Monday, December 31, 2018

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: The good side of 2018
Newspapers tend to be in the business of bad news far more than good news. “If it bleeds, it leads” is a well-known adage. The downside is we often forget how good things are. Between rockets from Gaza, terrorist attacks, corruption, murder and whatever else makes headlines most days, there are plenty of great events happening in Israel and the world each day. Here is some news from 2018 to remind us all to see the glass as half-full, as the secular year comes to a close.

Netta Barzilai became an international name and a national hero, after she and her chicken sounds brought Israel to its fourth Eurovision victory, the first in 20 years, bringing Israelis to the streets to celebrate and sing “I’m Not Your Toy.”

Netta was part of another major good news story in 2018: the first-ever official visit to Israel by a member of the British royal family, Prince William. This year, a prince and Superman – OK, actor Dean Cain, who played Superman on TV – visited Israel.

Beyond visiting royalty, this was a banner year for Israel’s foreign relations. Our ties expanded throughout the Middle East, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Oman and other ministers jetsetting around the Persian Gulf. By Netanyahu’s count, 300 senior foreign dignitaries – presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, senators and leading parliamentarians – visited Israel this year.

Israeli disaster-relief experts helped people around the world. Israelis provided aid in California, Puerto Rico and Guatemala, where Sara Netanyahu was personally invited by the president’s wife to dedicate the efforts. In Thailand, emergency mobile communication technology developed by Israeli company Maxtech Networks played a key role in rescuing the youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave, whose survival and rescue captured the world’s attention.

The US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved its embassy. We didn’t need them to tell us. It’s our eternal capital and has been that way for millennia, but it’s nice to get recognition. And US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley championed Israel repeatedly in that den of wolves.

David Collier: 2018 and Antisemitism, a year in review
To look back on antisemitism in 2018, I have split the year into calendar months, with each example representing a different element of the global battlefield.

I remember the end of 2017 as being part of a lonely battle. In November I recorded that there were 176 anti-Israel events taking place in the UK in a single month. By year-end we were just a handful shouting about the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, but few seemed to be listening. I didn’t realise back then, how much things were about to change.

January 2018 – Alison Chabloz
2018 Alison Chabloz2018 began just as 2017 ended, with me sitting amongst neo-Nazis and far-left antisemites. On January 10 2018 I was in court, for the early stages of the Alison Chabloz trial. Chabloz is a far-right Jew-baiter, a woman who composes songs that ridicule and deny the Holocaust. To add that extra dose of ‘spiteful’, Chabloz sets the lyrics to classic Jewish folk tunes.

Her journey to the court-room was a long one and this case highlights the difficulty of actually bringing even the most odious haters to justice.

Sitting amongst neo-Nazis in the gallery, people who cheered to songs about the Holocaust, was a very lonely place to be. Yet by the end of 2018, I was almost never alone. One of the greatest changes that occurred in 2018, was the ‘waking up’ of the Jewish community (along with their friends).

In May, Chabloz was found guilty. She was sentenced in June.
The Intellectual Dishonesty of 'I’m Just Criticizing Israel'
The playbook exploited by Marc Lamont Hill and countless other anti-Israel activists ranging from Linda Sarsour to Jimmy Carter, to former Pink Floyd front man, Roger Waters, is the following:

Step 1: Fabricate a non-existent Israeli law or policy, that, if real, would constitute a colossal human rights violation. Don’t be afraid to be dramatic. Ethnic cleansing has a real ring to it. And always remember to be as vague as possible. Use broad terms and generalizations, making your claims harder to challenge on specific grounds.

Step 2: Next, feign outrage about the existence of this newly concocted law, and justify any acts of terrorism against Israel under the guise of “resistance” against this law you just invented.

Step 3: If anyone points out that what you’re saying lacks any smidgeon of truth, simply reply, “I am just criticizing the Israeli government! Are you a fascist? Am I not allowed to criticize Israeli government policies?”

It goes without saying that criticism of Israel’s government is as kosher as criticism of any country’s government. The only catch is the criticism hinges on the issue under scrutiny being real. It requires specific criticism, aimed at an existing law or practice. Conversely, what borders on bigotry is blithely fabricating non-existent laws or practices — like, Israel’s perpetration of ethnic cleansing — and using them to undermine Israel’s existence. Self-avowed “critics” of Israel who are derided as addled anti-Semites exclusively focus their ire on laws they themselves imagine into existence. Not for the betterment of the Palestinian Arabs, but for the belittling of Israel.
Daily Freier losing ground to hot new satire site called “The Forward” (satire)
With 2018 drawing to a close, the Daily Freier reviewed its web traffic numbers and discovered that it has been consistently losing market share to a hot new competitor in the “Goofy Jewish Satire” niche market that calls itself “The Forward”. This wacky blog has popped up out of nowhere it appears, and is consistently putting out material that is funnier and more nuts than anything the Daily Freier has managed to produce. So did the Daily Freier just give up? Heck No! We put together a focus group! Yes, the Daily Freier gathered a focus group of Jews: Young and Old. Gay, Straight, and the Israeli guy who you think is Gay but ends up trying to hook up with your girlfriend. Reform, Conservative, Conservadox, Dati, Haredi, and Masorti. Americans, Canuckians, and…. Well you get the point. And if you think this comes cheap, then you haven’t purchased bagels and coffee recently, thank you very much. So anyhoo, we put a bunch of Jews in a room with copies of the Forward downloaded onto Kindles and stealthily recorded their reactions. Like that movie with Sigourney Weaver and the Gorillas. Except the Daily Freier was Sigourney Weaver. Let’s call it “Hebrews in the Mist“. So where were we? Oh yeah, the Focus Group. They LOVED the Forward! But don’t take our word for it, check out some of their reactions below!

“Hey, check this one out!” exclaimed “Married North Jersey Dentist” to the other people sitting at his table. “No, You Can’t Be A Feminist And A Zionist“, by Mariam Barghouti! You know, this might be the funniest thing produced by a Barghouti since Marwan invented the “Hunger Strike with Designated Snack Breaks” last year!“

“OK OK you need to see this!” giggled “Canadian-Israeli Woman” as she took a break from showing everyone pictures of her dogs. “It’s called ‘Lay Off Linda Sarsour’. I know! Linda! The woman who said that there is nothing creepier than Zionism! And accused Jews of secretly controlling America. Yes! her! So anyways, the article says that Jews only criticize Linda because they’re racists! Amazing! ……What’s that you say? It would be funnier if they also threw in some random stuff about Trump? Well say no more. They did that too!”

Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

Here's part 4.

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From Ian:

Ten New York Times Journalists Accuse Israel of ‘Possibly a War Crime’
The Times article concludes by claiming that Najjar “has become a symbol, perhaps not of what either side had hoped, but of a hopeless, endless conflict and the lives it wastes.”

That’s a dodge, because the gist of the rest of the piece is that it’s not the “conflict” that killed her, but an Israeli sniper, in what was “possibly a war crime.” And now, thanks to the work of at least ten Times journalists and whatever editors decided to set them loose on this story and to give it prominent play, her life isn’t a “waste,” but rather has become a valuable propaganda tool for the Palestinian Arabs, who can now use her death to depict Israel to the Times audience as reckless murderers, and Israelis as war criminals, or at least “possibly” war criminals.

None of this is to say that the Israeli troops defending the border with Gaza performed perfectly, or that there isn’t room for journalism that can help Israel do a better job at it going forward. No human is perfect. US police and American troops accidentally kill people, too, and Palestinian Arab terrorists intentionally kill people. For whatever reason, though, the Times has decided that this Gaza death is worth the time of ten journalists and three pages of the Sunday newspaper, while the death of an Israeli American, Ari Fuld, wasn’t deemed fit to print by the Times at all.

