Saturday, November 30, 2019

From Ian:

London Bridge killer, 28, was jailed for eight years in 2012 for plotting to BOMB the London Stock Exchange and build an Islamic terror training camp - but was RELEASED last year and had an ankle tag on when he stabbed two people to death
Scotland Yard has named the terrorist responsible for yesterday's attack on London Bridge as 28-year-old Usman Khan, who was convicted of a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange in 2012.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu confirmed that a man and a woman were killed in the attack which saw Khan, wearing a fake suicide vest, stab up to five people before being shot dead by armed police.

Commissioner Basu also revealed that Khan, who was from Stoke-on-Trent, had a prior terrorism conviction and had been jailed for eight years in 2012.

He was released on licence in December 2018 and was still wearing a monitoring tag.

Anti-terror police have raided a house in Staffordshire area linked to the killer.

The commissioner also confirmed that Khan had been attending a seminar in Fishmongers' Hall run by Cambridge University's Criminology Department to help offenders reintegrate into society following their release from jail.

Khan had threatened to blow up the building at the start of his five-minute rampage which ended in his death on London Bridge.

Dramatic video footage showed him being tackled to the ground by at least six members of the public. One man chased the attacker with a fire extinguisher while another used a Narwhal whale tusk to restrain him.

Khan had previously been arrested on December 20, 2010, four days before he and his nine-strong Al-Qaeda-inspired gang had planned to plant a bomb in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.

Police found a handwritten list of targets which included the U.S. Embassy and the homes of London Mayor Boris Johnson, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and two rabbis.
'Breath-taking heroism': praise for Londoners who tackled knife attacker
Ordinary Londoners who showed "breath-taking heroism" in disarming a knife-wielding attacker were praised by politicians and members of the public alike after they intervened to stop an attack which injured several people at London Bridge on Friday.

Police shot dead the man, who had strapped a fake bomb to his body before stabbing a number of people, in what they said was a terrorism incident.

Videos on social media showed a crowd of people who had tackled the man to the ground, before being moved away by police who then shot him.
"I ... want pay tribute to the extraordinary bravery of those members of the public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. "For me they represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said those who confronted the attacker would not have known that a bomb device strapped to his body was a hoax.

"What's remarkable about the images we've seen is the breath-taking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger not knowing what confronted them," Khan told reporters.

"They really are the best of us," he added.
Bad to the bone: Moment hero Polish chef called Luckasz used a narwhal tusk to tackle London Bridge terrorist after grabbing it off the wall at Fishmongers Hall
A chef at Fishmongers' Hall who grabbed a narwhal tusk to fight off a knifeman is the latest hero to be identified in the London Bridge terror attack.

Luckasz, originally from Poland, tried to pin down knifeman Usman Khan, 28, who wore a fake suicide vest, using a five-foot narwhal tusk he took from the wall of Fishmongers' Hall yesterday.

One man - identified as Cambridge graduate Jack Merritt, 25 - and one woman were killed in yesterday's attack, and three others were injured.

Video exclusively obtained by the Daily Mail shows Luckasz using the narwhal tusk as he and a group of men try to pin down the attacker.

The Queen today praised the 'brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others' during yesterday's attack.

Hero Luckasz's colleague, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Times: 'Luckasz grabbed a nearby pole and ran at him, getting stabbed in the hand in the process but continued to pin him down.

'Being stabbed didn't stop him giving him a beating. Luckasz is a hero.'

Luckasz is thought to have suffered from cuts but is not critically injured.

Friday, November 29, 2019

From Ian:

Jeremy Corbyn Reminds Us Why Israel Exists
Israel looms large in Corbyn’s worldview. The Corbyn-led Labour Party was initially unable to adopt The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of anti-Semitism until tremendous outside pressure compelled them. Why? Because the guidelines conflicted with its anti-Zionism, the most significant and consequential form of Jew hatred that exists in the world today. Anti-Zionism is now the predominant justification for violence and murder against Jews in Europe and around the world. Corbyn is one of its champions.

“It’s not anti-Semitic to be critical of Israel,” Corbynites, and their progressive ideological cousins here in the United States like to say. And, of course, they’re correct. Curiously enough, though, those who reserve special opprobrium for a Jewish state they view as an inherently racist and colonial endeavor, as most Corbynites do, also seem to have odious views about the people who democratically govern that small strip of land.

As Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis correctly points out, Corbyn hasn’t merely “tolerated” anti-Semitic attitudes — as so many publications like to claim — but rather he has actively transformed Labour, once one of the most important political parties in the free world, into a safe haven for Jew hatred. As Mirvis notes, under Corbyn, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, Labour has “hounded parliamentarians, members and even staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism.”

Perhaps Corbyn’s rise simply reflects a new — or is it a renewed? — reality in Europe? A recent ADL poll claims that a quarter of Europeans hold anti-Semitic views. Around 45 percent of Poles and 42 percent of Ukrainians admit to pollsters that they believe that “people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave,” a view that over 30 percent of our old friends the Austrians and Germans share. And one of the fastest growing groups in Europe, Muslims, are importing an even deeper enmity towards Jews than is found in Poland, Ukraine, Germany, and elsewhere. Muslims in Western Europe are anti-Semitic at almost three times the rate of the general population. Thus far, Corbyn has appeased, rather than tried to extinguish, this hatred.

If Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party ends up winning next month, Britain will be led by an openly anti-Semitic government. Mirvis warns that such a result is an existential threat to Britain’s Jewry. What he can’t say, but implies, is that people such as Corbyn are exactly why Israel must exist.


Daniel Gordis: Liberal Jews and their anti-democratic, anti-liberal critique of Israel
All of this ultimately proves the central thesis of my book. What separates American Jews and Israel is, well, everything. The majority of Israeli Jews and the majority of American Jews are demographically different, have different instincts when it comes to concessions for peace, and differ when it comes to visions for Jewish life. It was inevitable that Jews who constitute 2% of the population of the country in which they live and those who constitute some 80% would see the world differently and create radically different visions of what Jewish life can and should be.

Israel was not created in order to enable American Jews to feel virtuous – it was created to be a sanctuary of Jewish survival. Israelis have fashioned different instincts than American Jews on the ideal balance between risk and the quest for peace and have made their own unique determinations about what Jewish cultural survival looks like.

We ought to celebrate those differences, not bemoan them, for it is our disagreements that give us what to learn from each other. The first step toward that mutual learning, however, is not preaching, but listening, seeing each other through the most generous lens we possibly can.

