Friday, January 18, 2019

  • Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
What a performance! Women's March co-leader Tamika Mallory makes an idiot of herself on Firing Line.

Tamika Mallory: The Palestinians are native to the land, you know, they were there for a very long time and so they are native to the land.

Margaret Hoover, PBS: Do you believe that the Jewish people are native as well?

TM: I mean, I know, I understand the history, you knowm that there are people who have their ideologies around why the Jewish people feel this should be their land. I'm not Jewish so for me to speak to that is not fair.

MH: If you are willing to say that the Palestinian are native but not the Jews are native. I mean, you are not Palestinian either.

TM: Because I'm speaking of the people who we know are being brutally oppressed in this moment. That's just the reality.

MH: Is it your view that Israel has a right to exist as a nation?

TM: I've said many times that I feel everyone has a right to exist. I just don't feel that anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group.

MH: In your view, does that include Israelis in Israel?

TM: I believe that all people have the right to exist. And that Palestinians are also suffering with a great crisis. And that there are other Jewish scholars who will sit here and say the same.

I’m done talking about this, you can move on.

MH: I just don't think it takes scholarly knowledge to be able to say that Israel has a right to exist.
So she's not sure if Jews have any claim to the land, but she KNOWS Palestinians are native to the land - because they are "brutally oppressed." 

There's intersectional logic for you!

She contradicts herself when she says "everyone has a right to exist" (not nations, of course) but not anyone, if their existence is at the "disposal" [sic] of another group. Yet the entire Palestinian narrative is based on negation of the Jewish state! Otherwise they would have faded into the rest of the Arab world by now, and no one would be talking about a Palestinian state - or Palestinian people.

When she realizes that she is sounding like an idiot who denies Israel's right to exist and therefore she is about to even further alienate millions of Jewish women from her movement, she shuts down that line of questioning.

Because she simply cannot defend herself and still remain friends with Louis Farrakhan.

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From Ian:

Historian Benny Morris Attacks Palestinian Intransigence
Benny Morris is the Israeli historian whose scholarly work changed the way the Israel Palestine conflict is viewed. He coined the term ‘new historians’ which has come to include Avi Shalim, Ilan Pappe and Tom Segev. These historians challenged some myths about the creation of the state of Israel.

In more recent years Morris appears to have come to regret some of the assertions he has made, or perhaps more accurately, the way in which his research has been used.

Some extracts from his latest interview in Ha’aretz:
“The first intifada was violent but not lethal. It was a popular revolt. People threw stones and a few people were killed. But all told, about 1,000 Palestinians were killed and Jews were not killed, because the Palestinians barely used firearms. They said they didn’t want to live under a military government and Israeli oppression. I refused to take part in that oppression when my battalion was posted to the casbah in Nablus. I was jailed for a few weeks. That’s a light punishment. In other armies refusing an order can land you in prison for years.”

“In the second intifada I was against refusing an order, because it wasn’t just a rebellion against the Israeli occupation but also an attempt to bring Israel to a state of collapse. Many of the terrorist attacks took place on our side of the border and included mass killings. There was terrorist warfare against Israel. To refuse to serve in that situation is not right. At the same time, I am one of those who don’t want to man checkpoints or burst into homes in the middle of the night and turn the closets inside out in a search for weapons. That is very unpleasant work and morally problematic. But the Arab desire to destroy Israel is also morally problematic.”

“The change I underwent is related to one issue: the Palestinians’ readiness to accept the two-state solution and forgo part of the Land of Israel.”

“Anyone who says that Barak and Bill Clinton made the Palestinians an offer they could not agree to is lying. Dennis Ross, the principal negotiator, has already shown in his book that that claim is bullshit. The lack of territorial continuity would only have been between Gaza and the West Bank. They were offered a contiguous territorial bloc of 95 percent of the West Bank, and they rejected it. But the story here is not one plan or another, but the fact that they want 100 percent of the territory of Mandatory Palestine. They were merely playing a game when they said they were ready for a compromise

PMW: PA: Peacebuilding "is treason"!
PA TV attacked the opening of an Israeli supermarket in Atarot in Northern Jerusalem. The supermarket chain is known as a place where Palestinians and Israelis work together. The TV story included this picture which showed skulls in a shopping cart and text stated that shopping there, which is "economic normalization," "is treason"

An important part of the people-to-people peacebuilding between Israelis and Palestinians that Israel encourages are the joint economic projects that bring financial gain to both. One Israeli prominent in advancing such peacebuilding is businessman Rami Levy who has built a number of supermarkets in which Palestinians and Israelis work side by side. The chain not only successfully employs both Palestinians and Israelis but in the aisles of the supermarkets Israelis and Palestinians are shopping together as well.

But the Palestinian Authority doesn't share Rami Levy's or Israel's interest in peacebuilding. In fact, it opposes it and works against it. When a new Rami Levy complex opened recently in the Atarot industrial area in Northern Jerusalem, official PA TV broadcast this cartoon of a woman with a shopping cart filled with various items. In the reflection in the mirror, her cart is full of skulls, the symbol of death. The text asserts that Palestinians shopping there would be committing "treason" and called for "boycotting" the supermarket:

Text upper left: "Do not be the occupation's partner in the Judaization of the city."
Text upper right: "Economic normalization is treason."
Text bottom right: "Calls from the national and Islamic forces to boycott this [Rami Levy] complex as it finances the occupation and strives to Judaize the city [Jerusalem]."

[Official PA TV, Affairs from the Capital, Jan. 13, 2019]
New York Times Retreats From Gaza Medic War Crime Investigation
Two and a half weeks after a front-page Sunday investigative project in which ten New York Times journalists accused Israel of “possibly a war crime,” the Times is backing away from it by endorsing the Algemeiner’s criticism of the article.

The Times investigative project jumped to three full inside broadsheet pages of the December 30, 2018 New York Times.

