Sunday, March 31, 2019

  • Sunday, March 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 1939, this letter by President Franklin Roosevelt was published by the organizers of the Palestine Pavilion at the New York World's Fair:



THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON
Out of the world War came a matter of great spiritual significance — the establishment of a Homeland for the Jewish people, recognized as such  by the public law of the world. In the realization of this aim the United States played a leading role.  I know how close it was to the wish of President Wilson. The formal terms of its expression during the War, the so-called Balfour Declaration, had his personal approval, and he did much to have it written into the peace treaty. The subsequent unanimous endorsement or the Balfour Declaration by both Houses of the United States Congress gave further proof of the deep interest or the American people in the purposes of the Declaration and in the fulfilment the moral obligation which it involved.

Jewish achievement in Palestine since the Balfour Declaration vindicates the high hope which lay behind the sponsorship of the Homeland. The Jewish development in Palestine since the Balfour Declaration is not only a tribute to the creative powers of the Jewish people, but by bringing great advancement into the sacred Land has promoted the well-being of all the inhabitants thereof.

I shall personally watch with deep sympathy the progress of Palestine.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
It looks like most of this letter was actually written in 1932, with the last paragraph perhaps added for the exhibition.

In this letter, FDR confirms that the building of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was enshrined in international law. This means building through the entire area of the British Mandate.

Has the status of the land changed since then?

The areas illegally seized by Jordan in 1948, now known as the "West Bank," did not change their status since Jordan's annexation was not recognized by the international community. In 1967, when Israel gained those lands back, nothing changed from the San Remo conference and other nations' recognition of all of British Mandate Palestine as being the area where the Jewish homeland should be built - which of course includes towns and villages.

The first change to the status of those territories came during the Oslo process when Israel apparently gave Area A to the PLO. The areas where Jews have moved to live are still fully within the areas covered by San Remo and international law since the early 1920s.





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From Ian:

Alan M. Dershowitz: Trump Is Right about the Golan Heights
I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with U.S. President Donald J. Trump two weeks before he announced his decision. I provided him with the battleship analogy, which he seemed to appreciate. I told him that I thought the Sunni Arab world might complain, but that they really do not care about the Golan, which has no religious significance to Islam. There were in fact, some minor protests, but nothing of significance.

Predictably, the European Union opposed the U.S. recognition of the annexation. But it provided no compelling argument, beyond its usual demand that the status quo not be changed. Israel's control over the Golan Heights has been the status quo for more than half a century; and Israel's legitimate need to control the heights has only increased over time, with war in Syria, and the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah military in close proximity. Would the European Union demand that Israel now hand over the Golan Heights to Assad? Has any European country ever handed over high ground, captured in a defensive war, to a sworn enemy?

Recall that at the end of the first and second world wars, European countries made territorial adjustments to help preserve the peace. Why should the European Union subject Israel to a double standard it has never demanded of itself? The answer is clear: The European Union has always acted hypocritically when it comes to Israel, and this is no exception.

So three cheers for President Trump for doing the right thing. I will continue to criticize him if and when he does the wrong thing -- such as separating families at the U.S.'s southern border.

That is what bipartisan means: praising the President I voted against when he does the right thing, and criticizing presidents I voted for (such as Barack Obama) when they do the wrong thing (such as abstaining on the Security Council Resolution declaring Jewish holy places to be occupied territory).

Israel's continuing control over the Golan Heights increases the chance for peace and decreases the chances that Syria, Iran and/or Hezbollah will be able to use this high ground as a launching pad against Israelis. That is good news for the world, for the United States and for Israel.

Amb. Alan Baker: U.S. Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, March 2019: Some Legal Observations
This legislation was accompanied by an assurance, conveyed in Israel’s Knesset by Prime Minister Begin,12 as well as by Israel’s UN ambassador in a communication to the Secretary-General of the UN, according to which:
The government of Israel wishes to reiterate that it is willing now as always to negotiate unconditionally with Syria as with its other neighbors for a lasting peace in accordance with Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The Golan Heights Law does not preclude or impair such negotiations.13

While the laws of armed conflict address situations in which a state, in exercising its inherent right of self-defense, takes control of, or occupies territory of the offensive state, the question of the length of time such a situation of control or occupation may last is not addressed. Furthermore, a long-term continuation of belligerency, an ongoing threat of aggression by the state concerned, and a lack of any foreseeable chance of peace negotiations all generate a unique situation facing the state controlling the territory, with no foreseeable chance for a peace settlement.

In his publication “Justice in International Law:” “What Weight to Conquest? Aggression, Compliance, and Development” (1970) Stephen Schwebel, former judge in the International Court of Justice, refers to the situation of the Golan Heights as follows:
…as regards territory bordering Palestine, and under unquestioned Arab sovereignty in 1949 and thereafter, such as Sinai and the Golan Heights, it follows that no weight shall be given to conquest, but that such weight shall be given to defensive action as is reasonably required to ensure that such Arab territory will not again be used for aggressive purposes against Israel.14

The recent civil war in Syria, the continued lack of any stable government, the flagrant and willful crimes committed by the Syrian president against those elements opposing his regime and against Syrian civilian population, as well as the emplacement of Iranian armed facilities on Syrian territory directed against Israel, all serve to indicate the utter lack of any hope that Syria will in the near future be prepared to recognize Israel as a legitimate neighbor, accept a common border, and enter into a peaceful relationship with Israel.

These factors are also indicative of a total lack of reliability by the Syrian leadership, and capability of genuinely taking upon itself any international responsibility, especially vis-à-vis Israel.

With this background, the proclamation by the U.S. President recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is logical and necessary.
Map proves Syria recognized Banias as Israeli before 1967
Following U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights, researchers at Tel-Hai College have discovered that prior the 1967 Six-Day War, even Syria recognized the Banias plateau – the site of a spring at the foot of Mount Hermon that feeds one the main tributaries of the Jordan River – as belonging to Israel.

The researchers discovered a map drawn by Syria's planning and construction agency in 1965, two years before the Six-Day War, which places Banias on the Israeli side of the border.

