating the relationship toward Jews by European society and the features of this society. As it was impossible to predict that European society would eventually adapt itself to the values of tolerance, freedom and equality toward Jews, anti-Semitism was understood as a permanent state between Jews and non-Jews that would only get worse if the Jewish problem would remain unsolved.
Today, 120 years after the First Zionist Congress, we have a duty to examine the way we went since then,do some soul searching and evaluate the aims of both the Zionist movement and the state. The Zionist movement succeeded in realizing its dream by virtue of its leadership, ideology and the mobilization of its people. The question is what is the essence of Zionism today. This ideology succeeded in gathering together the Jewish people, not only those who were citizens of one country, but all the Jews living in the Diaspora. Is our leadership capable bringing about the realization and fulfillment of aspirations and form concrete plans for the future, or does it cause us to occupy ourselves with the day-to-day and a decline in the present as we abandon our future?

  • Thursday, August 31, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Avner Inbar is the Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Molad, a Jerusalem-based progressive think tank.

Of course he wants peace with Palestinians. He supports Israel negotiating with Palestinians, Jews talking with Arabs, Israel embracing the Arab Peace Initiative, and Fatah unifying with Hamas.

But some kinds of dialogue are out of bounds.

In an audio recording published in Makor Rishon, Inbar says to a group of American Jews that they must not speak to Israel's New York Consul-General Dani Dayan.

Dayan, you see, is a settler, which makes him far more toxic than Arabs who cheer killing Jews. He told the American leftists that they have to choose sides between his position and that of a representative of the Israeli government. Which is sort of amazing for someone who claims to support Israel.

And what really got him upset was an article in Haaretz that showed that despite Dayan's personal opinions, he has been very effective in speaking to - liberal American Jews.

“I have a lot of respect for Dani Dayan,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president and founder of J Street, the largest Jewish group focused on promoting a two-state solution and opposing the settlements. “We don’t agree politically on almost anything, but as a diplomat, his approach has been exactly the right one for the State of Israel.”...
A participant in one of those conversations said “what I liked about it, was that he [Dayan] didn’t try to sell us the usual explanations about how much the current government wants the two-state solution to happen. He didn’t do hasbara on us. He just said — ‘listen, you and I are probably not going to agree when it comes to the settlements and the conflict. I’m here representing the government’s line, and you have a different line — and that’s okay. But let’s try to find areas where we can work together.’ There was something honest and refreshing about his approach.”
So there is a clear consensus among leading Jewish figures in New York that Dayan’s first year in town was a success: He arrived with the “settler thing,” as one leader described it, hovering over his appointment, and has overcome suspicions and built strong relationships all across the city and state.

Lara Friedman,  president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, was quoted in the Haaretz article as well as being against speaking to Dayan.

So a charming Israeli diplomat is more dangerous to some leftist Jews than Arabs are. Good to know that the "ultra-right" Dayan is more interested in dialogue with those he disagrees with than some so-called liberals  are.

(h/t Yoel)

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The attitude of Israelis to African “infiltrators” or “asylum seekers” or “refugees” – what you call them is indicative of how you feel about them – is a manifestation of a broad cultural divide in our society.

There are about 50,000 illegal immigrants (estimates vary) from various African countries, mostly Eritria and Sudan but also numerous others, who came to Israel in the period between about 2005 and 2013, when Israel completed fencing its borderwith Egypt. In 2012 a law was passed that permitted the detention of illegal immigrants, although the Supreme Court, responding to petitions from various “human rights” NGOs, prevented its implementation. Nevertheless, the flow of immigrants seems to have been stopped, primarily by the physical barrier. Here is an interesting analysis of the immigration phenomenon and the attempts of the state to deal with it, albeit from a left-wing perspective.

Most of the immigrants have applied for humanitarian asylum and have been given visas that must be renewed every three months. They are de facto permitted to work, although many receive welfare benefits. Technically, only a few are eligible for humanitarian asylum as refugees, but the government has decided that most of them can’t be deported to their home countries because conditions there are so bad. Most are Muslims. The majority live in neighborhoods in South Tel Aviv.

The Tel Aviv neighborhoods have been severely impacted by the influx. Local residents say that they are afraid to go out at night because of violent crime committed by immigrants. Resources to help disadvantaged people of all backgrounds have been strained to the breaking point by the needs of the immigrants and their children. Long-time residents of the area that own property find themselves trapped, unable to sell apartments for enough money to move somewhere else.

Although it is irrelevant to the argument about what to do about them, I should point out (probably unnecessarily) that no other Middle Eastern or African country would treat illegal immigrants as well. The Egyptians regularly shoot migrants trying to cross their borders, and other countries deny them the right to work or education for their children. And they certainly would not get welfare benefits!

One can argue about their status endlessly – are most of them “economic migrants” or true refugees? But it should be clear that life in Israel is infinitely better in every way than in the places most of them came from, for both human rights and economic opportunities. It’s understandable that they took great risks to get here. What should we do?

On the one hand, you can say that now that the flow has been stopped they do not pose a demographic danger to the state and we should try to integrate them into the state, give them permanent residency and official permission to work, improve their living conditions and try to absorb them. After all, their children already speak Hebrew as their first language.

On the other, if it becomes known that Israel will welcome illegal immigrants, no fence will stop them. They will find a way, and the influx that has been stopped will resume. The ones that are already here have a high birthrate, facilitated by generous welfare benefits, and the 50,000 that are here now present a demographic threat to the Jewish majority, already under pressure from a growing Arab population. There is also the danger of creating a permanent dependent class. Israel is a small nation-state, and its continued existence depends on maintaining an ethnic majority. While the migrants have human rights, they must be balanced against those of the residents of South Tel Aviv, who have received a very raw deal through no fault of their own.

