Saturday, June 30, 2018

From Ian:

MEMRI: Fatah Announces 'National Campaign To Thwart The Deal Of The Century,' Publishes Posters Against The Deal And Its Initiators
Even before its terms have been publicized, the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan, known as "the Deal of the Century," has encountered harsh opposition from the Palestinian Authority (PA), on the grounds that it does not promote peace but seeks to eliminate the Palestinian national identity and the Palestinian state and to topple the Palestinian leadership.[1]Against this backdrop, PA elements have directed personal attacks at the U.S. officials promoting the deal. For example, a statement by the PA Foreign Ministry called Trump's advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner a "political novice who reads history through Israeli eyes."[2] An editorial of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida likened U.S. President Donald Trump to "the last Roman emperor, Nero, who burned Rome down, so that the roads no longer led to it..."[3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida columnist 'Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul called Trump "a disgrace for America and its people," whose "populist policy" is "dangerous" for the U.S. and the world at large. [4]

Harsh criticism against the deal and its proponents was also voiced by Fatah, whose chairman is Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas. Recently the movement announced the launching of "a national campaign to thwart the Deal of the Century."[5] An announcement on behalf of the campaign, which was also posted on Fatah's official Facebook page, stated that its objective is "to clarify the dangers posed by this deal, which is known to be a bad deal, and explain how it can destroy our national cause [by] proposing alternative solutions that circumvent the Palestinian people's eternal rights [in favor of] humanitarian gestures and economic enticements." The announcement states further that the Deal of the Century is an American attempt "to impose [on the Palestinians] the vision of the Israeli occupation state and to end the dream of the Palestinian state and of national independence."[6]

Fatah Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmeh announced that the movement supported the campaign and called on Palestinians to join its activities "on the ground and in the media, and in every language, in order to voice [the protest of the] Palestinian people that will not accept surrender and disgrace."[7] In addition, following the launching of the campaign, Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisin met with the heads of the movement's branches in the West Bank in order to prepare "The March of Refusal of the Deal of the Century,"[8] and also announced that protests would take place in Ramallah on July 2, 2018 against "the American crime of our era."[9]

Melanie Phillips: The hurdles in front of the Trump peace plan
President Trump’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, his attempt at the “deal of the century,” will apparently soon be revealed to the world.

His envoys, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, have been making the rounds in the region to get Arab allies on board. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau has paid a visit to the King of Jordan.

No one yet knows the terms of this deal. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has refused even to talk to the United States about it and has presumptively rejected it sight unseen.

The message he has received, however, is that the days of using such rejectionism to stymie progress are over. If he won’t agree to these terms, the Israelis will have U.S. backing in doing what they need to do to safeguard their security. And the Arab world has indicated that it will raise no serious objection.

Abbas and his camp are in effect being told: “You lost. Now get over it.” So will they?

As has been clear for decades, there are no terms on which the Palestinian Arab leadership can ever accept the existence of the State of Israel.

Until now, the West didn’t believe that. It thought that if only Israel would give more, and then more again, there could be a two-state solution and an end to the conflict.

This merely demonstrated the delusion born of Western hubris that the agenda of everyone in the world is negotiable. It failed to grasp two crucial aspects of the Palestinian Arab story—one dating from the 1930s, and the other going back to the seventh century.

Consider this: Strikingly, the image Palestinian Arabs present to the world systematically appropriates for themselves characteristics of the Jewish and Zionist experience.
Ben-Dror Yemini: The Palestinian paradox: 70 years of perpetuating refugeeism
“The Palestinian side won by a knockout,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, the IDF’s international spokesperson.

Well, of course. That’s the result of the “wait and see” policy. Hamas knows it won’t defeat Israel in the battlefield. But it knew in advance that it would defeat Israel in the global public opinion. Hamas wasn’t the only one that knew that. Any sensible person knew that.

Israel should have made the Palestinians in Gaza, including Hamas, an offer they couldn’t refuse a long time ago. I have repeated this claim, I must say, like Cato the Elder.

Now, Hamas is proposing a hudna. The proposal’s precondition, senior Israeli officials responded, doesn’t meet Israel’s demands. Such foolishness. Not only is Israel failing to initiate anything, it is also rejecting a Hamas proposal.

When Hamas propose something, Israel should first of all say yes, and add that the hudna must be based on the international community’s terms. Does Israel have anything to lose? No.

But Israel, once again, is winning on the Gaza border and suffering a defeat in the global media. That’s what Hamas wanted. That’s what Hamas got. And the admission of senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil, that 50 of the Palestinians killed on May 14 were Hamas members, doesn’t help Israel in any way. We have lost this conflict—not because of Hamas, but because of Israeli foolishness.

Friday, June 29, 2018

From Ian:

In Menachem Begin’s Rise, Lessons for the #Resistance to Trump
No one saw him coming.

Certainly not the nation’s entrenched political class: To them, he was one part clown and one part petty tyrant. They mocked his hyperbolic way of speaking—to him, everything, from his supporters to his family, was very, very great, the best, the most—and warned that if he somehow got elected, it would be the end of democracy. But they didn’t really think he could win, so they continued to campaign at a leisurely pace and rely on the sycophantic media to present their candidate as inevitable.

He, on the other hand, campaigned furiously. Knowing that the press had it in for him, he set up a series of mass rallies all over the country. His fans came out in droves to see him. They were working class folks, and they felt that the elites had pushed them around for too long. In him, they found an unlikely messiah: He wasn’t of them, but he seemed to understand their frustrations and, most important, offer them some sort of nostalgic promise. He could make the nation great again.

Besides, the rallies were such good fun! He was funnier than anyone ever gave him credit for, and he mocked his political rivals mercilessly, commenting on their looks and ridiculing their weaknesses. Still, no one seemed too worried: There was no way, they thought, that Menachem Begin could really win the election.

But on May 17, 1977, he did, sending Israel’s upper crust into a tailspin. Anyone who wants to understand the current American political moment would do well to study Begin, who began his political life as a boogeyman and ended it as one of the greatest leaders in the nation’s history.
Ben Shapiro: How Trump Haters End Up Helping Trump
Perhaps those cheering such extreme rhetoric think they’re doing a world of good. In truth, their hatred for Trump, extended to his supporters, is actually emboldening Trump and strengthening his base of support. Even those of us uncomfortable with Trump’s character aren’t likely to side with Waters or crowds shouting down Cabinet secretaries eating dinner. Nor are we likely to go along with labeling Trumpian immigration policy Nazi-like — particularly without any serious historical references, and combined with on-the-ground activism that sometimes looks like a fair bit like brownshirt thuggery. Last week, George Will called on Republicans to vote for Democrats in order to check Trump — but no self-respecting Republican is going to vote for the people who call them Nazis and who avoid making serious arguments in favor of shouting about Orange Hitler.

