Wednesday, September 30, 2020

From Ian:

Antisemitism’s ‘Long March Through the Institutions’
This antisemitism was once, perhaps, an annoyance that could be swept under the rug with claims of academic freedom and diversity. It can’t be anymore. It has become pervasive, institutionalized, and systemic. And it is enforced by brutal means — both physical and psychological. The violence is bold and public, as it is intended to be, and could not possibly be sustained without the open collaboration of students, faculty, and administration. It has become something like a pogrom in slow motion — an intellectual pogrom, perhaps, but a pogrom nonetheless.

Jews have reacted to this in ways that are hardly unprecedented: surrender, apathy or defiance. In other words, they internalize the institutional antisemitism and become activists on its behalf, as have groups like Jewish Voice for Peace. Or they keep their heads down and try to go on with their lives. Or they become activists on behalf of the Jewish people and Zionism, despite the high cost of doing so.

I do not want to demean any one of these groups. We should admire, encourage and support the defiant ones, and reach out to the apathetic ones, but we should not demonize those who surrender. Most of them are young, impressionable, unsure of themselves and their identity, and most importantly vastly outnumbered by forces far more powerful than they are. And those forces are happy to engage in the most debased and sadistic exploitation of that power.

In many ways, the fault is our own. For decades, the Jewish community and Jewish leadership allowed the poison to fester, accepted the excuses of academic freedom and diversity, and left Jewish students to their own devices, which were very few. Until recently, when several organizations have thankfully emerged to address the problem, little attention was being paid to the horrors committed by the “Long Marchers” or the suffering of their Jewish victims. It was we who abandoned those Jews, and it is we who must make amends for it. They were left to face the beast alone, and they can hardly be blamed for sometimes choosing to feed it rather than fight it.

Ironically, however, because of the very emotional and physical violence the “Long Marchers” have used, the mere fact that some Jews have surrendered to antisemitism and anti-Zionism says absolutely nothing about the Jews or Zionism. This is because we do not and cannot know what these Jews really think, or what they would think if they were not subjected to the Long Marchers’ oppression and violence. What a person says under torture cannot be trusted, and what a person thinks while being abused is equally malleable. Should we succeed in rolling back the “Long March” and providing young Jews the freedom to make up their own minds without psychological coercion or physical violence, we would likely be pleasantly surprised. The truth is, we shouldn’t be worrying about the alienation of young Jews. We should be worrying about how to help them fight for that freedom they so desperately need.
Jonathan Tobin: The Left wants no part of liberal Israel
AOC initially accepted the group’s invitation to help honor Rabin. However, once that became known, she received an avalanche of criticism from her allies on the intersectional left and immediately backed down. She later claimed that her hosts had misrepresented the nature of the event and withdrew from it.

To the party’s activist base, anything associated with Israel—even a program dedicated to the memory of a man who was assassinated by a right-wing extremist because of his efforts to make peace—is beyond the pale.

BDS supporters smear Rabin, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for signing the Oslo Accords in 1993, as a war criminal because of his service during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and as Minister of Defense during the First Intifada, when he is supposed to have urged the troops under his command to “break the bones” of those Palestinians committing violence.

Arguments about Rabin’s record are beside the point. Those who, like “The Squad” and their fellow travelers on the left, believe in intersectional canards about the Palestinian war on the Jewish state being morally equivalent to the struggle for civil rights in the United States see all Israelis as alike. If they think the one Jewish state on the planet has a right to exist or defend itself, in the eyes of the BDS movement, they are evil oppressors exercising “white privilege” over “indigenous people,” even if they are persons of color who are indigenous to the land of Israel.

AOC is someone who, as we have repeatedly seen these last two years, doesn’t blink an eye about defying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. That she thought it necessary to acquiesce to the demands of a Twitter mob—led in this instance by an anti-Zionist writer for the far-left Jewish Currents publication—speaks volumes not only about her ideology, but about the disciplined nature of the intersectional left when it comes to policing its adherents with respect to Israel. Her overt snub of liberal Jews sends a loud message that there is no place for them in the party base if they are not willing to renounce support for Israel’s right to exist.

This is yet another wake-up call for Jewish Democrats who may think Biden’s defeat of AOC ally Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), ensured that their party is going to remain solidly in the pro-Israel camp. AOC and her allies can no longer be dismissed as noisy non-entities. Unless and until they are explicitly repudiated by Biden, rather than appeased and coddled, they can be forgiven for thinking the future of the Democratic Party belongs to them.
Indy piece on AOC backing out of Rabin event doesn't even feign fairness
The Independent recently reported on the decision by US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) to back out of an Americans for Peace Now event commemorating Yitzhak Rabin following criticism by anti-Israel activists. The article (“AOC pulls out of memorial event for ex-Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin”, Sept. 27), by Matt Mathers, was notable in that, whilst quoting propagandists like Ali Abunimah agreeing with AOC’s decision, it failed to devote any space to the many voices critical of the New York congresswoman.

The article noted that AOC’s about-face seemed influenced by a tweet by pro-Palestinian voices, such as a contributor to the anti-Zionist Jewish Currents Magazine, who said that, for Palestinians, Rabin is “remembered [for] his brutal rule suppressing Palestinian protest during the First Intifada, [and] someone who reportedly ordered the breaking of Palestinian bones”.

The Indy failed to note, however, the prominent left-wing pro-peace voices who were highly critical of AOC, including officials from Peace Now Israel, the head of J Street, and Rabin’s granddaughter Noa Rothman.

Indeed, the demonisation of Rabin is especially inexplicable to the Israeli left given that the prime minister was murdered by a far-right extremist opposed to his peace efforts, and in fact is one of the few Israeli political figures lionized by those generally critical of the state. Those vilifying Rabin are in effect saying that all Israeli leaders are beyond the moral pale – suggesting that their problem isn’t with any particular Israeli policy or government, but with the country’s very essence.
Ilhan Omar Alleged Voter Fraud Funded by Anti-Israel Arab Businessman
We have been on top of exposing the evils of Ilhan Omar even before she was elected to Congress. It was actually Laura Loomer, the most banned woman on social media turned Congressional candidate, who was on top of exposing Ilhan Omar, and we helped promote Laura's videos exposing her.

Joe Biden, as we see him today, projects the image of a twinkly-eyed grandfather. Which is a nice cover for the brain damage, apparent in the nonsensical word jumble issuing forth from his mouth. Everyone, after all, has senior moments, and loses words from time to time. With Joe Biden, of course, the senior moments are not occasional. It’s his regular state of being. It’s more instructive, perhaps, to look at who he was when he was young and vital.

