Monday, November 11, 2019

  • Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Bernie Sanders wrote an article about antisemitism in the socialist, far left Jewish Currents.

As usual, it downplays left-wing antisemitism and completely ignores Arab and Muslim antisemitism.

The essay also brings up the straw man that the Right considers legitimate criticism of Israel as being antisemitic: "We should be very clear that it is not antisemitic to criticize the policies of the Israeli government. " Literally no one disagrees.

Sanders then goes on to acknowledge a tiny amount of antisemitism on the Left. "It is true that some criticism of Israel can cross the line into antisemitism, especially when it denies the right of self-determination to Jews, or when it plays into conspiracy theories about outsized Jewish power. "

This is compatible with the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, which says:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic....
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to: 
Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
 Bernie Sanders' allies, like Linda Sarsour and Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, falsely claim that this definition includes legitimate criticism of Israel. I have yet to see a single progressive critic of the IHRA working definition point out the specific wording that they disagree with. Either they disagree with the definition or they can say their specific concerns so it can be discussed.

No one does.

Bernie Sanders, if he is as honest as he claims to be, seems to be agreeing with the IHRA definition. If he is truly serious about fighting against antisemitism, and he is really interested in fighting antisemitism wherever it may be found whether from the Right, the Left or the Muslim world he ignores, then he should explicitly embrace the IHRA working definition of antisemitism - or  tell us exactly which parts he disagrees with.

If Sanders is as honest and brave as he presents himself to be, he will address this issue forthrightly.

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From Ian:

Petra Marquardt-Bigman: The Myth of a Progressive Palestine
Ridding the world of its one Jewish state to create a state of Palestine “from the river to the sea” is a supposedly “progressive” ambition for the anti-Israel crowd.

But the idea that the Palestinians are in any way interested in establishing a progressive paradise is downright preposterous, since extensive opinion surveys document that extremist and fundamentalist views are mainstream in Palestinian society.

It’s only to be expected that fringe sites like the Electronic Intifada or Mondoweiss hide this evidence from the anti-Israel activists they cater to. But unfortunately, the prestigious magazine Foreign Affairs has recently also promoted the myth of a one-state solution as a model of peaceful co-existence and equal rights for all its citizens. By giving a platform to Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, the magazine published a professional propagandist whose job is to demonize Israel while marketing the idea that Palestinian “rights” include the elimination of the Jewish state.

“One-state” proponents like Munayyer can’t really afford to be honest about the kind of state Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza want, because that would endanger the widespread illusion that the Palestinian cause deserves uncritical support from progressives.

As documented in a Pew survey from 2013 that included almost 40,000 Muslims in 39 countries, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were often among the Muslim populations with the most extremist views about the role of Islam in society: 89 percent of Palestinians said they wanted Sharia law; 66 percent endorsed the death penalty for Muslims who convert to another religion; 76 percent supported mutilation as a punishment for theft; and a shocking 84 percent wanted adulterers stoned to death.

When asked how much political influence religious leaders should have, 29 percent of Palestinians said religious leaders should have a lot of political influence, and another 43 percent wanted religious leaders to have at least some political influence. These views are reflected in the Palestinian draft constitution, which stipulates that the “principles of the Islamic shari’a are a main source for legislation.”
Pompeo Confirms Israel's Nightmare Scenario on Iranian Nuclear Weapons
In one sentence, the US Secretary of State managed Nov. 7 to define the ultimate nightmare of diplomatic and security decision-makers in Israel and bring all the demons out into the open: “Members of the international community who are rightly concerned with Iran's latest attacks and provocations should imagine how Iran would behave with a nuclear weapon,” Mike Pompeo said, following the Iranian declaration of the start of phase 4 in its slow withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. He confirmed the estimate of Israeli intelligence that was published here a year ago, according to which the Iranians will violate the agreement gradually, in slow steps, that will gradually grow, until they reach a range from which they could break through to a military nuclear program within a few months.

In the end, so estimated Israeli intelligence officers after the United States left the nuclear agreement, Iran would be ready for a quick “breakthrough” toward the first military nuclear facility. This is, exactly, the situation Israel fears more than anything else on earth. Pompeo also discussed this possibility, saying that the United States will not let it happen; but these words convinced no one in Jerusalem, nor in Tel Aviv (the location of the Israel Defense Forces and intelligence agencies’ headquarters).

“Unfortunately, experience teaches us,” a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “that not all of the Trump administration’s declarations are translated into deeds. The thing is that this time we are reaching an existential crossroad that might force us to choose an independent path. This time this isn’t North Korea, but Iran, whose declared intention is to erase Israel from the map of the world.”

Israeli intelligence predicted with astonishing accuracy all that has happened in the year and a half since President Donald Trump declared the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, in May 2018. In conversation with Al-Monitor in mid-2018, a senior intelligence source, speaking on condition of anonymity, sketched the full scenario: The Iranians would respond to the American exit from the agreement with violations that would grow in severity, it was said in that conversation. At first, they will start enriching uranium again to the 3.5% level, then they will increase the number of centrifuges. Later, they will increase the enriched uranium supply they hold in their territory, then they will operate the enrichment facility at Fordow and start using their sophisticated, fast centrifuges.

Argentina Asks Azerbaijan to Arrest Iranian Involved in Jewish Center Bombing
Argentina has asked Azerbaijan to arrest a high-level Iranian adviser to the country’s supreme leader in connection with the bombing in 1994 of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish center

Alí Akbar Velayati was scheduled to attend the Second Summit of religious world leaders in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, Nov. 14-15.

Velayati, who was Iran’s foreign minister at the time of the terrorist attack and has been implicated in ordering the bombing, is now an adviser on international affairs to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Under existing Argentine law, an accused person must have the opportunity to defend himself before a judge. Since the Iranians accused in the attack, many from the upper political echelons, have not set foot on Argentine soil, it has been impossible to move the judicial process forward.

The Argentine Foreign Minister summoned the ambassador of Azerbaijan in Buenos Aires on Friday and expressed the “deep concern” of Argentina’s government about Velayati’s presence in Baku and asked for Azerbaijan’s cooperation “in order to carry out the detention for extradition purposes.”

Iran also is believed to be behind the 1992 car bombing that destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring 242.

  • Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

MEMRI reports:

Nuclear physicist Dr. Hadi Issa Dalloul said in a November 5, 2019 interview on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) that what the West really fears is Iran's technological and medical development. Dr. Dalloul said that the University of Tehran is on the verge of producing an alternative medicine for cancer that "will make Jewish companies that invest in chemotherapy and spread cancer go bankrupt." 

Dalloul's Facebook page says he was born in Ramallah but now lives in Isfhahan, Iran. His LinkedIn page says he lives in the UAE. His Twitter bio says he lives in the UK.

So I'm not altogether convinced that this guy is the nuclear scientist/British nuclear inspector he claims he is.

But that doesn't stop him from regularly appearing on Arabic language TV, as his YouTube page attests.

