Tuesday, July 31, 2018

From Ian:

Carter Administration Blocked Begin’s Citizenship Offer to Palestinians
Commemorating nearly 40 years since United States President Jimmy Carter initiated the negotiations that led to Israel’s surrender of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, the Center for Israel Education is incrementally releasing sensitive memoranda from the Carter administration archives detailing conversations during those negotiations.

The fourth memo in a 10-part series highlighting the Carter administration’s involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict unveiled a March 1978 meeting in Washington between Carter’s team and an Israeli delegation led by Prime Minister Menaḥem Begin.

The conversation from that meeting shows an American administration intent on forcing Israel to relinquish not only Sinai, but also most of the West Bank, Gaza region and the Golan Heights.

In response to the American pressure, Begin expressed his willingness to offer Palestinians the option of full Israeli citizenship with equal rights but would leave the choice in the hands of individual Palestinians themselves.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, rejected Begin’s offer of citizenship for Palestinians on the grounds that Israel would then retain control over the West Bank, revealing that from the perspective of American interests, an Israeli withdrawal was more important than addressing the actual needs of Palestinians.

Indy promotes Noam Chomsky’s charge on “Israeli intervention in US elections”
The Independent legitimised the warped political views of linguist Noam Chomsky today, in a column by their US editor, Andrew Buncombe. The article, titled “Israeli intervention in US elections ‘vastly overwhelms’ anything Russia has done, claims Noam Chomsky”, highlighted a charge made by the American academic in an interview with the fringe radical left show ‘Democracy Now’.

Here’s the Chomsky quote highlighted by the Indy journalist:

“Israeli intervention in US elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies – what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015.”

Buncombe then contextualises Chomsky’s views by uncritically citing the (widely discredited) views of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt:

The power of the pro-Israel lobby has long been one of the contentious, and disputed, issues in Washington. In 2007, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, published The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, which described the lobby as “loose coalition of individuals and organisations who actively work to steer US foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction”.
A self-declared leftist wages war on the Palestinian ‘right of return’
Former Labor MK Einat Wilf believes the Palestinians are not ready for peace. They are, in fact, miles away from accepting the idea of dividing the land and are still hoping Israel will soon disappear, she asserts in a new book.

And yet, she insists she’s a leftist.

But the peace camp must sober up, she says, and start realizing that peace will not come as long as the Palestinians cling to their demand to “return” to areas now belonging to Israel.

“If you truly want peace, rather than just feel good about wanting peace — and there are a lot of those — and if you actually understand that at the end of the day they [the Palestinians] are the ones with whom we have to live and share the country, you need to be realistic about where they’re coming from,” she told The Times of Israel during a recent interview in a Jerusalem cafe.

“The War of Return,” which she co-authored with former Haaretz journalist Adi Schwartz, provides an in-depth analysis of the Palestinian refugee problem. It notes that immediately after the 1948 War of Independence, Arab leaders were opposed to the return of those who had left their homes in what had become the State of Israel, as this was considered a tacit recognition of Israeli sovereignty.

But a short while later, Arab leaders changed their strategy and demanded that the “refugees” return to their old homes, Wilf and Schwartz write, citing countless historical documents to prove their point.

  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Al Jazeera:

Currently, the blockaded strip suffers from a 44 percent unemployment rate. Last Wednesday, the agency fired a further 113 employees, all because of the United States' 80 percent budget cut.

Furthermore, UNRWA announced the contracts of 1,000 of its employees in the Gaza Strip - Abu Hashim among them - will not have their contracts renewed. This includes the termination of the mental health programme, which employs 430 people.

"This is a massacre against the employees," Amal al-Batsh, deputy chairman of the UNRWA'S staff union, told Al Jazeera. "The solution to the crisis should not be at the expense of the staff providing services to the tens of thousands of refugees in the Gaza Strip."
Palestinian are very accustomed to using hyperbole in order to whip people up into a frenzy as well as to cow Westerners into doing their will (because normal people wouldn't talk that way unless there was really a huge catastrophe looming.)

A thousand people losing their jobs is something that happens every day all over the world. UNRWA's model of an ever-increasing budget for an ever-increasing population was known for decades not to be sustainable, yet no one wanted to change it as long as the money was flowing. This sort of thing was going to happen, inevitably.

It is not a tragedy. It is not a "massacre." It is the result of a deliberate policy of perpetuating a problem.

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  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Twitter:

This is pretty outrageous. I cannot imagine Netflix giving a platform to Richard Spencer - why do they give one to Farrakhan?

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From Ian:

More horror than heroism: Ahed Tamimi
My sweet-natured daughter Malki, brimming with empathy and generosity toward others, always with a smile on her face, was 15 when she was murdered in the Sbarro pizzeria massacre 17 years ago this week.

The experience of losing her, of trying to re-balance my life and my family’s and of trying to make sense of the reactions of other people, has shaped much of what I believe about terrorism.

We know who plotted the Sbarro barbarism. It was not Ahed Tamimi. But when her clan, the Tamimis of Nabi Saleh, get together to celebrate it, as we know they do, she is an enthusiastic participant.

In a village where almost everyone is related by blood and (yes, and) marriage, Ahed is a cousin of one of the attack’s perpetrators, Ahlam Tamimi, in multiple ways. Ahlam now lives free in Jordan. She boasts that she chose the site for the explosion, seeking to kill as many Jewish children as possible, and that she planted the human bomb. Via social media, public speeches and (for five years) her own TV program, she urges others to follow her lead.

When Ahlam married Nizar Tamimi – also a murderer from the village – a few months after both walked free in the Gilad Shalit prisoner-exchange deal, Ahed was there to dance and gaze adoringly at the bride.

But neither her gaze nor her ideas are the problem – it’s what others do with them.

Ahed’s parents make a living from propagandizing against Israel. They fashioned and groomed Ahed, leveraging her blondness, pushing her into staged conflicts with Israeli soldiers from when she was 10, deliberately putting her at real risk on a weekly basis for years – long before she had the ability to discern what was being done to her.

Syrian activists: 'Ahed Tamimi lucky not to be imprisoned by Assad'
“Israel released Ahed Tamimi full of health and without a scratch,” wrote Syrian activist and photographer Yasser Wardh, contrasting her leaving prison “while thousands of Palestinians are killed in prisons of the Assad regime.”

Nedal al-Amari, a journalist from Deraa, also contrasted the brutality of the Syrian regime with Tamimi’s treatment. “The difference between Israel and Bashar al-Assad. Ahed Tamimi lucky girl because it was in Israel’s prisons, not Assad’s prisons.”