Looking at old clips of Joe Biden, what comes across is someone who was/is not a very nice man. Lacking original thoughts of his own, Joe Biden stole the thoughts of others and claimed them as his own. When caught out, he said he forgot to attribute the quote just the once, but the fact is the thievery, the stealing of other statesmen’s words, was systematic. You can see it in this footage from Dinesh D’Souza:

Even when Joe Biden was capable of stringing words together so that they made sense, he stole them from other people. Because he didn’t care whom he stepped on to get ahead. Abuse of power is/was the only game Joe Biden knows how to play. Especially, it seems, when it comes to Israel.

Witness the famous confrontation between then Senator Joe Biden and Menachem Begin on June 22, 1982. Biden confronted Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations committee, threatening to cut off aid to Israel. Begin saw Biden for the snake he is and told him off but good:

“Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”

More recently, Joe Biden made a public statement to the press upbraiding Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu because SHOCK AND HORROR: it had been announced that 1600 new homes were to be built for Jews to live in, in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem.

From Reuters:

“I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units,” Biden said in a statement issued after he arrived 90 minutes late for a dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He said the blueprint for Ramat Shlomo, a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the West Bank annexed to Jerusalem by Israel, “undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.”

But Ramat Shlomo is not a settlement. And it’s not in the West Bank. It’s an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. Then Israeli Housing Minister Eli Yishai received the blame for Joe Biden’s upbraiding of Netanyahu. But Biden wouldn’t have heard about the housing project if it hadn’t been for far-left anti-Israel third column, Peace Now. It was Peace Now that revealed that a Jerusalem municipal committee had approved plans for 1600 housing units. That revelation was made just as Biden was arriving in Israel for talks.

Peace Now made it sound as if Israel were breaking the terms of the building freeze in Judea and Samaria, a measure insisted upon by the Obama administration, an administration that was never friendly to the idea of Jews building homes in Jewish indigenous territory. But Ramat Shlomo is in Jerusalem, not in Judea and Samaria, where Obama had insisted on a building freeze in preparation for peace talks that never happened. 

Joe Biden didn’t have to listen to Peace Now, or accept that Israel was guilty of wrongdoing. He could have checked the facts. But just as Joe Biden has no original thoughts of his own and steals the words of statesmen, claiming them as his own, Joe Biden doesn’t care about right and wrong when it comes to Israel.

If Joe Biden cared about the truth, about Israel, he would have checked the facts. He would have discovered that the project approved was for 1600 housing units to be built in a Jewish Jerusalem neighborhood at some distant point in the future. But Joe Biden didn’t check the facts. Instead, Joe Biden chose to see Israel as the bad guy. Because Biden is a bad guy.

Which is part of why Joe Biden was Obama’s vice president. Biden’s history with Begin made Biden fit to be part of the Obama administration. Cruel to Israel? Okay, you can play with us.

And one need not doubt whether or not Hillary Clinton was in on the fun. Back then, in 2010, when Biden expressed his public disapproval with Netanyahu at Jews daring to build homes in Jerusalem, Hillary Clinton scolded Netanyahu in a phone conversation, and in public, underscored Biden’s words with her own, “The announcement of the settlements the very day that the vice president was there was insulting."

Which of course, is a lie. There was no insult, no announcement of settlements. There were no new homes being built in Judea and Samaria. Many of my friends, in fact, lost money on stalled construction of homes in settlements in Judea and Samaria. They couldn’t add a bathroom or a garage to an existing home, thanks to Netanyahu’s attempts to appease an unappeasable Obama and his henchmen, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.

These are not nice people and there is every reason to believe that they hate Israel, and that includes Kamala Harris and anyone else who is working with them. So don’t be fooled by the twinkly-eyed, white-haired grandfather making adorable gaffes from his basement. Joe Biden is not a nice person and he never was. Not when he was stealing others' words, and not when he was upbraiding two Israeli prime ministers.

Joe Biden doesn't like Israel. He doesn't think Jews have a right to build homes in or live in Jerusalem. He plays dirty with people and with words and he definitely plays dirty with Israel. So if you care about fair play and you love Israel, you most definitely should not vote for Joe Biden.

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  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

The PLO has been spending lots of time talking with EU representatives, since the EU is now the only reliable partner it has. 

It's message is a bit muddled, though.

Hanan Ashrawi met with the EU representative to the Palestinian Authority today where she told him that Palestinians were still the center of the universe - and that Israeli normalization with Arab countries could actually be a bad thing. Really.

Meanwhile, Saeb Erakat and leaders of Palestinian civil society groups met with EU funders in Ramallah to discuss EU laws that prohibit funding NGOs associated with known terror groups. Israeli groups like NGO Monitor have been exposing links between EU-funded NGOs and Palestinian terror groups, which has caused a curtailment of some funding.

Erakat wanted to work with the European NGOs to discuss joint action mechanisms to press the European Union to remove Palestinian political parties from list of terrorist groups, claiming that categorizing groups such as the PFLP as terrorist is a scheme by Zionist lobbies aimed at delegitimizing components of Palestinian society and targeting the Palestinian narrative. He wants to coordinate roles between the PLO and the anti-Israel European NGO funders to influence and change the European financing conditions for Palestinian civil society institutions.

Erakat stressed that he wants the group to reject any labeling of any Palestinian faction as terrorist. Presumably this includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He claimed that putting anti-terror conditions on these funds is "political blackmail to destroy the Palestinian national project."

One wonders how kindly the sympathetic EU will be to messages from the PLO that peace is bad and terror groups are legitimate. 

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From Ian:

The Abraham Accords trumps the Oslo Accords
The signing of the Abraham Accords is an incredible achievement for the Trump administration. For the last three and a half years President Trump disregarded all conventional wisdom regarding the Middle East despite warnings from past presidents, State Department officials and diplomats around the world. Many thought that his new policies would end in death and destruction. How did he know what no one else did? How did he see peace when everyone else saw war? The answer lies with a concept called faith-based diplomacy.

President Trump looks at Israel from a biblical point of view. He understands how the base of his voters looks at Israel, and when Bible-believing Christians voted for him, they made it clear that they wanted him to improve relations with Israel. Trump changed the course of America’s policy toward Israel, drastically altering the trajectory set by past presidents. He used the fact that his base was behind him to implement major policy shifts. These shifts were not necessarily politically correct, but they were biblically correct.

Since former president Carter, the US’s Middle East policy had viewed Israel’s “occupation” as responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East. The PLO’s aggression and refusal to either disavow terrorism or accept Israel’s right to exist were brushed aside. The Obama administration adopted the 1978 Hansell Memorandum, which condemned Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, as US official policy. This State Department document was based on an erroneous interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949 and had no basis in international law. But Obama’s acceptance of it enabled the UN Security Council to pass a resolution criminalizing Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice line.

