Friday, May 31, 2019

From Ian:

California Dems suggest Israel tied to 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack
As the California Democratic Party State Convention opens on Friday, Fox News reports that proposed resolutions include some that link Israel with "virulent Islamophobia," mandating Democratic officials to "nullify" US President Donald Trump’s Israeli policies, among them moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Fox said the document the station obtained is secret.

One such resolution, "Commending the House for resolving to fight all racism and bigotry and for resisting the false conflation of support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism," was written by American-Israeli David Mandel. He is an elected State Assembly delegate who lived in Israel for a decade.

The resolution claims that the Israeli government is welcoming support from Christian fundamentalist groups, and in so doing, is aligning with Islamophobia while ignoring how such groups display “deeply rooted antisemsitm.”

According to Fox, the resolution also claims the 2018 shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue was "the culmination of an alarming re-emergence of virulent antisemitism,” of the sort in which these groups allegedly rooted.

The news outlet cites an additional resolution that calls on Congress to demand Israel and Egypt end their blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Hamas terror group, and “restore a semblance of normal life” for the two million Palestinians who reside in it.

Executive director of Jewish Democratic Council of America Halie Soifer urged the California Democratic Party “not to fall into the trap of letting Republicans to divide us on Israel and the fight against antisemtism,” a Friday press release stated.
The Impossible Future of Christians in the Middle East
The precarious state of Christianity in Iraq is tragic on its own terms. The world may soon witness the permanent displacement of an ancient religion and an ancient people. Those indigenous to this area share more than faith: They call themselves Suraye and claim a connection to the ancient peoples who inhabited this land long before the birth of Christ.

But the fate of Christianity in places like the Nineveh Plain of Iraq has a geopolitical significance as well. Religious minorities test a country's tolerance for pluralism; a healthy liberal democracy protects vulnerable groups and allows them to participate freely in society. Whether Christians can survive and thrive in Muslim-majority countries is a crucial indicator of whether democracy, too, is viable in those places. In Iraq, the outlook is grim, as it is in other nations in the region that are home to historic Christian populations, including Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Christians who live in these places are subject to discrimination, government-sanctioned intimidation, and routine violence.

Alqosh sits nestled below the mountains that divide Iraq from Turkey. For Christians in the Nineveh Plain, Alqosh is a place of national and religious pride, a way station for important figures in the ancient Christian world that some here compare in significance to Jerusalem or Rome.

There's another history to Alqosh. Back through the winding roads of town sits a tomb said to belong to Nahum, a biblical prophet believed to have lived in the region during the seventh century BCE. Jews prayed in this place. The building was a synagogue and the walls are covered in Hebrew. One engraved stone promises, "This will be your dwelling place forever."
Persecution of Palestinian Christians Worsens; the Palestinian Authority Turns a Blind Eye
Just this month, two churches in Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank were vandalized, one of them for the sixth time in the past few years. On April 25, armed men attacked the Christian village of Jifan, which is also governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Edy Cohen writes:

The violence [in Jifan] erupted after a woman from the village submitted a complaint to the police that the son of a prominent leader affiliated with the PA’s ruling Fatah party had attacked her family. In response, dozens of Fatah gunmen came to the village, fired hundreds of bullets in the air, threw petrol bombs while shouting curses, and caused severe damage to public property. It was a miracle that there were no dead or wounded.

Despite the residents’ cries for help, the PA police did not intervene during the hours of mayhem. They have not arrested any suspects. Interestingly, the rioters called on the residents to pay jizya—a head tax that was levied throughout history on non-Muslim minorities under Islamic rule. The most recent [instances of the reintroduction of the] jizya involved Christian communities of Iraq and Syria under Islamic State rule. . . .

It is unlikely that the latest wave of attacks will lead to the arrest, let alone prosecution, of any suspects. The only thing that interests the PA is that events of this kind not be leaked to the media. Fatah regularly exerts heavy pressure on Christians not to report the acts of violence and vandalism from which they frequently suffer, as such publicity could damage the PA’s image as an actor capable of protecting the lives and property of the Christian minority under its rule. Even less does the PA want to be depicted as a radical entity that persecutes religious minorities. That image could have negative repercussions for the massive international, and particularly European, aid the PA receives.

  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
A very interesting thread from Heshmat Alavi where he claims that most Quds Ray rallies in Iran were boycotted and empty except for paid military and some stragglers. (I'm not sure if the videos will work...)

Let's talk about the so-called "Quds Day" in #Iran.

Video shows only authorities in the streets.
Voice: "There aren't even ten people in the streets. No one is coming... It's martial law for Quds Day."

Iranians don't support this regime or the "Quds Day" sham.
2)Voice says officials are trying to bus their own security forces to take part in their "Quds Day" rally. Even the IRGC & Basij members are refusing to participate.
All buses are empty & the voice say he only saw ten people "from God knows where."
3)Another video from #Iran showing literally no one participating in the regime's ridiculous "Quds Day" rally.

(Warning - Contains vulgar language)
4)This is #Iran's state TV.
Notice how they're very careful to only show their correspondent in the camera shot, knowing there is no "crowd" in the background to participate in their "Quds Day" rally.
5)Even the #Iran state TV correspondent acknowledge the vast "Quds Day" boycott:
"No one here yet, other than some birds & a lot of butterflies (!)..."
6)Faced with a national boycott, #Iran's officials gather their small base of supporters in a specific location for their cameras where they set American icons on fire.