If one were to take a Timesian approach, one would write it with a question headline: “Times Pays More Attention To a Palestinian Death Than to an Israeli American One. Was It an Accident?” And then one would weasel around the issue: “the Times journalism appears to have been careless at best, and possibly a blood libel.” But I’ll reject that approach and be more direct and forthright. The New York Times “investigation,” for all its dignified trappings, is just the same old Israel-bashing you can get for free on any extreme right or extreme left Internet site or social media feed. Save yourself the time and the money and the heartburn and skip it.
After damning report, IDF says it is probing killing of Gazan medic in June
The Israeli military on Sunday responded to a New York Times report that questioned its use of live fire in an incident along the Gaza border on June 1, in which a Palestinian medic, 21, was killed when a soldier fired into a crowd of protesters.

The IDF said the army’s internal investigations body is “probing to clarify the reasons behind the death of Razan al-Najjar. The results of the investigation will be sent to the military advocate general upon their completion.”

For its investigation, The Times analyzed over 1,000 photographs and videos of the incident, interviewed over 30 eyewitnesses, spoke to Israeli and Palestinian officials and ballistics experts, and worked with the Israeli-run company Forensic Architecture to build a 3D rendering of the shooting, which also integrated drone and cellphone footage.

“The bullet that killed her, The Times found, was fired by an Israeli sniper into a crowd that included white-coated medics in plain view. A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel,” it said.

“Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished,” the report added.

According to The Times, the bullet that killed Najjar also injured two other medics.
Too Big to Fail? How UNRWA Fails the Palestinians — and the World
To the consternation of many, the US government will no longer provide $350 million a year to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the Trump administration says that it may cut more money for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some analysts and pundits claim that this decision will cause more hardship and violence in Gaza and the West Bank, and plunge other areas of the Middle East into unrest. This is unlikely to occur.

The prophets of UNRWA’s impending doom underestimate its political usefulness. UNRWA, which was founded in 1949, is simply too valuable a political asset to fail. Its existence guarantees that Palestinian refugees and the contested right of return remain a generational and prioritized political fixture in international fora. Consequently, Arab and other states use the demise of the Palestinians to generate political capital by lambasting Israel for its subjugation of the Palestinians, and for instigating a “humanitarian disaster” in the Gaza Strip.

These states have a vested political interest in UNRWA, and there are already early indications that the EU, Ireland, Jordan, and Germany will pledge further support to make up for the current budgetary pitfall.

Much of UNRWA’s and its backers’ achievement in generating this political capital derives from their strategic interest to maintain the Palestinian right of return, and the Palestinian refugee, on the international political agenda. Former Commissioner-General to UNRWA Karen Abu-Zayed has stated that “Palestine refugees are the focus of the Agency’s thinking, planning and activities. Promoting their interests as individuals with rights and entitlements under international law and ensuring their well-being and long-term human development are the engines that will continue to drive all aspects of UNRWA’s activities.”

What is surprising is how UNRWA has ingeniously manipulated commonly accepted international humanitarian law and the 1951 UNHCR Convention definitions of a refugee. Why? Because by changing the definition of a Palestinian refugee, they have ensured that the Palestinian refugee issue can never be solved. This has turned UNRWA’s original temporary relief mandate into a quasi-governmental and permanent political fixture in the West Bank and Gaza.

  • Monday, December 31, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
According to Palestinian media, some 500 members of Fatah were arrested in Gaza over the past day.

Apparently, Hamas doesn't want to see a major celebration of the 54th anniversary of Fatah's first terror attack, on January 1, 1965.

But why should arrests of hundreds of Palestinians be newsworthy? When Israel can't be blamed, it is just another Monday.

Here is the official Fatah video celebrating the anniversary. It isn't exactly peaceful.

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  • Monday, December 31, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

One of the themes of this site is that Palestinian leaders aren't interested in building a state, but in destroying one.

One of the biggest proofs for this can be seen in the annual statistics of the Palestinian Authority presented today.

42% of all "Palestinians who live in the State of Palestine" - their words - are "refugees."

If they are Palestinians and live in the "State of Palestine" then how can they be considered "refugees?"

That's over 2 million people who live in their own country but are counted, by the UN as well, as being "refugees." And they get free medical services and housing and schooling, paid for by the world, even though they should be treated exactly as any other Palestinian Arab under the PA.

Because they don't want to live in "Palestine" but to move to Israel where they can make it another Arab state.

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If Not Now tweeted this graphic:

So the original name for the areas is meant to erase the history of the one that came thousands of years afterwards. 

Beyond the stupidity of that assertion, the West Bank is a Jordanian name, not a Palestinian name. (The term was not consistently capitalized until after the Six Day War.)

Even the UN referred to Judea and Samaria when talking about the area, e.g., the UN partition plan of 1947 saying "The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River at the Wadi Malih south-east of Beisan..."

The format of this infographic indicates that IfNotNow has an entire series of them that they were planning to tweet daily.  But the derision they have received for this one may make them bury the rest of them. Too bad! Debunking them is one of my new favorite hobbies.

I'm still hoping against hope that they say that the name you should use is Al Quds instead of Jerusalem.

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

  • Sunday, December 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Arab Times Online:

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 27: The parliamentary Interior and Defense Committee on Thursday rejected the proposal to grant Kuwaiti citizenship to non-Muslims in accordance with Article Two of the Constitution which stipulates: “The religion of the State is Islam and Islamic law shall be the main source of legislation.”

The Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee previously approved the proposal on grounds that the Nationality Law contravenes Article 29 of the Constitution stating, “People are equal in human dignity, public rights and obligations before the law.

There shall be no differentiation between them due to race, origin, language or religion.” The committee then referred the proposal to its interior and defense counterpart.

Interior and Defense Committee Chairman MP Askar Al-Enizi confirmed that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah attended the meeting, during which he voiced the government’s rejection of the proposal on the same grounds while noting that this situation is similar to what happened in the 1981 National Assembly.
I must have missed all the angry op-eds and embassy protests over the past few days about this racist law from outraged Westerners who care deeply about injustice in the world.

(h/t Andrew)

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Nearly six years ago I gave a lecture at Yeshiva University on how to answer anti-Israel arguments. Since the lecture was over an hour and twenty minutes, I decided to break it up into 20 sections, one each to answer one popular anti-Israel argument.

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

Ruthie Blum: Ill-Boding News for Israel’s Enemies
Netanyahu’s and Norkin’s words were not only directed at the new group of fighter pilots tasked with keeping Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, from attempting to annihilate the Jewish state. The joint message was also aimed at Tehran, Damascus, Beirut, and Moscow.

The verbal warning was as clear as Tuesday night’s military one: that Trump’s exit from the region does not signal the onset of Israeli defeatism. If anything, it bodes even more ill for Israel’s enemies.

One indication that those enemies are getting the picture is Syria’s response to the airstrikes. This took the form of a letter of lament to the United Nations, stating that “Israel’s continuous aggressive policy is possible due to the unlimited and consistent support of the American administration.”

Ironically, the Syrian Foreign Ministry lodged this complaint on Wednesday, just around the time that Trump was paying a surprise visit to US troops in Iraq. There he explained why he will be withdrawing all American soldiers from Syria and half from Afghanistan, yet leaving those stationed in Iraq where they are. He intimated that having a US presence in Iraq would serve as a bulwark against Iran, while also enabling a swift ground re-entry into Syria, if necessary, or airstrikes from the very base where he was addressing the troops.