The Trump administration recognized the false narrative, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the administration was replacing the Hansell memo with an accurate assessment of international law. “It is important that we speak the truth when the facts lead us to it. And that’s what we’ve done,” Pompeo announced in January 2020. President Trump’s policies expose the corrupted narrative of his predecessors’ policies toward Iran and Israel.

Trump ended the Obama doctrine on Israel. He stopped blaming Israel for the problems of the Middle East, and he started looking at how to strengthen the alliance between Israel and America. He refocused the story by seeing the situation as it is: that Israel is a small but flourishing democracy amid the hostile Middle East. This shift in perspective has allowed America and Israel to once again work together in harmony.
The EU’s Hypocrisy on Housing Demolitions in Israel
Entering the phrase “housing demolitions” in the EU’s official site yields a shocking result: 18 of the first documents to appear concern Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank. In other words, 80% of the EU’s reports on this worldwide phenomenon involve a population and an area less that one-tenth of 1% of the world’s population or landmass.

To fully absorb how warped this result is, one must recognize that housing demolitions and evictions are a global phenomenon that is sometimes carried out in accordance with deliberate policies to discriminate against minorities. A report by the EU itself, albeit from 2005, acknowledged widespread discrimination via housing demolitions and evictions within the Union against Gypsy, Roma, and Sinti populations in countries as varied as Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Portugal. These countries do not provide figures on the relative use of this tool between minority and majority groups.

Punitive or discriminatory housing demolition occurs around the world. India accuses Pakistan of the practice in Hindu areas in Pakistan’s Punjab, and Pakistan claims that India does the same to India’s Muslim citizens. Egypt has been criticized for evicting thousands of Bedouin to clear a path for housing projects for Egyptians outside Sinai in the peninsula. The Kurdish government has evicted Sunnis from Kurdish areas, and local newspapers in the US frequently report evictions and demolitions of the homes of minorities in the name of urban renewal. The list of countries that practice housing demolition is almost as long as the list of member states in the UN.

The difference is that one has to dig deep into the EU archives to find any mention of discriminatory housing demolition and evictions anywhere other than in Israel. The EU’s limelight focuses almost exclusively on the Jewish State.

Though the EU always claims it is impartial, a simple Google search demonstrates that this is a falsehood. The search produces long lists of links to pieces on housing demolitions in the West Bank or among the Negev Bedouin — pieces that are churned out by human rights groups supported either directly by the EU, by member states, or both. Thus, Google (and other new media) become tools with which the EU condemns Israel in a blatantly partial and unfair way.
Using the settlements to whitewash terrorism
Last Thursday, 24th September, the outgoing Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine and MP for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock, led a debate in the House of Commons on the issue of “annexation” vis a vis Israel.

Watching the debate, one could be forgiven for assuming that too many of the participants were simply unaware that there were two sides in this decades-old conflict and that the absence of its preferred resolution – i.e. a secure Israeli state alongside a peaceful and viable Palestinian state, is solely down to Israel and its settlements.

The UN is often referred to as the “theatre of the absurd” but last week’s Commons debate was worthy of that title too, thanks to Mr Kinnock and his allies. In Mr Kinnock’s world, the Israel-Palestinian conflict is all about the settlements and only about the settlements. The misrepresentation and obfuscation of facts, the obsessive focus and emphasis on just one of what in reality are many issues that define and contribute to this conflict from BOTH sides, as well as the disregard for historical and more recent international and legal treaties, was and remains a deeply troubling spectacle to have watched. It is simply beyond the bounds of this piece to touch upon all the issues, so its focus is on just some of what Mr Kinnock said, and didn’t say.

Mr Kinnock’s obsession with the settlements deserves some context here. It deserves mention and acknowledgement that the claims of illegality of Israel’s settlements in the disputed territories in Judea and Samaria / the West Bank are highly politicised and ignore previous internationally and legally ratified treaties such as the San Remo Convention and the League of Nations (LoN) Mandate for Palestine. The LoN Mandate for Palestine’s Article 6 testifies to the legality of Jewish settlement in Palestine and Article 80 of the United Nations’ Charter implicitly recognises the Mandate for Palestine, a Mandate which granted Jews the irrevocable right to settle in the area of Palestine, anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. These rights remain and no treaties, agreements or accords since have abrogated them. In fact, even the Oslo accords support construction by either side in areas of Judea and Samaria / the West Bank under their respective administrative control. That said, there are many Israelis, as well as Jews and non-Jewish supporters of Israel in the Diaspora, who are against the settlements and see them as an obstacle to peace. Being against the settlements does not make one anti-Israel. Not at all. Putting aside political charges and those historical treaties and agreements which refute such charges, the settlements ARE an issue in the conflict. But they are not the root cause of the conflict nor the biggest obstacle to peace as Mr Kinnock would like to have us believe. Not by far!
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

There have been a lot of headlines over the past day about the Columbia College student referendum supporting divesting from Israel.

The vote was meaningless. All it showed is that Israel-haters could get more people to vote than Israel supporters during a time that Jewish students were busy dealing with Jewish holidays. According to Jewish Insider, far less than half the students voted which means that this vote was as self-selecting as a an online (or Twitter) poll. 

Not only that, but the language of the question itself was leading and misleading. It was, “Should Columbia University divest its stocks, funds, and endowment from companies that profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s acts towards Palestinians that, according to Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), fall under the United Nations International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.” This implies that Israel is an apartheid state under the UN definition, which it isn't. 

Furthermore, the vote is meaningless simply because it cannot and will not change Columbia University's investment strategy.

But there is one thing that this vote proved.

Even though J-Street claims that they are against BDS, at Columbia the group chose to stay on the sidelines. 
“Overall, J Street U [at Columbia] did not support the referendum nor participate in the efforts by SSI and Aryeh to oppose it this fall,” Brit Zak, the chapter president of J Street U, told JI. “The purpose of our group is not to fight BDS on campus but to create a social and political climate for U.S. foreign policy that furthers Palestinian human rights and self-determination.” 
Making a deliberate choice not to oppose BDS on campus is tacit support for BDS. It certainly shows that J-Street's official position opposing BDS is worthless.

(h/t Andrew P)

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The International League of Peoples' Struggle is proud to present a webinar featuring Leila Khaled.

This October, the ILPS, its member organizations, country chapters, and allied networks will be launching a month-long campaign of Global Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

As part of the Month of Solidarity, the ILPS will deal with issues such as the recently announced Imperialist/Zionist annexation plan, the history of Israeli colonialism and apartheid, the rejection of agreements of humiliation and “normalization” between Zionism and some Arab countries, the global campaign to return to Palestine, support for the Intifada, the liberation of the Palestinian people, the unified capital of Palestine, the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and so on.

We are inviting everyone to tune in to the launching of this campaign on OCTOBER 3, 11 PM Melbourne time. Our keynote speaker is no other than Palestinian woman activist Leila Khaled, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
For some reason, no Zionists are trying to "censor" this event. In fact, no one really cares. The problem with Khaled is when respectable institutions give her respect.