"Even before Israel was founded, Banias was part of the British Mandate in Palestine, flush up against the border of the French Mandate in Syria," explains Shalom Tarmachi, head of the Tel-Hai College map collection.

The 1965 Syrian map shows the Banias plateau in red

"In 1939, the Jewish National Fund purchased land in the area of Khan a-Duar at Banias, so the area belonged to Israel, both legally and politically. The cease-fire agreement of 1949 that ended the War of Independence decided that the area would be demilitarized, under the assumption that its status would be regulated in a future peace treaty. But until 1967, communities in the Hula Valley suffered heavy Syrian fire from Banias, and it became part of [Syria's] attempt to divert the sources of the Jordan River," Tarmachi said.

Tarmachi said that before the college's map archives began working with an advanced system that allows multiple maps to be overlaid on top of each other and adjusted to the same scale, it was "very hard" to identify to whom the Syrians assigned the territory in their maps. Now, he says, the new system makes it "very clear that the Syrians did not consider the demilitarized area as theirs, even though they used it for military activity."

Israeli maps, he explained, show Syrian tank posts, minefields, and attempts to divert the sources of the Jordan River, but it is actually the Syrian map that shows that the Banias plateau lies on the Israeli side of the border. (h/t Elder of Lobby)



Nathan Thrall has written a 11,000 word article in the New York Times magazine today that is essentially a huge rose bouquet to people who want to boycott the world's only Jewish state.

The article is filled with slanted and often wrong reporting.

Here's an example of an outright lie:

Last October, nearly a year after the University of Michigan’s divestment vote, there was an “apartheid-wall demonstration” co-sponsored by the campus Latinx group, La Casa. Pro-Palestinian students erected two cardboard walls, modeled after the 25-foot-high concrete slabs that intertwine with fences and barbed wire to encircle Palestinian communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 
Really? The fence is meant to encircle (i.e., imprison) Palestinians?

The only communities in the territories that are encircled by fences are the Jewish villages and towns who are trying to avoid their residents being murdered by Thrall's wonderful Palestinian muses.

Palestinians claim that the barrier "encircles" Bethlehem or parts of Jerusalem, but it isn't true.

Here's an example of the more popular of Thrall's methods of bias - to say something that the BDSers claim which isn't true and pretend that there is no counterargument:

The B.D.S. movement casts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a struggle against apartheid, as defined by the International Criminal Court: “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” (The United Nations defines racial discrimination as directed at “race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin.”) B.D.S. leaders often cite South Africa’s sixth prime minister, Hendrik Verwoerd, who likened Israel to South Africa in 1961: The Jews “took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel like South Africa is an apartheid state.”
But given that the definition of apartheid means domination of one racial group over another, and Israel doesn't discriminate against its Arab citizens, Israel cannot be an apartheid state. Every nation discriminates against non-citizens!

Thrall doesn't bother to point that out and the NYY editors didn't insist that he give another point of view that would demolish the argument.

Even more egregiously, Thrall uses the insane argument that BDSers like to use to support the idea that Israel loves white nationalist antisemites:

To bolster the argument that the Palestinian struggle is a fight against racism, B.D.S. leaders have highlighted the support for Jewish ethno-nationalism by far-right European politicians like President Viktor Orban of Hungary, alt-right figures like Steve Bannon and white supremacists like Richard Spencer, an organizer of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. That year, Spencer told an Israeli television interviewer: “You could say that I am a white Zionist in the sense that I care about my people. I want us to have a secure homeland that’s for us and ourselves, just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.”
It is elementary logic that A liking B doesn't mean that B likes A. It is outrageous to quote the antisemite Richard Spencer's support for the idea of a Jewish state as evidence that Israel supports Richard Spencer.

Far-right websites love to quote BDS leaders - does that mean that BDS is far right? By Thrall's logic, sure. But for some reason this travesty of an argument is only used to damn Israel.

If one believes that connections like these prove how people think, then the fact that Thrall works for the International Crisis Group which is funded by Qatar - a major supporter of Hamas - means that, by Thrall's own logic, he is a Hamas supporter.

I could fisk the entire piece. One last example:
Ben-Youssef said most of the members of Congress and staff members she spoke to were aware of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians under blockade and occupation but were largely uninformed about Israeli discrimination against Palestinian citizens. It was news to many that tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens live in villages that predate the creation of Israel and are unrecognized by the state, receiving little or no water and electricity. 

Is the fact that Israel doesn't provide electricity to unrecognized Bedouin villages in the middle of the Negev evidence of apartheid? Israel has tried for decades to organize and improve the lives of Bedouin by building towns for them with schools and water and electricity. If Israel is against providing electricity to Arabs, why on earth would they spend tens of millions to build entire communities for them with full infrastructure instead of trying to criss-cross the Negev with pipes and wires to scores of tiny villages, almost all built illegally?

How many examples of lies and bias does one need to know that this article does not illuminate anything but is meant to obscure the truth about Israel?

The problem isn't Thrall, whose bias is obvious. The problem is that the New York Times publishes his "reporting" without informing their readers of his obvious bias, as well as without fact checking even the basics of what he wrote.




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From Times of Israel:

Two minuscule 2,600-year-old inscriptions recently uncovered in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavation are vastly enlarging the understanding of ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century.

The two inscriptions, in paleo-Hebrew writing, were found separately in a large First Temple structure within the span of a few weeks by long-term team members Ayyala Rodan and Sveta Pnik.

One is a bluish agate stone seal “(belonging) to Ikkar son of Matanyahu” (LeIkkar Ben Matanyahu). The other is a clay seal impression, “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech).

This burnt clay impression is the first archaeological evidence of the biblical name Nathan-Melech.

The inscriptions are “not just another discovery,” said archaeologist Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Rather, they “paint a much larger picture of the era in Jerusalem.”

According to Shalev, while both discoveries are of immense scholarly value as inscriptions, their primary value is their archaeological context.

“What is importance is not just that they were found in Jerusalem, but [that they were found] inside their true archaeological context,” Shalev told The Times of Israel. Many other seals and seal impressions have been sold on the antiquities market without any thought to provenance.