As an Iranian, I condemn these measures.
They don't represent the Iranian people.
7)Takestan, NW #Iran
Another video showing people boycotting the rally.
Only regime officials and security forces are taking part in the "Quds Day" rally.
8)Chabahar, SE #Iran
Having their "Quds Day" rally boycotted, officials are taking advantage of poor locals to boost their repulsive slogans.
Many of these people, suffering from extreme poverty, don't even know where the U.S. is on the map.
9)Even in Iraq, only the #Iran-backed Hashd al-Shabi militia group took part in the "Quds Day" rally.
10)Tabriz, NW #Iran
More signs of people boycotting the regime's "Quds Day" rally.
11)Bandar Ganaveh, southern #Iran
Not a single person taking part in the regime's "Quds Day" rally.
12)Baghdad, Iraq
Another image of #Iran-backed militias marching on "Quds Day."
No civilians participating.

This, however, is an alarming reminder of Tehran's dangerous meddling in Iraq.

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  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

From TOI:
Iran’s sole Jewish parliamentarian said Thursday that he looks forward to the liberation of Jerusalem from Israel ahead of the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day events.

Siamak Moreh Sedgh in a statement called for Jews around the world to participate in rallies to protest Zionism, and said Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories would soon be liberated.
It's easy to wonder why Sedgh says this ridiculous stuff. Probably he is truly a believer in the Iranian cause or has allowed himself to be brainwashed. But maybe, just maybe, he gave a hint to why he acts this way here:
“Jewish Iranians consider participation in Quds Day rallies as a national and religious responsibility… all walks of the honorable Iranian nation obey the orders of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) and will shout slogans against the US and Israeli occupiers in a united and integrated manner,” Sedgh said in a statement carried by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Jews in Iran are not exactly acting with free will. They have to obey orders.

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From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Thank You, Florida Governor DeSantis
Even before his trip to Israel, in the weeks after DeSantis was elected governor last year, he immediately took action on behalf of the Jewish state. Florida's cabinet recognized Jerusalem as "Israel's eternal capital," invested $10 million in Israel Bonds, and blacklisted Airbnb because of its plan to boycott listings in West Bank settlements, which the global company has since reversed.

This week, DeSantis repeatedly spoke out against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, leading the first official trade mission to the West Bank led by a U.S. governor - with two dozen business leaders.

"Anti-Semitism is driving the BDS movement, and you cannot separate the two," he said at the Gush Etzion Industrial Zone on Wednesday, meeting with Jewish and Arab businesspeople who oppose boycotts. "We are not going to discriminate against certain Israelis - and if people do... we will take action accordingly."

"You have people that are willing to trade with Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world - some of the worst regimes in the world - and yet they only want to boycott the one Jewish and democratic state in the world," he said. "If you support BDS in Florida, you are dead, politically," he added.

The Florida delegation signed over 20 memoranda of understanding in multiple fields including business, trade, academia, innovation and tourism.
David Singer: Freedom from PLO and Hamas Rule awaits Gaza and West Bank Arabs
The announced participation of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar in the “Prosperity for Peace Conference” in Manama on 25-26 June — jointly convened by President Trump and Bahrain (“Manama Conference”) — promises to offer unique opportunities for Gaza and West Bank Arabs to emigrate to other Arab countries to seek better lives for their families.

Tens of millions of desperate people have fled their birthplaces in recent years seeking entry illegally into other countries. There is no reason to believe that Gaza and West Bank Arabs would not similarly want to emigrate if offered the opportunity to do so legally.

Gaza and West Bank Arabs have personally suffered under the oppressive rule of Hamas in Gaza since 2006 and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the West Bank since 1993. They have not been given the opportunity at any time to determine their own future in free and fair elections— except in 2006 when the PLO refused to accept the result. A bitter internecine struggle since then has ensued between Hamas and the PLO for political control of the Gaza and West Bank Arab populations that still remains unresolved. Elections are not even being contemplated to resolve this impasse.

The policies espoused by both Hamas and the PLO in relation to Israel have wrought disaster on Gaza and West Bank Arabs both in regard to their personal lives and economic prospects for themselves and their children.

Rod Liddle: Tunnelling my way into Gaza
I’m meant to be peering into a tunnel hacked out by Hamas a few hundred metres from Gaza City into Israeli territory but my attention has wandered. The air around us, above this parched, scrubby wasteland, is fecund with life. A pair of black kites are circling and below them a steppe buzzard is lumbering amidst the thermals. And is that a lappet-faced vulture? Do you know, even without my specs, I think it is. The IDF guy in charge of this facility wanders up. ‘You are interested in the birds, my frent? They too are political. The Palestinians put all their filth, their garbage, right up against the fence, as close to us as possible. As a result, many vermin and many hawks, some endangered elsewhere. There is always an upside to misery. Now, let us go below, please.’

Down, down, then, into a passage fashioned by the perpetually infuriated and frantically scrabbling Morlocks from a Neolithic culture. The idea is this. They spend a million quid and take a year to tunnel into the middle of a sunflower field, suddenly pop up, murder everyone within sight, and then run away. But it’s still only a tunnel — seen one, seen ’em all. I exit sharpish, bored. You’d think if they were that good at digging they might create for themselves a decent sewage system or maybe a road. Instead of a Day of Rage, a Day of Clearing Things Up A Bit. All that’s missing from the tunnel is a blue plaque with yellow stars: the European Union funded this. Or the United Nations. Through their myriad succour for perpetual victims funds.