One of my many criticisms of the piece for the Algemeiner was this: “The Times, for example, describes Israel as ‘the far stronger party’ relative to the Palestinians. But there are somewhere between 1.5 billion and 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, and around 14 million Jews. There are about 50 Muslim-majority countries, and one small Jewish state. The Muslims also have a lot of the oil. It may be convenient for the Times to stir sympathy for the Palestinians by depicting them as the underdogs, but it’s not as clear-cut a factual matter as the Times describes it.”

I wrote that for the Algemeiner on December 30, the same day the Times article appeared.

Now, on January 17, the Times has waddled in, belatedly, with its own story acknowledging precisely this point. Times “contributing opinion writer” Matti Friedman writes for the Times op-ed page:

Publishing one front-page news article pushing the “far stronger party” story line and then a weeks-later corrective op-ed acknowledging “that’s not the way Israelis see it” and that in fact was a “misunderstanding” and an “illusion” may be a smart short-term business strategy for the Times. It gets the Israel-haters to click on the story accusing “far stronger” Israel of “possibly a war crime,” and it gets the Israel-lovers to click on the story about how the first story was wrong.

From a longer-term perspective, though, this approach has its risks. The New York Times, after all, is a newspaper trying to brand itself as being for “Truth.” “The truth requires taking a stand. The Truth is more important now than ever,” claims a Times brand campaign ad that the newspaper is selling for $50 as an unframed poster at its own gift shop. On this one, though, the Times isn’t so much “taking a stand,” as trying to be on both sides of the issue.

  • Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Tomer Ilan:

Road 4370 was opened last week east of Jerusalem.

Many news outlets have called it an "apartheid road" including Haaretz.

Times of Israel and Ynetnews have also misreported it, as did many international news outlets.

JNS has debunked the apartheid accusation but incorrectly states that the road "separates vehicles of Israeli citizens and non-citizens".

CNN however gives a more accurate description:

"The road, which runs north-south, is actually two parallel roads separated by an 8-meter concrete wall topped with metal fencing. The western half is designed for Palestinians, though it can be used by anyone, and it bypasses Jerusalem; the eastern half is for Israelis, and anyone else with a legal permit to enter Jerusalem."

In other words, the western road can be used by anyone (Israelis and Palestinians) who doesn't want to go into Israel and the eastern road by anyone (Israelis and Palestinians) who wants to go into Israel and has a permit to do so.

That's NOT apartheid.

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  • Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here is a summary of current resolutions in the House of Representatives that mention Jews:

January 3: H.Res.12 - Affirming the historical connection of the Jewish people to the ancient and sacred city of Jerusalem and condemning efforts at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to deny Judaism's millennia-old historical, religious, and cultural ties to Jerusalem. (4 Republican sponsors/co-sponsors)

January 8: H.Res.27 - Expressing the sense of the House that more should be done to instill Holocaust education in school curricula around the country. (3 Democratic and 1 Republican sponsors/co-sponsors)

January 14: H.R.221 - Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, 58 Democratic and 30 Republican sponsors/co-sponsors. Passed 411-1, the one "nay" was Justin Amash (R), who is of Palestinian ancestry.

January 15: H.Res.41 - Rejecting White nationalism and White supremacy. 5 Democratic sponsors and co-sponsors; passed with a vote of 424-1, the 1 "nay" vote was Bobby Lee Rush (D), who is black.

January 16: H.Res.47 - Condemning all forms of anti-Semitism. (8 Republican sponsors/co-sponsors)

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  • Friday, January 18, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, deputy head of the extremist Islamic Movement in Israel, spun a conspiracy theory involving the UAE's head of intelligence attempting to purchase land for Jews in Jerusalem.

Khatib warned of what he called "the seriousness and implications of the visit by a high-level official delegation from the UAE to (Israel) in light of the continued Israeli attack on the city of Jerusalem."

He spoke of rumors that a UAE plane arriving in Tel Aviv yesterday, supposedly with UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Director of the UAE Intelligence Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Khatib said that there was an "attempt to buy the house adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which failed, despite the offer of $20 million to the owners of the house, by a businessman close to Mohammed Dahlan, a leader of the Fatah movement."

"The owner of the house next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque spoke to me personally three weeks ago, and he assured me that the Jerusalem businessman who offered him the sale of the pocket was Mohannad Tahnoon bin Zayed," the UAE intelligence chief.

"Tahnoon bin Zayed, who arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday, was the one who asked the Jerusalem businessman to buy this house for the maximum of $20 million," Khatib said.

Needless to say, the idea is insane.

Khatib said that "the barrier of fear and concealment (for visits by Arab delegations to Israel) has been broken, and it has become open."

That is indeed what is bothering Palestinians so much. It used to be that their threats of publicizing "normalization" and the implicit threat that the Arab street would never allow public visits between Israeli and Arab officials was enough to keep the Arab world publicly aligned with them. They comforted themselves with lots of public statements of support from Arab leaders at the UN and elsewhere.

Now, the break is so complete that they are starting to openly describe the rest of the Arab world as effectively becoming Zionist, and they are impotent to do anything about it except whine to the media.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Israel's Kan News reports that the Palestinian Authority clandestinely released Issam Aqel, an American citizen,  from prison and transferred him to the US.

Aqel had acted as a broker, buying land in Jerusalem and selling them to Ateret Kohanim, a Jewish group.

Aqel is also a resident of Beit Hanina and holds a blue Israeli identity card given to Arabs in Jerusalem.

He was held for several months in detention and prison in Ramallah, and reportedly tortured. Normally the penalty for this "crime" is life imprisonment or the death penalty.

The US pressured the PA to release the American, and Israel also put on pressure, arresting PA figures in Jerusalem after Aqel was abducted.

Hamas members bitterly condemned the decision to release Aqel to the Americans.

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From Ian:

Unintended Consequences
This week, Tablet looks back on 40 years of the Iranian Revolution.

In an excerpt from a new history of 20th-century Iran, the neglected story of the Jewish revolutionaries who participated in—or adapted to—the sweeping changes of 1979

When the anti-Shah upheavals of 1978 erupted, Iranian Jews found themselves, naturally, on both sides of the revolutionary movement: among its supporters and its opponents.