The government has been trying to find a way to reduce the number of migrants in the country. The current law permits the deportation of illegal immigrants to a “third country” where they will not be endangered. Israel has agreements with several African countries to take deportees, but only if they voluntarily agree to go. Last year, the Knesset passed a law that would withhold some of the salary of the migrants, which would be returned to them if and when they leave (the employer also must contribute to the fund, which discourages them from hiring migrants). This has only been in effect a few months and it’s not clear how effective it will be.

In some cases, the government wishes to deport someone who is uncooperative. Until now, this has been possible by incarcerating him until he agrees to leave “voluntarily” to one of the countries with which Israel has agreements.

But this week, the Supreme Court decided (in response to petitions from various “human rights” NGOs) that illegal immigrants can’t be incarcerated for more than two months, because then their agreement to leave wouldn’t truly be voluntary. Paradoxically, it also ruled that Israel does have the right to involuntarily deport them, but since no third country will take them unless they agree, this right can’t be exercised. The court also suggested that the best solution for the Tel Aviv residents was to disperse the immigrants around the country, which would multiply the problems for both local residents and the migrants. This is the latest in a series of decisions which have stymied attempts to deport illegal immigrants.

And this is where we get to the cultural divide. The government believes that it has an obligation to protect the rights of the immigrants, the Tel Aviv residents, and the Jewish majority in the country. But as Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in a powerful speech at the Bar Association this week, the Court recognizes only the rights of individuals, and not the Zionist imperative to maintain a Jewish majority and Jewish character to the state:

… Shaked sought to make clear that she doesn't make light of … individual rights, saying she considers the system maintaining them to be “almost sacred.”

“But not devoid of context,” she clarified. "Not detached from Israeli uniqueness, our national tasks and our very identity, history and Zionist challenges. Zionism should not—and will not—bow before a system of individual rights interpreted universally in a manner detaching it from the chronicles of the Knesset and the history of legislation we're all familiar with."

Shaked said the Israeli judicial branch operates as if in a “dream,” adopting a “utopian and universal worldview sanctifying individual rights to an extreme degree and ceasing taking part in the struggle for Israel's very existence.”

The Court, she noted, relates its decisions to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, but there is – as yet – no Basic Law affirming the Jewish character of the state, no “Nation-State Law.”

Shaked was criticized by Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, both of whom oppose such a law. Livni said, “Zionism isn't bowing down to human rights. It is proudly raising its head, because protecting [human rights] is also the essence of Judaism and part of Israel's values as a Jewish and democratic state.” In other words, the Jewishness of the state is nothing more than its democratic nature. This pernicious idea comes directly from the former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, and is precisely why Shaked correctly demands a Nation-State Law.

It is the primary purpose of a government and all of its subsidiaries, including the judiciary system, to protect the nation’s citizens against internal and external threats. This is the case even if the particular citizens are poor and have little political power, like the residents of South Tel Aviv. The Supreme Court struck down one attempt after another to deport the illegal immigrants that have made their lives hell, and the suggestion that the immigrants be dispersed throughout the country – which, even if it were possible, would mean dispersing their pathologies to other disadvantaged communities, because they certainly aren’t going to be allowed to move next door to Supreme Court justices, or Livni or Herzog – is obnoxious and insulting. It is a subterfuge to justify choosing the welfare of the migrants over the Jewish citizens of the state.

Israel does everything she can to be a moral actor in a world where morality is usually a joke, both when she has to use force to defend herself, and when she can deploy her advanced technology to save lives (e.g., Syria, Sierra Leone and Houston, Texas).

But as Hillel said, if I am not for myself, who will be for me? In this case, justice is on the side of the state. And the Supreme Court should be on the side of justice.