Sadly, condescending and paternalistic attitudes to each other (in Rabbi Yoffie’s concluding words, “It may be that Israelis themselves don’t see as clearly what US Jews see from there”) take us in precisely the wrong direction.
David Collier: The orthodox Rabbis, the letter and the offices that weren’t
Did you see the letter supposedly written by the Orthodox Rabbis supporting Jeremy Corbyn? This week has been full of drama. It started on Monday, when the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrote a scathing article about Jeremy Corbyn, claiming he is ‘not fit’ for high office. The Chief Rabbi was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury and British Hindu leaders. The timing could not have been more problematic for the Labour Party. The article came as they prepared to launch their ‘race and faith manifesto’. Instead of a positive news cycle, the headlines were telling the story of Labour’s total failure on the antisemitism issue.

The situation did not get any better. On Tuesday morning, Corbyn was late for the launch of the manifesto. The reason? An anti-Corbyn demonstration by British Jews was taking place. Worse still, three vans had parked outside the venue displaying billboards about Labour’s failure to deal with antisemitism. Corbyn’s team did not want him to be filmed walking past such a demonstration, so they held him back. Eventually, as neither the demonstration nor billboards left, they had to send Corbyn in anyway. A few minutes before he arrived a few loud and large pro-Corbyn activists appeared – clearly a damage limitation rent-a-mob – and there was a scrum as he made his way to the venue.

Tuesday night saw the car-crash interview of the decade. Andrew Neil destroyed Jeremy Corbyn in 30 excruciating minutes. The interview was littered with not-to-be-missed disaster moments. Jeremy Corbyn and his election campaign were on the ropes. Corbyn’s activists needed some ammunition to deflect the tsunami of criticism.
The Orthodox letter arrives

Suddenly and without warning a pro-Corbyn letter emerged. It was apparently written by a group of ultra-orthodox Rabbis presenting themselves as a group called ‘United European Jews’. The letter condemned the words of the Chief Rabbi. It was dated 26th November, signed by a Rabbi Mayer Weinberger and it carried a letterhead with several other Rabbi’s listed.

The pro-Corbyn machinery sprang to life. Jewish Voice for Labour, Socialist voice, the Canary and Skwawkbox all pushed the letter. JVL’s tweet alone had over 1000 retweets. Official Labour outlets such as ‘Southgate Labour’ retweeted it. The letter went viral. In just one day, Jewish advocacy groups on Facebook had to delete 1000s of repetitive posts, placed by Corbyn activists who wanted to argue that Chief Rabbi Marvis is a Tory, doesn’t represent many Jews and it is all one big media smear. Suddenly everyone was an expert in the divisions of the Jewish community.

  • Friday, November 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last weekend was he one Sabbath of the year where Jews celebrate regaining control over the second most sacred spot in Judaism, the Cave of the Patriarchs. It is one of the ten days of the year that Jews have access to the entire building. Some 45,000 Jews came to celebrate, most staying (and eating) in tents because there are not nearly enough rooms to accommodate them all.

Some youngsters apparently got out of hand but from what I can tell the vast majority was well behaved and had a great time.

But this upset the Muslims so they decided to make their own "protest prayer" event in Hebron on Friday.

Muslims love to say that Israel is trying to turn this into a religious conflict - but what is a "protest praying" if not a desire to turn it into a religious conflict? Using prayer as a protest tool pretty much ignores the entire purpose of prayer.

If religious Jews held a "protest prayer" there would be angry op-eds that they don't know what prayer is. (When left-wing Jews try to hijack religious rituals for their own politics, no one seems to mind.) But a Muslim "protest prayer" shows again what a huge double standard there is between Muslims and Jews.




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From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: As the west goes terribly wrong, Arabs inch in the right direction
As the west goes in one direction, so the Arab world is now going in the other.

While British and western “progressive” circles descend ever deeper into the sewers of antisemitism and its contemporary mutation, the campaign to exterminate the State of Israel, the Arab world is beginning to renounce its own desire to wipe Israel off the map.

Prominent figures from 15 Arab countries met in London last week to reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — whose aim is to destroy Israel — and encourage the establishment of relations with Israel instead.

The Clarion Project reports that participants were drawn from Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and the Gulf states and included journalists, artists, politicians, diplomats, Quranic scholars, women and young people. The meeting was publicised only after its participants returned to their native countries. The New York Times was allowed to post a live stream of the meeting (held in Arabic) after the event.

“The Times reported that the group in London agreed that ‘BDS] has only helped [Israel] while damaging Arab nations that have long shunned the Jewish state. Demonizing Israel has cost Arab nations billions in trade.’ Mustafa el-Dessouki, an Egyptian who is the managing editor of the prominent news magazine Majalla (which is funded by Saudi Arabia), was one of the main organizers of the meeting.

“In recent travels around the Middle East, Dessouki said met many Arabs with similar views to his, including citizens of Lebanon. This was in spite of the fact that the Arab news media and entertainment industry have long been ‘programming people toward this hostility’ against Israel and Jews, he said, while politicians were ‘intimidating and scaring people into manifesting it.’”

Caroline Glick: The split screen
In normal times, a full screen of anti-regime protests in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon would be followed by full screens of security cabinet meetings. We would see Facebook and Telegram videos of Netanyahu speaking in Farsi directly to the Iranian people and expressing solidarity with their aspirations for freedom. In response to requests by Iranian opposition forces, the government would restore Farsi-language Voice of Israel radio broadcasts, directly into Iran.

In a full-screen reality, we would have seen a more serious response to the statements that US Central Command leader General Kenneth McKenzie made to The New York Times last Saturday. In remarks to the paper, the US commander responsible for the Middle East said that the possibility Iran will attack the Gulf states and Israel has risen.

In the event, the Israeli response was limited to a statement Sunday by Netanyahu. On a tour of the Golan Heights with IDF commanders Sunday morning, Netanyahu said that Israel is fully committed to preventing Iran from attacking it.

In normal times, a statement like McKenzie’s would have been followed by a sudden trip to Washington by Israel’s defense minister to visit with his counterpart at the Pentagon.

Our times are not normal times. We are relegated to living in a split-screen reality because our government is incapable of carrying out any real action. Its paralysis is not the result of its status as an interim government. Israel has been living under an interim government for some time now. And its members, including the prime minister, have shown no aversion to doing their job responsibly.

