Thursday, November 30, 2017

  • Thursday, November 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is a real headline at Newsweek:

You have to read the article to find out  who these "investigators" are:

The head of Russia’s Orthodox Church is launching an investigation into whether the last Czar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his family were victims of a ritual murder carried out by angry Jews in 1918, Church leaders revealed in a statement Tuesday.

"A large share of the church commission members have no doubts that the murder was ritual,” Father Tikhon Shevkunov, the Orthodox bishop heading the panel, told The Associated Press.

So a bunch of antisemites decided that a well-known murder was a "ritual Jewish murder" - whatever that means. And Newsweek calls these Jew-haters "investigators" as if they had the slightest interest in the truth.

Even the Moscow Times had a more reasonable headline:

Newsweek should be ashamed.

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From Ian:

International Court prosecutor reaffirms she won’t open Gaza flotilla probe
The International Criminal Court prosecutor said Thursday she is standing by her previous decision not to open a full-scale investigation into the storming by Israeli forces of a blockade-busting flotilla heading to the Gaza Strip in 2010.

Fatou Bensouda in November 2014 declined a request by the Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros to investigate the May 31, 2010, storming of a vessel in the flotilla, which was sailing under a Comoros flag.

She said war crimes may have been committed on the Mavi Marmara ship, where eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other pro-Palestinian activists were wounded in a melee after they attacked Israeli commandos who boarded the ship, but the case wasn’t serious enough to merit an ICC probe. A ninth Turkish man who was seriously injured died four years later.

The ICC was set up as a court of last resort intended to prosecute senior leaders allegedly responsible for grave crimes including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity when national courts prove unable or unwilling to take on such cases.

ICC judges told her to reconsider, but Bensouda said Thursday that after carefully reviewing more than 5,000 pages of documents and statements from more than 300 passengers on the Mavi Marmara she has reaffirmed her decision to close her preliminary investigation.

Bensouda said in a statement that her decision was a purely legal one, applying standards laid down in the court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute.
Intersectional Zionism - Why "Progressive Zionist" is not a contradiction
Zionism is not a monolith. It doesn’t mean you have to support a particular political party. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything the Israeli government does. It doesn’t mean you have to hate Muslims or convert to Judaism. It doesn’t mean you cannot support a two-state solution, or the Palestinian right to self-determination. It just means that you support an indigenous people’s right to self-determination in their historical homeland. And that is an inherently progressive belief.

Progressivism has a rich history of Zionism. Many civil rights and gay rights activists of the past have been Zionists. A few you may recognize are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and black, gay advocate Bayard Rustin. None of them were Jewish, but they recognized the importance of standing with other people in support of their liberation. The NAACP and the Zionist Organization of America used to have representatives sit on each other’s boards. And contrary to recent claims, feminism and Zionism are not mutually exclusive; feminist giants like Betty Friedan, author of “The Feminine Mystique,” and Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who won Roe v. Wade, were ardent Zionists.

At the heart of progressivism is the concept of intersectionality, that our many identities intersect and affect our treatment by society. Increasingly, the progressive movement can exclude Jews from that conversation in the name of anti-Zionism. For example, my friend Laurie was kicked out of the Chicago Dyke March this summer for carrying a rainbow flag bearing the Star of David. According to what she was told, the flag was considered “a symbol of oppression.” Zionist feminists were deliberately obstructed when they tried to march in SlutWalk this year. It seems that Jews are only welcome in progressive circles if they disavow their homeland. In the words of Friedan, “All human rights are indivisible,” and therefore, applying a double standard “solely to the self-determination of the Jewish people” is wrong.

Zionism is not a dirty word. Supporting the liberation of one group does not mean supporting the oppression of others. Progressivism is not a zero-sum game. It is about raising up all peoples and creating a world that respects diversity and human rights. Zionism is and always has been essential to that goal.

  • Thursday, November 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Iran's Al Alam has another of the the regime's daily conspiracy-theory antisemitic articles, entitled "The axis of resistance is a major blow to 'Greater Israel.'"

After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, there was a question: What is the Zionist role in this invasion?

In that period, it began on the banks of the Euphrates River a program called "beast of the lake", where Jewish merchants were buying land between the areas of Tal Afar and Mosul, and thus the Zionist entity imposed itself on an important passage in northern Iraq, representing a historic road running from Mosul to the Syrian border Via Tal Afar, which lies 80 kilometers from the border with Turkey, and 100 kilometers from the border with Syria.

With the US invasion of Iraq, the US military was exerting enormous pressure on the poor Iraqi families to sell their land, under the pretext of building large factories and establishing agricultural projects, to find that the ownership of these lands was ultimately vested in the Jews from the Zionist entity. The Iraqis soon noticed the arrival of Israeli Jewish families, initially numbered 150 families, including Jews of Iraqi origin, to find out later that there was a plan to reach the number of 150 thousand Jews settled in that vast area, and also revealed by the CIA a scheme to transfer the Kurds from Palestine to the Jews of Mosul and Nineveh province in northern Iraq, under the pretext of religious visits to the ancient Jewish shrines, especially the tombs of the prophets Nahum and Yunus, Daniel and Ezekiel and others.