Dozens of similar tweets in Arabic mentioned her alleged “9 kilos” weight gain. “She was not tortured. She was not raped. Her weight increased by nearly 9 kilos. Her hair and face are more beautiful,” wrote Mahdi Majeed.

Iman Kais, who has 100,000 followers on Twitter, also contrasted Tamimi’s experience with Arab prisons. “She says she learned to love life, whereas those imprisoned in our Arab countries can reach a stage where they wish their mother didn’t give birth to them.”

Many tweeted photos of Tamimi next to a dead Syrian woman, trying to draw attention to the difference. “If people in Deraa and the south were detained by the Zionist occupation and they come out 9 kilos more, instead of arrested by the Assad occupation every day a list of the souls of the martyrs, more than 3,000 now,” one wrote. This was a reference to the thousands of names of those murdered in Assad’s prisons. The regime has recently released lists of those who have disappeared or been killed in the last seven years, many of whom died in prison.
Ahed Tamimi to be honored by Nelson Mandela’s grandson
Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela will invite Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi to South Africa to receive a special reward “for bravery, resistance and being a symbol of hope for millions.”

Tamimi, who was jailed for eight months after being videoed provoking and slapping an IDF soldier last year, was released on Sunday.

According to several South African media outlets and the Afro-Palestine Newswire Service, Mandla made the comments during a celebration to commemorate his late grandfather’s 100th birthday. He reportedly promised Tamimi that he will “continue to support and rally others to join in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaign to isolate Apartheid Israel until Palestine is free.”

Mandla then saluted Tamimi as “a symbol of Palestinian resistance.”

Many of South Africa’s leaders, including the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, have been vocal about the incarceration of Tamimi.

Earlier this year, Ramaphosa, during a response to questions following his state of the nation address, called for the speedy release of Tamimi.

“At this moment, we wish to express our deepest concern about the continued imprisonment of Palestinian children in Israeli jails,” he said in reference to Tamimi. The comment received thunderous applause in the country’s parliament.

There was a time when Social Media was considered a boon to organizing mass protests. This culminated in the Arab Spring in general and in Egypt in particular with the protests in Tahrir Square in 2011.
Protests in Tahrir Square in 2011. Credit: Mona Sosh
Wael Ghonim, a Google employee at the time, was one of the administrators of the Facebook page, "We are all Khaled Saeed", which was credited with helping to spark the revolution in Egypt that eventually led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Back then, Time magazine included him in its "Time 100" list of 100 most influential people of 2011, and the World Economic Forum selected him as one of the Young Global Leaders in 2012.

In the end, though, it turned out that the Muslim Brotherhood was equally adept at using social media to organize its followers -- Facebook and Twitter were not necessarily the powerful tools of revolution people thought they were.

But maybe it depends on how those tools are used and for what purpose.

President Trump, for instance, has been very successful with Twitter -- if his goal is to get a lot of attention, stir things up and annoy his enemies.

His use of Twitter actually became a legal issue when he tried to do what everyone else does on Twitter: block people from his account. A judge ruled that Trump could not block users from his account just because he did not agree with them because the president's account qualified as a public forum and blocking them infringed on their First Amendment rights.

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei also enjoys using Twitter, and uses it to poke his enemies as well:

Khamenei's tweets also garner media attention but don't make the same kind of splash. He can make veiled, and some not so veiled, threats against Israel without eliciting much of a response from the Twittersphere. In an article in The Hill about Khamenei's tweets, Trolling becomes new trend in international diplomacy the article considered this to be nothing more than "Iran's supreme leader tweeted criticism of Israel."

Twitter is actually very popular in the Middle East:
Twitter is an increasingly favored form of official communication in the Middle East. A 2018 study conducted by the public relations company Burson Cohn & Wolfe ranked King Salman of Saudi Arabia as the most influential global political figure on Twitter�although he uses the service infrequently, each of his posts over the past year was retweeted more than 150,000 times on average. King Abdullah of Jordan has also made Twitter a key communication method, ranking fourteenth among global leaders in the same metric. And the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the second and third most-followed foreign ministers in the world.
Though the article makes no mention of either Israel nor Netanyahu, the Prime Minister does appear in a chart embedded in the article:

Netanyahu is nowhere near being the leader in the number of followers among leaders in the Middle East, but he may be one of the most creative. Recently, he has been active in trying to reach out to the Iranian people.

And some of the Iranian people have reached back.

Netanyahu has not limited himself to Twitter and so far has 24 "Direct Addresses" on YouTube, a number of which address the Iranian people directly.

Some of the videos are merely friendly while pointing out the problems suffered by the Iranian people under the regime.

Others offer help and advice on dealing with the current problems and scarcities in Iran.

Journalist Eli Lake is not impressed with this "YouTube Diplomacy". He sees Netanyahu's approach not so much as an attempt to bypass the Iran regime in an attempt to address the Iranian people directly, but rather as "geopolitical trolling."
All this gets to the contradiction underlying Netanyahu�s public diplomacy, and for that matter U.S. policy as well. On the one hand, the message is correct. Israel, America and Iran�s people share a common foe: the mullahs. On the other hand, the U.S.�s current strategy is to cut off Iran�s chief export, oil. This strategy will no doubt hinder Iran�s efforts to spread terror in the Middle East, but in the process millions of Iranians will also suffer.
Instead, Lake advocates targeting individuals and institution, though it's not completely clear how targeting Iranian institutions would not still adversely affect the Iranian people.

However you want to see Netanyahu's Iran campaign on social media, it does fit in with his general policy -- and success -- addressing other countries and reinforcing, as well as creating, allies. That is no small feat for a country isolated within the UN. Obviously, all of this helps Netanyahu at home as well and helps him to continue his political future. And Netanyahu does this with a level of subtlety and with a degree of professionalism lacking in Trump's rants on Twitter.

The Israel Prime Minister is not the only one using social media.

In response to another of Khamenei's tweets threatening Israel, the Israeli Embassy responded with a tweet of their own.

The Embassy's tweet went viral:
If the Israeli-Iran war will be fought via Twitter likes, Jerusalem is the clear winner � the embassy�s tweet had close to 18,000 likes by Tuesday compared to just under 4,000 for Khamenei. 
In addition to the tweet itself, screenshots of the interaction between the two accounts also garnered thousands of likes. Yashar Ali, a writer for New York Magazine and The Huffington Post website with more than 270,000 followers, tweeted a screenshot with just the word �OMG� � and received 10,000 likes.
The article concludes with a comment from a representative of the Foreign Ministry, saying that the tweet was a "nice idea" but as the article put it, would not say whether it represented 'a new Israeli approach to digital diplomacy'.

