Sunday, September 22, 2019

  • Sunday, September 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week Palestine Today.Net "reported:"

Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the area of ​​Bab Al-Zawiya and Beersheba Street in the center of Hebron. According to witnesses, large numbers of settlers stormed the center of Hebron through the military roadblock at the entrance to the Martyrs Street towards Beersheba Street , under the protection of the occupation army, which closed the area.
They pointed out that the Israeli army prevented citizens from moving to ensure the access of settlers to the so-called "Hebron" tomb, where they performed Talmudic prayers.
The so called Christian Peacemaker Teams reported on this too:

So what happened?

A couple of times a year, a large group of chasidim, in this case Breslovers, go to visit the grave of  Biblical figure Othniel Ben Kenaz, the first of the Judges. His grave happens to be in the H1 area of Hebron that is normally Judenrein. Under previous agreements, Jews should have free access to holy spots.

The IDF coordinates these visits with the Palestinian Authority ahead of time. These aren't surprises, they aren't spontaneous incursions into Area A. The only reason the IDF must be there is because otherwise the defenseless Jews would be ripped apart.

Here's video from last year's visit.

To say that these chasidim are heavily armed is laughable. It goes to show that Christian Peacemaking Teams are not interested in peace and very interested in destroying any Jewish rights in the Middle East. (And for a Christian to refer to Biblical Hebron as "Al-Khalil" shows that they are not very  Christian, either.)

(h/t Yosef Hartuv)

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From Ian:

Rivlin: Blue and White, Likud must share power
Rivlin made the statement directly to representatives of Blue and White, who said they want a unity government but have been ruling out Prime Minister and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, because of his pending criminal charges. Rivlin reminded them that Netanyahu has not been indicted.

"The people of Israel want a government that will be stable," Rivlin said. "A stable goverrnment cannot be a government without both of the two largest parties."

The head of the Blue and White delegation, MK Moshe Ya'alon said "all Zionist parties" would be welcome in the coalition, a statement interpreted as excluding the Joint List.

MK Zvi Hauser told Rivlin that Gantz's goal would be national reconciliation.

Rivlin told the MKs that the people of Israel were "disgusted" by prospects of a third election.

Members of the Joint List decided to recommend Gantz to build a coalition. This will be the first time since Yitzhak Rabin that an Arab party recommends someone for Prime Minister.

Jonathan S. Tobin: Will the Anti-Netanyahu Crowd Like Gantz?
The answer is that Gantz knew that challenging Netanyahu on security from the left was a recipe for defeat. The sole rationale for his party’s existence is to oust Netanyahu, not to make nice with the Palestinians.

The same is true about relations with President Donald Trump. Netanyahu’s contentious relationship with President Barack Obama and his warm embrace of Trump is a particular bone of contention for Democrats. But expect Gantz to be every bit as grateful to Trump, who is immensely popular in Israel, as Netanyahu has been.

Nor will a future Democratic president — should Trump be defeated next year — find Gantz to be any more willing to abandon the West Bank or divide Jerusalem than Netanyahu has been. The political success of the former Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff rests on his being part of a broad consensus that believes there is no Palestinian peace partner. Democrats will have to accept that even an Israel led by Gantz will refuse to trade land for terror.

As for American Jewish resentment about the lack of religious pluralism in Israel, that will depend on the composition of the next coalition. Should the religious parties wind up outside the government, plans for expanding the egalitarian prayer area at the Western Wall will be reinstated, no matter if Netanyahu or Gantz stands at the helm. But should the new coalition include those religious parties, you can bet that the scheme will remain on hold.

Just as important, Gantz will be no more acceptable to the growing ranks of anti-Zionists in the left wing of the Democratic Party than Netanyahu. For BDS supporters, Gantz is just another criminal Zionist. If left-wingers like Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) represent the future of the Democratic Party, it won’t make any difference who is prime minister of Israel.

The gap between Israelis and Americans on these issues has always been bigger than one leader. Israel’s critics may pretend that Netanyahu is the primary obstacle to peace as opposed to the Palestinians, but it won’t take long for them to be hurling the same sort of accusations at Gantz if he gets the top job.
Liberman won’t recommend either Netanyahu or Gantz for PM
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman on Sunday said his right-wing party will not recommend any candidate for prime minister during its consultations with President Reuven Rivlin later in the evening.

In his remarks, Liberman — whose party won eight seats in last week’s election — said he could recommend for the task of forming the next coalition neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Blue and White’s Benny Gantz, who could receive the endorsement of the predominantly Arab Joint List.

“In the Knesset there is a party that is trying to destroy us from within, and in the best case scenario, they belong in parliament in Ramallah, not in Israel,” said Liberman, referring to the Joint List. “Therefore we cannot recommend Benny Gantz. Therefore our recommendation to the president is that we won’t recommend anyone.”

“The Haredim [ultra-Orthodox] are political rivals, but not enemies. The Joint List are our enemies,” said Liberman. “Wherever they are, we will be on the other side.”
Joint List to present list of demands to Gantz in return for backing him as PM
The Joint List alliance of Arab-majority parties will reportedly on Sunday present a list of demands to the Blue and White party as conditions for recommending Benny Gantz as the next prime minister, although, despite talks, the centrist party has not yet made any commitments in return.

Blue and White has established a back channel to communicate with the Joint List — an alliance of four parties — which is said to be leaning toward endorsing the former IDF chief of staff. However, three of its 13 newly elected Knesset members, from the Balad party, are opposed to the move.