Coming as it did on the heels of Israeli military actions, Trump’s statement was the only encouraging communication about the Middle East to emerge from the White House in the past week. That the administration in Washington did not issue a statement about Tuesday night’s IAF raid indicates tacit American approval, if not outright coordination.

JPost Editorial: How will Trump's address in Iraq effect Israel?
This dovetails with Trump’s Iraq visit. The US President could have made this part of a larger trip, going to Baghdad and Erbil to meet essential Iraqi leaders, and then to Turkey, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel to show that the US may be leaving Syria, but the US is not leaving the Middle East. Instead this visit was a US-only visit. It took place in Iraq, but at a US airbase. Therefore it was designed for a domestic American audience, but the Middle East paid close attention to Trump’s words.

Trump said ISIS was mostly defeated, and that the US would remain in Iraq to prevent a resurgence. “We are putting America first for the first time in a long time,” Trump said, arguing that the US would no longer be suckers, paying for foreign wars. He said the Syria conflict demands a political solution, and that Saudi Arabia and Turkey might be part of that. He argued that the US would withdraw in an orderly manner from Syria “while maintaining US presence in Iraq to prevent ISIS resurgence and protect US interests, and also to always watch very closely over any reformation of ISIS and also to watch over Iran. We’ll be watching,” Trump said.

The comments about Iran are part of a larger US policy that began with Trump’s decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal and continued with sanctions applied this fall, particularly in November. However Iran appears to be on a charm offensive in the region. Its president was recently in Turkey, and it is working with Ankara and Moscow to form a constitution committee for Syria. It also attended the Doha Forum. In each instance, Iran seeks to show that it is an influential country, and it pairs its visits with jibes at Israel. Recent comments by Turkey’s president against Israel, even comparing Israeli actions against the Palestinians to the Holocaust, paired with Iran’s comments and Russia’s criticism, show that Israel may be in for rough sailing ahead. Israel has improved some relations in the Gulf but Turkey and Iran are two of the most important and powerful countries and economies in the region. The warmth their leaders show is a threat to Israel, as is Iran’s presence in Syria and its growing influence in Iraq. Confabs like the Doha Forum also isolate Israel as Jerusalem has no presence at them, even as Qatar still claims to play a positive role in the peace process.

Now is the time to have a serious conversation with the US about its Middle East strategy. Trump wants to put America first. The US is increasing its defense budget which is good for Israel because of defense connections between Israel and the US. But a reduced US presence in the region is not helpful in the long term.
Hamas at 31: As Committed as Ever to Israel’s Destruction
Making no effort to disguise its ultimate goal of establishing a Palestinian state on Israel’s ruins in the entirety of what was once Mandatory Palestine, or its categorical rejection of the idea of Jewish statehood, Hamas draws comfort from the deafening aloofness of the international community to its genocidal vision and activities.

Thus, for example, the glaring failure of the UN to condemn Hamas’ countless war crimes over the years — be they firing missiles and rockets at Israeli civilian population centers, or straightforward terror attacks — has reinforced the organization’s belief that its terrorist actions are considered legitimate by the international community and carried out according to the “rules of the game.”

Hamas is keenly aware that the schism between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip complicates its ability to pursue its strategic goals, and Haniyeh’s statement criticizes Fatah for undermining the attainment of national reconciliation that will enable Palestinians to resist the “Zionist occupation.” In Hamas’ view, Zionist machinations against the Palestinians continue apace, including “the Judaization of Jerusalem and the West Bank, the killing of hundreds of Palestinians, the wounding of thousands, and the incarceration of still other thousands.” By way of countering this “aggression,” the statement boasts, Hamas has carried out numerous “acts of resistance,” including “dozens of shooting operations as well as hundreds of stabbing, car ramming, and Molotov cocktail attacks that killed and wounded the enemy. This is how we continue the resistance.”

Haniyeh concludes his statement by reiterating the main precepts of Hamas’ vision, notably the establishment of a Palestinian state with all of Jerusalem as its capital, the continuation of “armed resistance” against Israel, and the rejection of the Jewish right to statehood. On its 31st anniversary, Hamas thus remains as committed as ever to its genocidal worldview: “Jihad is jihad. Either we triumph or die as martyrs.”

  • Sunday, December 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Times of Israel reports:
Israel welcomed some four million tourists over the course of 2018, breaking a new record, the Tourism Ministry reported this week.

This year saw an increase in tourist arrivals of 13 percent compared to 2017, and 38% compared to 2016, while tourism revenue exceeded NIS 24 billion ($6.3 billion), according to the ministry.
I found the statistics from previous years and the rise in tourism is stunning:

You can see the impact that BDS has had on tourism!

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  • Sunday, December 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss writes an essay about the joys of celebrating Christmas with his Christian wife, and how proud he is of the IfNotNow members who disrupt Birthright tours, and then:

Over the years, some Christians have said to me, Stop thinking that you’re Jewish, it’s neurotic. But I’ve not been able to do that, or anyway I never tried. I don’t like the entitlement and the Israel lobby, but I believe in tribe, and at some level I clearly love my group and thank it for cultivating traits I cherish, reading and intellectual detachment. A good number of my closest friends are Jewish, and I am taking Hebrew for the first time in 50 years, so as to study what the supremacists say in Israel.

My Judaism is anti-Zionism. That’s the spiritual challenge that has propelled me and this site. My social/political identity is Jewish; and my Jewish chore is clear. Being Jewish means helping to free my group and the world of the historic trauma that generated religious nationalism and all its evils. 
Needless to say, there is nothing Jewish about Phil Weiss.

His entire spiritual and religious existence is centered on hating Israel.  So much so that when he finally decides to learn Hebrew it is not to connect to the rich Hebrew literature that has been the backbone of Western civilization - but to attack Jews.

He is a believer - but his belief system is not Judaism. Philip Weiss' religion, loosely defined, is hate. It is the opposition to Jewish nationalism, Jewish self determination and Jewish pride.

It is laughable that he claims to have intellectual detachment. When every single article he writes is a crazed attack on Israel - which is no worse than any other country, and better than most, especially given the circumstances of being in a state of war for 70 years - you can be sure that there is no intellectual honesty nor detachment from Weiss.  His own words, calling his anti-Israel crusade "spiritual," contradicts his smug pretense of intellectualism.

It is almost pitiful that Weiss feels that he must call his bizarre, perverted belief system his "Judaism." He is not willing to throw away his Jewish identity just yet. Maybe he clings to his pretense of Jewishness in order to give moral authority to his anti-Israel screeds, or he really has a "pintele yid" that nags him about his obsession with destroying the Jewish state.

Let me absolve him of that nagging.

Phil, there is nothing Jewish about you besides for perhaps your nose. There is no Jewish philosophy you can point to over two thousand years that remotely resembles what you absurdly call your "Judaism." Your own worldview is based on the negative - negating religious Jewishness, negating Israel, negating Jewish heritage. It is enshrining hate. There is nothing positive you bring to the table. The things you claim to love about Judaism are plentiful among Christians, atheists and others.

Don't pretend to be Jewish any more. Accepting the truth that you are a vicious hater will set you free to attack Jews and Israel with all your spiritual might.

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  • Sunday, December 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From The Forward:
Manny’s, a new business in San Francisco’s Mission District, is part cafe, part bookstore, part political event hall. Owner Manny Yekutiel, a 29-year-old rising star in the world of liberal political organizing, calls it a “civic social gathering space.”