It certainly is in line with Netanyahu's use of social media - and represents a use of it beyond what was imagined during the Arab Spring.

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Dr. Dana El Kurd, who received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Texas, responded to a tweet:

Let's see if Israel really has destabilized the region.

Wikipedia lists all the modern Middle East conflicts over the past century. It lumps all of the Arab Israeli wars as a single conflict, but even if you divide it up into (let's say) 10 wars.

Outside of those it lists about 90 conflicts in the Middle East that have nothing to do with Israel. 

The casualty count for the Arab-Israeli conflict is about 80,000 on all sides.

The casualty count for all non-Israeli Middle East conflicts is over 7 million - nearly 100 times the number of those killed in Israel-related conflicts.

Far, far more people have been killed in conflicts involving tiny Yemen than Israel since 1948.

What about the claim that Israel destabilizes the Middle East? Is she really claiming that Syria, Yemen and Lebanese conflicts today have anything to do with Israel?

And Israel has been involved in only two international wars since 1973, both in Lebanon. At the same time, dozens of conflicts have broken out not involving Israel.

El Kurd's claptrap passes for sober analysis - she has written for a Washington Post blog - but she is thoroughly, completely and provably wrong.

The problem is that the media and the NGOs and the world governments indeed spend 99% of their time talking about a conflict that is only 1% as important in terms of actual victims, so El Kurd's lies don't sound quite as absurd as an actual analysis shows they are.

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  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I cannot recall an official government video as transparently false and cynical as this one.

The Palestinian Authority issued a statement and video called "Office of the Prime Minister - Government Achievements in the Gaza Reconstruction Profile, 29 July 2018."

It looks at the rebuilding of Gaza done by international NGOs - and takes credit for it.

Keep in mind that the PA has been actively working to hurt ordinary Gazans over the past year by limiting salaries, fuel, electricity and medicines.

For them to issue a (terrible) video claiming to be responsible for how wonderful things are in Gaza is Pravda-level propaganda.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

From Ian:

Report: Facebook Still Allows Anti-Semitic, Holocaust-Denying Posts
The Holocaust was a lie, Anne Frank’s diary was a fake, and Jews are barbaric and unsanitary: All those are posts that are still available on Facebook despite being reported to the social media giant.

According to an investigation by the British Times, “scores of examples of material designed to incite hatred and violence against Jews” still remain on Facebook. “Some of it,” the newspaper reported, “had already been flagged to the company. When the material was highlighted to Facebook yesterday some was taken down but several antisemitic posts and pages remained up last night.”

In part, that’s because the company’s guidelines designate anti-Semitic posts as hate speech that is slated for removal, but does not view Holocaust denial the same way. Earlier this month, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg sparked a controversy when he said in an interview that he believed Holocaust deniers were making nothing more than an honest mistake.

“I’m Jewish,” he said, “and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

After critics and Jewish communal organizations criticized Zuckerberg’s comments, his sister and former Facebook executive, Randi Zuckerberg, rushed to his defense and applauded him for “navigating this incredibly difficult new world where the notion of free speech is constantly changing.”

As the Times‘s investigation shows, however, navigating anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial on Facebook means little more than simply letting vile and violent expressions stand. Responding to the newspaper’s report, several Members of Parliament blasted Facebook for its inaction. Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the home affairs select committee, said: “Facebook are providing people with a huge global platform to incite racial hatred and to deliberately spread lies that fuel antisemitism. They can’t just shrug their shoulders and pretend it has nothing to do with them. What is the point of them even pretending to have community standards or social responsibility if they turn a blind eye to the promotion of violence and extremism?”
Here’s how Birthright guides talk about the Palestinians
When Samuel Green talks about Israel’s West bank security barrier with the Birthright groups he guides, he first explains the Israeli view that the barrier was built to prevent Palestinian terrorists from breaching Israeli territory and that Israelis generally feel it has saved lives.

But then he’ll talk about what the barrier – which is part wall, part fence – means for Palestinians: how it cuts into West Bank territory, how it has separated people from their farmland, how they see it as an imposing wall.

“It’s a disservice to the people in front of me to leave out such information,” Green said. “So if you’re trying to understand why there’s conflict, you have to understand why people are annoyed. It’s important to talk about.”

That approach contrasts with the one viewed by 2.7 million people in a viral Facebook video taken by activists of IfNotNow, a group of young American Jews who oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. In the video, a Birthright tour guide spars with a participant on a Birthright bus over the status of the West Bank.

Rather than aim to present a range of views on Israel’s control of the territory, the guide says “Israel sees the West Bank as part of Israel” – a misleading claim that does not accord with the legal status of the territory or encompass the variety of ways Israelis see it.

Soon after the bus argument, several participants on that Birthright trip staged a walk-off from the tour and visited Palestinian areas. It was one of three such walk-offs conducted in recent weeks – all organized by IfNotNow – to protest what the group calls Birthright’s silence on Israel’s occupation.

The walk-offs have sparked a debate over whether Birthright – a popular 10-day free tour to Israel for young Jews — has a responsibility to grapple with Israel’s control of the West Bank. Some 40,000 young Jews, mostly from North America, go on Birthright every year. For some it is their first exposure to the country.

But Birthright tour guides say the debate is unnecessary. While acknowledging that they speak from an Israeli perspective, the guides said they make an effort to represent a range of opinions on the tour – including Palestinian views – and are happy to answer any questions.
Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Existential Threat’
In a week when three of Britain’s Jewish newspapers have united in a joint front page that warns of the “existential risk” of a Corbyn government to British Jews, some might answer that the existential risk applies to Britain as a whole. One doesn’t have to share this apocalyptic viewpoint to see that the underlying concern revolves around how, precisely, a Corbyn government would behave towards those opposed to its program.

As resilient as the structures of British democracy are, Corbyn might well try to borrow from the political playbook of his hero: the late Venezuelan socialist dictator Hugo Chávez. In times of both boom and bust in this oil-rich, historically stable nation, Chávez found that antisemitism — a phenomenon that was virtually unknown in Venezuela — had its political uses. Chávez asserted himself as the lynchpin of the global alliance against imperialism with repeated attacks on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, deploying the imagery of the Jews as “crucifiers” that he calculated would resonate in the deeply Catholic country. Taking that position did not advance the Palestinian cause, nor did it alter Israel’s strategic advantage, but it did contribute to the majority of Venezuela’s Jewish community of 20,000 fleeing Chávez and his successor Nicolas Maduro for safety abroad.