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  • Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Times of Israel reports that some Israeli officials are warning that a private lawsuit brought by the Psagot winery to the European Court of Justice against a French policy of labeling goods made by Jews in Judea and Samaria as being made in "Israeli settlements."

Israeli officials are concerned that the lawsuit will backfire, Psagot will lose, and world headlines will again be screaming about settlements.

The Psagot winery argues otherwise. It hired some serious lawyers to argue that adding "Israeli settlements"to the labels adds a political commentary to consumer goods, something that would become a nightmare if enforced equally across all imports from countries with problematic political policies.

Psagot's questions for the ECJ are:
Does EU law, and in particular Regulation No 1169/2011 …, where indication of the origin of a product falling within the scope of that regulation is mandatory, require, for a product from a territory occupied by Israel since 1967, indication of that territory and an indication that the product comes from an Israeli settlement if that is the case? If not, do the provisions of [Regulation No 1169/2011], in particular those in Chapter VI thereof, allow a Member State to require those indications?’

The decision wlll be handed down Tuesday.

Experts consulted by Times of Israel think that this lawsuit does not stand a chance. The major reason is that ECJ’s Advocate General Gerard Hogan already expressed a non-binding opinion on the matter and he is rarely overruled by the court.

His ruling s based on the wording of Regulation No 1169/2011, the 2011 EU consumer information rule, which states:
In order to achieve a high level of health protection for consumers and to guarantee their right to information, it should be ensured that consumers are appropriately informed as regards the food they consume. Consumers’ choices can be influenced by, inter alia, health, economic, environmental, social and ethical considerations.
Hogan's ruling concentrates on the "ethical considerations" part, saying that the territories are occupied and therefore consumers who base their purchases on information like that need to know this.
In my view, the reference to ‘ethical considerations’ in the context of country of origin labelling is plainly a reference to those wider ethical considerations which may inform the thinking of certain consumers prior to purchase. Just as many European consumers objected to the purchase of South African goods in the pre-1994 apartheid era, present day consumers may object on similar grounds to the purchase of goods from a particular country because, for example, it is not a democracy or because it pursues particular political or social policies which that consumer happens to find objectionable or even repugnant. In the context of the Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Occupied Territories and the settlements, there may be some consumers who object to the purchase of products emanating from the territories, precisely because of the fact that the occupation and the settlements clearly amount to a violation of international law. It is not, of course, the task of this Court to approve or to disapprove of such a choice on the part of the consumer: it is rather sufficient to say that a violation of international law constitutes the kind of ethical consideration which the Union legislature acknowledged as legitimate in the context of requiring country of origin information.
Psagot's argument against this is that if the consumer information required is so broad then the labeling for all countries must include political information about that country.

“The court will not rule in favor of labeling, because I am confident the judges are more farsighted than that,” [lawyer Brooke] Goldstein told The Times of Israel.

“Either way, I do not think that EU member states will be able to enforce any EU regulation that requires it to label only Israeli products. Since most EU member states have robust anti-discrimination laws, it will require any EU regulation to apply in a non-discriminatory fashion, to any products imported into the EU that come from either disputed territories or territories engaged in human rights violations.

In other words, if Europe’s top court decides that West Bank products must be labeled, “that means Styrofoam cups from China, wine from Turkey, oil from Iran, will all be mandated to have labels indicating the particular political circumstances of each country. That will obviously be an economic nightmare for Europe and totally unenforceable.”

Hogan's ruling subtly shows his own anti-Israel bias because he simply doesn't even consider that "occupation" is only one of thousands of possible "ethical" considerations that consumers would have the right to know. Does the country of origin discriminate against gays? Does it have laws against abortion? If one "ethical" consideration is important enough to be considered important for the labeling, then why aren't the others? According to his logic, every country of origin should have a laundry list of possible ethical violations listed, from its stance on abortion to its gun control laws and whether it allows kosher slaughter. Yet Hogan rules only that the purported illegality of the settlements is the only consideration important enough for consumers to be told explicitly, so much so that it should be mandatory to label the goods that way!

Interestingly, he seems to undercut his own argument a bit when he says that other legal rulings assume that consumers are "well-informed" about the issues of importance to them. He argues that such a consumer needs to be told that the provenance of the goods come from "Israeli settlements"  even though if they really are "well informed" they wold know that wine that is clearly labeled as coming from the Golan Heights or Judean Hills are obviously made by Jews and not Muslims who do not drink wine.

Unfortunately, as his ruling shows, the ECJ is likely to have its own biases against Israel just as Hogan does.

Hogan's ruling does not address the EU states' non-discrimination laws, apparently because they are up to each member state. So while Psagot's argument against Hogan might not help in the ECJ, it might be useful in terms of fighting it in individual countries - and, from the other side, to fight for the ECJ to apply its reasoning to every problematic country that goods are imported from.

I spoke to Yaakov Berg, the owner of Psagot Winery, a number of years ago, where he briefly addressed the labeling issue. "It's very funny, because for example, if I would sell my winery tomorrow morning to a German guy, to an English guy, so what is going to be written on the bottle? Nothing! In other words, only if a Jew will have a winery or a factory in his own land, only then will it be written on a bottle a 'warning,'"Berg said.

Berg told TOI, "This court decision is just the beginning of the fight we’re preparing to put up. We won’t agree to a double standard. It cannot be that products from Tibet are considered ‘Made in China’ while I am labeled. I — who am working the field where my ancestors were already making wine during the Second Temple period. There is no historical debate over this; all historians agree that this was the homeland of the Jewish people.”

“My grandmother escaped the Nazis; they labeled her as a Jew. I grew up in Russia, where they labeled us as Jews. They shall not stick special labels on us,” Berg declared. “It just won’t happen, certainly not in Europe. We won’t accept it.”

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  • Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

In September, the UAE announced a major interfaith initiative:

Plans have just been unveiled for a new massive interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi, encompassing a mosque, a church and a synagogue.

The facility, to be known as the Abrahamic Family House, will be located on Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates' capital city, right next to the new Louvre Abu Dhabi. Abraham of the Old Testament is considered a holy prophet in all three religions.

The compound is expected to be completed in 2022. Sheik Mohammed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, ruler of Dubai, have already signed the foundation stone.

On September 20, the initial designs for the complex were presented at an event at the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan. British firm Adjaye Associates won the contract to design the center, which will consist of three large buildings arranged around a central garden, under which will sit a museum and education center.
All three buildings appear to be the same height, which is symbolically important - each religion has rules, formal or informal, that its own house of worship be the highest building in the area. It would be interesting to find out if the mosque is a couple of inches taller than the others.

Here's what the synagogue is going to look like:

The synagogue interior is supposed to look like this:

This artist's rendering does not show a bima (lectern for the Torah and prayer leader) nor an Aron (Torah ark.) It appears to have a raised women's section.

Given the things we've been hearing from the UAE, it seems quite possible that there could be regular services there with a minyan, as more and more Jewish  businesspeople and Israelis visit the Emirates.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

  • Sunday, November 10, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Lebanon's Naharnet writes:

Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem on Friday said his part is “effectively taking part in the consultations with the heads of the parliamentary blocs and the relevant officials with the aim of forming the (new) government.”