Later I meet the mayor of a town nearby which is bombed each week, the Iranian-built Qassam rockets raining down from Gaza, killing indiscriminately. The town provides Gaza’s sewage system. ‘Yes,’ the mayor says to me, with the pungent ghost of a smile, ‘we even wash their shit’

  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
It is very easy to be negative about the Trump/Kushner plan for the Middle East. Former diplomats, however, seem to feel almost threatened by it.

Because it might show that their very assumptions have been wrong for decades.

Any article that says why the plan is doomed before the plan is known looks like more of an attempt to sabotage it, rather than an honest attempt to help bring peace to the region. Why would people who dedicated their lives to peace in the region want to kill a completely different approach, even if they disagree with it? It isn't like their efforts have exactly been successful.

Aaron David Miller, who has been part of the negotiations since Oslo, writes an article in Time entitled "I've Spent Decades Failing to Negotiate Peace in the Middle East. Trump's 'Ultimate Deal' Is Doomed, Too."

Sure, these negotiations are part real-estate deal over land. But they are also shaped by a bitter struggle between two peoples, driven by historical trauma, identity, dignity, security and contested sacred religious space.
The Administration’s current plan misunderstands the Palestinian stake in the conflict and, even if it was not its intention, reveals that Trump and Kushner think the Palestinians can be bought off. It signals an assumption that Palestine can be induced to settle or compromise on what they regard as their basic rights in exchange for economic and financial incentives.

But if this was a matter of money and improving lives, we might well have bought a solution decades ago. I can’t tell you how many well-intentioned economic initiatives and Middle East Marshall Plans have gone the way of the dodo over the years. Kushner is right: creating better lives for Palestinians through accountable institutions and the development of both infrastructure and industry is a key factor in securing peace. But it’s not the key to achieving a conflict-ending solution.
I don't think this is the thinking. I believe that the Trump administration is looking realistically at the history of Palestinian leadership. Kushner and Trump see the consistent Palestinian rejectionism of peace combined with their ideas of entitlement to claim the spoils of intifadas they have lost and wars where they have consistently backed the wrong horse.

The old Oslo-era diplomacy gives respect to the Palestinian side - the side that should be compromising to get a state - and that respect has made them less likely to want to compromise.

Trump does not want to reward this behavior any more . It didn't work under Clinton and it was disastrous under Obama, where the more respect he gave Mahmoud Abbas, the less Abbas was willing to even negotiate, let alone compromise. This is not a sustainable model for peace.

However, it is all that traditional diplomats know how to do. The idea of actively disrespecting one party to the negotiations is anathema to normal diplomats. But diplomats usually don't have to deal with people who have as much bad faith as Palestinian leaders.

The upshot is that peace is literally impossible using the old, bilateral negotiations formula which fell apart long ago.

Ordinary Palestinian Arabs just want to live their lives in dignity. The majority don't care about Palestinian nationalism. Their ancestors, by and large, came from other areas of the Arab world and freely moved from place to place for economic reasons, not political reasons.

Admittedly, this has been changing. Decades of incitement and indoctrination in Palestinian and UNRWA schools have created a generation or two of people who are more likely to be stirred by the empty slogans of the PA or Hamas. But most Arabs are normal people who want to raise their families and to have decent jobs.

If there was a referendum on a decent economic plan, the Palestinians would overwhelmingly choose it.

Gulf leaders know this. They are the ones that have been throwing good money after bad, and have gotten tired of supporting a cause where even the Palestinian leaders cannot work together.

Top down strategies simply will not work with this dysfunctional, greedy Palestinian leadership for whom "dignity" means to beg for Arab money while rejecting tax revenues that don't include money for them to pay terrorists. Regular Arabs know that this is not real dignity. Regular Arabs are the ones paying the price.

It may be politically inconvenient for the Trump Administration to admit, but on this one, economics can’t trump politics. A vibrant economy that moves people and goods requires security, predictability, transparency, freedom of movement and capital, and, above all, buy-in from the political establishment. It can’t be done in a free-fire zone (see Gaza) or in a West Bank where 60% is still controlled by the Israelis and where the Palestinian Authority that controls the remaining 40% face serious political and economic constraints. Why would serious investors want to put their money into Gaza or the West Bank without assurance that the region will be stable and secure and that people and goods can move without impediments and restrictions? Or without a clearer understanding of who will have authority over land, water and development? Neither of those fundamental questions can currently be answered.
It is funny that someone who worked for a President whose strategy to win elections was the slogan "Its the economy, stupid" is now disparaging a plan to work on exactly that above all else.

The Trump plan is indeed to bypass the Palestinian leadership. Give them chance after chance to come to the table and let the people see that they won't even try.

The Palestinian leaders do hold the political cards - but only to stand in the way of economic help. Again, we don't know what will come out of Bahrain, but if there is a specific plan that would provide Palestinians with  jobs and a way to build their own economy outside the aid and NGO-based economy they have - and if their leaders block it - those leaders become more and more irrelevant.

Let's pretend that Israel allows the UAE to build a joint Palestinian-UAE industrial park in the West Bank, that would provide 50,000 jobs. Guaranteed market for their goods in the Arab world. Israel would support it, the UAE would support it, the Palestinian people would support it. Only their leadership would oppose it.