The great irony is that Trump is an unpopular president by any objective measure — he’s spent his entire presidency hovering around 40 percent, despite a booming economy and a dearth of foreign crises. All the left would have to do to win over independents and disenchanted Republicans is provide some semblance of stability and decency. Instead, hatred for Trump has driven the left to polarization — and that polarization is forcing the same binary choice that led to Trump’s presidency in the first place. Trump hatred has led to disproportionate, irrational responses that have pushed people into his corner. These unhinged attacks against Trump don’t defeat Trump. They strengthen him.

Caroline Glick: The Grand Bazaar, AMIA and Lockerbie
News coverage of the large and growing anti-regime protests in Iran this week has included warnings by Iran “experts” insisting that the vocal support the protesters are receiving on social media from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is counterproductive.

Israeli and US statements of support for the Iranian people and their desire to rid themselves of the regime that oppresses them will only weaken them, experts warn. But several counter-indications make clear that these warnings should be disregarded.

In 2009, when millions of Iranians took to the streets in the Green Revolution, then-US president Barack Obama refused to support them. Like today’s experts, Obama argued that it would be counterproductive for the US to support the protesters as they demanded the overthrow of the regime that had just stolen the presidential election. Obama claimed that the US is so hated that the regime would use its support of the protesters to discredit the demonstrations.

In the event, Obama’s silence demoralized the revolutionaries who asked again and again why he refused to stand with them. Perhaps more importantly, by refusing to stand for the men and women of Iran who risked death to stand up to America’s bitter enemy, Obama gave Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his henchmen a green light to brutally repress the revolution. Which is exactly what they proceeded to do with nary a whimper of protest from the Obama White House.

  • Friday, June 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I just went to the Rabbis for Human Rights Weekly Torah Portion page, expecting to write a critique of whatever they wrote for this week's parasha.

Previously I wrote about how they called Abraham "cruel" for listening to Sarah and sending Hagar away, downplayed the rape of Dinah and compared Israel's leadership to the Pharaoh who decreed to murder all first born Jews.

But somehow, this week's d'var Torah actually says that Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas-led gangs in Gaza!

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester

The United States’ departure from the United Nations Human Rights Council has provoked great debate. But one thing is certain: in exiting the council, the USA focused the world’s attention on the absurd and abhorrent discrimination against Israel.

The USA correctly identified that too often “human rights” is a guise for savage attacks on Israel and a licence to trigger antisemitism. Tragically, Jews too have jumped on the bandwagon rushing to criticise Israel and distance themselves from the soldiers who protect our borders against enemies who show no sign of wishing to make peace.

This week’s parsha tells the story of Bilaam the man who prostituted his prophetic abilities for kings who wished to attack the Jewish people.

We watch with a mixture of horror and delight as he sets off to curse the Jewish people and finds himself outsmarted by his donkey; a dumb animal whose prophetic instincts surpass his own. As the nineteenth century Biblical commentator Rabbi S. R. Hirsch puts it, “He wants to bring about the ruin of a whole nation with his words, but finds himself forced to concede that his rage is impotent even when directed against a mere animal”(Rabbi Hirsh commentary to Bamidbar 23:22).

Clambering up rocks and hills to look down upon the camp of Israel, Balaam helps us to find perspective on our nation. He describes us as “a people who dwell apart, that cannot be counted among the nations” (Bamidbar 23:9). Rabbi Hirsch explains that the Jewish people will live in its circumscribed territory not looking to show off our power, but rather to focus on our own spiritual mission.

Rashi, sees in Balaam’s prophecies a foreshadowing of our fate, a people whose ancestral roots point to our moral fortitude, a people who must stand alone in defending its moral principles and a people who will outlast their critics (Rashi’s commentary to Bamidbar 23:9).

It takes courage to stand alone. Not every Jew manages it. Commenting on our verse, the nineteenth century head of the Volozhin Yeshiva, the Netziv cites a series of historical examples in which the Jews distanced themselves from their people, traditions and culture to curry favour with other nations. In each case, it rebounded and they ended up rejected by those to whom they sought to ingratiate themselves.

My friend Eli Ovits was an army spokesman before taking over as Chief Executive of Limmud. He told me that Israel’s military rabbinate has ruled that where necessary, military spokespeople should work on Shabbat because the battle of words is an essential element of Israel’s defence.

When Israel is under sustained and unprovoked attack from Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, Jewish Human Rights activists take on a dual role. As ever, we must protect and promote human rights throughout our country, but our human rights agenda must also prioritise defending the right of Israelis to live in safety.

Bilaam warns us that public criticism of Israel is so often uncalled for, undignified, and inappropriate. We must stand united as a people who dwells alone; striving to live peacefully in our historic homeland.
Who knows - maybe he's even saying that the Jews who live in Judea and Samaria should be able to "live peacefully in our historic homeland."

And when he says how counterproductive it is when "Jews distanced themselves from their people, traditions and culture to curry favour with other nations" it sure sounds like he's talking about - Rabbis for Human Rights and similar groups.

The disclaimer at the end of the article notes that this is not necessarily the opinion of RHR. But it is still astonishing, for a group that has readily twisted the Torah to push leftist ideals, to see an article that accurately notes that human rights means human rights for Jews, too.

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From Ian:

If the Palestinians Want Independence, They Will Need to Pay a Lot More for it Now
When the Palestinians turned down peace deals - that would have given them statehood as well as a share of Jerusalem - from Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton in 2000 and 2001, and then an even more generous offer from Ehud Olmert with the backing of George W. Bush, they believed time was on their side. They assumed that eventually the Americans and the rest of the world would force the Israelis to acquiesce to all of their demands.

But that's not the way the Trump team looks at it. As far as they are concerned, Israel's economic and military strength, combined with the declining support for the Palestinians from much of the Arab world - and their focus on Iran, has altered the terms of the conflict. They view the Palestinians as the moral equivalent of a landlord stuck with an overpriced, run-down property that nobody wants.

As Adam Entous wrote recently in the New Yorker, privately, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman compared the U.S. approach to structuring a "bankruptcy-type deal" for the Palestinians. If they expect to get anything from either the Americans and the Israelis, they're going to have to take less than they initially hoped, not more.

The Trump team see the Palestinians' walking away from Barak and Olmert's offers as akin to missing out on a chance to buy Google stock 20 years ago. Much as they would like to get that bargain price they might have had before, if they want independence, they will need to pay a lot more for it now.