The reason our government is incapable of fulfilling its duty, particularly on issues of strategic importance, is because Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has decided that almost all government activities require his prior approval.
French Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Muslim Man Who Killed Sarah Halimi in 2017
A French prosecutor has dropped charges against the killer of Jewish kindergarten teacher Sarah Halimi after experts ruled he had suffered a massive psychotic episode by smoking cannabis.

Ms Halimi, who was Orthodox, was killed after Kobili Traoré broke into her council flat in eastern Paris on April 4 2017.

Witnesses said the 65-year-old was beaten and called a “demon” by her attacker, who recited Koranic verses as he threw her off her balcony.

In an appeals court hearing on Wednesday Traoré admitted killing Ms Halimi, saying he was not aware of his actions on the night of the murder and did not recognise when he broke in.

“I felt persecuted. When I saw the Torah and a chandelier in her home I felt oppressed. I saw her face transforming,” he said.

But in a rare turn of events, French prosecutors were divided on how to proceed.

Local prosecutors in Paris initially argued that Kobili Traoré should be put on trial for his actions. But they were opposed by the more senior procureur général, which argued Traoré should be hospitalised.
French Jews Are Fleeing Their Country
France is home to Europe’s largest Jewish population, the third largest in the world after Israel and the United States. Yet this historic community—dating back to the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and expulsion of the Jewish population 2,000 years ago—is in the midst of an existential crisis.

France's interior minister has warned that anti-Jewish sentiment is "spreading like poison." President Emmanuel Macron declared that anti-Semitism was at its highest levels since World War II. Amidst a string of attacks, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe admitted that anti-Semitism is “deeply rooted in French society.”

Eighty-nine percent of Jewish students in France report experiencing anti-Semitic abuse, according to a poll published in March. In 2017, Jews were the target of nearly 40 percent of the violent incidents classified as racially or religiously motivated, despite making up less than 1 percent of the French population. In 2018, anti-Semitic acts rose by nearly 75 percent.

The current wave of immigration began in earnest after the 2012 Toulouse massacre, in which a French-born Islamic extremist opened fire at a Jewish day school, killing a young rabbi who was shielding his three- and six-year-old sons, then shooting to death both boys and an 8-year-old girl. Three years later, a gunman pledging allegiance to ISIS killed four customers at a kosher supermarket in Paris. “In the days after that, we received thousands of calls from people saying they wanted to leave,” says Ouriel Gottlieb, the Jewish Agency’s director in Paris. “Of the four people murdered at Hyper Casher, three of the families moved to Israel.”

Nearly every year since has seen another deadly anti-Semitic attack, from the beating and defenestration of 65-year-old Sarah Halimi in 2017 to the gruesome killing of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll in 2018. Less frightening, but just as damaging to this fragile community, are the constant smaller-scale incidents, such as the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and memorials, or attacks on boys wearing yarmulkes. Such attacks have led many here to hide outward appearances of their faith. Others choose to leave.

  • Friday, November 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

A Gaza man died Friday from a Thursday "work accident" explosion in Beit Lahiya, Palestinian medical sources said.

Thaer al-Abdul Hamid, 29, died of serious injuries from the explosion as he was apparently working on building some weapons, probably rockets.

Hamid was a member of the Nidal al-Amoudi Brigades of the Fatah movement that is led by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

 Two other men from Fatah were wounded in the explosion.

Pass the candy!

(I can't tweet this at the moment so I'd appreciate anyone tweeting this story using the Twitter button here. Thanks!)


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  • Friday, November 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
The International Solidarity Movement tweets:



Aw, poor guy, just trying to earn is living in Gaza as a supermarket clerk, tragically and senselessly killed.

Except that he was a member of the Al Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad. He was killed along with another PIJ terrorist when the IDF targeted a motorcycle they were riding.


ISM knows quite well Sersawi was a terrorist. The only place I could find the supermarket photo was at Shehab News which explicitly said that he was a member of the Al Quds Brigades.

It all goes to show how dishonest the Israel-haters are.

(I can't tweet this at the moment so I'd appreciate anyone tweeting this story using the Twitter button here. Thanks!)



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  • Friday, November 29, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Wednesday night I posted an antisemitic video from a far right Christian network where the host of the show said that Jews were planning a "Jew Coup" and will start a civil war by Christmas, killing millions of Christians: "You have been taken over by a Jewish cabal. The church of Jesus Christ, you’re next. Get it through your head! They’re coming for you. There will be a purge. That’s the next thing that happens when Jews take over a country, they kill millions of Christians."

A non-Jew jokingly asked me on Twitter how he can get in on the Jewish action, so I responded equally jokingly "I was planning to eat Chinese on Christmas, but I guess killing millions of Christians would be a good Plan B."

Last I checked that joke had about 250 "Likes."

When I woke up this morning from a Thanksgiving Netflix movie marathon coma, I saw that Twitter had suspended me for that joke for 12 hours, starting when I acknowledged and deleted that tweet which I did just now.

So I'm in Twitter jail for 12 hours, until after Shabbat begins.

Most of my traffic is generated from Twitter, so their stupid algorithms that look for threats really can hurt people. Or perhaps it wasn't an algorithm but someone reporting the tweet, maliciously or stupidly.

Either way, that's why no tweets from me today. I would appreciate anyone who tweets my posts today!




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Our weekly (and late) column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory




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Hong Kong new year paradeHong Kong, November 28 - Months of pro-democracy and anti-Beijing protests in this former British possession, governed by China for the last twenty years, features zero or very few banners with the red, black, white, and green symbol of Palestinian national aspirations, human rights organizations have noted, which they note indicates the demonstrators are not serious about achieving the political liberty to which they claim to aspire.

Representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International issued statements Thursday relating to the ongoing demonstrations, which began several months ago and have shown no sign of letting up. International coverage of the developments appears to have muted a harsher crackdown by Chinese Communist authorities, but the latter refuse to relinquish tight control over what has to date been an island of economic and political freedom in a sea of Beijing's authoritarian system. The human rights organizations observed that all genuine liberation movements have their roots in the Palestinian national struggle, and thus if the people of Hong Kong truly desired freedom they would hold Palestinian flags aloft in large numbers, not the symbols of oppression and colonialism that the US and British flags they do wave represent.

"Everyone knows it all comes back to Palestine," remarked Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch. "If your movement doesn't work to free Palestine, it's no freedom movement at all. If the protesters in Hong Kong want the human rights community to take them seriously, they're going to have to get serious about making their struggle about Palestine. Otherwise they can forget about our support."