After ten years of these facts, officially approved the opening of the "Ofakwe" crossing between Iraq and Turkey, which means that the shortest trade routes between Turkey and Baghdad are going for with a distance of 50 kilometers is on land controlled by the Jews, that is, one of the Iraqi commercial arteries at the mercy of the "The Israeli" enemy, although undeclared, and it was later found that these lands purchased by Jews are the boundaries of the map demanded by the Kurds to establish a "state of Kurdistan," .....

According to the Zionist slogan known as "Israel's borders from the Euphrates to the Nile," the impact on the commercial route will not be based on the Kurdish border. 
The idiocy goes on and on, proving how antisemitic and conspiracy-minded Iran is.

But to illustrate an article about how Iran is stopping the mythical Greater Israel project, they use a map showing Iran's sphere of influence reaching the Mediterranean - Iran's own colonialist ambitions.

This one picture shows who the real danger is in the Middle East - and it sure isn't Israel.

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This week the conflict between liberal and progressive elements in American Jewry and the government of Israel was escalated.

On November 16, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the American Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and others tried to push their way (see video here) into the Western Wall area carrying Torah scrolls in defiance of rules established by the Orthodox authorities that manage the site, intending to pass them to members of the Women of the Wall group, also in violation of the rules. They ultimately succeeded after a shoving match with security guards and ultra-Orthodox protesters.

It should be noted that none of them were arrested, nor did the reaction of the guards rise above the level of shoving (Jacobs was threatened with pepper spray, but not sprayed). It seems clear that the guards made the decision not to use greater force in order not to injure anyone. The behavior of the Haredi protesters was abominable, of course. I don’t know if any of them were arrested, but those guilty of assault should have been.

The New Israel Fund (NIF), an organization that has been criticized for funding groups active in the delegitimization of the Jewish state as well as BDS and lawfare against it, almost immediately organized a joint letter from non-Orthodox rabbis to PM Netanyahu, expressing “outrage.” Would that the NIF might express outrage over the lies, libels and distortions told around the world by their grantee, Breaking the Silence

The hand of the NIF is seen throughout this conflict. Jacobs himself has a long-time connection to the NIF. Before he was elected to the presidency of the URJ in 2011, he served on its Board of Directors as chair of its committee on religious pluralism. The NIF is a big donor to the Israel Religious Action Center, the NGO arm of the American Reform movement in Israel, which is the main sponsor of the demonstrations at the Western Wall, and which has recently inaugurated a campaign to bring American political correctness and hysteria over race to Israel.

On November 24, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was criticized by the PM and forced to apologize for remarks that she had made earlier, in which she tried to express the (very true) fact that American Jews are disconnected from the realities of life in Israel, and their criticisms of Israeli policy are often misconceived. Unfortunately she appeared to suggest that American Jews do not participate proportionally in the US military, something which is almost certainly not true. The response was vicious and instantaneous. Despite her clarification, Rick Jacobs of URJ was not satisfied, and called for her to be fired. So far, Netanyahu has resisted the pressure.

On November 27, the Masorti Movement in Israel – associated with the American United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism – released a video attack aimed directly at the PM, accusing him of presenting an “alternative truth” about the Western Wall controversy, and concluding “shame on you, Mr. Prime Minister.” They could have attacked the Haredi parties, which had initially agreed to a compromise, but reneged when their constituents complained. But they chose to blame Netanyahu.

The leaders of non-Orthodox Judaism are spoiling for a fight. The main objective seems to be to create anger among American Jews by telling them over and over how Israel disrespects them. The Western Wall argument is presented as a rejection of Reform and Conservative (i.e., American) customs of mixed-gender prayer, although aside from the provocative actions of Jacobs and his crew, few if any Reform or Conservative Jews have wanted to pray in a mixed group at the Wall (if they had, one would think that at least a few of them would have done so at the location that is set aside for this, despite their objections to the arrangements for access to the site). But the point is not the facts but the “insult” inherent in it.

The same is true for the various crises over attempts to permit or forbid conversions to Judaism in Israel outside the official rabbinate. Israel is accused of treating non-Orthodox Jews as “second-class citizens,” or “delegitimizing” the non-Orthodox Diaspora. Again, the emphasis  is not on what the practical effects of legislation might be in Israel or outside of it, but on how it can be construed as insulting to non-Orthodox Jews. 

The tactic is simple, and always works. Provoke a confrontation by making demands that anger the Haredim, who then threaten the PM that they will leave the coalition. The PM will look for a compromise – after all, he has a country to run – which can be construed as “submission to the ultra-Orthodox” and insulting to the Diaspora. The Haredim can always be counted on to play their role, including calling the non-Orthodox Jews names and thus increasing the degree of insult.

Orchestrating a physical confrontation, as with the Western Wall security guards, who clearly don’t want trouble, or the helpful Haredi protesters, who clearly do, is another wonderful tactic. Expect more of it. 

And then don’t be surprised when, in the next election, Israelis will be told by the opposition not to vote for Netanyahu, because he “damaged our essential relationship with the US.”

The proper response to all of this is that as a sovereign state, we get to determine the rules within our borders. Jacobs thinks that the Western Wall – indeed all of the state of Israel – belongs to world Jewry, and therefore the big machers like him should be able to give us orders. I am willing to agree that in some sense the Western Wall “belongs” to all Jews, but decisions about how it operates must be made by the state in which it is located. And it certainly isn’t appropriate for Jews from America to come here and violate our laws in an attempt to change the rules. This isn’t Birmingham in 1963. It’s about religious customs, not civil rights.