Abbas wasted Obama's presidency. Obama was more sympathetic to the Palestinians and more inclined to pressure Israel than any of his predecessors, yet Abbas never even met him halfway and actually undermined his efforts with futile forays at the UN.

The conflict with Zionism has never been about real estate or drawing lines on a map. After a century of Palestinians contesting Israel's right to be there, it's not clear Abbas has the will or the ability to accept a state on any terms. But the sad truth for the Palestinians is that the value of what they are likely to be offered in the future is going down, not up.
David Singer: False Narrative haunts PLO and UN as Trump courts Arab States
Nabil Abu Rudeineh – spokesman for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – has angrily reacted to President Trump’s intensive diplomatic efforts seeking to enlist Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in advancing Trump’s long-awaited “deal of the century” to end the Arab-Jewish conflict. Rudeineh fulminated:

“The American delegation should abandon the illusion that creating false facts and falsifying history are going to help it sell those illusions.”

Creating false facts and falsifying history has been the province of the PLO and the United Nations (UN) for decades.

The 1968 PLO Charter declared the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1922 Mandate for Palestine and everything subsequently based on them to be null and void.

The United Nations publication “The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem 1917-1988” (“Study”) – published by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People – falsely claimed:

"After investigating various alternatives the United Nations proposed the partitioning of Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish…”

The UN proposal – Resolution 181(II) – actually referred to:
"Independent Arab and Jewish States”…

Resolution 181(II) clearly denied the existence of any distinctly identifiable Palestinian people in 1947 – yet the Study falsified this narrative.

Caroline Glick: Erdogan's Win Means U.S. Must Cancel F-35 Sale to Turkey
When Erdogan indirectly accused the Obama administration — which went out of its way to embrace and support him – of sponsoring the failed coup of July 2016, Turkish public opinion was already primed to believe him. Since the coup — which was defeated by Erdogan’s shock troops — U.S.-Turkish relations have gone from bad to worse.

As he has cultivated hatred for America at home, Erdogan has gone to great lengths to cultivate closer ties to Russia. Russia has supported Turkey’s assaults on the Kurds in northern Syria. And Turkey has signed a deal to purchase Russia’s S-400 surface to air missile system. The latter deal lit every possible red light in Washington. As a NATO ally, Turkey is required to purchase systems that are interoperable with NATO platforms. The S-400 is not interoperable. Moreover, if Erdogan chooses to, once he receives his order of 100 F-35 combat fighters, he will be able to share the stealth technology with Russia and China and thus endanger the viability of the U.S.’s fourth-generation jetfighter.

Moreover, given his strategic ambitions, there is every reason to be concerned that Erdogan will deploy his F-35s against U.S. allies.

Cognizant of Erdogan’s anti-Americanism — which, among other things, is manifested in the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson on trumped up charges of involvement with the coup attempt — earlier this month the Senate overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill for 2019 that bars the Pentagon from carrying out its deal with Turkey to sell Erdogan’s regime the F-35s.

Last week, the U.S. officially transferred the first two aircraft to Turkey. To a certain extent, the plane delivery was more apparent than real. The planes were transferred from a base in Texas to a base in Arizona, where Turkish flight crews and ground operators are being trained to use them. The training could last for as long as the U.S. wishes. And until it is completed, the F-35s will not be transferred to Turkey.

But the fact that they were formally transferred the week before Erdogan was elected the all-powerful neo-Ottoman leader of Turkey makes clear that the U.S. government has either not come to terms with the reality of Erdogan’s Turkey, or that it has come to terms with reality, but hasn’t figured out how to deal with it.

  • Friday, June 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I found this video, just released by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, to be pretty pathetic in its attempt to intimidate Israel and recruit more fighters.

It starts off with two shots of the terror army sort-of marching.

But it didn't look like there were too many people there, so the videographer took the same footage, and created a mirror image to make it look like there twice the number of fighters!

And then back to the first! Speeding them up so they look like Keystone Kops!

The entire video is of boring scenes of the terrorists shooting at things and setting up an RPG. But the music and third-rate editing try to make them look somewhat threatening.

The last thirty seconds is literally watching the terrorists standing around as the video editor tried to make things look and sound dramatic.

I miss the days of the terrorists jumping through flaming hoops.

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  • Friday, June 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

The International Conference on Question of Jerusalem was held in Rabat, Morocco, this week, with an assortment of the usual anti-Israel speakers and Palestinian apologists.

A talk about the legal status of Jerusalem by Ziad AbuZayyad, a former PA minister, highlights the absurdity and bias that passes for scholarship at the UN.

After slyly saying that Jerusalem was founded by Canaanites and then "occupied" by King David, he jumps through legal hoops to pretend that "Palestine" has a legal claim to Jerusalem and Israel has none:

To conclude, the status of Jerusalem under the international law is still defined and ruled by the UNGA Resolution 181 as an area of non-sovereignty, under international supervision.

...All Israeli measures in city are null and void.

Palestine has a valid claim to sovereignty over the city based on the fact that under the Ottomans and during the British Mandate, Jerusalem was an integral part of the territory of Palestine and was
its administrative capital. Palestinian Arabs were the overwhelming majority of the population until the Jewish immigration altered the  demographic structure of the city.

On the other hand, the Israeli claim to sovereignty over Jerusalem has no basis in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 since the resolution never envisaged that Jerusalem would form part of the proposed Jewish state, but a corpus separatum subject to international regime.

UNGA 181 is not international law, and to say that Jerusalem is legally under the rule of the UN when the UN never ruled Jerusalem is completely absurd.

His claim that Palestinians have a claim to Jerusalem because Jerusalem was in the "territory of Palestine" (a meaningless phrase) is 180 degrees wrong. His argument is that Palestine was controlled by the Ottomans and British and therefore the Palestinians should control it now. But Israel is the legal successor to the British Mandate - Israel took over all the institutions in Palestine. Therefore, according to his own logic, Israel is the rightful owner of Jerusalem.

The "Jewish immigration" that gave Jews the majority of Jerusalem since the 1860s or so was pre-Zionist. It showed which group of people cared about the city. That argument is twisted and ahistorical.

Saying that the Israeli claim to sovereignty has no basis in UNGA 181 is correct. Neither do any Arabs. And UNGA 181 is not international law. And the Arabs rejected it anyway!

But if the Palestinians do now pretend to accept UNGA 181, it means that they lose Bethlehem as well. And it also means that they accept that Israel is the Jewish state, since that is how it was referred to in 181.

Now they are using an irrelevant resolution that they oppose on principle as a legal basis of taking Jerusalem away from Jews.

And that is the point. It isn't to fight Israeli claims on the holy city, but Jewish claims.