It’s hosted incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, activists with Black Lives Matter — and on the sidewalk outside, protesters upset because Yekutiel is a “Zionist gentrifer.”

“Zionists out of the Mission!” one marcher yelled on Wednesday, Dec. 26, as about 20 members of the Lucy Parsons Project and allied groups gathered outside Manny’s.

The self-described “radical black queer direction action group,” named for an early 20th century Latina anarcho-communist labor organizer, has protested at Manny’s every Wednesday this month, and says it will continue protesting every Wednesday until Manny’s is “shut down.” The Project only has about 300 Twitter followers, but among the protest’s supporters is a local rapper, Equipto, with 14,500 followers.

This reporter tweeted at the Lucy Parsons Project on Thursday asking for an interview and was promptly blocked. (The group tweeted on Dec. 21, “We Proudly Block all Zionists.”)

None of the events at Manny’s have concerned the Middle East. Instead, the protesters are targeting Yekutiel for his personal support for the existence of the Jewish state.

The Lucy Parsons Project claims that Yekutiel is furthering gentrification in their neighborhood and criticized him for posting things like “Happy 70th Birthday Israel!” and “I am so proud of Israel and its people” on his personal Facebook page. They also wrote that he is “pinkwashing and blackfacing his gentrification and Zionism” by bringing in minority and LGBT guest speakers. (Yekutiel is also gay.)

Yekutiel is renting his space from the Mission Housing Development Corporation, a local not-for-profit affordable housing development company that owns the 28-unit family apartment building that the ground-floor commercial space is attached to. “100% of [Manny’s] rent goes back into the building, and pays for residential and community services,” Mission Housing executive director Sam Moss told the Forward.

The 5,000 residents across the Mission Housing system also get to go to Manny’s events for free and get discounts on food. Moss said the neighborhood is safer now that Manny’s has replaced the failing restaurant that used to occupy the space.

The protesters have claimed that “no one in the poor/working class brown community asked him to open this gentrifier space.” But according to Moss, that’s not true. More than a dozen neighborhood community leaders came to him gushing about Yekutiel before Moss met him for the first time, he said.
Here is the first tweet from the Lucy Parsons Project laying out their reasons for protesting Manny's:

There have been other more recent tweets about "gentrifier Zionists" and "Zionist gentrifiers:"

The emphasis on "Zionist gentrifiers" shows that this isn't about Zionism or gentrification - but about Manny being a Jew. (Other tweets call Manny's a "settler outpost" in San Francisco.)

The Lucy Parsons Project also consistently refers to white people as "mayonnaise."

While prominent liberals are embracing Manny's and ignoring the protests, one wonders if they will call out the protesters for what they are: black racists and antisemites. 

Or are they too afraid to do that given that the only bigots here happen to be gay and black, and it is too frightening to attack those who win on "oppression" points?

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Saturday, December 29, 2018

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The elephants of antisemitism in the European room
These progressives overwhelmingly link antisemitism to attitudes they consider to be “right-wing”, anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant. Accordingly, their chief European bogeyman is Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban. He is widely deemed to be antisemitic, largely because of his campaign against the Hungarian Jewish financier and proponent of open borders, George Soros, and Islamophobic because of his policy of keeping Muslims out of Hungary.

Yet the countries where the survey’s respondents said antisemitism had increased “a little” or “a lot” were the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Sweden (increases of 24, 21, 14 and 11 percentage points respectively over the past six years). By contrast, in Hungary the share of respondents actually decreased (by 21 percentage points).

In Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the share of respondents who said they had considered leaving the country due to antisemitism increased by 19, 17 and 11 percentage points respectively. In Hungary, the share went down by eight percentage points.

More than 70 per cent of respondents in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands considered expressions of hostility to Jews in the street and other public spaces a “very big” or “fairly big” problem; but fewer than half of Jews in Poland, Hungary and Denmark expressed such concern.

These three countries have all taken harsh measures to restrict Muslim immigration and activity. Coincidence?

The resurgence of antisemitism in the west is a symptom that it is in existential trouble. The evidence of just how much trouble it is in is that so many in the west fail correctly to diagnose it.
At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, why do prominent black anti-Semites get a pass?
If anything, you’d think that black Americans might choose to walk a mile in Jews’ shoes. The two ethnicities, after all, share a common bond of persecution.

Yet, as conservative commentator Larry Elder, himself a black man, pointed out in 2002, a survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League “found blacks three to four times more likely than non-blacks to be anti-Semitic.” He continued:

Black Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., urges America to rethink its support of Israel. Reverend Jesse Jackson, who once called Jews “Hymie” and New York City “Hymie-town,” now demands that George Bush ensure the safety of Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat.
Trending: The first liberal vulture circles, slams Ruth Bader Ginsburg for not resigning before now

The Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan recently likened the “plight” of black Americans to that of the Palestinians, noting blacks “were in the same position.” Farrakhan also exaggerates the Jewish role in slavery, and once called Hitler a “great man” and Judaism a “gutter religion.”

This was before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, a student of critical race theory whose admitted mentor was a devoutly anti-Semitic preacher. None of this of course prevented him from being sworn in as the nation’s forty-fourth president.

All of which leads back to the title question of this post, which arose for me following the recent publication in the the New York Times’s Sunday Book Review of an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.
Douglas Murray: UK Welcomes Extremists, Bans Critics of Extremists
In November, it was reported that the Pakistani Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, was unlikely to be offered asylum by the British government due to concerns about "community" relations in the UK. What this means is that the UK government was worried that Muslims of Pakistani origin in Britain may object to the presence in the UK of a Christian woman who has spent most of the last decade on death row in Pakistan, before being officially declared innocent of a trumped-up charge of "blasphemy".

One person who has had no trouble being in London is Dr Ataollah Mohajerani, Iran's former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Mohajerani is best known for his book-length defence of the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against the British novelist Salman Rushdie.

This week we learned that the UK government has allowed in a man called Brahim Belkaid, a 41-year old of German origin, believed to have inspired up to 140 people to join al-Qaeda and ISIS. His Facebook messages have included messages with bullets and a sword on them saying, "Jihad: the Only Solution".

It is almost as though the UK government has decided that while extremist clerics can only rarely be banned, critics of such clerics can be banned with ease. The problem is that the trend for taking a laxer view of extremists than of their critics keeps on happening.

  • Saturday, December 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Arutz-7 reports:
Israel's Foreign Ministry lodged a protest after Jordan's Information Minister and Government Spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat was seen stepping on an Israeli flag.

Ghunaimat had trampled on the Israeli flag during a visit to Amman's trade union headquarters, where a Jordanian government meeting was held.

The trade union headquarters in Jordan stuck an Israeli flag at the entrance to its offices, inviting passersby to step on it on their way inside, a deep insult in the Arab world.

Prime Minister Omar al-Razaz entered the road through a side entrance, thus avoiding the Israeli flag.
More than one minister, as well as the mayor of Amman, deliberately stepped on the Israeli flag painted on the floor.

 Al-Razaz's decision to avoid stepping on the Israeli flag has angered Jordanians. Here he is going in through the side door.

Members of the trade union and Jordanian media were upset at their leaders that allowed Al-Razaz to enter through the side door, wanting them to force him to publicly renounce Jordan's ties with Israel.

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Friday, December 28, 2018

From Ian:

Dr. Martin Sherman: Palestine: What if the Six-Day War never took place?
If the “West Bank” was part of the “Hashemite Kingdom” up to 1967, how did it suddenly become the Palestinian Arabs’ long-yearned-for homeland which, up until then, they were submissively willing to cede to an alien potentate?