They would try to frame that opposition in terms of "dignity" but that wouldn't work, since Israel doesn't gain anything directly - no tax revenues - from such a plan.

Either the Palestinian Authority is shamed into doing what is best for its people, or it will be toppled, because the 25% or so unemployed in the West Bank will not pretend that false claims of dignity are more important than their families.

The chances of success are very low. Even Jared Kushner admits that. But the chances of Miller's and later John Kerry's style of diplomacy working are absolute zero. Since 2001, that style has made things worse.

Different and out of the box approaches to peace are difficult and unlikely to work - but people who really care about peace instead of their egos should be in the forefront of cheering a new approach on, rather than trying to derail it before it even starts.

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  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Arutz-7:

Police released footage Friday afternoon taken during the terror attack in the Old City of Jerusalem Friday morning which left two Jews wounded, one seriously, the other moderately.

The terrorist, a 19-year-old Palestinian Authority resident, stabbed and wounded 50-year-old Gavriel Lavi at around 6:30 Friday morning, leaving Lavi seriously wounded. The terrorist then fled on foot, before attacking 16-year-old Yisrael Meir Nachumberg.

As the terrorist chased another young man, police officers opened fire on the terrorist, killing him on the spot.

Remember, it is Ramadan, a time for peaceful reflection. And trying to kill Jews.

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  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

From AFP:

The United Nations will not be taking part in a conference in Bahrain to present the economic aspects of a US peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, a spokesman said Thursday.

"At this stage, I'm not aware that we will have anyone present," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq when asked about UN attendance at the conference.

The spokesman initially said that the UN's Middle East coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, had been invited to the June 25-26 conference in Manama, but would not be attending.

He later corrected his statement to say that Mladenov had not been invited.

So, was Mladenov invited or not?

I can see why Greenblatt and Kushner might not want the UN to attend. The UN has nothing to contribute to peace, period. Its actions have made things far worse than they would be if it didn't exist.

On the other hand, Mladenov has been a far better Middle East coordinator than previous UN officials. He might have been invited. If there was an invitation and it was spurned, it just proves the point that the UN isn't interested in peace or in helping Palestinians on the ground.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

From Ian:

Anti-Zionism Worse than Anti-Semitism
It is far from that. The BDS mission originates straight from the founding mission of the PLO in 1964, before any Jewish settlements existed, which was to eliminate what is still seen as the unacceptable and humiliating sovereign Jewish-Zionist presence in Arab-Muslim lands.

Jew hatred may fuel the Israel hatred behind BDS and other anti-Israel forces, but after that, Israel-hatred wreaks havoc on its own. This is why, in my eyes, anti-Zionism is more lethal than anti-Semitism: It carries the virus of elimination.

As author Gil Troy writes in an email from Jerusalem, “Thousands have been killed and maimed by modern anti-Zionism, which requires the ideological and rhetorical inflammation to get people to blow themselves up and kill innocents. As a result, not only have we absorbed the notion that Israel’s existence should be up for grabs, but our outrage has been dulled –— we accept attacks on Israel as normal.”

Underlying the whole assault on Israel, he adds, “is the rejection of us as a people — we are just supposed to be a ‘nice’ religion confined to our synagogues and JCC’s, not a people taking up real space in the international arena.”

In sum, it is hardly enough to argue that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. In at least one crucial way it’s worse than that. Anti-Semitism revolves around an emotion — hate. Anti-Zionism revolves around an action — destruction.

Anti-Zionism must be fought on its own terms. Demonizing Israel and singling it out for special condemnation is immoral and discriminatory regardless of any claims of anti-Semitism.

Israel doesn’t just have a right to exist. Like any other imperfect state, it has a right to thrive, whether you hate Jews or not.

Political Correctness Blinds Us To The Causes Of Anti-Semitism
One wonders, though, if the New York Times editorial writer sees any incongruity in demanding Israelis sit down with group of people who are virulently anti-Semitic and illiberal while wagging their finger at Israelis for being friendly with Hungary, a nation that protects its Jews and fights for Israel in the European Parliament.

Orban’s Hungary is far from perfect—although also far from the fascistic place his antagonists would have you believe. Yet its 100,000 Jews didn’t report a single physical attack against them in the past two years. It seems Jews are enjoying something of a renaissance in that country.

As Evelyn Gordon at Commentary noted not long ago, American Jews might believe that “rightist governments enable anti-Semitism” in Europe, but polls show that Jews feel safer, sometimes by a 20-point margin, in places like Poland, Hungary, and Romania—which, maybe not coincidentally, also have low numbers of Muslim immigrants—than they do in countries like France and Germany, where anti-Jewish violence is spiking.

According to the Times, though, Israel’s leaders also perpetuate anti-Semitism when they find common cause with the president of United States, who has angered anti-Semites worldwide by taking positions once widely supported by a majority of American Jews, like moving the American embassy to the capital of Jerusalem and pulling the United States out of the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal.

It’s gotten to the point where the left regularly lumps the elected leader of the Jewish state in with white supremacists because he’s shown more deference to Donald Trump than to Hamas, Fatah, or Iran. If Israel engenders anti-Semitism, a sentiment that supposedly has absolutely nothing to do with Israel, it’s only because people are predisposed to hating Jews.