Interestingly, San Francisco State University specifically told the organizers of their Khaled webcast not to mention the PFLP, under the pretense that she was speaking in a private capacity, in their attempt to avoid violating US anti-terrorism laws.  The ILPS, on the other hand, is proud to trumpet Khaled's active ties to terrorism.

In fact, the webinar registration form starts off with "The International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS) stands in militant solidarity with the Palestinian people," leaving no doubt of their support of terror. To Khaled's fans, her terrorism and her support for violence is a feature, not a bug. 

It would be a shame if Zionists would treat this webinar the way that Israel-haters treat pro-Israel events, by disrupting it and putting the organizers on the defensive. But if something like that should happen, it would be amusing to see if the ILPS response would be one that supports free speech.  

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We've discussed before the strange phenomenon of so many philosophers through history who were also antisemitic. 

It's hard to know why this is, but I pointed out that philosophers often think that they are smarter, better and have more insight into subjects than the dumb masses, and this hubris extends into the idea that they think that anything they come up with must be assumed to be correct.

Brian Leiter is a philosopher and legal scholar who is a Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School and founder and Director of Chicago's Center for Law, Philosophy & Human Values. He wrote a pithy post on his blog, which he says is the "world's most popular philosophy blog."
The biggest threat to free speech on campus and academic freedom consistently comes from the pro-Israel interest groups.  They are running scared because they realize that far too many of Israel's actions can not withstand public scrutiny.
He's referring to the Leila Khaled incident, of course. 

Interestingly, any first year student of logic could see that his second sentence is not at all implied from the first. The idea that not wanting a PFLP terrorist to be honored by a university is somehow really a fear that she is going to say something damning about Israel that we cannot read in the newspaper (or philosophy blog) is absurd and doesn't stand even five seconds of analysis.

Not that his first sentence is true either. There is at least as much of a threat to free speech by the Left. Even Leiter writes about cancel culture which is primarily a Leftist phenomenon. How many campus Middle East Studies departments have hosted Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria? If free speech is the goal, then why is the only speech allowed on most campuses so tilted against Israel?

It is undoubtedly true that Jews living in their ancestral homeland are far more likely to have their speech suppressed on campus than Palestinian terrorists. 

Two sentences. The first one has no basis in reality, and the second one does not logically follow the first. That's a pretty bad track record for a philosopher.

Leiter links to an article about the Leila Khaled event from Academe Blog. That article is not as bad, although it incorrectly refers to the incident as "censorship." It isn't.

Censorship is the suppression of speech because it is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient. Yet the objection to Khaled's talk wasn't about the content of her talk, but about her being an objectionable person - inviting an unrepentant terrorist whose support of violence against the innocent has not changed for five decades is as inappropriate as inviting a proud  racist or rapist on campus. This is obvious because no one I am aware of objected to the other anti-Israel speakers at that webinar. 

Moreover, Khaled has nothing original to say. Her words would have been the same socialist anti-Israel garbage that is said every day among the "woke" - it isn't as offensive as it is boring. 

At least the Academe blog has enough intellectual honesty to point out that progressives engage in censorship as well:
For those on the left who demand that tech companies censor speech they think are wrong or offensive, this is a chilling reminder that censorship is a dangerous weapon that can be turned against progressives. 

Leiter, with all his philosophy and legal credentials, flattens what could be a nuanced discussion of how different groups try to influence discussion into a very one-dimensional assertion of "Zionists bad." 

And for someone who is such an opponent of censorship and advocate of free speech, it is curious that Leiter does not allow comments on his blog. Perhaps he has the fear of truth that he imputes to Zionists. 

(h/t Dan P)

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

From Ian:

Netanyahu at UN reveals Hezbollah arms depot in Beirut, warns of fresh ‘tragedy’
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday revealed a secret arms depot belonging to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah near Beirut’s International Airport, warning of another catastrophic explosion and calling on the Lebanese people to protest against the terror group and its Iranian sponsors.

“We all saw the terrible explosion at Beirut port last month,” he said in a pre-recorded statement broadcast to UN delegates, referring to August 4’s huge blast that devastated the Lebanese capital.

He pointed to the site of the blast on a map displayed next to his podium. “The explosion happened here. This is the Beirut port. Two hundred people died, thousands of people were injured, and a quarter of a million people were made homeless,” he said.

“Now, here is where the next explosion could take place. Right here. This is the Beirut neighborhood of Janah. It’s right next to the international airport. And here, Hezbollah is keeping a secret arms depot.”

The depot in the city’s Janah neighborhood, the prime minister said, is adjacent to a gas company.

“And it’s embedded in civilian housing here, [and] civilian housing here,” he said, pointing at the map.

He proceeded to display photographs of the entrance of the facility, which he said was a Hezbollah missile factory.

“I say to the people of Janah, you’ve got to act now. You’ve got to protest this. Because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy,” Netanyahu said.

“I say to the people of Lebanon, Israel means you no harm. But Iran does. Iran and Hezbollah have deliberately put you and your families in grave danger. And what you should make clear is that what they have done is unacceptable. You should tell them, ‘tear these depots down.’” Full text of Netanyahu’s address to the 2020 UN General Assembly

UN will ‘lose its right to exist’ if it doesn’t treat Israel fairly, envoy says
Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Tuesday claimed the international body was at risk of “losing its right to exist” over its unfair treatment of the Jewish state and predicted it could be defunct by the end of the century.

“The UN is risking the loss of whatever relevance and legitimacy it has left. If the organization can’t take action against the worst regimes and continues to cling to the Palestinian obsession, in 75 years there will be no UN to mark its birthday, because it will simply lose its right to exist,” Erdan wrote in a column for the Israel Hayom daily.

He was referring to the UN’s 75th anniversary, which was marked earlier this month. Israeli leaders have taken a hard line against the UN in recent years, accusing it of disproportionately criticizing Israel while ignoring abuses by other countries.

Erdan, who took up the post in August, lashed the United Nations for turning a blind eye to abuses by Iran, and also singled out the secretary-general, Antonio Gutteres, for omitting mention of Israel’s normalization deals with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in his opening speech at the General Assembly last week.

The UN must “rechart its course” and make room for Israel in its institutions, said Erdan. “I will fight for this with all of my power and I believe that if the UN wants to remain relevant, it must treat Israel fairly and in a balanced way.”

Erdan’s column was published ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly Tuesday evening.

Seated in the General Assembly hall, Erdan introduced Netanyahu, and in his opening remarks protested what he said was the failure of the UN “to encourage more countries” to follow the leads of the UAE and Bahrain in making peace with Israel. “Most states are missing this opportunity,” Erdan said.