This in situ find, said Shalev, serves to “connect between the artifact and the actual physical era it was found in” — a large, two-story First Temple structure that dig archaeologists have pegged as an administrative center.\
This video shows much more:



The name of Nathan Melech  as a high officer of the kingdom is found in in 2 Kings Chapter 23.

First Temple-era finds that confirm Biblical accounts are rare but not unheard of. Still, Arabs will often pretend that there is no archaeological evidence of an ancient Jewish kingdom in Israel, and the Givati parking lot and City of David finds show that they are not only lying, but know they are lying.

(h/t Yoel)


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Saturday, March 30, 2019

From Ian:

Ben Rhodes Blames Jewish Donors for Obama Not Being More Anti-Israel
Ben Rhodes, a former national security aide to President Barack Obama, told the New York Times this week that the “donor class” had prevented Obama from taking more anti-Israel steps than the administration had wanted to take.

Rhodes spoke to author Nathan Thrall for a feature article titled, “How the Battle Over Israel and Anti-Semitism Is Fracturing American Politics.” The headline describes “politics,” but Thrall focused on policy debates within the Democratic Party, which has seen the rise of an assertive anti-Israel constituency in recent years. That constituency has included overtly and unabashedly antisemitic critics, largely but not exclusively from the Muslim community.

Thrall writes about the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate Israel as apartheid South Africa was once isolated — a comparison that BDS critics find not only factually wrong, but also offensive.

Enter Rhodes — one of the architects of the Iran nuclear deal, which was vehemently opposed by Israel and by pro-Israel Americans. He blamed Jewish donors for the Obama administration’s supposed restraint towards Israel:

According to Ben Rhodes, a former deputy national-security adviser and one of Obama’s closest confidants, several members of the Obama administration wanted to adopt a more assertive policy toward Israel but felt that their hands were tied. “The Washington view of Israel-Palestine is still shaped by the donor class,” Rhodes, who does not support B.D.S., told me, when I met with him at the Obama Foundation in October. “The donor class is profoundly to the right of where the activists are, and frankly, where the majority of the Jewish community is.”

Rhodes’s claims were echoed by “[a]nother former member of the Obama White House,” who told Thrall that the Obama administration had prevailed upon the United Nations Security Council to delay a vote against Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) to after the 2016 election. (The resolution also declared Israel’s presence in eastern Jerusalem — including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, inhabited by Jews for millennia — to be illegal.)

Thrall noted: “The fear of losing Jewish donors as the party moves left on Israel may well be overstated.” He also observed that many Jewish donors to the Democratic Party have left-wing views on Israel. Yet the antisemitic canard that Jews use money to control U.S. foreign policy persists within the Democratic Party at the highest levels, and is used by insiders like Rhodes as an excuse — a scapegoat — to deflect criticism of insufficiently radical policy stances.

Notably, Rhodes was appointed by President Obama to the board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in the closing days of his administration. It was a controversial appointment, given Rhodes’s role as the “Iran deal salesman,” and Iran’s leading role in promoting Holocaust denial worldwide as an official ideology.



Author of NYT Anti-Israel Piece Works for Group Funded by Qatar
The author of this Sunday's New York Times magazine cover story about the campaign to boycott, divest, and sanction the state of Israel works for an organization whose major donor, Qatar, is also the largest state funder of the terrorist group Hamas. Other significant donors to the author's organization, the International Crisis Group, are leading supporters of the anti-Semitic boycott movement the author describes in his piece.

The publication of the article, "How the Battle Over Israel and Anti-Semitism Is Fracturing American Politics," represents another salvo in the New York Times‘ continuing promotion of anti-Israel writers and views.

The author, Nathan Thrall, is tied to a large network of BDS supporters that are funded into the millions by the Qatari government, which has long been engaged in efforts to spy on the American Jewish community and pro-Israel officials. Qatar's foreign influence operations in Washington, D.C., have flown mostly under the radar, but are part of a larger proxy battle being waged by wealthy Middle Eastern governments eager to peddle influence in powerful D.C. circles.

Thrall, who the Times presents as a disinterested expert, serves as director of the Arab-Israeli Project at the International Crisis Group, or ICG, a left-leaning advocacy organization that has received around $4 million from the Qatari government in the just the last year. Qatar's donations represent around 23 percent of ICG's total budget. Qatar is not mentioned in Thrall's 11,500-word piece.
Is The Left's Anti-Semitism A Problem For Leftist Jews?


The Economist apologizes for headline tagging Ben Shapiro as 'alt-right sage'
The Economist labeled Ben Shapiro an “alt-right sage” in a headline, then apologized after the right-wing pundit protested the characterization.

The British weekly’s apology was added Thursday to a profile about Shapiro that originally carried the headline “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, the alt-right sage without the rage.” It also called Shapiro “a pop idol of the alt right.”

After an exchange on Twitter between Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, and Anne Mcelvoy, one of the article’s two authors, The Economist changed the headline to “Inside the mind of Ben Shapiro, a radical conservative.” The apology said the references to the alt-right — a loose right-wing movement that includes white nationalists and anti-Semites – was made “mistakenly,” adding “In fact, he has been strongly critical of the alt-right movement. We apologize.”

Founded in 1843, The Economist is one of the world’s most reputed [and anti-Semitic] periodicals.

In the exchange, Shapiro wrote: “This is a vile lie. Not only am I not alt-right, I am probably their leading critic on the right. I was the number one target of their hate in 2016 online according to ADL data. I demand a retraction.”

He added: “If you lump me in with people who are so evil I literally hire security to walk me to shul on Shabbat, you can go straight to hell.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
The ‘Wag the Dog’ conspiracy that never happened - analysis
The 1997 movie Wag the Dog stars Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman as a political strategist and a film director enlisted to do damage control in light of a sex scandal involving a president running for reelection. They concoct a fake war in Albania, releasing footage of fictional battles, destruction and a photogenic orphan.

When Palestinian terrorists shot rockets into central Israel and completely destroyed a house in Moshav Mishmeret, injuring all three generations of one family, some thought that instead of condemning Hamas for targeting infants, toddlers and their grandparents, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the real problem here.