This is the quality of "scholarship" one can hear at a prestigious international conference under the auspices of the UN.

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  • Friday, June 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

The new article in The Atlantic, Jared Kushner’s Middle East Fantasy by former Obama administration Philip Gordon and Prem Kumar, is fascinating - but not because of their analysis.

They argue that the Kushner interview in Palestinian newspaper Al Quds shows that he is hopelessly naive or, as they say, deeply cynical.

They say that, based on this interview, Kushner is suffering from a series of fantasies:

The first fantasy is the notion that the obstruction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas—who refused to meet with Kushner on his latest trip—can be countered by taking the peace plan “directly to the Palestinian people.” Kushner suggests that Abbas is avoiding him because he’s “scared we will release our peace plan and that the Palestinian people will actually like it.” That’s not likely. Abbas is indeed unpopular with most Palestinians—his approval rating hovers just above 30 percent—but it’s hardly because he’s too hardline on Israel. In our own extensive discussions with Abbas and his negotiating team as White House Middle East advisers during the Obama administration, we found them deterred most of all by the fear they could not sell further concessions to their people, who were seething about years of continued Israeli settlement expansion, land confiscation, and increased limits on Palestinian movement.
Did it never occur to these "experts" that Abbas was using his people as an excuse not to make peace, and that in fact the people want to end this useless situation already if only he would accept a couple more of Israel's security demands? If there was peace, Abbas would actually have to govern - balance the books, no longer rely on foreign aid for nearly everything, actually build institutions on his own instead of relying on European NGOs. But a long as he keeps refusing any peace offers, he keeps what he wants - Palestinians in the headlines, occasional flare-ups, boundless opportunities to bash Israel.

The biggest proof that Abbas doesn't want peace is his pretending that his people are against it. He never pushed real peace with Israel in any speech, any statement - he only bragged that he hasn't changed the PLO's positions since 1988.

Our "experts" have been fooled by believing Palestinian leaders uncritically instead of using some of the skepticism they dedicate to Netanyahu to Abbas as well.

Kushner’s second fantasy is the idea that he and the administration he represents are better placed to succeed than all their failed predecessors—a goal that seems to animate Trump as much as achieving Middle East peace itself. But while it is already clear that Trump is a terrible dealmaker who has yet to conclude any significant international agreement (the unilateral concessions to North Korea in exchange for a vague pledge to “work towards” denuclearization do not qualify), Middle East peace may be the issue on which he is least well-placed to succeed. While all U.S. administrations have always been closer to Israel than to the Palestinians, they all at least tried to play the role of honest broker in the name of finding some workable compromise, and were seen as necessary partners in the eyes of Palestinians.
How has this "even handedness" worked out so far? And in fact, the Obama administration demanded from Israel far more that they demanded from Palestinians, at least in public - which is where it matters.

Even so, the Palestinians spurned them.

So a new approach is not such a bad idea. The Obama approach failed spectacularly. And yet he still blamed Israel.

The third Kushner fantasy is that the Arab Gulf states, Egypt, and Jordan will help him overcome these major challenges. ...There is no doubt Kushner heard positive words from Arab friends in private meetings on his just-finished four-day trip to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar, before going to Israel. But he should not hold his breath waiting for those leaders to publicly embrace positions on peace that the Palestinians—and the vast majority of their populations—reject. This is especially true on the issue of Jerusalem, where any softening of the Saudi or Egyptian backing for Palestinians would be immediately denounced—and taken advantage of—by their rivals in Iran, Qatar, and Turkey.
It's happening already. These "experts" are not looking at Gulf media. There is a sea change. There is public lip service to Palestinians but the anger at the Hamas/PA split has been growing for a decade. There will always be a reticence to publicly embrace Israel but the pro-Israel tilt of Jordanian, Egyptian, Saudi and Bahraini leadership is hard to ignore.

Iran already accuses Saudi Arabia of being "Zionist." It has for a long time. Has it hurt the Saudis at all?

The fourth fantasy is that the Palestinians can be bought off with economic assistance to compensate for political losses. In his interview with the Palestinian newspaper, Kushner suggested that the Trump administration could “attract very significant investments in infrastructure … that will lead to increases in GDP and we also hope a blanket of peaceful coexistence.” Putting aside that the Trump administration has not even made or been able to attract major investments in U.S. infrastructure, which makes one wonder about the West Bank and Gaza, this emphasis on economic issues has been tried unsuccessfully many times before. During the Oslo era of the 1990s, then the 2002 Roadmap for Peace and the Bush administration’s Annapolis process, and finally Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort during the Obama administration, successive U.S. administrations have tried to enhance the prospects for peace by improving conditions on the ground. It is of course laudable to promote much-needed economic development in the West Bank and Gaza, but Kushner should know by now that prosperity will never substitute for political peace. The key issues remain borders and sovereignty; security; settlements and occupation; refugees; and Jerusalem. No Palestinian leader can survive in office by promising economic benefits alone.
The media leaks of the Kushner/Trump plan is far, far more expansive and global than anything the previous peace pushes had. Because they were all thinking in terms of economic benefit only for Palestinians, and not economic benefits to the entire region.

Ordinary Palestinians who have not yet been thoroughly brainwashed by decades of incitement by "peacemaker" Abbas just want to raise their families in peace. Arguably, the biggest reason things are relatively quiet in the West Bank is because some 100,000 Palestinian Arabs work in Israel - for wages that are double what they can make in the territories - and this is a significant part of their GDP.

They aren't the BDSers that Gordon and Kumar pretend they are, based on Abbas' lies about how his people are so radical and are forcing him to reject peace. They want to make money, they want easy access to jobs, they want good schools and hospitals.
Finally, there is the problem that Israelis under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will almost certainly never agree to the sort of deal that would be necessary to make Palestinian or Arab acceptance even remotely feasible. 
This is a non-sequitor. Here is a plan that Netanyahu can almost certainly accept - it is the Palestinian leaders who will reject it. Which they did for the plans that were far more tilted their way. Why blame Netanyahu?

Notice the bias: Palestinians rejecting peace plans is Israel's fault because Palestinian demands and preconditions are reasonable and Israel's are not.

This is not analysis - it is an after the fact attempt to pretend that the Obama vision still has relevance.

Because Gordon and Kumar are dinosaurs. They are so certain that their vision of a two state solution is the only viable one that they are too blind to admit that there is a chance - still remote, of course, but a chance - to build a new Middle East based on shared interests, on Israel cooperating more and more with Arab states, a model that can eventually benefit Palestinians as well.