Not since the time of Dr. Goebels [Head of the Nazi Propaganda Machine] has there ever been a case in which continual repetition of a lie has born such great fruits...Of all the Palestinian lies, there is no lie greater or more crushing than that which calls for the establishment of a separate Palestinian Arab state in the 'West Bank'... - From “Palestinian Lies” in Ha’aretz, 30-7-76, by former far-Left Meretz Education Minister, Prof. Amnon Rubinstein.

As the new elections approach, the “Palestinian problem” is once again likely to dominate much of the inter-(and intra-) party debate. In many ways this debate is entirely superfluous. After all, a simple mental experiment will suffice to strip away the veil of mendacity shrouding the Palestinian Arab grievances against Israel.

Imagine for a moment…

To demonstrate this, imagine for a moment that the 1967 Six Day War, in which several Arab armies marshalled their forces with the undisguised intention to annihilate Israel, never took place. Imagine that Israel had not been compelled to launch a preemptive strike in self-defense to thwart the Arabs’ openly proclaimed aim of total genocide that resulted in it taking over Judea-Samaria (a.k.a. the “West Bank”)—which the Palestinian Arabs now contend is their long-yearned for homeland.

Then ask yourself: If that war had not occurred, where would “Palestine” be?
What Bret Stephens Missed About Trump and Israel
Trump, Stephens complains, “shows no interest in pushing Russia out of Syria. He has neither articulated nor pursued any coherent strategy for pushing Iran out of Syria. He has all but invited Turkey to interfere in Syria. He has done nothing to prevent Iran from continuing to arm Hezbollah. He shows no regard for the Kurds. His fatuous response to Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi is that we’re getting a lot of money from the Saudis.”

Then Stephens asks, “Is any of this good for Israel?” And answers, “if you think that the ultimate long-term threat to Israel is the resurgence of isolationism in the U.S. and a return to the geopolitics of every nation for itself, the answer is more emphatically no.”

Stephens could be right that Trump’s limited pullback, if not full retreat, from the liberal internationalism or “Democratic realism” of some prior administration could be bad for Israel. But there’s a counterargument that Stephens doesn’t mention, let alone rebut, and that is worth considering.

That counterargument is two-pronged.

First, one of the original, profound, and inspiring ideas of Zionism had to do with Jewish self-reliance. The Jewish state would defend itself with its own foreign policy and armed forces, rather than existing at the mercy of, or under the protection of, some foreign colonial power. This is better for the Jews, in part because no matter how closely allied or powerful some foreign country, even America, may seem, in the end those powers have other interests that rank higher than the survival of the Jews. Better for Israel to realize that and act accordingly than to operate under some illusion — a delusion, really — of an American security umbrella. Those of us who have opposed the idea, raised from time to time, of American troops on the Golan Heights or in the Jordan Valley should be similarly skeptical of deploying American troops in Syria for the sake of Israel’s security.
Caroline Glick: Why should Israelis vote if their vote is meaningless?
If, as widely anticipated, Netanyahu and the Likud win in April, he will need to form a coalition with several smaller parties. Although Likud’s natural coalition partners in the right-wing and religious parties have stated that they will join a coalition with Likud even if Netanyahu is indicted, those parties together are polling fewer than 61 mandates out of a total of 120.

If this remains the case after the elections, then to form a government, Netanyahu will need to bring in populist or left-leaning parties. And the leaders of populist parties and center-left parties have signaled or stated outright that they will not join a coalition with Netanyahu if he is indicted.

In other words, by dangling the Netanyahu probes over the heads of politicians like a sword of Damocles, Mandelblit is effectively threatening to nullify the results of the elections if the public doesn’t vote as he and his fellow attorneys wish.

And so we return to the European ambassador’s dim assessment of the European parliament. It works out that European voters agree with him. Since 1999, voter turnout has never reached 50% and it has dwindled from election to election. A mere 42% of voters showed up in 2014.

The Europeans are right. Why vote if your vote is meaningless?

In April, Israelis will choose which party to vote for based on any number of considerations. But in the end, only one central question will be decided on April 9.

Do we want for our votes to matter, or are we prepared to have all aspects of governance dictated to us by unelected bureaucrats governed by unelected lawyers?

Peter Lerner: Election season brings out the anti-Israel trolls
This week the Knesset convened and decided to disperse. It was a decision based on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s understanding that his government would be a lame duck and the looming societal and security challenges requires to restart the system and regain faith in government.

Since the announcement, anti-Israel supporters have come out and claimed that as Israel once again heads for elections, millions of Palestinians ruled by it cannot vote.

This is a claim that is false.

It is a frequent talking point by the supporters of BDS and is raised by anti-Israel online activists as they dub Israel a masquerading democracy. This is a simplistic, populist way of framing the reality on the ground and it is used mostly by those who desire a one-state solution.

Looking carefully at the narrative they are trying to envisage it is important to realize the facts on the ground contradict their own premise. The claim of “occupation,” is not enough to discount the actual Palestinian institutions, functions and representatives, even though their internal Palestinian legitimacy is undoubtedly disputed. Those activists love to ignore the achievements and foundations already laid down for the future Palestinian state.

The Palestinians, as a result of the Oslo Accords, have a self-rule system. They have a Palestinian Legislative Council with 132 elected officials. The legislative council is the Palestinian equivalent to the Knesset. The PLC was established as a provisional parliament with the responsibility of enacting legislations, and oversight over the executive authority. This is the body the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are supposed to vote for, not for the Knesset. The last election took place in 2006, with Hamas winning the election that caused the violent rift between the leadership, peoples and territories, which remains unbridgeable until today.

In the PLC they receive foreign lawmakers and the Palestinian Legislative Council is a member, observer, or partner in different international parliamentary organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and many others. These platforms serve as staging grounds to bash Israel by the Palestinian representatives.

From Ian:

NYPost Editorial: Hizbullah's Tunnels Are a Clear Threat to Israel - and the UN Doesn't Care
Israel will not “accept the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.

Yet it’s the tunnels, all of which were later destroyed, that are of special concern. Built in urban areas, they were surprisingly large and equipped with ventilation shafts and electricity, and they reached at least 80 feet underground. All of them terminated near Israeli population centers.

They appeared designed for use in a future war, when Hezbollah fighters smuggled underground would join operatives infiltrating above ground, backed by missile fire from Syria and Lebanon.

That, as Netanyahu noted, constitutes “a double war crime: It’s targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Lebanese civilians.” It also violates a 2006 UN resolution requiring Hezbollah to remain north of Lebanon’s Litani River.

This week the Security Council debated the tunnels but took no punitive action. Leaving Israel to counter the menace alone.
Jason Greenblatt: The UN must do better to condemn terrorism
On Dec. 6, the United Nations failed to pass a resolution condemning Hamas’s terrorist activities. On Dec. 9, Hamas praised a terror attack that critically injured a pregnant woman Shira Ish-Ran and six other Israelis, calling it “heroic.” On Dec. 12, Shira’s baby, Amiad Yisrael, died as a result of the attack.

The UN General Assembly claims to want peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but it seems to think it can achieve it by defending terrorists. Given the choice between peace and terrorism, the General Assembly has chosen to defend terrorism.

The UN has condemned Israel — a UN member state — hundreds of times. But it has never condemned Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza and terrorizes the people of Israel.

Just a month ago, Hamas fired over four hundred rockets into Israel. It has released hundreds of burning kites and encouraged violent demonstrations. These wanton acts of violence, which have risked the lives of untold numbers of civilians and caused millions of dollars worth of damage, clearly deserve the strongest of condemnations.