A conspiracy theory in the style of Wag the Dog began to be floated in news outlets of varying levels of respectability – like the UK’s Independent – and on the social media accounts of anti-Israel organizations that Netanyahu wants a war, because it’ll somehow help him ahead of the April 9 election. They claimed that Netanyahu intentionally sparks wars right before elections to help him win.

“History shows a terrible pattern of Netanyahu heightening violence right before Israeli elections,” Jewish progressive group IfNotNow tweeted.

“We cannot give in to this pattern of fear – it keeps fascist leaders like Netanyahu in power.”

This claim is not only false, but is preposterous for many reasons.

First, the dry facts: the only wars – really operations – that have taken place while Netanyahu was in power were Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Protective Edge in 2014.

Protective Edge began eight months before the 2015 elections. It’s true that in Israel’s chaotic political system, an election could break out at any time, but July 2014 wasn’t a time when it seemed particularly likely. And the coalition was relatively united after the operation, reflecting a public rallying around the flag. It took a few more months for Netanyahu to summarily fire ministers in his coalition and trigger an election.


Friday, March 29, 2019

From Ian:

The World Is Becoming More Like Israel
Later this year, the Trump administration will release its oft-delayed plan for Israeli–Palestinian peace — the latest in a quarter century of American attempts to resolve one of the Middle East’s most intractable disputes.

At the heart of this effort — which has spanned five otherwise disparate post–Cold War presidencies — has been an enduring faith that American power can reshape the Levant much as it did Europe and Asia, conjuring a new, liberal, rules-based order in which former antagonists learn to live in peace, reaping the benefits of shared prosperity under a U.S. security umbrella.

Yet instead of Israel and its neighbors becoming more like the other countries in the American sphere of influence, the opposite has happened over the past 25 years: The other countries in the U.S.-led bloc are increasingly like Israel.

The notion that the liberal international order is assuming an Israeli character is, to put it mildly, counterintuitive. To its admirers and detractors alike, Israel has always been exceptional — a country whose very existence stands athwart the normal ebb and flow of history. As the only Jewish state in the world, surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors, Israel has long imagined itself as an isolated outpost whose unique circumstances make it a model for none but itself. With its founding in 1948, Israel was also a bet on the idea of the nation-state just when the Europeans, who had developed this concept three centuries earlier, began to grow ambivalent about it in favor of a new project of transnational integration.

Yet for all the distinctiveness of the Jewish state, the fact is that the strategic challenges and dilemmas that were once its special preoccupation are no longer quite so exclusive to it. On the contrary, they are much the same ones that other states in Washington’s strategic orbit find themselves grappling with. And, not coincidentally, the response that these countries have adopted in many cases resembles those pioneered by Israel.

This is manifest in several respects. First and most obvious has been the proliferation of the kind of nihilistic Islamist terrorism that has historically threatened Israel but that has now metastasized into a worldwide menace, not least in the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East. The suicide bombings and mass-casualty terror attacks such as Israelis endured in the mid 1990s and early 2000s have now become unrelenting threats for millions of others, from Manchester to Bali. Unlike the politically motivated terrorism that afflicted Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, moreover, the attacks aren’t inspired by discrete grievances that can be addressed but by an ideology that celebrates the murder of its victims as an end unto itself.
Melanie Phillips: Jews on the wrong side of the West’s lethal culture wars
Why are so many Jews getting our vicious culture wars so very wrong?

“Cultural Marxism” is a term that refers to the strategy propounded by left-wing theorists in the last century to use the institutions of a society’s culture to bring about a revolution in society.

In a speech this week, a British Conservative MP, Suella Braverman, said that conservatives were engaged in “a battle against cultural Marxism, where banning things is becoming de rigueur; where freedom of speech is becoming a taboo; where our universities, quintessential institutions of liberalism, are being shrouded in censorship and a culture of no-platforming.”
Cue instant uproar, led by the British Jewish community. The Board of Deputies objected on the grounds that “the term ‘cultural Marxist’ has a history as an antisemitic trope.”

Others went further, accusing Braverman of using a phrase that was not only “a conspiracy laden with antisemitic undertones” championed by the “extreme Right” but had been cited by the white supremacist accused of murdering 50 Muslim worshipers at two New Zealand mosques earlier this month.

On the Left, “cultural Marxism” has long been labeled a demented conspiracy theory. Certainly, it has indeed been appropriated by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, antisemites and other conspiracy-theory fruitcakes.

But such people also routinely accuse the Jews of being the puppet-masters of global capitalism or globalism. Yet few claim that “anti-capitalism” or “anti-globalism” is a “conspiracy laden with antisemitic undertones” – even though it is – not least because it’s also a common trope on the Left.
Viewpoint: Caroline Glick talks about herself
It was a packed house of some 111 English-speakers that awaited Caroline Glick on a recent Sunday evening in a well-appointed apartment in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood. There was last-minute scurrying by the grandsons of the gracious host couple, Barry and Dorraine Gilbert Weiss, for more folding chairs. The audience was made up of Glick’s faithful readers, already missing her regular weekend column in The Jerusalem Post. She dove right in, explaining she would be talking about herself, something, she said, she didn’t do as a journalist. This time she would be the topic.

Glick made aliyah in 1991, and immediately volunteered in the army, a lone soldier. When she left, in 1996, she held the rank of captain. After the signing of the Oslo Accords, September, 1993, she was assigned to coordinate the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. During 1994 to 1996, she was part of the negotiating team, liaising with Arab officers, working out all the regulations. The signing had been the matrix; various arrangements needed to be made, different agreements implemented, following patterns set out by the accord.

She began to realize the thing was a “crock” (her word) and that only she seemed to think so. Towards the end of negotiations, she was required to translate a document in a totally secure room, alone, not even a pencil allowed with her. The document she had before her, she said, was “the dumbest thing I’d ever seen.” She was sure her professor at Columbia would have given it an F. Nevertheless, top secret or not, that same evening, on the 11 o’clock news, there it was, word for word, the material she had translated.