I am not saying that exactly the same process will unfold in Britain should Corbyn come to power. But it is notable that there has been, once again, a rise in discussion among British Jews about whether they have a future under a government led by Corbyn. The fear that he has normalized antisemitism in the Labour Party, coupled with unwavering loyalty to the Palestine solidarity activists who have dragged Labour into the mire of Jew-baiting, leads many to conclude that what has already happened in the party will unfold next in the country.

My own view is that it is too soon to draw such a conclusion, although I certainly understand why others do. The possibility remains that the scandal of Labour antisemitism will backfire badly on Corbyn, as a growing number of Britons express disbelief at the amount of time he spends on the job fighting with a community of 300,000 souls, when they know that an opposition leader serious about securing power would be focused on sweeping away the most divided and unstable British government this century. On this front, Corbyn has yet to convince.

  • Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I received this fundraising email from UNRWA USA:

Due to the US government's holding back of $300 million to UNRWA, as of this week UNRWA has been forced to cut jobs in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem).
UNRWA is a lifeline for 5 million Palestine refugees, providing food, healthcare, education, and jobs. In fact, 99% of UNRWA's doctors, teachers, and other staff, are refugees themselves.
Despite relentless efforts to attain new funding from other countries and donors, UNRWA still needs $217 million to sustain its work for 2018. As a result, UNRWA's 700 schools may not open this September.
And why would that be a bad thing?

Education is the single biggest budget item for UNRWA - over $400 million in 2017, triple the budget for health services. 

It is largely unnecessary.

For Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the regular public schooling should be sized to include so-called "refugees." Treating them as different from other Palestinians is absurd and discriminatory. It is abhorrent that somewhere in the PA government, people are saying they don't have to educate hundreds of thousands because they get their education for free from UNRWA. It is the PA's responsibility, not the world's.

Similarly, in Jordan, the vast majority of Palestinians are citizens. Why on earth should the government of Jordan treat them like anything other than citizens?

In Syria and Lebanon, while there are obviously problems, children born in those countries should be able to access local education. Yet even if we say that UNRWA should provide education for them, they are a small percentage of the total number of children being taught for free by UNRWA.

It is way past time that we should consider the "UNRWA education is a human right" idea to be discarded as the lie it is. The budget shortfall would magically disappear without that false idea.

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.

(In case you missed it, here are Parts 1 and Parts 2 of this series.)

Continuing the discussion of international law from where we left off, it’s easy to criticize and even condemn multi-national institutions, even the most successful of them.

For example, today historians agree that NATO represents one of the most successful political and military alliances in human history.  But during its entire history, many leaders (American and European, Right and Left) complained bitterly about the institution, decrying it as a “military occupation” or asking why US taxpayers had to pick up the tab for European countries that continually wobbled on which side to be on in the Cold War.

Yet despite these critiques (some of which were legitimate), this remarkable multi-lateral organization managed to keep at peace a continent that had been at war for centuries.  And given how many people during the Cold War insisted that the only options for the West were capitulation or nuclear annihilation, NATO (plus patience) showed that there was an acceptable alternative to this false choice. 

Given its size, pretentions and corruption, The United Nations is an easier target for similar criticism.  Yet it too has played an important role in the post-war world. 

Take the Security Council, a part of the UN often criticized as undemocratic (given that it preserves in amber outdated international power relationships, giving the victors from World War II veto power over binding decisions made by the UN as a whole).  If you think of the Security Council as presiding over a global democracy, this is clearly unfair.  But if you look at it as means for facilitating communication between superpowers at odds with each other (like the US and USSR during the Cold War), the Council provided a way to diffuse tensions by presenting compromises that might be rejected if originating from one or the other Cold Warrior as UN proposals brought by “neutral” third parties.

In exchange for this important mediating role, it was required of participants to act as though the UN had more international authority than its actual clout would dictate.  But this was OK for those who felt that organizations like the UN might eventually evolve into an organs of global governance.  For by creating informal powers for such an organization and getting nations to act as though these powers were legally enforceable, there was hope that this informal legalism would formalize over time (much like many common law traditions eventually evolved into enforceable binding law within nations).

But for such fiction to eventually become reality, it was necessary that these informal practices perform a useful function (as they did during the Cold War) and that the leveraging of international organizations for narrow national purposes did not go too far.

Unfortunately, the temptation of powerful states to use newly emerging international institutions (not just the UN, but also NGOs working to create codes of international and human rights law) for their own partisan purposes was just too great.  And nowhere is this more apparent than in the exploitation of these weak institutions by Israel’s political enemies.

Much of the “rap sheet” BDSers routinely read out regarding Israel’s alleged violation of international law is made up of accusations brought before organizations like the UN to be voted on by what has been called the “Automatic Majority.”  This term originally referred the UN General Assembly where the fact that every nation (small or large, democratic or not) got a single vote, allowing ruthless actors (like the Soviet Union) to stitch together a coalition that could be counted on to condemn the behavior of the USSR’s democratic enemies while ensuring that the human rights spotlight would rarely if ever be turned on the members of this automatic majority.

Sadly, this exploitation did not go away in the post Cold War world but instead was picked up by other powerful groups (such as the Arab League and Organization the Islamic Conference) which, via their numbers and a corrupt bloc voting system within the UN, can be assured that any accusation they make against Israel will become “law” (or at least an official declaration that Israel is in breach of law). 

At the same time, these very organizations (which represent the greatest human rights abusers on the planet) are careful to never bring the crimes of members of the automatic majority to the floor, thus keeping the finger pointing eternally at Israel (and, on occasion, the US). 

Yes, there are occasions when the accused rouse themselves to fight back (as when the US got the UN’s infamous 1975 Zionism = Racism resolution reversed in 1991).  But for the most part, this exploitation of weak international institutions by powerful national interests has become the norm in international affairs.  To restate a simple example I’ve used before, how much more likely is it that Saudi Arabia will obey UN resolutions regarding human rights for women vs. the UN following Saudi Arabia’s lead regarding the passing global blasphemy laws?

When the 1975 Zionism = Racism resolution was debates in the UN, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (then the US ambassador to the UN) prophetically warned that the vote would send a message to the world that international institutions created after World War II to keep the peace were becoming tools to help the powerful wage war by other means. 

Many remember his famous quote that “The United States...does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act.”  But fewer remember the prophetic warning he gave to smaller nations (including many voting Yes on this “infamous act”) that they were destroying the very institutions they might one day need to turn to if they ever found themselves targeted by powerful predators.