We also get to make our own rules about things like marriage, conversion, divorce and burial for Jews in our country. I and many other Israelis don’t like the ones we have very much, but it isn’t up to Jacobs to try to change them for us. That’s why we have a sovereign state, a democratic state in which we elect our leaders, a state that protects us in return for our fulfilling our (sometimes heavy) obligations to it.

The Reform Movement has an ideology that is a result of the replacement of mitzvah-observance with “tikun olam,” which seems to mean a universalist social-justice ethic that is more at home in Berkeley than Jerusalem. Unfortunately, like the Jews for Jesus, the Reform movement is evangelical in nature, and it won’t be satisfied until it converts the rest of the Jewish world – particularly the uppity Jews of Israel – to its vision of a borderless, multicultural, gender-fluid socialistic worldview. Apparently it has gotten the Conservative Movement (which still maintains a commitment to halacha) on board by exploiting the Western Wall and conversion issues.

The New Israel Fund is in effect the military wing of the Reform Movement, using dollars instead of rockets as weapons. It gives millions of dollars each year to groups working to remake the state of Israel in accordance with its vision, and even to some groups whose goal is to destroy it.

Israel seems to have learned how to deal with evangelical Christians. We will accept their support, but they must understand from the start that trying to change us is out of bounds. Those who nevertheless try to proselytize among us are asked to leave.

Perhaps the same should go for politically evangelical Reform Jews like Rick Jacobs?

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From Ian:

Saudis Fed Up: "Palestinians Milking Us for Decades"
Echoing the Palestinian public's sentiment, Palestinian political analyst Majed Abu Diak also voiced concern over the apparent rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel. He accused the Saudis of bowing to pressure from the Trump administration.

"Saudi Arabia and Israel appear to be in a hurry to normalize their relations," Abu Diak claimed.

"The Saudi regime is preparing for Mohammed bin Salman to succeed his father. That's why the regime is prepared to pay the price [to the Americans], which includes normalizing relations with Israel as a way to improve Saudi relations with the US. For Israel, this is an old-new dream of ridding itself of the status of an alien body in the Middle East."

Most Arabs, in fact, do not seem to care about the Palestinian "cause" any more, as pointed out in a previous article, which showed how the Arab League ministers were focusing on Iran and Hezbollah while ignoring the Palestinians.

Many people in the West are not aware that the Palestinians are trying to torpedo any peace initiative in order to blame others.

The Palestinians are crying Wolf, Wolf! -- but only a few in the Arab world are listening to them. This, in a way, is encouraging and offers hope for them finally to be released from decades of repressive and corrupt governance.

These are just some of the challenges Saudi Crown Prince is facing. It is important to support him in the face of attacks by some Palestinians and other spoilers.

The question now is whether the Saudis and the rest of the Arabs have had enough of the great Palestinian shakedown.
MEMRI: Editor Of Saudi Daily 'Okaz': Hamas Is Ungrateful, Is Exploiting Palestinian Cause To Benefit Iran
The concluding announcement issued by the Arab League foreign ministers following their November 19, 2017 emergency meeting in Cairo declared Hizbullah a terrorist organization and accused it of "supporting terrorism and terrorist organizations in the Arab states by [supplying them with] advanced weapons and ballistic missiles." Hamas, in response, issued an official statement in which it condemned the designation of Hizbullah and other "resistance organizations" as terror organizations, and stressed its "surprise" at the announcement's failure to include "reference to the Zionist terrorism that is implemented daily towards the Palestinian people, their land, and their holy places."

Additionally, Hamas political bureau member Moussa Abu Marzouq tweeted, from his personal account: "Hizbullah is not a terror organization, and if this designation is accepted, we can all expect a similar fate. We must all agree to direct the Arab political focus [at] Palestine and Jerusalem." He also tweeted: "The Arab foreign ministers' decision to characterize Hizbullah as terrorist does not stem from [Hizbullah's] involvement in dear Syria, but is aimed at confronting Iran and the elements connected to it. He added: "This trend is problematic for two reasons. One, diverting the [Arab] focus from Israel and allying with it; [Israel] is certainly not Sunni. Two, next time, the resistance forces – Hamas, [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad, and others – will be the ones [they] set [their] sights on, for the same reason."

Abu Marzouq's tweets prompted a response from Jamil Al-Dhiabi, the editor-in-chief of the Saudi government daily 'Okaz, who wrote a scathing article condemning Abu Marzouq and Hamas and accusing them of ingratitude. Another expression of the tension between Saudi Arabia and Hamas was a headline in 'Okaz, which declared: "Hamas Follows in Hizbullah's Footsteps, [Saying]: 'Our Weapons Are a Red Line.'" The article reported on statements by Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya expressing the movement's refusal to disarm.
PMW: Song on PA TV promises to attack Jews
Official Palestinian Authority TV broadcast a music video promising to "break the Jews."

The song, which sings the praise of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement, promises to "come at you from the sea like a wave." While these words are sung, photos are shown of terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led the murder of 37 Israelis, 12 of them children, in an attack launched by infiltrating Israel from the sea in 1978.

