Monday, March 08, 2021








  • Monday, March 08, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon



In February, UNRWA announced a "unified food basket program" where it would give all families the same food benefits and take away free food for families with a steady income.

For several years UNRWA classified some families as "abject poor" and gave them more food.

This angered Palestinians, as they get upset any time UNRWA announces any changes in its benefits.

So they did the normal thing they always do: they shut down UNRWA centers, ensuring that no one gets any food at all!

Camp popular committees are being joined with terror groups like the DFLP to protest and shut down UNRWA centers, and the actions are expected to escalate in coming days and weeks.

So everyone can suffer equally!

UNRWA, for its part, says that it simply cannot afford to keep things as they are. It is suffering a $200 million deficit in 2021. 





From Ian:

India blames Iran’s Quds Force for blast outside Israeli embassy
India has concluded that Iran was behind a blast outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi in January, with the device planted by a local Shiite cell, an Indian news organization reported Monday.

The Hindustan Times said investigators concluded the attack was carried out by the Quds Force branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps tasked with carrying out overseas operations, and that the device was detonated by remote control.

According to the report, there was an attempt to mislead investigators into blaming the Islamic State terror organization for the bomb, but counter-terrorism agencies were clear that it was an Iranian attack.

“That the bomb was not of high intensity, with no human targets in mind was perhaps because the Iranians did not want to run afoul of a friendly nation like India. But the message was clear and the threat is real,” an unnamed expert told the outlet.

A letter found close to the scene of the blast was a death threat to the ambassador that warned he was being constantly being watched and vowed to avenge the deaths of “martyrs” Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander who was killed in a January 2020 United States drone strike; Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a top Iraqi militia commander who was killed along with Soleimani; and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s nuclear program, killed in a November 2020 attack Tehran has blamed on Israel.

The handwritten note, in English, but riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, was addressed to Israel’s ambassador, Ron Malka, and referred to him as a “terrorist of the terrorist nation.”


Attack on Israeli Vessel Was Iranian Retaliation for Secret Operation, Says Official
The attack on an Israeli-owned vessel in the Gulf of Oman on Feb. 25 was an Iranian retaliation for a secret Israeli operation, a senior security source told the Hebrew-language news site Walla.

The anonymous official denied previous claims that the attack was a response to the assassinations of Iran’s top terrorist commander Qassem Soleimani and its leading nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike in January 2020, and Fakhrizadeh was killed near Tehran in November 2020 in what has been widely viewed as a likely Mossad operation.

The source said that while Iran has been attempting to attack Israeli interests over the past year, they have largely been frustrated by Israel.

He did not give any details on what the secret Israeli operation may have been, but Israel is believed to be working constantly at frustrating the Iranian nuclear program by covert means.

In a Jewish Chronicle article published last month detailing the operation that killed Fakhrizadeh, one intelligence source said, “We will kill the bomb.”
Israel, Cyprus and Greece agree to link power grids via subsea cable
Cyprus, Greece and Israel on Monday signed an initial agreement to build the world's longest and deepest underwater power cable that will traverse the Mediterranean seabed at a cost of about $900 million and link their electricity grids.

The project, called the Euro-Asia interconnector, will provide a back-up power source in times of emergency, said Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who was in Nicosia to sign a memorandum of understanding with his counterparts.

Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said it marked "a decisive step towards ending the island's energy isolation, and consequently, our dependence on heavy fuels."

The cable will have a capacity of 1,000-2,000 megawatts (MW) and is expected to be completed by 2024, according to Israel's energy ministry. With a length of about 1,500 km and a maximum depth of 2,700 metres, it will be the longest and deepest subsea electricity cable to have ever been constructed, it said.

Steinitz said the cable "will allow us to receive electricity backing from the power grids of the European continent in times of emergency and more importantly will also support our ability to significantly increase reliance on solar power generation." The Israeli ministry said that the European Union has recognised the cable as a "Project of Common Interest" and was willing to partly fund it.
  • Monday, March 08, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


From the Jewish Journal:
The UCLA student government passed a resolution on March 3 alleging that the Israeli government is committing “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians.

The resolution called for the University of California system to divest from “the war industry” and for “the university to sever itself from companies that engage or aid in the oppression of any people.”