As violence intensified, many wounded protesters calling for the establishment of an Islamic Republic found sanctuary from the clashes in a rather surprising place: the Sapir Hospital (Bimaristan-i Sapir), the Jewish hospital in Tehran.

On Sept. 8, 1978, mass demonstrations erupted in Tehran. The Shah sent the army to shoot live ammunition at the crowd of protesters. This event became known as Black Friday.

“That Friday the head nurse, Ms. Farangis Hasidim, called me and told me that they are bringing many casualties to the hospital,” recalls Dr. Jalali, one of the senior officials in Sapir Hospital at that time. “I drove to the hospital but the Zhalah [avenue] was blocked, so I went by foot and there was shooting. … Since I was friendly with the ambulance-services people, almost 90 percent of the injured people came to Sapir Hospital, where we treated all of them in our four surgery rooms.”

On Dec. 11, 1978, one of the largest demonstrations against the Shah took place in Tehran. Newspapers called it a “demonstration of millions,” and it set a milestone in the struggle against the Shah’s regime. Jewish participation set records as well; according to some sources, 5,000 Jews participated in these protests.Other estimates were much higher. Hushang, a longtime leftist activist in the Jewish community and a member of the Association of Jewish Iranian Intellectuals (AJII), a Jewish leftist activist group, helped organize the massive Jewish appearance that day: “According to press reports close to 12,000 Jews participated in these protests that day,” he says. “The Jewish religious leaders marched in the front row and the rest of the Jews followed them, showing great solidarity with our Iranian compatriots.”
Arafat and the Ayatollahs
The PLO’s greatest single contribution to the Iranian Revolution was the formation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, but the Palestinian leader’s involvement with Iran didn’t end there

By the end of 1981, Arafat had very clearly lost favor in Tehran. To make things worse, two of his closest Iranian allies, Mohammad Montazeri and Mohammad Saleh Hosseini, would be assassinated that year—the former in an MEK bombing, the latter by Iraqi agents in Beirut. By then, the IRP had consolidated its grip on power within Iran and sidelined rival factions.

Likewise, within Lebanon, the dominant Iranian revolutionary faction—Hezbollah—had already begun cloning itself within its host country. Khomeini lieutenants like Hosseini had used connections with Fatah to recruit new cadres of Lebanese Shiite youth (among whom was a young man named Imad Mughniyeh) to their own banner. These recruits received military training in Fatah’s camps, but became part of a separate Khomeinist formation which was named after its Iranian progenitor.

In 1982, the PLO would be routed in Lebanon by the IDF, and was forced to withdraw its leadership under American protection to Tunis. By then the Iranians had already set up their own alternative structure to the PLO within Lebanon, formally known as Hezbollah.

Arafat would have one last dance with Iran before his death. After launching the Second Intifada against Israel, Arafat reached out to Iran for weapons. He purchased a freighter, the Karine A, in Lebanon, and the Iranians loaded it with 50 tons of weapons. Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh played an integral role in the operation. The IDF intercepted the ship in January 2002.

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas.

By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned the Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.
The Genius of Jeremy Corbyn
Leaving no weapon unmobilized, Corbyn and his allies have also adopted the “intersectional” left’s insistence that Jews are too privileged to be considered victims of racism and as such, by definition, cannot experience “race hatred.” In this spirit, a local Labor group recently rejected a statement expressing sympathy with the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh on the grounds that it gave too much credence to the very concept of anti-Semitism.

Finally, even as Corbyn has made the denial of anti-Semitism a core principle of the left, he has made it clear that he is more than willing to support “good” Jewish groups—that is, those who share his ideology. These include the self-described radical British groups Jewdas (sic) and Jewish Voice for Labor, both of which have refashioned Judaism into a battle cry against Israel and Western civilization.

As for the bad Jews, those who dare to affiliate in any way with the state of Israel, they are entitled to neither tolerance nor sympathy when they are the objects of violence whether physical (as at Tree of Life) or verbal—a notable case of the latter being the Labor MP Luciana Berger, who was compelled to employ a bodyguard at a Labor-party conference after being targeted with abuse labeling her a “racist Zionist,” an “apartheid apologist,” and a “warmonger.”

Jeremy Corbyn reminds us that anti-Semitism is not just an irrational hatred, harbored by madmen at the fringes of British society. He has achieved something new, not only infiltrating anti-Semitic language, tropes, and accusations into mainstream British political discourse but successfully wielding anti-Semitism as a means of dramatically increasing support for his larger program of “transforming British society.” No matter how much the British Jewish community cries “Enough is Enough,” for Corbyn it is never enough; to the contrary, to renege on his “anti-Zionism” would be to repudiate his entire worldview and renounce a core strategic key to his political success.

In sum, if Theresa May’s government falls and Jeremy Corbyn is elected prime minister of the United Kingdom, anti-Semitism, in one cheeky guise or another, will have been declared not only officially acceptable but an essential component of the governing mandate of one of the world’s greatest democracies.

Postscript: one must always hesitate to compare like with unlike, but a British observer cannot help feeling a twinge of sympathetic worry at the recent accession to the U.S. House of Representatives of several Democratic congresswomen harboring a frank and open animus toward Israel and boasting political affiliations reminiscent of Jeremy Corbyn and his milieu. One can only pray the worry is misplaced.

  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Over the weekend Islamic Jihad held a three day Scouts camp in Gaza.

Terrorist leaders were prominently displayed on posters as the boys wore the official Scout logo.

Islamic Jihad officials met with the boys.

Somehow, I think that these boys were taught some things beyond the standard Scout oath.

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  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

American Jews and Israel: Can this marriage be saved?

A great deal has been written lately about the problematic relationship between American Jews (the non-Orthodox majority) and Israel. Everyone wants to get into the act.

I don’t have any magic bullets. But as an American-Israeli I can’t help thinking about it. 

From an Israeli perspective, American Jews don’t meet our expectations as Jews. We shouldn’t be surprised. This is because most non-Orthodox American Jews are politically either liberals, progressives, or extreme leftists. For most of them their Judaism is either a very small part of their lives, or is a version of Judaism that barely exists in Israel, Tikkun-Olam Judaism.