As long as they continue their rejectionism, the plan is indeed to sideline the Palestinians until the Palestinians themselves understand that they can partake in the new economic boom that can result from closer Israeli ties with the major Arab states. I'm guessing, but I would think that the plan will include Arab states allowing Palestinians to become citizens, and many would take advantage of that to move to the Gulf and enrich the Gulf economy and also to send money to family back home. Saudi Arabia wants to modernize - Palestinians are the least lazy, best educated and most motivated Arabs that can help them out.

Gordon and Kumar are looking at the Middle East through the glasses of their own Obama fantasies, not reality.

From what I can tell from leaks about the plan, it is astonishing in breadth and scope, as well as audacity. We know the Obama methods crashed and burned - why try to make the same mistake dozens of times?

As unlikely as the Kushner/Greenblatt/Trump plan is, it is generating far more interest from Arabs than anything Obama ever did. It is more ambitious. And it correctly looks at the entire region rather than continue the utterly useless Oslo model where the Palestinian leadership is encouraged and rewarded to always reject peace in hope that something better will come along.

In the Oslo days, Palestinians could tell the Arab world to reject any plan not to their liking. And they did, often, to buttress their positions. Those days are very, very numbered - but Western diplomats haven't caught up with reality. The frustration in Palestinian media and leadership with Jordanian and Egyptian deals with Israel, and with Saudi rejection of Palestinian intransigence, is palpable.

But invisible to these "experts."

Think about it - these two former Obama dinosaurs are unwilling to even support a peace plan. Their own plans encouraged terror and intransigence, but anything to them is better than the idea that Trump's team can make peace.

They'd rather have war.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

From Ian:

Ami Horowitz Speaks With Senior Hamas Leader In Wild Interview
In a never-before-released interview, journalist and activist filmmaker Ami Horowitz journeys to the West Bank to meet with a high-ranking Hamas leader to ask him about female jihadists, the Palestinians' mission of "redeeming" all of Israel, and what a man like him does to "relax."

After working through "several layers" of contacts to finally land a meeting, Horowitz traveled to Qalqilya in the West Bank to meet with Abdul Rahman Zedain, the Northern West Bank Commander of the terrorist organization Hamas. Horowitz told The Daily Wire that his contacts said Zedain spends most of his life "underground" because he is a wanted man, and is rumored to be behind the horrific Passover Massacre in Netanya that killed 30 people.

On the drive into Qalqilya, Horowitz asks his driver if where he is going is "really dangerous." His guide answers, "No, no, no," then adds for clarification, "A little bit." As the two approach the place where the commander is residing, the guide tells Horowitz, "Please, whatever you do, don't say you're Jewish." Horowitz doesn't comply.

After revealing that he's Jewish to Zedain's apparent consternation, Horowitz tries to ease the tension by asking the military leader what he does to "relax," to which Zedain replies, "I am a devout Muslim."

Elliott Abrams: The PCUSA Against Israel
In the year 2000 the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) had 2.5 million members. Now it is down to 1.4 million. and the number is still falling. The age profile of members, according to a Pew study, suggests how this happens: 38% of members are 65 or over, while only 8% are under age 29. The denomination is also 88% white, and making no apparent inroads into Black, Asian, or Hispanic communities. But perhaps the members simply lack time to expand, given the time they must dedicate to condemning Israel.

The PCUSA’s 223rd General Assembly (GA) has been meeting, and Israel is one issue that continually attracts the attention of these GAs when they assemble every two years. I think it fair to say PCUSA has shown more hostility to Israel over a longer time than any other denomination. For example, at the GA last week a resolution was passed 393-55 demanding that the real estate firm RE/MAX stop doing business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank or in East Jerusalem. Another resolution asked Israel to be in compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (no similar demand of North Korea, Iran, Cuba, China, Russia, Venezuela, etc etc). Another referred to Israel as an apartheid state. A resolution that would have terminated the church’s reference to Israel as a “colonial project” failed. A resolution against legislation (usually at the state level) that opposes BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) passed. Perhaps worst of all, a resolution on the violence along the Israel-Gaza border was rejected as insufficiently critical of Israel—because it also mentioned Hamas. An amended resolution was proposed that removed all mention of Hamas, and it passed 438-34.
Evelyn Gordon: What School Shootings and Palestinian Terror Have in Common
Last Thursday, Palestinian Media Watch revealed that the Palestinian Culture Ministry proclaimed a National Reading Day in honor of Baha Alyan, a terrorist who murdered three civilians on a Jerusalem bus in 2015. This was just the latest of hundreds of similar examples of the Palestinian Authority’s glorification of terrorists, a practice the international community has been dismissing as unimportant for a quarter century now. Thus, it might be useful for Americans to look at the issue through the prism of a more familiar problem: school shootings. Because, as investigations into the shooters’ motivations reveal, those shootings have quite a lot in common with Palestinian terror.

As the New York Times reported last month, school shootings seem to have become “contagious.” Each new shooter is inspired by his predecessors, and especially by the media attention they receive. In a cellphone video made prior to February’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, for instance, the gunman declared, “I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018 … It’s going to be a big event. When you see me on the news, you’ll all know who I am.”

Similarly, after another gunman killed two people on live television in 2015, one 26-year-old man wrote on his blog, “I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are … Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.” A few months later, that man murdered nine people in a shooting spree at an Oregon community college.

Investigators have consequently concluded that alienated or mentally disturbed young men see such shootings as a way “to get the attention of a society that they believe bullies, ignores or misunderstands them,” the Times reported. And media attention plays a major role in this, according to researchers at Western New Mexico University. As the Times put it, “The role of the media in turning school gunmen into household names and perpetuating ‘the infamous legacy they desire’ can be shown to have inspired additional attacks.”

  • Thursday, June 28, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

There is only so much aid money in the world. And a huge percentage of it goes towards Palestinians who do not need it. (Some do - and UNRWA is not the proper way to help them.)

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.

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Erdoğan and his party obtained a solid victory in the election this week, guaranteeing that relations between Turkey and Israel will get even worse. This is because the Turkish president has a history of anti-Israel rhetoric and actions whenever he wants to stir up his Islamist base or promote himself in the wider Islamic world. It’s not all talk, either, as he provides support for Hamasand is behind anti-Israel subversion in eastern Jerusalem.

Israel had good relations with Turkey before the advent of Erdoğan, just as it did with the other major non-Arab power in the region, Iran, before the 1979 Islamic revolution. But the Islamist ideology does not leave room for a Jewish sovereign state in the region, so neither of the new regimes can treat this “abomination,” in their terms, with anything but hostility. And hating Jews and Israel still plays well in the Muslim Middle East.