But what Jewish groups and students have taken issue with is that the resolution states that divestment is a legitimate tool to fight against injustice, citing “South African apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing in Palestine by the Israeli government.” The resolution also promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution passed by the UCLA student government in 2014.

“We had no idea this resolution was coming up, and were not alerted by anyone ahead of time,” Aaron Ahdoot, president of Bruins for Israel Public Affairs Committee at UCLA, told the Journal. “The language of the resolution was not released ahead of the council meeting, making it impossible for any of the students to speak out on it.”

Rabbi Aaron Lerner, Executive Director of Hillel at UCLA, wrote in an email to community members that the resolution “follows the familiar pattern of seeking to delegitimize Israel within broader language. The resolution was deliberately hidden from Jewish students, preventing them from engaging in the debate.”
Indeed, while the resolution was sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine and a host of other groups, as far as I can tell they didn't mention the upcoming resolution in social media beforehand - and celebrated it afterwards.  

It was deliberately hidden to stop any pro-Israel students from having the opportunity to object, which shows how little the BDS groups actually think of their resolutions' actual merits. 

The "apartheid" language is hidden in the preamble:

WHEREAS, the strategy and tool of divestment has been used on numerous occasions to fight for justice, including such examples as the Darfur genocide in Sudan, South African apartheid, the private prison industry, fossil fuels, the Thirty-Meter Telescope, and against ethnic cleansing in Palestine by the Israeli government;

And the preamble also pushes BDS:

 WHEREAS, in 2014, the Undergraduate Student Association Council passed A Resolution to Divest from Companies that Violate Palestinian Human Rights proposed by UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine;

There is an irony in that the actual resolution would, if applied fairly, mean that the UCLA Student Government itself should boycott BDS:

LET IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED, that the Undergraduate Student Association Council, representing the interests of students, calls upon the university to sever itself from companies that engage or aid in the oppression of any people based on religion, nationality, gender, race or orientation, or violence against them, by divesting from companies that participate and profit from human rights violations.
BDS calls for Israeli speakers on campus to be boycotted and for Israeli universities to be shunned, which means that BDS itself discriminates against nationality. If discrimination on that basis is unacceptable, then the UCLA Student Government should ban any group that pushes BDS on campus.

The good news is that after Jewish groups pointed out the underhandedness of sneaking Israel-hating language into an anti-war resolution, the student government apologized:
On March 5, the UCLA student government sent an apology to Hillel at UCLA over the resolution being “inadvertently hidden from the Jewish community and the public at large” and that the student government will make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“Going forward we hope to work with student leaders in Hillel and in all spaces on campus to ensure that USAC [UCLA Students Association Council] is a safe space for debate and dialogue on important issues on our agendas,” they wrote.
But that is fairly meaningless since the resolution has already passed. 




  • Monday, March 08, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today is International Women's Day. As usual, "pro-Palestinian" groups are using it as a means for anti-Israel propaganda. 

Yet not one is calling for more women's rights under Palestinian rule.

As we've mentioned before, the Palestinian Authority cynically uses women's rights as a weapon against Israel but really doesn't care about rights for its own women.

It joined the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) along with over a dozen other international agreements in 2014 without reservation. Yet it never actually put any of CEDAW's provisions into law.

Not only that, the PA itself has rejected the convention as violating Islamic law.

Not one "liberal" anti-Israel group said a word.

The editor of a major Palestinian newspaper admitted that there was no intent for the Palestinian government to actually take these international agreements seriously. The only reason that it joined these conventions was to pretend to be a "state" so the International Criminal Court can bring a case against Israel: "The government cannot implement CEDAW in its entirety in light of the existence of a societal system, and that the signing of the agreement is political and was not intended to undermine the Sharia, and had it not been for the signing of CEDAW and many other agreements, the International Criminal Court would not have accepted us."

The actual laws under the Palestinian Authority and under the Gaza government undermine women's rights. Here are only some examples from a 2018 UN report that, as far as I can tell, was completely ignored by these hypocritical "pro-Palestinian" groups who pretend to care about Palestinian rights. 



It gets even worse.

A 2018 survey showed that:

  • 35% of Palestinian men say that men who kill their female relatives for "honor" reasons should not go to jail. 

  • 47% of Palestinian men say that female relatives who "act or dress" in ways that they disapprove deserve to be punished.

  • 17% of Palestinian men admitted to have engaged in physical violence against their female partners, 21% of women say they have been hit by their husbands.