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From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: Symposium on Occupation Law: The Necessary Non-Normativity and Temporal Indeterminacy of Occupation Law
Certainly some prolonged occupations are the result of colonialist or annexationist aims. But this is not inevitably the case. The Allied occupation of West Berlin lasted forty-five years, and had the then-dominant views about the duration of the Soviet empire been correct, it could have lasted forever. This was not an occupation of choice but of expedience. Similarly, with Israel’s capture of the West Bank, the situation was even more contingent. Jordan only entered the Six Day War half-way through, and the West Bank was entirely outside of Israel’s original war aims.
Israel retained the territory because immediate attempts at a settlement with the Arab states were rejected, as were numerous internationally-backed good-faith offers of statehood to the Palestinians after the end of the Cold War. Indeed, it is these repeated and rejected offers of statehood that prominently distinguish Israel’s situation from any of the others discussed in the book.
This leads us back to the question of temporariness. Maintaining a status quo over many decades is an impossible task, as nothing in the world stands still. Demographics and migrant flows, as Europe’s recent experience has shown, is one of those things. No one can stop the clock at 1967. Of course, Gross’s position is more nuanced, as it would forbid only changes that benefit the occupier. But this itself is a monumental task, as it effectively burdens the occupier.
Limiting one’s trade and movement with an adjacent territory is a high cost. That which burdens the occupier reduces the other side’s incentives to accept an amicable deal. And indeed, one reason the Geneva Convention may not have anticipated prolonged occupations is that its drafters did not conceive of situations where occupation would not promptly lead to annexation, or a peace deal on terms acceptable to both parties.
Thus an alternative normative occupation regime might, for example, terminate all restrictions on the occupier upon the failure of the other side to accept a good faith diplomatic arrangement that would leave them better off than they were before.
PMW: PA summer camps teach terror and Martyrdom-death for kids
Many Palestinian children participated this summer in camps that promoted hate, terror, Martyrdom-death and denial of the existence of Israel. The camps were organized by the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs and the PA's National Committee for Summer Camps, both of which are funded by the PA Budget. On its Facebook page, the National Committee for Summer Camps has listed itself as a "governmental organization." In Arabic it defines itself as "a governmental institution for children aged 6-12 years with recreational activities aimed to develop the Palestinian child in various fields."
Among the "partners and supporters," listed on the website of the PA's National Committee for Summer Camps, are UNICEF and UNDP (accessed Aug. 30, 2017).
Glorifying terror, terrorists, Martyrdom-death for kids, and non-recognition of Israel's existence
The PA's summer camp messages to children included glorifying terror, venerating Martyrdom-death, and picturing a world without Israel in which all Israel has become "Palestine." Camp activities included children performing plays in which the children depicted Palestinian stabbers carrying out terror attacks and being shot and killed by "Israelis," and dying as honored "Martyrs." Children created sculptures and drawings of the map of "Palestine," which includes all of Israel in addition to the PA areas, encouraging children to disregard the existence of Israel and foresee a world without it. Children were taught that Palestine's border to the north is Lebanon and to the south is the Gulf of Aqaba, again depicting a world in which "Palestine" has replaced Israel.
This report documents how the PA and the PLO transmitted these hate messages to Palestinian children through its summer camps.
Glorifying terror and Martyrdom-death through enactments of terror attacks
At a camp organized by the PA-funded National Committee for Summer Camps, children performed a mock stabbing terror attack at the closing ceremony of the camp.

The Newest Threat: Radical Islamist Piracy
According to a recently published report by a scholar at the Marine Corps University, Islamic State (IS) and perhaps even al-Qaeda, having been driven from their territorial strongholds, are likely to take up campaigns of maritime terror. IS successfully carried out an attack on an Egyptian navy frigate, using anti-ship missiles, in the summer of 2015. Michael Rubin explains what could be next:
[T]he Arabs and the Islamic world more broadly have a long and rich maritime legacy, one in which the symbolism-conscious Islamic State can find inspiration. . . .
[The] al-Qaeda military strategist Abu Ubayd al-Qurayshi first sought to integrate maritime operations into a broader jihadist strategy. Al-Qurayshi argued that doing so was especially important to achieve the goal of undermining the U.S. economy, given the importance of trade and the freedom of navigation. . . .
How might al-Qaeda and Islamic State act in the future? In short, they hope to entice the U.S. Navy into narrow waterways off the coast of hostile regions, such as the waters off Yemen and Somalia [as well as] Libya, Egypt, and Syria, and in the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. While ships have grown accustomed to treading carefully off the Horn of Africa, Yemen is more difficult to avoid: the Mandeb Strait between Yemen and Djibouti is a chokepoint that shipping transiting the Suez Canal cannot avoid. The same holds true with the Straits of Malacca, especially if extremists succeed in their efforts to gain footholds in Indonesia.

  • Thursday, August 31, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is a letter to the editor in the New York Times from June 24, 1960, by the head of American Friends of the Middle East, Harold Minor:

His points are:
- Any Arab intransigence is a result of Israeli actions
- The Palestinian [refugee] issue is the key issue in the entire Middle East, and if that problem would be solved, there would be no other problems
- The Arabs are justified in boycotting and blockading the Jewish state because of Israeli actions
- Certain parties, i.e., Jews, who speak out against this Arab aggression are engaging in propaganda
- Israel is in violation of UN resolutions, and should go back to the 1947 partition lines
- Arabs look at the US as being pro-Israel and not an honest broker, and the US has to pressure Israel to give up land and (West) Jerusalem and admit a million Palestinians in order to get back in the good graces of the Arabs

These arguments are now seen to be bizarre in retrospect - and yet anti-Israel forces are using slightly updated versions of these same arguments, today. Linkage was alive and well in 1960. Justifying boycotts of Israel was perfectly acceptable discourse. Claims that there can be no peace unless the US pressures Israel - we hear it today. Justifying all Arab aggression by pointing to imaginary Israeli crimes - just like today. (The Israeli Embassy in Washington wrote a good response that was published in the July 5, 1960 NYT pointing out the deceptions in this letter. )

Nothing has changed.

But what is really interesting is that this American Friends of the Middle East was not a grassroots pro-Arab organization.

It was created by the CIA!

In 1951, [CIA Middle East official Kermit "Kim'] Roosevelt – together with two dozen pro-Arab American educators, theologians and writers, including Gildersleeve and Harry Emerson Fosdick – founded an anti-Zionist group called American Friends of the Middle East (AFME). It was Roosevelt who used his role at the CIA to ensure the organization would fund the group through the CIA and Aramco.

It was through groups like the AFME and anti-Zionist activists like Rabbi Elmer Berger, a leader of the American Council for Judaism, that the Roosevelts [Kermit and cousin Archie, also at the CIA] were able to shape the CIA's prism of the Middle East. With Kim Roosevelt's blessing, the AFME led the way in educating policy- makers, journalists and others as to the Middle Eastern "reality" – which coincided with their political biases.