In addition, the song states that the Fatah flag will be "raised with the rifle," and quotes former PA and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat glorifying death for "Palestine": "For you O homeland, by Allah, death is sweet for me." Footage is included of armed Fatah fighters. The song ends by stating Fatah's goal is to "break the Jews":

"We will raise the Fatah flag with the rifle...
At Al-Karameh [battle] and Eilaboun (i.e., terror attack), for the homeland we will encircle the world
We will come at you from the sea like the wave...
Visual: Photos of terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi who attacked from the sea
Yasser [Arafat] said this statement in a loud voice:
For you O homeland, by Allah, death is sweet for me
Jerusalem is ours, and we are marching, and we will bring millions of Martyrs...
The love of Fatah unites us, and may Allah add to it
Whoever speaks about [Fatah's] division - by Allah, we will eliminate him
Our hearts are for [Fatah], and we are soldiers, until we break the Jews"

[Official PA TV, Nov. 10, 2017]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented similar songs on PA TV glorifying terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, and exposed a music video on Fatah's Awdah TV station earlier this year that paid tribute to Mughrabi.

  • Thursday, November 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

The official PA Wafa news agency reports:
Manal Radwan, Saudi Arabia's delegate at the United Nations, pledged on Thursday during a United Nations General Assembly meeting on the situation in the Near East and on the “question of Palestine” that her country will continue to support the Palestinian people in their cause for self-determination and statehood.

...She condemned Israel, the occupying power, for its violations against the Palestinians people, including the killing of innocent civilians, illegal settlement construction and expansion, the theft of Palestinian land and the demolition of thousands of homes since the Palestinian exodus (Nakba) in 1948.

Radwan blamed Israel for “committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the people of Palestine… in full disregard of all the demands of the international community [on Israel] to stop these grave violations and adhere to international resolutions.”

But the reality is more like this Saudi columnist is saying in a column sarcastically entitled "Throw the Palestinians into the sea."

It is now clear that the Arab position on the Palestinian issue is shifting, and Arab feelings towards the Palestinians and also towards the Israelis are shifting.
The big difference is that the official position stems from pragmatism dealing with the reality and the Israeli presence. The popular transformation is based on its justification for demonizing the Palestinians and accepting the Israelis as a civilized and harmless people compared to neighboring peoples!

...What is happening now from some Arabs is not only recognition of Israel, but a confession of guilt in boycotting it once upon a time!

The demonization of the Palestinians would not have succeeded if it had been done in one go. But we began many years ago to talk about the corruption of elements of  Fatah in the name of the struggle, and then we talked the (excesses) of Hamas, which made the Palestinian unable to get rid of his bad reputation. This is combined with Israeli efforts to improve its reputation in the Arab world, such as Ramadan blessings, Eid recitations and the circulation of Umm Kulthum and Abdel Halim songs sung by Israeli voices.

Where will this rapprochement go? What are its conditions, if they have conditions? And who will lead the cart: political pragmatism or popular emotional feelings?

The Arab discourse, which in the 1960s wanted to "throw the Jews into the sea," has changed: some of its voices now seem to want to throw the Palestinians into the sea!
A Saudi TV host caused a ruckus in both the Arab world and Israel by calling on Saudi Arabia to allow Israeli chess players to attend a tournament there.

Just being able to suggest that on TV is already a huge difference from a couple of  years ago.

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  • Thursday, November 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Recently, Egyptian historian  Bassam al-Shamma claimed that 70% of the archaeological missions in Egypt are Jewish researchers who "seek to facilitate the smuggling and Judaization of the Egyptian antiquities and to transfer false information about ancient Egypt in their books and research papers published abroad."

Yes, the Egyptians are obsessed with the idea that Jews are stealing their history.

Naturally, the Antiquities Ministry needed to address these concerns. So it responded to the antisemitic claims by saying that it is far too antisemitic to allow such a thing to happen.

Dr. Abd Al-Rahim Rihan, the general manager of archaeological research and study and scientific publications in the Antiquities Ministry, confirmed that there is no connection between the statements of the (Antiquities) Minister regarding the finding of Pharaonic antiquities in Israel and what was said by the historian Bassam Al-Shama’a in his interview with “Al-Youm Al-Sabi’”, namely that 70% of the scholars of the expeditions that are excavating for antiquities in Egypt are Jewish. (Dr. Rihan) described these statements as “unfounded claims”.

In exclusive statements to “Al-Youm Al-Sabi’”, Rihan stressed that there isn’t a single Jewish antiquities scholar in Egypt, and that the (Antiquities) Ministry properly supervises the examination of the background and education and knowledge of every single person who comes in the framework of foreign expeditions to excavate for antiquities in Egypt, and that there are additional security approvals and conditions to the supervision of the (Antiquities) Ministry, and that it is impossible for a scholar to get approval to participate in an excavation expedition without getting those security approvals.
Rihan is reassuring worried Jew-hating Egyptians that his department's extensive background checks ensure that none of the Western archaeology scholars that are allowed into Egypt have Jewish blood.

It really isn't hard to find official Arab antisemitism. But Western media try really, really hard not to notice it.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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  • Thursday, November 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Palestinian Authority, which supposedly is now the single official government in both the West Bank and Gaza, has tried to allow employees who were forced to stop work in 2007 when Hamas took over the various government institutions to return to their former jobs.

The employees remained on the PA payroll for the past ten years, paid literally to do nothing, with western aid dollars.

Hamas, however, has maintained its own security forces - and it physically prevented the PA employees from going back to their old jobs.