"I can't help but draw parallels to Iran," stated Amnesty representative Dhimmi Carter. "The ongoing unrest there has some similar characteristics, but the one that stands out in my mind is the similar under-representation of Palestinian aspirations. For the same reason we can dismiss that cause as insincere, especially given all the support for Palestinian rights that Tehran has provided over the years in the form of weapons, military training, cash cash weapons, cash for digging tunnels into Israel, whatever. The arrests, torture, and other mistreatment of Iranians are a problem, of course, but as our colleague Human Rights Watch Director Ken Roth pointed out earlier this week, Iran deserve praise for the way it attacked Saudi Arabia with missiles. On balance, Iran does good, with its support for the Palestinian cause the foremost example."

The rights workers suggested that if Palestinian flags prove hard to come by in Hong Kong, protesters could always express solidarity with Palestinians by attacking Jews.



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Thursday, November 28, 2019

From Ian:

Greg Sheridan: We must resist foul Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-Semitic tinder
(click link in tweet below)
Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has electrified his nation’s election by calling out the Labour Party as anti-Semitic. “A new poison,” he says, “sanctioned from the top, has taken root in the Labour Party.”

Former Labour MP Luciana Berger, who resigned from the party in protest some months ago, says the Labour Party is now “systematically anti-Semitic”.

Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim leaders expressed solidarity with the Chief Rabbi.

At the political level, it is important that Boris Johnson’s Conservatives win this election to give effect to Brexit. To deny Brexit is to deny democracy in the form of the 2016 referendum, which all mainstream parties promised would be binding. And to reverse Brexit would be a humiliating and long-damaging British capitulation to EU bullying.

But the whole Brexit issue is secondary to the overwhelming consideration of Corbyn’s manifest unfitness for office. He has a long record of praising anti-Semites and praising specific examples of anti-Semitism, and of supporting terrorists and dictators. He is essentially an unreconstructed communist surrounded by unreconstructed communists. He is the most foully unfit person ever to be contemplated for leader of a major Western nation.

The rise of Corbyn is a pointer to the gravely disordered state of political culture in the West.

Before he became leader Corbyn was a figure of the extremist fringe. He undertook numerous paid appearances on Iranian and Russian television. On Iranian TV he denounced the BBC’s pro-Israel bias (yes, the BBC’s pro-Israel bias) evident in its reporting which indicated that Israel had a right to exist. He praised savagely anti-Semitic murals that depicted hook-nosed Jewish capitalists breaking the backs of the poor. He hailed as friends vicious terrorists dedic­ated to killing Jews.

As leader, Corbyn installed a hard-left cadre of trained and experienced far-left apparatchiks to run the party and its organs. And he attracted hundreds of thousands of young people.

Nothing is a more powerful indictment of the culture of youth activism than that it could fall for an extremist like Corbyn. An ideological attitude within the liberal arts that sees everything in the West as evil, that holds traditional political process in contempt and that acclaims ever greater intensity of outrage against the West’s sins, produces a generation, or at least a slice of a generation, for whom Corbyn is the natural leader.



Bret Stephens: Yes, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism
The following was adapted from remarks recently delivered on a Munk Debate podcast.

There is a common misconception that anti-Zionism amounts to nothing more than very strong criticism of Israel, and I’d like to begin by dispelling that notion. People who don’t like the Netanyahu government, that includes me, are not anti-Zionist. That is part of the normal democratic debate. People who oppose Israel’s settlement policies or its policies, vis-a-vis Gaza or anywhere else, aren’t necessarily anti-Zionist. There are many patriotic Israelis who feel just the same way. Anti-Zionism is unique because its view is that the Zionist enterprise, that is to say, the state of Israel, is misconceived, it’s wrong, and at the end of the day, it isn’t simply Israeli policy that has to change, but it is Israel itself that has to go.

This is unique when you think about other countries around the world. Many of us are critics of China’s occupation of Tibet, or Russia’s occupation of parts of Ukraine. Some people are aware that Turkey is occupying northern Cypress, in violation of international law and putting down settlements there too. But none of those critiques extend to calls that are now increasingly pervasive around the world, not only for Russia, China, or Turkey to change their policies, but for the states themselves to disappear, to be eliminated. So even if you accepted the premise for one second that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, you have to come to grips with the eliminationist ideology that is at the heart of anti-Zionism.

Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. It’s anti-Semitism because it singles out the Jewish state for opprobrium, and with a prescription that anti-Zionists, with very few exceptions, apply to no other state. So, if you just happened to be opposed to the concept of the nation state altogether, nation states like Denmark or other nation states, then it’s plausible you can just simply be an anti-Zionist in the same way that you’re against all states founded on nationhood. But otherwise, it is singling out a Jewish state for treatment that isn’t applied anywhere else.

The second point that’s very important, is that anti-Zionism tends, very frequently, to traffic in images, tropes and libels that have a long history in an anti-Semitic tradition stretching back for thousands of years. For example, when you hear that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, which it of course manifestly is not, you are abusing that word and trafficking in a classic anti-Semitic trope, suggesting that the Jewish people have a particular kind of bloodlust. Or if you say that Israel or Israeli leaders have hypnotized the world to get them to do their bidding, that again, goes back to an old anti-Semitic trope.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Who can speak for American Jews against anti-Semitism? Not the ADL
To its credit, the ADL has been all over the problem of anti-Semitism on the far-right. Even on that score, however, it has staked out ground that makes it hard to be a unifying factor. Greenblatt’s unrelenting animus for President Donald Trump and his efforts to blame him for anti-Semitism have failed to properly credit the U.S. administration as the most pro-Israel in history.

Anti-Semitic trends that couldn’t be connected to Trump by even the most rabid liberal were swept under the rug. Its belated response to the targeting of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn by African-Americans has been too little and too late, and bespoke more of a group that is addicted to playing politics than a national defense organization.

Just as bad is the fact that under Greenblatt, ADL has been slow to recognize the threat from the left as basically uninterested in it. That’s hardly surprising given Greenblatt’s role in an Obama administration that helped normalize anti-Israel sentiment within the Democratic Party. Whereas under his predecessor one of ADL’s prime functions was to defend Israel, now it is generally found among the Jewish state’s critics on a variety of issues, often going out of its way to demonstrate solidarity with liberal foes of Israeli policy, whether or not it has anything to do with ADL’s anti-hate brief. That has helped to mute its voice when dealing with BDS advocates who target American Jewry far more than Israel.

It’s also a function of the way Greenblatt has helped transform ADL into a partisan organization—not merely supporting liberal values, but by intervening on issues like Supreme Court nominations in order to mollify left-wing donors eager to keep the organization aligned with Democratic Party priorities.

  • Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Buried in the middle of this factsheet from OCHA-OPT:

 We see:


Israel has now issued 4,811 permits for Gaza workers to go into Israel.

In September, the number was 3,592.

One would think that the NGOs that constantly say that Israel do more to help open up Gaza would be very happy. But for some reason, nobody has heard of these 3000 or so new work permits since December. Gisha, the NGO that specifically tracks movement into and out of Gaza has not written a word about this that I can find.

Israel Hayom wrote about this in October, saying that this seems to have been part of an Egyptian-brokered Gaza cease fire last year. But COGAT and Israeli officials aren't commenting.

So news that the world would seemingly consider good goes unreported.





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By Daled Amos

An interview with Alex Ryvchin, author of Zionism: The Concise History
(Originally posted on The Jewish Press)

Q: What do you see as the purpose of your new book, Zionism: The Concise History, and who is it for?

A: The whole concept of Zionism has been politically and strategically trashed by her enemies. The danger is that future generations will only know Zionism as an evil to be fought and the young people, whom we count on as the next advocates to tell the story of Zionism and defend it, today are generally apathetic or ignorant of this story. We hear people saying Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism or being Jewish, but I think Zionism is inextricably linked to Jewish history.

The story of Zionism is the story of the Jewish people. And if Jews don’t know that story and don’t take part in it, we will see greater rates of intermarriage and loss of identity.

For this reason, I’d like to see my book taught in schools and universities.





Q: One of the patterns in Jewish history is making questionable alliances with apparent enemies. You mention Herzl in this regard. Can you give an example, and do you think this is an unavoidable element of Zionism?

Herzl dealt with a lot of ardent antisemites like the Kaiser and the Russian Foreign Minister. He felt a cold synergy between the interests of Zionism and these rabid antisemites. Herzl thought that for the Jews to achieve the return to their ancestral land, these antisemites who are so keen to purge their countries of Jews would be accommodating. And indeed, many of them saw a benefit in a movement that could absorb a large number of Jews.

In any political campaign such as Zionism, there has to be a dose of realpolitik--to think not only about the idealism, but also how to practically achieve your goal. That means creating alliances with those you find unsavory. The danger is when you look at an alignment of interests as temporary and mistake that for good faith or long term alliances. To Herzl’s credit, he quickly realized he was not going to achieve the goals of Zionism through alliances with those who were fundamentally hostile to Jewish rights. That is why he shifted the Zionist movement from the European continent to Great Britain, where he found men who more driven by Christian ideals and a general passion for the idea of the Jews returning to their ancestral land.

Today, Israel has formed alliances with some nations that might really see a short term alignment of interests, but don’t harbor any great feeling of warmth towards the Jewish people. That is dangerous, but it is also the world that we live in. And as long as the Netanyahu government and the successive governments go into this with their eyes open, I think it is something that can and needs to be done. But at the same time, I think that Israel should act morally in this regard and call out antisemitism of far-right leaders around the world with whom they may have diplomatic relations. If those relations are genuine,  they will withstand those criticisms.

Q: We know the Balfour Declaration favors the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine and that  “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” -- but it also says nothing should be done to prejudice “the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” What was that issue?

A: The concern was that Zionism was not the universal position of the Jewish World. There was still discussion in the Jewish World what was best way to alleviate the suffering of the Jews was through assimilation. Not everyone was on the side of Zionism, particularly those who lived in liberal Democratic countries like the UK, Australia and the US. They did not see the need for a national movement to return to Palestine. They favored assimilation.

In order to assuage those concerns, that wording was put in, to say that basically, those Jews who preferred to live outside of the Jewish State would continue to live in the Diaspora with nothing to impede their rights. There was a concern that once the Jewish State was formed, Jews living outside that state would be viewed as alien, foreigners. That language in the Balfour Declaration was to protect them.

I am keen that people should read this book and apply its lessons to contemporary times. I think that is very important.

Bernie Sanders is different from those Jews in the early 20th century who were driven mainly by self-preservation. They were men who, despite being Jewish, soared to the heights of public life in the UK and Australia. They looked at Zionism, dedicated to liberating the Jewish people and alleviating their antisemitism and thought: what do I need this for; it will only have a detrimental effect on my standing!
Sanders is not motivated by that sort of calculus. He is an American Jew, deeply committed to perfecting American society, making it as just and equitable as possible the way he sees it. I think he views Zionism as a foreign project and doesn’t identify with it. Also, he is associated with the hard left who are rabidly anti-Zionist and has to placate them.



screen-cap



Alex Ryvchin, author of Zionism: The Concise History. Source: Screen-cap







Q: Originally, Arab leaders like Hussein ibn Ali and his son Amir Faisal allied with Chaim Weizmann and favored the re-establishment of a Jewish state. Then along came Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti, who incited riots and tried to prevent it. Today, are we seeing a shift back in the other direction?

A: Today the Arab states see the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and Jordan. They see if you don’t threaten Israel, it won’t harm you back, will be good friends and share technology. Israel can become a dependable strategic ally in the face of much bigger threats like Iran.

But at the same time, one thing that Zionism teaches us is that alliances come and go, they rise and fall, and cannot really be depended on. They need to be used at that point in time. As long as Israel is economically, militarily, and diplomatically strong, that is the most important thing. Let Israel choose alliances at that point in time, but it cannot depend on anyone.

Q: In the last chapter of your book, you discuss anti-Zionism, which started off as Jewish opposition to Zionism. How is that different from today’s anti-Zionism on college campuses and expressed by politicians?

A: Early anti-Zionism is virtually unrecognizable from anti-Zionism today. The anti-Zionist Jews at the time were overwhelming loyal, proud Jews who cared deeply for the future of the Jewish people, but they had a different view on how to solve the problem of antisemitism in the streets. Their solution was the full immersion into the societies in which they lived. It was a legitimate point of view, but ultimately disproven.

The anti-Zionist Jews of today do not care about Jewish rights. Instead, they use their Jewishness to attack their own people. Rather than stand up against their oppressors, they side with them.

But once the state of Israel exists, anti-Zionism becomes not merely a different political position or philosophy, it now becomes the opposition to the existence of the state of Israel--a state that has now existed for over 70 years. Anti-Zionism is no longer a morally tenable position. That is why you will not find in the ranks of anti-Zionist Jews someone who cares about the future of the Jewish people. Instead, overwhelmingly you find selfish people of low character.