During those years after the signing of the Accords, multiple terrorist murders were committed in Israel almost every month. Israel petitioned the recently recognized Palestinian Authority to release the perpetrators they were protecting. The meeting to sign this latest document was held in Israel. Citizens lined the approaches and gathered outside the hotel, including families of victims, petitioning the Israeli negotiators to be cautious in formulating terms. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

  • Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon






















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  • Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here are some photos taken of toys in the rubble of Gaza after Israeli airstrikes over the years, many of which look to be posed.





There were lots of similar photos from Lebanon in 2006.

Well....they're BAAAACK. Here's a tweet from a propagandist "journalist" in Gaza





I don't even think this photo was from this week's airstrikes.




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From Ian:

Official: Obama White House Pushed Delay of Anti-Israel U.N. Resolution to Provide Cover for Clinton
A former Obama administration official said the administration orchestrated the delaying of a controversial anti-Israel United Nations resolution until after the 2016 presidential election, knowing it would pass when the United States abstained.

The official's claim contradicts on-the-record denials by Obama administration officials, who attacked critics at the time who suggested they were involved in its drafting.

Speaking anonymously to the New York Times, the official said the White House feared putting pressure on Hillary Clinton to either condemn or defend the resolution against Israeli settlements and potentially upset Jewish donors during her election fight against Donald Trump. The U.S. decision to abstain on U.N. Security Council resolution 2334 was widely viewed as a parting shot by Obama at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"There is a reason the U.N. vote did not come up before the election in November," the former official said, in a portion of the report flagged by Jewish Insider. "Was it because you were going to lose voters to Donald Trump? No. It was because you were going to have skittish donors. That, and the fact that we didn’t want Clinton to face pressure to condemn the resolution or be damaged by having to defend it."

The official said fear of donor wrath dictated not only "what was done but what was not done, and what was not even contemplated."

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro strongly denied the anonymous quote, telling Jewish Insider it was a "garbage claim" and the administration, as it professed at the time, was caught by surprise by the Egyptian-Palestinian drafted resolution.

The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 on Resolution 2334 on Dec. 23, 2016, to demand a halt to settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, deeming both areas to be illegally occupied by Israel. East Jerusalem is home to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, a Jewish holy site.

Wiretaps: Turkey Aided Passage of Militant ISIS Terrorists Into Syria
A cache of wiretaps originating in Turkey appear to show the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aiding the passage of militant fighters tied to the ISIS terror group into and out of Syria, according to new reports that are raising questions about Turkey's commitment to its military alliance with Washington, D.C.

The wiretaps are said to show Erdogan's government working alongside ISIS fighters, despite its public rhetoric in support of the American campaign to decimate the Islamic terror group.

Turkey's alliance with the United States has been stressed for some time, as Erdogan continues his anti-Israel rhetoric and a series of policies that have strained relations between the Trump administration and Ankara.

The wiretaps shine light on what experts have described as Turkey's private efforts to aid ISIS and create further havoc in war-torn Syria.

"A review of hundreds of secret wiretap records obtained from confidential sources in the Turkish capital of Ankara reveals how the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has enabled—and even facilitated—the movement of foreign and Turkish militants across the Turkish border into Syria to fight alongside jihadists in the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant," according to a report published by the Investigative Journal, a long form reporting portal.

"Recorded conversations between ISIL operatives reveal a different story from the one the Erdoğan government tells publicly," the report states. "They suggest the government has provided political cover, without which it would be impossible for ISIL to operate and evade prosecution. The wiretap records, obtained by authorization from the courts, were part of an ISIL legal investigation launched in 2014 by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office."

  • Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Morocco's Hespress reports on a poll publicized by Israel's Foreign Ministry. I unfortunately couldn't find the original.

According to the article, in a survey in late 2018 with seven Muslim countries who have no relationships with Israel, the percentage of citizens who support relations with Israel were:

Iraq 43%
UAE 42%
Morocco 41%
Iran 34%
Tunisia 32%
Saudi Arabia 23%
Algeria 21%

I'd like to know the details of the survey (if it was on the MFA Facebook page the results would be worthless) but this is definitely interesting, and we'd never have seen these numbers in year past.

UPDATE: More details. these are real polls (h/t Yoel)


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  • Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday, I responded to this tweet by BDS leader Yousef Munayyer that was mindlessly retweeted by hundreds of his dopey fans:




I ended up writing an article-length thread, slightly modified for this post.

I wrote:

To be precise, before the middle of the last century, there was no such thing as a Palestinian people that identified as such (outside of Jews before 1948.) They really are a recently made-up people. Feel free to prove me wrong with links to articles/books about them before 1940.



I understand how saying these facts makes you angry, but I consider falsifying history to be a pretty big problem as well.

I've spent hours researching Palestinian history and culture. Outside Nablus soap and Bethlehem costumes - which were local, not national - almost nothing.

And yes, I've seem more modern re-writings of history to find a unique Palestinian cuisine, etc. It's a joke and you know it. There was Levantine culture, Egyptian culture and so forth, but no Palestinian culture.

Obviously there were Arabs living in Palestine. No one claims otherwise. But they identified more with their clans and towns than with anything called "Palestine."

Of course, most prominent Palestinian families proudly trace their family trees from elsewhere, especially Arabia.

So while Yousef Munayyer rants and raves, he knows what I am saying is true. So his only defense is anger, because most Westerners cringe when Arabs freak out and they'll agree to anything to avoid a fight.

But I'm Jewish and I know my history. I'm not cowed that easily.

Just like the modern myth of how well Arabs treated their Jewish neighbors, the myth of an ancient Palestinian people is just that - a myth.

Nowadays, I admit they exist - mostly because their Arab "brethren" treated them like crap and didn't let them become citizens after 1948. As Munayyer knows, most weren't "expelled" from Israel but fled out of fear, thinking that they could integrate with their Arab neighbors like they had so many other times in history. This time was different - the Arabs decided to "other" them, supposedly for their own good.

Yeah, right.

Has there ever been a poll of how many Palestinians would happily accept citizenship in the UAE or Lebanon or Egypt if they could? No, because people like Munayyer don't want the truth to be known. They'd rather they remain stateless.

For the good of a made-up peoplehood.