Today Israel has better relations with some of its traditional Arab enemies, including actual peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, as well as a lessening of tension with some others, like Saudi Arabia. But even the long-standing peace with Egypt, despite the active security cooperation between Israel and the al-Sisi regime, does not come close to the promises made in the peace treaty, which calls for “cultural exchanges in all fields” and for both sides to “abstain from hostile propaganda.” Egyptians who visit Israel are harassed by security forces, Egyptian artists and academics boycott Israel, and the Egyptian media are full of government-sponsored libels and conspiracy theories about Israel and Jews.

The 1994 “peace” with Jordan is even less “peaceful,” including several violent incidents over the years, including the horrific 1997 murder of seven Israeli schoolgirls by a Jordanian soldier, who is unrepentant to this day. Cultural exchange and Jordanian tourism also do not exist. One of the family members of the murdered girls said that “peace with Jordan is between us [Israelis] and the royal family — not the people or the parliament.”

Saudi Arabia has softened its formerly tough rejectionist policy against Israel in many ways in the past 10 years or so; it has allowed one airline to overfly its airspace on its way to Israel (but not an Israeli airline); it has participated in secret discussions with Israel, Jordan, and the US concerning Iran; and would probably quietly cooperate in an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear project. There have even been a few voices in Saudi media criticizing antisemitism. But as yet there is no reason to see the slight thaw in relations as anything but a very narrow expression of Saudi geopolitical interests.

The Palestinian Arabs are another story. Thanks to several generations of hate education since Oslo, relations with the Palestinians, both in Gaza and Judea/Samaria, have only gotten worse. The recent “knife and car intifada” and the incendiary kite attacks illustrate the degree to which the Palestinian in the street has internalized the hate propaganda that flows unabated from Hamas and the PLO. A young Palestinian man can get up in the morning, go out on the street, and look a Jewish girl in the eye before stabbing her in the heart. Palestinians hate Zionism, they hate Israel, and many of them deeply hate Jews.

But Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and some other Mideastern nations not already irrevocably under Iranian domination can work with us on practical matters, up to and including military cooperation. So why can’t they put aside the antisemitism? I think the answer is the idea, fundamental to Islam, that Jews must be subservient to Muslims. A moderate Muslim may tolerate Jews and treat them well, but Jews ruling over Muslims (or defeating them in war) – well, that’s going too far. So when they see Israel with its powerful army, dominating Arabs, it infuriates them, and reenergizes the traditional “apes and pigs” form of Muslim antisemitism.

What about Europe: why have the advanced nations of Western Europe, supposedly the most socially advanced countries in the world, been so hostile to the Jewish state? Why do they support our Palestinian enemies in so many ways – money, propaganda, lawfare, funding anti-Israel NGOs, UN resolutions, enabling boycotts by requiring labeling of our products? Why do they try to maintain the laughable distinction between antisemitism, which they claim to abhor, and “criticism of Israel” that invariably includes demonization, delegitimization, and double standards? What forces them to take this position?

Is it just fear of terrorism or fear of retaliation by Mideastern oil producers? Is it the desire by officials to gain domestic political advantage with their increasing Muslim populations? All these are true to some extent, but they are not adequate to explain the spitefulness of the public expressions of anti-Israel sentiment that we see in demonstrations or hear from public officials. There is something deeply personal in their dislike of the Jewish state.

There are multiple explanations for Europe’s animus toward Israel. It is an ethnic nation-state, and they hate nationalism. They are embarrassed that many Europeans were complicit with Hitler, and the Jewish state makes it hard to forget. They are still feeling the vestiges of two thousand years of Christian antisemitism. Finally, my favorite: if Israel, the state of the Jews, is as evil as the Reich, then Europeans needn’t feel so guilty about having stood by (or helped) while the Jews were murdered.

Turning to the United States, the political divide is deeper and more painful than it has ever been in my lifetime. Much of the Democratic Party has chosen to carry the Palestinian flag as part of its core ideology, and its potential candidates are competing over who will be more anti-Israel. The present administration is quite pro-Israel, but if and when the other side takes over, I expect that American policy toward Israel will be even more negative than that of the Obama Administration.

Bernie Sanders, one of the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, has taken some of the most extreme anti-Israel positions of any major candidate, more or less adopting the Hamas narrative of the “March of Return,” demonizing Israel for shooting “unarmed protestors,” and even treating the “right of return” for the descendants of Arab refugees to Israel – a call for the end of the Jewish state – as a legitimate demand.

In the US there is no large Muslim population (yet) and no dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Palestinian terrorists have killed Americans, and no country has worked harder to be a good American ally than Israel. And yet, the American Left focuses on Israel as its greatest enemy, going to ridiculous lengths to try to connect Israel with every issue for which they can find resonance. Did an American policeman shoot an unarmed black man? American police officers have attended training programs in Israel, so Israel is responsible! 

This is an interesting example. My son teaches use of firearms to Israeli security personnel. Naturally, great emphasis is placed on distinguishing between armed terrorists or criminals and innocent civilians. What could be more important? One assumes that if an American police officer trained here, he would receive the same training. But according to the Left, the American comes here to learn to be racist, to shoot blacks first, and ask questions later. The accusation is monstrous, but it is commonly made. And believed.

In all of these cases, in the Middle East, in Europe, and in the US as well, antisemitism – or extreme anti-Israelism (essentially the same thing) – is a primary, entrenched motivator for anti-Israel politics (even when the politician in question, like Bernie Sanders, is Jewish).

A consequence of this is that appeals to rational self-interest on the part of our enemies will never bring peace, because they are not rationally motivated. We can relax and just concentrate on being strong enough, militarily, diplomatically, cybernetically, and economically to beat back their attacks. Forever.

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:

Australian Unions channelled millions of dollars to an organisation that employed a terrorist leader
AUSTRALIAN taxpayer funds are being funnelled to a Palestinian aid organisation that has employed and supported a leader of a terrorist group in Gaza.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has given at least $21 million in the past decade to a Sydney-based charity set up by the unions, Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA).

This charity then channelled millions of dollars to the MA’AN Development Centre — a Palestinian organisation that employed a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The revelations have prompted Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to announce an audit of the union funding, understood to have been decided by her department.

PFLP has been on the official terror lists of the United States, European Union and Canada as a result of its hijacking of planes, assassinations and suicide bombings, while Australia has the group on its “Consolidated” list of organisations subject to financial sanctions as a result of security threats.

One of the MA’AN Development Centre’s 36 staff working in Gaza was Ahmed Abdullah Al Adine, 30, who held the job of Project Co-ordinator and Field Monitor since 2012.