Then again, maybe the Times doesn’t understand that it’s not Israel’s or America’s job to placate anti-Semitic thugs in Germany. One of the reasons Israel exists, actually, is so Jews would never again have to worry about such things.
I was an expert witness against a teacher who taught students to question the Holocaust
My involvement in the case against Mr. Ali began in November 2017 when I got a phone call from a lawyer who was representing the Woodbridge Township School District. I had sent an email earlier in the year to the district about my study of how textbooks portray the Holocaust and officials there remembered my note.

Woodbridge officials had fired Mr. Ali, who was teaching students to question the Holocaust and who was also pushing 9/11 conspiracy theories. Mr. Ali was now suing the district for illegally firing him over his race and religion.

Mr. Ali had first made headlines in September 2016 after a news station discovered several 9/11 conspiracy links on his school webpage.

After speaking with the Woodbridge district lawyer, I was sent several hundred pages of depositions, student work and lesson plans to review. I was also asked if I would serve as an expert witness in the case.

One particularly memorable student paper in the documents was called “A Gas Chamber Full of Lies.”

“We have all been taught that the Holocaust was a time of hate, and that Hitler used the gifts he possessed for absolute evil, but is that really the case? … Is the death of the Jews completely justified? No, because nobody deserves to die, regardless what they’ve done. But are their deaths really completely unjustified either?” read an excerpt.

Another student stated that the Jews imprisoned in concentration camps “had a much easier and more enjoyable life in the camps” and that “even though they were not at home, they felt like they were.”

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Friday is Quds Day, a day meant to protest Israel's control of Jerusalem.

Which means it is a time to celebrate Israel's rebuilding of Jerusalem, and restoring the Old City from the slum it was under Jordanian rule to a beautiful place, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

In fact, taking a page from the BDS playbook where a week is a month long, the celebration should start now and go through Yom Yerushalayim on Sunday.

Because Israel's control of Jerusalem is something the entire world should celebrate.

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explosionHodeidah, Yemen, May 30 - A jihad warrior wearing an explosive vest set off his charge a split second after his partner today, resulting in the second explosion straddling the earthly and Jannah realms and destroying the 72 maidens that awaited him in paradise.

Ibrahim Sanani, 22, planned to approach a column of Saudi-backed militiamen with his companion Ismail Jabari, 23, and detonate their suicide bomb payloads simultaneously in proximity to the group. However, Sanani triggered his blast an instant after Jabari, whose bomb killed Sanani, and the latter's exploding vest sent flaming shrapnel into the supernal realm as he perished, striking down the six dozen virgins who had assembled to serve as his companions in the afterlife. Sanani's spiritual self remained unharmed, as he arrived just after the shrapnel fragments. He offered no comment on the incident as of publication.

"There were body parts everywhere," recalled Archangel Gabriel. "It was horrible. Seventy-two beautiful, pristine women, boom, gone, just like that. I haven't processed this yet. I'm still in shock, as are most of us up here. I hope they've gone to a better place."

Heavenly emergency services appeared on the scene right away, but were unable to save the victims. "There's no known safeguard," lamented Raphael. "We must accept the will of Allah, as we always do."

Sanani's detonation narrowly missed depriving his friend Jabari of the latter's virgin allotment, as well, according to witnesses. "The first shahid arrived a split second before the second and disappeared into his eternal harem with the girls an instant before the second guy arrived and blew everything up," reported cleanup crew member Muhammad Atta. "This guy's afterlife happiness collapsed faster than a jetliner hitting a New York skyscraper. The nineteen of us have tried to console him, but he's not really responsive. Probably still in shock. Can't blame the dude."

"Truth be told, there has to be more than meets the eye here," he continued in a whisper, as he looked around for eavesdroppers.  "There's supposed to be an impenetrable barrier between us and the mortal world, and no weapons are allowed across it. By the regular rules this shouldn't have happened. It's not the only strange thing - the first guy got away faster than normal - there's usually a lengthy welcoming ceremony - and why not, you got an eternity, so what's the rush? I'm pretty sure this was an inside job. Military-grade explosives can't melt the Jannah-Earth barrier."

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From Ian:

Israel’s greatest friend sits in the White House
Before President Trump, when the regime in Iran chanted “death to Israel, death to America, curse the Jews,” the White House was silent. This president has stood up to the mullahs, taking the United States out of the enabling Iran nuclear deal, and imposing tight sanctions to squeeze them. Iran’s dangerous influence on the region created an opportunity, which the Trump administration has fostered: an anti-Iran Sunni alliance. The relations between Israel and the Arab Gulf has never been better, and President Trump is to thank for it!

Most recently, the United States recognized the Golan Heights as part of the State of Israel. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, following the defensive capture of the Golan Heights from Syria when Arab countries waged a war of aggression aimed to destroy the Jewish state in the 1967 Six Day War. The Golan Heights not only holds a strategic advantage in the region, but is deeply-rooted in Judeo-Christian history. This was a profound move made by Israel’s great friend, President Donald Trump.

As much as President Trump has done for the State of Israel and the Israeli people, he has also been a friend of American Jews, a fact that seems to go in one ear and out the other. After the malicious, antisemitic attack at the Chabad of Poway near San Diego, the president went out of his way to comfort and build a relationship with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. I met Rabbi Goldstein at the White House Commemoration, where the rabbi called President Trump a “mensch par excellence,” a title that shows the honor and integrity this president carries with every decision he makes.

Thank you, President Trump, for being a true friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Knesset votes for new elections on September 17 after PM fails to form coalition
Israel’s parliament on Wednesday voted to dissolve a mere month after it was sworn in, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to meet the midnight deadline to form a new government, triggering an unprecedented second national election this year.