Israel will likely survive the slings and arrows thrown at her by accusers using international organizations, human rights institutions and human rights itself as tools of propaganda.  It’s not entirely clear that the same can be said for the institutions that have allowed themselves to be turned into weapons of war for someone else’s benefit.  

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From Ian:

The ‘Games’ Palestinian Children Play
We’re always being told that there is a significant difference between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Supposedly, the PA is “moderate” while Hamas is “extremist.” But the PA’s public endorsement this week of the Gaza kite terrorists makes it clear that there is no meaningful difference between it and Hamas at all.

Here is the text of the statement by PA Government Spokesman Yusuf Al-Mahmoud, as published in the official PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on July 22 and made available by the invaluable Palestinian Media Watch:

The occupation’s escalation, to which the Gaza Strip — which is under siege — has been witness in recent hours, constitutes part of the occupation government’s policy towards our residents and the heroic members of our people. … The occupation is striving to create equivalence in which there is a parallel between the newest and most lethal fighter jets and a children’s game such as kites used by peaceful protesters as one of the means of protest against the siege and the occupation.

Let’s take a careful look at the PA spokesman’s words, starting with the way he refers to Israel. Notice that he doesn’t say the word “Israel” at all. The Jewish state is “the occupation” or “the occupation government.” Al-Mahmoud is so consumed with hatred of Israel that he can’t even bring himself to utter its name.

Some 25 years after the Oslo accords, 25 years after the Palestinians pledged to live in peace and coexistence with Israel, 25 years after the media and peace activists insisted that the Palestinians had really changed, they still can’t even say the word “Israel.”

Now let’s consider the spokesman’s description of the recent Gaza terrorism. In recent weeks, Palestinian teenagers have launched more than 1,000 flaming kites and balloons into Israel, two weeks ago hitting a kindergarten play area. They have started more than 500 fires, which have burned more than four square miles of nature reserves and more than three square miles of natural forests, and killed thousands of animals.

If it were any other country in the world that was suffering this kind of environmental damage, “Green” activists all over the world would be up in arms. But Palestinians who damage Israel’s environment get a pass.

PMW: Quiz Israel out of existence - and win $50-$100!
On a quiz show on Palestinian Authority TV, Palestinians could win $50 - $100 if they denied Israel's existence. A reporter asked Palestinians in the streets to guess cities in "Palestine," locate places in "Palestine," or describe "Palestine's" borders. For each correct answer participants won $50. The purpose of these questions was to reinforce the PA message that it does not recognize Israel in any borders.
Following are some examples, see more below:

Official PA TV host: "Where is the Negev Desert?"
Child: "I don't know."
Father: "Southern Palestine." (i.e., the Negev is in southern Israel)
Host: "Let's get the answer from Muhammad."
Child: "Southern Palestine" (i.e., in southern Israel)
Host: "Congratulations, you've won $50 in cash."

Host: "The highest peak in Palestine is the peak of Mount Meron, Galilee, or Ebal?"
Father: "Meron." (i.e., Mt. Meron is in northern Israel)
Host: "Congratulations, you've won $100. The correct answer is [Mount] Meron."

Official PA TV host: "The question: A Palestinian village named after a Roman emperor... I'll give options: Caesarea -"
Child: "Caesarea."
Host: "Tamra, or Qusra?"
Child: "Caesarea." (i.e., Caesarea is in northern Israel)
Host: "Congratulations, Adnan won $50."

Official PA TV host: "Where is Safed located in Palestine?"
Man: "It's located in northern Palestine." (i.e., in northern Israel)
Host: "Congratulations. It's located in the north."
[Official PA TV, Winner, June 2, 2018]

The "correct" answers given by Palestinians of all ages, confirm that the PA's indoctrination of Palestinians from a young age to see all of the State of Israel as "occupied Palestine" has been successful. For two decades, Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous examples of this PA policy to replace all of Israel with "Palestine" and deny Israel's right to exist.
In latest English-language video, Netanyahu asks the world to help Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night released an English-language video on social media calling on the world to help Iranians improve their lives by standing up to “a regime that oppresses them and denies them a life of dignity, prosperity and respect.”

In the video, Netanyahu addresses the camera and tells the story of an imaginary 15-year-old girl called Fatemeh.

Fatemeh, Netanyahu says, has no water, electricity shortages, can’t remove her head-covering outside the home, and her school is cancelled due to air pollution.

“She stops at her favorite bakery in the Aladdin mall to eat cake yazdi but there’s a nation-wide strike,” Netanyahu continues. Firefighters cannot afford the proper equipment to extinguish fires.

“Fatemeh is completely exasperated,” the prime minister related. “‘Why is everything in my country falling apart?’ she asks.

She cannot find the answers on social media because Facebook and Twitter are banned. But she reads the newspaper and discovers what the regime has done with all the money.

“Billions wasted moving Iran’s army to Syria. Billions wasted to get nuclear weapons. Billions wasted on war in Yemen,” Netanyahu explains.
This is a tough story. But you need to hear it.

  • Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here are two interesting viewpoints on the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, from non-Jewish Israelis.

One is from a Maronite Christian who lives in Israel, in an article translated from Israel Hayom:

The modern State of Lebanon was established by Maronite Christians, as a shelter for them and other persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East. The goal of the founders of the State of Lebanon, experienced with persecution and genocide, was to protect and cultivate, in their own state, their language, Aramaic, and their unique Phoenician-Aramaic culture. The Muslim population of Lebanon was not a partner to this national vision, and due to differences of opinion, the Maronites were compelled to abandon their national ambitions. With no other choice, they agreed to the establishment of a state of all its citizens that, to their chagrin, joined the Arab League.

Unfortunately, not only did this solution not bring peace and calm, but it created tensions among the major national and ethnic groups within Lebanon until the situation finally deteriorated into bloody war. The Muslims did not at all see themselves as part of an independent Lebanese country and instead they nurtured their dream of uniting with their brothers while cooperating with the Arabs in the surrounding region.

These processes brought about increased extremism in the Muslim Arab population in Lebanon, weakening state institutions and causing many Christians to emigrate from the land of their forefathers in which they had thrived for generations. Furthermore, the religious-national tensions in Lebanon created discord among the Christian communities, themselves, that until the 1950s had comprised the majority of the population and today — after innumerous wars and tragedies – they have become a persecuted minority in their own country: from 80% in the 1930s Christians now make up only 35% of the contemporary Lebanese population.