  • 80% of Palestinian men say "A man should have the final word about decisions in the home."

  • 34% of them say "There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten."

  • 63% of men say "A woman should tolerate violence to keep the family together."

Again, these "pro-Palestinian" NGOs and media outlets who happily use women's rights as a club to beat Israel don't have a word to say about Palestinian misogyny that affect Palestinian women every day.

When these groups claim that Israel is the main oppressor of Palestinian women, they are actively hurting Palestinian women by not allowing a real conversation about their rights to even take place. 





  • Monday, March 08, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Jordanian member of parliament Saleh al-Armouti is upset that a book by Albert Einstein is freely available in Jordan - because it is Zionist.

He composed a parliamentary question to the Minister of Culture asking why it promotes a book that promotes and supports Zionist ideology, settlement activity and the "occupation of Palestine."

The book he is referring to is "The World As I see It," a pamphlet by famed scientist Albert Einstein, written in 1934.

Al Armouti was concerned that the book includes sections exhorting the Jews of Germany to support building up Palesine. He is also upset at these phrases in the wook:

 "Palestine is not primarily a place of refuge for the Jews of Eastern Europe, but the embodiment of the re-awakening corporate spirit of the whole Jewish nation." 

"The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice, and the desire for personal independence--these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it."

"Palestine will be a centre of culture for all Jews, a refuge for the most grievously oppressed, a field of action for the best among us, a unifying ideal, and a means of attaining inward health for the Jews of the whole world.."

The book was apparently distributed by the Ministry of Culture as part of its annual Family Library Project which publishes a variety of texts. 

Al Armouti asked the Ministry why it is marketing a Zionist book, who was responsible for this decision, who paid for the publishing costs. He also says that the contents of the book would provide toxicity for generations of Jordanians.

He further claimed that Einstein's words are "a violation of the Jordanian position and the Jordanian principles, of international law and international legitimacy, and breaches global peace and security according to the United Nations Charter."

Einstein in the book wants to see peace between Jews and Arabs:
It is for us to solve the problem of living side by side with our brother the Arab in an open, generous, and worthy manner

We need to pay great attention to our relations with the Arabs. By cultivating these carefully we shall be able in future to prevent things from becoming so dangerously strained that people can take advantage of them to provoke acts of hostility. This goal is perfectly within our reach, because our work of construction has been, and must continue to be, carried out in such a manner as to serve the real interests of the Arab population also.
I have a feeling that MP Armouti does not share those sentiments.



Sunday, March 07, 2021








From Ian:

David Collier: Exclusive – BDS network exposed as front for Islamic terror groups
BDS is an arm of the terror groups
Given all the evidence, it is clear that the terrorists and their supporters that dominate the GCRP and its events are not hangers-on but rather the driving ideology behind the entire project and its goals.

Take a look at this image:
It is the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (a supporter of the terrorist network) sharing an article from Samidoun (another supporter of the terrorist network) reporting an event in which Ahed Tamimi (a supporter of the terrorist network) was given the floor. The tragedy is that this event took place in the European Parliament in Brussels. It is Iranian Islamist influence spreading anti-Jewish hate throughout Europe and centres of influence in the west.

The GCRP now spew out an endless stream of propaganda via their outlets and their material is shared relentlessly in online anti-Israel groups:
And on campus:


The openly stated goal of this terrorist support network is to use participants in its events as tools to spread the word across the globe. The images above shows both how it works – and more scarily, how well it all succeeds. This is from the closing statement at the launch event:

The evidence is all here. Using solidarity movements as proxies and hiding behind human rights keywords, radical Islamic ideology spreads into our high streets and onto our university campuses. They turn up with catchy slogans such as ‘Apartheid week’ or ‘BDS’ – but the driving force behind all this is a radical Islamic genocidal force that seeks to destroy the Jewish presence in the region – simply because it is Jewish. This has nothing to do with human rights. It is a key element in a radical Islamic holy war.
Khaled Abu Toameh: PLO slams US for ignoring Palestinian misery and pro-Israel, anti-ICC bias
Palestinians have accused the Biden Administration of ignoring their suffering for its bias in opposing the International Criminal Court's war crimes probe into Israeli action in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza.