I don't hate the Palestinian Arabs. They are a tragic example of how the honor/shame culture would rather use people as pawns against Israel (the ultimate source of shame. weak Jews beating strong warrior Arabs so decisively) rather than treat them as human.

Why are Palestinians the only seven decade old refugee problem in history? Because  Palestinian "leaders" and Arab leaders decided that it was in their interest to keep them stateless forever or until Israel is destroyed. No other refugee group in history existed for this long because no other group was denied basic rights for so long in their adopted countries - countries supposedly ruled by their advocates.

That thinking persists today.

Keeping the Palestinians in misery is a conscious Arab strategy since the 1950s. Everyone knows this. But mentioning it publicly is practically taboo. Luckily, the primary sources are still easy to find.

Arabs like Munayyer all know this, but shame forces them to push the issue to the Jews. His job is literally to deflect the topic away from Arab responsibility and onto Jews.

I don't expect Munayyer to respond with any facts, because he knows I'm right. And that the facts are his enemy.

But I'm not going to stop telling the truth, and backing them up with evidence.

Thanks for reading.


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  • Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Hamas website now has a video showing how to donate to Hamas via Bitcoin - without being caught for supporting a terror group which is illegal in many countries.

So for example they recommend telling a money changer the Hamas Bitcoin wallet address but emphasizing not to say "Hamas."

Or to create a user's own wallet, they say to do it at a public Internet cafe where the IP address cannot be traced to the person.

In the end it looks like a major pain to donate to the terror group, but Hamas' funds have been drying up so they are forced to beg for money.

Not very honorable.





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  • Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Remember this picture? It still pops up from time to time.


In fact this picture was cropped from a photo of street theatre meant to vilify Israel, but with poorly dressed actors:



Arabs like to stage these sorts of things = and then some take the video and pretend it is the real thing.

Here's one I hadn't seen, being shared on Twitter as legitimate:








Anyone can tell this isn't real - except for Israel hating idiots. Even one of the commenters to this tweet mentioned it was obvious theatre.

The tweeter doesn't pretend that there is a date for this event, or that the woman "killed" has a name, because he knows the whole thing is a lie.

The haters know that they aren't trying to show reality, but to spread propaganda. The anti-Israel bigots who drink this up are not exactly the most critical thinkers, so they believe it without question.





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Thursday, March 28, 2019

From Ian:

David Colier: The Israeli – Arab conflict in context – how you have never seen it before
There have probably been more words written about the Israeli -Arab conflict than any other post WW2 military dispute. I have no way to highlight this in a graph, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the words written about the Israeli – Arab conflict didn’t outweigh the words written about the largest ten or so of the global conflicts that have taken place in the same time period – combined. Too many words are written and the truth becomes lost in a tsunami of distortion. One death near Bethlehem yesterday became headline news about a teenage medic being killed, despite doubts about his innocence. The Guardian ran no such headlines about the lawmaker shot whilst on a peace-making pilgrimage in Sudan – a conflict that has taken 400,000 lives in just five years. Conflicts have different values, which is what this blog is about.

The conflict as a refugee crisis:
The Arab Israeli conflict created refugees. During the early civil and regional conflict of 1947-1949, many Arabs fled and some (especially those in openly hostile villages) were evicted. Some were offered rehousing inside Israel but still chose to leave (this puts paid to the ethnic cleansing accusation). After the conflict ended, some outside Israel were offered a return but refused (as it meant recognising Israel). Jewish communities also suffered throughout the region. Events in British Palestine were used as an excuse by rising national and Islamist ideologies. A trickle turned into a flood, the flood into a tsunami. Within a few short years the ancient Jewish Arab communities had been almost completely ethnically cleansed. Most of the Jewish refugees settled in Israel. These are the comparative numbers of refugees created by the Israeli/Arab conflict:

Arab Israeli conflict refugees
For the Arabs, I used the UNRWA figures even though these are without doubt exaggerated. It doesn’t matter – even when the Arab refugee numbers are artificially inflated, the conflict clearly created more Jewish refugees than Arab ones. This is what real ethnic cleansing looks like:

We’re Jews, We’re Not White, We Define Ourselves
Nearly a dozen studies published in the past decade show that Jews — Ashkenazi, Sephardi Mizrahi — are more biologically related to one another than they are to their local populations. In particular, a 2009 study found that Jewish populations share a high level of genetic similarity and a common Middle Eastern ancestry, and over their history they have undergone varying degrees of admixture with non-Jewish populations.

It’s time to refocus on our identity, not just because it will be good for us and our children to fully come to terms with who we are. We need to do this to firmly and definitively show that Jews are indigenous to Israel.

“It is part of a carefully managed agenda in the United States to not permit Jews to be part of the discussions about ‘people of color’ or racism,” Frantzman writes. And the goal of that agenda is to make the case that Israel is a European colonial enterprise, so that it can then be destroyed.

The bottom line: We can no longer let others define us. We need to start defining ourselves. And the only way to do that is through learning about our ancestry, our genetics and our indigenous connection to the land, culture and language of Israel.

“The designation of being a Hebrew probably meant something similar to ‘one who crossed over,’ ” Ergas told me. “The term captures the concept of language, history and experience of eternal otherness — and potentially points toward us always being in the process of transformation.”

We are the Hebrews, the Israelites, the Jews. We create, innovate and transform — ourselves and the world. This is who we are: eternally other; eternally lit.
PMW: PA Ministry of Education names sports event for girls after terrorist murderer who led killing of 37
One of the days marked fervently by the Palestinian Authority is the anniversary in March of the most lethal terror attack against Israel - the Coastal Road massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 37 civilians, among them 12 children. The attack was led by female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who the PA since has turned into a role model and hero for Palestinian children and society in general.

