Tuesday, December 31, 2019

From Ian:

Palestinian NGOs Reject European Aid, Due to Refusal to Renounce Terror Ties
Over 100 Palestinian NGOs have refused to sign an EU grant request because it demands that funds cannot be handed over to terrorist groups.

The director of the BDS organization Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, told The New Arab, “We demanded to include conditions stipulating that we do not have to recognize the criteria listed regarding terror groups.”

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs said in a statement that this was due to “shared ties between supposed Palestinian human rights organizations and terrorist groups,” and cited its report “The Money Trail,” which found that “EU institutions have awarded millions of euros in financial aid to Palestinian civil society organizations which have ties to terrorist entities and promote boycotts against Israel.”

In another report, titled “Terrorists in Suits,” the ministry revealed “over 100 ties shared between BDS organizations and internationally designated terrorist groups … including the PFLP and Hamas.

“According to the report, so-called Palestinian civil society organizations act as medium for funds for terrorist entities, enabling them to raise money for their activities through legitimate bodies including the EU,” the ministry added.

“The opposition of these organizations to criteria preventing the transfer of funds to terror related activities proves the report’s claim,” the ministry’s statement asserted.
50 Leftist Jews to Spend Winter Vacation in ‘Direct Co-Resistance’ in Judea & Samaria, Fly Home in 10 Days
To start, you should know there’s a thing called The Center for Jewish Nonviolence, and that it “strives for a future that honors the full equality and shared humanity of both Palestinians and Israelis.”

Then you should know that on Monday the CJNV tweeted: “CJNV delegation begins—International Jewish activists defy crackdown on Palestinian solidarity activism during delegation to the Occupied Territories.”

IfNotNow, one of the groups represented in this unusual Xmas vacation in the Holy Land, tweeted: “A group of our members, along with members of J Street, JVPlive, Naamod UK and other Jewish left orgs around the world just hit the ground in the West Bank as part of CJNV’s newest delegation. They’ll engage in direct co-resistance work with Palestinian activists.”

We have no blessed idea what the crackdown on Palestinian solidarity activism even means, never mind how one goes about defying it, and what’s the meaning of “direct co-resistance work” – in ten days or less (they’re flying home at the end of the revolution). We do know from the group’s press release that it will include “civil disobedience, educational sessions and community building projects.”

Then lunch.

That’s a lot to accomplish in ten days. We signed up for the daily updates, in the hope they’ll be as entertaining as the first couple of tweets.

David Collier: Antisemitism and the conflict – explained in two simple maps
This is the entire story of antisemitism and the Israel / Arab conflict delivered in two simple maps. One map is based on Jewish populations in the 1930s, the other Jewish populations today. The maps are not just of Europe or the Middle East, but the entire Europe, Middle East and North Africa region. People love to make everything seem complex. Sometimes the best thing to do is cut out the noise:
Map: Jewish populations Europe and MENA region 1930s

Map: Jewish populations Europe and MENA region 2010s

If anyone notices any important mistakes, let me know. The figures in the maps are a collation of official European pre-holocaust figures, scholarly estimates from the Arab ethnic cleansing of their Jewish populations and contemporary population figures. Only significant populations of 50k+ have been considered unless the population is smaller but still a sizeable % of the total population.

Put the two images side by side and everything suddenly becomes clear. The horrific scale of the destruction of Jewish communities. But also the antisemitic obsession with Israel. Some spend their time arguing that anti-Zionism isn’t antisemitism, but just look at the maps. Tell me that having hounded, persecuted, expelled and murdered their Jewish communities throughout the regions, that the current obsession with that one tiny concentration of Jews that is left – the Jews in Israel – isn’t driven by antisemitism.

  • Tuesday, December 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
We hear horror stories about how demeaning and time consuming it is for Palestinian workers to cross into Israel.

Yet when Israel fixes the problem, the media suddenly loses interest in reporting the story.

It is much easier to report the lie that Israel wants to humiliate Palestinians for no reason than to report the reality that Israel wants to make everyone's lives easier while maintaining its security.

Unfortunately, the lie sells newspapers and helps ratings, while the truth is complicated and messy and doesn't conform with what so many people want to believe.

So the truth is buried.

(h/t Irene)

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From Ian:

Anti-Semitism Is a Threat to Western Civilization Itself
On Saturday night, a man burst into a rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY, where a Hanukkah party was taking place, and began stabbing people with a machete. In North London, that same night, the walls of a synagogue and several shops were spray-painted with anti-Semitic slogans. Daniel Johnson comments on both incidents:
The appearance of graffiti in North London seems, by comparison, merely symbolic. Yet the fact that it happened against the background of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labor party gives it a sinister significance.

The fact that these incidents happened at Hanukkah is also ominous. In the German city of Halle, a synagogue was attacked by a gunman at Yom Kippur only last month. Jewish festivals present opportunities for anti-Semites to target victims wherever they gather together. By deliberately turning solemn occasions of communal worship into times of fear and anxiety, anti-Semites seek to disrupt the rhythm of the religious calendar that is the essence of Judaism.

Yet the Jewish people has never allowed itself to be intimidated, let alone subdued, by such threats. The Hebrew Bible is the story of a nation that survived every attempt to crush its identity and suppress its faith in the God of Abraham and Isaac.

It is up to the rest of society to show their Jewish friends and neighbors that they will not look the other way as the oldest hatred renews itself. . . . Western leaders, too, have a responsibility to protect their Jewish citizens. This Hanukkah, Boris Johnson tweeted: “Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community.” True enough, but tweets and gestures are not an adequate answer to lies, murder, and mayhem. Anti-Semitism is a mortal threat not only to the Jewish people but to Western civilization itself.
Victimhood Culture Leads to Anti-Semitism
The left’s leading populists have fetishized the victim status of certain minorities, including African Americans. They’ve made slavery and its legacy the focal points of American life. They’ve determined, without evidence, that police are on a campaign to kill unarmed blacks. And they speak generally as if we’ve suddenly been transported to a pre-civil-rights-movement America.

What’s more, unlike Donald Trump, some of the left’s leading populists have gone out of their way to steer their followers toward blaming the Jews. The stand-out figures here are Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. Their public record of blaming Jewish money for corrupting American politics is so well known that it needs no rehearsing here. And it’s either been ignored or defended by the larger left. If you called either of them out on their anti-Semitism, you were charged with racism and misogyny. Democratic leaders were so petrified of Omar that they couldn’t even pass a House resolution condemning her blatant anti-Semitic remarks.

But the problem on the left goes beyond Omar and Tlaib. And it goes beyond the rest of the Squad, who engage in constant anti-Israel theatrics. It stretches to the identitarian populism of most of the 2020 Democratic candidates for president, to the liberal garment-rending over the defeat of the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn, to the intersectional gobbledygook that divides college campuses by ethnicity, to the Women’s March activists who embrace Louis Farrakhan, and down to the community level, where, for example, the NAACP, Passaic branch posts Facebook rants blaming tainted water supplies on the Jews.