On Dec. 6, the United States sponsored a resolution that gave the UN the opportunity to express its condemnation of Hamas for its terrorist activities. The U.S. resolution blames Hamas for firing rockets into Israel — a clear and blatant act of terrorism.

But instead of welcoming the opportunity to denounce terrorism as an indispensable step toward peace, allies of Hamas maneuvered to ensure that the General Assembly maintained its perfect record of silence on Hamas terrorism and chose to side with those who use violence against civilians

Opponents of the resolution altered the rules to require a two-thirds majority — rather than a simple majority — for the resolution to pass. When it came time to vote, a majority of countries voted to condemn Hamas. But 57 countries were willing to stand in support of terrorism and that was enough for the resolution to fail.

Run or block it? IDF film shows Lebanese reactions as cement pours out of tunnel
The IDF on Friday released footage of what it said were people in the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila reacting when an unspecified “liquid,” pumped by the Israeli military into a Hezbollah attack tunnel, flowed out of the opening and into the street.

Hebrew-language media reported that the IDF used cement to block the tunnels, and that some of the individuals seen in the footage responding to its flow at their end of the tunnel were members of the Hezbollah terrorist organization.

In the film, some people can be seen fleeing from the thick substance, while others try to remove it using a bulldozer or stop the spread of the viscous material by dumping rocks to seal the area.

The IDF on Thursday said it had destroyed all of the attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Kafr Kila into the northern Israeli border town of Metulla, but was still tackling such tunnels in other border areas.

The army released photos and video footage that it said proved “without a doubt” that the tunnels were dug from Lebanon into Israel. It also revealed some of its methods to seal the passages — including pumping the “liquid” into the tunnels, which, in some cases, gave away the location of the tunnels’ openings in civilian areas of southern Lebanon.

  • Friday, December 28, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Egypt remains riled up at the article written by Fatima Naoot on December 10 that blames the nation for expelling its Jews.

Historians, politicians and journalists are falling over themselves to "prove" that when tens of thousands of Jews left the country in the 1950s and 1960s, they all left voluntarily or were spies. But Egypt loved its Jews.

This is a lie. Under Nasser, Egypt systematically reduced and eliminated the rights of Jews.

Here is a small part of M. M. Laskier, , Egyptian Jewry under the Nasser regime, 1956–70, published in Middle Eastern Studies, 1995. These sections only deal with expulsions in 1956.

According to official Egyptian documents, four specific kinds of measure directly and radically affected the rights, status and very existence of many Jews in Egypt. These were: police detention; sequestration of businesses and property; explusion from the country; and promulgation of a new statute under which Jews were deprived of citizenship.

Regarding the first category, Article 3, Paragraph 7, and Article 7 of Emergency Law No.5333 of 1954, on the Proclamation of a State of Siege in Egypt, authorized the Military Government of Egypt 'to order the arrest and apprehension of suspects and those who prejudice public order and security'. Under these provisions, hundreds of Jews, without charges against them, were detained, imprisoned or otherwise deprived of their liberty.

According to representatives in Egypt of an important international relief organization, at least 900 Jews had been arrested as of 7 December 1956. Five hundred were interned in the Jewish school at Abbasiyya in Cairo. As of 3 December, 261 of these 500 were stateless; the rest were Egyptian citizens. At the Abraham Batesh Jewish school in Heliopolis, another 42 Jews were detained, most of them women, many of them aged. This group included 19 stateless persons and 23 others. At Les Barrages prison north of Cairo, 300 Jews were detained, half of them stateless; the other half British and French subjects. Limited to the Cairo area, and excluding Alexandria and the smaller, dwindling communities of the Nile Delta, these figures cannot represent the total number of Jews then imprisoned in Egypt. Furthermore, there was absolutely reliable information to the effect that almost all Jewish families in Cairo and Alexandria had been held in confinement at their homes for considerable lengths of time, often without funds, food or other supplies, under surveillance by building concierges invested with police authority to control Jewish tenants under confinement, and supplied with firearms to render this control more effective.

Sequestration and economic strangulation: under the authority of Military Proclamation No.4 'relative to commerce with British and French subjects and to measures affecting their properties' (Journal Officiel, No.88, bis A of 1 November 1956), 19 directives appeared in the Journal Officiel of Egypt. Eleven (Nos. 170-177 and 186-188) overwhelmingly affected the property of Jews. Military Proclamation No.4 appeared under the heading of 'Regime of Sequestration'.

A number of persons living in the United States, thoroughly familiar with the economic structure of Egypt, examined the published lists of 486 persons and firms whose properties were seized under Military Proclamation No.4. They attested that at least 95 per cent of them were Jews.

All in all, it is estimated that between November 1956 and March 1957 assets of at least 500 Jewish-owned firms were sequestered and their bank accounts frozen; 800 more enterprises under Jewish proprietorship were placed on an economic blacklist and their assets frozen. The persons and firms affected by this measure represented the bulk of the economic substance of Egyptian Jewry, the largest and most important enterprises, and the main sustenance, through voluntary contributions, of the Jewish religious, educational, social and welfare institutions in Egypt. The resulting paralysis of these institutions substantially aggravated the uprooting effect of the government's anti-Jewish policies and greatly intensified the pressure for Jews to leave the country.

In addition to depriving owners of their properties and income, the sequestration measures indirectly affected the livelihood of a much broader circle of Jews, those employed by firms placed under custodianship. It was reliably reported that all sequestered firms received instructions to  discharge all employees of the Jewish faith and acted accordingly. Nor was the elimination of Jews from Egyptian economic life confined to sequestered firms and assets. There were other measures, mostly unofficial, which prevented a large, additional group of Jews from earning a living. For example, most Jews had already lost their positions in public companies and many private firms which were not subject to sequestration. At the same time, many Jews in independent private enterprises were prevented from doing business by the denial of trade permits, export and import licenses, foreign currency allocations, and other administrative facilities essential to the continuation of business. As a result, Jews were either forcibly excluded or voluntarily withdrawing from business. Likewise, a steadily growing number of Jewish physicians, lawyers and engineers were, by various means, prevented from practising their professions.

...Egypt's policy of getting rid of its Jewish population was implemented through both expulsion and 'voluntary' emigration. But the two methods were not entirely distinct. It is estimated that as early as the end of November 1956 at least 500 Egyptian and stateless Jews had been expelled from Egypt, not including a considerable number of Jewish citizens of Britain and France. Most of the expellees were heads of families. They were ordered to leave the country within two to seven days. Whereas, in most cases, the individual served with a deportation order was responsible for supporting his family, all members of the family had to leave the country. Thus, this measure indirectly forced out of Egypt several times the number of those who received expulsion orders. However, official deportation orders were by no means the most effective instruments for thorough forced emigration. In fact, around the end of November 1956, direct, individual expulsion orders ceased, only to be replaced by the more subtle, potent techniques of intimidation and psychological warfare against the Jewish population as a whole. Under these pressures and the simultaneous economic harassment of Jews, a much larger and steadily growing emigration movement began. Jews 'voluntarily' obliged themselves, in formal declarations to the authorities, to leave the country and, in the case of Egyptian nationals, to relinquish their citizenship.