The US “totally ignored the legitimate rights of the Palestinians to have a viable state, while the Israeli occupation state continues to annex vast areas of the Palestinian territory in an attempt to undermine the so-called two-state solution," said Tayseer Khaled, member of the PLO Executive Committee on Saturday.

Khaled referred specifically to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s speech on foreign policy last week, in which he said Palestinian suffering has been completely ignored.

“Blinken did not even mention a word with regard to the suffering the Palestinian people face under occupation, nor anything about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its impact on security and stability in the region,” he said.

“This confirms that the new US administration pays no attention to reviewing the destructive policy of the Trump administration," Khaled said. Blinken did not mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his major policy speech last week. Similarly, the Biden administration's Interim National Security Strategic Guidance published last week laid out a Middle East strategy that spoke of Israel, but not of the Palestinians. A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah also expressed disappointment with the Biden administration for opposing last week's decision by ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open a war crimes investigation into the actions of Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinian Authority: ‘If ICC Indicts Israel, We Can Take US Firms to Court’
In an interview that aired on Palestine T.V. on March 1, Shtayyeh said, “Before we turned to the ICC, there had been tremendous and unparalleled pressure.”

“I was in New York when a delegation from the State Department came. They left Washington, D.C., at six o’clock in the morning so that they could meet [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas in New York. The reason was that our membership in the ICC is not only against Israel,” he said.

“If Israel is indicted, all the parties involved in the Israeli actions against the Palestinians will also be indicted. This means that we can also take the American companies and organizations that support Israel to court. Hence, the deputy secretary of state said to President Abu Mazen [Abbas]: ‘If you become members in the ICC, it will be like obtaining nuclear weapons.”

Neither Israel nor the United States is a signatory to the Rome Statute from which the ICC derives its authority.

The Palestinian premier also said that the P.A.’s appeal to the ICC had “shattered” Israel’s claimed “monopoly on pain.”

“Israel was basically purporting that the Jews in the world were the only ones who were tormented by the Nazis and so on,” he said.

“Our appeal to the ICC demonstrates and proves that the Palestinian people suffer, their prisoners have been tortured and killed, Palestinians have been martyred and displaced … So we shattered the monopoly on pain that Israel purported to have,” he added.
  • Sunday, March 07, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Magen David Adom vaccinating Palestinians at Tulkarm Thursday

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has admitted that it has no idea when it will be getting COVID-19 vaccines that they say have been promised from the major drug manufacturers.

At the end of January, the ministry claimed that it would begin receiving mass quantities of the Pfizer, Sputnik-V and AstraZeneca vaccines "within days." It never happened.

In early February, the health ministry said that 2 million doses of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine would arrive starting February 14. It never happened.

The minister of health said in late February that two million doses from AstraZeneca would be arriving starting at the end of February and the beginning of March. 

None of that happened. 

Now, a ministry of health spokesperson has admitted that they don't know when any vaccines will arrive. He said that the shipments from the COVAX mechanism are due to begin arriving after March 20th, but no date is given for the arrival of the vaccines supposedly procured from  Pfizer, Moderna and Russia. Interestingly, he didn't mention the AstraZeneca vaccines that were said to have been purchased as well.

Nowhere in this interview did the spokesperson say a word about Israel. He didn't claim that the PA ever asked for vaccines from Israel, nor did he say that Israel was stopping any vaccines from coming. The times that the Palestinians have asked Israel for help with vaccines, Israel complied (although sometimes delayed.) 

The lack of asking Israel for help is despite the fact that new, faster spreading mutations of  COVID-19 have been devastating Palestinian hospitals which are at capacity. 

That fact the Palestinians have avoided asking Israel for help has simply not been mentioned in the hundreds of media reports criticizing Israel for not providing vaccines to Palestinians. Israel cannot provide vaccines without cooperation of the Palestinian health authorities. They aren't going to leave boxes of vaccines at checkpoints. 

Israel's ability to help is much more limited than is being reported, though. Today, Israel does not have enough vaccines to inoculate all Palestinians. It has some 300,000 Moderna vaccines today with 700,000 more supposed to come in April. 

Israel was supposed to start a program to vaccinate over 120,000 Palestinian workers today but that has been delayed for administrative reasons after a pilot program that gave some 700 doses last Thursday. Two doses for each worker would deplete the majority of Israel's existing Moderna supply, and it is still waiting for much more from Moderna as well as AstraZeneca. 