Q: You trace Great Britain’s change into an enemy of Zionism to its being a declining imperial power, stretched thin and wearied by Palestine. Some might see that as a description of the US. Do you think there is a danger of Zionist history repeating itself here too?

A: I think so. That description of Great Britain in the 1940s could apply to the US today. There is a growing trend, particularly under the current president, of isolationism and rethinking US foreign policy solely in terms of US interests. It is no longer fashionable to think the US should bring the values of democracy to the darkest places in the world and be a force for good.

There especially a risk with the progressive Democrats who don't have that instinctive warmth for the state of Israel as establishment Democrats have in the past.

Governments and allies come and go. Israel needs to remain strong and independent to preserve its interests. We have seen this already in the course of its existence.





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From Ian:

Shift on settlements creates space for political resolution, Mike Pompeo says
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed his latest announcement about the legality of the settlements on Wednesday, and said he is confident that the administration was right about that decision.

“President Trump made clear we were going to recognize facts on the ground, the reality of the situation,” he said in an interview on The Ben Shapiro Show.

“In this case, the State Department’s previous view had been that settlements were illegal under international law, and we now have taken another look at that issue and have concluded that the settlements themselves are not per se illegal. The Israeli courts are quite capable of making determinations about particular settlements, but it’s our conclusion – and we’re confident that we’re right – that the settlements themselves are not per se illegal under international law,” he added.

Pompeo stressed that this move was important also in the perspective of reaching an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

“We know that the resolution of the conflict that is there between Israel and the Palestinians is going to be a political resolution,” he continued. “We want to create the maximum space for that political resolution. And so, our legal conclusion we think facilitates an increased likelihood that we can ultimately see a political resolution between Israel and the Palestinian people.”

The Secretary of State also spoke about the protests in Iran and said that the administration is taking “the opposite” approach compared to the Obama administration.



PMW: On Day of Rage, Palestinians burn Trump, Pompeo, and Netanyahu, Fatah official participates
The Palestinian leadership called for Tuesday to be a “Day of Rage” to protest US Secretary of State Pompeo’s announcement that the US no longer views Israeli settlements in the West Bank as being “inconsistent with international law.”

Many Palestinians took to the streets to participate in the “Day of Rage,” including Fatah Central Committee member and Fatah Commissioner of NGOs Dalal Salameh, who joined the ceremonial burning of images of US President Trump, US Secretary of State Pompeo, and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Nablus.

Abbas’ Fatah Movement chose to promote this event and posted the images with the following text:

Posted text: “Burning pictures of [Israeli] occupation Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu], US President [Donald Trump], and his Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] during a protest procession in Nablus against the American steps.” [Official Fatah Facebook page, Nov. 26, 2019]

Palestinian Media Watch reported that the PA Ministry of Education urged children to participate in the “Day of Rage” processions, so much so that the ministry closed all PA schools for an hour in the middle of the day to ensure children would join the demonstrations. And indeed, kids participated in the rallies, a fact that Fatah promoted on Facebook. In the image below children with their school backpacks are seen at a “Day of Rage” rally:

This is not the first time Palestinians have burnt in effigy or otherwise shown their disrespect for members of the US administration or the Israeli government. Earlier this year, in protest of the US-initiated Bahrain Conference, Palestinians hung an effigy of Trump on the gallows and burned it:
'The Day of Rage': Palestinians Riot Against US Admin & Israeli Gov't
Palestinian Security Analyst Mohammad Najib joins Jeff Smith to discuss the 'Day of Rage' and what Fatah leaders are saying is a reaction towards the US administration and the Israeli government, both they believe are preventing them from a having a future Palestinian state.


  • Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA has a campaign against gender based violence. That's the good news.

The bad news is that it still wants to blame Israel for Gaza men beating and sexually abusing their wives.

UNRWA issued a report about women in Gaza, and the section on domestic abuse is filled with justifications because of "occupation."

Violence against women is high in Gaza, and linked to external political and economic factors. The most recent PCBS study on violence found that 51 per cent of women ever married had been exposed to at least one form of violence by their husbands, matching other more recent studies that found over half (58 percent) of women have experienced domestic violence and a quarter (25 per cent) sexual harassment. Another indicator of violence against women is early marriage, or marriage under the age of 18: while there has been a decline in the proportion of early marriages, the number is still high at 21 per cent of all females’ registered marriages. Some estimates are higher, stating that 40 per cent of women aged 20-24 were married and 20 per cent had given birth to a child before the age of 18. Finally polygyny (the practice of a man taking more than one wife) is cited as an indicator of violence against women, since women in polygynous households are typically at greater risk of different forms of abuse: 6 per cent of women in Gaza are in polygynous marriages and popular media reports indicate the rate is rising in line with religious conservatism.

A range of studies have explored the correlation between political and gender-based violence in Gaza. Research in 2017 looked at surges in violence against women and girls during times of direct military operations and found significant positive correlation: during the 2014 hostilities there was a reported 22 per cent rise in domestic violence experienced by married women, and a 30 per cent increase for non-married women. The research also found the displacement caused by military operations increase the likelihood of experiencing domestic violence.
So when Israel warns people to move out of a house that is being bombed for hiding weapons, husbands are more likely to beat their wives and kids. By pointing this out, UNRWA is taking away responsibility for violence from the wife beaters to Israel. They are saying that Palestinian men are inherently violent and misogynist, no more in control of their emotions than donkeys.

Isn't that racist?
At a more local level, connections between poverty and unemployment and violence against women in Gaza are frequently articulated. The economic crisis has left many men unable to fulfil their traditional role as breadwinner, leading to stress, anxiety and addiction. Women can be left to bear the brunt of men’s frustrations in the home and community; and as they move more into the workforce to make up the household income shortfall, they risk further inflaming tensions by threatening traditional male identities. In this way it has been asserted that in Gaza, “structural violence initiated and perpetuated by militarism enhances violence in all its forms.
Finally, UNRWA admits that not everyone shares their desire to blame everything on Israel.
At the same time, such claims have been rejected as inappropriate ‘cover’ for unjust treatment of women, whether by individual perpetrators of gender-based violence or by a state that fails to provide adequate legal protection for women. As the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner articulated, “the occupation does not exonerate the State of Palestine from its due human rights obligation to prevent, investigate, punish and provide remedies for acts of gender-based violence”.
UNRWA doesn't say it rejects those claims, just that some other people do.

What about fundamentalist Islam's role in treating women as second class citizens? In the entire 46 page report, it is only touched upon once, and still only in context of the "occupation" of Gaza that doesn't exist.