A new NGO has sprung up, named DAWN: Democracy for the Arab World Now. The New York Times praised it ahead of its announcement Tuesday.

Sounds reasonable. Who can be against democracy in the Arab world? 

Except that the organization, founded and run by anti-Israel activists like Juan Cole, Sari Bashi and Sarah Leah Whitson, is very selective as to which non-democratic nations they want to pressure:

As a US-based organization, DAWN focuses its research and advocacy on MENA governments with close ties to the United States and the military, diplomatic, and economic support that the US provides these governments, as that is where we have the greatest responsibility. 

We believe that we can have the most impact by convincing the US government and other international entities, including businesses, to uphold their human rights obligations by ending support for abusive and undemocratic governments in the region.   
Oh. So they only care about human rights in Arab nations that are allied with the US, so they can pressure the US to withhold aid and arms to those nations, while the other nations can go ahead and deny human rights all they want.

Specifically, the nations that are funded by Iran are off limits to this group.

So, what is the desired effect of DAWN's advocacy? It is to create a Middle East that is dominated by Iran!

That sounds like a human rights paradise! I mean, human rights in Syria and Hezbollah-occupied Lebanon and Iraq and under Houthi rule in Yemen is the envy of other Arabs! 

And by sheer coincidence, the Arab nations in DAWN's crosshairs are also those that are somewhat allied with Israel. Imagine that. 

It is no surprise that DAWN associates itself with the late Jamal Khashoggi, who also was feted as a pro-democracy activist when in fact he supported the violent Muslim Brotherhood brand of Islamism and Hamas terror. 

These people will insist that they care about human rights, but it doesn't take much to see that their agenda is quite the opposite.  

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  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

The New York Times writes about the trial in Paris for the alleged Islamist collaborators of the 2015 Hyper Cacher massacre with the headline question: "At Trial, Jewish Victims of 2015 Paris Attack Ask: Why the Hatred?"

The question of why people hate Jews has been around as long as Jews have been around. But the New York Times only gives a single answer:

“The only motive for these crimes is the origin, real or presumed, of these people; their Judaism,” Galina Elbaz, a lawyer representing the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, said at the trial.

It’s the conspiracy-minded idea that originated with the far right, the idea that Jews have a grip on power,” she said.
I cannot find Ms. Elbaz' full testimony at the trial, but the head of her organization, the Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme writes about the trial on their website, and what they have to say sounds nothing like the tiny part quoted by the NYT:

My purpose was to remind people that LICRA stands alongside the victims of this anti-Semitic crime. The assassin Amedy Coulibaly had said during the attack “You are the two things I hate the most in the world. You are Jewish and French.” Universalism wants all French people to be Jews when there is an anti-Semitic attack. When a Jew is affected, it is the Republic, the whole of France, which is damaged. This process must be a moment of awakening. I would like us to be able to say loud and clear: today we are all Jews and French.

I also wanted to remind you that, from the experience we have acquired at LICRA since 1927, in particular at the Barbie, Touvier, Papon, and Merah trials, and at the trials of the Tutsi genocidaires, it is that hate crime is not based on small reasons. The hand of the anti-Semite who kills is supported by a multitude of complicit hands, a mechanism in which everyone has their share of responsibility in the final act that is committed or in the fact of not having prevented it. If one of the links is missing then the pursued victim is annihilated.
Based on this and other articles on the LICRA website, it is clear that they understand that antisemitism is not strictly a right-wing phenomenon. In fact, it has nothing to do with Right or Left. 

Islamist antisemitism may have borrowed from the tropes of an all-powerful Jewish cabal running the world, but that is hardly only a far-Right idea. There is cross-pollination of antisemitic ideas between all antisemitic movements, whether they are Nation of Islam or Arab or Muslim or Black Hebrew or white nationalist or socialist. 

One of the founding documents of Soviet "anti-Zionism," Yuri Ivanov's "Beware: Zionism," is based on the exact same antisemitic lie of a cabal of rich Jews (mostly Rothschilds) who are pulling the strings of capitalism and the media. While Ivanov insists he has nothing against Jews, he sure spends a lot of time railing against the "wealthy Jewish bourgeoisie" who are behind Zionism. 

Clearly the idea of an all-powerful Jewish conspiracy that holds the reigns of power is not only a right-wing belief, and it animated Leftist "anti-Zionism" from its inception.

Assuming that Elbaz' testimony about the root causes of antisemitism was longer than one sentence, the New York Times chose to cherry pick her answer to the titular question to only blame the Right for antisemitism - even Islamist Jew-hatred.

Politicizing antisemitism in that way is contemptible. 

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From Ian:

Mordechai Kedar: Do Arab States Really Support the Palestinians?
On a political level, the Palestinians have managed to arouse the hatred of many of their Arab brethren. In 1990, Arafat supported Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. In revenge, Kuwait, once it was freed of the Iraqi conquest, expelled some 400,000 Palestinians, most of whom had been living in the emirate for decades, leaving them destitute overnight. This led to an economic crisis for their families in the West Bank and Gaza, who had been receiving regular stipends from their relatives in Kuwait.

Today, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are supported by Iran, a country abhorred by many Arabs who remember that airplane hijackings and the ensuing blackmail were invented by the Palestinian Arabs. It was they who hijacked an El Al plane to Algiers in 1968, 52 years ago, beginning a period of travail still being endured by the entire world.

Despite the 1989 Taif agreement, which ended the civil war in Lebanon and was supposed to lead to the disarmament and dissolution of all the Lebanese militias, Syria allowed Hezbollah to keep its arms and develop its military power unrestrainedly. The repeated excuse was that the weapons were meant to “liberate Palestine” and would not be aimed at the Lebanese. To anyone with a modicum of brains, it was clear that the Palestine story was a fig leaf covering the sad truth that the weapons were going to be aimed at Hezbollah’s Syrian and Lebanese enemies. “Palestine” was simply an excuse for the Shiite takeover of Lebanon.

Worst of all is the Palestinian demand that Arab states refrain from any relations with Israel until the Palestinian problem is solved to the satisfaction of the PLO and Hamas leaders. A good portion of the Arab world cannot find any commonalities that could unite the PLO and Hamas. As they watched the two sides’ endless squabbles ruin any chances of progress regarding Israel, they gave up on the belief that an internal Palestinian reconciliation can be achieved.

To sum up the situation, the Arab world — that part of it that sees Israel as the only hope in dealing with Iran — does not appreciate the expectation that it must mortgage its future and its very existence to the internal fighting between the PLO and Hamas. And let us not forget that Egypt and Jordan have signed peace agreements with Israel, moved outside the circle of war for the “liberation of Palestine,” and forsaken their Palestinian Arab “brothers,” leaving them to deal with the problem on their own.