  • Sunday, March 07, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon



An Iraqi politician claims that Iranian pressure nixed any participation by Jews in the Pope's interfaith ceremony in Ur on Saturday.

Mithal Al-Alusi, the leader of the Iraqi Ummah Party, says that Iraqi Jews should have attended the Pope's ceremony, and that a list of potential Jewish attendees were given to Iraqi leaders, but Iranian pressure took those Jews off the list of invitees. 

"An Iraqi Jewish rabbi should have been present alongside His Holiness the Pope, along with other members of the rest of the religions as a representation of the historical value of Ur and Iraq," he said.

Alusi said that Jews did attend the Al-Rafidain Dialogue conference in Iraq in 2019.

“If the matter was left to respected Iraqi politicians, they would have performed better, representing the multiplicity of Iraq at the level of the plurality of religions and human rights," Alusi stated. "But it suffers from extortion, threats and terrorism carried out by the Iranian side through militias and through political pressure through the Iraqi parliament. "

"Iraq will not reform as long as there are official and unofficial Iranian threats and terrorism," he said.

Alusi is a Sunni Muslim and supports Iraqi alliances with the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Israel.




  • Sunday, March 07, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Alma Research and Education Center researches security issues in the Middle East, specializing in Hezbollah. 

Recently it issued a report that revealed where four suspected missile sites (command and control, production, storage and launch sites) were found in Beirut, as a follow-up of a previous report that identified dozens more also in Beirut, near civilian homes and infrastructure.



This apparently upset Hezbollah.

A Hezbollah supporter posted on Facebook the coordinates of Alma's center in northern Israel.

It's not like they are secret - the Alma home page shows exactly where it is.

(Hopefully, the next time I go to Israel, I can visit this center. Sounds like fun!)




Saturday, March 06, 2021

From Ian:

Security Guards at French Jewish School Praised for Apprehending Suspected Knife Attacker
Jewish organizations warmly praised security guards at a Jewish school in the city of Marseille in southern France after they prevented a man from engaging in a possible knife attack on Friday.

“Attempted knife attack in a kosher grocery store near a Jewish school in Marseille,” tweeted CRIF, the representative organization of French Jews. “CRIF salutes the action of the school security guards and the police who prevented a new tragedy.”

Similar expressions of gratitude came from the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Reports of Friday morning’s incident in the French press were contradictory, with Le Figaro quoting an unnamed police source urging caution, as the basic facts — among them whether the alleged assailant even entered the kosher store — were still to be established.

Other reports said that a man in his 60s with a prior criminal record had attempted to enter the Yavne Jewish School armed with a kitchen knife. He was turned away by security guards, who then apprehended him when he allegedly tried to enter the kosher store. Police officers were called to the scene and arrested the man.
‘Where Are the Jews?’: As Pope Visits Birthplace of Abraham, Chronicler of Mosul Calls for ‘Recognition’ of Jewish Heritage
On Friday, Pope Francis began an historic three-day visit to Iraq, his first foreign trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and a show of support to the country’s fraught Christian communities.

In Mosul, once a flourishing multi-faith metropolis, the Pope will visit churches ravaged by the Islamic State, which occupied the city from 2014 to 2017 and displaced hundreds of thousands of residents.

Omar Mohammed — an historian who was an essential chronicler of the occupation through his anonymous website “Mosul Eye” — told The Algemeiner that the visit would be a sign of encouragement to the handful of Christian families still living there.

“The pope — the highest authority in the Catholic Church — will pray inside Mosul; not from Rome praying for them, he will be among them,” said Mohammed, in an interview Thursday.

But he also hoped that the papal visit would pressure the Iraqi government to do more to recognize and protect Iraq’s non-Muslim heritage — including its once-thriving Jewish community, which has been all but stamped out.

“When I speak about the constitution of Iraq, there is almost no recognition of the non-Muslim societies,” he said, noting that the country’s laws are founded in Islamic practice. “This is completely against the meaning of diversity and inclusion. How could you possibly want the Yazidis and the Christians to accept to be living under a constitution that doesn’t recognize them?”

Iraq’s second biggest city, Mosul has historically been home to populations of Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Circassians and other communities, in addition to the Sunni majority. After the Islamic State overtook the city in 2014, Mohammed was one of the few able to tell the world about the group’s atrocities, publishing work that was critical for journalists and international organizations.