The primarily Arab slate will have to make a decision by 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, when its representatives are scheduled to meet with President Reuven Rivlin and tell him whether they recommend Gantz — the chief rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — as leader of the country.

Senior party members were quoted Sunday by Hebrew-language media as saying they would present their demands later in the day to Blue and White. These include freezing home demolitions in unrecognized Arab villages, forming a team to examine the issue of those villages, passing a government decision on battling violence within the Arab sector, canceling the controversial nation-state law — which enshrines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people — and initiating a peace process with the Palestinian Authority.

  • Sunday, September 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed

The UN has released an important report about antisemitism worldwide.

Written by  the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed, much of it is a list of both antisemitic incidents and charges.

It properly notes Arab antisemitism:

The Special Rapporteur received numerous reports that in countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Jews are frequently conflated with Israel and Zionism, even in countries with a deep history of Jewish life. Literature demonizing Jews is prevalent in the media in this region. Saudi school textbooks contained antisemitic passages, with some passages even urging violence against Jews. 
Examples: In Saudi Arabia, the newspaper Al-Iqtisadiyya printed an editorial cartoon showing a grinding machine in the shape of the Star of David, grinding Gazans into skulls. In Algeria, Echourouk El Youmi published an article claiming that Jews had been plotting against Muslims for centuries, that Jews were responsible for most of the disasters that have befallen Muslims, and that Jews controlled the media, cinema, art, and fashion. In Qatar, the privately-owned Al-Raya newspaper published a cartoon showing a witch with a Star of David wand causing inter-Arab disputes.

The report notes the existence of left-wing antisemitism as well:

The Special Rapporteur also takes note of numerous reports of an increase in many countries of what is sometimes called ‘left-wing’ antisemitism, in which individuals claiming to hold anti-racist and anti-imperialist views employ antisemitic narratives or tropes in the course of expressing anger at policies or practices of the Government of Israel. In some cases, individuals expressing such views have engaged in Holocaust denial; in others, they have conflated Zionism, the self-determination movement of the Jewish people, with racism; claimed Israel does not have a right to exist; and accused those expressing concern over antisemitism as acting in bad faith. He emphasizes that it is never acceptable to render Jews as proxies for the Government of Israel. He further recalls that Secretary-General Guterres has characterized “attempts to delegitimize the right of Israel to exist, including calls for its destruction” as a contemporary manifestation of antisemitism.
On the other hand, in the next paragraph that discusses BDS it presents both sides of the argument that BDS is inherently antisemitic and the report effectively supports the BDS right to boycott Israel and takes a stand against legislation to prohibit such boycotts. Shaheed doesn't bother to do any fact checking to see which side is telling the truth.

The Special Rapporteur further notes claims that the objectives, activities and effects
of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement are fundamentally antisemitic. The movement promotes boycotts and stockholder divestment initiatives against Israeli or international corporations and institutions that BDS supporters maintain are ‘complicit’ in violations of the human rights of Palestinians by the Government of Israel. Critics of BDS that the architects of the campaign have indicated that one of its core aims is to bring about the end of the State of Israel and further allege that some individuals have employed antisemitic narratives, conspiracies and tropes in the course of expressing support for the BDS campaign. The Special Rapporteur notes that these allegations are rejected by the BDS movement, including by one of its principal actors, who asserted that the movement is “inspired by the South African anti-apartheid and U.S. Civil Rights movements;” maintained that they oppose all forms of racism and that they take steps against those who use antisemitic tropes in the campaign, and stressed that they employ “nonviolent measures to bring about Israel’s compliance with its obligations under international law.” Concern about the adoption of laws that penalize support for the BDS movement, including the negative impact of such laws on efforts to combat antisemitism have also been communicated to the Special Rapporteur. He recalls that international law recognizes boycotts as constituting legitimate forms of political expression, and that non-violent expressions of support for boycotts are, as a general matter, legitimate speech that should be protected. However, he stresses that expression which draws upon antisemitic tropes or stereotypes, rejects the right of Israel to exist, or advocates discrimination against Jewish individuals because of their religion should be condemned.
The good news is that the document says that the IHRA working definition of antisemitism is valuable.

The bad news is it doesn't appear that the Special Rapporteur understands the examples given specifically about Israel as really being antisemitic.

He writes:

The Special Rapporteur notes that critics of the Working Definition have expressed concern that it can be applied in ways that could effectively restrict legitimate political expression, including criticism of policies and practices being promoted by the Government of Israel which violate the rights of Palestinians. Such concerns are focused on three of the illustrative examples attached to the definition namely, claiming that the existence of Israel is a racist endeavour; requiring of Israel a behaviour not demanded of other democratic states; equating Israeli government policy with that of the Nazis. The Special Rapporteur notes that the IHRA definition does not designate these as examples of speech that are ipso facto antisemitic and further observes that a contextual assessment is required under the definition to determine if they are antisemitic. Nevertheless, the potential chilling effects of the use of these examples by public bodies on speech that is critical of Israeli government policies and practices must be taken seriously as should the concern that criticism of Israel sometimes has been used to incite hatred towards Jews in general such as through expression that feed on traditional antisemitic stereotypes of Jews. Therefore, the use of the definition, as a non-legal educational tool, could minimize such chilling effects and contribute usefully to efforts to combat antisemitism. Where public bodies use the definition in any regulatory context, due diligence must be exercised to ensure that freedom of expression within the law is protected for all.
It is true that the IHRA says that those examples could theoretically be not considered antisemitic based on context, but in reality essentially all such uses are absolutely antisemitic and this fig leaf of "legitimate criticism" must be called out for what it is - an excuse for Jew-hatred. (The only counterexamples I can think of are some overheated and unfortunate rhetoric within Israel itself.)