Both the formal expulsion orders and the 'voluntary' pledges to expatriate oneself struck Jews of every status - citizens, stateless persons, and foreign subjects alike. All laissez-passer documents issued to them expressly stated that the person leaving Egypt would not be permitted to return, and that they voluntarily renounced all claims against Egypt. More than 20,200 Jews emigrated between 22 November 1956 and 30 June 1957. In all, between 23,000 and 25,000 out of the 45,000 Jews were estimated to have left Egypt. These included more than 6,000 (until June 1957) who left on ships chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) whose headquarters were in Geneva, with funds provided by the United Jewish Appeal.  The ICRC, as we shall see, rendered invaluable service in evacuating Jews unable to pay for their passage as well as in assisting needy Jews still in Egypt.

The emigration, expulsion and flight began on a large scale with thousands of people flocking to the offices of the Rabbinate, consulates, and embassies seeking advice, assistance and means of escape. The port of Alexandria and the airfield at Cairo were jammed with refugees leaving the country. Initially, government officials showed little leniency in customs inspections, arbitrarily confiscating any items which were believed to be of value. The pressure at points of embarkation was so great that there was no time for individual treatment. In the bedlam of this situation, thousands of people left with hardly more than the clothes on their backs.
...Denaturalization (deprivation of citizenship) also affected Egyptian Jews. A long-standing device to achieve 'national homogeneity' had been the Egyptian nationality law of 13 September 1950. On 22 November 1956 this law was amended by a decree-law promulgated by the President of the Republic (i.e. Nasser). Article 1 proclaimed that:  
Only individuals resident on Egyptian territory before 1 January 1900, who maintained their residence until the date of promulgation of the present decree and who are not under the jurisdiction of a foreign state, are Egyptians. 
The legally incapacitating intent and effect of this provision was quite manifest in spite of the camouflaging formulation. First of all, the law could easily be interpreted to mean that if an 'undesirable' individual left the country, even for a brief stay abroad, he thereby automatically failed to 'maintain his residence' until the date of the new law. Through this device, Egyptian citizens of the Jewish faith were easily deprived retroactively of their acquired citizenship.  
Second, an even more dangerous loophole was hidden behind the stipulation of the cut-off date of 1 January 1900. According to informed sources familiar with conditions in Egypt, there was simply no officially valid documentation in existence there which could attest to the residence of persons in Egypt at that remote point in time. Through this loophole, not only were new certificates of nationality denied to undesired applicants, but it was now possible for the authorities to annul existing certificates retroactively. 
 But the 1956 Law did not stop at these stipulations. It went on to impose special disabilities expressly upon Jews alone. Article 1 further stipulated that: Neither Zionists nor those against whom a judgement has been handed down for crimes of disloyalty to the country or for treason, shall be covered by this provision.
To make the intent of this provision clear beyond doubt, Article 1 added that:
No request for the delivery of a certificate of Egyptian nationality will be accepted from persons known as Zionists . . .  
To the best of our knowledge, this was the first instance in the history of law where the concept of Zionism was applied in a nationality statute as a criterion of citizenship and as an indirect basis for denaturalization. Since the law furnished no definition whatsoever of the term 'Zionist', it was obvious that the Egyptian authorities could apply this provision at will to any person of the Jewish faith.

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  • Friday, December 28, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I have been looking at a lot of Twitter threads about whether "white Jews" have "white privilege" or not. People are arguing back and forth but they are missing the point. They'll say that since Jews can pass as white, they have "white privilege."

Yet in all those threads, I didn't see anything about Jews who are identifiably Jewish.

The closest I saw was this:

No, being forced to hide your Jewishness to make it in American or European society is not white privilege. On the contrary, it is a demand to deny your own heritage to avoid being attacked.

No one would demand that light skinned Muslims take off their headgear in order to avoid discrimination - but the maxim "Look British, think Yiddish" demands that Jews do the equivalent.

And if Jews are walking around in fear of random non-Jews treating them differently because they act or look Jewish, then there is no "white privilege" going on. 

There is not much difference between the fear that Jews wearing yarmulkas have outside Israel or heavily Jewish areas and the fear black people have walking around certain neighborhoods. And the same applies to Jews who change their names to sound less Jewish, or who hide away their Star of David jewelry in certain situations. 

If Jews are living in fear of being outed as Jews, then they aren't privileged - they are oppressed.

Here are some stories of daily antisemitism I collected on Twitter yesterday. Anyone who claims that Jews have "white privilege" is referring only to Jews who nobody knows is Jewish.

I've been spit on by  Muslim shopkeepers in liberal San Francisco. And refused service when they noticed my Star of David necklace. Twice.

My cousin was denied a job in Oregon when the restaurant manager noticed that her last name was Schwartz and said “I don’t hire kikes.” In 2015. Luckily we have esteemed “experts” on antisemitism @nytimes to tell us what is and isn’t antisemitic.

PhiL Haggardy @ZealouslyQuoted
San Francisco where they love to hate Jews. Lived there for 5 years wore a Yarmulcha. I've been harassed and attacked, openly on the street no one gave a shit. AT SFSU a friend was attacked by a student for being a jew, the cops didn't care the school didnt care... standard
As one of SFSU's few graduates with a degree in Jewish studies from there (and the only one who wore a yarmulcha and tzittzit) I saw plenty. No one gave a shit. The only ally on the whole campus was the republican club.

๐Ÿ’Ž Donna ๐Ÿ’Ž@DonnaAinMN
Once a tourist was in town, saw my ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ flag in my backpack and screamed at me "free Palestine" in the store! 

On the bus they were talking about deer hunting & unclean meat. They asked me how I cooked deer. I replied "I'm #Jewish I don't eat that meat" 
For the next 6 months total Silence as soon as I got on the bus. This gossip lady told everyone I was Jewish.
-the Jews here (in Minnesota)  hide, cut their hair, pretend they're not Jewish because of threats even in their workplace. Most moved away after #Pittsburgh

Susan @SammdSusan
I wrote about being pulled over for "driving while Jewish" and falsely accused of talking on my cell phone because "you all do that." My phone was in my back pocket. I am orthodox, cover my hair, clearly identifiable. Cop "let me off" after I offered to show him call logs.

ElderOfZiyon @elderofziyon
For me:
People throwing pennies at me and friends when I was a kid
Someone throwing my kipah on the ground
Campus sukkah I built was torn down
Random guy screaming "Christ-killer" as I walked to shul
Arab from Jaffa accelerating as Mrs. Elder was crossing street

(((Israel๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ))) @Ashdod_
I used to go to a private Jewish school and annually, anti semites would threaten my school via bomb threats

Rachel Yadin ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑุฑุงุดูŠู„ ูŠุงุฏูŠู† @27kislev5719
Kids fake sneezing the words "Ah jew!"
Being followed in Frankfort Germany by a guy muttering "Juden raus."
Having a young girl in car car opposite our bus draw her finger across her throat.
A guy doing the "Islamic finger" and shouting "Allahuachbar".

Taylor King @89tailormade
My father legally changed his Jewish last name in his 20’s to the generic “King” to avoid being known as a Jew.
I don’t wear a Star of David necklace. My college was sued for Antisemitism.

(((Thrill Science))) @ThrillScience
Walking on shabbos In #Sunnyvale California the son of the minister at Peninsula Bible Church Cupertino pelted me with a sandwich thrown out of his car window. Police caught him.

(((Nik))) @Nickunfiltered
Having to frequently hear the phrase “Jew me down,” being called a Zionist fuck or Zionist thug on the bus and street for having an Israeli flag on my backpack. Having a first date end abruptly after I reveal I’m Jewish, etc. And I think I’ve gotten off lightly.

Olivia Gordon @OliviaGordon
Given Magen David necklace age 12 but was always too afraid to wear it. Accused at school ‘the Jews killed Jesus’. Friend posted on FB Jews had to expect hatred bc of what Israel has done, and defriended me. ‘Little’ stuff, growing up in v liberal circles in Oxford / London.