During this supposed reconciliation, the official PA news agency has tried to avoid criticizing Hamas. But that criticism has resumed:

The government of National Consensus Wednesday expressed regret that [forces] affiliated to Hamas prevented minister of local government Hussein Al-Araj and public employees from resuming work in their former posts in Gaza’s ministries.    
PA spokesperson Yousef al-Mahmoud said the government of National Consensus is deeply saddened by this serious step, which contradicts with all conventions and treaties, the last of which was reached last October, which threatens the success of reconciliation efforts.  

Abbas and other PA officials have said that they want Hamas to be disarmed, but Hamas deputy leader Khalil al-Hayya responded "The weapon of resistance is a red line that can not be discussed. This weapon will move to the West Bank to fight the occupation. It is our right to resist the occupation until it ends."

Hamas also said that it will give up control on "everything that is above ground" (besides the Al Qassam Brigades), indicating that Hamas continues to treat building tunnels into Israel as a high priority.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Since we have heard all about the "Jewish Voice for Peace" panel at the New School where celebrated haters of Israel spoke about how much they pretend to hate some kinds of antisemitism, let's play a game.

Are these cartoons antisemitic or anti-Israel?

It's against settlements, so it muse be anti-Zionist according to JVP, right?

It's showing a hareidi Jew representing the "Zionist media," so clearly this one has nothing to do with antisemitism.

"Zionists" drinking "Palestinian children's blood." How can anyone call that antisemitic, right, Linda Sarsour?

The snake wearing a kippah and sidelocks being led by the Devil himself obviously represents Israel. How could anyone interpret this differently?

Obviously an "Israeli" eating the Dome of the Rock.

The caption says "The 60th anniversary of the Holocaust."  Must be referring to the Nakba.

The panelists from JVP are thrilled with the small resurgence of media-fanned neo-Nazis in America because they can use them as bogeymen representing real antisemitism, that they are of course against.

But they would never, ever admit that Arabs are the biggest antisemites in the world today - and even most of these cartoons pretend to be only anti-Israel while trading in age-old anti-Jewish stereotypes.

There is not much difference between what these Arab cartoons represent and what the "Jewish Voice of Peace" represents.

JVP doesn't want you to know about these (and the many, many other examples of Arab antisemitism in cartoons and literature and classrooms and media.) Because to them, only right-wing antisemitism is worth denouncing. Doing that serves their purpose of supporting the kind of antisemitism on this page.

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From Ian:

Remembering the ethnic cleansing of the Middle East's Jews
This date is not coincidental. The day after November 29 1947, when the United Nations General Assembly decided to establish a Jewish state in British Mandate Palestine, many Jewish communities in Arab countries immediately began feeling the pressure to leave. There was looting, riots and laws enacted against them and the Zionist movement.

The young State of Israel, while fighting for its very existence, absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jews from surrounding countries. Under conditions of extreme poverty, a severe lack of resources, being housed in transit camps, without knowing the language and regardless of their relatives left behind, these refugees started over.

Seventy years after the United Nations established a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran are still living in Israel. Many of them, including my mother, remember the exact moment they became refugees and how hard it was in the beginning to start from scratch. But they decided to build again, to give up their refugee narrative, to understand that the years following World War II created a new reality for not only themselves, but tens of millions of others as well.

The Jewish refugees from the Arab countries and Iran, together with hundreds of thousands of other Jewish refugees from Europe, built, created and persisted in order to establish a family, a state and a future for their people.

On the other hand, the preservation of the seven decade old narrative of Palestinian refugees is still in full force. It continues to serve political goals and is used as a tool to delegitimize Israel and not recognize it as the homeland of the Jewish people. The call for the return of millions of Palestinian refugees to Israel is just another means in the quest to destroy the Jewish state.

On this day, the story of the forgotten refugees needs to be told. Fortunately, these refugees had Israel as a home to take them in. Many of them never survived the deadly pogroms suffered at the hands of Arab regimes. It is for this reason it is so important to learn their story, for any injustice somewhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.

France Submits to Terrorism, Muslim Anti-Semitism
In France, since 2012, more than 250 people were killed by Islamic terrorism, more than in all other European countries combined. In addition, no other country in Europe has experienced so many attacks against Jews. France is a country where Jews are murdered because they are Jews.

Every year, Jews flee France by the thousands. Those who do not emigrate move to cities and neighborhoods where they hope they will be able survive without risking aggression.

Many non-Jews live in fear and remain silent.

The government does almost nothing. A few times a year, its members ritually denounce "anti-Semitism", but never forget to mention that it comes from the "far right". They only denounce "radical Islam" when the facts are so blinding obvious that it is impossible to do otherwise. If they can, they prefer to talk about people who were "radicalized", without giving any details or explanation.

In August 2017, the Ministry of the Interior issued a statement that almost 300 jihadists were back from Syria and represent a risk. All of them could come back to France with French passports. None of them has been arrested.

In March 2015, the French intelligence services created a Report Card for the Prevention of Terrorist Radicalization (FSPRT); there are 15,000 names on it. Monitoring everyone would require nearly 160,000 police officers. Therefore, only a few dozen suspects, are under surveillance.

After France's November 2015 attacks, a state of emergency was declared. It consisted mainly of sending soldiers and police officers to railway stations and airports, and placing guards and sandbags in front of synagogues and Jewish schools.
The ‘Nakba’ and Palestinian War Crimes
Two important Hebrew-language books were published recently: Deir Yassin: The End of the Myth by Eliezer Tauber, and Nakba and Survival: The Story of the Palestinians Who Remained in Haifa and the Galilee, 1948-1956 by Adel Manna. The value of these books emanates from their comprehensive presentation of data and facts hitherto not discussed.