Saying that Zionism is racism is antisemitic, because Zionism is the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people, and denying Jews that right is inherently antisemitic.

Saying that Israel is uniquely evil when other countries do things that are much worse is antisemitic because the criticisms are clearly hurled at the Jewish state because it is the Jewish state. "Human rights" is an excuse for hate in those cases, and the hypocrisy should be called out.

Equating Israeli policy with the Nazis is antisemitic because such examples are never meant to illuminate but to claim that the victims of the Holocaust are no better than the perpetrators. The accusation is a direct attack on Jews because the accusers know that such comparisons are especially painful for Jews.

Saying that Israel violates Palestinian human rights, whether one agrees with that or not, is not antisemitism. Saying that Israel treats them like Nazis treated Jews clearly is.

In the recommendations, Shaheed says that IHRA is useful but still includes the caveat that allows Jew-haters to hide behind the "legitimate criticism" facade:

The Special Rapporteur recognises that the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism can offer valuable guidance for identifying antisemitism in its various forms, and therefore encourages States to adopt it for use in education, awareness-raising and for monitoring and responding to manifestations of antisemitism. The Special Rapporteur recommends its use as a critical non-legal, educational tool that should be applied in line with guidance provided by the Rabat Plan of Action, Human Rights Committee in General Comment 34, and the CERD in General Recommendation  In this regard, the Special Rapporteur notes that criticism of the Government of Israel is not per se antisemitic, as stated in the Working Definition, unless it is accompanied by manifestations of hatred towards Jews in general, or expressions that build on traditional antisemitic stereotypes.
Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and the other two examples do not fit under Shaheed's two exceptions, meaning that he has effectively accepted the claims of the left wing antisemites who say - falsely - that the IHRA definition chills free speech and legitimate criticism of Israel. 

Saying that some of these examples might be legitimate criticism of Israel is akin to saying that some people who use blackface today are not being racist. It is theoretically possible but at this point in history the chances that the act is done innocently are practically nil, and all cases should be treated under the assumption that the violator is a bigot and any excuses are simply that. The Special Rapporteur clearly thinks otherwise.

Most of the report is quite good. But the continued cover for antisemitism disguised as legitimate criticism of Israel shows that even the UN expert on freedom of religion or belief truly doesn't understand how treating the Jewish state with double standards is simply hate.

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  • Sunday, September 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
I tweeted this on Friday:

I had in mind last week's episode where the Women's March appointed Zahra Billoo to be on its board and then her rabid anti-Israel posts were uncovered, for example:

Last year she said, " I am clear about I am not going to legitimize a country that I don't believe has a right to exist. "

This isn't criticism. This is unhinged hate for the Jewish state, calling for its destruction and proudly showing support for terror against Jewish civilians.

But when the Women's March changed its mind about the appointment, she suddenly says that she is the victim of a smear campaign - she only "challenges the occupation:"

Her words show that she is a liar, but her fans that hate both Israel and Jews who do not want to be second class citizens flocked to her defense - the same defense we always see: "Oh, this is just legitimate criticism, and you are falsely accusing us of antisemitism."

No other state in the world is ever told it shouldn't exist. No other state is falsely represented as being guilty of apartheid. In no other case are people who shoot rockets at civilians lauded by people who otherwise swear they support human rights. And disgustingly comparing Israel to Nazis has only one purpose: to hurt Jews.

Yes, this is antisemitism. And claiming that it is mere opposition to Israeli government policies or "challenging the occupation" is meant to be a smokescreen to blind the world to the obvious, vicious and psychopathic hate that these people have - hate so vicious that its only historical comparison is to "old" antisemitism.

UPDATE: I made a cartoon:

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  • Sunday, September 22, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

At first glance, this greeting for the Jewish New Year by PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat seems to be a nice gesture:

But notice is wording. He is not wishing a happy New Year to Jews or the Jewish people, but to "all those who follow the Jewish faith."

Because the official position of the PLO is that there is no such thing as a Jewish people. In the PLO's own words:

Recognizing the Jewish state implies recognition of a Jewish people and recognition of its right to self-determination. Those who assert this right also assert that the territory historically associated with this right of self-determination (i.e., the self-determination unit) is all of Historic Palestine. Therefore, recognition of the Jewish people and their right of self-determination may lend credence to the Jewish people’s claim to all of Historic Palestine.

According to the PLO, Judaism is merely a religion, because to admit the truth that Jews are a people implies that Jews have a right to a land like all other peoples - and the Jewish claim to their land predates the Arab claim, making it stronger than the flimsy Palestinian claim as a recently created "people."

Denying that the Jews are a people is antisemitic. 

So even something meant to be as innocent as a greeting to Jews is a subtle attempt to deny Jews their historic connection to the land, a connection that is mentioned countless times in the high holiday prayers.

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: In a deadlocked election, the real winners are Israeli Arabs
Israeli Arabs are poorly served by their elected members of Knesset. According to a recent survey by researchers at Tel Aviv University, crime, unemployment, welfare, and the community’s dire housing crisis top Israeli Arabs’ concerns.

Their Knesset members, however, are interested only in political posturing that bashes Israel, behaving as a kind of disloyal fifth column inside the Knesset intent upon harming the state to whose legislature they have been elected.

MK Ahmad Tibi, for example, does not support Israel as a Jewish state, opposes the Law of Return and has challenged the Jewish religious symbols on the national flag.

