Saturday, July 20, 2019

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Israeli Court Tells the Truth About Palestinian Authority and Terror
From a political perspective, the implications of Drori’s judgment are harder to predict.

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner heads the Shurat HaDin organization, which is dedicated to seeking legal redress for victims of Palestinian terrorism. She filed several of the lawsuits on behalf of terror victims that led to Drori’s ruling.

Darshan-Leitner was firm regarding the implications of the ruling. In a statement to the Post, she said that the Palestinian terror war was an attempt to achieve political ends that the PLO was unable to extract at the negotiating table with Israel. Specifically, she explained, “The Palestinian cause was genocide against Jews in Israel.”

She added that the court’s ruling proved that the Palestinian terror war “was not a popular uprising, but a planned and deliberate war against the civilian population of Israel.”

It should be noted that little has changed since 2002. The Palestinian Authority continues to incite and indeed solicit terrorism against Israel.

The PA’s “pay to slay” policy remains in force today. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas prefers to forego both U.S. financial aid and Israeli financial transfers, which last year were conditioned on the PA ending the payments to terrorists.

Abbas insisted that the payments to terrorists must continue because “we actually sent them, so we are committed to them. We have to pay them.”

If the United States and Israel accept the evidence that led to Drori’s decision, the policy implications are clear. The PLO and the PA are terrorist organizations, not political actors. And they should be so designated and treated accordingly.
Melanie Phillips: In Trump vs 'the Squad,' American Jews have picked the wrong target
Hatred of Trump seems to have caused a number of Jews to lose their reason altogether. In The Los Angeles Times this week, Michael Hiltzik wrote: “What’s most striking about current administration practice is how it resembles the pre-Final Solution treatment of Jews in Germany and Nazi-controlled portions of Europe.”

This obscenely false analogy unforgivably trivializes the genocide of the Jews of Europe. Yet one after the other, liberal Jews are abusing the memory of the Holocaust and its victims by claiming that Trump is paving the way for Nazism.

Heaven only knows, Trump has his faults – many of them unattractive, egregious or alarming. But those who so hysterically anathematize him and have falsely made him into a figure of mythic malice, while themselves nodding along to bigotry, violence and seditiousness on their own side, are saying much more about themselves. And none of it is good.

It is the Democrats who are embracing anti-Americanism, anti-white racism, Jew-baiting, witch-hunting, and contempt for the rule of law. It is Trump who is standing up for the defense of America and its values, for legality and due process and for the Jewish people.

By displaying Democratic and liberal partisanship that is shallow to such a horrifying degree, American Jews are disgracing their cultural heritage and destroying their own moral standing.

The First Amendment Shouldn’t Be An Empty Promise To American Jews
The First Amendment’s promise of freedom of religion is an empty one if all Americans, including American Jews, don’t feel safe in their houses of worship or welcome in their communities. With FBI data showing that 58 percent of religiously-motivated hate crimes targeted American Jews in 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been making an increased effort to support and engage with the Jewish community, including by convening a summit on domestic anti-Semitism this week.

The day-long event included speakers from the Departments of Justice, State, Treasury, and Education, including the secretaries of Treasury and Education. Panels addressed how to combat anti-Semitism while respecting the First Amendment, anti-Semitism on college campuses, the prosecution of hate crimes, and federal efforts to combat anti-Semitism.

In his introductory remarks, Attorney General William Barr compared various forms of anti-Semitism to different forms of cancer, observing that the body politic needs a strong immune system that rejects both anti-Semitism and racial hatred. Speakers throughout the day acknowledged the patient is sick. However, Barr told American Jews that he sees rising anti-Semitism, not only in the widely discussed attacks in Pittsburgh and Poway, but also on the streets of Crown Heights, in desecrated cemeteries, and in zoning decisions intended to exclude growing Jewish communities.

Barr told the audience, those experiences “form the daily background of concerns about safety and security that many Jews feel. I want to assure you that the Department of Justice and [the] whole federal government stands with you and will not tolerate these attacks.”