After a raucous 12-hour debate, lawmakers voted 74 to 45 in favor of the Likud-drafted bill to dissolve the 21st Knesset and hold new elections on September 17.

The Likud, Yisrael Beytenu, United Torah Judaism, Shas and Union of Right-Wing Parties were joined by the two Arab-Israeli parties, Ra’am-Balad and Hadash-Ta’al in supporting the motion. Only Kulanu MK Roy Folkman was absent from the late-night votes. He is expected to quit politics.

Netanyahu had appeared to secure a fourth consecutive term after elections on April 9, thanks to a strong showing by his Likud party and his other nationalist and religious allies.

But in a shocking turn of events for the longtime leader, Netanyahu failed to muster a majority coalition in the 120-seat Knesset by the Wednesday midnight deadline, due to an impasse between the secular and ultra-Orthodox members of his would-be coalition over a contentious draft law.

The standoff between the ultra-Orthodox parties and Avigdor Liberman, an ally-turned-rival who leads the secular Yisrael Beytenu party, sunk Netanyahu’s efforts to form a government in the allotted 42 days. Liberman insisted that the draft law pass unchanged; the ultra-Orthodox parties rejected this, and Netanyahu blamed Liberman for the unbreakable deadlock.

PMW: 27% of Israeli Arabs voted for Zionist parties in recent elections
In Israel's recent elections:

12 Israeli Arabs elected to Israel's Parliament
50% of Israeli Arabs chose to vote
At least 112,000 Israeli Arabs (27%) voted for Zionist parties in exclusively Arab cities and towns:
35,783 Israeli-Arabs voted for Meretz
33,453 Israeli-Arabs voted for Blue and White
9,404 Israeli-Arabs voted for Likud
8,268 Israeli-Arabs voted for Shas
6,516 Israeli-Arabs voted for Yisrael Beiteinu

Now that the newly elected Israeli Parliament has been dissolved due to Prime Minister Netanyahu's inability to form a government, Israeli Arabs will again be experiencing the Israeli democracy in the next elections, which are set for September 17, 2019.

The next elections will once again prove wrong the Palestinian Authority's claim that Israel is an "apartheid state" as Israeli Arabs will be able to exercise their voting rights on equal terms with Israel's Jewish citizens.

Palestinian Media Watch has taken a look at the statistics from the recent Israeli elections and they prove the existence of a thriving Israeli democracy.

Responding to the results of the Israeli elections held in April this year, PLO Chief Negotiator and Fatah Central Committee member Saeb Erekat, said that the vote shows Israel has a "policy of apartheid and racial segregation":

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Dan Kling wrote a very chilling thread on Twitter about his experiences at George Mason University.

He gave me permission to post it:


Let's talk about anti-Semitism at @GeorgeMasonU.

The second time I came to campus was for accepted students day. I ran into a club tabling called @GMUSAIA (GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid.) I didn't really have too much of an opinion on the conflict, but when I told them I was Jewish they clammed up and wouldn't speak to me. They shoved a flyer in my hand and basically just stared at me.

I came to Mason and got involved in the Jewish community, only to hear constant stories of the antisemitism students experienced.

In November 2016, the national SJP conference was hosted at my school. The Jews were told to leave campus because no one could assure our safety. Lo and behold, attendees were posting about assaulting Zionists all over Twitter and Facebook. Everyone was scared shitless and hid in their rooms for days. But that's not even the worst of it.

After Trump's election, a petition was put together to say that GMU opposes all forms of hate... Except Antisemitism was completely missing, and Zionism was right in the center. It took two meetings with Student Power to get them to consider including antisemitism.

A couple months later was Israel Week, and we started off with an event bringing a Palestinian and Israeli to campus. Both the Palestinian group there, and the speaker, asked SAIA not to protest. But they did anyway. They listened to the Palestinian and shouted down the rabbi.

When he tried to reach out and hold one members hand, he turned around and swung his hand out at the rabbi. They stormed off, only to show up later that week at more events in "good faith."

During this time I was also forced to leave @transparentGMU because of antisemitism in
their group chat. I expressed some of the things they were saying made me uncomfortable, such as asserting all Jews in land conflicts were colonialists (even outside Israel). So in response they brought it random people to lecture me on how I didn't know what antisemitism was.

So I said, "this is ridiculous and I've had enough of the pettiness" and when they came to our events I decided to try and actually build a relationship with them. It was nice for all of about two seconds. At the first event they invited me to, a Pakistani guy sat down next to me and said that the two stripes of the Israeli flag were the Nile and the Euphrates, because the Jews' plot was to take the whole Middle East. To their credit, they told him that probably wasn't the case.

The next week, they helped host the "Muslim-Jewish Alliance." At this meeting, there was a total of three Jews, and many more Muslims. The speaker was @TaherHerzallah and he spent the entire meeting blaming Jews for Islamaphobia in America and saying that the only way we could ever fix this was by giving up Zionism. I tried to question it but was talked over and refused to be called on again. They all friended me on Facebook after that, and proceeded to fill up my wall with comments on my posts about Israel and the occupation, and harassed my friends. When I asked them to stop, they told me I should police my friends, not them.

When I went to Israel a month later for the first time, they attacked me as a settler on all of my photos, posted images of me calling me a white supremacist, and blocked me.