“We hope the final format for the premier and the government will emerge soon,” Qassem added.

Stressing that Hizbullah “will maintain its role in carrying people’s concerns and working for reform and combating corruption,” Qassem said his party’s “presence and representation will be effective in the government that will be formed.”

“It will be part of the coming government because it is part of this people,” he added.
The comments are withering:

You must be kidding, why haven't you fought corruption in the past if you care so much about the people. There will not be any room in the new government for any current or past political players....

No salvation for Lebanon until you remove your arms and don't behave as attack dogs for Iran radicals! This is what scared away investment and caused the exodus of all good paying foreign corporations.

It is a joke right??

so, iow, you are responsible to the non formation of government and you still want the same thing--obviously listening to anyone but iran is not listed as an option to you.

Do the world a favor and hang yourself with your own turban

Stressing that Hizbullah “will maintain its role in carrying people’s concerns and working for reform and combating corruption, looooool where are the Kizb drones out on this site to explain this joke?
Hezbollah (at the direction of Iran) is now wholeheartedly against the protests, and they are still claiming that Lebanon owes them for dragging the country into war:

The head of Hizbullah’s parliamentary bloc MP Mohammed Raad on Sunday stressed that his party “cannot be strong-armed” and that “fabricated battles” linked to the ongoing popular uprising in the country will not deviate Hizbullah’s attention from its main objectives.

“We share the goal of combating corruption, lifting immunity off corrupts and recovering stolen funds… with all the honest people who rose up and took to the streets… but we want others to respect our experience and realize that their movement is within the atmosphere provided to them by our martyrs, mujahideen and heroes,” Raad went on to say.

The Hizbullah lawmaker also warned the protest movement against “launching arbitrary accusations” or “hurling insults against icons, especially those related to the leadership of the purest, most honorable and noblest people.”
Meaning, don't insult Nasrallah or the Iranian mullahs. Or else.

That's how to ingratiate themselves with the people!

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From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The contemporary clash between faith and politics in the West
There is, however, another reason why so many American Jews disdain Christian support. This is that they themselves have heavily bought into the secular approach to the world, which has replaced religion by mankind-centered ideologies.

This is particularly unfortunate since these universalist ideologies are inimical to Jewish principles, though many American Jews mistakenly think they embody the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, or the “repair of the world.”

They don’t realize, therefore, why intersectionality – the doctrine that links groups that consider themselves victims of the so-called white hetero-normative capitalist patriarchy – has made such an enemy of Israel and the Jewish people.

They don’t realize that through its animus against Jewish religious principles, seen as the basis of the oppressive power structure known as Western civilization, and against Zionism, seen as the ultimate ethnic colonialist enterprise of that civilization, secular liberal universalism entails a fundamental illiberalism, in addition to a deep intolerance towards biblically faithful Jews and Christians.

They don’t realize that this universalist creed they have made into a secular religion is taking an axe to the cultural virtues they themselves take for granted.

In this crisis for Western civilization, the tragedy for these Jews who don’t realize the importance of their own culture to that civilization is that they’re on the wrong side.
The world’s hypocrisy on UNRWA
Did you think I’d complain that the world is silent in the face of the atrocities perpetuated by a purported refugee agency that acts like a terrorists’ hub? In fact, global silence would be a step up compared to the reality we’re in, because UNRWA has actually been supported by Western countries, along with Arab states. They are guilty by association. For us, this is yet another form of antisemitism, this time concealed under the guise of humanitarianism.

And now we are incensed. Last week it was announced that UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl had stepped aside following “allegations of misconduct,” pending investigation. While the nature of these allegations has not been made public, I am confident it is nothing to do with UNRWA’s many decades of supporting – even promoting – hatred, terrorism and violence. So why the outcry now?

When UNRWA support terrorism against Jews, the world is silent. When allegations of corruption come up, countries remove their funding from UNRWA and force the commissioner to step down.

The truth is that no matter what last week’s accusations relate to, it is a slap in the face to Israelis. It confirms what we have suspected all along: Our suffering does not matter. That of Palestinians, yes, but not ours. Misconduct results in consequences – stepping aside, an investigation – only when the victims are not Israeli.
Change the PA textbooks used in UNRWA schools!
Below is a list of basic changes that must be made in the UNWRA textbooks used in the Palestinian Authority.
2. Avoid Demonization of Israel and Jews
- Schoolbooks should not include pieces which virulently demonize Israel/Jews, or de-humanize them, or any description that goes beyond the presentation of Israel and/or the Jews as an ordinary adversary with its own rights, interests and positions. Jews should not be presented as enemies of Islam, as has been often done.
- It is desirable to add to the books the still non-existent material that deals with Israel and the Jews objectively (for example, pieces that talk about the Israeli government structure, economy, science and technology, the Hebrew culture, Jewish history, etc.), which might balance the enormous anti-Israeli critical material in the books.
- It is crucially important to stress in the books that, in spite of the conflict, the Jewish/Israeli individual is also a human being, apart from being an adversary, and should be treated accordingly.
- While dealing with the conflict, the PA schoolbooks studied at UNRWA schools should include also self-criticism (i.e., the rejection of proposals for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, massacre of unarmed Jewish neighbors, etc.)

Guest post by American Zionism

If the Arabs are trying to convince the Jews that giving up land will bring Israel peace, they are doing a poor job of it. Unilateral land for peace moves by Israel have been disastrous. The unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops from Southern Lebanon in 2000, with nothing gained in return, strengthened the terror group Hezbollah, essentially collapsed Israel’s ally the South Lebanon Army, and did not bring peace with Lebanon or their de facto rulers Syria. Rocket attacks in the North continued and cross border attacks, including attempted kidnappings, amplified until 2006 when a war lead to a strong response on the side of Israel that served as a deterrent.

Gaza was always considered a quagmire for Israel and most Israelis were tired of sending their children to serve in the dangerous enclave. Many questioned Israel’s reason for being there. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in the hopes that it would serve as a model for transitioning territory to the Palestinian Authority, short of a peace agreement. Israel uprooted 10,000 Jews and even left the Palestinians housing and a commercial greenhouse. It was a huge victory for the peace camp in Israel, who were certain that land is all it took to end the conflict. At the very least, it would earn Israel capital in the international arena. The Palestinians promptly destroyed the greenhouse and Israel’s South has not enjoyed a moments peace ever since. In addition, the international goodwill the peace camp was sure to follow never materialized. It seemed, in fact, that Israel was punished for the move. Two years later, there was a bloody coop in Gaza and the terror group Hamas gained power. The situation continues to deteriorate. Hamas is strengthened. Residents of the south in Israel endure thousands of rockets with little recourse. Unilateral land for peace has been a disaster.