As Wilford writes, "In December 1958, AFME drafted a pamphlet, 'Story of a Purpose,' which eloquently articulated the group's founding values: sympathy towards Arab nationalism and the drive toward Arab unity, rejection of the last vestiges of colonialism and imperialism, and the belief that the Palestine Question is the very heart of the Middle East problems, requiring a US policy of friendly and sympathetic impartiality."
While the PLO's propaganda came straight from the Kremlin, American anti-Zionism has largely been shaped by Foggy Bottom.

What this letter also shows is that even if Israel would give in to today's demands - there are plenty more demands waiting in the wings, and they were all used before 1967.

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  • Thursday, August 31, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
David Bedein, who has done more than almost anyone to expose the hate taught in UNRWA schools, has looked at the latest crop of textbooks published under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority in 2017.

I've spoken to him and he expends a great deal of effort and money to ensure that his translations are as accurate as possible.

Here is some of what he found (images of the pages can be seen at the link):

Zionists adopted Canaanite place names (Social Studies, Grade 6, Part 1, 2017, p. 54)
“The Zionist occupation named its own settlements by these Canaanite names, [thus] having stolen and forged Palestinian national heritage and history.”
Incitement over Al Aqsa: (Social Studies, Grade 7, Part 1, 2017, p. 62)

“The Zionist occupation pursued a policy of erasing Palestine’s Arab and Islamic features in general, and especially in Jerusalem. Since the first day of Jerusalem’s occupation, the Zionists started to change the identity of this Arab-Muslim city and make it [a city] of a Zionist nature. ...They annexed the Islamic features to the Zionist heritage list, as they transformed the Al-Buraq Wall into the Wailing Wall;...they opened Jewish synagogues in Jerusalem’s Old City, and they are striving painstakingly these days to gain control over the Noble Shrine [Al-Haram al-Sharif – the Arabic traditional name of the Temple Mount] by letting the Zionist settlers to enter it daily in preparation for its complete takeover and cut any Muslim connection to this place that is sacred to Muslims.” 
The Dimona reactor causes cancer in southern Hebron (Scientific Education, Grade 11, Part 1, 2017, p. 40)

“For research:
Studies indicate an increase of cancer cases in southern Hebron compared to other Palestinian areas. I will investigate the connection of that to its proximity to the Dimona reactor in the Negev desert.”
Israel releases boars to cause damage to the Palestinians’ crops (Social Studies, Grade 9, Part 1, 2017, p. 21)

“The occupation has transformed vast areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip into dumps of poisonous refuse and acted to pollute the Palestinian environment with radioactive and chemical materials, which has caused an increase of the averages of affliction with severe diseases, chiefly cancer. It [also] dumped their markets with spoiled goods beyond their expiration dates in the Zionist markets such as cars and foodstuffs, and released herds of boars that caused damage to the inhabitants and their crops…”
Jews make parties to throw Molotov cocktails at Palestinians  (Arabic Language, Grade 9, Part 1, 2017, p. 61)

“…The neighbor: ‘the curfew does not include us in Al-Shurfah [neighborhood]. It is imposed on Al-Natarish [neighborhood]. It seems that there is a barbecue party with Molotov cocktails in one of the buses to the colony [Jewish settlement] of Psagot on Jabal al-Tawil mountain.'
 Israel engaging in extermination of Palestinians (History Studies, Grade 11, Part 1, 2017, p. 60)

Let us think and examine:
Land is the pivot of colonialist Imperialism [verbally: settlement-oriented Imperialism – Al-Isti’mar al-Istitani in Arabic, ed.]. It strives as much as it can to take hold of it by all means, even by the extermination [ibadah in Arabic] of the inhabitants and their annihilation [ifna’].”

As the article shows, the US denies that any of this hate is taught - even as USAID helps fund the development of these textbooks.

(The textbooks are all online if you search for them; I verified some of these. For example, that last history book can be downloaded here.)

(h/t Irene/Ian)

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Every once in a while someone sends me a link to a post by ninth-rate academic Juan Cole, and I can't resist showing what a shill for Iran he is.

Here's today's, where he pretends to debunk Netanyahus' warningd of Iran using Syria and Lebanon as springboards to attack Israel. :

First of all, Iran has not vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Rather, Iran has a no first strike policy that has been repeatedly underlined by Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Second of all, Iran has not turned Damascus into a fortress or Syria into an army base. Iran sent Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps officers to Syria to train and advise the Syrian Arab Army. They are the equivalent of special ops. It is likely that there aren’t more than a couple of thousand Iranian military personnel in the country. Iranian officers have died at such a rate that they must have been in the field leading Hizbullah and Iraqi Shiite militias rather than only in the barracks doing training. There are estimated to have been as few as 500 Iranian personnel killed in Syria despite the big battles at places like Aleppo, and so there just can’t be very many Iranian troops fighting there. 
Only 500 Iranian killed in Syria! What more proof do you need that Iran isn't fighting in Syria?

Except that Cole is lying. Iranian officials themselves admitted that over 1000 Iranian soldiers had been killed in Syria as of last November.

And Cole conveniently forgets to include Iran's proxy army Hezbollah, which is wholly under Iranian control. Over 1000 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in Syria as well. And that's what they admit, the number may be much higher.

According to some reports Iran controls more soldiers (although most not Iranian) than Syria does in Syria - some 70,000 troops that report to Iran.

Cole knows this, but his blog isn't about truth, but propaganda. I wonder if Iran pays him as well.

He goes on:

This tiny rag tag force helped make a difference for the al-Assad regime in fighting Sunni rebels who have only light to medium weaponry. But it isn’t the kind of force that offers a significant threat, or a threat at all, to Israel. 
Israel isn't concerned about the current army, but Iran's ability to use Syria as a launching pad for rockets and missiles - like Lebanon has become.