Al Adine was also a leader of the PFLP in Gaza until he was killed in border protests last month. The terror group now hails him as a “martyr” and gave him a grand funeral last month, attended by at least a dozen PFLP terrorists.
Caroline Glick: Trump Must Respond to Putin’s Double-Cross in Syria
President Donald Trump will soon meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. When he does, he must respond to a challenge Putin threw down in Syria, on the heels of Trump’s diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea.

How Trump and his administration respond to that challenge will affect not only the future of U.S.-Russian relations, but also Trump’s ability to operate credibly on the international stage. And, more acutely, it will impact the prospect for a major war in the Middle East.

Last July, despite nearly desperate Israeli opposition, Trump and Putin concluded a ceasefire accord regarding southern Syria. Jordan was also a party to the deal.

On Saturday, in a highly destabilizing and contemptuous move, Putin threw the deal into the garbage can.

The deal, the “Memorandum of Principle for De-escalation in Southern Syria” had three main components.

First, it defined the area of southern Syria below Quneitra and Suwayda as an “exclusion zone” for fighters of “non-Syrian origin,” including Iranian forces and their proxies, and fighters linked to al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State.

Second, the deal called for maintaining existing governance and security arrangements in opposition-held areas in southwestern Syria. In other words, it barred the Syrian regime from seeking to retake the border area with Jordan and Israel.

Finally, it called for unimpeded access for humanitarian aid workers and the creation of conditions to allow the 650,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan to begin to return home.
PMW: "With our skulls we are paving the path to certain victory," PA TV host quoted arch-terrorist Abu Jihad
When Palestinians marked the anniversary earlier this year of the death of arch-terrorist Abu Jihad who was responsible for the murder of at least 125 Israelis, a PA TV host quoted the terrorist, encouraging death for "Palestine":

Official PA TV host: "Thirty years since the death as a Martyr of Khalil Al-Wazir Abu Jihad, the First Bullet and the First Stone. On this day we remember what Prince of Martyrs [Abu Jihad] said: 'Our heads will remain in the sky and our feet are planted in the homeland. With our skulls we are paving the path to certain victory and return. The compass will never err and the path will continue to guide towards Palestine.'" [Official PA TV, Good Morning, April 20, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that PA and Fatah leaders have turned terrorist Abu Jihad into a role model for Palestinians. Fatah, for example, recently named a futsal championship after him.

PMW has also exposed that the PA encourages Martyrdom-death, for example a song on PA radio stated that "Palestine is etched on the heart of the fetus, a proud Martyr in his mother's womb," and Abbas' Fatah broadcast this song, asking Allah to grant Palestinians "Martyrdom" in Jerusalem:

  • Thursday, June 28, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Obama administration UN ambassador Samantha Power tweeted:

Either Power is shockingly ignorant or purposely deceptive.

The only Palestinians who deserve "refugee aid" are the ones who have fled within or out of Syria - and that should come from UNHCR, not UNRWA.

There is no reason that the world should fund the education and healthcare of a single Palestinian Arab citizen, who should go to Palestinian public schools and use Palestinian medical facilities. They are not refugees - they are living in the land that they claim as theirs.

There is no reason the world should fund the education and healthcare of the vast majority of Jordanian Palestinians who are full citizens of Jordan. They are not refugees. 

There is no reason that UNRWA should claim 450,000 refugees in Lebanon when nearly half of their "registered refugees" have moved to Europe and elsewhere. 

And, of course, after 70 years there is no reason to maintain a huge bureaucracy that does nothing to actually help "refugees" get settled in their host countries, or anywhere else. 

Moreover, Power certainly knows, there is not an unlimited amount of aid money worldwide. She is implying that maintaining the excellent support Palestinians get from UNRWA is more important than needy refugees in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Myanmar.  

The Trump administration is actually working harder to help Gazans - with the "deal of the century" - than Power and Obama ever did, as they kept sticking to the fantasy that peace in the Middle East is not a regional issue but bilateral. The leaked plan for Egypt would do more for Gazans than Power ever could imagine. 

But to Power, and her fellow dinosaurs who insist they know what they are doing even though they have failed for 25 years post Oslo, Israel is the problem and Palestinian rejectionism is fully justified.

The contrast between Power and Nikki Haley is gigantic, and it shows how the Obama administration hamstrung itself by holding to an almost religious pro-PLO viewpoint that ensured no compromises on the Palestinian side. 

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.
  • Thursday, June 28, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Gaza terrorists posted a video showing a large balloon that they claim can carry burning materials 40 kilometers into Israel.

They put Arabic and Hebrew slogans on the balloon.

There is no legal or moral difference between an incendiary balloon and a rocket.

Keep in mind that these balloons are helium balloons, and Israel only allows helium into Gaza for medical reasons.

Which means that aid is being redirected to terror.

Not that the NGOs care.

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.
  • Thursday, June 28, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Every time a Jew peacefully walks around the Temple Mount - which is virtually every weekday - Arab media freaks out about "settlers storming Al Aqsa" with "provocative tours" meant to "hurt Muslim feelings."

Today, Prince William actually went into the Al Aqsa Mosque, which no Jews ever do, and no one is complaining about "storming."

What is that phrase for when Jews are the only ones treated without the same rights everyone else has again?

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, June 27, 2018

From Ian:

Empress Trudy: Democratic Gamble: Calling People Nazis, the other N-Word
Just like in Nazi Germany, before the Nazis were actually entrenched in their power, it became acceptable to devalue, mistreat, take away jobs and even commit crimes against Jews, after all, they were less than, they were marginalized, they were not to be considered.

Democrats beware, you are perpetrators. The very fact that this week there was more propaganda about Melania Trump's coat than the specific and publicized plan by Peter Fonda encouraging the kidnap, imprisonment, and rape by pedophiles of the President's 12-year-old son should sicken and startle you, unless you're aware of the propaganda Goebbels playbook.

After uttering his dark vision for America, Peter Fonda's tepid apology excusing himself because what he watched on TV indicated that this is what was happening to migrants (which ironically would support separating children from the "pedophile adults" he apparently saw) was considered good enough should have produced outcry, but not surprisingly it didn't, after all he's a Democrat and no dissent is possible. Even when Pat Dussault picked up the hate mantle and threatened Donald Trump Jr.'s four year old daughter Chloe with the promise that "we're" coming for you too, Democrats barely blinked an eye.

On the Holocaust Museum website are commonly asked questions. One was: What happened in Nazi Germany if people refused to participate in atrocities? The site answers: "Germans who refused to participate in atrocities were generally not punished, but risked peer, social, and sometimes professional exclusion or disadvantage."