Sophomore year, I found pretty much most of the progressive community would refuse to
speak to me. So whatever. Twice my sophomore year I was assaulted for wearing a Magen David on campus.

At a Holocaust Remembrance table, students draped in Palestinian flags and scarves approached and tried to LIGHT OUR TABLE ON FIRE. When we stopped them they pointed and laughed at us and sent people over to harass us.

This year was no different. It started with the Boycott Sabra petition. We were out there trying to inform people why the petition was harmful, and two members of SAIA both body checked one of our members and stomped on my feet repeatedly. When we tried to engage with the people around us, people came and physically intimidated us, insulted us for being Jewish, spit at us, called us "Fucking Yahoodi" to our faces and behind our backs as if half of us don't understand Arabic. You ain't slick.

Later this year while tabling, we had girls come up to us and scream in our faces, and another guy came up to tell us why JEWISH lives don't matter at all. When I was tabling for charity, guys came up behind me and made jokes about how "the Yahoodi are asking for money again."

The Middle East Studies department hosted an event on antisemitism, which did not invite the Jewish community, hosted no Jewish professors (but plenty of antisemitic ones), and when asked about this simply deflected and said we were attacking them on because of Zionism.

It was kind of a sick joke when SAIA did the same exact thing a couple weeks later, but this time found two anti-Zionist Jews who were uninvolved in Mason's Jewish community to pretend they weren't pulling the same shit. Complaints fell on deaf ears.

During this time, my girlfriend and I went to AIPAC and went to speak with protestors (who spat on me) and my girlfriend took a photo of me speaking to people with her tongue out. People on Twitter asked for proof we went to speak with them, and when she gave it, they cropped the
photos and a bunch of Mason students doxxed her. @gmupolice did nothing. They didn't do anything when the campus preacher was calling for violence against Jews either, so ignoring Jewish plights seems to be a trend among them.

I spent Good Deeds Day this year being screamed at by a girl who told lies that we had told her "Fuck Palestine" after one of her friends spat on a soldier. She then peddled lies claiming I insulted her in text messages when I had never spoken to her. 🤷‍♂️

And this only my experience. Countless Jews at Mason have been targeted by anti-Semitic professors like Sumaiya Hamdani and Ahsan Butt. We've been assaulted by students in stairwells. Bias incident reports have been completely ignored. There's no avenue for Jews to feel safe.

Thanks for the kosher food, but I'd like to not have to worry about having a target on my back in class for the kippah on my head. I'd like you to address Mason's deep-seated anti-Semitic sentiments for once, like you said you would after Pittsburgh but then failed to.

Can I get some insight as to how you allow this level of harassment and bigotry to occur at your school @GeorgeMasonU @CabreraAngel ? I'm kind of tired of being consistently harassed and lied about because I'm Jewish and don't completely disavow my people at every intersection.

I hope someone sees my experience here and knows they're not alone, and that Mason's Jewish community is here to support you.


I have a list of other incidents at GMU. This is a serious problem.

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.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Since the "P is for Palestine" book is back in the news, I decided to illustrate and update my own, more accurate version that I had posted previously.

Who knows, maybe I could get a reading at a library...

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.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Russia Today-Arabic reports that the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow, Abdul Hafiz Nawfal, said that the Palestinian Authority is ready to negotiate a confederation with Jordan, but only after the establishment of the Palestinian state.

A confederation could range from a loose agreement to uphold common principles to a very tight relationship that is just short of sharing sovereignty.

The statement has caused a kerfuffle in the territories as people are wondering if this is the official Palestinian position.

It is somewhat consistent with the Palestinian constitution that emphasizes how much "Palestine" is part of the Arab world.

Jordan has rejected the idea of confederation with the Palestinians for decades.

Last September, PA president Mahmoud Abbas said, bizarrely, that he was interested in a tripartite confederation with Jordan and Israel:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has voiced interest in a tripartite confederation with Jordan and Israel, in what would appear a dramatic departure from his longstanding insistence on a two-state solution, according to Israeli peace activists and a Palestinian official.

According to the dovish Peace Now group, a senior delegation of which met Abbas on Sunday in Ramallah, the Palestinian leader said senior US administration officials Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt asked him recently about his opinion of a “confederation with Jordan.”

“‘I said [to Kushner and Greenblatt]: Yes, I want a three-way confederation with Jordan and Israel.’ I asked them if the Israelis would agree to such a proposal,” a statement by Peace Now quoted Abbas as saying.

It becomes more apparent over time that Palestinian Arab leaders have very little interest in actually running a state themselves.

Nawfal also had another interesting meeting:

A press conference on the occasion of Quds Day was held today at the headquarters of the Russian Federation, which included the ambassadors of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the State of Palestine and Iraq, as well as the First Deputy of the Russian Mufti.

The ambassadors spoke about the importance of Jerusalem for the Muslim and Arab world and stressed the importance of a two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital .

In an interview with "Sputnik" the Palestinian ambassador in Moscow Abdul Hafiz Nawfal praised the initiative of Imam Khomeini on Quds Day, and said:

"We appreciate the great initiative of Imam Khomeini on Jerusalem, and we consider it an honor to all of us. We remember and emphasize on this occasion the importance of Jerusalem, not only the Palestinian people, but all peoples and foremost the Iranian people. We thank Iran for this initiative and approach, to reach a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Given that Iran doesn't accept Israel in any solution, this praise of Iran's position perhaps is more relevant than any talk of a two state solution or a confederation.