Teaching High School Students to Demonize Israel
In October of 2011, Pagliuso shared his frustration with a local newspaper, sparking the interest of a 93-year-old Newton resident named Margot Einstein. Together with a handful of other parents, they started looking into what the town’s schools were teaching. The ninth graders, they found, were learning about the ancient world, which included a unit on Islam, a subject taught largely via the Arab World Studies Notebook, which the school district had purchased for use in the 1990s. In addition to the claim that Israel was murdering and torturing Palestinian women, the Notebook included a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, containing the following lines, directed at Israel: “The usurper’s flesh will be my food/Beware—beware—of my hunger.”

As it turned out, the Arab World Studies Notebook received funding from the government of Saudi Arabia, and, as Einstein soon found out, the Newton history teachers were receiving training workshops from prominent anti-Israel critics, including Paul Beran—then the director of the Outreach Center at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, which also receives generous Saudi support—a leader of the BDS campaign against the Jewish state. Eighty Newton public school history teachers, from the elementary schools on up, took Beran’s workshop on teaching the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The 10th grade students, focusing on modern history and including a unit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, were being introduced to the Hamas charter redacted to exclude the most inflammatory anti-Semitic clauses; materials that identified Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel and Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine; a map of Jerusalem that referred to the Old City’s Jewish Quarter as a settlement; and a discussion of the one-state and two-state solutions, both containing nothing but voices critical of Israel. There was no mention of Palestinian wrongdoing, they noted, nor any attempt to present Israel as anything but a malevolent occupier of Palestinian land.

Einstein and her fellow activists took these issues to the school board, which, almost immediately, went on the defensive. Matt Hills, the Newton School Committee vice chair, told The Jewish Advocate that Einstein represented only “a tiny, tiny number of people” whose concerns focused on “some unidentified bias.” The real issue, he concluded, was that “academic freedom is at stake, and by the way there’s not the slightest notion that there’s a problem with the curriculum.”

Wondering what other objectionable materials the curriculum might contain, the group of citizens asked the Newton School Committee to make it public, arguing that as residents of the town and taxpayers they had a right to know what was being taught to their children. The school committee refused. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Catholic Peace Group Affirms “Logic” of Killing American Jews for What Israel Does
If there was any doubt that lies told about the modern state of Israel incite violence against American Jews, it was demolished after the recent appearance of professional Jew-baiter E. Michael Jones on the YouTube channel of Catholics Against Militarism (CAM).

During the interview, Jones, a failed academic who bills himself as being at the “absolute dead center of Catholic tradition,” argued that the deaths of civilians at the “March of Return” riots organized by Hamas logically justifies the murder of Jews in synagogues in the United States. Instead of confronting Jones’s statement for what it was — a naked affirmation of hostility toward Jews in the United States — CAM’s Ellen Finnigan, a writer who graduated from Boston College, responded in numb agreement, saying, “Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense.”

The exchange is on full display in an interview posted on CAM’s YouTube Channel on May 14, 2019. During the interview, Jones takes full advantage of Finnigan’s profound ignorance about the history of antisemitism, the Catholic church’s response to the Holocaust, Jewish opposition to the Iraq war, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Without challenge, Jones blames, Jews for nearly every aspect of American life and modernity itself that he does not like.

For example, Jones blames American Jews for the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 despite the fact that American Jews showed lower levels of support for the war than the rest of country before the invasion took place. In late 2002, for example, Pew data indicated that 62 percent of the American people supported an invasion of Iraq while only 52 percent of American Jews supported the invasion. Gallup Polls indicated that when the invasion took place in March 2003, 72 percent of the American people supported the war.
Netanyahu has endured because the Israeli public entrusts him with its security. The left discredited itself. It has collapsed as an effective political force. Its embrace of Oslo was a disaster that ended in bloodshed, separation, and stalemate. One of the secrets of Netanyahu's success is that the alternatives to him are unpalatable. The Labor Party of Ehud Barak withdrew from Lebanon, and the Kadima Party under Ehud Olmert launched an unpopular war against Hezbollah whose outcome was ambiguous.

Though he likes showmanship, addressing the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, and most recently the world on the subject of Iran's secret nuclear archive, caution defines Netanyahu's defense policy. He has set red lines on Iranian technology transfer to Hezbollah and on nuclear enrichment. Violations of the former have led to Israeli strikes in Syria, while the Iranians have yet to cross the nuclear threshold of 90 percent enrichment.