Historically, indulged victims have needed no encouragement in pointing their finger at Jews. Telling them that others are responsible for their woes has usually been enough to get them headed in that direction. But some on today’s left have given Jew-hatred an extra nudge. Their winks, dog-whistles, and outright calumnies have served as a noxious propaganda campaign and led to a surge of minority anti-Semitism. With the attempted murders in Monsey, this can no longer be kept a secret, and maybe those who have facilitated it will begin to know a little shame.
Bethany Mandel: Stop using Jewish blood to smear your political enemies
Those who reflexively blame President Trump for any and all attacks, no matter how unrelated his administration, actions, or rhetoric are, have made a conscious choice: They would rather play politics than put an end to the violence. And worse, it seems they would like it to continue, in order to have more ammunition against the White House leading up to the 2020 election.

Just as dangerous are those on the Right who are using the occasion to lecture Jews on how they should be voting, that they should be arming themselves and fortifying their houses of worship, and where they should be living. The problem of anti-Semitism isn’t because Jews vote one way or another. (This is a complicated issue when you break down voting histories between Orthodox and secular Jews, but that is a conversation for another time.)

Solving anti-Semitism doesn’t involve making our supermarkets, schools, synagogues, and more into fortresses. That’s not how any of us want to live. Unfortunately, we’ve begun to, and yet the violence continues and is becoming more serious by the day. Most of the attacks in New York have been in the streets, and they’ve taken place against men, the elderly, and even women with their children, in broad daylight and in full view of the public.

Advocating for Jews taking advantage of the protections of the Second Amendment is a moot point for many panicked Jews living in areas where obtaining a gun permit is an uphill climb and a conceal carry permit an absolute impossibility. We can recognize that Jews are safer while armed and advocate for less restrictive gun laws while still acknowledging that guns aren’t a magic bullet to solve this crisis, either. In the long term, there is a battle to be fought for expanded access to guns, but in the short term, lectures about firearms are paternalistic and can be deeply frustrating for panicked people unable to avail themselves of the option.

That this is the case in New York and New Jersey isn’t the fault of the Orthodox Jews living there. Instead of being condescended to about needing to move, allies would be far more appreciated and be doing far more good, continuing to advocate for less restrictive gun laws in these jurisdictions instead of expecting a small community under siege to flee the homes of their parents and grandparents.

There are societal issues that are much more complex and deeper at play — the rot is far more complicated than mere politics and Trump. As long as the violence striking the Jewish community is treated as a political cudgel, it will continue unabated.
December 30, 2019 - Hour 1 (Guest Host Jon Gabriel)
Jon Gabriel, Editor-In-Chief at Ricochet, columnist for the Arizona Republic, and co-host of "The Conservatarians" podcast, fills in for Seth.
Guests: Bethany Mandel of Ricochet.com. (first 20 minutes)

  • Tuesday, December 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

Ken Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, tweets more that President Trump does. Yet I cannot find any tweets where he denounces antisemitism that cannot be blamed on white nationalists.

Essentially, he denies that any other sort of antisemitism exists.

The one tweet that shows this more than any other was written in 2018:

The New York Times article he refers to is about a rally against antisemitism that was prompted by an attack by a Syrian on someone (who wasn't Jewish!) wearing a kippah.

The article describes all kinds of antisemitism in Germany - from immigrants, from a rap duo as well as from the far-Right. But Roth ignores almost the entire article to take one sentence that claims that 90% of antisemitic attacks are from the far-Right as he sarcastically demeans anyone who says that Muslim antisemitic attacks are worth mentioning.

Yes, a human rights advocate is literally making fun of anyone concerned about Muslim attacks on Jews.

Certainly Roth knows that the vast majority of violent attacks against Jews in Europe have been done by Muslims. He not only fails to acknowledge them, but he smugly denounces anyone who mentions it!

What about this German study that supposedly says that 90% of attacks are from the far-Right? It turns out that the study was worthless. 

The German government uses outdated and ambiguous definitions of the motivation behind antisemitic attacks that by their nature do not include specifically Muslim antisemitism as a category, only the vague "foreign ideology" or "religious ideology" as well as right and left wing. So, for example, when 20 Muslims chanted "Sieg Heil" at an Al Quds demonstration in 2014, the government absurdly classified that as "right wing" antisemitism. Four Palestinians who burned down a synagogue were not charged with an antisemitic crime.

In reality, German Jews have reported that 41% of the antisemitism they have experienced comes from Muslim extremists, and only 20% from the far-Right - not much more than the 16% from the far-Left.

The German government itself has written a 40-page report specifically on Muslim antisemitism.

Ken Roth never mentioned any of this.

If the German government and German Jews (as well as other studies) refute the claim that nearly all antisemitism in Germany comes from the far-Right, then why does a supposedly human rights defender actively deny the evidence and cherry picks only one specific type of antisemitism to ever denounce?

There is nothing wrong with combating the very real danger of right wing antisemitism. There is something very wrong about denying that any other types exist or are worth talking about. If you deny the very existence of a type of antisemitism that conflicts with your political beliefs, then you are a denier and enabler of antisemitism.

What kind of a human rights leader makes fun of the very real fears of people of Islamic extremist antisemitism?

Ken Roth, by sarcastically denying that any non-Right version of antisemitism even exists, shows that he is unqualified to call himself a human rights advocate at all.

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  • Tuesday, December 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
PA president Mahmoud Abbas has emphasized that he will not allow any Israeli or Western moves to limit the salaries he pays terrorists, whom he calls "martyrs and prisoners."

Abbas said that if only penny remains in his budget, he will spend it on terrorists and their families. He said that he considers this issue a red line that he will not allow any change to.

The funny thing is that Abbas has reduced the budget for paying terrorists as a result of Israeli pressure, he just doesn't admit it. Members of Hamas have had their terror salaries cut a few months back and they even went on a hunger strike to protest that cut in November.

It seems that Abbas has no problem cutting Hamas out of his budget, even their "martyrs," something we've known for quite a long time.

Nevertheless, the West's "moderate" darling has made it abundantly clear that he supports "pay for slay." He proudly tells his people that his number one priority is not a state, not independence, not jobs, not the economy, and not even Jerusalem.

Abbas' top priority is rewarding terrorists who have killed and injured Jews.

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  • Tuesday, December 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 2014, after Israel refused to release a final batch of prisoners unless the PLO agreed to extend peace negotiations, the PLO responded by violating an agreement with Israel that it wouldn't sign international conventions join international bodies. In a very short time, the PLO signed the following conventions, without reservations:

The Fourth Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the First Additional Protocol
The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (on the involvement of children in armed conflict)
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
The UN Convention against Corruption
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
The Vienna Convention on Consular Services
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

As we have been reporting, the signing of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has been rejected recently by the Palestinian Authority's own Supreme Fatwa Council and has been denounced by a group of tribal leaders. An analysis of Palestinian Authority laws also shows that CEDAW was never implemented in legal codes; discrimination against women is in fact the law.

Given what we know about the Palestinian Authority, it clearly has not taken seriously a number of other conventions it signed in 2014, including the ones against racial discrimination (which include the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association); corruption, torture, civil and political rights, and apartheid. Its policies still include antisemitic laws against selling land to Jews. It is considered one of the most corrupt regimes in the Arab world. It still tortures prisoners with impunity.