But, what about bilateral land for peace? Surely that has worked. Look at Egypt. In 1979, Israel and Egypt agreed to an historic peace agreement. In exchange for peace, Israel gave Egypt the Sinai peninsula, captured in the 1967 war. By 1982, Israel completed a withdrawal from the entire peninsula, uprooting Jewish communities, and handing the keys to Egypt. On the surface it seems like a success. Before 1979, Israel and Egypt fought in four wars (1948, 1956, 1967, 1972), in addition to constant skirmishes. Since 1979, there have been no wars. The problem is that the peace has been cold. Incitement against Israel and Jews in Egypt, often sponsored by the government, continues. Most Egyptians do not accept Israel’s right to exist and by extension the peace agreement. The Sinai has become a hotbed of Islamist activity, with ISIS establishing a stronghold in the peninsula. Hamas has established smuggling tunnels into Sinai used to bring in weapons and materials to attack Israel and shoot rockets. There have been concerns from Israel that the peace could collapse. In 2008, Egypt conducted war game exercises against an imaginary Israel. At no time was the concern more acute than when Mohamed Morsi, a member of the extremist group the Muslim Brotherhood, an ally of Hamas, won the presidency of Egypt. If not for his overthrow a year later, it not hard to speculate that the peace would have fallen apart. It’s possible that Egypt’s largest motivator for maintaining the peace is the $1.3 billion in military aid that they receive from the United States. If that were ever to disappear, would peace persist?

And so we come to Naharayim. It was suppose to be the model of coexistence between the Jews and Arabs. On the heels of the first Oslo Accords, Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994. It was suppose to usher in a Pax Romana in the Middle East. Israel and Jordan, two bitter enemies to that point, no longer had any territorial disputes. Jordan has ceded their claim to the West Bank, which they occupied in 1948 and then lost in 1967, to the Palestinians. With peace between Israel and the PLO, rebranded the Palestinian Authority, seemingly imminent, King Hussein and Israeli president Ezer Weizman shook hands near Eilat and the future seemed bright. That Hezbollah was still launching rockets into Northern Israel while the agreement was being signed seemed like a temporary problem.

Between Israel and Jordan lies an area called the Jordan Valley. Israel’s connection to the Jordan Valley is both historic but more importantly strategic. It is strategic because it offers a natural barrier between Israel and Jordan (and by extension other Arab countries to the East) and a strong defensive position. In the Jordan Valley is a small town called Naharayim, which in Hebrew means two rivers, because it is the junction between the Jordan River and the Yarmouk River. The land was purchased by a Jew named Pinhas Rutenberg, a staunch Zionist, who established the Palestine Electric Corporation and began building hyroelectic power plants to modernize Mandatory Palestine. One of those plants was located on the land that he would call Naharayim.

The problem with Naharayim is that even though it was legally bought by Jews and inhabited by Jews, it was on the other side of the Jordan river, the Jordanian side. The river forms a natural border between the two countries. So, when Israel and Jordan signed their historic peace agreement, Israel decided in good faith to give this small piece of land to Jordan. Land...for peace. However, there was an obstacle. Jews - Israelis - were living on the land for over 70 years. They had built kibbutizim, working farms, and made a living off the land. For several generations of Jews, it was the only home they knew. This was not in the West Bank but rather Northern Israel near Tiberias, one of the four holy cities in Judaism. Not wanting to displace the Jewish residents, Israel agreed to give up the land and Jordan agreed to lease the land back to Israel for 25 years, with an understanding that the lease would be renewed in perpetuity. It was the model of cooperation. So much so, that they built a park near by called the “Island of Peace”. It was suppose to usher in a new era of coexistence in the region. Both Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Jordanians, could enjoy the park. Land...for peace. But like so many things in life, things aren’t always at as they seem.

If the peace with Egypt was cold, the peace with Jordan was freezing. Incitement against Jews and Israel in Jordan continued. Not only could antisemitism be found in Jordanian media and schools, but in the Jordanian parliament itself. For example, Jordanian MP Yahya al-Saud supported terrorism against Israel, not uncommon in the parliament, but even publically called to “liberate our holy places from the plundering Jews”. Another MP, Khalil Attieh, went on Jordanian TV and railed, “It is an honor to incite against the Jews. It is a great accomplishment to provoke and incense them.” He also publically called Jews “descendants of apes and pigs” and stated “Hating the Jews is a great honor for me and it makes me walk with my head high because they are worthy of hatred...They are not decent people. Any man of honor should hate the Jews.” These are not isolated incidents. They often praise terror attacks against Israel in the parliament, including the Har Nof synagogue massacre in Jerusalem, where terrorists killed 5 worshipers with axes, knives, and gun. They have also blocked the extradition from Jordan to the United States of Ahlam Tamimi, the woman who helped carry out the Sbarro Massacre in 2001 at a pizzeria in Jerusalem where 16 were murdered, including eight children 18 or younger (two of which were toddlers aged 2 and 4). She often goes on Jordanian television laughing and praising her roll in the murders, saying “I admit that I was a bit disappointed, because I had hoped for a larger toll.”

But through all that incitement, the Island of Peace persisted as a symbol of cooperation. That is until 1997, three years after its creation, when a group of Jewish school girls aged 13 and 14 were on a school trip to visit this historic park - the park of peace. On that day, there was no peace. A Jordanian soldier named Ahmed Daqamseh decided he wanted to kill some Jews, went to the park now part of Jordan with no Israeli protection, and started shooting the children. He killed seven girls and wounded six others. Reviled by some, a hero to others, he was sent to prison in Jordan unrepentant, proud of what he did. His mother telling Al Jazeera, “I am proud of my son, and I hold my head high. My son did a heroic deed.” Why did he go to jail in Jordan? Because, the land has been handed over to Jordan three years earlier. It was no longer under Israeli jurisdiction. You would think that for the murder of seven children and near murder of six others one would spend more than ten years in jail, but the calls to release this national hero started in the Jordanian parliament shortly after his imprisonment. In 2017 he was release, not quietly, but with great fanfare. There were parades on the street. People handed out candy. The symbol of coexistence became the symbol of hate. A memorial exists to this day for those seven young girls. There are no parades for them. Only a lifetime misery for the families. No one hands out candy, only tears.

This brings us to 2019, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, and the expiration of the twenty-five year lease to the Jewish farmers who live near the Island of Peace park, and who make a living from it - the automatic lease renewal in perpetuity. Except, it never happened. Jordan decided that they did not want to renew the lease. They stated that they never meant to renew in perpetuity. The problem is, they didn’t even renew it once. Jewish farmers be damned. On November 10th, Jordan took back possession of the land. Jews who live and work there, some for multiple generations, on land bought by their ancestors, have an uncertain future. Even if the Jordanian government agrees to let them stay, how long will that last? When will they finally tell then to get lost once and for all? That is the problem with “Land for Peace”. Land is tangible and peace is intangible. Once you hand over the land the other side possesses it. You possess nothing in return. If the peace gets broken, the land does not get returned. Here is the land, but where is the peace? It’s a cautionary tale for the Israelis. I support a peaceful resolution between the two ethnic groups, Jews and Arabs, that share the tiny strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. I’ve even supported land for peace. But it’s become increasingly harder to argue with those that say it doesn’t work. Israel’s neighbors are not helping with the argument. How can you convince an Israeli that exchanging land for peace will work or that it is the best solution when it has been so ineffective until now. It’s becoming apparent that for peace to work, something tangible has to be exchanged for something tangible. 