 Third, Iran is very unlikely to be building missile factories in Syria and Lebanon, and Netanyahu just asserts these things rather than giving any evidence for them. He is a one man walking fake news. Israel has several hundred atomic bombs and the means to deliver them, and Iran is not so crazy as to send a missile against Israel. 
Likewise, Hizbullah, of which Netanyahu is so afraid, is just a regional militia. It has no armor to speak of and no air force.
The only reason for Netanyahu to be afraid of Hizbullah is if he wanted to invade Lebanon and/or Syria. It would put up a good guerrilla defense, as in 2006. But it isn’t capable of offensive action against the Israeli army, the best-equipped military in the Middle East.
Multiple sources, Arab and French, have discussed two of  Iran's underground missile manufacturing plants in Lebanon. Oops.

Iran has sent thousands of missiles into Israel. They just used their proxies in Iran and Gaza so Israel wouldn't retaliate against them directly.

And, why worry about 100,000 accurate rockets that are aimed at Israeli chemical and nuclear facilities, according to Hassan Nasrallah himself.There is no real threat from Hezbollah because they don't have an air force. What possible damage can 100,000 rockets do?

Juan Cole says not to be concerned! And he's like, a professor! And he knows Farsi! So he must be truthful, right?

Cole knows every single thing I have written here. He doesn't want his fans to know those facts, though. His twisting of facts and deception is clear to anyone who bothers to look.

But I haven't heard anyone important quoting him for a couple of years, so chances are - everyone knows what a fraud he is by now. And if you don't, just look through the many posts where I proved him a liar and a fraud.

(h/t Dan)

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

From Ian:

J Street Rewrites History to Create ‘Palestine’
The US government’s reluctance to demand the immediate creation of a Palestinian state has sent J Street into a panic. With its candidates having been defeated in elections on both sides of the ocean, and its proposals crumbling in the face of reality, J Street is trying one last desperate strategy: rewriting history to claim that Palestinian statehood has been supported by everybody, everywhere, for as long as anyone can remember.
Asked by reporters on August 24 about the Palestinian state issue, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: “We are not going to state what the outcome has to be. It has to be workable to both sides. That’s the best view as to not really bias one side over the other, to make sure that they can work through it.”
Nauert’s statement was simple, logical and reasonable. But her failure to pledge a full-throated endorsement of the Palestinian agenda sent J Street into a tizzy. The J Street leaders fired off an overheated press release that declared: “For more than two decades, responsible Israeli and Palestinian leaders, US presidents of both parties and virtually the entire international community have understood that a two-state solution is the only viable way to end the conflict.”
Literally everything in J Street’s declaration is erroneous.
American presidents have not supported Palestinian statehood “for more than two decades.” George W. Bush was the first president to publicly support a Palestinian state while in office. That was in 2002, i.e. 15 years ago, not “more than two decades.” Can’t anybody at J Street do basic math?
Not only that, but Bush’s support was conditional. In his June 25, 2002, speech about a Palestinian state, Bush said that such a state could come about only if the Palestinian people elected “new leaders not compromised by terror.” The Palestinians, of course, did exactly the opposite.
Did the Mossad hack Linda Sarsour's phone?
The satirical Twitter handle @TheMossadIL, playing off of Israel’s Intelligence Agency, hinted that they were the ones responsible for prominent Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour’s phone issues.
Linda Sarsour took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask for help with her cellphone but did not get the answers she expected. “I just lost all my text threads? I have an iPhone. Any idea why?” she asked her 230,000 Twitter following. The Mossad Twitter account replied to Sarsour’s post with a simple “Yes,” hinting that the Israeli Intelligence Agency is responsible.
This is not the only joke about information gathering by the satirical account created in September 2016. Recent events such as the solar eclipse in America also caught their eye, where they tweeted “Thank you for using those ‘protective eclipse glasses’ everyone, we have now collected your thoughts.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Israeli Intelligence Snags KFC’s Secret Blend Of 11 Herbs And Spices (satire)
Israel’s secret intelligence service scored another operational coup last month, agents can finally reveal, when they got their hands on the original Harland Sanders recipe for fried chicken that the KFC company has held as a trade secret since the Great Depression.
Colonel Harland Sanders’s secret blend of eleven herbs and spices, long a famous selling point in the production and marketing of Kentucky Fried Chicken – since 1991 shortened to KFC – has been the subject of speculation, experimentation, and attempts at imitation for decades. Officials at the Mossad reported this morning (Wednesday) that they have been given the green light to disclose that a long-term operation over the course of many years has finally enabled the organization to get its hands on the prized recipe. Sources at the agency declined to discuss how they intend to use the secret information.
“Oh, we’ll think of something, I’m sure,” offered a section chief, licking his lips. “You know us – always focused on enhancing Israel’s security interests. Sometimes that requires the installation of a whole new kitchen facility at our headquarters, if you know what I mean.”
The secrecy behind KFC’s recipe and spice blend occupies such an important role in the company’s operations that its production requires that neither of the two companies supplying the ingredients know what the other contributes to the process. The original recipe is kept in a vault at the headquarters of Yum! Foods, the restaurant division spun off from Pepsico in 2002.

"Has Israel finally won the war and defeated the Palestinian dream? Read our cover story," said the tweet with a gif of an Arab child in an empty doorframe looking like Jesus on the cross, whom, after all, the Arabs claim as a native son. 