Netanyahu is an immigration hawk and has fenced Israel's borders. At the possible risk of Israel's deterrent, he has struck Hamas in Gaza only when rocket launches on civilian populations become politically unbearable. He has considerable room for maneuver, however, because of his strength on security and his solid relationship with the American president.

Israel faces threats not only from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas, but also from campaigns of vilification, delegitimization, incitement, boycott and divestment, and anti-Semitism. These threats are the reason Netanyahu has remained in power. And his handling of them guarantees him a place in the pantheon of Jewish leaders.
The Palestinians Need to Have an Identity Crisis
A Palestinian people exists today, but that people, that nation, emerged historically as an opposition movement against Israel, offering no vision other than destroying Israel and, only after several years, replacing Israel with its own state. Moreover, creating a sovereign state was always secondary to opposing Israel. That sentiment has dominated Palestinian identity, which did not exist until a few decades ago. But it was forming for the decades before then, only distinguishable from the surrounding Arabs in the Middle East because of a unique, personalized hate for the Jews living in Palestine. Just look at Palestinian society today. Put aside Gaza, which endures post-apocalyptic conditions under the suffocating rule of Hamas, an Islamist terrorist organization. Focus instead on the supposedly moderate, more responsible Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank, where streets, mosques, stadiums, and even summer camps are named after terrorists who murdered Israelis. Such butchers are glorified in every direction, revealing how Palestinians have chosen to build their identity. There is nothing distinctly Palestinian other than a unique form of resistance against Israel—resistance steeped in hate.

The Palestinians need to have an identity crisis, to look inward and question who they are and what Palestinian nationality really entails. They should feel insecure about creating a national identity whose only clear pillar is blindly opposing Israel. After all, what good do they have to show for it? Yes, there are countless Palestinians who are kind, wonderful, talented, and deserve to live in dignity. And yes, the Palestinians should one day have their own, independent state, existing next to Israel in peace. But that will never happen if the collective identity that unifies and defines the Palestinians under a national banner is really about the "evils" of Israel and not about the Palestinians themselves. How can Palestinians create a stable, prosperous society when they focus their attention almost exclusively on Israel?

The Palestinian plight is a psychological problem more than anything else. Only when the Palestinians seek to build up their own society rather than tear down Israel’s will there be peace. That means asking a tough question: What makes a Palestinian a Palestinian? Not as individuals, but as a people, the Palestinians have only one answer right now, and that answer offers no solutions, just bitterness and violence, if not corrosive apathy.
US Announces $7 Million Reward for Capture of Key Hezbollah Planner of 1994 Argentina Jewish Center Bombing Center
The US State Department on Friday announced a $7 million reward for information leading to the arrest of a dual Lebanese-Colombian citizen alleged to have been the on-the-ground planner of the July 18, 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires — the worst terrorist atrocity in Latin America’s history which left 85 people dead and more than 300 injured.

At the end of a week of commemorations of the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing, the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program said it was offering “a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the identification or location of Salman Raouf Salman, also known as Samuel Salman El Reda, a key leader of Hezbollah.”

A statement from the department said that “Salman is most well-known for his prominent role in the July 18, 1994, bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Society (AMIA), a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which resulted in the deaths of 85 innocent civilians.”

The statement noted that Salman “is a leader of Hezbollah’s External Security Organization (ESO), which is responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing Hezbollah terrorist attacks around the globe.”
July 20, 2019 3:18 pm
Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Complains About Current US Lunar Ability

When President Donald Trump asked Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever walk on the moon, what he thought about...

“Not only does he direct and support Hezbollah terrorist activities in the Western Hemisphere, he has been involved in plots worldwide,” it continued.

In addition, the US Treasury Department blacklisted Salman as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. As a result of the designation, the statement said, “all of Salman’s assets that are based in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons are frozen, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.”
Pompeo: We Want AMIA Bombing Mastermind Brought to Justice
Following the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, the U.S. applied sanctions to the man they believe masterminded the attack — Salman Rauf Salman, a Hezbollah operative. Mike Pompeo met with his argentine counterpart to discuss the matter.