The editor-in-chief of the Ma'an media network, Dr. Nasser Al-Lahham, made an astonishing admission about the Palestinian Authority in a television show over the weekend on the topic of CEDAW:

Regarding the CEDAW agreement, which recently sparked controversy, Al-Lahham sees it as a fabricated crisis for partisan reasons, and that its signature is important so that Palestine is part of the international system, calling on those concerned about the CEDAW agreement to be reassured that there is no civil marriage in Palestine...
He continued: "The government cannot implement CEDAW in its entirety in light of the existence of a societal system, and that the signing of the agreement is political and was not intended to undermine the Sharia, and had it not been for the signing of CEDAW and many other agreements, the International Criminal Court would not have accepted us."
He is admitting that the PLO never had any intention of honoring its agreements with the international community, and the only reason these conventions were signed were to take on the trappings of a state so they could join the ICC and prosecute Israel!

It is notable that Israel signed CEDAW with reservations on two of its paragraphs because Israel relies on Muslim and Jewish law for personal issues like marriage that cannot be reconciled with CEDAW. The PLO didn't sign it with any reservations about Sharia law, simply because it never intended to honor the convention to begin with - and by extension, it never intended to honor any of the agreements it signed.

This proves yet again that the PLO and PA have no intention for "Palestine" to be a serious member of the international community. The only reason for its existence is to attack Israel, not to build a functioning state that protects the rights of its citizens.

The ICC prosecutor should be made aware that the "State of Palestine" is not a state and its signed agreements that underlie its claims to statehood are meaningless.

Ironically, Muslims say that Jews are inherently violators of treaties, based on Quranic stories about Mohammed. Here we see that Palestinians knowingly violate international treaties and never intended to abide by them from the outset.

The international community should revisit every single treaty signed by the PA and PLO and demand full compliance - or it should expel the Palestinians from treaties that they have joined without intent of implementing.

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.

Monday, December 30, 2019

From Ian:

Josh Hammer: The ICC has some nerve to target Israel
Bensouda’s prosecution is utterly lawless. As a political matter, the West must push back against this encroachment on the sovereignty of a democratic nation-state.

For starters, the ICC is structurally biased against Israel. As international-law expert Eugene Kontorovich noted when the Palestinian Authority sought formal ICC membership in 2015, the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, included language at the behest of the Arab states specifically designed to ­demonize Israeli “settlement” activity in the West Bank.

That should have given away the ICC game. But even under the ICC’s own terms, Bensouda’s attempted prosecution doesn’t pass muster. It lacks jurisdiction.

Under the Rome Statute, the ICC can go ahead with a prosecution in a country only if the state has delegated jurisdiction to the ­international court. But which state could delegate jurisdiction to the ICC in the case of the Palestinian territories? Certainly not the fictional “State of Palestine,” which even the United Nations doesn’t formally recognize as a state.

Plus, if Israel is a nefarious “occupier” of Palestine, as Palestinian propaganda constantly claims, then it means that the “State of Palestine” isn’t sovereign over its own claimed territory and therefore can’t delegate jurisdiction to the ICC.

An ICC prosecution, moreover, would flout the Oslo Accords, which call for direct negotiations between the parties to reach a final political settlement and under which Israel ­retains full civil and military control over the majority of the West Bank territory.

A still more glaring problem: Israel is a democratic state with civilian control of the military and an independent, rigorous judiciary that can adjudicate war-crimes allegations. This isn’t some war-torn, broken state or one transitioning out of recent dictatorship — like, er, Gambia. Israel doesn’t need ICC supervision to prosecute war crimes by its own soldiers.

But Bensouda cares not for legal niceties. She has previously opined that Gaza, from which Israel unilaterally withdrew in 2005, remains occupied, because the “international community” says so. The fact that she has gone ahead with this prosecution means she already buys the anti-Israel narrative wholesale: that “Palestine” is a sovereign state; that all of the West Bank belongs to that Palestinian state; and that Jews living in their biblical heartland are war criminals.
Did ICC prosecutors engage with Hamas when drafting case against Israel?
Prosecutors from the International Criminal Court did not deny that they engaged with representatives of the terrorist groups Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) when preparing their case to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes.

When asked whether it heard arguments from Hamas, the ICC told The Jerusalem Post it engages with all kinds of groups within Israeli and Palestinian society. However, it added, its official focal point is with the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas.

Still, the PA’s official committee, appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas to handle matters related to the ICC, which definitely engaged with the court, includes representatives of Hamas and PFLP, among them individuals with known ties to terrorism.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, head of the ICC committee, said on official Palestinian TV earlier this month – the day after the probe of Israel and the Palestinians was announced – that Hamas had been involved.

“This committee includes all the bodies of the Palestinian political spectrum without exception… We worked together as a team,” he stated in a video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “Dr. Ghazi Hammad, for example, was elected as the committee’s spokesman… He is one of Hamas’s leaders. There were six Hamas members in the committee. Khalida Jarrar – may she be released [from prison] soon – represented the PFLP. I don’t want to go into the names, but I will just say that no [faction] was left out.”

  • Monday, December 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Nidal Al-Amoudi brigades of Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades held a parade in Gaza to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the first Fatah terror attack.

About ten years ago, Mahmoud Abbas claimed he dismantled all the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades military groups. He lied.

There were a few teen gawkers at the parade, based on the photos, and no one else.

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:

JPost Editorial: Fight the hate together
The shooting incident at the kosher New Jersey supermarket on December 10 – in which two ultra-Orthodox Jews were killed along with a non-Jewish employee and a policeman – was another dreadful reminder that the situation is growing out of control.

The fatal attacks on worshipers in synagogues in Pittsburgh last year and Poway in April this year are a tragic evidence of the extent and dangers of the phenomenon.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered a thorough investigation and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, “Hate doesn’t have a home in our city,” promising an increased police presence in Jewish neighborhoods and adding, “Anyone who terrorizes our Jewish community WILL face justice.”

We welcome their support and action.

Part of the problem is that Jews are targeted for attacks from many different directions: the far Right, Islamists and, in the case of the New Jersey attack, members of a marginal community of so-called Black Hebrews. The anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiment of the radical Left also fosters hatred. The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is another modern expression of antisemitism, singling out Jewish and Israeli businesses.

The wave of antisemitic attacks in the US has grabbed the headlines recently, but there have been incidents throughout Europe, the UK, Australia and elsewhere.

Several Israeli politicians condemned the attacks and urged the Jews to make aliyah. There are many reasons for Jews to move to Israel but it shouldn’t be done out of fear. And Jews shouldn’t have to live in fear wherever they are.

As Moroccan publisher Ahmed Charai wrote in an opinion piece in this paper earlier this month, “Antisemitism is everyone’s problem.” He called for cooperation in fighting hatred, writing, “Arabs and Jews simply must stop hating each other so that together we can face the truly dangerous people who hate us both.”