When American members of If Not Now or Jewish Voice for Peace seem to echo the propaganda of Israel’s deadly enemies, Israelis are shocked that Jews could speak that way about the only Jewish state. But note that while anti-Israel Jews may add “as a Jew…” to their attacks, for rhetorical purposes, either they are really speaking “as progressives,” or worse, “as Tikkun-Olam Jews,” secular humanists with some vestigial trappings of Judaism.

There are strong political pressures driving American Jews away from Israel as well. Most Jews are Democrats, and strongly supported Barack Obama. Israel began to become a partisan issue in America when the Obama Administration made it so in the fight over the Iran deal. Obama quite deliberately introduced an element of anti-Israel ideology into the conversation, and his surrogates directly accused Jewish lawmakers that opposed it of dual loyalty or warmongering. 

Anti-Israel attitudes in the Democratic Party also received a strong boost in 2018 from the election of several new Muslim and far-left members of Congress who are outspokenly anti-Israel.

Republican President Donald Trump has adopted some high-profile pro-Israel policies, such as moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, cutting funding to UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority, and most importantly, taking the US out of the Iranian nuclear deal. For Democrats today, whatever Trump is for, they must oppose, and that, too, is having an effect.

Liberal American Jews are sticking with the Democratic Party, and moving leftward – and away from Israel – along with it. It’s not just politics. Assimilation and intermarriage is increasing, and Jewish identification is decreasing. There is no special reason to oppose the drift of their party. These changes make it likely that the trend pushing American Jews away from Israel will intensify.

Our expectation as Israelis is that as Jews they should feel some connection to Israel. But the reality is that they are no different in this regard from other American liberals, progressives, or extreme leftists. And why should they be?

Just as we don’t know who they are, they don’t know us. Most of their information comes through American media, much of which – for example, the NY Times and NPR, both favorites of liberal-to-leftist Jews – is biased to the point of complete disconnection from reality. They present an image of a powerful nation almost gleefully exploiting and punishing a weak, victimized minority, while ignoring the broader context of threats against Israel. They often reproduce charges made against Israel by her enemies without verification, and don’t make corrections when their stories are proven false.

American Jews are also targeted with disinformation from their own institutions: the Reform Movement in particular has pushed the Israeli Left’s position that Israel is becoming illiberal and theocratic, and has magnified and even provoked crises over issues like mixed-gender prayer at the Western Wall and non-Orthodox conversion, in order to pressure the Israeli government into fully recognizing and supporting their movement – something impossible in Israel’s political climate. Nevertheless, the campaign has damaged Israel’s image as a free and liberal society (which it mostly is).

Israel is not America. The language, the security situation, the population (containing 12% Haredim and 20% Arabs), the legal system, and the culture – as much Middle Eastern and African as European, and certainly not North American – mean that many aspects of our society will be unfamiliar to them. Americans who expect, for example, that Israel will provide the degree of freedom of expression to citizens that they have in the USA will be disappointed.

It’s very unlikely that American Jews will abandon the Democratic Party. And it’s equally unlikely that they will make the effort to get to know the state that claims to be their homeland, but that they don’t like very much.

There is one thing that could change all of this. The earthquake that could propel the American Jews into our arms would be the mushrooming of anti-Jewish attitudes in the Democratic party and the broader society. Could it happen? Something similar seems to have occurred in the UK with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The expression of antisemitism and outright Jew-hatred promoted by Labour-linked political operatives has become worrisome enough that some British Jews have decided to leave the country. Could this happen in the US? I’ve been away too long to feel confident enough to predict that.

Short of that – and I devoutly hope it will remain short of that – we can expect the disconnect, divide, whatever you want to call it, to get worse, not better.

“Can this marriage be saved?” was a popular column in the “Ladies Home Journal” until the magazine’s demise in 2014. It was based on true stories from a family counseling practice. Both sides presented their stories, a counselor made suggestions, and there was a follow-up. My wife says that usually the marriage could be saved by improved communication, but I remember that sometimes the answer was no, it could not. 

So I will play the counselor, and here’s my advice: stop criticizing each other so much. Live with your differences. And stay together for the sake of the children.

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:

The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

But whether Washington recognizes Israel's annexation or not, the Israelis are never withdrawing from the Golan Heights - conquered in the June 1967 war - nor should they.

Above all, the Golan does not require the control of a large hostile population, as the 27,000 Druze on the Golan Heights have accommodated themselves peacefully to Israel's rule.

The Golan Heights multiplies Israel's force in the event of a war, and is an unrivaled intelligence-gathering platform. From its posts atop the Golan Heights, the IDF can look and listen in on the valley below that leads to Damascus, only 45 miles away.

There is no question that holding onto the plateau is superior to withdrawing and the uncertainty of an agreement with the Syrian regime.

In the wake of the Syrian civil war, Iran and its expeditionary force, Hizbullah, are a threat to Israel's security. The Golan Heights is critical to keeping both from achieving their ends.

PMW: PA spends 6 times more on terrorists than on its own needy
In its 2017 budget, the Palestinian Authority allocated 550 million shekels to pay salaries to terrorist prisoners and released terrorist prisoners. The salaries paid to these recipients, among them murderers, ranged from 1,400 shekels/month to 12,000 shekels/month. The beneficiaries of these payments are no more than a few tens of thousands of Palestinians.

In contrast, the PA spent only 605 million to provide financial assistance to needy Palestinian families. According to the PA budget, the 118,000 needy families received payments ranging between 750 to 1,800 shekels/quarter.

Of the 605 million shekel expenditure, 515 million shekels was funded by the international community (165 million shekels by the European Union, and 350 million shekels by the World Bank). As such, the PA contributed only 90 million shekels of the 604 million shekel expenditure.