To celebrate the anniversary this year, the PA Ministry of Education arranged a sports festival for girls named after the terrorist:
"The Dalal Mughrabi Sports Festival"

The sports festival was held at the Beitunia Upper Elementary School for Girls and participating girls wore shirts featuring the image of the murderer and the text "Dalal Mughrabi Festival":

[Facebook page of the Beitunia Upper Elementary School for Girls, March 13, 2019]
PA officials were also present at the festival honoring murderer Mughrabi, among them Bassem Erekat, director of the district's Education Directorate , which is a branch of the PA Ministry of Education, and Ribhi Dawla, mayor of Beitunia, where the festival was held. In addition, the District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Dr. Laila Ghannam spoke at the event, stating that Palestinian children "are determined to continue on the path." Ghannam also praised Palestinian women for having "brought children into the world, fought, and built glory that will not be erased" - indicating that murderer Mughrabi had created lasting "glory" with her attack killing 37:

Continuing my series of prominent counter-examples to the lie that "Israel is an apartheid state"...






Here's an example of her work and a brief bio:

As the recipient of the 2018 Haim Shiff Prize for Figurative-Realist Art, a prestigious award given each year by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Samah Shihadi is headed toward the spotlight. In addition to the $10,000 prize, Shihadi will show her work in a solo exhibition at the museum in June 2019.

Born in a small Muslim village in the Western Galilee, 31-year-old Shihadi thought she would return to her village after her studies to become a teacher and raise a family, like other women in her life. Instead she started to draw, depicting Arab women and giving them a voice.

Her delicate pencil-on-paper drawings are often centered around the female body, exploring feminism and the identity of the Arab woman. In a work evocative of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Vitruvian Man,” currently exhibited at Jerusalem’s Museum of Islamic Art, Shihadi depicts a woman rather than a man, whose body is mostly covered by a sheet of cloth, suggesting exclusion or repression.

Shihadi now lives and works in Haifa, where she completed a master’s degree in art. Her work has been shown in shows and galleries across Israel, from Tel Aviv to Haifa, Umm el Fahem and Ramallah. 








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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Moshav Mishmeret is an agricultural community about 21 km. north and slightly east of Tel Aviv. It is about 125 km. north of Rafah, which is at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, on a line that passes almost directly over Tel Aviv. The moshav was founded in 1946 by demobilized British soldiers and workers from the Ashdod port. 

At 5:20 in the morning this Monday, a rocket fired from Rafah by terrorists associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad made a direct hit on a house in Mishmeret, destroying it, and injuring eight people. They were saved by the mamad, the reinforced concrete safe room now required in all Israeli construction. The most seriously injured person did not get to it in time, and the others had left the door open for her. Several dogs that were in or around the house were killed, and if not for the safe room, probably the human residents would have been seriously injured or killed as well.

I made a mental note on reading this: always make sure to close the door of the mamad. Rehovot, where I live, is only about 85 km. from the launch point of this rocket, and half that from the northern tip of the strip. They have only to turn their dial a couple of clicks to the east.

Initially, Hamas claimed that the firing was a “mistake,” but later on a Hamas official said that the attack was ordered by Iran and carried out by its Islamic Jihad proxy. Israel holds Hamas responsible for any attacks from Gaza, and responded with the usual bombing of military targets, after waiting for Hamas to evacuate so as to not hurt anybody. Hamas then fired some 85 rockets at the Gaza Envelope area, which were intercepted by Iron Dome or landed harmlessly in open areas. Sometime early Tuesday morning, the shooting on both sides stopped; but on Tuesday evening Hamas went back to sending balloons carrying explosive and incendiary payloads over the border fence. And firing rockets.

The claim that the rocket that hit Mishmeret was fired on Iran’s instructions is believable. It’s not impossible that it was aimed at Tel Aviv. Rockets fired from Gaza are notoriously inaccurate, often falling short and landing inside the strip itself. Given the amount of damage done by the blast, the fact that the rocket hit a single-family home in a moshav and not an apartment building in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, or Herzliya, can be considered very good luck.

Incidentally, for once and for all we can put aside the ridiculous statements by Hamas supporters that the rockets fired from Gaza aren’t dangerous. The number of Israelis killed by these weapons is relatively small because of the huge investment Israel has made in shelters and the Iron Dome antimissile system. I don’t know if the rocket that struck Mishmeret was built by the industrious Orcs of Gaza, or if it was made in Iran and smuggled into Gaza in pieces; regardless, it is only a matter of luck that this rocket didn’t kill dozens of people.

Which raises the following questions: what are Iran and Hamas thinking, and what do we do now?

My guess is that Iran, which has been greatly hurt by Netanyahu in Syria, wants to see him defeated in the election. Rocket attacks against the center of the country demand a response, and they calculate that whatever he does now will damage him. Although some say that the government values citizens in the center more than the periphery, the truth is that the population density in the center is so much greater that the potential for mass casualty events is higher. For that reason, the recent attacks cross a red line.

PM Netanyahu cut short his visit to the US, where he was present as President Trump signed an order recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights. He returned Tuesday morning, exactly two weeks before the hard-fought election that will determine whether he will continue as PM. This attack and the previous “mistake,” in which two rockets fell in open areas near Tel Aviv, have put him between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, if he doesn’t respond aggressively enough he will be pilloried for not protecting the population, his most basic job. Israelis are rightly sick of the daily and nightly riots and incursions at the border with Gaza, the incendiary and explosive balloons and kites, and of course the rockets and mortars that drive the inhabitants of the northern Negev into shelters over and over again.

We are also sick of terrorism carried out by Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria, and of security prisoners rioting and stabbing jailers because Israel has blocked their illegal cell phones. We are tired of Hamas, period. Netanyahu’s political opponents, some of whom are former Defense Ministers and Chiefs of Staff who understand precisely the dilemma he’s facing, happily suggest that he’s a weakling and they would know how to deal with Hamas.

On the other hand, if he launches an operation to take down Hamas and destroy the Islamic Jihad organization, he risks escalation into a war in which IDF soldiers could be killed, wounded, or (perhaps worse) captured, and the civilian population placed at risk from the expected rocket barrage. It could even expand into a multi-front war including Hezbollah and its massive rocket arsenal. Such a war would entail many more casualties and a great deal of destruction on our home front. Israel would not be the same for many years.

Even if the worst could be avoided, Netanyahu would be accused of starting a war to divert attention from his legal issues, to improve his chances for reelection, and so on. And then there would be the atrocity propaganda and the coordinated diplomatic attacks by the “human rights” industry, the UN, hostile governments in Europe and elsewhere, and the international Left. And of course, if we did get rid of Hamas and the others, what then? Who would rule Gaza? The IDF?