Zero tolerance for antisemitism cannot be a meaningless slogan. This kind of hatred does not bode well for society as a whole. The Jews will not be the only victims.
An American pogrom
Bill de Blasio, a longtime ally of Sharpton’s, responded with the same hypocrisy as the anti-Jewish violence in New York City ran out of control. In February 2017, Jacob Siegel recently noted in Tablet, the NYPD reported ‘an 81 percent increase in hate crimes compared to the same period in 2016, an increase largely caused by a 115 percent rise in incidents targeting Jews’. Questioned a few days after, de Blasio ignored his police department and the growing CCTV evidence: ‘The horrible, hateful rhetoric that was used in this election by candidate Trump and by a lot of his supporters directly connects to an increase since the election in anti-Semitic incidents, anti-Muslim incidents and anti-LGBT incidents.’

In June 2019, de Blasio called anti-Semitism ‘a right-wing force’. He continued to deny reality until the Jersey City killings. I’m sure he didn’t meant to incite, but the effect was to connive, just as Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders connive when they’re photographed with Al Sharpton as they compete for the Democratic nomination — or, moving from one kind of Jew-hatred to another, Nancy Pelosi connived with Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib by posing with them on the cover of Rolling Stone.

A similar connivance has corrupted the pro-Democratic media which uses the killing of Jews by white supremacists to hammer President Trump, only to consistently suppress the embarrassing reality of attacks on Jews by non-whites. On Sunday, Seth Mandel of the Washington Examiner described ‘practically begging’ editors to cover anti-Jewish violence that didn’t come from white nationalists, a ‘humiliating spectacle’ made all the worse by consistently negative responses.

‘There’s no one doing this work at the Atlantic,’ Mandel wrote. ‘There’s no one doing this work at the Washington Post.’ Nor, he said, are the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books covering what’s happening on their doorsteps. The same, Mandel said, goes for HuffPost, Slate, Mother Jones, Vox, BuzzFeed, the Daily Beast and NPR.

I hope Mandel is wrong and that all of these publications have assigned resources and reporters to an obvious and serious crisis in American life. Many of them have recently supported and published worthy investigations into the ways in which Republican politicians have mainstreamed the bigotry of white racists. It’s time that they did the same with the Democrats — and past time for the Democrats themselves to address their longstanding complicity with their preferred forms of anti-Jewish incitement.
Batya Ungar-Sargon: Why No One Can Talk About The Attacks Against Orthodox Jews
And therein lies the trouble with talking about the violent attacks against Orthodox Jews: At a time when ideology seems to rein supreme in the chattering and political classes, the return of pogroms to Jewish life on American soil transcends ideology. In the fight against anti-Semitism, you don’t get to easily blame your traditional enemies — which, in the age of Trump, is a non-starter for most people.

Of course, the rise in anti-Semitism is not incidental to the times we live in. While the Brooklyn attackers are, at least according to demographic trends, extremely unlikely to be Trump supporters, our president, who has a penchant for anti-Semitic tropes, is a conspiracy theorist, and anti-Semitism often manifests as a conspiracy theory about secretive Jewish power.

But conspiracy theories flourish on the left as well in today’s day and age. They twist and torque those rigid ideologies to which so many are enslaved, reshaping the extremes from polar opposites into a horseshoe whose ends meet — again and again — to justify, excuse, or muzzle criticism of anti-Semitism.

It has resulted in a staggering, shameful silence when it comes to speaking out on behalf of the wave of pogroms against the Orthodox. For many people, it seems when they can’t blame the other side of the political aisle, they would rather say nothing at all.

This is not acceptable. The Jewish community’s most visible, vulnerable members need Americans to stand up and say “no more.” They need us to climb out of our trenches and find common ground to fight this ugly resurgence of anti-Jewish hatred.

We can only fight this fight together, because it is a pox on all of our houses. It is only by remembering what unites us as Americans that we can help our fellow Jews and, as “Maoz Tzur” suggests, hasten the time of salvation.

  • Monday, December 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jordanians are transfixed by a video widely circulating of a man and woman having sex - or perhaps only kissing - in a Mitsubishi Lancer car. There are dozens of articles about it today.

Apparently the man has a beard and the woman is veiled.

People are complaining to the police, who are warning people not to film and spread such videos. Rumors are that the couple have left Jordan and that the car was not theirs.

A spokesman for the Public Security Directorate said that the video contradicts all laws, customs and traditions, and an investigation was opened to verify its authenticity, its location, and the people who appeared in it to take the necessary legal measures regarding it.

This isn't the only controversial video in the Arab world this past week.

This grainy video showing a woman dancing and briefly flashing her breasts outside a car last week, also in Jordan, caused a stir.

And this video of a Saudi girl wearing skimpy clothing (by Saudi standards) and smoking also caused controversy.

As did this very brief video of two Saudi women with veils and see-through tops - meaning their bras were visible. News media called this "almost naked."

This idea of women walking around in ways that would barely turn heads in the West seems to be a pattern now, in line with women removing headscarves in Iran. It seems to be a trend that will challenge the conservatism of the Arab world.

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.
  • Monday, December 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Mirasimiz is a Turkish NGO that operates in Jerusalem, and calls itself the Association for the Preservation of Ottoman Heritage in and Around Jerusalem. According to an article in Daily Sabah about it last year, their spokesperson said, "All the activities carried out by Mirasımız are in accordance with Israeli laws and regulations. The efforts of the waqf focus on protecting the Ottoman culture and heritage in the holy city of Jerusalem."

Here is the cover of one of their reports:

Yes, a devil disguised as a religious Jew is tipping the scales against the innocent.

They also have a magazine called Minber-i-Aksa. One issue featured this antisemitic cover, whose accompanying article claimed the Star of David is Islamic.

In that same issue was this article entitled  "ISRAEL'S FOOD TERRORISM":

It claims that Israel monopolized the genetically modified food business, and is selling "killer seeds" that damage the soil, poisoning fields and consumers, so that then Israel could sell them the medicine as part of a sophisticated plan to make more money.

The article goes on to say, "Jews do not hesitate to carry out forbidden transactions and treatments, such as gambling or interest, which they prohibit among themselves in order to harm foreigners."

Every single issue of the magazine has antisemitic messages. "Jews" are mentioned literally hundreds of times in recent issues! For example:

The Jewish nation is approaching its ambitions step by step… The issue of the Jewish Nation State is the last step taken, followed by the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque tomorrow. Jews see themselves as superior race; unfortunately, Jewish lovers do not realize this aspect of Jews… Muslims will understand the Jews and what they want to do if they return to the Qur'an and the hadiths, listen to our Lord's commandments, the recommendations of our Prophet.

Why is Israel allowing a blatantly antisemitic organization to do work as an apparently credentialed NGO?

(h/t iTi)

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  • Monday, December 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Fighting antisemitism will take a multi-pronged approach of both tactical and strategic approaches.

From a tactical point of view, Jews need to be protected, now. This means more police patrols in Jewish neighborhoods, more physical protections around synagogues and Jewish schools.  This will be a challenge for synagogues that specialize in outreach like Chabad and Aish HaTorah because their very identity is to be open to all. But it is necessary, as Poway and Mumbai have shown.