Former MK Hanin Zoabi has walked out of Knesset during the singing of “Hatikvah,” claims that the Israel Defense Forces are a greater danger than the possibility of Iranian nuclear weapons, and has said that Palestinians who kidnap Israeli civilians are not terrorists because such actions are their only alternative to suffering under occupation.

Before April’s election, some Israeli Arabs were quoted bitterly criticizing the Arab List MKs.

“It didn’t represent us, and it did great damage to the [average] Arab citizen who wants to integrate,” said one resident of Abu Ghosh, an Arab village near Jerusalem. “The infrastructure in the Arab communities needs to be taken care of, and they [the Arab lawmakers] aren’t dealing with it.

“We recognize the existence of the only democratic country in the Middle East and want to be a part of the country. And we’re proud of it. We, Israeli Arabs, exist with our Jewish brothers. Not coexist, exist.”

Those living in east Jerusalem, where civic status falls into an unhappy legal limbo under uneasy Israeli sovereignty over that part of the city, are by default Israeli residents but not citizens.

Officially, they are citizens of Jordan. Most choose not to exercise the right to which their residency entitles them to vote in Jerusalem’s municipal elections.

But Jerusalem’s city hall is currently swamped by applications from Israeli Arabs in east Jerusalem who are keen to activate the right they enjoy under Israeli law to convert their residency into Israeli citizenship.

They want to be Israelis. They don’t want to be citizens of a future Palestinian state.
Kevin D. Williamson: The Iran Dilemma, the Saudi Dilemma, and the Iran–Saudi Dilemma
The United States has enough firepower at its command that it can afford to wear its idealism on its sleeve.

Is the United States going to go to war against Iran on behalf of Saudi Arabia? Probably not.

Should it?

Probably not.

The Saudi regime is, to be plain about it, detestable. It is wildly corrupt and horrifyingly repressive, it tangles together sundry absolutisms and fanaticisms (religious, nationalist, monarchist) into a mess of diplomatic and military trouble, it is duplicitous, and — perhaps most dangerous of all — in spite of its aspirational absolutism, it cannot even control its own contradictory internal constituencies, which is why the Saudi elite cultivates Islamic terrorism with one hand while fighting it with the other. Americans invested a lot of hope and diplomatic currency in the belief that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was going to turn out to be the great reformer that the West keeps hoping will emerge in the Islamic world, and he’s shaping up to be just another Arab caudillo, if a slicker and more intelligent specimen than the general run of them. There is not much there to hang American hopes on.

But the Iranians are worse. At least, that is the conventional point of view in Washington. The question of what is worth fighting for sometimes is distinct from the question of what is worth fighting against.

And that, fundamentally, has been the argument underpinning continued U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, which is put forward as the great counterweight to the forces of jihad and chaos in Tehran. It is classical great-gaming, the enemy-of-my-enemy thinking that — while not always wrong and occasionally even necessary — has led the United States into so much trouble in the Muslim world, with so many unintended consequences. The legend that the United States “created al-Qaeda” is not exactly true, in the way it usually is put forward, but it is not entirely an invention, either.

The rat bastards in Riyadh, we keep telling ourselves, are our rat bastards — mostly, and most of the time, when they are not murdering columnists for American newspapers or torturing human-rights advocates as a prelude to raping and murdering them or launching ill-advised wars on their neighbors. This so-called foreign-policy realism (which can be very unrealistic) is what is used to paper over both the domestic abuses of the Saudi state and, more important, its habit of acting in a way that is inconsistent with long-term American interests in the region. Of course the Saudi leaders are vicious, depraved, and fundamentally anti-American, the story goes, but they are not quite as vicious, depraved, or anti-American as their Iranian counterparts.
Book review: 'After ISIS'
As Frantzman leads us through the sequence of events that slowly but surely squeezed ISIS out of the vast areas of Iraq and Syria that it had originally conquered, he provides an informed commentary on their impact. He embraces issues ranging from the effect on Europe of the influx of refugees from the Middle East, to the success of the Kurds’ peshmerga fighters against ISIS, the subsequent boost to their independence aspirations, followed by the efforts by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to remove what he saw as a Kurdish threat to his regime.

Frantzman brings to light the temporary battlefield alliances that were formed and disintegrated as the US-led coalition slowly crushed ISIS, and also with more profound changes in political thinking in the region, for example how Iran’s growing influence encouraged Saudi Arabia and the UAE to look increasingly toward Israel as an ally, and how it changed the strategic thinking of Jordan and Egypt.

In considering whether the post-ISIS era would simply replicate the worst days of al-Qaida terrorism under Osama bin Laden, he is not wholly pessimistic. He sees hope in the rise of a younger generation of Middle East leaders that came of age in the 1980s or 1990s, in an era of US hegemony, taking over from leaders who had run the region since the colonial era. “With the Saddam Husseins, Mubaraks, Gaddafis, and Salehs out of the way,” he writes, “there may be a new way forward.”

The basis for Frantzman’s qualified optimism lies in his belief that the whole ISIS episode was a unique phenomenon – a one-off. In his words: “It appears that the power of ISIS was sui generis. A group like this will not appear again. This was the apogee of Islamist extremism and jihadist groups.”

“After ISIS” is a comprehensive, insightful, thought-provoking account of how an exceptionally ruthless and brutal organization succeeded in capturing the imagination of scores of thousands of Muslims the world over, how it rose to control large parts of Syria and Iraq and rule over millions, and how finally it was defeated. For anyone wishing to understand how this all came about and what might follow, “After ISIS” is essential reading.