This is another Democrat method today. People are afraid of being shut down, ridiculed and ostracized (or worse) if they are not Democratic Party loyalists. Campuses are afraid not to bend to the wishes of groups shutting down conservative speakers even as they entertain Democratic party-liners feeding the continued stream of hatred that is the Democratic Party today.

But don't forget what finally happened in Nazi Germany after years of the propaganda, scapegoating and excusing and then encouraging crime against the sub-human enemies of the true Germans, the passage of the Nuremberg laws. This is where the Democrats are headed with their unconscionable, inaccurate and dangerous rhetoric against citizen segments of America who disagree with them and once they're in office making laws out of their hatred of today, America will face the dark, pessimistic hate-filled Democratic platform of today with the power of law behind it.
Another “N” word that needs to be scrubbed
So Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other members of the Trump Administration are being chased out of restaurants while being heckled as Nazis.

Oddly enough, Liberals are featuring Kristallnacht tactics to express their intolerance. Anyone wearing a MAGA tee-shirt is now a target for a Liberal with a grudge.

The mobs want the last word.

Nazis – that’s the word of the moment being hurled by the Left at anyone who supports President Trump, especially] as to his immigration policy.

They’ll be out there with more bullying now that, today, Trump scored a big victory from the Supreme Court for his 7-nation travel ban…inviting even more references to the Nazis.

Which means Americans need to go back to school to learn what the Holocaust was really all about, minus those who actually endured World War II and are still around to tell the story. Unfortunately, that’s a dwindling population. Too few are left. Among them are speakers and writers who usually end up talking to fellow veterans and survivors.

Honest Reporting: Bigoted Columnist: Jews ‘Poisoning the Wells’
The official visit of future British monarch, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, to Israel has, so far, been a very positive event. It’s disappointing then to see British journalist and commentator Peter Oborne using this opportunity to write a nasty anti-Israel piece in the Daily Mail.

It’s disgusting, however to see Oborne spreading blatant antisemitism:

Yes, you read that correctly – Oborne is charging Israeli settlers with poisoning Palestinian wells, which he claims to have personally witnessed.

Shortly following our complaint, the Daily Mail has made a shocking edit to Peter Oborne’s article, adding the words “according to a number of respectable sources” to justify the blatantly antisemitic allegation promoted by Oborne.

The Daily Mail’s reaction is almost as sickening as Oborne’s original offense.

Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem (courtesy Barbara Sofer)

If you want to experience the real Israel, go to the hospital. It’s where you’ll meet all kinds of Israelis, and hear all kinds of Hebrew. But you’ll also hear lots and lots of Arabic, and see and interact with lots of Arab people.
Now it’s easy to stay in an Anglo bubble in Israel. You do it by living in neighborhoods that are mostly inhabited by those from English-speaking countries. Lots of people do it, including this writer. It makes it so much easier to be with people who have the same Western mindset. Living in the bubble also translates to local stores that cater to you and carry the products you remember from the Old Country. Things like Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and real maple syrup. If you like those sorts of things.
Live here long enough, however, and you’ll God forbid be forced to seek medical care. That means stepping outside that comfortable bubble and getting along with others. And since Israel is a melting pot, “others” means people from Russia, Ethiopia, Argentina, Morocco, Yemen, France, and so many other countries.

Not everyone speaks the universal language of English, of course, and not everyone speaks Hebrew, if it comes right down to it. As a result, just about everyone speaks sign language. Not the official kind of sign language for the deaf community, but the kind of sign language people resort to in the desperation of needing to be understood where there is no common language.

Hadassah ICU June 27, 2018 (courtesy Barbara Sofer)
The real shock for the uninitiated, however, is that Israeli hospitals are full of Arabs. I can’t give you the breakdown for the percent of Arabs treated in Israeli hospitals. According to Elder of Ziyon, however, over 100,000 Palestinian Authority Arabs were treated in Israeli hospitals in 2015. The non-Israeli patient load at Safra Children’s Hospital of Tel HaShomer Sheba’s pediatric oncology ward is at times 75% of the total ward population, while Ichilov Hospital’s pediatric oncology ward patients are 90% non-Israeli, meaning the patients are largely foreigners and PA residents.
All this is just the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t even looked at the breakdown for Gazan and Syrian patients treated in Israeli hospitals. But as someone who has had to spend lots of time in hospitals and clinics of late, it looks as though at least a third of the patients are Arabs. Moreover, much of the staff is of Arab lineage.
My Jewish doctor, who is head of his department, took a short research sabbatical and left me in the care of his Arab colleague. I asked the (Jewish) physiotherapist at my HMO to recommend an orthopedist and she gave me the names of three Arab doctors. The CT unit at a Jerusalem hospital where I received care is staffed by excellent Arab RNBAs who took efficient and tender care of me while trading friendly banter with me, my husband, and other staff members. 

Hadassah coexistence (courtesy Barbara Sofer)
The Russian nurse couldn’t manage to insert my IV line, but Mahmoud had no difficulty—got it in on the first pass. Later on, Tariq showed Bilal how to measure and mark me for my procedure, all in Arabic. But it’s not just the staff. It’s also ordinary Arab people interacting with ordinary Israelis. Lying on a gurney outside the x-ray room, I didn’t have the strength to call out when a technician announced my turn. The Arab family near me drew his attention to me.
It was just a normal human kindness. An everyday sort of thing. Even as Gaza sends another 13 projectiles our way. Even as five arson terror fires rage throughout Southern Israel. And even as we see photos like this one of an incendiary kite landing on an ordinary Israeli home—a kite sent by Gazan Arabs to hurt Israeli citizens and inflict maximum damage in Netivot, the city where my small grandchildren live.

But the coexistence in Israeli hospitals? That is the real coexistence. The kind you see every day in Israeli clinics and hospitals.
How real is it? The kindness, the coexistence? Are these interactions on the surface only, a form of Taqiya, a display of Muslim sophistry as Southern Israel burns? 
I don’t know. But I know the phenomenon is growing and I know that there’s nothing of the sort going on in Arab countries or even in the Palestinian Authority areas or in Gaza. No Jews lying on gurneys in their hospitals. No Jewish technicians working side by side with Arabs.

That makes the coexistence in Israeli hospitals something to note.
It's more than that. The phenomenon has spread beyond hospitals, becoming part of the fabric of Israeli life. Israelis and Arabs interact more each year. In stores, buses, and yes, in hospitals, too. In fact, everywhere. There’s the professional coexistence of colleagues, and the casual coexistence of helping people find an item on a supermarket shelf.

It’s just the way it is. And so I look around me in the hospital and murmur quietly to my husband, “Apartheid,” and he laughs. Because it so obviously is not anything of the sort.

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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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