Haredi Jews need to shed their shtetl mentality. Too many times we have seen them being attacked in Brooklyn and bystanders don't even chase the attackers. This is emboldening the youths, often black, who now see this as a way to get their kicks. If Jews catch them and beat them up a few times, the incentive to grab at the weakest Jews - which is what they have been doing - will dry up. It is essential to make the haredim realize that their accepting being tormented as we did in Europe before the Holocaust it not a good strategy here - it encourages more attacks.

From a strategic perspective, we need to define the antisemites and their motivations. If black youths are using Jews as scapegoats because they themselves feel powerless, then we need not only to raise the price of attacking Jews but also to make them empowered over their own lives, which is a huge endeavor but one that there should be support for at both a governmental and grassroots level.

It is crucial for black leaders - church and political leaders - to address their own people and let them know that attacking Jews is immoral and counterproductive to their communities.

Farrakhan supporters are a different issue. They need to be marginalized in the larger black communities as fringe, not mainstream - articles by Nation of Islam supporters should not be published in major black newspapers, for example, for the simple reason that they are disgusting bigots. Their message of black empowerment is important but that can be accomplished with far-sighted black leaders who are not also bigots and antisemites.

Right-wing antisemites have indeed felt emboldened by President Trump, even if he has not been encouraging them nearly as much as the Left pretends. He is still partially responsible for dividing the nation for his own electoral gain and he needs to make crystal clear that he does not want support or votes from people who are white nationalists or neo-Nazis, and that they should crawl back under the rocks they came from.

Left-wing antisemites are so self-righteous that they are impervious to shame. We saw from Corbyn supporters that practically none of them are self-aware enough to realize how hypocritical and bigoted they are. They will bend over backwards to ensure that Muslims or blacks are not the least bit uncomfortable but Jews feeling under siege in a toxic campus environment where they cannot even express their opinions is not even acknowledged. The response from the Left to Monsey was a combination of willful blindness and misdirection - anything to avoid considering that their political allies are antisemitic. All we can do is to put them on the spot - have them define, for example, exactly which criticism of Israel they consider to be valid and which is over the line for antisemitism. They hate the IHRA definition - force them to come up with their own, and maybe a dialog can happen. I'm not optimistic.

And even less open to discussion are most of the Muslim and Arab antisemites. But there is a chance for dialogue with Muslim Americans because religious Jews do have a lot in common with them. Both communities are insular, though, and liberal Jews speaking with liberal Muslims won't make much of a difference. Perhaps finding specific issues that they can work together on - security around mosques and synagogues, around Muslim and Jewish schools, jointly protesting European initiatives to ban circumcision and ritual slaughter, working together to replace meat-based food ingredients with vegetable substitutes that can ensure more Kosher and Halal foods - perhaps these can help both communities become more amenable to the other.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to antisemitism, and regarding Jew-hatred as just another bigotry is not only wrong but exactly the opposite of the correct approach.

What other ideas do you have?

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Sunday, December 29, 2019

  • Sunday, December 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Another new Disney Chanukah song for the year. Not the greatest but welcome!

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.
  • Sunday, December 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

From JPost:

The Antiquities Authority announced Sunday that a juglet full of rare 1,200-year-old gold coins was discovered in an excavation in Yavne just before the festival.

As revealed by IAA coin expert Robert Kool, the coins date back to the early Abbasid Period, 9th century CE. The period marked the beginning of a golden age for the Muslim empire, with the Abbasid rulers acquiring international status and promoting art, science, commerce and industry. According to Kool, among the coins was a dinar from the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid (786-809 CE), whose court was the setting of many parts of the world-renowned One Thousand and One Nights– also known as Arabian Nights.

“The hoard also includes coins that are rarely found in Israel,” Kool said. “These are gold dinars issued by the Aghlabid dynasty that ruled in North Africa, in the region of modern Tunisia, on behalf of the Abbasid Caliphate centered in Baghdad,” he added. 
But I thought Israel was weaponizing archaeology to erase all Muslim history!

It gets "worse" - the Israel Antiquities Authority even admits there was a Persian presence in the fourth century CE!

Even older artifacts were revealed in the region. According to the IAA, a large wine production installation dating back to the Persian Period (4th – 5th centuries) was uncovered in a different area of the excavation. Codirector of the excavation Elie Haddad explained that an “initial analysis of the contents of the installation revealed ancient grape pips [seeds].” Hadded added, “The size and number of vats found at the site indicated that wine was produced on a commercial scale, well beyond the local needs of Yavne’s ancient inhabitants.”
Here's the thing: Jews are secure in their own history in the land, which is why they have no problem publicizing the others who have lived there. Arabs, on the other hand, are not nearly as secure in their history, so they are the ones what need to erase the Jewish parts of history.

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:

Saturday Night Terror At Rabbi Rottenburg’s Shul, 15 Transported To Hospital, Suspect In Custody
Multiple people were stabbed Saturday night in a synagogue.

According to reports, a black male entered the home of Rabbi Rottenburg, who has a Shul in the Forshay neighborhood of Monsey. There was a Chanukah party going on in the home.

The man, whose face was covered with a scarf, immediately pulled out a machete and started stabbing people.

At least 5 people were stabbed. One of the victims was stabbed in the chest.

According to reports, 15 victims were transported to the hospital, but 5 were ultimately hospitalized. 1 victim is in critical condition.

According to individuals inside the home at the time of the attack, the attacker was fought off by Jews who threw tables and chairs at him.

The perpetrator ran out after his attack and escaped in a Nissan Sentra. His license plate (HPT 5747) was written down by a bystander who pursued him before he left.

The vehicle was then identified to have passed over the George Washington Bridge to New York City at 11:02PM.

Police initially tracked the vehicle to an address located in Greewood Lake. Police also tracked down the father of the suspect and interviewed him.

At approximately midnight, the NYPD stopped a vehicle matching the description at W 177 Street and 7 Avenue in Harlem. A suspect from the vehicle was taken into custody.

Rabbi Rottenburg’s Shul is located in the Forshay neighborhood in Monsey.
Five Wounded, Two Critical After Stabbing Attack on Jewish Worshipers at Hanukkah Celebration in New York
An attacker stabbed five people late on Saturday at a Hasidic rabbi’s home in New York state and fled before apparently being arrested, a Jewish organization said, a rampage that came after days of increased concern over antisemitic assaults.

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) said on Twitter an attacker wearing a scarf stabbed the victims at a house in Monsey, Rockland County, about 30 miles north of New York City. The Council identified the assailant as an African American male.

All five victims were taken to hospitals, the council said, adding that two of the victims were critical, with one of them stabbed at least six times.

“The suspect fled the scene, but he is in custody at this time,” the Ramapo Police Department said in a Facebook post.

The police department confirmed that five people were stabbed and said that the investigation was going on. The department did not provide any more details.

An OJPAC official, Yossi Gestetner, told the New York Times the attack happened at around 10 p.m. during a Hanukkah celebration that was being attended by many dozens of people at the rabbi’s home.