Friday, September 20, 2019

From Ian:

The New Anti-Semitism is the Old Anti-Semitism
And when the Nazi Holocaust confronted the world with the ghastly handiwork of unbridled evil, the world embraced the Jewish people as the poster children for the overarching moral standards that govern civilized society. The innate empathy of mankind began to emerge. Anti-Semitism became as indefensible as infanticide.

Tragically, the pendulum has swung back again.

In part, memory fades. More significantly, politics has come to replace religion as the guiding doctrine of mankind. The principles introduced to the world by the Jews have been hijacked and conscripted to defend an ideology of utopianism. Judge every person favorably has mutated into non-judgmentalism. Charity has morphed into entitlement. Liberty has devolved into libertinism. Civility has been weaponized into political correctness.

Most perversely, Israel has been compared to Nazi Germany.

As moral autonomy supplants moral duty, the traditional values of Judaism become worse than irrelevant; they become a threat. The mere suggestion of higher moral authority annuls the right of the individual to define his own moral code. Traditional values become a form of heresy, and all heretics must die.

Ideologies become entrenched. Truth becomes subjective. Civil discourse disintegrates. Rhetoric becomes weaponry. Society descends into empathy deficit disorder.

Inevitably, violence follows as bullying becomes the new normal.

The resurgence of Jew-hatred, therefore, is a symptom of the moral decline of man, not into immorality but amorality, the rejection of moral absolutes and embrace of relativistic moral autonomy.

Ironically, anti-Semitism, has much more to do with non-Jewish society than it does with either the Jew or his Judaism. It is the bully’s reflexive response in the face of moral maturity on the playground of human society.

Is there a solution? Of course.

How Pro-Israel Students On Campus Can Fight Back Against Jew-Hatred
Do my fellow proud Zionists see the problem here? The Palestinian-Arab side of the argument may be genocidal and jihad-loving, but at least they present a morally framed narrative (no matter how grossly immoral that narrative actually is). The pro-Jewish/pro-Israel side, by contrast, tends toward an AIPAC-inspired, overly defensive posture that relies on a non-substantive, purely procedural narrative.

Interestingly, then, the fight against Israel-inspired Jew-hatred on the university campus can actually learn much from the ongoing conservative dialogue between the New York Post’s Sohrab Ahmari and National Review’s David French. Procedure-based arguments, especially when confronted with a substance-based argumentative opposition, are unlikely to be sufficient; the only way to truly make a dialectic dent is to argue on the substantive merits of an issue and argue in overtly moral terms. I wrote as much in June: "Advocates for Israel on the American university campus must transition away from pleas for 'peace' and 'tolerance' and toward arguments grounded in the inherent, biblically derived morality of a Jewish state existing between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea."

This simply must be the path forward for Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus who are invested in helping to turn back the tide of rising on-campus anti-Semitism. Jewish and Zionist students must make the moral, historically informed case that Zionism — which is simply the Jewish right to self-determination in the Jews' biblical, ancestral homeland — is an inherently beautiful phenomenon. These courageous students must argue that the culmination of Herzl's Zionist vision, the establishment in 1948 of a sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael for the very first time in millennia, represents one of the most profoundly beautiful developments in human civilization over the course of the last century. These students must advance direct, overt, morally based arguments that defend the beauty of that Zionism. These students must also advance historically and legally informed arguments that rebut the utter mendacity that is "Nakba" and other purported Palestinian-Arab "national" humiliations.

Appeasement and unilateral disarmament — here, in terms of the use of overt moral terminology — never work. The students who take the lead on this initiative will necessarily be bold. They will be valiant. And they will face mighty resistance from the leftist/Islamist alliance all across the nation. But these students will have the benefit of standing for truth, morality, and, fundamentally, justice. It's time to get the ball rolling and begin to defeat on-campus Jew-hatred in America.
BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, due to speak at Labour conference fringe, fails to secure UK entry visa
The co-founder of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, who was due to speak at a number of fringe events at the Labour party conference, has been denied an entry visa to the UK.

Omar Barghouti had been due to speak at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event in Brighton on Sunday, alongside prominent Labour party politicians including Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary and Lisa Nandy, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, and Josie Bird, president of the Unison union, were also due to speak alongside him.

However, on Friday, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) announced that Mr Barghouti had been unable to travel to the UK “because his visa was abnormally delayed by the British government without explanation.”

The PSC blamed his lack of a visa on “growing efforts by Israel and its allies to suppress Palestinian voices and the movements for Palestinan rights.” The organisation added that Mr Barghouti would speak via a video link-up instead.

  • Friday, September 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
A Jordanian poet named Rania Dogan, who has published a number of books, writes a poem in As Sawsana that covers a number of current events.

Google translates poetry very poorly, but even with the unreadable parts one gets a pretty good idea of where Dogan, and probably many other Jordanians, are coming from.