In other words, while the PA spent 550 million shekels of its budget a year to incentivize and reward terrorists no more the a few tens of thousands of terrorists, it spends only 90 million shekels to support its needy population. In comparison, the amount it spent on the needy equals only 16% of the amount the PA prefers to spend on rewards for terror and murder!

The PA's policy and practice of paying financial rewards to terrorists prisoners, released prisoners, and the families of so-called "Martyrs" (including the families of suicide bombers) and wounded has been the subject of widespread international condemnation and was also the subject of 2018 legislation in the US, The Netherlands, and Israel.

While the US and Dutch legislation limits their countries' annual aid to the PA, the Israeli legislation requires the Minister of Defense to compile an annual report of the PA's payments in the previous year and then present the report to Israel's Security cabinet. Once the report is approved, the Israeli Government will deduct the amount the PA spent to incentivize and reward terrorists from the taxes Israel collects and transfers to the PA. The first such report should be submitted in the coming days.
Expel international observers from Hebron - top minister to Netanyahu
Netanyahu must oust the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), thereby ending the mandate of the international observer force, Public Safety Minister Gilad Erdan said on Thursday.

He issued his call 14 days before his decision to renew the mandate of the organization that has operated in Hebron for 12 years was expected to be in, based on an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

TIPH has 13 local staff and 64 other members who come from contributing countries, such as: Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

They are tasked with monitoring compliance with the 1997 agreement that split the city, and handed 80% of it to the Palestinian Authority and with 20% of it maintained under Israeli control. TIPH produces reports and patrols the city to give Palestinians a sense of security.

Edran has given Netanyahu a secret police report with data to back up his assertion that the organization is anti-Israel rather than a neutral force, and is harmful to both the soldiers stationed in Hebron and the small Jewish community that lives there.

The report has never been published and its contents have not been disclosed.

By Daled Amos

Controversy is the bread and butter of radical left-wing anti-Israel groups. The key is to grab the headlines, whether it is by preventing pro-Israel speakers from speaking, attacking groups like Hillel and Birthright for an alleged lack of balance, or saying Kaddish for terrorists.

So it is really not all that surprising that often facts they claim to give are full of sloppiness and outright fabrications.

Take for instance Jewish Voice for Peace and their Jews From The Middle East Fact Sheet, which adopts both anti-Israel and pro-Arab narratives.


In the second paragraph of this sheet, JVP claims:
Middle Eastern Jews were generally indifferent or opposed to secular Zionism coming from Europe (Zvi Ben Dror, Invisible Exile: Iraqi Jews in Exile: 149).
That's 3 errors in just one sentence.

Just look online at a copy of the actual article and you will find:
  • Instead of "Zvi Ben Dror" -- the actual name of the author is Zvi A Ben-Dor Benite
  • Instead of "Invisible Exile: Iraqi Jews in Exile" -- the actual name of the article is "Invisible Exile: Iraqi Jews in Israel"
  • Instead of saying "Middle Eastern Jews were generally indifferent or opposed to secular Zionism coming from Europe" -- the article's claim is actually much more limited: "However, what seemed very logical in Palestine did not make much sense in Iraq, where Jews remained by and large indifferent to Zionism."

Other questionable claims by JVP in this "fact sheet" are not as blatant, but do offer an opportunity for setting the record straight:


According to the fact sheet, life for dhimmis under Islam wasn't so bad:
Prior to World War I, much of the Middle East was under Ottoman control, and Jews lived as Ottoman subjects with dhimmi status (people of the book). Under the Ottoman system, ethnic and religious groups had their own leadership and some autonomy over community affairs; they were protected through jizya, a poll tax. Depending on where in the region, violence against Jews was not a usual occurrence.
To claim that Jews were "protected through jizya" is the equivalent of euphemistically saying that store owners pay "protection money" to guard against theft -- without mentioning the 'protection' is from the very gangsters who are coercing the payments. The word 'dhimmi' itself is translated as 'protected' -- not "people of the book," but according to the Quran, the Jizya tax is not about protection, but humiliation:
“Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.” [9:29]
How much was the Jizya? Estimates vary.

The 2014 Wikipedia article on Jizya quotes scholars saying that the rate of jizya (head tax) and Kharaj tax (land tax) was more than 20% for all non-Muslim dhimmis. In the western Islamic states of Egypt and Morocco, these taxes had a minimum rate of 20% of all estimated assets and sales, while the highest rates averaged between 33% to 80% of all annual farm produce.

But according to the current Wikipedia article on Jizya, though the rate paid was not uniform, the jiyza tax was one dinar per year during the time of Mohammed, while the maximum was twelve dirhams. Muhammad Hamidullah is quoted as saying that the rate of ten dirhams per year was equivalent to the expenses of an average family for ten days. Old habits die hard, and 5 years ago, a Muslim cleric in Egypt claimed that US aid to Egypt was Jizya and that Egypt must "impose on America to pay aid as jizya, before we allow it to realize its own interests, the ones which we agree to."

What both versions do agree there are Muslim sources that advise humiliation, whether it means walking instead of riding a horse on the way to make payment or grabbing the beard of the dhimmi and hitting him in the face.

As for the claim "violence against Jews was not a usual occurrence," there is a long history of Muslim violence against Jews in then-Palestine, as there was in the rest of the Middle East.

Ethnic Cleansing?

JVP mirrors the Arab claim about "the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the making of over 700,000 Palestinians refugees," but the role of the Arab world in encouraging Palestinian Arabs to flee is documented by the Jewish Virtual Library:
The Economist, a frequent critic of the Zionists, reported on October 2, 1948: “Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit..It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”

o  Time's report of the battle for Haifa (May 3, 1948) was similar: “The mass evacuation, prompted partly by fear, partly by orders of Arab leaders, left the Arab quarter of Haifa a ghost city...By withdrawing Arab workers their leaders hoped to paralyze Haifa.”

o  The Secretary of the Arab League Office in London, Edward Atiyah, wrote in his book, The Arabs: “This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boastings of an unrealistic Arabic press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders that it could be only a matter of weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re­enter and retake possession of their country.”

o  In his memoirs, Haled al Azm, the Syrian Prime Minister in 1948­-49, also admitted the Arab role in persuading the refugees to leave:
Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call to them to leave and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve on their return.
o  “The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade,” said Habib Issa in the New York Lebanese paper, Al Hoda (June 8, 1951). “He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean....Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.”
Jewish Virtual Library also notes the flip side, that in select strategic cases -- as described by Palmach Commander Yigal Allon -- Israel did encourage Arabs to leave from the Galilee, and from Ramle-Lod to relieve pressure on besieged Jerusalem.