The Jewish community in Iraq dates back over 2,500 years, and numbered over 150,000 in 1947. Anti-Jewish riots and persecution drove many to flee their homes after the establishment of Israel, with over 120,000 emigrating to the Jewish state in the early 1950s.
Iranian Jewish leader tells US rabbi community freely observes its religion
Contrary to a commonly held belief, Jews living in Iran find it easier to practice their religion today than they did prior to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, according to a longtime leader of the Jewish community in Tehran.

Speaking live via Zoom on Sunday — Shushan Purim — from the land of Queen Esther and the Megillah, Arash Abaie, a civil engineer and prominent Jewish educator, cantor, Torah reader and scholar, explained why he believes Jews living in the country have intensified their religious observance over the past four decades.

Abaie said the Islamic Republic, with its deep commitment to religious law, interacts best with citizens, including Christians and Jews, who are themselves observant. He said Muslims respect Jews who pray regularly, fast, abstain from certain foods and believe in the Messiah.

“They look for commonalities” with Islam, he said, “and this leads to peaceful existence.”

The rare interview, conducted by Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, was sponsored by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future, where Schacter is a senior scholar. He is also a university professor of Jewish history and thought at Y.U.

The rabbi explained at the outset that he met Abaie at an international conference 18 years ago in Sweden sponsored by the US-based Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. Schacter was impressed with Abaie’s deep knowledge of Jewish texts, saying that “in a class I was giving on Talmud, his knowledge of even the most obscure references I made was outstanding.”
  • Saturday, March 06, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Hamas Al Aqsa leader Yahya Sinwar
From Iran's ABMA:

Hamas Movement has called on the Arab countries to boycott Israel and not to receive its “criminal” leaders following the International Criminal Court’s decision to probe “possible” war crimes committed by Israel.

Abdullatif al-Qanu, a Hamas spokesman, said in a press release on Thursday that a time the ICC decided to open an investigation into Israeli war crimes, a number of Arab capitals are preparing to receive Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s visit to those Arab countries, which had normalized relations with Israel, will only serve as a cover up for his crimes and will serve his political agenda, he added.
Does that mean that Arab countries should likewise not allow Hamas leaders to visit, since they are (supposedly) under the ICC probe as well?

Sometimes I wonder if the word "chutzpah" is really Yiddish and not Arabic. 



Friday, March 05, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The brouhaha over defining Jews as an ethnic minority
The real confusion, as the beleaguered Cohen observed on "Politics Live," arises because many people believe Judaism to be instead merely a religion.

They fail to grasp that it encompasses not just religious faith but peoplehood and that in ancient times, the Jewish people also constituted a nation in their own Jewish kingdom. The failure to understand this, coupled with the mistaken view that Judaism is merely a private, confessional faith like Christianity, is partly why so many people believe the Jews are interlopers in Israel.

It's why they make the false distinction between Zionism, which they condemn as a colonialist political ideology, and Judaism, which they fawningly sentimentalize, disdain or disregard altogether as merely a religion. The fact that this leaves secular Jews stranded in no-man's-land is why those Jews in particular desperately hang on to the ethnic minority label as their badge of identity.

Rather than acknowledge the unique characteristics of the Jewish people as a source of benefit to the wider world, the difficulty of fitting them into generally accepted categories unfortunately encourages suspicion and fear.

In the West, many assume that ethnic minorities must be dark-skinned and somehow "foreign." So the fact that most Western Jews are pale-skinned means they don't fit the template of an ethnic minority. And the notion that Judaism is both religion and peoplehood feeds the paranoid suspicions of the anti-Semite that the Jews are slippery customers who change their shape at will and thus hide in plain sight.

Jewishness is difficult to define at the best of times. Anti-Semitism is not only now running rampant in the West; worse still, both this victimization and the nature of Jewish distinctiveness itself are being widely ignored or rendered invisible.

So it's hardly surprising that the questioning of the Jews' minority status that erupted this week has rubbed already exposed Jewish nerves raw.
The grotesque myth of Jewish privilege
The BBC’s flagship politics programme, Politics Live, featured a bizarre debate on Monday on the topic of whether or not Jews are an ethnic minority. Apparently, this was open to question because some Jews have reached positions of power and influence.