The smell of Netanyahu is everywhere and Ivanka perfumes and skirts
Short Mossad walks in our phones ..... and our cars follow
Cooks in Alwats August ..and Alnmimh ... and sometimes myopia
The media is controlled by the Jews
Our radio ..... penetrates our homes .. And our cars know about us more than we know
About ourselves
Our fate is all dependent on the Israeli elections
Century deal and included the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea
Have mercy and have mercy
A crisis between teachers and the government in Jordan is worsening ... stalled
Life in Jordan and education .. That home did not have only
Education ... and salt ... millions of students and teachers .... stopped them
Wheel of life ... The teacher stood on the corner of the dream to fight .. And congestion
My people because of the difficulty of life .... and circumstances .. And life that
It became impossible .. and became impossible
In Egypt, it was a million to overthrow the police rule of the military Bastar… They killed Morsi and his legitimacy. They served his son's heart to go to him.
Bashar al-Assad wanders stranded in Syria after all his crimes in Syria
It's boredom again
Saudi Arabia is now sinking oil wells in it .... and lose half of its production and it is difficult for them now to collect their papers
The UAE stood half way ... looking at the veins of her hands smelling the martyrs of Yemen
 Trump with a square face .... the world moves right north waving the stick to Iran .. and war on it ... and sanctions to leave Saudi Arabia in a dilemma ..... after being implicated
In the war in Yemen ... and sold it arms ... and looted its goods
Erdogan from far away wants to help. Qatar, Kuwait and Muscat are trying to save China ... China started to take an economic role ... and Putin is reading a wall of
The Quran
 Israel .... Israel right-wing Jews .... and left-wing Jews
Beware ... Injustice Beware that Trump is an ally because he may fall in the first election ... Don't make al-Sisi ally ... Because his fall is close ... Don't reach out
Bashar on anything we reward
Beware .. and beware ........ deal of the century

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  • Friday, September 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
From YNet (Hebrew):

Twenty-four hours before the dramatic moment the polls opened, two Jewish men and two Arab women faced their own dramatic moment: a chain of operations that saved the lives of two of them. Ido from the religious community of Hoshaya intended to donate a kidney altruistically to Israel, which he did not know before, but unfortunately he was found unsuitable for matching. So did Aida Mashfaram, who intended to donate a kidney to her sister-in-law Hanan, but the results of the tests showed that this would not be possible. At Rambam Hospital, the four proposed a "chain of transplants", which led to Aida donating her kidney to Israel, while Ido donated a kidney to Hanan.

Israel Belban (35), a resident of Kiryat Bialik, needed a kidney transplant due to hereditary disease. He says that four years ago he began receiving dialysis, and since then his life has changed: "I stopped working and almost every day came to Rambam Hospital for four hours. At one point I was hospitalized for six months, I was a transplant candidate and was waiting for a donation.The Matnat Chayim organization called me one day,"he recalls the day he was informed that a kidney had finally been found for him, just before he was disappointed: " They said there was a potential donor, but unfortunately in the tests we conducted he wasnot fit to donate to me, "he said.
At the same time, and without knowing each other, Hanan, a Muslim from Shfaram, lay in the hospital waiting for a donation from Aida Husari, her 52-year-old sister-in-law. "I got a genetic test which told me that the kidney was not right for her," Aida said.

The transplant operation performed by surgeon Dr. Ahmed Asalia and vascular surgeon Dr. Tony Karam took twelve hours. The crossover was indeed successful, and this week the donors and recipients met. "I met Aida in the hospital, thanked her and bought her a gift and chocolates," Israel said excitedly. Aida added: "I am very happy to have saved the lives of two people. The racism of the politicians is killing us - we have learned to live together, Arabs and Jews."

Rabbi Yeshayahu Haber, chairman of the Matnat Haim Association, which has been responsible for hundreds of transplants in recent years, welcomed the special transplant: "This transplant is a wonderful union between the different parts of the nation has been exciting and uplifting: Jews and Muslims, religious and secular, women and men. That is the beauty of a gift of life, and I hope we will continue to connect and unite the people through an altruistic life-saving. "

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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The strategic cost of Israel’s political instability
When Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman abruptly resigned his position as defense minister last November and started the countdown to the Knesset elections in April, he plunged Israel into a state of political instability. Following the April elections, by refusing to serve in a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and so forcing Israel into a second election, Lieberman prolonged the instability he instigated.

Tuesday’s elections ended in deadlock. Neither major party can form a governing majority. And so, there is no end in sight for the instability Lieberman provoked and prolonged.

Israel’s prolonged political volatility and uncertainty have had a disastrous impact on Israel’s strategic flexibility. Indeed, it has induced strategic paralysis. Israel cannot respond in a meaningful way to threats or take advantage of strategic opportunities that present themselves.

The implications of this dire state of affairs were brought to bear twice in one day during the campaign. In a press conference last Tuesday, Netanyahu announced his intention to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley after the elections. Netanyahu’s announcement included the revelation that US President Donald Trump supports the move. American officials backed his claim after the fact.

This was a stunning development. No US administration has ever supported Israel’s right to assert its sovereign rights in Judea and Samaria without Palestinian permission until now.

But the media and Netanyahu’s political opponents on the left and right ignored this basic fact and instead derided his statement as nothing more than a cheap election stunt to rally his base.

In a way, they were right. After all, all Netanyahu did was make a promise. But it was due to Israel’s strategic paralysis that he had no other option.
Where did Bibi go wrong? - analysis
‘Six things does the Lord hate,” observed King Solomon, and “seven are an abomination unto him” (Proverbs 6:17-19). Three of those – “a proud look, a lying tongue,” and “him that sows discord among brethren” – add up to Bibi Netanyahu’s moral meltdown and political demise.

Pride made Israel’s longest-serving prime minister misjudge the mainstream electorate’s size, priorities and feelings, which under his sleepy radar traveled steadily from respect through doubt to wrath.

The social discord he sowed as a matter of ploy and habit needs no elaboration, nor does the “lying tongue” he deployed while libeling almost everyone, from judges and cops to the entire press.