US senators push resolution to help Argentina probe 1994 Jewish center bombing
A bipartisan group of US senators introduced a resolution on Thursday to remember the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, introduced the resolution on the 25th anniversary of the attack on the AMIA Jewish center. The bombing in the Argentine capital left 85 people dead and hundreds more injured.

The perpetrators have still not been brought to justice. Argentina and Israel have long blamed Iran and implicated several former Iranian officials and members of the Tehran-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah in the attack, in addition to the March 17, 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 and injured more than 200.

Menendez and Rubio were joined by four co-sponsors: Senators Ben Cardin, Ted Cruz, Tim Kaine and Todd Young.

“It is critical that the US recommit to helping the Government of Argentina in their investigation,” Menendez said in a statement. “The Argentinian people have waited long enough for answers.”
‘Palestine’ in the age of identity politics
The highly charged tone of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict causes the question of Palestinian independence to be viewed through the prisms of mutually exclusive political and ideological narratives, not only between the two sides but also within each community. The historical evolution of Palestinian nationalism in particular is overloaded with historical revisionism.

It is also difficult to pinpoint a specific date for the origin of Palestinian nationalism. It developed during the early 20th century simultaneously with other ideologies and identities, including Arab nationalism, the nationalisms of the respective Arab states, and various versions of political Islam. However, most acknowledge the leadership of the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, whose open and close ties to Adolf Hitler remain an important topic of debate, as the effective beginning of Palestinian identity and its rejectionist narrative.

On the one hand, the vernacular of identity politics fits very comfortably with the two-state concept since it sounds “ideal” for everyone. On the other, it allowed Israelis to be convinced that their adversaries were also evolving toward tolerance and that peace was close by. On the third hand, it also allowed Palestinian leaders like Yasir Arafat and now Mahmoud Abbas to sell any peace process to the Palestinian people knowing that they believed the end-result would be one state. Self-delusion and deception go, as always, hand in hand. This helps explains why the Trump’s proposal, “From Peace to Prosperity,” which focuses on economic growth was flatly rejected by the Palestinians.

Palestinian nationalism never saw the conflict as one between two national groups with legitimate claims and aspirations. The two-state solution has been the tool of appeasing the West and its stated desire for all parties to live in peace according to the democratic, national ideal. For Yasser Arafat in his time, and today for Mahmoud Abbas and of course Hamas, the two-state solution is only a mechanism to buy time until the Palestinians are able to finally overcome and defeat Israel.

The biggest challenge is getting beyond the self-delusion and zero-sum exclusion of identity politics to find common ground that could bring Israelis and Palestinians together. Unfortunately, American politics and culture no longer provide a model for negotiation and agreement based on mutual benefit.
U.N. invests $256 mil. in Israeli services, products
The United Nations is investing in Israeli innovative products and services more than ever before, a press release on behalf of the Israeli mission to the UN said on Friday.

Billions of dollars are spent to maintain the various agencies, organizations and services the UN needs to run. In 2018, Israeli companies were chosen by the UN for contracts worth $66 million, more than the $51m. in 2017 and $48m. in 2016. The steady increase is due not only to the efforts of the Israeli mission to the UN, but also to the high quality of Israeli innovation.

"For the organization to choose Israeli innovation to advance its global activities is a demonstrable vote of confidence in our capabilities and an economic lever for the local industry,” said Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Danny Danon.

Among the Israeli firms doing business with the UN are Teva, Paz, Mer and Odis, as well as the Defense Ministry.

Mer provides mortar defense systems for African peace forces, and Teva offers medical assistance to the United Nations Development Program. Paz recently signed an $18 million annual contract with the UN Office for Project Services, the Defense Ministry provides technology to defend UN bases in Africa.
97 injured in Gaza border protests
As on every Friday, protests broke out along the Gaza border with some 7,000 people demonstrating. Some 74 people were reported as having been injured, as well as four paramedics and two reporters.

Of those injured during the weekly protest, 47 were hurt by live fire coming from Israeli territory. This week's protest march was called "Burning the Israeli Flag."

Stones were thrown in large waves at the fence along the border, as well as explosive devices.