What is the lesson to be learned from Lebanese history with respect to the National Law in Israel? As an Israeli Maronite Aramaic Christian, belonging to the minority and enjoying freedom in Israel, I actually understand the importance of this Law. Yes, our forefathers supported, for ideological reasons, the realization of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel. But my support of the National Law arises as well from the bitter Lebanese experience: I believe that Jewish Nationalism declared by Israeli law in fact guarantees that she will continue to be a democracy, and it also promises me that I will remain secure as a member of a religious minority.

Experience teaches us that the Jewish majority in Israel appreciates democracy and is faithful to its principles. A state of all its citizens (meaning: a state of all its national groups), on the other hand, is liable to duplicate the Lebanese tragedy here in Israel. Recent history proves that there is good reason to suspect that without the fortification in law of Jewish nationality, national and religious tensions would grow and intensify. Supported by elements outside the country, the Arab Muslims of Israel would seek to join with their Palestinian brothers, and after that to unite with the larger Arab world around us.

It must be emphasized that the Jewish state is based upon the Jews as a People and not on religious law. Therefore, Israel is very different from religious states such as the Islamic Republics that are governed according to Sharia Law. For Jews there is the right of national self-determination, just like the United Kingdom, Poland or Ireland. The National Law is new, but its essence is ancient: it is the culmination of both historical ambition and contemporary reality; this Basic Law, together with earlier Basic Laws promise to maintain the democratic nature of Israel.

In contrast with those opposing the law, I also believe that emphasizing Jewish nationality will promote the Two State Solution, because this law focuses on the value of nationality – and not only religion – in the identity of a state. This is an important basis upon which to build civic stability, standing firm against all the elements negating the Jewishness of the state – both within Israel and without.

In addition, I am hopeful that in the state of the Jewish People, that our forefathers supported, there will be a way for self-expression for loyal minorities like us, who mostly prefer to live and integrate within her. And at the same time, I anticipate that a way will be found to maintain, within Israel, our own identity, culture, and Aramaic language. In contrast with many Palestinians, we seek to accomplish this peacefully and in brotherhood alongside the Jewish majority and not instead of it. Your brothers, the Maronite-Arameans in Kfar Baram await the fulfillment of the just promise of the State of Israel, and I am convinced that now that the nationality of the Jewish People is codified in a Basic Law, the conditions will ripen for the establishment of a settlement for my own community.

Captain (reserves) Shadi Khalloul, of the Aramean-Christian Movement of Israel, founder of the Christian-Jewish Pre-Army Preparatory Program, Kinneret.

And a Druze Zionist has his own reasons to support the law, even though many Druze have expressed misgivings about it:

 I turn from here to my Druze brothers and to all of Israel. In recent days, we have witnessed the evil attempt of the leftist organizations and the New Israel Fund, which are trying to drive a wedge in the important alliance between the Druze citizens of Israel and our Jewish brethren. A covenant that dates back to the days of Jethro, our prophet and Moses. There is no Druze in the world who can claim a better and freer life than the Druze citizens of Israel. I ask all my Druze brothers not to fall into this trap of fools and to support the law of the nation as it is. The law does not deprive us in the least, and preserves Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. It is in our clear interest. Because the left is hungry for power, which aspires to destroy the Jewish state and turn it into a state of all its citizens and residents, we are not counted today, nor will we count in the future. They will use us and throw us away.
I am Aata Farhat, head of the Druze Zionist Council, an Israeli Druze and a proud supporter of the law.
Both of these non-Jews intuit the truth: the law is the way to preserve democracy, not to destroy it. Because without Israel being a Jewish state then it is on the slippery slope to eventually become yet another failed Arab state, something that is the unstated goal of many of the law's opponents. 

(h/t Yoel)

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Omri Boehm, a philosopher who we have written about before, once again uses the New York Times to advance an anti-Israel argument which would receive a failing grade from any real philosophy class.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that the new legislation simply “determined in law the founding principle of our existence.” In fact, its primary function is to build a formal foundation for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank — and for a Jewish state eventually to stretch over the whole of Palestine. 
This is an assertion for which sham philosopher Boehm brings no proof. The words of the Basic Law may make such an annexation easier - but one can argue the opposite as well, since such an annexation would cause severe problems to Israel's existence as a Jewish state. In other words, Boehm is resorting to proof by assertion, a logical fallacy that a real philosopher would never do. After all, even the most right wing portion of the Likud coalition is not contemplating annexing the entire West Bank. Boehm simply made this up.

Beyond that, Boehm contradicts himself. He also writes:

In May 1948, there were about 600,000 Jews and some 1.2 million Arabs living within Palestine’s borders. With Jews in the minority, the Jewishness of a democratic Israel could only be ensured if Palestinians had a chance at self-determination. In other words, Israel’s foundational twin pledge (to be both Jewish and democratic) was hypocritical: Arabs would be equal (in rights) so long as Jews were superior (in numbers).
He is saying that the only reason that Israel allowed for the possibility of an Arab state in 1948 was demography - because if not, then the Jews would be in the minority and therefore could not rule democratically. He does not say that the Basic Law contradicts the Declaration of Independence, but now he says that Israel is getting ready to annex the territories - which would put Israel's Jewish majority at risk, just as in 1948. But for some reason, the democracy that he implicitly agrees existed in 1948 and treats cynically for being democratic is now being considered a non-democracy and an excuse for a minority to rule a majority (or a huge minority) by denying the rights of the Arabs. The position is inconsistent - Israel cared to be a Jewish state in 1948 it is because it wanted to exclude the large numbers of Arabs, but now somehow Israel is willing to do the opposite? Boehm doesn't claim that the new law has anything really new ("The new law only exposes an old dirty truth, an unspoken quid pro quo dating back to the creation of modern Israel.")  Israel was a democracy then, it is a democracy now, and the same issues arise, yet Boehm claims that Israel now wants to act in the opposite way to solve the same problem.

Without proof.

But the biggest issue with Boehm's essay, and many other that have been written since the Basic Law passed, is this:
It implies that Israel’s Jewish identity trumps its democratic character.
There is, and always has been, a tension between the concepts of a democratic state and a Jewish state. However, tension does not mean contradiction nor does it mean negation. There is tension between free speech and laws against incitement and hate speech, there is tension between capitalism and tariffs, there is tension between freedom and security. There are lots of competing concepts that will not fit perfectly well together.

Yet for some reason Boehm and others seem to feel that the tension between the idea of a Jewish state and a democratic state are fatal - only one can exist at once. This is nonsense.