I looked to see who dared to intimate that Israel's entire reason for being is to quash Arab dreams. I thought some alt right or neo Nazi group perhaps. Someone who thinks the Rothchilds sit at some never-ending mahogany table, smoking cigars and directing the world to implode.

But no. It was Newsweek. The magazine that used to be our window on the world as we sat in the dentist's office, waiting our turn for the drill. It's the magazine a high school adviser told my sister to read with a dictionary by her side. "Look up every word you don't know. You'll ace the verbal half of the SATs," she said.

Back then, it was a reputable magazine. Now, apparently, it's dreck.

The article was long. Too long to unpack and keep you with me. But brevity is impossible when faced with so much bias and so many lies.

Let's begin with who "won the war."

All of the Mandate for Palestine was promised to the Jews to be their national home. This promise was made by both the British and the League of Nations, as set forth in the Balfour Declaration and as agreed upon during the San Remo Conference. The Arabs, however, complained bitterly. And so the British took 78% of the Mandate for Palestine, land they'd already promised the Jews, and gave it to the Arabs. That became the Arab national home in the Mandate for Palestine, Transjordan, or Jordan, for short.

So who won that war?

The Arabs.

They won that war by cajoling the Brits into giving them 78% of the land formerly promised to the Jews. Unless my math fails me, that leaves the Jews with only 22% of the land they'd originally been promised. Land they can prove is their indigenous territory.

So the Jews lost that war. And then lost another when the UN put forward the Partition Plan, which would leave the Jews even less territory—territory now indefensible—to give the Arabs yet more of the territory promised to the Jews. Land that is indigenous Jewish territory. Land we shouldn't have to beg to have. Because it's ours by inheritance, by right.


But we gave in, being graceful losers, and acceded to Partition. The Arabs, of course, knew they could get more by never giving in, so they attacked Israel. With 7 armies. (It wasn't enough to get 78% of the land. It wasn't enough to get more Jewish land from the Partition Plan. They wanted the Jews OUT. They wanted them gone.)

Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria during the fighting, in contravention of international law, vis a vis the UN vote on Partition. So who won that war? The Jews who share the name of their people with the name of the Jordanian-occupied territory known as "Judea?"

Six-Day War

Israel won some of its land back in the miraculous Six-Day War in 1967. Quashing Arab dreams was the last thing on Israel's collective mind, at the time. It was an existential battle, a fight to live, to exist.

And let us be clear: Israel has always wanted to live in peace with its Arab neighbor. Always. If you walk through an Israeli hospital you know this, by seeing Arab patients treated with equality and kindness. If you go shopping, you see Arabs examining clothing items alongside Jews. Arabs sit beside Jews on buses and Israeli trains. It is everywhere in Israel this way.

Not so in any Arab country. They don't let Jews put a toe inside their countries.

Who won this war?


The Arabs. They have equality in Israel. Israeli Arabs can travel in every part of Jerusalem.

What about the Arabs of Judea and Samaria? Aren't they under "occupation?"

Not at all. They have autonomy: their own government, their own elected officials. And their villages are completely Judenrein.

So who won that war?

The Arabs, of course.


In Gaza? Israel expelled 11,000 Jews to make Disengagement happen. Israel gave the Arabs yet another Arab state (in addition to Jordan and Area A of Judea and Samaria). Israel left them greenhouses worth a whole lot of money. The Arabs destroyed them.

The Arabs won big time. Quashing dreams? That would be the dreams of Israeli settlers who were expelled from their beautiful homes, who lost access to their businesses, and who were utterly betrayed by their own people. For what? Missiles raining down like Hurricane Harvey.

So much for the premise of the Newsweek piece. Jews winning? Ha! Jews wanting to quash Arab dreams? Sure. That's why we agreed to Partition. It's why we expelled 11,000 of our own people from their homes. Pshaw.

But let's look at the article itself which begins with a clip that is supposed to summarize the recent violence that erupted over the Temple Mount, but fails to note the event that was the catalyst for the added security measures and subsequent protests. Those measures that included installing metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount compound. As the clip begins we see Arabs rioting. There's a caption: 

"Clashes erupted in Jerusalem as Palestinians protested new Israeli security measures."

Nothing about the terror attack in which Arabs shot and murdered two Israeli policemen.

But we are told how Israeli policemen shot stun grenades into the crowd of rioting Arabs. This is supposed to sound really inhumane. Still nothing about the terrorists who shot and killed policemen, though.

The viewer is informed that metal detectors were placed at the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque, which is not true. The metal detectors were placed at the entrances to the Temple Mount compound, a large area which includes the mosque. The viewer is not told that the terrorists stashed weapons in the mosque, having smuggled them into the compound. This is why the metal detectors were deemed necessary: to prevent further loss of life after Arab terrorists murdered two policemen.

Next we are told how awful it is in Gaza, with no electricity. 

"This summer’s power crisis is merely the latest in a long list of shortages of everything from drinking water and cooking gas to cement and cars. But this time, one thing is different: The problem has been created by other Palestinians."

Um, no. Actually, all of these shortages and difficulties are due to their own Arab people. The world is just POURING money into Gaza, into Hamas and PA coffers, and the people see no benefit. Except for terrorists and their families, who get nice salaries. And government people with their hands in the till. NONE of this is on Israel. All this Arab woe is 100% Arab-made.

In spite of this, Newsweek obtains a juicy quote from a Gaza resident: "I never thought the one making my life difficult would be another Palestinian."


I read the caption of a photo: 

"Though Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state in the very long term is still imperiled, five decades after the occupation began, the Palestinian national movement has been largely defeated."