Disclaimer: This article is meant to highlight the potential pitfalls of theoretical, asymmetric land for peace deals only. It is not intended to criticize any peace deals Israel has signed with her neighbors nor oppose any future peace agreements. The author believes in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians without preconditions.

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  • Sunday, November 10, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Yahya al-Saud, chairman of the Palestine Committee in the first chamber of the Jordanian parliament, called on his government not to comply with any US pressure demanding the extradition of the mass murdering terrorist Ahlam al-Tamimi.

This was in the wake of the revelation that the US officially stating that its extradition treaty with Jordan is valid, referencing Tamimi.

"The Jordanian government must preserve its citizens, and America should not play the role of an international policeman, but should align itself with the peace camp rather than the darkness camp," al-Saud said. (Peace and darkness rhyme in Arabic.)

"I think from my point of view and from the point of view of the Jordanian street, that the United States is a partner in the occupation," he said.

Al-Saud added that "Ahlam has been tried and released, she may not be tried twice, knowing that she did not commit a crime, and what she has done was the right to defend her homeland."

How sickening is that? Not only is al-Saud invoking "double jeopardy," but he is saying that Tamimi didn't commit a crime to begin with - she is a hero. Naturally, no Jordanian is publicly pushing back on this perverted thinking that celebrates the murder of 15 people.

The "double jeopardy" argument has been shown to be baseless in international law. International law specifies that someone may not be tried twice for the same crime in the same state. The US can prosecute Tamimi for her role in murdering two Americans and injuring four others.

The fact that this is being noticed in Jordan and is making some politicians nervous is a good sign. Arnold Roth, who has been tirelessly working to get justice for his murdered daughter Malki, has expressed frustration that US officials have not brought up this case when meeting Jordanian officials. The media attention now being given to this case in Jordan and Israel will make it harder for US politicians to ignore the issue.

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  • Sunday, November 10, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ilhan Omar tweeted this on Saturday:

But if that was her point, then what did her tweet add to the original CNBC story, which already pointed out that Cooperman and Bloomberg were both billionaires?

As soon as Jews noticed the obvious dog-whistle, her defenders - including IfNotNow - all claimed no, of course she is only talking about billionaires, not nefarious Jewish billionaires.

Sure. Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Jack Ma, Mackenzie Bezos and the Walton family all have so much in common politically.

The execrable Eli Valley tweeted this in response to a skeptic that she was only speaking about billionaires:

My response: Maybe the antisemite is the person who says Jewish billionaires are vile.

I then made a poster lampooning the idea that Omar was merely speaking about billionaires:

UPDATE: One more tweet after I saw some defending Omar because she supports a Jew for President.

And of course, David Duke likes Omar because he recognizes a fellow Jew-hater when he sees one.

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Saturday, November 09, 2019

From Ian:

Education? Not on BDS’s Watch!
The Palestinian Solidarity Committee at Harvard University, a student organization that favors the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, has set its sights on Israel Trek.

Harvard’s Hillel sponsors Israel Trek, a student-led, student-organized spring break trip to Israel and the West Bank. Past participants speak of how the trip challenged their preconceived notions about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One writes of his visit to Ramallah, where, at Fatah headquarters, his group heard “from a number of high-ranking [PLO] officials who discussed with us their views on the conflict, the state of affairs in Palestinian communities, and the prospects for peace going forward.” They had already met “members of the Knesset, a former Supreme Court justice, a prominent investigative journalist, and the spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

As this witness saw it, “our organizers truly strove to provide the broadest range of perspectives that they could” so that students could form their own judgments. Not that the student leaders weren’t Zionists. They evidently calculated that Israel’s reputation would benefit from the exchange of ideas.

Students who attend Israel Trek don’t necessarily emerge allies of Israel. Two participants wrote of their experience that they “had even more questions than we had before departing,” about, among other things, what a democracy is. On the question, “are you pro-Israel or pro-Palestine,” the students demur because they now think it “fails to acknowledge the deep nuances that complicate a conflict involving real people, each with their own experiences, politics, and pain.”

Those of us who are pro-Israel may find this a little too wishy-washy. We may find the students’ views of Fatah’s objectives naïve. But we can hardly, if we are also in favor of liberal education, object to a trip that dissolves a student’s sense of “Manichaean clarity.” Even a student who had done his best to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by discussing it with friends and consuming news and opinion found this education no substitute for first-hand experience. He had, it turned out, “relied too heavily on external, and often biased outlets, both in favor and against Israel.”

MEMRI: Former Jordanian Health Minister Dr. Zaid Hamzeh: We Arabs Supported Hitler During WWII Because He Hated The Jews
Former Jordanian Health Minister Dr. Zaid Hamzeh said in an October 9, 2019 interview on A One TV (Jordan) that nations oftentimes only progress after having suffered for centuries and that future Arab generations must suffer before progressing. In addition, he said that he had supported Adolf Hitler during World War II like other Arabs, and recalled that in fourth grade his school had participated in demonstrations and chanted "Long live Abu Ali," which he said had been a reference to Hitler. Dr. Hamzeh said that the Arabs supported Hitler because he hated the Jews, although he added the Arabs have a general tendency to admire dictators.

"Was That Really The Reason, Or Was It Because We Arabs, By Nature... Love Dictators"

Interviewer: "Was that really the reason, or was it because we Arabs, by nature – and I don't have time to give a historical review... We love dictators."

Zaid Hamzeh: "No."
Interviewer: "Really?"
Zaid Hamzeh: "Nobody loves dictators, except for people who have been led astray, and I don't want to use..."
Interviewer: "We love people who kill and slaughter. We consider this to be a sign of manliness."
Zaid Hamzeh: "Unfortunately, many people do, but we shouldn't generalize."
Interviewer: "Right, not everybody..."
Zaid Hamzeh: "But with regard to dictators, you are right. We laud the dictator and wish he would come back. We want him to come riding in on a white horse and to liberate the land, while the people here are in a slumber or watching from the sideline."
UNESCO book program puts antisemitic material on display
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf were among the books featured at a book fair in Sharjah, UAE sponsored by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Simon Wiesenthal Centre exposed the book fair on Thursday and the Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, wrote a letter to UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, condemning the book fair.

“Sadly, the name of UNESCO is abused as appearing to be complicit in validating for young Arab readers, the bigoted stereotypes of Jews - as expounded by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. This is particularly damning at a time of reconciliation between Gulf States and Israel, now facing common enemies,” Samuels wrote in a letter to Azoulay.

In the letter, Samuels added, “the organizers are known to carefully vet all titles on display for Islamophobia, but leave Jew-hatred in pride of place!”