Qatar delivers more cash to Gaza as part of truce understandings
Qatar on Saturday delivered another cash grant to the Gaza Strip, paving the way for the distribution of payments to Palestinian families, sources in the Gaza Strip said.

Some 60,000 families will benefit from the latest Qatari funds, the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip said on Saturday.

The committee said that each family will receive $100 on Sunday. The money will be distributed through the local post office in the Gaza Strip. The committee did not provide further details, particularly concerning the amount of cash that was delivered to the Gaza Strip.

The sources said that the Qatari grant was delivered thanks to mediation efforts made by Egypt and the United Nations in the past few days.

The efforts, the sources said, were in the context of attempts to solidify truce understandings reached between Israel and Hamas earlier this year.

Delegation of senior Hamas officials arrives in Tehran
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday that a delegation of senior officials from the terror group had arrived in Tehran for a visit.

Haniyeh was mum about the purpose of the mission. The delegation was headed by the leader of the group’s military wing in the West Bank, Saleh al-Arouri, the Maariv news site reported.

“The visit will go on for a few days. We’re expecting important results,” Haniyeh said.

Iran is a backer of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas terror group’s armed wing, and the al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military branch.

According to the London-based publication Middle East Monitor, described as a pro-Hamas outlet by the BBC, a Hamas delegation met with Iranian officials in Beirut on Friday at the Iranian embassy.

The delegation, which according to the report includes Hamas’ Lebanon representative Ahmed Abdel Hadi, met with the special aide to the President of the Iranian Shura Council, Hossein Amirabdollahian, and briefed him on “the latest developments” and reactions to the US peace plan.
As sanctions choke Iran, Hezbollah said deploying for war on Israel’s border
As tensions rose in the Persian Gulf over the weekend with Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, several commanders of Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, said they were deploying forces for possible war with Israel, warning that the growing pressure from sanctions on Tehran could trigger such a conflict sooner rather than later.

Officers in the organization told the Daily Beast in a report published Friday that its forces were setting up for war on both Lebanon’s and Syria’s border with Israel.

“We will fire the first shot this time,” said “Samir,” identified as a Hezbollah officer commanding 800 fighters on the border with Israel. He did not give his real name as he is not allowed to speak to the media. “The sanctions now have us preparing for dealing with the Israeli front,” he told the US publication.

The 2006 Second Lebanon War began after Hezbollah launched a surprise attack on an Israel Defense Forces patrol on the northern border in July that year, killing three Israeli soldiers and capturing the bodies of two of them.
Time for Europe to Get Over The "Worst Deal Ever"
Yet, while Iran shows no sign of scaling down its aggressive stance towards the US and its allies in the region, Europe continues to cling to the wreckage of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to give the nuclear deal its proper name, in the misguided belief that the deal remains the best means of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The determination of the Europeans to stick with the nuclear deal at all costs was very much in evidence earlier this week during a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels at which they came up with the decidedly bogus notion that Iran's breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal were not significant and therefore did not require the Europeans to withdraw from the JCPOA.

Europe's insistence on sticking with the nuclear deal, and its refusal to support Washington's attempts to provide naval protection for international shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, could ultimately prove self-defeating.

Europe is far more dependent on energy supplies from the Gulf than the US, and any further attempts by Iran to disrupt oil and gas supplies from the Gulf would have catastrophic consequences for Europe's economy.
Trump: Iran Nothing But Trouble
Iran has just seized two oil tankers. Now, Trump claims he was right about the regime and Obama's nuclear deal.

Iran official calls tanker seizure ‘reciprocal’; FM: Vessel broke maritime rules
A powerful council in Iran said Saturday the country’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz was in response to Britain’s role in impounding an Iranian supertanker two weeks earlier. At the same time, the country’s foreign minister insisted Iran was simply maintaining maritime law.

The spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted in the semi-official Fars news agency saying “the rule of reciprocal action is well-known in international law” and that Iran’s moves to “confront the illegitimate economic war and seizure of oil tankers is an instance of this rule and is based on international rights.”

The council rarely comments on state matters, but when it does it is seen as a reflection of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s views. The council works closely with Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters.

Concurrently, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: “Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold int’l maritime rules.”