Oh, yeah. Someone is always threatening us that if we don't "end the occupation" Israel will cease to be a democratic state. But the only occupation is the Arab occupation of Jewish land. I mean, they don't like it here, let them leave. We absorbed all the 850,000 Jews they expelled from their 22 Arab states, couldn't they absorb their own, too?

This is all a self-created problem. Democracy is not at all threatened by Arabs refusing to leave Israel, trust me. It is also not threatened by them wanting more territory and not getting it.

"The Palestinians, living under occupation or scattered across the diaspora, have long been the weaker party in the conflict with Israel."

Sure. Because when little Israel is attacked by 7 invading Arab armies, the Arabs are weaker than Israel?

When Hamas is shooting tens of thousands of missiles into Israel and Israelis are told by Obama to hold back and depend on Iron Dome, the Arabs are weaker than Israel?

When Abbas demands and Obama puts it to Israel to freeze building for ten months, the Arabs are weaker than Israel?

*shakes head*

Crock of bull pucky.

"The climax came in the late 1980s, with the start of the first intifada, a homegrown movement of mass protests. Israel responded with brute force, killing and wounding thousands of demonstrators—what then–Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin called its 'broken bones' policy."

Mass protests? Is that what you call the more than 3,600 Molotov cocktail attacks, 100 hand grenade attacks and 600 assaults with guns or explosives by Arabs against Israelis that made zero distinction between civilians and soldiers? Is that what you call the Arabs stabbed, hacked with axes, shot, clubbed and burned with acid during this time by Yasser Arafat's henchmen? (Their crime? Sometimes they were employees of the Israeli Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria. Or maybe a guy talked to a Jew and someone saw.)

"Optimism soon collided with the second intifada, a grisly campaign of suicide bombings that silenced the peace camp in Israel. From there, the Palestinian strategy diverged. Hamas fought three wars. Young Palestinians carried out hundreds of lone wolf attacks in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Israel. The PA, meanwhile, waged a diplomatic battle against Israel, joining the International Criminal Court and winning recognition from the United Nations and a number of European states.

"Yet none of these moves forced Israel to make concessions." 


Israel made no concessions?

·         The Jews agreed to Lord Peel's proposal to divide the Mandate into a Jewish and an Arab state
·         The Jews agreed to Partition, leaving them with less than 20% of the land promised to them
·         In 1948, the Jews agreed to take in 100,000 Arab refugees in exchange for a peace agreement
·         After winning the Six-Day War, Israel agreed to return most of the land it won in exchange for a peace agreement
·         In 1979, Israel dismantled settlements and gave Sinai to Egypt, and offered autonomy to its local Arab populace
·         In 1993 and 1995, Israel signed the Oslo Accords, agreeing to withdraw from most of Gaza and Judea and Samaria in exchange for peace. Israel withdrew from some 80% of Judea and Samaria, and from 40% of Gaza, and turned over most of the civil administration and authority in these areas to the Arabs
·         In 1998, Israel agreed to withdraw from another 13% of Judea and Samaria in exchange for a promise from the Arabs to deal with terrorists, weapons smuggling, and incitement to violence
·         In 2000, Ehud Barak offered to withdraw from 97 percent of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza. He also agreed to dismantle 63 isolated settlements. Barak agreed that Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem would serve as the capital of a new state. The Arabs were also guaranteed the right of return to this new Arab state and a $30 billion international fund would be established to serve as reparations.
·         In 2005, 11,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in Gaza and Northern Samaria in order to cede Gaza to the Arabs unilaterally. In other words, for absolutely nothing in return.
·         Ehud Olmert offered to withdraw from 94% of Judea and Samaria
·         Israel has given up all of Gaza and half of Judea and Samaria. Israel has ceded 94% of the land it acquired during the Six-Day War
·         Israel took in 200,000 Arab refugees and has offered to take more

"Over the past decade, Palestinians have killed about 200 Israelis, less than half the number they killed in a single year, 2002, at the height of the second intifada. Lawmakers treat the violence as inevitable. Even at the peak of the last Gaza war, the largest pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv attracted a scant 5,000 protesters. Nearly half a million Israelis, by contrast, turned out in the summer of 2011 to protest the high cost of living. Meanwhile, Abbas's diplomatic efforts haven’t amounted to much: Joining the International Convention Against Doping in Sport has not, it seems, placed any meaningful pressure on Israel."

Oh, so they killed fewer of us. But that's because we're FARTHER away from Oslo. Every time Israel tries to negotiate for peace, the Arabs blow up our buses, shoot missiles into our city centers, ram us with cars, and stab us in the supposed sanctity and privacy of our homes. THAT is what peace means to us. It means Arabs murdering Jews.

We have had enough of that. And not negotiating with them is what drives down the number of our dead. Theirs, too.

Next we see a photo of the pathetic sad dad of the Halamish murderer. The caption tells us only that his son stabbed "three Israelis" in a "settlement." The caption doesn't say this occurred during what was a happy family Sabbath gathering to celebrate the birth of a new baby. The caption doesn't say the terrorist slaughtered a grandfather and two of his children, and stabbed a grandmother, too. It doesn't say how children huddled upstairs in a room with their mother while the terrorist stabbed their father over 30 times.

The article also does not mention the Fogel massacre.

Next, the article goes on to describe the hunger strike in the prisons, because jailed Arab terrorists wanted to be able to see their families more often. "At one point, the Israeli Prison Service even set up a sting, planting cookies and candy bars inside Barghouti's cell, then filming as he noshed in the bathroom."