Professor Tauber of Bar-Ilan University gathered all the available testimonies related to the Deir Yassin battle from all involved parties, including both villagers and members of the attacking Etzel and Lehi underground groups. On the basis of these testimonies, he provides a minute-by-minute analysis of the battle in the village’s various areas, including the death of each victim.

According to Tauber, Deir Yassin was the first case of house-to-house fighting in the 1948 war, as the defenders did not run away but fought from their houses until the end. The attackers broke into the houses by blowing up their doors, hurling hand grenades inside and storming in while shooting. This resulted in many casualties, including non-combatants. Yet except for one case in which an attacker shot dead non-combatants who had surrendered and stepped out of their house, all the rest were killed during house-to-house fighting.

This conclusion is based on testimonies gathered from both surviving villagers and attackers. The (false) accusations of civilian massacres appeared after the battle had ended, when forces of the Jewish mainstream Hagana underground organization entered the village, saw the many corpses, including women and children, and concluded that they had been murdered by Etzel and Lehi fighters. Due to the bitter enmity between the Hagana and the two groups, the atrocity charges became widespread and hugely inflated.

Another group interested in inflating these charges was the Palestinian Arab leadership, seeking as it did to stir up public opinion in the neighboring Arab states, so as to pressure their governments to join the war against the Jews after the end of the British Mandate in mid-May.

(photo credit: The Real Jerusalem Streets)

Life is full of bumps along the way. These may take the form of tragedies large and small, day-to-day inconveniences, and disappointments, too. In Israel, somehow these wrinkles that appear in the fabric of everyday living are larger than elsewhere.

And sometimes larger than life.

It may be the heat of the day, or the heat of the food, turned up high with exotic spices and peppers. It may even be the hot political climate that keeps us hopping, as if we are dancing on hot coals as one nation. The heat of the day, the food, the politics, leads to tempers simmering just below the surface, at times exploding.

There's the obstinate clerk who is determined to be unhelpful. The shopkeeper who ousts you from the premises when three consecutive clothing items decide not to fit you. The ministry that decides to close its gates as your number comes up. The person who jumps ahead of you in line at the supermarket—she only went to get a bag of milk—after you're finally next in line, after waiting 45 minutes to check out your items.

Will you let it get to you? How can you not?

And yet, if you lose it, they win.

It definitely seems worse here in Israel. In America, you get your stress served with a smile, with politeness. Here it's just full on rude.


And sometimes not.

Because there's the other stuff. There's kindness. A bus driver will wait until an elderly person wends his slow way toward the bus stop and then on up the bus steps. Passengers stand for pregnant women and seniors on the bus, so that they might sit. A bus driver may even drive an elderly person all the way to his home instead of leaving him off at the designated bus stop, though technically, he can be fined for this "offense."

If your car breaks down on the road in the middle of nowhere, someone, a complete stranger, will stop to help you change your tire, charge your spent battery, or give you water for your sizzling radiator/overheated car.

The doctor who knows you can't afford the private fee for his services, insists you come in, "No charge."

Your favorite grill restaurant gives you a steak in a pita to go, and as he hands it to you, you might mention it's for your wife who just had a son, and the entire restaurant breaks out into Mazal Tovs and ululations (no charge for the steak). The same thing happens on the bus, when you bump into someone you know and mention you're on the way to the hospital to visit your wife and new baby. The entire bus full of people (who are not supposed to be listening) will congratulate you and clap you on the back.

Like you're one big family.

And with all these extremes, these ups and downs, the kindnesses, frustrations, and anger, there is the heart-stopping terror you feel when you hear or see many ambulances go by and you know that terror has struck someone's loved one: a mother, a grandfather, a beloved teacher, a tourist. Then, you need to know where your family members are in a hurry. The wait can be unbearable.

Terror can hit every other day, every day, or even several times a day. You live with fear, you live in a state of denial of that fear, doing the Stanislavski method, acting "as if", as if everything were okay, even when it is most emphatically not. If you're a performer, you perform. If your child is being bar mitzvahed, the bar mitzvah goes on. If you need to shop for groceries, you go, even if you might not come home with that sale-priced economy bag of laundry soap (or at all).

But sometimes you can get a break and just appreciate the good friends you have made that are like family, because your real family is thousands of miles away in the land you left to live here. 

Sometimes you can just appreciate the night sky with stars so close you could reach out and pluck one with your bare hand and hold it there, glowing in your palm, a holy relic from a holy night sky.

Sometimes you go outside and that smell you smell is the good, fertile earth, filled with the promise of growing things, lemons and tomatoes that taste of the sun, cucumbers so crunchy and fresh it's a sin to peel them. The earth is more immediate here. You want to take a bite out of it, take it into you, make it part of you, as you will someday be a part of it, when you are no longer sensible of the fact.

But it is a tough life here in Israel, no matter that we are too stubborn to leave and cling to the land with all our hearts.

Why do we do it then? What is the reason we stay here? It's this: no matter what happens here, you know your life will have had meaning just for having lived here, and if you should die? You died here for a reason.

Sometimes, in spite of everything, you know that all you have ever done here, gone through here, was all about arriving at a single moment: that shining moment when you know that what you did here, the roughness of life, mattered, because it brought you to this.