Much of the Arab and Muslim world is convinced that the “Palestinians” do not in fact want a state of their own. After all, if that state were established, the world would cease its steady donations of enormous sums. There would be no more “refugees,” and Palestinian Arabs would have to work just like everyone else. How can they, when they are addicted to handouts that come with no strings attached?

One can say with assurance that 70 years after the creation of the “Palestinian problem,” the Arab world has realized that no solution will satisfy those who have turned “refugee-ism” into a profession. The “Palestinian problem” has become an emotional and financial scam that only serves to enrich the corrupt leaders of Ramallah and Gaza.
Trump lands third Nobel Peace Prize nomination: 'Producing peace in the world in a way in which none of his predecessors did'
President Trump locked down his third Nobel Peace Prize nomination after a group of Australian professors nominated him based on his “Trump Doctrine."

"He went ahead and negotiated against all advice, but he did it with common sense. He negotiated directly with the Arab states concerned and Israel and brought them together," Australian law professor David Flint told Sky News Australia, lauding the president for his “Trump Doctrine” foreign policies.

“What he has done with the Trump Doctrine is that he has decided that he would no longer have America involved in endless wars, wars which achieve nothing but the killing of thousands of young Americans,” Flint added.

Hundreds of diplomats and government officials gathered at the White House earlier this month to witness leaders from the UAE, Israel, and Bahrain sign the "Abraham Accords," which normalized diplomatic relations between the nations.

Trump has already been nominated twice for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, including by a Norwegian member of Parliament for the Middle East peace deal and by a member of the Swedish Parliament for normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Law professors and members of Parliament can nominate a person for the esteemed prize. Flint joined three other Australian legal scholars in nominating the president on the basis of his “Trump Doctrine.”
Honest Reporting: Reuters Ignores Palestinian Rejectionism and Violence as Cause of Conflict
The article’s description of “a failed peace summit in the United States” and the “Palestinians signalled they would accept nothing less than a viable state in what is now Israeli-occupied territory with its capital in East Jerusalem” is terribly misleading and omits critical background.

The “failed peace summit” refers to the Camp David Summit. Any true reporting of those meetings between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat cannot suggest that the Palestinians were not offered “a viable state” as this article implies. During that summit, Israel offered the Palestinians 73% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip with a plan to eventually transfer control of 91% of the West Bank, with an elevated highway and railroad to connect the two territories. The Palestinians would also receive the equivalent of one percent of the West Bank by taking control of the Halutza Sand region next to the Gaza Strip.

Regarding Jerusalem, Israel offered to make East Jerusalem the capital of the Palestinian state and proposed giving the Palestinians “custodianship” over the Temple Mount and “administration” over the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City and all Islamic and Christian holy sites. They would be allowed to raise the Palestinian flag in all these locations. Israel also agreed to allow for 100,000 Palestinian refugees to move into Israel proper with an international fund worth $30 billion which Israel would contribute to, would register claims of property lost by Palestinian refugees and provide appropriate compensation.

White House aides who were present at Camp David II were surprised at how far Barak was willing to go and felt that his offer met most of what the Palestinians were asking for.

The Reuters article, simply referencing a “failed summit,” neglects to blame Arafat for rejecting an offer for close to 100% of what he demanded. Writing that the Palestinians were holding out for a “viable state” implies that no such offer was made. And that is false.

The article’s first reference to the as a “five-year intifada in which more than 1,000 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians were killed” similarly misleads by implying his was a war between two sides in which more Palestinians than Israelis were killed. ” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Only much, much later in the article, historian Benny Morris is quoted explaining that during the Second Intifada, “over 1,000 Israelis were killed by bombers, snipers, in restaurants and so on.”

During the five-year Second Intifada, Palestinian terrorists blew themselves up in pizza parlors, busses, and other public areas in Israel, murdering over 1,000 and injuring over 8,000. Those injuries included Israelis whose limbs were blown off and whose bodies were filled with shrapnel from explosives filled with nuts, bolts, and nails..

One of the expected benefits of the Abraham Accord is that Arab support for the Palestinian Authority, especially financial support, would no longer be automatic. Ideally, that would pave the way towards the Palestinian leadership realizing the need to change strategy and actually show up at the negotiating table.

The PA got a kick in the pants a week before the official signing of the Abraham Accord, when they attempted to get the Arab League to publicly condemn the accord -- to no avail. Instead of condemning the agreement, the Arab League refused to even acknowledge the Abraham Accord might be against the Arab consensus.

The Palestinian government's funding dropped by half with respect to foreign aid in the first seven months of the year, from $500 million in 2019 to $255 million in 2020, dropping in Arab aid during the same period by 85% – from $267 million in 2019 to $38 million in 2020.
Part of the drop in Arab aid is because of Covid, but part of it is because Trump has explicitly asked the wealthier Arab countries not to send money to the Palestinian government.

But if developments in the Arab world are tending towards bigger financial problems for the PA, there are other developments outside of the Middle East that are promising even more problems.

We are long past the time when diplomats and the media threatened Israel with isolation if they did not make the 'necessary' unilateral concessions to the Palestinian Arabs. Instead, between Israel's various technological and medical advances combined with Netanyahu's diplomacy, Israel is making headway in international relations that seem to dwarf the successes that Abbas made not so long ago.

Aaron David Miller, a Middle East analyst, wrote last week about how the Abraham Accords confounded the predictions of the experts -- including himself. Miller credits Netanyahu with the diplomatic successes that have helped make this possible, such as:
o  In 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister in decades to travel to East Africa, where he met with leaders in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda
o  In 2017, he became Israel’s first prime minister to visit South America
o  Israel has expanded trade relations in east Asia
o  Netanyahu has established closer ties with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, in 2017, became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel.
o  Israel now has better relations with all 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council 
(China, France, Russian Federation, the UK, and the US) than at any time in its history
o  MASHAV, Israel’s international development agency, has programs in medicine, agriculture and education in developing countries around the world
Miller's point is the possible implications this wave of Israel's diplomatic successes could have for Abbas and the Palestinian Authority:
It may be the case that some of these countries see cooperation with Jerusalem as a way to stay in Washington’s good graces, especially during the Trump years. But it also suggests that much of the international community is no longer prepared to tie their own interests to the Palestinian cause and that they see real advantage in dealing with and benefiting from Israel’s technology and expertise. 
Even in the EU, there are signs that Europe is waking up to how their money is being used. According to that Jerusalem Post article:
Last June, European Parliamentarians called for a thorough investigation into how European taxpayers’ money is ending up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists, insisting that any loopholes in the law through which the money is slipping must be closed.
Added to that is the new economic agreement between Serbia and Kosova -- with Serbia saying it would move its embassy to Jerusalem, and Kosovo (which is Muslim) ready to establish diplomatic ties. Both Serbia and Kosovo are working towards acceptance into the EU. If successful, they would join countries such as Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia who have been sympathetic to Israel.