Um, no. There was no sting. There was security footage. Barghouti got the treats all by his lonesome, and got caught on film eating the stuff. Idiot. A lokh in kop.

Of the achievements of the hunger strike, Newsweek writes:

"Even this victory was a defeat for the PA. Until the summer of 2016, prisoners were entitled to two family visits. It wasn't Israel that reduced the number. It was the Red Cross, which coordinates the trips and wanted to cut costs, mostly related to busing. The money to pay for the extra visit will come from the Palestinian Authority, which is already struggling to close an $800 million gap in its annual budget."

This is a defeat? They want something and they're paying for it. How they manage with their extensive budget is all on them, Habibi.

Moving right along.

"[Hamas] seized power in Gaza in 2007, after a lengthy period of infighting that followed its victory in legislative elections the previous year. Since then, it has fought three wars against
 Israel. The most recent one, in the summer of 2014, dragged on for 51 days, far longer than anyone expected. It was devastating for the Palestinians: Israeli bombs killed more than 2,200 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed the strip’s infrastructure."
Well, maybe if they had not shot tens of thousands of missiles and mortars into Israel, Israel would not have had to respond.

"But Hamas kept firing rockets until moments before the August 26 cease-fire. It counts the war as a victory, not because it achieved any of its strategic goals, but simply because it survived."

Our HERO. Brave Little Hamas with its tens of thousands of missiles. With its rocket launchers in mosques, hospitals, schools, and daycare centers.

"Despite all of the hardships, though, Hamas claims it liberated Gaza from the occupation’s daily indignities, and the group is loath to give up control."

Um, no. There is no occupation of Gaza. Israel is GONE, gone, gone from the territory. Yes, there's a maritime blockade. But again, that is the fault of a people who keep using whatever Israel gives them to wield terror against Israelis.

Next we're shown a photo of Israeli "activists" in Ofra. We're told that Israel's High Court ruled the house in the photo had been built on private (Arab) land, though there is absolutely no proof that this is so. Someone made a claim to the land. The claim cannot be proven. We're told "Many Americans now support sanctioning Israel over illegal settlements."

That caption is meant to be suasion. It's supposed to make us want to support that too. But what is an "illegal" settlement, anyway? These settlements are on land we won fair and square in a defensive war. That makes it legally ours. Not to mention the indigenous thing.

Next we're shown a photo of the Meir family at the funeral of their wife and mother, Dafna. The caption states: 

"A Jewish Israeli father with his children at the funeral for his wife, who was murdered by a Palestinian attacker. Neither violence nor diplomacy has forced Israel to make concessions."

We again fail to receive the backstory. That Dafna was cooking dinner in her home, that her daughter saw her mother struggle with the Arab intruder and watched him stab her mother to death. We're told once again that no matter how many of us they slay, Israel won't make concessions, though clearly, based on the bulleted list above, this is a huge lie. HUGE.

There is so much more to unpack in this article. But I'm at 3000 words. Not as long as the Newsweek article, alas. But hopefully long enough to show the duplicity and ugly bias of Newsweek and the author of this piece, Gregg Carlstrom.

Defeating the "Palestinian" dream? More likely Israel, by its continued existence, defeating Newsweek's dream of a Jew-free Middle East. And this apparently really gets their goat.

How else can we understand this dishonest and disreputable excuse for journalism?

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.
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Palestinians: Trump Not Serious About Alt-Right Till He Offers Them Lifetime Pensions For Killing Blacks

Donald Trump 2015Charlottesville, August 30 - Officials in the Palestinian Authority and its various administrative organs have reacted dismissively to accusations that US President Donald Trump supports white supremacists, insisting that no such characterization could apply if the president does not offer financial incentives for the murder of African-Americans.

Palestinian envoys in Washington and officials in Ramallah refuse to accept the notion that Donald Trump endorses, or even condones, racial violence against blacks, as according to Palestinian sensibilities, true demonstration of encouragement for violence involves guaranteed a guaranteed lifetime pension for the perpetrator of such attacks, or for the family of any attacker killed in the attempt, explained Cultural Attaché to Washington Aiwil Qillem.

"We are reserving judgment, to say the least, on this irresponsible rhetoric," intoned Qillem in a telephone interview. "Certainly we Palestinians know what legitimate support for a murderous supremacist ideology looks like, and Mr. Trump's alleged sympathies for the White Nationalist movement appear to fall far short of what we know to be a minimal requirement to be called 'support.' You can call us back when he begins budgeting thousands of dollars per month for each killer of a black person or immigrant, with the number of victims compounding the payment accordingly."

"These descriptions are not serious," echoed Saeb Erekat in Ramallah. "Has President Trump vowed never to stop paying killers of African-Americans despite budget shortfalls or delinquent pledges? Has he characterized the murderers of blacks as embodying the national ethos? Has he ordered the education system to lionize them and raise an entire generation of like-minded thugs hell-bent on killing the inferior race? I think we can all agree there are certain standards of evidence to be met before anyone reasonable can agree to put Donald Trump and support for white supremacist violence in the same sentence. We are just not there, to put it mildly." The look on Erekat's face dripped with disappointment.

Palestinian experts did not dismiss outright the possibility that Trump might embrace such support for white supremacy, but do not foresee it in the short term. "He's always trusted the private sector to handle things," contended Maher Shalal-Hashbaz of Bir Zeit University's political science department. "I can't see federal funding for a white supremacist murderer pension program, not when the president's conservative base wants to cut government spending."

"But if he can get Mexico to pay for it, well, that changes things," added Shalal-Hashbaz. "We should wait and see whether that happens."

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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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