For every person, that moment is unique to one's personal universe. For this author? For me? It was that moment when my daughter got married under the stars of a Jerusalem night and I knew that my grandchildren would grow up Jewish in Jerusalem, dedicated to the study of God's holy Torah. The realization that somehow a boy with roots in Iraq, Gibraltar, Spain, and Jerusalem, had ended up with a girl with roots in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Ukraine, and yes, Jerusalem, too, to build a Bayit Neeman B'Yisrael, a faithful house in Israel.

It was these two young people following rituals as old as history, as old as Jacob and Leah and Rachel, rituals that varied little from country to country, wherever we wandered. It was the way he checked it was she, lowering the veil over her face with gentle, shaking hands. The way she then slipped off her golden bracelets commemorating that long-ago sin by our people in the desert. How they stood under a prayer shawl, a tallis, side by side; too shy to look at each other, sharing sips of wine from a goblet.

(photo credit: The Real Jerusalem Streets)

There they stood for several minutes, surrounded by four parents holding candles in fluted glass candle holders. Parents with wandering roots, a people come home to roost, come home to Jerusalem, where we belong, where our people belong. The beginning of a new home, a new family, Jewish children here in this holy city.

The way he slipped the ring onto her finger, that first touch. The way he vowed never to forget Jerusalem and stepped on a glass, the sound audible to all, eliciting cheers. 

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Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Men Can't Make Decisions For Women, But Jews Can't Decide What's Antisemitic

By Linda Sarsour, women's rights activist
Linda SarsourThe stubborn patriarchy that all but rules our society wants to control women's bodies and what women are allowed to wear, and they insist on making these determinations without consulting women, the people who are most affected by those determinations. My allies and I in this fight will not rest until women make the decisions that affect women. On the other hand, it's dishonest for Jews to tell me what's antisemitic because they're just trying to fit public discourse to their agenda, and that's unacceptable.

Threats to ban traditional Islamic dress, the risk of a conservative overturning of legal abortions, and myriad legislative or administrative efforts to curtail access to birth control - all these phenomena persist among groups of men who feel threatened by empowered women. But we will be disempowered no longer - the men who effectively rule our lives must give way to the female leaders of the present and future - no man controls my destiny! At the same time, don't let any Jews - certainly not any Zionist ones - tell you what constitutes antisemitism. Only an outsider can be trusted to bring a sober perspective to such a fraught subject.

Women have come a long way. From the extension of the franchise to women a hundred years ago to the feminist revolution of the 1960's and beyond, it has been a constant, uphill, sometimes disheartening battle. But we persevere despite the setbacks. We came within a few hundred thousand votes of having the first woman president in US history! The fact that we fell short should only spur us to further action, because next time, we can close that gap! A thinking person with a sense of history might be tempted here to invoke the example of the Jews, who fought to reestablish a sovereign state after thousands of years of displacement and persecution, but you can't trust thinking people with a sense of history because they're in league with the Jews. Don't let them deprive you of the willful ignorance that goes with opposing Jewish sovereignty!

The hypocrisy of our opponents never ceases to amaze me. They would smear us all with the charge of antisemitism - which, as we all know, is a smoke screen to prevent reasoned discussion of collective Jewish Israeli perfidy - rather than allow us a say in governing our own lives. They would even distract you by pointing out that I insist they not decide for Muslim women what suits Muslim women best while arrogating for myself the authority to decide what Muslim women want. But I AM a Muslim woman.

But the Jews, no, they're not allowed to decide what suits them. It's too dangerous.

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From Ian:

The miracle of Israel lives on 70 years later
While much of the public debate is couched in terms of borders and settlements and sovereignty over Jerusalem, the larger truth is that Palestinians have pursued Israel’s destruction with more zeal than they applied to building their own state.

While you would never know it from most coverage in the American media, a two-state solution was offered to both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, but neither would say yes. To do so would have meant signing their own death warrants at the hands of fellow Arabs committed to Israel’s destruction.

The result is that many Palestinians remain scattered in “refugee camps” around the region established nearly 70 years ago, unwanted by their hosts while serving as political pawns. In their own self-governed territories, they are bitterly divided and impoverished, with much of the population living on international handouts and a fantasy that a Palestine without Jews is inevitable.

At times, there have been brief interludes of hope that internal change was coming. Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, told an Israeli journalist that he believed the Arabs’ 1947 rejection of the partition was a mistake that he hoped to correct.

That was six years ago. Since then, Abbas, finishing the 13th year of a four-year term, has done little to turn that idea into reality.

As I prepare for an upcoming trip to Israel and the West Bank, my third visit to the region, I expect to find an even more dynamic Jewish state, where even the constant threat of catastrophe does not interfere with a zest for life.

Then again, that’s Israel. A miracle among nations.
To get a state, Palestinians should do what the Zionists did
Seventy years ago, the United Nations created Israel. At least, that’s how Turtle Bay’s boosters and Israel’s critics remember it.

In reality, the UN General Assembly’s vote of Nov. 29, 1947, to partition Palestine merely recognized reality. The Jews had built their state; the UN acknowledged this fact. And getting the history right is essential to any hope of lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Early Zionists started arriving to join their fellow Jews in their ancestral land at the end of the 19th century. Bit by bit (or “a dunam here, a dunam there,” as their slogan went) they built up not only their numbers but their institutions. By the partition vote, there was a state in place.