No one even bothers to define a "Jewish state" for the purpose of this argument. The state is not being run according to Jewish law, and Judaism is not the official religion of Israel. For a philosopher to claim that a state's Jewish identity trumps its democratic character, he would have to define exactly what he means - but Boehm doesn't. So we cannot really know why he thinks that it is one or the other, why the two concepts of democracy and a "Jewish state" cannot coexist, even with tension.

And the examples he gives of Israel favoring its Jewish character over its democratic character are anecdotal. If they are meant to prove his point from a logical perspective they fail miserably - another reason for an F on this essay. Because that the current Israeli government has done more for the Arab sector than any other more "liberal" Israeli governments have, which directly contradicts the entire thesis of the government passing the law in order to oppress Arabs. Cherry picking anecdotes is not a rigorous proof - it is not proof at all.

In the end, the people who pretend that the Basic Law is anti-democratic are the ones who, like Boehm, are against the very idea of a Jewish state or Zionism altogether to begin with. The law is a convenient hook to hang their hate hat, but by implying that Israel can only be democratic or Jewish, and not both, is just another way to say that a Jewish state should not exist, and that Jews have no right to self-determination in any borders.

Which is in fact an antisemitic position to take.

For all these reasons, a real philosophy professor would fail Boehm's polemic against Israel as being counterfactual, illogical and inconsistent.

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  • Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Palestinian Arabs are experts at hurting themselves, both literally and figuratively, and then blaming Israel for their pain.

A literal example comes from yesterday, when two PFLP terrorists blew themselves up, but Arabic media claimed that Israel killed them. This has happened too many times to count - errant Hamas rockets killing Gaza children have been blamed on Israel by major news media and human rights organizations without any attempt to uncover the facts.

A figurative example of Palestinians knowingly hurting themselves in a way that they can blame Israel comes from this story today.

The "Supreme Fatwa Council in Palestine" issued a fatwa today prohibiting the participation of any Arab candidate in the upcoming Jerusalem municipal elections.

For Jerusalem Arabs, this means that they would have less influence and power within the Jerusalem political scene to push their (valid) agendas of improving infrastructure, educational resources and services to the Arab sections of the city.

They would be relying on Jewish politicians to push to provide services to their fellow Arabs.

And then, when politicians do what they normally do and work on behalf of their constituents (since there are not unlimited funds), the Arabs can point to the Jerusalem municipality for not doing enough for the Arab sector.

Newspapers will write articles and NGOs will write white papers about how Israel is treating the Arabs of Jerusalem unfairly - without mentioning this fatwa and similar calls by the Palestinian leadership that helps push this narrative.

Once again, the Palestinian leadership is willing to throw its people to the dogs, because one day it might result in some pressure on Israel.

Taking care of their own people has never been a priority for Mahmoud Abbas or his predecessor Yasir Arafat. It has always been about attacking Israel, and the real victims are the Arabs who cannot even speak up for themselves out of fear of retribution from the self-proclaimed leaders that have controlled their lives since 1920.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

  • Sunday, July 29, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

On Friday, residents of Sidon, Lebanon, saw old tanks being placed underwater near the shore.

The goal is the create an underwater ark for divers, where the tanks can anchor a coral reef.

"This will be a paradise for divers and a place where we can develop underwater life," Kamel Kozbar, of Friends of the Coast of Sidon, told AFP.

He hopes seaweed will soon cover the tanks, a gift from the army, creating the group's vision of an "underwater park" - a world away from the beaches which have not escaped Lebanon's overflowing rubbish crisis.

But even this attempt for tourism and environmentalism is not free from the Middle east's favorite pastime of hating the Jewish state.

The turrets of the tanks face Israel "out of solidarity for the Palestinian people," Kozbar said.

But...if the Palestinians support a two state solution, as the media never tires of telling us, then why is it a sign of solidarity with them to have the underwater tanks symbolically attack parts of Israel that would never be part of a Palestinian state?

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From Ian:

Boat trying to break Gaza blockade seized by Israeli navy
The Israeli Navy on Sunday stopped a boat that was trying to break the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip and started to tow the vessel to the port in Ashdod.

The “Freedom Flotilla” group said that the boat had been “seized” and that the ship had received a warning from the navy prior to the interception.

According to the group, the navy said it would “take all necessary measures” if the vessel did not adjust its course.

The IDF confirmed that it had intercepted the boat and was towing it to the nearby Ashdod port.

“The forces made it clear to the boat that it was violating the blockade and that any humanitarian supplies [it is carrying] can be delivered to Gaza through the port of Ashdod,” the military said in a statement. “The activity ended without any unusual incidents. The boat is being towed to the port of Ashdod at this time.”

The “Return” (al-Awda) is one of two vessels making up the flotilla, alongside “Freedom.”

The flotilla was organized by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, an umbrella of organizations aiming to end the closure of Gaza, and set sail from the Danish port of Copenhagen.
Activist flotilla aims to breach Gaza siege with 'nonviolent resistance'
A flotilla seeking to challenge Israel's maritime ‎blockade on the Gaza Strip is currently some 150 ‎miles from its destination and may arrive off the ‎enclave's shores late Sunday afternoon.‎

According to French news agency AFP, a three-vessel ‎flotilla left Palermo, Sicily, on July 21. One of ‎the smaller ships participating in the sail had to ‎turn back due to mechanical failure, but the lead vessel, the Awda ("Return" in Arabic), ‎was set to arrive off Gaza's shores by Sunday or Monday, ‎Pierre Stambul, the co-president of the French Jewish ‎Union for Peace said.

Israel imposed a maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip ‎after the Islamist terrorist group Hamas seized ‎control of the enclave in a military coup in 2007. ‎Israel maintains the measure is necessary to prevent ‎Hamas from smuggling in weapons and terrorists into ‎Gaza. ‎

According to media reports, there are 22 passengers ‎aboard the Awda‎, including journalists, ‎activists ‎and a Jordanian lawmaker.‎

Organizers said the flotilla was a "gesture of ‎solidarity with the Palestinians."‎

An Iranian reporter on the Awda posted a video on ‎his social media accounts Saturday, noting that ‎‎"there is some medical aid on board, although the ‎amount of medical aid is merely a gesture. We're ‎talking about just a few boxes."‎
Flotillas, Politics & Italian Views Of The ‘Conflict’
While supporting pro-Palestinian activists on the flotilla, Palermo’s mayor says his city respects the rights of both sides

It is hard to avoid the impression that Palermo, the capital of sun-drenched Sicily, is aiming to become the capital of something else: Palestinian solidarity. This is thanks to Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando who has done a lot to promote the Palestinian cause.