The British-flagged Stena Impero with 23 crew aboard was seized by Iran late Friday. Maritime trackers show it was headed to a port in Saudi Arabia.
Iran Reportedly Seizes British Oil Tanker
After the UK seized an Iranian oil tanker and held it on the island of Gibraltar, the Iranians threatened they would retaliate. Now, they have allegedly done just that. What does this mean for Iran's tensions with the West? Our Jonathan Sacerdoti and Owen Alterman analyze.

British FM warns Iran of ‘serious consequences’ if UK-flagged tanker not freed
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Friday there would be “serious consequences” if Iran did not swiftly release a UK-flagged oil tanker it detained in the Strait of Hormuz, the Stena Impero.

Hunt earlier said Iran had seized two vessels, one of which was the Liberian-flagged Mesdar. The British owner of Mesdar said the ship had been temporarily boarded by armed personnel, but later allowed to leave.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards acknowledged detaining the British tanker, saying it broke “international maritime rules” in the highly sensitive waterway.

“This is completely unacceptable,” Hunt said. “Freedom of navigation must be maintained. We will respond in a way that is considered but robust and we are absolutely clear that if this situation is not resolved quickly there will be serious consequences.”

He said Britain was not considering military options and was hoping to secure the tanker’s release through diplomatic means.

“But we are very clear that it must be resolved,” he said, adding that he spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the incident and would soon speak with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.
France, Germany and Britain band together to condemn Iran's actions
France, Germany and Bahrain condemned Iran on Saturday afternoon after it seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. A German foreign ministry spokesman said, "We urge Iran to release (this)... ship and its crew immediately.

Germany continued by saying this could further escalate tensions in the region and "would be very dangerous and undermine all ongoing efforts to find a way out of the current crisis."

France's foreign ministry also put out a comment saying, "We have learned with great concern of the seizure of a British vessel by Iranian forces and we strongly condemn it and express an already tense situation in the area."

Earlier Saturday, the British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt also expressed concern over the Iranian decision calling this a "dangerous path."

Iran's Fars news agency originally reported late Friday night that the British oil tanker had been taken to the Bander Abbas port and Iran said that the ship had been involved in an accident with an Iranian fishing ship.

According to Iran the ship sent out a distress call and the British tanker ignored the call.
Did Israel Bomb Iran-Backed Militia Base in Iraq?
Hezbollah is pointing the finger at the U.S. and Israel as the perpetrators of an attack on an Iran-backed militia base in Iraq. Did Israel really do it? Journalist Pesha Magid and our Jonathan Regev analyze.

Lee Zeldin Rips Ilhan Omar-Sponsored Resolution Designed to Protect Boycott of Israel
Zeldin responded to Omar’s remarks by giving an impassioned defense of his opposition to the BDS movement, noting that it refused to distance itself from the terrorist group Hamas, which advocates for the extermination of all Jews:

“My colleague who just spoke used the frequent use of the words ‘honestly’ and ‘honest.’ Let’s just get to a lot of what is left out,” the 39-year-old New York Republican said Wednesday, referring to Omar, who had just given a speech during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing supporting a resolution promoting the BDS movement. “The BDS movment has not distanced itself from Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. BDS supporters individually are not distancing themselves from Hamas either.”
The Jewish representative then went on to explain that a senior Hamas official has called for the death of all Jews last week.

Zeldin continued to criticize the resolution after the hearing in a statement: “[T]here are Members of this House who continue to prop up the BDS movement and blame Israel for all of its challenges. Israel is our best ally in the Middle East; a beacon of hope, freedom and liberty surrounded by existential threats. Shame on Rep. Omar for bringing her hateful twist of this reality today to the committee and this chamber.”
Amb. Richard Grenell Calls out Angela Merkel for Siding with 'Squad' over Trump
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell on Friday called out German Chancellor Angela Merkel for criticizing President Donald Trump’s comments about the “Squad,” while ignoring repeated anti-Semitism statements from the far-left Congresswomen.

Speaking at a press conference earlier Friday, Merkel claimed President Trump’s comments about Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) “undermine America’s strength.” the globalist world leader then affirmed she stands “solidarity” with the four-some.