This could be important, because joint statements issued by the European Union in the name of EU member states require unanimous agreement. Back in February, when the EU was looking for unanimous agreement on condemning Trump's peace plan -- Hungary and Austria, among others, blocked the move. As a result, instead of a powerful condemnation, the EU was reduced to a statement by High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell -- alone.

Currently, the EU is making it clear they disapprove of Serbia's plans to move their embassy to Jerusalem. But even if Serbia gives in so that they will be accepted by the EU, this is still the addition of 2 states to the EU that could end up being part of a growing block within the EU that sympathizes with Israel.

That could further undercut the EU's support for the PA.

And Trump still has a month to go till the November elections.

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  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Saturday, tens of thousands of Christians gathered at the Washington Mall for Franklin Graham's Prayer March. 

The people moved to seven different iconic locations, like the White House, the Lincolm Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the National Archives, with specific prayers at each stop.

None of the prayers were political. 

One person noticed a superficial resemblance between the worshipers who gathered at the base of the Washington Monument and how Orthodox Jews pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and tweeted this disparaging note, gathering thousands of retweets:

This  tweet is complete fiction. None of the Prayer March literature, either before or after the event, references the Kotel or even Israel in any way. The Washington Monument is simply the only "prayer point" where people could gather that has a flat wall where people could approach it directly for prayer. 

Keep in mind that the tweet is insulting to Jews as well as evangelicals. Jews never call the Kotel the "Wailing Wall," a purely 20th Century British term, and that characterization is considered derogatory nowadays

None of this stopped PLO spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi from adding further insult to this lie, with a sarcastic tweet that moves from the antisemitic meme of Jews occupying the US government to calling the Washington Monument a "phallic symbol."

White supremacists often refer to Washington as the "Zionist occupied government," or ZOG, and Ashrawi can hardly be unaware of her use of the word "occupy" in this context.

And while it is hard to deny that the obelisk has been seen as a phallic symbol for centuries, and the Washington Monument is the world's largest obelisk, that was not its original meaning when used by the ancient Egyptians (unlike some explicitly phallic Greek architecture.)

Ashrawi in one tweet insults the United States and Jews while using a white supremacist dog-whistle. 

(h/t Yoel)

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  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

The conversion of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque was a spectacular move. Some saw this change in the status of this publicly accessible site with its magnificent art, frescoes and architecture as sacrilege, but for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it constituted a "resurrection", indeed, a "harbinger" for the liberation of the next holy site, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

When proclaiming this mission, Erdoğan used the Turkish term "Mescid-i Aksa", which, similar to the Arabic term "Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa", has long meant not only the mosque but the entire Temple Mount. Another reason why the term is preferred to "Al-Haram Al-Sharif" (venerable sanctuary), which was once in common use, is because it is mentioned in the Koran in connection with Muhammad's Night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem.

This rhetoric is intended not only to make Muslims more aware that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the third holiest place in Islam; its consistent use is in fact part of a global Muslim campaign to guard the site against Israeli control.

Turkish Islamists joined the campaign years ago and can be assured the support of the Turkish state and foundations close to it. The fact that the call to "liberate Al-Aqsa" – which was long heard in such circles – is also being voiced by the Turkish head of state himself, has elevated the mission to official Turkish state ideology.

Erdoğan’s rallying cry regarding Al-Aqsa is being spread via all possible channels. On the day of the re-consecration of Hagia Sophia, the words were already emblazoned on posters put up in various cities by the "Turkish Youth Foundation", which has close links to the state. Activists from the foundation, on whose board of directors Erdoğan's son Bilal sits, distributed sweets to mosque visitors and passers-by, who congratulated them on the "resurrection" of Hagia Sophia – and the imminent "liberation of Al-Aqsa".

The Turkish Al-Aqsa campaign serves in part to spread state-prescribed Neo-Ottomanism. The Istanbul-based association "Mirasimiz" (Our Heritage) strives to "protect and preserve the Ottoman heritage in and around Jerusalem". Mirasimiz sees the restoration of sacred buildings dating from the Ottoman era, which the association supports financially and logistically in cooperation with the Turkish Agency for Cooperation and Coordination, as cultural resistance to the Israeli occupation and the progressive "Judaisation" of East Jerusalem.

The association's journal, Minber-i Aksa (Al-Aqsa Pulpit), repeatedly draws attention to the Ottoman heritage in Palestine, and in the case of the Temple Mount, it goes overboard in glorifying the achievements of Ottoman rulers there as builders and guardians of the sanctuaries. The small buildings left by the Ottomans there are often featured in the journal.

No mention is made, however, of the way that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock were severely neglected in the late Ottoman period. Instead, an article in the latest issue of Minber-i Aksa reports in detail on the restoration work carried out on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, focusing in particular on the efforts undertaken from 1922 to 1925 by Mimar Kemaleddin, a Turkish architect who was trained in Berlin. The account fails to mention the Egyptian and British experts who were also deeply involved in the project, emphasising instead how Kemaleddin was honoured by the British for his work.

The "Minber-i Aqsa" association, likewise based in Istanbul, has also played a prominent role in the Turkish Al-Aqsa campaign – just one of a growing number of government-affiliated organisations and media initiatives in Turkey committed to an Islamic Jerusalem. For the last three years or so, "Minber-i Aqsa" has been trying to recruit legal scholars from as many Islamic countries as possible for the Turkish campaign. At an international conference on the subject in Istanbul in the summer of 2018, which attracted 400 participants, the city's Mufti, Hasan Kamil Yilmaz, conjured the vision of a new Saladin who would soon set out to liberate the "usurped" city of Jerusalem.

The Istanbul mufti may well have had Erdoğan in mind here, but so far, state officials and AKP functionaries have refrained from comparing Erdoğan to Saladin. When the AKP politician and director of the district administration of Iznik (Bursa province) Halil Ibrahim Gökbulut quoted Erdoğan's Al-Aqsa slogan while speaking to the faithful before the reopening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque, he referred to the Turkish President as "Saladin of the Umma" (Saladin of the community of Muslims), the opposition Kemalist newspaper Sözcü deemed it sensational.

On Turkish social media, however, the Saladin analogy is already widespread among AKP supporters – as is the dismay this vision generates among their opponents.

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Monday, September 28, 2020

From Ian:

Yisrael Medad: A call to revolt, 90 years on
Yom Kippur 5691 fell on a Thursday – October 2, 1930. The next day’s edition of The Palestine Bulletin, the forerunner of this newspaper, informed its readers on page one that “an incident took place last evening when a young Jewish enthusiast desired to have the ram’s horn blown contrary to the temporary regulations issued last year.... Mr. [Julius] Jacobs argued with the youth and tried to persuade him to visit the synagogue nearby.... This he refused to do, and he was accordingly placed under arrest. One hour later he was released.” But let us go back two years to a previous Yom Kippur, which fell on September 24, 1928, to understand the event.