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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Last week my Masorti shul hosted a visiting group of Americans, members of a Conservative synagogue. One of the subjects for discussion was “what’s the issue that you are most concerned with at your synagogue?” The answer was not declining and aging membership, providing Jewish education for children (and grandchildren), mixed marriage, Israel, or any of the usual issues. It was security. “Ask anybody. Security is the top issue,” they said. “Who wants to join a shul or send their children to a school where they might get shot?”

The traditional position of liberal Jews in the US has always been that security was for someone else. It was sort of a badge of honor for liberals to insist that they didn’t need to protect themselves. They really liked themselves, so why shouldn’t everyone else like them? The Reform Temple in my home town built a beautiful new suburban structure for themselves in 1990, to replace the old fortress-like building downtown. The new one was invitingly open, with acres of glass, lots of doors, and expansive grounds without serious fencing – and it will cost them a small fortune to secure it.

Liberal Jews disliked guns and favored limiting access to them. They trusted the state to protect them. Now they are happy to have the “paranoid” gun owners with carry permits among them. Now they are having “active shooter drills” and taking self-defense courses too, because they are in danger on the street as well as in the synagogue.

This is just one aspect of the end of a golden age. There is no going back. As economic conditions get worse – and they will, thanks to the massive, crushing debt which will leave the increasingly incompetent government no choice but to inflate the currency – both the disenfranchised former blue-collar workers and the revolutionary Left will continue to blame the Jews, as will the blacks, who have been taught since the 1960s that anything bad that happens to them is a result of institutional white racism, and who have also come to believe – thanks to almost every important black “leader” after MLK – that the power behind the racist institutions is The Jew. The increase in the Muslim population, which is already close in number to the diminishing Jewish one, is another reason for an increase in antisemitism. Many Muslim immigrants bring with them the Jew-hatred that is common in the Muslim world, even apart from tensions relating to Israel. The security problem is a new reality, not a temporary problem.

I have to admit that I am lucky in that I have almost never experienced insecurity by virtue of being a Jew. I could say I have lived a charmed life. I lived in America at a time when being a Jew was almost as safe as being anything else. I did not live in Israel during the wars of 1948, 1967, and 1973, when her existence was threatened. I was in California when Saddam was firing Scuds at Tel Aviv. I missed the Second Intifada, with its exploding buses and restaurants, and the recent Knife Intifada never came to Rehovot. I didn’t live in the North in 1981 when missiles from the PLO were landing, nor in 2006 when Hezbollah was launching them. I don’t live in the South now, which periodically comes under fire from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

One exception was in California in January, 2009. It was during Operation Cast Lead, the first of the “mowing the grass” operations in Gaza. After Israel absorbed thousands of rockets and mortars on the southern part of the country, Israel’s government decided to end the threat. In air, ground and naval attacks, Hamas installations were pounded, with buildings, tunnels, and of course rocket manufacturing and storage sites destroyed.

The operation started on December 27, 2008, and lasted 22 days before officials of the incoming Obama Administration ordered Israel to get the IDF out of Gaza before the inauguration. In the meantime, Hamas and supportive NGOs launched a vicious and effective propaganda attack, in which Israel was portrayed as deliberately trying to injure and kill civilians (the ultimate product of this was the tendentious Goldstone Report). At the same time, the Al Jazeera satellite channel showed continuous violent footage, much of it from wars in other places at other times, inflaming the world against Israel.

The local Islamic Center and “Peace” organization organized an anti-Israel demonstration at a main intersection. Several hundred demonstrators, many of them Muslim teenagers bused from other cities in California, stood on three corners of the intersection, facing a handful of pro-Israel demonstrators. Muslim demonstrators crossed the street and threatened the counter-demonstrators; at one point I called the police and told them that verbal confrontations were escalating and might become violent. They responded that the Muslims had promised that they would control their people. Shortly thereafter, one of the leaders of the demonstration came across and placed himself in front of the counter-demonstrators, protecting us from their more aggressive members.

This was an object lesson in dhimmitude and in diaspora life. We Jews were shown that Muslims would protect us, assuming of course that we were properly subservient; and we saw that the goyishe authorities could not be depended on. Not strong enough to protect ourselves, we were at our enemies’ mercy. My wife commented that it was time for us to move back to Israel (it took five more years).

The Jews of Europe have been insecure for some time now. I was in the UK in 2001, and the synagogue in North London that I visited already had the kind of precautions that Americans are only needing to implement today. Once-safe Germany is warning Jews to keep their kippot in their pockets. Forget France or Sweden.

Insecurity is unpleasant. Someone wants to hurt you, maybe kill you. You look over your shoulder. You cluster together with your own people, in ghettos or “Jewish neighborhoods,” because there’s safety in numbers (sometimes). You look for exits, make contingency plans. You try to make alliances with your non-Jewish neighbors, and to keep on the right side of the authorities in case you need their help.

This is humiliating, dishonorable. It harms your self-respect when your people can’t stand up for themselves. This is life in the diaspora.

Israel is the world’s biggest Jewish neighborhood, with the world’s most powerful security patrol, the IDF. Sometimes we would like the government to get a little tougher with our enemies. After all, this is the Jewish state, not the diaspora. There is still insecurity in Israel, but it is usually collective insecurity, in which the whole country worries about the same things. But personally speaking, I feel much more secure as a Jew in Israel than I ever did in California.

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.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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