The Jews in Iraq

JVP tendency to adopt the pro-Arab narrative is also apparent in their description of Iraq's treatments of its Jews:
The Iraqi Denaturalization Law was enacted in March of 1950 when Iraqi Jews were allowed to immigrate legally to Israel if they gave up their Iraqi citizenship. In 1951, when the government realized that Iraqi Jewish registration increased after violent incidents, the government also froze Jewish assets, keeping Jewish resources in Iraq.
But according to Edwin Black, author of "IBM and the Holocaust," Iraq was not quite so generous to its Jews. He gives the missing context JVP fails to provide that already in October 1948, over a year before that law was passed, approximately 1,500 Jews were fired from their government positions, followed by the boycott and systematic expulsion of Jews from positions in commerce:
Now Jews began fleeing, mainly to neighboring Iran. They smuggled out whatever valuables they could to rebuild their lives. On March 3, 1950, to halt the uncontrolled flight of assets and people, Iraq passed a one-year amendment to Law 1, the Denaturalization Act. This statute revoked the citizenship of any Jew who willingly left the country. Upon exit, their assets were frozen but were still available to the emigrants for use within Iraq.

Thousands of Jews seized the opportunity to leave, believing at least that their assets, while frozen, would still be viable within Iraq until a better day. But when the one-year law expired, a successor anti-Jewish statute was enacted secretly on March 10, 1951. Law 5, known as the Law for the Control and Administration of Property of Jews Who Have Forfeited Nationality, permanently seized all the assets of Jews who had been denaturalized by the previous law and any others that would be pressured to leave the country.
Black addes that when the law was passed, the phones in Baghdad went down to keep Jews from transferring their assets to safety and the banks themselves were closed for three days.

Mizrachi Jews

The fact sheet emphasizes the treatment of Mizrahi Jews by Israel -- a controversial issue that has a painful history. Some of the points raised have a factual basis: the disappearance of Yeminite children - many of whom were adopted by Ashkenazi Jews and the thousands of eastern Jews who were given dangerous doses of radiation for ringworm, resulting in death or permanent medical problems. There is nothing to be gained in splitting hairs over the degree of the tragedy or over whom to assign blame.

But there are still false claims made by JVP:
Despite being the majority Jewish population in Israel, Mizrahim are represented in small numbers in the Israeli Parliament and in elite positions such as professorships.
While it is undeniable that Mizrahi Jews have battled for equal recognition and representation, the JVP claim again is incorrect.

A 2015 article in Haaretz reported that Mizrahi Jews already gained equality in representation in 1999:
"Various studies have also shown a significant reduction in the gap between the political representation of ethnic groups,” added Dahan. “The first Knesset had a negligible percentage of Mizrahi Knesset members. But this proportion grew until the 15th Knesset, elected in 1999, in which the proportion of Mizrahim was about the same as their representation in the population. The gap also decreased in the representation of Mizrahim in senior army ranks,” Dahan added."
As for other positions, Wikipedia has an article on Mizrahim with lists of prominent Mizrahi Jews in business, science, politics, the military and writing/academia.

Who's Indigenous?

Jewish Voice for Peace also tries to manipulate the issue of Mizrahi Jews to counter the indigenous ties of Jews to the land:
By defining Mizrahim as “indigenous” some political groups attempt to turn Mizrahim into a political tool to counter Palestinian claims to rights and redress from Israel. While there were Sephardi Jews living in Palestine for generations prior to modern Zionism, their relationships to the land, to their Arab and Ottoman neighbors, and to the surrounding cultures were entirely different than those of the European Zionists. The advent of Zionism rendered these longstanding relationships largely irrelevant, as power passed from the hands of European colonizers to those of European Jewish Zionists.
The meaning of the vague reference to the earlier relationships of Jews to the land and the Arabs is unclear -- and as already pointed out above, there is a long history of Arab discrimination and attacks against Jews in then-Palestine itself. The existence of Arabs on the land is a result of either being descended from the Muslims who invaded and conquered the land, having immigrated from other areas in search of better opportunities, or having converted from Judaism to Islam. In none of those scenarios do Arabs have cultural/historical ties to the land that come anywhere near the ties of Jews to the land. There is a reason why people with ties to Arabia are called Arabs and those with ties to Judea are called Jews.

Reverse Transfer

JVP wants us to take invitations to return to Arab countries seriously -- and reciprocate:
It is interesting to ask, given that some Arab countries have invited Jews to return and regain citizenship, would Israel make the same offer to Palestinians
More interesting is how one can compare inviting Arabs back to Israel where they may be a potential terrorist threat, with Jews returning to Arab countries where they would live in danger in response to an invitation that is likely less than sincere.

Bottom line, Jewish Voice for Peace consistently takes on narratives that are either anti-Israel or pro-Arab. Nothing wrong with that -- if in fact those narratives were based in fact.

The problem is that JVP's fact sheet, isn't.

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  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Hamas Ministry of Prisoners and Detainees in Gaza held a lottery to award 26 units in a newly constructed apartment tower in Gaza.

Only former prisoners in Israeli prisons were eligible for the lottery, which was held publicly.

The Al Salhi Tower I was built with the support and funding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iran is funding the building of more apartment houses specifically for Gaza terrorists.

The Islamic Republic of Iran thanked the heads of Hamas and Gaza for their support of the "liberated prisoners." praising the terrorists who "sacrificed their most precious possessions in order to live in the homeland."

Only terrorists who have been imprisoned for over 10 years and who were released since 1998 are eligible for these apartments, which are each 145 square meters (1560 square feet.) 165 people entered the lottery.