Sharjah was declared UNESCO’s 2019 “World Book Capital of the Year,” as part of an initiative that was launched in 1996 “that seeks to encourage and promote publishing activities at the local and global levels by nominating for a one-year period the best city program aimed at promoting books,” according to the Sharjah World Book Capital website.

In July 2019, UNESCO published a blog post entitled “Addressing contemporary antisemitism: A global issue?”, in which the organization acknowledges that “antisemitism did not begin or end with the Holocaust.” It also stated that “antisemitic bigotry” was “no longer restricted to extremist circles,” in the modern world.

Friday, November 08, 2019

From Ian:

Ian Austin is a “hero of the Jewish community” as he declares “Labour is poisoned with anti-Jewish racism” and announces he will not seek re-election
The former Labour MP Ian Austin, who resigned from the Party over antisemitism, has given a series of powerful interviews this morning condemning antisemitism in the Labour Party and announcing that he will not be seeking re-election.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Austin, who is an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism, was asked if his decision to leave the Labour Party and stand down as an MP was “personal”. In response, he explained: “I joined the Labour Party as a teenager in Dudley. I was a councillor there in my twenties, I worked for the Party and for the Labour Government in my thirties, and I became an MP and a Government minister in my forties, so this has been my life. This has been my life.

“I can’t really believe it’s come to this,” he said, “but I’ve got to be honest with people: I think that Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to lead the Labour Party. I think he’s certainly unfit to lead the country.”

Asserting that only two individuals can be Prime Minister the day after the election, Mr Austin remarkably declared: “I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that it can’t be Jeremy Corbyn,” and endorsed the Conservative Party Leader instead.

Visibly emotional, Mr Austin pointed out that he “could just disappear off back to Dudley, never say a word, keep quiet — but I think people in politics have got to stand up and tell the truth and you’ve got to do what you think is right, however difficult it is.”

In support of his decision, Mr Austin asserted that Mr Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, have spent their careers in politics “working with, defending, supporting all types of extremists, including antisemites,” and backing genocidal antisemitic terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hizballah, whom Mr Corbyn has described as “friends”.

Mr Austin insisted that he has “thought about this long and hard,” and said: “But most shameful of all…you know under his [Mr Corbyn’s} leadership a political party with a proud record – a long history – fighting for equality, fighting racism, has become poisoned with anti-Jewish racism and it is a complete and utter disgrace, a complete disgrace.”

BBC Panorama investigation into Labour antisemitism shortlisted for British Journalism Award, as is maker John Ware
BBC Panorama is a finalist in the British Journalism Awards in the category of ‘Investigation’ for its programme titled “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?”, which explored antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The episode’s creators, John Ware, Leo Telling, Neil Grant and Rachel Jupp, have also been shortlisted in the ‘Politics Journalism’ category.

The programme, which was televised in July, showed former Labour Party employees speaking out publicly to reveal Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s personal meddling in disciplinary cases relating to antisemitism. The programme explained how senior Labour Party staffers, some of whom Campaign Against Antisemitism has known for years, used to run Labour’s disciplinary process independently, but soon after Mr Corbyn’s election as Party leader found themselves contending with his most senior aides, who were brazen in their efforts to subvert due process.

During the programme Labour’s press team made claims that the staffers featured had political axes to grind and lacked credibility, and it is understood that they and Mr Ware have now commenced libel proceedings against the Labour Party. The libel cases are being brought by Mark Lewis, a highly esteemed media lawyer who is also an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism.

From Ian:

US rejects Jordan's opposition to deport wanted terrorist
The United States has rejected a claim by Jordan over its refusal to deport wanted Palestinian-Jordanian Hamas terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, as a Jordanian court ruled in 2017 that Amman’s extradition treaty with Washington is invalid, despite the U.S. State Department saying the opposite in a report published this week.

The report could lead to increased pressure by the White House on Jordan to extradite Tamimi to the United States, who helped organize the well-known suicide-bombing at a Sbarro pizzeria on Aug. 9, 2001, which killed 15 people, including two Americans, and injured about 130 others.

Tamimi, who planned the attack, has shown no remorse, saying she has “no regrets.”

She had been awarded $51,836 until she was released from prison, as part of a 2011 prisoner exchange that included Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s release from Hamas captivity, when she then escaped to Jordan.

Tamimi is on America’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” list, but the United States has been unable to secure her extradition as a 1995 extradition agreement was not ratified by Jordan’s government.

Israel's Daily Reality: The Story of Aluma
When Aluma Mekaitan Guertzenstein tells me she’s married and pregnant, I burst into tears of joy.

I’ve been asked to update the stories of terrorism survivors, those I met in the years 2000 and 2005 when the horror of bus bombings, restaurant bombings and disco bombings aimed at young people was our daily reality in Israel. Thousands of Israelis were killed and maimed. Jerusalem, our real and symbolic capital, was the target of much of the terrorism. I’ve run into Aluma a few times over the years. Once she’d just gotten her driver’s license and was going to see which cars she could drive. I was glad she’d gone on with her life.

Who can forget November 21, 2002? Aluma got up early, her mind full of numbers. A 17-year-old schoolgirl, she was determined to score high on the morning’s math test, as she boarded Egged bus No. 20 in Kiryat Menahem, a working-class neighborhood of Jerusalem where her family lived. Aluma hugged close her heavy school backpack packed with books and notebooks. Others were waiting at her stop on Mexico Street.

Among them was Na’el Abu Hilail, 23. He’d been driven into Jerusalem from El-Khader, south of Bethlehem, to this bus, deliberately chosen because by 7:15 a.m. it was always crowded with children going to school and office workers going to their jobs downtown. In his backpack were no books, but 5 kilograms of explosives packed with shrapnel. Standing near the driver where passengers lined up to pay, he pulled the switch. The windows were blown out of the bus. The roof was ripped off. The blast wave rolled through the enclosed space, tearing the junctures where air and tissue meet: ear, lung and the gut. Metal fragments flew through the bus. Passengers were thrown from their seats. Fifty passengers were seriously and critically injured. Eleven persons, four of them kids on their way to school, were murdered.

At first the count of dead was 12. But then a paramedic named Raphael, like the angel of healing, made a last check through the bus and saw a schoolgirl’s eyelids flicker.
Friday Night Dinner with Palestinian Rockets
Each week, my cousins Dina and Yair host students in their home from Sapir College in the Israeli city of Sderot. This week, the guests included students and my wife, myself, and our baby son. My wife and I had finally put our 1-year-old to sleep and were sipping soup when, suddenly, a sharp, oddly calm, almost robotic announcement came over loudspeakers. "Tzeva Adom - Code Red." We know we have 15 seconds to run to a bomb shelter as a rocket speeds towards us. This is not a test.

I run into our bedroom and scoop the sleeping baby out of his crib. Like a football player running downfield, I hold him under one arm and guide people down the hallway to the shelter with my other. We dive into the shelter and slam shut the heavy vault door just as the first blasts shake the walls and rattle the roof. Our sleepy 1-year-old claps his hands and screams, "Boom, boom."