According to a memorandum by Leopold H. Amery, the colonial secretary, issued on November 19, titled “The Western or Wailing Wall in Jerusalem,” what happened was that without “prior consultation with the proper officers of government as to the arrangements for the services at the Wall,” Jews had affixed a mechitza (partition) to the pavement adjoining the Wall, and, among “other innovations,” additional petrol lamps, a number of mats and an ark “much larger than was customary” were brought to the site.

Incidentally, the mechitza itself was put up by the Radzymin Rebbe, Aharon Menachem Mendel Gutterman (1860-1934), head of the Meir Baal Haness charity, who was visiting at the time.

Called to the area, Inspector Douglas Duff and the district commissioner of Jerusalem, Edward Keith-Roach, requested of the chief Ashkenazi gabbai, Rabbi Noah Baruch Glaszstein, that evening to have the screen removed. It did not happen.

The following day, as Duff relates in his book Bailing with a Teaspoon, he and other policemen came down from Mount Scopus. They removed the partition as Jewish women hit them with their parasols. After tearing down the partition, a Jewish man clung to it as Duff and his men pushed through the angry crowd. Duff tossed the partition, along with the man still clinging to it, a distance from the Wall. According to Davar of September 28, an American Jewish woman was injured in the melee.
With or without normalization, expert on Gulf sees Israel as regional peacemaker
One may be tempted to think Sigurd Neubauer’s new book on Israel’s relations with Arab Gulf states was doomed to become antiquated even before it came out.

The official publication date for “The Gulf Region and Israel: Old Struggles, New Alliances” was September 1 — two weeks after the United Arab Emirates surprisingly announced that it had agreed to normalize relations with Israel, and two weeks before both countries signed a historic peace agreement at the White House lawn. In between, Bahrain also agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

But the dizzying pace of developments in the region is actually good news for him, the Washington-based Middle East analyst said in an email interview this week, because it sheds new light on a lesser-known aspect of the Israel-Gulf alliance: Jerusalem’s quiet but crucial role as a regional peacemaker.

“While the UAE-Israel relationship has been strategic in nature for over a decade, the timing of the accords is of significant geopolitical value,” he said, as they came after “Israel had established itself as a peacemaker in the Gulf after it had helped stabilize intra-Gulf disputes, including between Qatar and its immediate neighbors — the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain — and between the UAE and Oman.”

Israel took “decisive steps” to maintain a balance of power between the region’s rival Arab states to prevent Iran from taking advantage of the Gulf crisis, he posited.

In 2017, Qatar was accused by four Arab states of supporting Hamas and other terrorist groups. They imposed a choking blockade on the small country, but Israel threw Doha “a diplomatic lifeline” by cooperating on aid for the Gaza Strip, Neubauer argued. “In this context, Qatar’s motivation for cooperating with Israel — to help alleviate Gaza’s precarious humanitarian situation — is not motivated by fear of Iran per se but by the threat posed by its own neighbors.”

Jerusalem letting Qatar give money to needy Gazans “changed the narrative in Washington away from Qatar supporting Hamas to one that focused on its leveraging its relationship with Hamas to get all the parties to cooperate in support of the Trump administration’s peace plan,” Neubauer previously argued in a piece for Foreign Policy in August.
New York Times Tilts Toward One-State Solution on Israel-Palestine
The New York Times offered readers a signal of what the post-James Bennet, post-Bari Weiss opinion and editorial pages would look like with an op-ed and podcast by Peter Beinart proposing the elimination of the Jewish state of Israel and its replacement with a country Beinart calls “Israel-Palestine,” “a Jewish home that is also, equally, a Palestinian home,” “a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.”

With its reaction to the peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the Times is doubling down on the anti-Zionism of Beinart and his internal champion at the Times, senior opinion editor Max Strasser.

The Times published an op-ed piece by Diana Buttu, a Canadian-born champion of the Orwellian-named “One Democratic State Campaign.” As recently as May, Buttu compared Israel to the Ku Klux Klan, “Just as we would think it unfathomable to dialogue with the KKK, or to accommodate the KKK, so too we must stop coddling Israeli settler-colonialism.”

Under the Times headline, “The U.A.E-Israel Flight Is Nothing To Celebrate,” Buttu wrote, “Rather than continuing to press for a two-state solution, the P.L.O. should instead press for equal rights. … Mr. Abbas and other Palestinian leaders should aim to provide a workable strategy for achieving our rights rather than working to appease Israel, and the international donor community, by adopting an anti-apartheid strategy.”

The Buttu article follows the Beinart-Strasser line, that Zionism is South Africa-style racist apartheid and a one-state solution is preferable to a Jewish state and a Palestinian-Arab state.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

  • Sunday, September 27, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

This is an update my Yom Kippur message of previous years.

I unconditionally forgive anyone who may have wronged me during this year, and I ask forgiveness for anyone I may have wronged as well.

Specifically (as enumerated in previous years, based on the list from The Muqata  a few years back):

-If you sent me email and I didn't reply, or didn't get back to you in a timely fashion -- I apologize.
-If you sent me a story and I decided not to publish it or worse, didn't give you a hat tip for the story -I'm sorry. I'm also sorry if I didn't acknowledge the tip. I sometimes get multiple tips for the same story and I usually credit the first one I saw, which is not always the earliest. And I cannot publish all the stories I am sent, although I try to place appropriate ones in the linkdumps, or tweet them.
-If you requested help from me and I wasn't able to provide it -- I'm sorry.
-I apologize if I posted without the proper attribution, with the wrong attribution, or without attribution at all.
-I'm sorry that I usually don't give hat tips on things I tweet.
-Subtweets are usually on purpose. Sorry.
-If I didn't thank you for a donation, I'm very, very sorry.
-I'm sorry if I didn't give the proper respect to my co-bloggers Ian, PoT, Vic, Varda, Daled Amos and the guest posters. Also to people who send me tons of tips and help like Tomer, Irene, and Ibn Boutros.
-I'm sorry if any of my posts offended you personally.
-If I forgot to send you the perks for donating at Patreon - I'm sorry. If you really care, bug me!
- For all the initiatives I started and didn't complete - I'm sorry. It's been a busy year.
- Please forgive me if I wrote disparaging things about you.
- I'm sorry for not always scrubbing spam from the comments as quickly as I would like.
- I'm sorry if things got published in the comments that violated my comments policy but that I missed. I have not been able to monitor most comments for various technical reasons.

May this be a year of life, peace, prosperity, happiness, security and especially health.

I wish all of my readers who observe Yom Kippur an easy and meaningful fast.

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


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