Just last week, the mayor welcomed another “flotilla” to Palermo’s shores. The word—now a key term in the political lexicon of the Middle East—means a small core of sea-going vessels (usually three or four) staffed with pro-Palestinian activists. The activists, who hail mainly from Europe and beyond, especially Anglophone countries, sail the boats towards the Gaza Strip where they attempt to break Israel’s decade-long naval blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

Flotillas have become a common form of protest within the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. From 2008 to 2016, international activists have sailed at least 31 boats to challenge the Israeli blockade. The latest one is expected to reach the waters around Gaza in the next few days, after setting off from Palermo last weekend.

Comprising four boats, the flotilla, dubbed the “Freedom Flotilla,” is carrying more than 40 pro-Palestinian activists from Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada, the United States, France, Germany and Italy. After setting off from Copenhagen on March 22, it stopped in 15 European ports before arriving in Palermo, a journey of 4,000 nautical miles (4,600 miles). The final leg of the voyage from Sicily to Gaza is expected to take up to 10 days.
Gaza flotilla backers have history of Hamas support
Several of the activists and organizations behind the flotilla to Gaza stopped by the IDF just off Israel's coast Sunday, aiming to break the Israeli naval blockade, have openly supported Hamas.

The three-vessel flotilla is backed by the “Freedom Flotilla Coalition” of 13 organizations.

One of the coalition’s founders, Zaher Birawi, was designated as a member of a terrorist organization – Hamas Headquarters in Europe – by Israel’s Justice Ministry in 2013.

Birawi is based in London and is head of the “International Coordination Committee for the Great Return March,” meaning the rioting on the Gaza-Israel border in recent months, as well as the “International Committee for Breaking the Siege on the Gaza Strip.”

In May, Birawi posted photographs on Facebook of himself taking part in the “final preparations for the Freedom Flotilla” in Copenhagen, and at the flotilla departure point in Palermo. He has continued posting regular updates on the flotilla as recently as last week, although he did not embark on the journey to Gaza himself.

One of the flotilla’s funders is MyCARE, based in Malaysia, which calls itself a “humanitarian care” organization. MyCARE posted dispatches on Facebook from its associates on the flotilla, including Dr. Mohd Afandi Salleh, who they wrote had 116 boxes of medicine, and Aiman Khairul Azzam who was part of the flotilla’s central command.

MyCARE has direct connections with Hamas. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh publicly thanked MyCARE “for the continued support of the Palestinian defense,” at an event in Gaza in 2015, and the organization’s activists have posed with Haniyeh, together with their logo on at least one other occasion.

StandWithUs (SWU) is among the best pro-Israel organizations and resources available to the diaspora Jewish community.

I hope that I will be excused for my bias - given that SWU stood with me during the Reem's Cafe litigation in Oakland - but these guys tread a razor's edge with steady feet and sometimes a little acknowledgment of the obvious is necessary.

If Mort Klein's Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has gained a reputation as right-wing and the Anti-Defamation League under Jonathan Greenblatt has earned a reputation for lappiness with the Democratic Party, SWU seems to represent the steady center. It apparently has the resources and grassroots organic vision to push itself forward in the dialogue and for that I am grateful.

Michael Dickinson, SWU Executive Director of the Jerusalem office, has a blog post at the Times of Israel entitled, The 17-year-old terrorist. It is a response to the recent murderous knife-attack in Adam, Israel, killing one and sending two other men into the hospital.  He writes:
Mohammad Tareq Yousef plunged his knife into multiple victims, leaving behind a bloody trail before one of those injured managed to stop and kill him. His brutal attack left a beautiful young family fatherless. But in Palestinian society, a teenage terrorist is not something that is especially shocking. On the contrary, extremism is deliberately saturated into Palestinian Authority education, popular culture and media. 
His article hits the key points concerning the relentless nature of official Palestinian-Arab indoctrination of hatred toward Jews. The PA, as we all know, spreads violently-inclined antisemitic anti-Zionist venom throughout their systems of education, television, arts, sports, even to the extent of naming at least one hospital after a Jew Killer. This venom spreads throughout the world.

Dickinson writes:
A Palestinian can be born into this world at the “Alshaheed (Martyr) Thabet Thabet” hospital in Tulkarm named for the leader of the violent Palestinian Tanzim group. Conversely, Israeli hospitals are quick to treat Palestinian patients, including at times of conflict. Yet rather than celebrate this, official PA newspapers often cover wild accusations of Israelis who allegedly harvest organs or conduct medical experiments on Palestinians — claims aimed to dehumanize Israel and Israelis.
It just goes on and on and on and on.

And even as the PA and Hamas and Hezbollah and ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood and, you know, Turkey, defame the Jewish people through defaming the Jewish state - and thereby incite violence toward us internationally - the West screams from the bloody rafters about how the Jews in the Middle East are failing in their humanity toward the hostile Arab majority.

Dickinson reminds us that throughout the Hamas-controlled Strip, and PA-controlled areas, schools are named after Palestinian-Arab Jew Killers. The PA broadcasts television shows for toddlers that feature Mickey Mouse-like characters that yearn for Jewish blood.
Indeed, music is a key tool for spreading the PA’s anti-Israel message. In the past, the PA Ministry of Culture sponsored an art conference focusing on “Palestinian Folklore and Arts, Palestine in Musical Memory,” which glorified violence against Israelis through music. 
International sports, of course, is a tremendous venue wherein Palestinian-Arabs seek to use their influence as Uber-Victims over other Arab states and guilt-ridden Europeans to marginalize and defame our brothers and sisters in Israel.

And, ultimately, that is the point.

When Tunisia refuses to allow Liel Levitan, a 7-year old Israeli girl, to participate in the World Chess Championship or when some pussitudinous Iranian judoka refuses to face a Jewish opponent - who probably would have kicked his ass, anyway -  they are reinforcing antisemitic anti-Zionism. They are inclining well-meaning Westerners to think that maybe they have a point and, therefore, that violence against Jews from New York City to Paris to Jerusalem might be justified.

Why should well-meaning non-Jewish Westerners stand with us when we so often refuse to stand with ourselves? Western-progressives - in their soft, middle-class, safe spaces - always want to believe that there are two sides to every story. They honestly believe - within living memory of the Holocaust and despite being outnumbered by a perpetually hostile Arab-Muslim majority throughout the Middle East - that the Jewish minority in that part of the world are the aggressors.

They are dangerously mistaken.

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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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