Ten minutes later, we leave the shelter to sit around the table once again and pretend that things are normal. After a second barrage of rockets half an hour later, we decide to leave our son in the bomb shelter overnight with the other kids. At least we won't need to wake them up if more rockets are fired at us - as indeed they were at 2 a.m.

  • Friday, November 08, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Arutz-7 reports:

One of heavy metal’s biggest bands will be returning to Israel next year, for its first show in the Jewish state in 25 years.

On Thursday, the band Iron Maiden confirmed that it will be appearing in Tel Aviv next year for its first show in Israel in a quarter of a century.

Iron Maiden is slated to perform at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium on May 30th, with Israeli heavy metal band Orphaned Land opening the show.

While many Israeli fans rejoiced, some Orthodox Jewish fans in Israel urged the band to reconsider the timing of the concert, which begins Saturday evening before the end of the Sabbath and a day after the Shavuot holiday.

A petition launched by Orthodox fans has called on the show’s promoters to push off the date of the concert.

“For the greater good of G-d and the Jewish people, please choose a day to play here that doesn't fall out on one of the forbidden times.”

Other fans took to the ‘Bring Iron Maiden to Israel’ group to organize a group Shabbat at a hotel in Tel Aviv near the venue, allowing religious fans to make it to the show after the end of the Sabbath (8:23 p.m.).

Aviva Fort, who previously covered the Israeli metal scene with ‘Metal Israel’, told Arutz Sheva concert promoters fail to realize that a growing number of rock and metal fans in Israel are religiously observant, assuming that the fan base is exclusively secular.

“The foreign-born religious population is only growing. Concert promoters and the rest of Israeli society need to deal with reality: Shabbat-observant people that move to Israel or study here don’t necessarily fall into the strict boxes delineated by Israeli society. Shutting out an entire sales market by not taking our needs into account is just not a smart financial move.”
The problem is compounded by the fact that the Friday before the concert is Shavuot, so any religious fan would have to be in a hotel for two days - and most religious Jews would want to be with their families on the holiday rather than in a Tel Aviv hotel.

Some people might think it is strange that religious Jews would be fans of heavy metal, but there are plenty of Jews who take Jewish law seriously and who also fully participate in secular society, including listening to the same music everyone else listens to.

The petition has little chance of making an impact; the band's full tour dates are published. However, there is a five day gap between the May 30 show in Tel Aviv and their next concert in Finland. If enough "frum" metalheads convince the promoters and band that there is money to be made by adding a second show, then, just maybe, they can pull it off. They just need to convince 30,000 Israelis to come to a second Sunday night show!

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  • Friday, November 08, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Ahlam al-Tamimi is the proud Hamas terrorist who was integral to the 2001 bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, killing 15 including 7 children and a pregnant woman.

Tamimi was one of the 1,207 prisoners released in the deal to free Gilad Shalit and she has lived freely in Jordan since then, publicly proud about her role in murdering Jewish children.

Malki Roth, 15, was one of the two American victims of the Sbarro massacre, and since then her parents Arnold and Frimet have been working tirelessly to see justice done to her murderer.

In 2013, the US Justice Department brought charges against Tamimi under US laws, but the charges were not unsealed until 2017. 

“Al-Tamimi is an unrepentant terrorist who admitted to her role in a deadly terrorist bombing that injured and killed numerous innocent victims,” Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary McCord said at the time. “The charges unsealed today serve as a reminder that when terrorists target Americans anywhere in the world, we will never forget – and we will continue to seek to ensure that they are held accountable.”

Last year, for the first time, the US State Department annual Country Report on Terrorism mentioned al-Tamimi:
A U.S. criminal complaint was unsealed in March charging Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, a Jordanian national in her mid-30s, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside the United States resulting in death. The charge is related to her participation in an August 9, 2001, suicide bomb attack at a restaurant in Jerusalem that killed 15 people, including two U.S. nationals. Four other U.S. nationals were among the approximately 122 others injured in the attack. Also unsealed was a warrant for Al-Tamimi’s arrest and an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant. Jordan’s courts have ruled that their constitution forbids the extradition of Jordanian nationals.

The newly released Country Report on Terrorism 2018 includes a significant addition to the virtually identical text:
 In 2018, Jordan continued to cite a court ruling that its constitution forbids the extradition of Jordanian nationals. The United States regards the extradition treaty as valid.
Those nine words hint that the current administration, unlike previous ones, might actually pressure Jordan publicly to extradite Tamimi to the US.

The Jordanian ruling that Jordanian nationals cannot be extradited is contradicted by Jordan's own actions in extraditing a Jordanian national for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in 1995.

Here is the text of the extradition treaty between the US and Jordan.

Jordan's position that Tamimi cannot be extradited under their constitution is an extreme insult. Here is what the Jordanian constitution says:
Article 21
(i) Political refugees shall not be extradited on account of their political beliefs or for their defence of liberty.
(ii) Extradition of ordinary criminals shall be regulated by international agreements and laws. 
Meaning that Jordanian justice system does not view a murderer of children as a criminal or terrorist, but rather as an innocent person being persecuted for her political beliefs.

Far more information is available at the This Ongoing War website maintained by the parents of Malki Roth.

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, November 08, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Dahir Zidani, the owner of the Al Reda restaurant that has been in the news for not allowing patrons to speak Hebrew to his staff, is probably a bigot - but he is definitely a jerk.

He was interviewed by QudsN where he said that part of the reason that he bans Hebrew from being spoken is to push Arabic as a language of choice for Arabs like his workers, but the major reason is that Israelis are "barbaric:"
There is another issue, one that Israelis may understand better than others, because they know themselves, that they are insolent and messy, they are loud and boastful, they enter the restaurant arrogantly and in a condescending way, and we found that this way we could restrain them. The moment we speak to them in English, they become different people, they lower their voices, they speak politely, they behave nicer and they are more civilized, not as much as we would like them to be, but less barbaric than they were beforehand. 
He also makes it cler that he doesn't consider himself an Israeli:

Can an Israeli impose his conditions and mood on a restaurant in France or in Africa or ask them to bill the account in Hebrew ?! of course not. So I submit the invoice in Arabic, and if someone wants to explain the details of the invoice, I am of course ready, but I provide it in Arabic.

The striking thing about the interview though is that Zidani has a vision for the relationship between a restaurant owner and the customers that is not exactly how most businesses are run:

This place is open to all people, but it is my place. Another point of view is who should determine the conditions of hospitality, is it the guest or the host ?! Or is this guest expecting that he can impose his conditions elsewhere as he tries to do with us ?! Or is this a reflection of the balance of power ?! 
"The customer is always right" is not this guy's slogan. This is very clear when he or his manager respond to criticism on TripAdvisor:
The place seems to be strict about rules. We left with uncomfortable feeling that they had something against us and we got no reasonable explanation why we couldn't get our order. Try sodfeh or tashreen in the neighborhood. Time was midnight, place half empty , 4 of us, sat further away from smokers. Apparently our table was only for 3 people. Ordered drinks only. Waiter retuned explained take only for 3. We said we want to be close to window and further from smokers. 10 minutes another waiter came that the table can't hold food for 4, we explained we ordered only drinks. 10 minutes later same waiter came back and explained no way you stay on this take , we left wasting half an hour and perplexed about the true reason why we couldn't get our order.