About a third of the population of Rockland County is Jewish, including a large enclave of Orthodox Jews.

Attacker arrested after multiple people stabbed at Rockland County synagogue
A knife-wielding assailant stabbed four people in a rabbi’s basement synagogue in Rockland County during a crowded Hanukkah celebration Saturday night, according to a law enforcement source.

The suspect fled the scene in a 2015 Nissan Sentra, driving over the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan — and was promptly arrested by the NYPD at 144th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem at midnight, the source said. He was identified by a police source as Thomas Grafton, 37.

The accused attacker was transferred back to Rockland County around 4 a.m. from the 32nd Precinct by State Troopers, the lead agency on the case.

One victim was left in critical condition in the attack, which happened at around 10 p.m. when a man walked into the basement synagogue in Monsey with a machete or similarly large knife and began attacking people, the source said.

Between 50 and 100 people were inside the synagogue, which is known locally as Rabbi Rottenberg’s Shul.

Those gathered had just lit the menorah on the second-to-last night of the holiday, according to Aron Kohn, 65, who was inside.

“He just took it (the knife) out and started to run at people,” Kohn said.

Kohn described a frantic scene inside, saying he threw whatever furniture he could lay his hand on at the maniac.

“I saw him stabbing people and I started throwing chairs and tables,” Kohn said.

After slashing four people inside — a fifth person was injured in the panic — the attacker attempted to enter the temple next door to the rabbi’s house, but fled after he failed to gain access.

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of 5 Orthodox Jews in Monsey.

But even though this attack happened in Monsey, it is part of a growing and increasingly alarming pattern inside New York City.

And no one expects these attacks to stop soon.

One reason for the pessimism is the failure by the media, elected officials and social media 'celebrities' to address the fact that, contrary to the accepted media narrative, these attacks on Orthodox Jews are being carried out by Blacks -- not by "White Supremacists."

Elder of Ziyon has posted about the reluctance among leftists to mention this common link among the majority of the attacks on Jews, either out of fear of being labeled racist or accused of inciting violence against the Black community:
Most blacks are not antisemitic, although the percentage is roughly double that of whites (in 2016, 23% compared to 10%.) No one is saying that all blacks should be blamed. But the fear of being labeled a racist is the major reason there has not been any effective outreach to the black community to help solve this problem.
But this is not the first time that the fear of addressing Black antisemitism has manifested itself and prevented the media and community leaders from speaking out.

Remember the Crown Heights Riots?

In 2016, Seth Lipsky wrote for The New York Post, 25 years later, we still haven’t learned the lessons of the Crown Heights riot -- and in the 3 years since then, matters have only gotten worse:
Crown Heights erupted after a driver in the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s motorcade lost control and killed a black child, Gavin Cato. For three days, historian Edward Shapiro would write, “bands of young blacks” had “roamed” the neighborhood, assaulting Jews. [Emphasis added]
At the time, Yankel Rosenbaum, a Jewish student visiting from the University of Melbourne, was stabbed to death -- and his killer, Lemrick Nelson, was acquitted of murder by a New York jury. Two federal civil rights prosecutions were required before Nelson would be sent to prison, and in the end, he did 10 years on civil rights charges.

What stands out most for Lipsky is that during the Crown Heights Riots, neither the political nor the private leaders in the city could bring themselves to admit that the attacks on Jews were antisemitic.

Ari Goldman, who reported on those riots for The New York Times at the time, later wrote about the experience, noting the insistence by journalists at the time to frame the attacks as a result of a "racial conflict."

In Telling It Like It Wasn't, Goldman quotes AM Rosenthal, a former executive editor at The New York Times who said what others would not:
“The press,” Rosenthal wrote, “treats it all as some kind of cultural clash between a poverty-ridden people fed up with life and a powerful, prosperous and unfortunately peculiar bunch of stuck-up neighbors — very sad of course, but certainly understandable. No — it is an anti-Semitic pogrom and the words should not be left unsaid.” [emphasis added]
Indeed, one journalist tweeted about the Monsey attack something similar - and later deleted their tweet:
The situation in NY (and let's be clear we don't know who perpetrated the Monsey attack yet) is *massively complicated* and a growing division among two communities. What we need right now is a way to find solidarity with each other against our shared enemy of white supremacy.
Other tweets, in response to steps proposed by Mayor de Blasio last week to increase police protection of the Jewish community, were worse:
This sends a pretty stark message to non-Jews living in these neighborhoods that their safety matters less to @NYCMayor than the safety of their Jewish neighbors. That's really really bad for literally everyone except our common enemies, who benefit when we're divided.
Worst move. One that many of us have been warning against for many months now. de Blasio has caved to the pressure of racist demagogues like Dov Hikind and now many young black men will be at risk.

This isn't about ending hate, it's transferring the violence to acceptable targets.
We are seeing the same blind eye and lack of decisive action now that we saw 28 years ago.

Two years after the riots, in 1993, an exhaustive state investigation into the handly of what happened sharply criticized Mayor Dinkins for his failure to understand and act upon the severity of the crisis.

The Jewish community now is growing increasingly concerned that the current mayor does not understand what is happening any better.

Lipsky concludes his 2016 article pointing to attempts at reconciliation within Crown Heights, yet notes:
Liberal elites have made no such progress. They have never lifted a finger for the Orthodox Jews. The animus that erupted as “Heil Hitler” in Crown Heights has broken out on some of our city’s finest campuses, which echo with “Zionists out” and “Long live the Intifada.”

And liberals are unalarmed that Black Lives Matter has begun to make common cause with the BDS movement against Israel. So 25 years after Crown Heights, it’s anyone’s guess where the next attacks will break out against the Jews. [emphasis added]
These days, there is no longer any need to guess.

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.
  • Sunday, December 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ahlam Tamimi is the Hamas terrorist responsible for the murder of 15 including 7 children in a Sbarro pizza shop in Jerusalem who is now living a free - and even celebrity - life in Jordan.

The US has been trying to extradite her, and Jordan has refused, even though other wanted people have been extradited from Jordan to the US.

Now there may be another way to pressure Jordan.

From JNS:
Anyone who cares at all about the pursuit of justice just got an unexpected holiday gift last week. Congress just passed a huge omnibus spending bill, which was signed by the U.S. President Donald Trump on Dec. 20 and became the law of the land: Public Law 116-94.

Tucked into this bill by an anonymous member of Congress, without any fanfare, was HR 7055, which states: “None of these funds provided by this Act, may be used to provide assistance, (here there is a reiteration of the emergency exceptions), to the central government of a country which has notified the Department of State of its refusal to extradite to the United States any individual indicted for a criminal offense for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or for killing a law enforcement officer.”
Jordan receives over $1.7 billion from the US every year. Jordan's GDP is only $40 billion, meaning that US aid is a significant part of Jordan's economy.

To be sure there are loopholes, as with any budget item.
(c) Waiver.—The Secretary of State may waive the restriction in subsection (a) on a case-by-case basis if the Secretary certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that such waiver is important to the national interest of the United States.
But it just so happens we have a Secretary of State who is not an Arabist, which has been rare over the past century. And we have a President who expects recipients of aid to cooperate with the US and not to act as if the aid is a blank check.