At this writing it is too early to say that Netanyahu’s 37-year public career is over. It is not too early to say that a critical mass of the electorate this week announced the beginning of its end.

Having entered this election with 41 lawmakers (Likud’s 35, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s four, and Moshe Feiglin’s equivalent of two) Netanyahu lost a fifth of this original electorate. Yes, in terms of parliamentary blocs we face a cloud that will take time to scatter, but on the personal level this poll produced a resounding vote of no confidence in a leader who lost touch with his nation and task.

NETANYAHU MISJUDGED the voters on three planes: the social, the institutional and the ideological.

Socially, he assumed that average Israeli Jews see Israeli Arabs as fair game. In his superficial reading of Israeli society – a binary us-and-them dichotomy between “the Left” and “the Right” – the former are ready to give “the Arabs” everything and for no price, while the latter trust not one Arab, will cheer any anti-Arab broadside, and will prize whoever delivers it.
Appeasement vs. incitement: two takeaways from the Israeli election
We don’t yet have a prime minister candidate, nor a clear path to a government. Both will take some time. But there are already valuable and useful lessons that have emerged from this week’s election.

The first relates to Israel’s Arab population. For years, the Arab Knesset members focused on nationalistic issues in the parliament, serving as the mouthpiece of the Palestinian Authority in decrying “the occupation,” criticizing the Israel Defense Force, and not indicating any desire to be partners in the leadership of Israel.

Arab MK’s would not even recommend anyone to be prime minister lest they be accused of having any association with Jewish candidates from Zionist parties. The recognition that their representatives would not be working for their interests and needs, and would not even consider joining a government which is where real societal reforms can be made, played a significant role in the low Arab voter turnout in past elections.

But in this election, MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint Arab List, changed course. He gave an interview in Yediot Aharonot just a few weeks ago in which he said, “I want to lead Arab politics from a politics of protest to a politics of influence. We are 20% of Israel’s population, and we are needed to bring equality, democracy and social justice to Israel.”

While Odeh ruled out the possibility of joining a Netanyahu-led government, he presented four conditions for entering a Gantz-led government:

“The first is the construction of a new Arab city and redoing the rules to allow for more Arab construction and stopping demolitions in Arab areas. Second is a government focus on fighting crime in Arab areas, including an operation to gather all the weapons that people own in the Arab population. Third is in the welfare realm including building a public hospital in an Arab city, and raising stipends for the elderly. Finally, there must be direct negotiations with the Palestinian leaders to bring an end to the occupation and to establish a Palestinian state, alongside canceling the Nation-State Law.”

The first three conditions focus on needs also relevant to the Israeli community and could be easily accepted by Benny Gantz. While the last condition is more complicated, the very fact that their leader is placing real day-to-day issues on the table as a possible entry into a government energized much of the Arab population, making them feel that it was worthwhile to vote to try to place their representatives in positions of influence. And that led to a larger Arab turnout than usual, which enabled them to stay in double-digit mandates despite the high turnout throughout the country.

  • Friday, September 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
David Halbfinger in the New York Times writes:

 For three years now, Asmaa Azaizeh has run a popular Arabic-language book festival in Haifa, a mixed city that has become a vibrant culinary and cultural capital for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

But as this year’s festival opens on Friday, it is being held without hundreds of titles Ms. Azaizeh wanted to showcase. Israeli border officials barred them from being imported from Jordan, under an 80-year-old law that predates the existence of the state of Israel.

Arabic translations of George Orwell, James Joyce and William Faulkner; of Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag and Nelson Mandela; of Shakespeare, D.H. Lawrence, Orhan Pamuk, and Agatha Christie were all rejected and sent back to a Jordanian distributor.

The reason? The books were printed in Beirut.

An Israeli law that dates back to World War II-era British Mandatory Palestine forbids trading with the enemy, and Israel applies that policy to Lebanese, Syrian and Iraqi publishers, among others.

The books’ content is not the issue, Ms. Azaizeh said. Only the location of the publisher — despite the fact that she was purchasing the books from a company in Jordan, with which Israel does have a peace treaty and trade relations.

The law in question is the British 1939 Trading with the Enemy Act, which defines an enemy as "any State, or Sovereign of a State, at war with His Majesty," among others.

Israel maintained the law upon independence in 1948.

But who is an enemy now? This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer.

Israel's laws don't formally provide a list of enemies. The closest they have come from two laws.

The 1954 Law against Infiltration lists Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen as countries that could be the source of infiltrators. (Jordan and Egypt were on the list in 1954 but removed after the peace treaties.) This seems to be the source of not allowing books from Lebanon.

The other law is the Citizenship Law, which states that “the Administrative Court may, at the request of the minister of interior, cancel the Israeli citizenship of a person who… perpetrated an act which involves breach of faith to the State of Israel.” It also forbids “obtaining citizenship or the right to settle permanently in" various countries. One of the footnotes updated in 2008 list includes the names of Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and the area of the Gaza Strip. 

This is not a formalized list of enemies, but it is a reasonable working list. From a legal perspective, it is unclear if it is official, though.

Notice that even in 2008 it didn't include Gulf states, Morocco, or Algeria.

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  • Friday, September 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an, the independent Palestinian news agency, published an article saying that "448 settlers stormed the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque"  in the past week.

In English, this means that 448 Jews visited the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. This week there were more Jewish visitors than usual because election day is a holiday in Israel.

Ma'an goes on: "Hundreds of settlers, accompanied by Jewish rabbis, stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa and performed Talmudic rituals, with security protection from the occupation forces."