Bill Miner, the Gentleman Bandit @OrneryOnion
Fireworks being thrown at my family as we walked to shul.
One synagogue firebombed, one just vandalized (stained glass windows broken)
Having to work on Jewish holidays because I ran out of vacation
Teachers accusing me of "making up holidays"
Hearing the phrase Jewish lightning
(Jewish lightning is insurance arson)
Friends saying they were insulted because they couldn't bring nonkosher meat into house
Cars that have been egged, scratched, and tires deflated.
Asked about horns, called "cheap"/"dirty" Jew
Had to write pro Christian essay in school (sent to principal when I refused)
Missed school to take SAT test (offered ok Saturday, took it on a Tuesday)
"Go back to where you belong" (meaning outside my home country)
I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
We could also include efforts to block Orthodox Jews from moving into areas, as we saw in Mahwah, New Jersey.

(((LPSchulman))) @LauraPSchulman
Just the other day, a woman I met in Deming, NM treated me to a diatribe about how Jews "take care of their own" by siphoning off public funds in order to, in this case, make sure that Jewish nursing homes have necessities in case of disaster.

This doesn't sound too privileged to me.

It should be emphasized that the entire discussion of "white privilege" is based on the flawed assumption that everyone is either an oppressor or oppressed. That is obviously not true - there are Jewish racists, there are black antisemites and black racists like Louis Farrakhan, and every group has bigots even if that group is also victimized by others.  Which means that every group must grapple with its own prejudices, and not lean back and say "I'm only a victim, nothing can be expected from me." 

The false binary of "oppressor/oppressed" is ruining the very valuable discourse of how everyone needs to notice and uproot their own biases. To put Jews in the "oppressor" category is simply a modern form of antisemitism, and just like Jews need to confront their own biases, so do those who are so keen to insist on the fiction of "white Jewish privilege."

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A longish podcast but it really gets going in the second half.

I'll try to summarize:

IfNotNow's example questions are:

The first question presupposes that there is a capital O "Occupation." From the perspective of international law, this is not true.

The definition of “occupation” comes from Hague Convention of 1907:

Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

The Fourth Geneva Conventions do not define “occupation” but set up rules to protect civilians under occupation.

Israel's position is that the land isn’t “occupied” but “disputed." The reason it isn’t occupied is that it had no recognized sovereign before 1967, as Jordan’s annexation of Judea and Samaria was not recognized by most nations.

The Hague definition only applies to parties of the Convention, meaning states.

Hans Kelsen wrote in Principles of International Law in 1952 (before international law was twisted specifically to attack Israel:)

If the territory is not to be considered a stateless territory, it must be considered to be under the sovereignty of the occupant belligerent, which—in such a case—ceases to be restricted by the rules concerning belligerent occupation.

Moreover, Israel has the best legal claim to Judea and Samaria, based on the terms of the British Mandate approved by the League of Nations of the Jewish people’s right to settle in Palestine:

“The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home….”

The League of Nations decisions remain legal under the UN. Since Jordan’s claim from 1949-1967 was illegal, the only valid claim on the land is that of the Jews under the terms of the League of Nations.

Now, this might seem like a cop-out. The Geneva Conventions describes how to treat civilians humanely under occupation, and saying that the areas aren't occupied in a strictly legal sense should not give Israel carte blanche to treat Palestinian Arabs badly.

But Israel has voluntarily enforced the Geneva Convention humanitarian rules in the territories, but never accepted the idea that they are legally occupied – it always maintained they were disputed. This is why Israel feels that building Jewish communities in the territories is legal - with the exception of Hebron, where Jews lived continuously before 1929, all Jewish settlements are in areas that Arabs didn't live, on public lands (sometimes mistakes are made and either those buildings are demolished or the Arabs are compensated, based on Israeli Supreme Court rulings.)

By the way, no one who is serious accuses Israel's Supreme Court of ignoring international law. Their opinions are sober, detailed and publicly available. I have yet to see anyone show how their opinions that allow Israel to act in the territories are in violation of international law.

Beyond these points, parts of the territories aren't occupied for a completely different reason.

In an occupation, the hostile army has complete control over the territory - it is required to set up court systems and enforce existing laws.

By Geneva’s definition:  [T]he Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory

By the Hague’s definition, it requires “boots on the ground”

A good definition of whether territory is occupied is whether the “occupier” can replace the mayors of the cities. Or fire the sanitation workers.

Gaza is certainly not occupied now since there is not a single Israeli soldier there. Neither is Area A,  since the PA has military control over those areas. Israel is not acting and cannot act as the government in those areas.

(People who say that controlling the borders is “occupation” have zero legal basis for their opinion.)

IfNotNow asks about the effect of the Israeli presence in the territories on Palestinian (and Israeli) lives. They only care about Palestinian human rights - but they ignore Israeli human rights.

Before the first intifada, there were no (or few?) checkpoints. Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews were able to simply drive all over Israel and the territories with few restrictions. I once spoke to someone who used to Israeli kosher challah bread in Ramallah, imported Friday mornings to allow settlers to not have to drive to Jerusalem.

All of that changed because of the first and second intifadas, the waves of Arab terror and suicide bombings and bus bombings from 1988, through the 1990s when there were many terror attacks during the Oslo peace process, and then the major wave of terror that happened after the Palestinians rejected two serious peace offers in 2000 and 2001, pushed by Bill Clinton.

All restrictions on Palestinian mobility is a direct result of terror. Israel isn't trying to restrict anyone's human rights, but Israel's main job as a sovereign nation is to protect its citizens. The rights of Israelis to live without being blown up are certainly more important than the rights of Palestinian Arabs not to wait for minutes at checkpoints to ensure they aren't bringing bombs or guns.

No one talks about Israeli human rights. But human rights are human rights to all, and Israel has to find a balance that allows the maximum of human rights for Palestinians without compromising in the security of Israelis. The line is fine, and it moves, based on Palestinian Arab actions.

The Oslo peace process is now 25 years old. Palestinian Arabs have had 25 years to teach an entire generation to live in peace with Israel, and they have done the opposite. Terrorists are heroes, and they and their families are paid salaries by the PLO. Not all Palestinians are terrorists, but polls show that after major terror attacks on Israeli civilians, a vast majority support those attacks. And polls have also consistently shown that even the Palestinians who say they support a two state solution only look at that as a stage before taking over all of Israel. This is the major reason there is no peace today.

Every Israeli government, including the current one, wants to live side by side in peace and security with a Palestinian state (or entity, if you will) that doesn't threaten Israel. No one wants to control millions of potentially hostile people. But right now that is impossible - a hostile independent Palestine in the territories could easily acquire shoulder mounted missiles to threaten all Israeli air traffic, for example. This is not acceptable to any nation.

So the current situation, as bad as it is for Palestinian Arabs, is the least bad situation if you value Israeli lives as well. And when the PA does take security seriously, restrictions on Palestinians are lifted (there used to be far more checkpoints than today.)

IfNotNow hates it when Zionists say "it's complicated." That's because they are invested in a simplistic viewpoint where Israelis are evil and Palestinians are good. That is highly inaccurate, borderline racist and betrays an agenda where Israeli lives are worthless. If Birthright participants want to know the facts, they need to invest the time into understanding both sides of the story.

And Birthright guides must be more than tour guides. Understanding Israeli and Jewish history is not enough preparation to handle loaded questions that presuppose the answers. They need to understand the talking points of Israel's enemies like IfNotNow and know how to counter those arguments.

I'm willing to help.

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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