“I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked,” she said. “U.S.’s strength lies exactly in the fact that people of very different nationalities contribute to the strength of the American people.”

Hours later, Grenell hit back at Merkel, writing on Twitter: “Why isn’t the anti-Semitism from “the squad” being condemned? @aoc’s claim that there are “concentration camps” on the US border is absurd.”
J Street says it supports the right to boycott … and anti-BDS resolution
J Street has addressed two new US proposals regarding boycotts of Israel, one that affirms citizens’ constitutional right to engage in boycotts, and another that rejects the BDS movement and calls for a two-state solution.

US Representative Ilhan Omar introduced a resolution on Tuesday that ostensibly seeks to counter laws that restrict boycotts of Israel. Her bill does not name the Jewish state or the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, but she said in am interview that the goal of the resolution was supporting the BDS movement.

The resolution affirms the right of Americans to participate in boycotts as an expression of free speech under the First Amendment, citing boycott movements against Nazi Germany, the USSR and apartheid South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership in the House is gearing up to introduce a non-binding resolution condemning BDS.

On Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the resolution, which accuses the BDS movement of promoting “principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation.” House leadership will decide if the resolution will be voted on by the full house, and when the vote would take place.
Former Democratic chair Howard Dean: ‘Israel’s government has lost its soul’
Howard Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and ex-governor of Vermont, said Israel’s government has “lost its soul and purpose.”

Predictably, Dean’s tweet from Friday, which was inspired by an Israeli Cabinet minister’s endorsement of conversion treatment for gay people and his support of annexing the West Bank, set off a Twitter storm.

Much of the rebuke, however, was over what Dean wrote after his Israel zinger — he seemed to suggest that Jews were made noble because of anti-Semitism.

Here’s his full tweet: “Israel’s government has lost its soul and its purpose. The nobility of the Jewish people conferred by their terrible suffering is being squandered by cheap bigoted political crooks. The result will ultimately be the loss of a Jewish homeland which would be an unspeakable tragedy.”

Report: Nearly half of young European Jews victims of anti-Semitism in past year
Nearly half of young Jewish Europeans have been the victim of at least one anti-Semitic incident in the past year, newly published findings from an unprecedented survey reveal.

They are also considerably more likely to experience anti-Semitism than older Jews, the European Union report finds.

The research also suggests that young Jews in Europe are particularly likely to believe that they are accused or blamed by people in their countries for the actions of the Israeli government because they are Jewish. Eighty-five percent of the 16-34 year-olds surveyed said this happens to them at least occasionally; nearly one-quarter said it occurs “all the time.”

Researchers speculate that the results may reflect the growing problem of anti-Semitism on European campuses. More than half of the young people who participated in the survey were students.

Michael O’Flaherty, director of the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which published the report alongside the European Commission and the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), called the results “deeply troubling.”

“These findings make for grim reading,” O’Flaherty writes in a foreword to “Young Jewish Europeans: perceptions and experiences of anti-Semitism.” “We must fight anti-Semitism by tackling it at its roots, no matter how difficult that is.”
Norway’s state broadcaster airs ‘Jewish swine’ cartoon
Norway’s public broadcaster NRK has rejected accusations of anti-Semitism against a cartoon showing an overweight Jew taunting a man who is afraid to call him a swine.

The video, posted online earlier this month by the state-owned NRK, is titled “Scrabbles” and was captioned “tag a Jew” on the Facebook page of the animators who created it, Norske Grønnsaker.

In it, a grey-haired man wearing a kippah and dressed like a Haredi Jew is playing Scrabble with a younger man in shorts. The Jew is frustrated over how long his adversary is taking to construct a word. Then, the camera switches to the young man’s point of view to reveal that he’s constructed the word “Jew swine” (one word in Norwegian) but has not revealed it yet.

The young man sighs in frustration at his inability to use the phrase, as the Jewish man taunts him over his Scrabble skills. “We are clearly on different cognitive levels,” the Jew exclaims.
Ohio man gets 30 months in prison for attacking man he thought was Jewish
An Ohio man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for attacking someone he believed to be Jewish.