Additionally Gaza’s political context, in particular the form of political Islam associated with the ruling party Hamas, has a relationship with attitudes towards women. Some regard social conservatism, and in particularly patriarchy as a structure for power and control, as having achieved greater political legitimacy in the current political era where it can be justified as a response to the occupation. 





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  • Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Tomorrow is the UN-created "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" set up in 1977 specifically to be on the anniversary of the UN partition resolution that would have created a Palestinian Arab state if those same Palestinian people had not rejected it.

Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO, a person with more chutzpah than any Jew, said today that the UN system that has done more to legitimize the Palestinian national cause than anyone in the world did not give the Palestinians a minimum level of justice, encouraged extremist groups in "the State of Palestine" and the region in general, and provided Israel with "a cover to continue its crimes based on ethnic cleansing, forced displacement, apartheid and escalating settlement expansion." She also said the UN allows Israel to "practice fundamentalist Zionism and extremist colonial ideology."

Ashrawi also made a bizarre claim about the 1947 UN General Assembly resolution 181 I had not previously seen: "Although the partition resolution, which marks the beginning of the suffering of our people, gives the Security Council the right and the ability to take action against any dissenting party, it has repeatedly failed to exercise this right. "

The dissenting parties were the Arabs in Palestine and the entire Arab world, which attacked the Jews of the region within hours of the resolution being passed!

The resolution requested the Security Council to act in case anyone opposed the resolution's implementation - which is exactly what the Arabs did:
(b) The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the transitional period require such consideration, whether the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace. If it decides that such a threat exists, and in order to maintain international peace and security, the Security Council should supplement the authorization of the General Assembly by taking measures, under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter, to empower the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by this resolution;
(c) The Security Council determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution;
Palestinian Arabs could have had a state if they hadn't decided to attack Palestinian Jews instead. If the Security Council is guilty of anything it is for not protecting the Jews - mostly civilians - who were attacked by the opponents of the resolution. Ashrawi's trying to claim that the Security Council didn't intervene on behalf  of the attackers and rejecters of UNGA 181 is perhaps a new low even for her.




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  • Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Last week, the University of Cape Town’s Senate last week rejected a resolution to join an academic boycott of Israel.

It had voted in favor of a boycott previously, but when the resolution went to the university's Council in March, it was sent back to the Senate with a request for "a full assessment of the sustainability impact" and saying a "more consultative process was necessary before the matter could be considered any further."

The resolution failed this time by a huge 2-1 margin.

Of course, the haters are whining, and showing both their hypocrisy and their antisemitism.

The Palestine Solidarity Forum at UCT said  the senate’s decision "is a clear indication of the persisting conservatism of UCT and the fact that UCT, and the vice-chancellor in particular, is beholden to its donors and the Zionist lobby."

It then went on to an Orwellian claim that supporting academic freedom is the opposite. “It sets a remarkably dangerous precedent that donors can dictate university policy – an affront to and violation of academic freedom," the group said.






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  • Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Middle East Monitor reports that Jordanian kickboxer Mohammed Eid has refused to compete against Israeli contestant at the 4th International Turkish Open Kickboxing European Cup held in Turkey.

“After continuous training for several months with the Jordanian team and after arriving in Antalya to participate in the European Cup. My opponent was a player from the Zionist entity and therefore I decided not to participate” Eid wrote on Facebook.  "It was easier for me to step aside from the dream of winning the championship than to compete against the Israeli, even though I was fully prepared to try for the gold medal."

Eid had the misfortune of drawing an Israeli in the very first round.

Eid's opponent, as well as practically the entire Israeli kickboxing team, is Arab, based on the names of the Israeli competitors from the list on the right (click to expand.) That didn't stop many of his fans to comment about how it is good he didn't normalize relations with "Jews."

Eid says he looks forward to other competitions, which makes it sounds like the kickboxing association did not penalize him for his stunt.






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Wednesday, November 27, 2019


 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


In New York City, smacking a Jew in the face for the hell of it is OK. Oh, you will get arrested if a cop sees you doing it, but in a larger sense, it’s OK, because everyone knows that Jews are racists, and you can do anything you want to a racist.

In Amsterdam, police “stand idly by” while a local Jew is beaten by hooligans singing about Nazis burning Jews, because – now, pay attention – the hooligans are fans of a football team whose major rival is considered “Jewish,” having had several Jewish players and being liked by Jewish fans. If you don’t think this is strange, consider that nobody beat up Yankee fans because of Joe Dimaggio and Phil Rizzuto.

In Pruchnik, Poland, a ritual observed before WWII in which an effigy of Judas is beaten and burned has recently been revived. For some inexplicable reason the effigy has “a hooked nose, black hat and sidecurls typical of ultra-Orthodox Jews.”

In the UK, the candidate from a major party for Prime Minister is … you know.

In the halls of the European Court of Justice in Brussels, it’s been decided that Europeans need to know not only where something is made, but whether a Jew made it. It’s important that Europeans be “informed” so that their decisions can be based on “ethical considerations” among others. The ECJ thinks it’s illegal for a Jew to live in a place where his ancestors lived, which was set aside for Jewish settlement by the international community in 1920, where Jews lived until they were ethnically cleansed by the Jordanian army in 1948, to which they returned in 1967, and which the PLO itself agreed (in 1994) would be under full Israeli control. But we are talking about Jews, and the rules are always different for Jews.

I could go on for pages and pages if I had the stomach for it. But I’ll get to the point, which is what I think we should do about it.

It isn’t what you think. I do not advocate trying to teach Jew-hating bullies about the Holocaust, or about the importance of tolerance, or that someday they might be the ones being persecuted, or about how all humans are brothers (they aren’t). I would like the police to do their jobs, but that is only a solution in individual cases, and requires that the perpetrators be captured and actually punished – and anyway, the European Court of “Justice” and Jeremy Corbyn are unlikely to be arrested.

Humans are not all that far in an evolutionary sense from their animal ancestors. And they are still primarily motivated by deep emotional urges. Logical reasoning at best gives them an excuse or a justification for their behavior. So there is little point in education. And as I have pointed out before, teaching them about the Holocaust often encourages anti-Jewish violence because it demonstrates that the darkest desires of the Jew-haters can actually be – indeed, have been – realized.