So there is reason for cautious optimism that, finally, justice can be served.

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  • Sunday, December 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
I am seeing people who usually blame all antisemitism on white nationalists saying they are horrified about the machete attack on religious Jews in Monsey, NY Saturday night.

But look what they don't say:

None of them say that the attackers, here and in most of the other incidents over the past week, were black.

Mentioning that fact is Kryptonite. It is what Must Not Be Said. Black antisemitism must be subsumed under All Antisemitism which, as these people will insist, is driven by white supremacism.

But it is not true. There are at least four major types of antisemitism that are actively attacking Jews today: white nationalism, Arab/Muslim antisemitism, Leftist antisemitism (which disguises itself as anti-Zionism) and  black antisemitism (which can be further broken down into Nation of Islam-type and inner city-type.)

They all have different methodologies and different philosophies. They cannot be fought as if they are the same thing. Lumping them all together is another way of downplaying them and ensuring that nothing is done.

Some are warning us to not mention the unmentionable:

It is true that there could be different motivations for black attacks on Jews - as I mentioned, Farrakhan hate of Jews is different from that of inner city blacks. Those are pretty much the only major flavors of black antisemitism I am aware of.  But ignoring the commonality is a sure way to ensure that the problem is not solved. It would be foolish to assume that there is no element of copycat attacks as black people are hitting Jewish people on the head in the streets of Brooklyn and  running away. Certainly the black attackers don't have the same motivations as the Arab, white nationalist or Leftist antisemites.

If someone wants to do a study on black antisemitism, by all means, we can use more data. But don't ignore the problem because we don't fully understand it. There is enough data to start fighting it.

It is most definitely not incitement to mention that blacks are attacking Jews. It is pointing out the obvious, and ignoring it is a sure way to ensure that it continues. Incitement is encouraging violence, and absolutely no one is saying or implying "attack blacks because some of them hate Jews."

But there is another problem with sweeping the fact of black antisemitism under the rug. No matter what the motivation is, a large part of the solution is for respected leaders of the black community to speak out about it - not black Republican outliers, but the mainstream political, activist and religious black leaders. If no one acknowledges that there is a definite problem in the black community in the New York area that prompts the types of attacks we have seen over the past couple of years (often on video) there is no pressure for their leaders to speak out about it and stigmatize it.

The fear of being called a racist is stopping political allies from demanding a response from the community leaders. Meaning that actually fighting antisemitism is deemed to be less of a priority than the chance of being (falsely) labeled a racist by pointing out what everyone knows but no one on the left is willing to say out loud.

Most blacks are not antisemitic, although the percentage is roughly double that of whites (in 2016, 23% compared to 10%.)  No one is saying that all blacks should be blamed. But the fear of being labeled a racist is the major reason there has not been any effective outreach to the black community to help solve this problem.

Conservatives cannot do a damn thing to stop this scourge.

We need black leaders to step up. And we need their political allies on the Left to pressure them to speak up. Their refusal to admit that there is such a thing as black antisemitism is the major reason that it is getting worse. It is cowardice, pure and simple. And it reflects an unfortunate belief that it is better for Jews to be stabbed than for making black leaders uncomfortable that their communities are raising many youths to hate Jews.

Demanding that black leaders take responsibility for their own communities is a small price to pay to stop violent attacks. Anyone who thinks otherwise is enabling antisemitism. (And assuming that black leadership will lash out at anyone for bringing up the topic to save lives is itself condescending and racist.)

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Saturday, December 28, 2019

From Ian:

Israel’s James Bond - How an Iraqi-born Jew became an Israeli hero
In fact, out of an estimated 137,000 Iraqi Jews, Ben-Porat’s leadership of Operation Ezra and Nehemiah resulted in about 130,000 making their way to Israel. An estimated 111,000 came by air, the rest by way of Iran. Roughly 7,000 Jews chose to remain, hoping to protect businesses and assets. Today, however, there are no Jews living in Iraq.

Upon his return to Israel, Mordechai married his fiancé, Rivka, with whom he had three daughters, 15 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Until her death in 1995, they were married for 49 years. Today with his wife of 20 years, Nechama, he lives in Ramat Gan. In subsequent service with Mossad LeAliyah Bet, he was involved in other missions, most of which remain top-secret. Among other things, he also became an MK, a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament; and he founded the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda, a small city next to Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport.

In 2001, he was awarded the Jewish state’s highest civilian honor as a recipient of the Israel Prize with specific reference to his efforts rescuing Jews from Iraq. Recently, those same Jews along with their children and grandchildren gathered at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda. Their nickname for Ben-Porat? Israel’s James Bond.

In the late 1990s, he authored a memoir called, To Baghdad and Back: The Miraculous 2,000 Year Homecoming of the Iraqi Jews.
Today at age 96, Mordechai sits at his dining room table, remembering the past but doing so as a lens for viewing the future. Reflecting on all he experienced in times of intense persecution in Iraq, he looks at developments in today’s world today’s world. His conclusion? His sober conviction is that persecution has returned and likely will appear with no less intensity throughout the world, especially of Jews, Kurds and Christians.

Should he establish a school that will teach the things he learned – how to survive, what to do, what not to do? He is giving the matter serious consideration. Perhaps the greatest mission for Israel’s James Bond is yet ahead. Perhaps in 2020, the construction of The Mordechai Ben-Porat International School of Persecution Preparedness will begin. Stay tuned!
Saudi blogger's special Hanukkah message
A pro-Israel Saudi blogger released a special video clip in Hebrew in honor of the Hanukkah festival, which began Sunday evening.

Mohammed Saud, who often speaks Hebrew in his video clips on social media, sang ‘Al Hanissim’ Sunday night in a Facebook post released in honor of Hanukkah.

Last month, Saud, a resident of Riyadh, met with former White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt, a long-time ‘Twitter friend’.

In a Hebrew tweet, Saud lauded Greenblatt, calling him an “amazing person who wants and is trying to bring peace” to the Middle East.

“I hope for peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia, that Saudis will visit Israel, and Israelis will visit Saudi Arabia,” continued Saud. “God bless Israel and the US and Saudi Arabia.”

Earlier this year, Saud released videos of himself singing both Ashkenazi and Sephardi piyyutim (liturgical poems) in honor of Rosh Hashanah.

Saudi supporter of Israel claims citizenship revoked
A Saudi journalist claims that Riyadh has revoked citizenship for him and his family over his views on Israel.

Abdul Hameed al-Ghobein says that he was not officially informed about the reason, but insists that his repeated calls for the Saudi government to normalize relations with Israel were behind it.

The development comes amid reports that the Israel-Saudi relationship has been warming up.

Ghobein says he will not question the decision if it is the wish of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“We only listen and obey,” he says.

For now, there is no evidence to support his assertion, with the Saudi government issuing no official statements on the matter.

Ghobein lists journalism as one of his professions. He has written for Israeli newspapers and uses social media to praise Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I call for direct and unconditional ties with Israel. This is a strategic choice,” he says.