The temptation to practice restraint and respond with minimal force is great. On a national scale, the danger from Hamas rockets and terrorism is small, even if on a personal scale – if your house is hit by a rocket – it can be enormous. There is an element in Israeli character which is highly pragmatic and responds to the argument that we can afford to accept a certain amount of terrorism, a teeftoof (drizzle) of rockets, a few stabbings every other week, and a few fires in our agricultural fields and nature preserves. Meanwhile, we put out the fires, develop anti-rocket and anti-balloon systems, and find more ways to defend ourselves without hurting anyone.

The danger of this approach is twofold. First, our frog is slowly being boiled. Our deterrence is evaporating. This is what happened in the north, where we treated Hezbollah with restraint since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and then suddenly woke up and found that its deployment of more than 100,000 rockets in civilian areas had deterred us from taking action against it, almost no matter what it does. We don’t have an answer for its rockets other than to incinerate much of southern Lebanon, along with whatever part of the population that doesn’t succeed (or isn’t allowed) to flee. Not that we won’t do it if we have to, but meanwhile we have no leverage to prevent the introduction even more dangerous weapons, to the point of Hezbollah becoming, if it is not already, an existential threat.

Second is the psychological dimension. It becomes understood throughout the world that anyone is permitted to strike at Jews. We’ll try to ward off the blows, but we won’t respond aggressively. We won’t do anything disproportionate. We won’t punish our enemies as they deserve. We’ll show ourselves as a people without honor. And we’ll come to believe that our enemies are right. Maybe we deserve to be shot at; because if we didn’t, wouldn’t we hit back? Maybe the endless contempt that is heaped on us in international forums is justified?

As I’ve written before, honor is of utmost importance in the Middle East. Deterrence is important everywhere; and self-respect is especially essential here in Israel. In the past several years, all these things have been eroding. Netanyahu must find a way to protect his people, and to reverse the trend. Of course there are risks. But what else is new?

I still have faith that he understands this. Now, just before the election, is a great time to find out.



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From Ian:

Israel’s Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights Is Legal and Justified
The spoils of the aggressed against.

There is no question that Syria attacked Israel in 1967 (and again in 1973). And there is no question that, by the end of both conflicts, Israel was firmly in control of the Golan Heights. In fact, following legendary tank battles on the Heights in ‘73 (which are studied at West Point), the Syrian army had collapsed, and Israel was primed to push on and capture Damascus. A ceasefire agreement was in everyone’s best interests.

Since 2011, Syria has been ravaged by civil war, in which President Bashar al-Assad attacked his own citizens with chemical weapons on several occasions. Large swathes of Syria were controlled by ISIS until very recently, including areas directly abutting the Golan Heights’ border with Israel. Today, the Syrian state barely exists. It is an utterly dysfunctional, violent tinderbox of some of the most brutal regimes and movements on Earth. Syria can no more reclaim sovereignty over the Golan than it can the Eastern Bank of the Euphrates River. Even if it could, it isn’t in the interests of any responsible nation to see such an outcome.

Syria violated international law in 1967, 1973, and many other occasions by attacking Israel without provocation and pledging to destroy the country. Not only did Syria fail to accomplish its bellicose goal but it was forced to agree to a ceasefire to avoid total humiliation: an Israeli conquest of Damascus.

Welcome to the Middle East.

There are consequences to military attacks, particularly when the attacker loses. International law is silent on this point, and for good reason. Because it was, on a logical basis, incomprehensible.

People may hate president Trump and PM Netanyahu. They may be contemptuous of the timing of America’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. But it is not contrary to international law. And it does not impact the outcome of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict one iota.
Douglas Murray: Donald Trump is right about Israel and the Golan Heights
Since Syria lost control of the Golan Heights the area itself has blossomed with vineyards and much more. But Israel is not holding the territory simply to make wine. It is holding it because since 1967 it has not been possible for Syria to rain down rockets and other munitions onto the Galilee, as it could – and did – before.

But as of this decade the third and equally powerful reason for Israel to hold onto the Golan has become irrefutable. For the last eight years the British Foreign Office and others have continued to claim that Israel should hand the Golan back. But to whom? As the civil war in Syria has raged, and up to half a million civilians have lost their lives there is something preposterous about the British government and others continuing to insist that Bashar al-Assad should be gifted the Golan Heights. Of all the territory over which the Assad dynasty aspires to rule, the Golan is the only place which it and its allies have not been able to barrel bomb, mortar and otherwise decimate with impunity. As the Syrian nation has fallen apart – largely aided by Iran, Turkey, Russia and the Gulf States – it should be a source of international relief that the Golan is being carefully looked after by the Israelis. There is something not just belligerent but perverse in this pretence that despite everything in Syria the Assad family should still be given the Golan Heights in order to further extend their apparently inadequate slaughter of recent years.

If the Israelis were ever going to return the Golan – and there has been no reason since 1967 why they should have done – then there is infinitely less reason now. Who knows what the workings of President Trump’s mind are? But his actions this week show that he is doing no more than recognising reality, while all the wise heads in the chancelleries of Europe continue to pursue a fool’s goal.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian Leaders Punish Gaza, Blame Israel
Rather than demanding that Hamas cease and desist from endangering the lives of Palestinians by sending them to clash with Israeli soldiers, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leaders are condemning Israel for perpetrating "crimes" against Palestinians. According to the logic of the PA, the conflict started when Israel fired back.

Abbas and his officials have apparently not heard of the arson kites and booby-trapped balloons that have been launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli towns on nearly a daily basis over the past few months. They also apparently have not have not heard of the rockets and mortars that are fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel almost every day. The PA further appears unaware that Hamas has been sending thousands of Palestinians to attack Israeli soldiers with explosive devices, firebombs and rocks.

Abbas and the PA are simply doing the one thing they are good at: trying to frame Israel for Palestinian crimes against their own people. Clearly, the PA leaders are afraid to condemn the rocket attacks on Israel. They evidently do not want to be accused by their people of betraying the Palestinian "resistance" against Israel.

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