This week that historic vote is commemorated twice, demonstrating the difference between two national movements.

At the Queens Museum, the site of the 1947 tally, Israelis and Americans (including Vice President Mike Pence) reenacted the drama on Tuesday. They also tried to revive the euphoria among Zionists, as they celebrated around the world, from New York to Tel Aviv.

At Turtle Bay, meanwhile, the General Assembly will solemnly mark the date on Wednesday, as it does every year, by conducting an “international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people” — remembering one of the only consequential decisions the UN ever took by celebrating those who rejected it.

  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
I discovered this nearly ten years ago, and it is more relevant today.

Palestinian Arabs, especially those who live in the West, like to define themselves as "people of color" so they can pretend to have solidarity with non-white people. This is of course a cynical ploy - they don't care about the rights of others; they are trying to hijack other movements for their own gain.

But not too long ago, the infamous Mufti of Jerusalem, the first leader of Palestinian Arabs, became good friends with Heinrich Himmler - because he had blond hair and blue eyes.

From the Palestine Post, March 28, 1948:

Other Palestinian Arab leaders in the 1940s who looked more Teutonic than Arab include military leader Fawzi Bey Kawukji, Hussein Khalidi, secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, and Sheikh Hassan Salameh, Arab commander in the Jaffa during the 1948 war.

There is no moral difference between white people mistreating non-white people and Palestinian Arabs pretending to be non-white in order to claim the status of being oppressed. Both of them are taking advantage of people of color for their own selfish aims.

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  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al Ahram has a fairly stupid article by Mustafa Barghouti, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, where he argues that Zionism has failed.

As with virtually every Palestinian "thinker," Barghouti defines Zionism as a movement to destroy Palestinians rather than a movement to recreate a nation-state for the Jewish people. Early Zionists had no intention of expelling non-Jews, on the contrary they felt that they would bring great economic and social benefits to the non-Jewish population. And they did. (Compare the infant mortality rates and life expectancy of Arabs under Israeli rule to those of neighboring Arab countries.Compare the number of universities built in the territories under "occupation" with zero built under Arab rule.)

But Barghouti instead builds a straw man:
The Zionist movement did not triumph but is living its worst crisis because it was founded on realising two objectives. The first was seizing the land, and this was carried out through criminal violence, waging wars and occupation. The second was displacing the Palestinian people and ethnically cleansing the land of Palestine, in which it failed. Despite the forcible displacement that took place in 1948, the Palestinian people learned from their experiences and stood fast on their land and today their numbers on the historic land of Palestine exceed that of Israeli Jews.
No one even blinks at these lies any more.

Part of the lie is simple psychological projection. Because, indeed, Palestinian nationalism is not built on the desire for an independent nation state for the "Palestinian people." That goal could have been accomplished a half dozen times since 1947. Palestinian nationalism is centered around the destruction of the Jewish state by any and all means possible.

So naturally Palestinians see Zionism as a projection of what they themselves want. A goal that Palestinians freely admit in surveys.

Barghouti unwittingly admits this. Later on in this essay he says "the Zionist project has awakened Palestinian nationalism."

Exactly. There would be no Palestinian nationalism if it wasn't for Zionism. They would be part of a greater Jordan or Greater Syria or Greater Egypt - there never would be any interest in an independent Palestinian state if Israel never existed. 

All of the insistence that Palestinians are a historic people is a fiction that was created ex post facto to support the nationalist claims. One could just as easily prove that residents of the Hauran area of Syria or the Northern Sinai are a "people" since they may have customs distinct from others even in the same nation.

Beyond that, of course, Barghouti's main thesis - that Zionism has failed - is a bit absurd as Israel is about to celebrate its 70th birthday, and the Palestinian  project to destroy Israel is no longer of interest even to their fellow Arabs.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Notorious plane hijacker Leila Khaled has not been allowed to leave Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and was forced to return to Amman, Jordsn yesterday

Khaled, a member of the PFLP terror group, spoke at the European Parliament in September, and the backlash was belated but fierce. The Parliament passed a motion not to allow members of known terror organizations to speak there again. In an era of Islamist bombers in European cities, it was realized that perhaps treating one of the earliest modern terrorists as a hero was not a good message to send.

She was scheduled to speak at the Porta Maggiore Hotel on Saturday for a meeting of the UDAP, the Arab-Palestinian Democratic Union, where the "right to resistance" (i.e., terror) is to be celebrated.

UDAP issued a statement saying "The repatriation of comrade Leila Khaled is only a demonstration of the impotence of Italian institutions and their inability to escape Zionist blackmail:"

The plane that she hijacked in 1969 originated in Rome.

When asked to comment on her ban from Italy, Khaled said, "I was expecting it. Not because they are so afraid of me but of that the drama of the Palestinian people coming back to Italy. All the support that the Italian left once gave to our cause vanished as  fog in the sun. They have all become conservatives, who have blotted out their ideas of solidarity with the oppressed peoples. But History goes on, it will end up overwhelming these bourgeoisie, who proclaim they are left but represent only their interests, and my wish is that the Italian people will judge them severely at the next elections."

Palestinian terror supporters have been dismayed recently at Italy's turning against them. This is indeed a turnaround; during the heyday of Palestinian airplane hijackings Italy used back channels to cooperate with Palestinian terrorists so they wouldn't  hijack any Alitalia flights.

(h/t Andrea)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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