  • Saturday, December 28, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Chanukah is only a peripheral part of this video, but it is nicely done.

BONUS: 8 Nights by Pinny Schachter

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.

Friday, December 27, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: A Boris Bear Hug Against British Antisemitism
Through such ostensible even-handedness, the British government has been supporting for years a Palestinian agenda that is predicated on the destruction of Israel. And that’s why the menace of antisemitism in Britain extends far more widely and deeply than Corbyn’s Labour Party.

A recent poll of the British public found that 21% felt warmth towards the Palestinians while only 19% felt warmth towards Israel.

This isn’t surprising at all, given the unremitting pro-Palestinian propaganda and corresponding incendiary falsehoods about Israel that are standard discourse on the BBC and other media, as well as in the universities.

Instead of fighting these untruths, the government actually reinforces the lies attempting to write the Jews out of their own history. These help fuel both anti-Israel hatred and the Jew-baiting that such discourse inevitably licenses and sanitizes.

In America, President Donald Trump is a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people. That’s because he doesn’t try to drive a wedge between the one and the other, and he recognizes the link between hatred of Israel, hatred of Jews, and hatred of America.

Johnson has yet to show he understands that those who attack Israel have the West in their sights too. He owes his large parliamentary majority to the patriotic British working class who understand precisely that. But for Britain’s intellectual governing class, hatred of Israel is a signature motif.

If Boris Johnson really wants to stand with the Jewish community against the forces of darkness, then he needs to start educating the public in the truth about Israel and its enemies.

He needs to start telling people about the Palestinians’ eye-watering antisemitism, about their repeated refusal of a Palestine state, and their real aim to exterminate Israel.

He needs to start telling the public that the Jews are the indigenous people of the land. He needs to explain to them that antisemitism is not a prejudice like any other but is unique in its deranged nature and scope.

He needs to start calling out those NGOs, universities and media that spread murderous falsehoods about Israel. He needs to start telling the truth about the lies. And he needs to change his own government’s policy that spreads them.

We shouldn’t hold our breath. But then again, given these extraordinary times, who knows?
Israel Advocacy Movement: BBC and Sky News demonise Israel for Christmas

Matti Friedman: Israel’s Sea Change
Zionism’s Maritime Revolution: The Yishuv’s Hold on the Land of Israel’s Sea and Shores, 1917 – 1948 - Kobi Cohen-Hattab

One summer day in 1947, a ship about to sail from the London docks made history when it raised a new flag: the blue-and-white pennant of the Jewish national movement. There was a commotion on the riverside. “Thousands crowded onto the shores of the Thames,” an observer recorded:
This was the first time in history that seamen’s orders were given in Hebrew at the Thames dock. The appearance of the lovely Jewish ship with the Jewish crew on the Thames made a strong impression not only on the Jewish groups but also on the British trade and shipping classes.

The ship, SS Kedmah, was the very first vessel belonging to the Zionist movement’s new shipping company, ZIM. It was sailing for the Land of Israel, still under British control, where its arrival was occasion for a national celebration in the Jewish home. Crowds came to the Tel Aviv beach to see the ship steam in, and five Piper Cubs flew an honor guard overhead (one carried Golda Meir). Children waved flags, and Zionist leaders delivered speeches praising what was then called the “conquest of the sea.”

As usual, the story—as told in Kobi Cohen-Hattab’s excellent new history, Zionism’s Maritime Revolution—wasn’t that simple. The new Zionist ship was, in fact, a refurbished English vessel with 20 years of rough service behind her, including the wartime evacuation of Singapore in 1941. She nearly broke down in the Mediterranean en route to the Yishuv. Saltwater got into the internal systems, the refrigerators didn’t refrigerate, the ovens didn’t cook, and the lights went out. The crewmen, who were Jewish, couldn’t stand the officers, who were British. The feeling was mutual, and eventually there was—inevitably, in those times of proletarian consciousness—a strike.

And yet the moment truly was historic, marking the launch not only of the national shipping company but of a significant Jewish presence in the Mediterranean. Within a year of Kedmah’s arrival, there would be a state called Israel with a navy, commercial vessels, a fishing industry, and ports—all of which would have seemed like a farfetched dream just two or three decades before, when a few Zionist enthusiasts and cranks under Turkish and British rule began promoting improbable visions of sovereign Jewish seamen sailing Jewish boats on what David Ben-Gurion once imagined as a “Jewish sea.”

The story of how this unfolded in the 30 years before Israel’s birth in 1948 is the subject of Zionism’s Maritime Revolution: The Yishuv’s Hold on the Land of Israel’s Sea and Shores, 1917 – 1948. While the early years of Zionist settlement on land have been exhaustively documented, it’s surprising to learn here from Cohen-Hattab, a professor of history at Bar-Ilan University, that so far there hasn’t been a comprehensive account of what happened on the water, no book that “has used a critical approach and the totality of existing sources to relate the story of the sea and its professions within the chronicles of the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel in the modern age in the years prior to the establishment of the state.” The author has set out to fill the hole in the record, explaining how modern Jewish seamanship grew from a few failed fishing communes and handmade boats to the beginning of real naval power.
Honest Reporting: A Hero of Israel: Who Was Clark Clifford?
Lovett suggested that recognizing a Jewish state was nothing more than an attempt to win Jewish votes in the upcoming November 1948 presidential election. He also suggested that the new Jewish state would be filled with Jewish immigrants who were in fact communist agents working for the Soviet Union.

But there was one more person in that meeting – White House Counsel Clark Clifford, a close friend and adviser to the president. Clifford argued that a new state committed to democracy would do wonders for the chaotic Middle East. In Clifford’s memoirs he relates that Marshall was “red with suppressed anger as I set forth the case for the immediate recognition of the Israeli state.” Marshall told the president that if he followed Clifford’s advice, then “the great dignity of the office of president would be seriously diminished.” He went as far as saying that if the president supported the new Jewish state then in the November election, “I would vote against the President.”

Clifford further wrote that “When I finished, he (Marshall) exploded, ‘Mr. President, I thought this meeting was called to consider an important, complicated problem in foreign policy. I don’t even know why Clifford is here.’” According to Clifford, Truman replied, “Well, General, he’s here because I asked him to be.”

In the end, Truman recognized the newly declared Jewish state minutes after it was declared on May 15, 1948. It is clear that he did so based on his deep belief in the Bible which promises the Holy Land to the Jewish people. In fact he later said:

I had faith in Israel even before it was established, I knew it was based on the love of freedom, which has been the guiding star of the Jewish people since the days of Moses. I believe it has a glorious future before it, not just as a sovereign nation but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.

But, with his most important cabinet members being strongly against this recognition, Truman needed the voice of a trusted friend arguing that supporting a democratic Jewish state in the biblical and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people would create a beacon of light and stability in the Middle East, and that this was in America’s best interest.

And Clark Clifford was the right man in the right place to make that happen.

United States recognition of Israel was critical to its survival in the face of worldwide criticism and condemnation.

And that makes little-known Clark Clifford a hero of Israel.

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