All of them will eventually receive a free apartment, thanks to Iran. Gazans are being taught every day that terror pays.

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  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Even without talking about the antisemitism of the Women's March leaders, the entire movement is hypocritical.

It is a good thing that its sponsors are bailing as fast as they could.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

  • Wednesday, January 16, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The New York Post:
The Forward is stopping — its print editions.

The storied Jewish-American publication is suspending its print operations and plans to lay off about 40 percent of its editorial staff — including Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner — while moving to digital-only.

A print publication for 121 years, The Forward will continue to produce an English-language and a Yiddish-language edition online.

The Forward is eyeing growth among its under-35 readers who prefer to read news online. Currently that segments amounts to a third of total readers.

“The revenue is not really there,” said a source. “They’ve been losing money for years but lately the losses have been more than $5 million a year.”

The publication is owned by The Forward Association, a not-for-profit whose endowment swelled to more than $100 million when the association sold its former headquarters on the Lower East Side as well as the radio station WEVD.
Back in November, Forward writer Jonathan Nathan-Kazis asked people to help him find dirt on Jewish charities - but his own non-profit employer has been throwing away far more money than most of the supposed scandals he has been reporting on in the Jewish world.

That $100 million that the Forward Association used to have? That was in 2001, when it sold WEVD to Disney for $78 million.

As of 2016, its total assets dipped below $40 million, and at the rate of losing over $5 million a year, that means it is now down to probably less than $30 million. (They have not yet filed their 2017 forms, let alone 2018.)

Eisner's compensation of some $250,000 a year will hardly make a dent in the amount The Forward is hemorrhaging.

My back of the envelope estimate is that the annual losses at the Forward will now be trimmed to "only" $3.2 million or so (possibly more if their print subscriptions were a majority of the subscription revenue.)

As far as trying to appeal to more people under 35, I guess we can expect more "journalism" like the literally antisemitic article about the 15 Women You Meet When You Date Jews In New York.

The Forward has already slid into irrelevance. Young Jews who care about Judaism and Israel won't read it, so the new webzine will amp up its articles targeted at its audience of young Jews who hate Israel and Judaism. And why should they want to read an ostensibly Jewish newspaper?

I predict that The Jewish Daily Forward will drop the "Jewish" part within five years.

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From Ian:

Victor Davis Hanson: The New, New Anti-Semitism
Out on the barricades, some Democrats, feminists, and Muslim activists, such as the co-founders of the “Women’s March,” Tamika Mallory and the now familiar Sarsour, have been staunch supporters of Louis Farrakhan (Mallory, for example, called him “the greatest of all time”). The New York Times recently ran a story of rivalries within the Women’s March, reporting that Mallory and Carmen Perez, a Latina activist, lectured another would-be co-leader, Vanessa Wruble, about her Jewish burdens. Wruble later noted: “What I remember — and what I was taken aback by — was the idea that Jews were specifically involved, and predominantly involved, in the slave trade, and that Jews make a lot of money off of black and brown bodies.”

Progressive icon Alice Walker was recently asked by the New York Times to cite her favorite bedtime reading. She enjoyed And the Truth Will Set You Free, by anti-Semite crackpot David Icke, she said, because the book was “brave enough to ask the questions others fear to ask” and was “a curious person’s dream come true.” One wonders which “questions” needed asking, and what exactly was Walker’s “dream” that had come “true.” When called out on Walker’s preference for Icke (who in the past has relied on the 19th-century Russian forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in part to construct an unhinged conspiracy about ruling “lizard people”), the Times demurred, with a shrug: It did not censor its respondents’ comments, it said, or editorialize about them.

These examples from contemporary popular culture, sports, politics, music, and progressive activism could be easily multiplied. The new, new anti-Semites do not see themselves as giving new life to an ancient pathological hatred; they’re only voicing claims of the victims themselves against their supposed oppressors. The new, new anti-Semites’ venom is contextualized as an “intersectional” defense from the hip, the young, and the woke against a Jewish component of privileged white establishmentarians — which explains why the bigoted are so surprised that anyone would be offended by their slurs.

In our illiterate and historically ignorant era, the new, new hip anti-Semitism becomes a more challenging menace than that posed by prior buffoons in bedsheets or the clownish demagogues of the 1980s such as the once-rotund Al Sharpton in sweatpants. And how weird that a growing trademark of the new path-breaking identity politics is the old stereotypical dislike of Jews and hatred of Israel.

David Collier: Nazis in disguise. How anti-Israel messaging is extreme-right rhetoric
We are witnessing a legitimisation of Nazi messaging against Jewish people in Israel. Some of it is our own fault. We have become so desensitised that we no longer differentiate between ‘a simple lie’ and full on extreme-right rhetoric. We see the messages everyday. They have entered the mainstream and celebrities, newsreaders and lecturers all use it. ‘The left’ as Nazi. We should display zero tolerance of this. Instead of pointing out the blatant swastika hidden behind the image, we enter ‘rabbit holes’ of discussion about historical accuracy. When we respond, at best, we just call it ‘propaganda’.

There is a difference between anti-Israel propaganda and Nazi messages. Arguments over cease-fires, settlements and proportional response are ‘narrative’ or ‘propaganda’ discussions. There is also clasic Soviet style anti-Zionist antisemitism on the circuit. But what I put forward here has nothing to do with legitimate discussion or hard-left antisemitism. It isn’t about whether the other side has created a myth or not. What I deal with here is Nazi messaging and when you see it, reject it as swiftly as you would if it was in the shape of a swastika. Here are just a few examples.

From Hebron to Jerusalem and Baghdad to Tulkarm 1929-1949
The next example is a simple one. The Jewish community of Hebron was ethnically cleansed following a massacre of Jews that took place in 1929. That ancient community had a virtually unbroken presence in Hebron, aside temporary expulsions (Crusaders) and an exodus following a pogrom in 1517.