In case that doesn't anger the Arab audience of the article enough, they published a photo of these storming settlers.

Palestine Today added more of what they consider incendiary images of Jews taking photos in front of the Dome of the Rock, the site where the Jewish Temples were built and destroyed:

Yes, there are more photos of smiling Jews on the Temple Mount on Arab websites than in Jewish news media.

Now keep in mind that photos like this are taken all the time by Christian visitors:

And Muslims take tons of photos - and their selfies can even be taken at night when non-Muslims are banned from the site:

Yet the photos of Christians and Muslims happily posing in front of the iconic dome are not front page news, anywhere.

Only Jews taking the same types of photos, in the same spot, with the same smiles, causes Arabs, Muslims and their fellow travelers to become enraged. 

The Arab articles about "storming settlers" invariably mention that they are protected by a group of armed Israeli police.

Now, why is that?

Because religious Jews visiting the site without that protection would be lynched by crowds of Muslims who are incited to murder by daily exposure to articles like this! Arabs are fed a steady diet of incitement, demonizing any Jew who dares to visit the site that was the site of Solomon's Temple 1600 years before Islam existed.

If this isn't antisemitism, what is?

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Guest post by Tomer Ilan:

Wikipedia is an extremely powerful tool that has a huge influence on billions of people.

It is the 4th most popular website (excluding China) with 18 billion page views per month. For many, it is the only encyclopedia they ever use and the main or sole source of information.
Although Wikipedia operates in 285 different languages, English Wikipedia is the most influential, by far. On top of the huge number of native English speakers, many international users turn to English Wikipedia to search for information about subjects related to Israel which are not available in their own language's version.

With regards to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Wikipedia has very different information in the English, Hebrew and Arabic versions of the same article. In most cases the English version fully adopts the Arab narrative.

This bias is apparent, for instance, with regards to articles on Arab villages abandoned in the 1948 war.

As an example, here's a table comparing the Hebrew, English and Arabic versions of the events of 1947-1948 in the village of Al-'Abbasiyya:

On November 30, 1947, villagers from Al-Abbasiyya attacked a bus, killing 7 Jews.

No mention

No mention

On December 13, 1947, the Irgun attacked the village killing 2 Arabs.

On December 13, 1947 the Irgun attacked the village killing 7 Arabs, mostly women and children.

On December 13, 1947 the Irgun attacked the village killing 7 Arabs, mostly women and children.

In April 1948, Hasan Salama, commander of the “Palestinian Holy War Army” gangs moved his HQ to the village and all civilians left.

No mention

No mention

Irgun captures the village from Arab gangs on May 4, 1948.

No mention
No mention
Jordanian Arab Legion captures the village from Irgun on June 11, 1948.

No mention
No mention
IDF captures the village from the Arab Legion on July 10, 1948.

No mention
No mention
On September 13, 1948, most of the village houses were demolished.

On September 13, 1948, David Ben-Gurion requested the destruction of Al-'Abbasiyya among other Palestinian villages whose inhabitants fled or were expelled.
On September 13, 1948, David Ben-Gurion requested the destruction of Al-'Abbasiyya other Palestinian villages whose inhabitants were expelled.

As this table shows, the English version is almost identical to the Arabic version and both distort the narrative by omitting many critical pieces of information only mentioned in the Hebrew version.

  • No mention of terrorist attack from Al-Abbasiyya and Jewish fatalities before Irgun retaliated.
  • Arab fatalities in Irgun attack are 350% higher in the English and Arabic versions.
  • No mention of “Palestinian Holy War Army” and Arab legion making the village a military base starting from April 1948 in the English and Arabic versions.
  • No mention of the civilian Arab population fleeing in April 1948 in the English and Arabic versions.
  • No mention of several battles between Jewish and Arab forces in the village between April and July 1948 in the English and Arabic versions.

Reading the English article, you get the impression that Irgun attacked the village unprovoked, then Israel arbitrarily destroyed it and expelled the inhabitants. It’s like a microcosm of the entire false “Nakba” narrative of so-called “Ethnic Cleansing”.

The terrorist attacks emanating from the village, the fact that civilians left and it became a military base, the illegal invasion and occupation by the Jordanian Legion – are all missing from the English version. As far as the vast majority of people who get their information solely from English Wikipedia – those events never happened.

A quick look at other articles on Arab villages abandoned in 1948 reveals the same phenomenon.

How does that happen? Why is Wikipedia so biased?

There’s a wide belief that in Wikipedia “anyone can edit and improve articles immediately” making Wikipedia accurate using the Wisdom of Crowds. While this may be generally true, it is not the case with regards to articles on the Israeli/Arab conflict on English WIkipedia. Those articles are subject to the “30/500 editing restriction”, also known as  Extended Confirmed Protection, which prevents users without 30 days tenure and 500 edits on the English Wikipedia.

Apparently, those senior editors who are authorized to edit English Wikipedia articles on the Conflict are a smaller group, in which anti-Israel users are over-represented, who use Wikipedia rules to block the Wisdom of Crowds and dictate an anti-Israel narrative.

New information which contradicts the Arab narrative is blocked from Wikipedia. For instance, David Collier’s research which unearthed British Mandatory documents debunking the myth of Balad al-Shaykh Massacre were removed from Wikipedia just hours after they were added to the article.

By controlling English Wikipedia, the anti-Israel activists control the narrative and are able to rewrite history.

Supporters of Israel should get involved, achieve the 30/500 status that allows them to edit articles about the Conflict and make English Wikipedia much more accurate and balanced.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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