No, what they need is to respect Jews, which is different from liking them and even farther from feeling sorry for them. I haven’t done the research, but I am willing to bet that worldwide antisemitic acts decreased sharply after the Six Days War, even taking into account the fact that the Arabs were angry about losing the war. This is because Israel, as the nation-state of the Jewish people, is also a standard-bearer for them. Strength brings respect. If Israel wins wars and international sporting competitions, if it is economically successful, then the respect earned by the state of the Jewish people also trickles down to the individual Jew in New York, Amsterdam, or anywhere else.

Of course humans are complicated. Success has a downside of stimulating envy and hatred. Antisemitism has a big component of envy. But I’ll trade that for respect.

Everything we do in Israel either adds to the sum total of respect we get or subtracts from it. Terrorism against us, when it is successful, subtracts, although if the terrorists are killed on the spot, that’s a plus. We do a pretty good job of arresting terrorists, a plus, but unfortunately the leniency they often receive makes us look weak, a minus. Our ability to develop technological marvels like Iron Dome is a plus, but the fact that we are content to bat away missiles without killing the would-be murderers that are launching them is a very big minus.

Of course, the thug that punches a Jew in New York is not thinking about the Six Days War or Iron Dome, or indeed about Israel. He is just enraged by the Jewishness of his victim. But I think there is such a thing as a collective consciousness, and everything that happens to a Jew or the Jewish state that enters this consciousness changes it, perhaps only a tiny bit, but changes it nevertheless.

So it is very important for us to not only win wars, kill terrorists, and in general crush our enemies as viciously as possible, but our messaging must project strength, competence, and even aggressiveness. We must avoid the image of victimhood. Experts in self-defense teach that a tactic for avoiding attacks in the street is to not look like a victim. Victims are held in contempt and invite attack. This goes for states as well as individuals, for hasbara as well as posture.

What about the establishment bullies in Brussels and the UK? I think we sometimes do the opposite of what’s necessary to fight them.

For example, the IDF goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, and to try to hew close to the letter of the laws of war. It has been more successful in this endeavor than any other army, including the US and NATO forces. But the complex of “human rights” NGOs and the UN still come down harder on Israel than any other nation. And since our enemies use tactics of asymmetric warfare against us, the more careful we are, the harder it is to defeat them.

This may be the wrong tactic. After all, the US and Britain engaged in strategic bombing of cities during WWII, in order to “destroy the enemy’s will to fight.” Today, such bombing would be considered a war crime. I am not suggesting that we deliberately harm civilians, but rather that we apply the same standards that today’s US, UK and NATO would. We would still be excoriated by the “international community” but in addition to the military advantages, there would be a psychological one – both against the enemy and in the rest of the world.

This isn’t easy. Millennia of diaspora existence taught the Jews to take a low profile, to not be aggressive, to not tug on anyone’s cape. They were dispersed and weak and in most cases didn’t have a choice to behave differently. Antisemitism grew and thrived, in part because it was easy and safe to victimize them. As a sovereign nation we don’t have to take it anymore. If we make that clear to the world by our actions, it might ultimately change the image of the individual Jew as well – from a victim to an object of respect.




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From Ian:

David Singer: Knifing Netanyahu Could Sink Release of Trump Peace Plan
Trump will seemingly not release the final details of his deal unless he first receives Arab assurances to bona fide negotiate with Israel in translating those details into binding commitments to end the long-running conflict.

Trump will not release his deal only to find it is dead in the water because no Arab negotiators will sit down with Israel.

Trump is interested in winning – not losing before he even jumps out of the starting gate.

Trump will need to now be satisfied that any new Israeli Prime Minister possesses the same views as Netanyahu on the issuesTrump has already identified as integral elements of his deal:
• extending Israeli sovereignty toJewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria,
• declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s eternal capital
• recognising Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights

Trump will now also need to be assured that any new Israeli Prime Minister will not call on Trump to renew America’s payments to UNRWA and UNESCO, to reopen the PLO Embassy in Washington or resume funding to the PLO.

Netanyahu’s uncertain political future and the absence of Arab negotiators ready to stand up and be counted – could see Trump’s deal being put on the political back burner until Trump’s bid for re-election for another four years is known on 3 November 2020.

Knifing Netanyahu introduces yet another wild card that could sink the release of Trump’s deal – leavingthe failed leadership of the PLO cheering and heaving huge sighs of relief.

The Tikvah Podcast: Eugene Kontorovich on America and the Settlements
On November 18, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a momentous announcement: The United States does not consider Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria—the West Bank—illegal or illegitimate. The conventional wisdom, of course, is that Israeli building in the territories it captured in 1967 is a violation of international law. But after a process of many months, the Trump State Department has decided to return to an understanding of the Geneva Convention once embraced by the Reagan Administration, and to recognize that the status of Israeli building in Judea and Samaria is a political and diplomatic question, not a legal one.

In this podcast, Tikvah’s Jonathan Silver is joined by one of the world’s foremost scholars on Israel and international law. Eugene Kontorovich is a professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, a director at the Kohelet Policy Forum, and author of of “Pompeo Busts the ‘Occupation’ Myth,” published in the Wall Street Journal on November 9, 2019. In this conversation, he makes the case for the legality of Israeli settlements and explains how an erroneous and hypocritical interpretation of international law became the conventional wisdom about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Traditional Rabbi Group Blasts House Democrats Over ‘False And Misleading’ Letter On Israeli ‘Settlements’
On Tuesday, a prominent politically and religiously conservative Jewish organization took 106 House Democrats to task for signing a “false and misleading” letter with respect to the Trump administration’s recent unilateral decision to declare that so-called Israeli “settlements” are legal. The group, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), identifies as “the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America” and “represent[s] over 1000 traditional Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy.”

As The Daily Wire reported last Monday, “the Trump administration … revers[ed] an Obama-era policy and now does not view Israel’s settlements in [Judea and Samaria] as a violation of international law.” “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained at the time.

Led by Jewish Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), 106 House Democrats responded to Pompeo with a scathing letter that issued strong legal and policy objections to the Trump administration’s bold move. “If the U.S. unilaterally abandons international and human rights law, we can only expect a more chaotic and brutal twenty-first century for Americans and our allies, including the Israeli people,” the tendentious screed concluded.

CJV responded with a powerful letter of its own that systemically picks apart Rep. Levin’s own missive. “The signatories demonstrated an alarmingly callous attitude towards Israelis, their self-determination, and their human rights,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, CJV eastern regional vice president, in a press release accompanying the letter. “Jews were ethnically cleansed from towns in Judea and Samaria in 1929 and 1936, and then driven out entirely by Jordan in 1948 — yet the signatories claim that the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits them from moving back. It is hard not to read that claim as unsympathetic to Jews and history.”


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