Izmir Koch, of the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, was sentenced last week for attacking Paul Marshall outside a Cincinnati-area restaurant in 2017. He was convicted of committing a hate crime and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Koch, 34, was standing outside a restaurant asking people if they were Jewish. Though Marshall is not Jewish he answered in the affirmative when asked. Koch then beat him up, causing injuries to his ribs and a fracture of the orbital floor, the bottom portion of his eye socket.

The assailant, who is originally from Turkey, was indicted and convicted last year.

Todd Wickerham, a special agent leading the FBI’s office in Cincinnati, said the bureau sought a stiff sentence, Cleveland Jewish News reported.
In North Macedonia, unearthed headstones shed new light on Nazi-razed community
In a country where Nazis killed 98 percent of its Jewish minority, the survival of five members from the Abravanel family was regarded as something akin to a miracle.

As more than 120 of their relatives were shipped to the Treblinka death camp, the family was spared because of a set of unusual circumstances, including a typhus outbreak. Four of the five family members were physicians. The Nazis and the Bulgarian occupation forces needed all the help they could get to curb the outbreak in North Macedonia, a former part of Yugoslavia that is today a landlocked nation north of Greece.

Eighteen years after World War II, though, tragedy caught up with the Abravanels. Three of the five survivors were killed in the 1963 earthquake that devastated Skopje, now the capital of North Macedonia. The only survivors were an elderly couple and their 7-year-old granddaughter.

The surviving couple, Haim and Berta Abravanel, lost their son, daughter and son-in-law in the calamity. Their granddaughter, Rachel Shelley Levi-Drummer, lost both her parents, an uncle and her home during the earthquake. She immigrated to Israel with her grandparents, broken and hollowed by their loss, soon after the earthquake struck. Many view their departure as the end of centuries of Jewish presence in Bitola.

But more than half a century after that tragic end, Levi-Drummer and others are returning to Bitola — the modern name of the city once known as Monastir — through several successful projects that are lifting out of oblivion the nearly extinct Jewish community of North Macedonia.

The Farhud: The Massacre that Ended Iraq’s 2,600-Year-Old Jewish Community
Over the following decade, a number of factors came together to undermine the position of the Jewish community and lead to the Farhud.

The first of these was the ongoing conflict between the Jews and the Muslims in Mandatory Palestine. Whereas previously nationalist Iraqis tended to regard Iraqi Jews as fellow Arabs, their views shifted as Jews came to be regarded as outsiders. The creation of pro-Zionist organizations in Iraq served to further divide Arabs and Jews. Despite protesting their loyalty to Iraq, Iraqi Jews increasingly faced discrimination and anti-Jewish actions. In 1934, dozens of Jews were dismissed from government positions and unofficial quotas were instituted limiting the number of Jews that could be appointed in the civil service or admitted to secondary schools and colleges.

Another significant factor was the steady drip of pro-Nazi propaganda. Between 1932 and 1941, Dr. Fritz Grobba was appointed as the German ambassador to the Kingdom of Iraq and was sent to Baghdad. Fluent in both Turkish and Arabic, Grobba expanded Iraq’s military and cultural ties to Nazi Germany, worked tirelessly to build connections with Iraq’s elites, and was responsible for the spread of German propaganda in the country. During his stint, the German embassy acquired the Christian newspaper Al-Alam Al-Araby (The Arab World). Apart from publishing regular propaganda, the paper also serialized an Arabic translation of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf starting in October 1933.

Another factor in the intensified hatred of Jews was the swell in resentment against the British. Jews were associated with the British and therefore, were regarded as targets for the discontent of the population. Following the failure of the 1936-39 Arab revolt in Palestine, numerous Palestinian leaders exiled by the British authorities made their way to Iraq, where they lent support to local anti-British nationalists, and worked assiduously to whip up resentment against the local Jewish population and against the Jewish leadership in the Holy Land. In later years, unfounded rumors swirled that the Jews were part of the British war effort and aiding British propaganda.

Chief among these provocateurs was Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini of Jerusalem, who arrived in Baghdad in 1939 after evading a British arrest warrant by disguising himself as a woman and crossing into Lebanon. He was warmly received in the Kingdom of Iraq, and honored generously with gifts and money.

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