Throughout most of the mid 1800s, Jerusalem had a Jewish majority. For several thousand years, temporary denials of access aside, the Jewish people were a sizeable part of the city’s population. Much of Jerusalem’s Jewish community were ethnically cleansed in 1948. The commander of the Jordanian forces is reported to have said: ‘For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter‘.

Descendants of all of these Jewish families, live in Israel today. They are counted as ‘invaders’ ‘colonial settlers’ and ‘usurpers’. Why? Because they are Jewish.

There is no doubt that an influx of Arab migrants entered the Mandate of Palestine throughout the 1900s. That flow of human traffic had started decades before. Egyptians fleeing military conscription in the late 1800s for example. European interest (Britain/France) alongside a Jewish Zionist influx also brought investment, and people gravitated towards economic growth. There are many such clues. Bushnak for example is the surname of Arabs who came from Bosnia. Many other surnames, such as Al-Baghdadi, Tamimi, and Al-Tachriti are clan-based and clearly not local. Martin Gilbert estimates 50,000 Arab immigrants arrived under British rule, others suggest double that.

Many of the descendants of these non-Jewish families live in Israel, or the 67 lands today. They are considered indigenous people, whose rights to the land override all other claims. Why? Because they are not Jewish.

When UNWRA created the definition of a Palestinian refugee they based it around residency of only two years. This means that a 1946 immigrant from Iraq is counted as an indigenous person whose rights in places such as Hebron override those of a Jewish person whose family had lived there forever. That is nothing to do with settlements or checkpoints. It is another Nazi narrative.

I can never understand right-wing people who vote for Naftali Bennett. I mean, even if I could forgive him for joining forces with Yair Lapid that time, how can someone with a plan for ceding land at all be considered right wing? And how can a vote for Bennett be anything but a betrayal of my deepest beliefs about the land?

I totally understand right-wing people who vote for Naftali Bennett. He’s got Ayelet Shaked on his list, and she’s done amazing things to reform Israel’s justice system. He’s got fiery right-wing columnist Caroline Glick onboard. Would Glick throw her lot in with Bennett if she thought he were going to give away my grandchildren’s land?

I can never understand right-wing people who vote for Moshe Feiglin. He says all the right things, but he doesn’t have the personality to get the votes. He lacks leadership charisma—he’s not a statesman. These things will never change and Feiglin will never have the power to do anything he talks about. A vote for Feiglin is a throwaway vote.

I totally understand right-wing people who vote for Moshe Feiglin. He’s uncompromising in his right-wing views. He doesn’t say one thing and do another. He says and does all the right things.

I can never understand right-wing people who vote for Bibi. Bibi talked reciprocity then gave away Hebron. He left the government over Disengagement, then voted in favor of it, four times. 

Bibi denounced Oslo then gave a speech touting the failed two-state solution.

He’s the head of the Likud, the “Greater Israel” party, but caved to pressure from Obama and froze building in Judea and Samaria. Bibi wrote a book about not caving in to terror, then released thousands of terrorists. He set up a commission to examine the legal status of Judea and Samaria, then failed to act on the recommendations of that committee. He apologized to Erdogan for the Mavi Marmara incident, a breach of Israel’s legal maritime blockade by Turks that left IDF soldiers with serious injuries. Bibi, from my purview, masquerades as the leader of the right, while effecting left-wing policy.

I totally understand people who vote for Bibi. He’s the only Israeli leader alive with true leadership skills. He’s a great orator and a genius. He’s the grand master of the chess board that is Israel. Were anyone else to take over, Israel would descend into chaos.

I can never understand right-wing people who don’t vote. If you don’t vote, how will you ever change things or be a force for good in Israeli society?
I totally understand right-wing people who don’t vote. They’ve given up. They figure that anyone they vote for either can’t get enough votes to rise to power, or if they do, they won’t really be right-wing once they get into office.
Voting in Israel is a lot like watching cable TV: 1000 television channels but there’s nothing to watch.

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jesus-facepalmBethlehem, January 16 - The Prince of Peace, King of the Jews, Son of God, Jesus Christ filed a lawsuit today against an evangelical institution for invoking his name and likeness without permission for commercial purposes, depicting Him as opposed to Israel's security measures to protect its citizens, as part of the institution's efforts to raise funds, court documents indicate.

Jesus filed the lawsuit in the State of Texas against Bethlehem Bible College, which operates in the Holy Land but maintains fundraising offices in the Lone Star State. In the lawsuit, the Redeemer charges that the college misappropriates his name, works, and reputation for its "Christ at the Checkpoint" conferences and events, falsely implying that He endorses their activity, an endorsement that BBC and CATC use to attract donors. The Savior seeks a cease and desist order against the college and an unspecified amount in monetary damages.

A spokesman for the divine incarnate told reporters that the Christ has in fact visited numerous Israeli checkpoints and found them to be an unfortunate necessity, the most efficient way to promote safety for Israelis while allowing Palestinian workers, students, and patients to meet the needs they cannot under Palestinian self-rule.

"It's disingenuous for this so-called 'Christ at the Checkpoint' operation to assert that the Son of God would oppose such checkpoints," stated St. Thomas the Apostle. "It also, by the way, violates the very Scriptures they purport to revere, most notably the parts that proscribe theft, falsehood, and taking the Lord's name in vain. But of course the leaders of the so-called Bethlehem 'Bible' College prefer not to give too much attention to that section of the Bible that enshrines God's commitment to the descendants of Jacob, His granting of the Holy Land to them in perpetuity, and the special relationship manifest in that arrangement."

St. Thomas identified what he called a tragic irony in the episode. "Where the defendant's institution operates, followers of Jesus have been dwindling for many years," he observed. "The phenomenon began many decades ago, but accelerated once Palestinian self-rule began a quarter-century ago. The one place in the entire Middle East with a growing, thriving Christian population is the one country these people oppose because it's a Jewish state, and the idea that God has not rejected the Jews forever really grates on them. Also, Jesus is Jewish, an obvious fact of which they appear to be entirely ignorant. One wonders at this irrational opposition to control of Jesus's homeland by His own people."

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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