Dear Mr Zipzib
you don't like smoke and smokers , you entered a smoker's place , !!!
you decided and insisted to take a table we did not give you !!! without respecting our rules and consideration !!!!
you can insist also not to understand why we did not and could not serve you under your conditions !
still I hope you can understand this : A table should not look comfortable only for client , it should be comfortable also for the next tables , it should be comfortable for the waiter to serve and it should be safe , safe , safe for clients !!!!
we would have explain that to you if you did move to the available alternative tables !
you exempted your self from thinking or worrying about these considerations , we cannot and we don't want to take this exemption to ourselves !!! we simply still have some respect to ourselves and to our place !!
hope you will reconsider you review !!!!??
The manager of this establishment was the rudest, most offensive and angry person I have come across in any so called restaurant.
If it had been my choice I would have immediately left.
The group I was part of were made to feel unwelcome, unruly (!) and unwanted.
The manager, or whoever was representing this business , was contemptuous and positively abusive in my honest opinion and showed our group not even the most basic respect never mind any remote shred of 'hospitality' whatsoever.
To list :initially a refusal to acknowledge the booking denying it existed
Negative attitude towards size of our group
Refusal to take orders instead offering 'shared plates' that did not take much account of vegetarian or vegan needs
Slamming down menus in front of us
Telling us to split into smaller tables because we were too loud..!!
Refusing to turn music down
Keeping people waiting interminally for drinks and food
Just plain nasty
There was obviously some deep seated resentment towards us that I could only guess at.
This person looked unclean,disheveled;
The place itself was dark, extremely dusty and practically empty apart from single men and one very young inappropriately dressed girl.
How I deeply deeply resented giving even one shekel of hard earned money to this company.
DAZEI, General Manager at Alreda, responded to this review
This review ( second of the same grope ) does not deserve any kind of respond !!
I am so sorry I agreed to feed them , and I am most happy they and their friends promise to avoid my place !!!
The restaurant has no problem putting a Hebrew sign on its front. It is a warning that it is protected by a security system.

Apparently he considers thieves to be Hebrew speakers.

(ht Ibn Boutros)

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

From Ian:

The Problem with Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is a flourishing politics today on many university campuses and on parts of the left, and the standard response from many Jewish organisations and from most of the Jews I know is to call it the newest version of antisemitism. But anti-Zionism is a subject in itself. I take “Zionism” to mean a belief in the rightful existence of a Jewish state, nothing more. Anti-Zionism denies the rightfulness.

Most versions of anti-Zionism first appeared among the Jews. The first, and probably the oldest, takes Zionism to be a Jewish heresy. According to Orthodox doctrine, the return of the Jews to Zion and the establishment of a state will be the work of the Messiah in the days to come. Until then, Jews are required to accept their exile, defer to gentile rulers, and wait for divine deliverance. Political action is a usurpation of God’s prerogative.

“Waiting for the Messiah” has a left-wing version, which might be called “waiting for the revolution.” Jews (and other minorities) were often told that all their problems would be solved, and could only be solved, by the triumph of the proletariat. Many Jews took this to be an expression of hostility, a refusal to recognise the urgencies of their situation. But I don’t see antisemitism here, only ideological rigidity and moral insensitivity.

The second Jewish version of anti-Zionism was first proclaimed by the founders of Reform Judaism in nineteenth-century Germany. There is no Jewish people, they insisted, only a community of faith – men and women of the Mosaic persuasion. Jews could be good Germans (or good citizens of any state) since they were not a nation like the other nations and did not aspire to a state of their own. Zionism was perceived as a threat to these good Germans, since it suggested that they had an allegiance elsewhere.

Many leftists have adopted this denial of Jewish peoplehood, and then they go on to claim that a Jewish state must be a religious state, something like a Catholic or Lutheran or Muslim state – political formations that no leftist could support. But Reform Jews adopted this position knowing that most of their fellow Jews didn’t share it. They weren’t all looking for a homeland in the land of Israel, but even the Bundists, who hoped for autonomy in the Tsarist empire, were Jewish nationalists.

The early Reform Jews wanted to change the course and character of Jewish history; they weren’t ignorant of that history. Leftists who argue against Jewish peoplehood are, mostly, ignorant.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel can't allow those who call for its destruction to remain
From the moment Omar Shakir stepped on Israeli soil, he had the same modus operandi he always did and even traveled to Bahrain to promote a FIFA ban on Israel. Bahrain denied him entrance to the country.

Last year, following the decision to cancel Shakir's visa, 15 human rights organizations, Including Israeli NGOs B'tselem and Breaking the Silence, called for the decision to be reversed.

"This decision only serves to partner Israel with a list of shady countries whose governments want to control the opinions, thoughts and actions of human beings, instead of protecting their right to free speech," the groups said.

Well, let's see: Canada banned former British MP and vehement Israel-hater George Galloway; France banned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered by Sunni Muslims to be a prominent intellectual; Britain banned American anti-gay protester Fred Phelps and his daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper from entering the country, as well as Michael Savage, a far-right conservative radio host; the U.S. denied entry to Filipina human rights activist Liza Maza who intended to attend a conference on American activity in her country; and recently, both the U.S. and Britain banned the entrance of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Omar Shakir's ideological twin.

It's safe to assume that anti-Israeli elements will resume their usual drivel about damage to free speech, which is curious given that Shakir himself is an advocate of harming free speech.

In 2015, Shakir signed a petition calling for a ban on Muslims who dared accept the invitation of the Hartman Institute (on Jerusalem-based center for pluralistic Jewish thought and education) for an educational tour of Israel.

Every country has the right to deny entry to agitators, and there's no country in the world that would allow a person who denies its right to exist enter its borders. This is true of Israel as well.
In front-page editorial, Jewish Chronicle urges Brits not to vote Corbyn
In a front-page editorial, the British Jewish Chronicle implored UK citizens not to vote for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming December 12 election, citing his long record of comments against Israel and failure to stamp out anti-Semitism within his opposition party.

“To all our fellow British citizens. This front page is addressed not to our usual readers — but to those who would not normally read the Jewish Chronicle. In other words, to non-Jews,” it read.

In its call for British nationals to take Jewish concerns into account on election day, the editorial cited a March poll showing that 87 percent of British Jews believe Corbyn to be anti-Semitic.

“There is racism on all sides of politics and it must be called out wherever it is found. History has forced our community to be able to spot extremism as it emerges — and Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader in 2015 is one such example,” it said, citing Corbyn’s past affiliation with members of Hamas and Hezbollah, his presence at a ceremony that honored the Palestinian terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, his reaction to anti-Semitic statements by members of his party, and his 2018 comment that “Zionists” do not grasp “English irony.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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