I am genuinely saddened that the following needs explaining – but it clearly does: groups do not cease to be ethnic minorities as they become more affluent and upwardly mobile. It may be inconvenient to simplistic identitarian narratives, which present society as a story of majority-on-minority structural oppression. But being materially deprived is not a necessary condition for being categorised as an ethnic-minority group. And successful, high-achieving individuals can still face real-life discrimination on the basis of their membership of an ethnic-minority group.

When discussing so-called Jewish privilege, it is important to note that elements of the UK’s Jewish population are relatively deprived. In recent times, the rate of child poverty and material deprivation has grown at an alarming rate within Britain’s strictly Orthodox Haredi communities. Studies have put this down to a ‘potentially toxic mix’ of large families and a relative lack of focus on secular educational qualifications, in favour of a highly observant religious lifestyle which is distanced from modern technology. Orthodox Haredi children are far from likely to be living a life of privilege. Yet the notion of ‘Jewish privilege’ shows us that these forms of child poverty are not commonly known and are barely discussed.

Irrespective of socio-economic status, Jewish populations at large have been subjected to the political mainstreaming of anti-Semitic beliefs. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party will forever be a stain on modern British political history. Labour was once a natural party for many of Britain’s Jews. But Jewish politicians such as Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman left the party due to anti-Semitism. Ellman served as MP for Liverpool Riverside for 22 years and was a Labour Party member for 55 years.

These failings resulted in the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) – a body created under a Labour government – finding the party responsible for three breaches of the 2010 Equality Act: political interference in anti-Semitism complaints, failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints, and harassment. Before Labour’s disastrous performance in the 2019 General Election, a survey revealed that 47 per cent of British Jews would seriously consider leaving the UK if Corbyn became prime minister.


Israeli PM Netanyahu slams ‘SNL’ joke about COVID-19 vaccine efforts
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed a “Saturday Night Live” skit that claimed that Israel only vaccinated “the Jewish half” of its population.

“This is just outrageous,” Netanyahu said during an interview Thursday on “Fox & Friends” when asked about the cringe-worthy comedy routine.

“It’s so false.”

“In fact, I brought vaccines and went especially to the Arab communities, the Arab citizens of Israel, and vaccinated as many as we can. I must have gone to half a dozen Arab communities already, talked with the mayors there, brought the leaders, brought the doctors there – Arab doctors,” he said.

The segment last month on the show’s “Weekend Update” prompted accusations that the joke was anti-Semitic and sparked protests outside the NBC studios.

“Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half,” Michael Che said.

Former state Assemblyman Dov Hikind was among those blasting Che at the time for the skit’s ignorance.

“But Michael Che or whoever wrote that ‘joke’ is obviously also ignorant of fact that Israel has Arab citizens who’ve received the vaccine according to the same qualifications as Jews!,” he wrote on Twitter.​


Why do medical dramas perpetuate stereotypes of Orthodox Jews? - opinion
Why are these shows glorifying medical malpractice and the denial of religious rights? “House” outright equates being religious with mental illness, and a throwaway line in the “Grey’s Anatomy” episode asks why anybody would bother with Orthodoxy — “why couldn’t you be plain old Reform like everyone else we know?” In each case, Orthodoxy is portrayed as unreasonable, as a conflict that must be overcome.

So many things about these episodes make me angry. Why do none of these Jewish characters ever call and consult their rabbis? That would be the first thing most frum people would do when facing a complicated medical or ethical issue. And why are these shows making broad, sweeping, uninformed claims about things like kashrut or the use of birth control in religious communities?

These examples aren’t as dangerous as the clip from “Nurses,” which portrays religious Jews as horribly Islamophobic and misogynistic — a storyline that surely doesn’t help Hasidim in a climate that is already so hostile toward them. But each of these episodes frame Orthodoxy as backward and unwilling to change, and frame Orthodox people as fanatics willing to die for their bigoted beliefs.

The writers fail to understand Orthodox Judaism while relying on Orthodox Jews as a cheap plot device. Maybe they look at the huge number of mitzvot (commandments) that are observed by Orthodox Jews and conclude that it’s a rigid, unchangeable structure. They don’t understand that breaking Shabbat to save a life is not only allowed but mandatory.

In our tradition, there are only three sins you must die for committing: idolatry, murder and adultery. The concept of pikuach nefesh (saving a life) overrides virtually every commandment. Judaism values the sanctity of human life over almost everything else. Your rabbi would encourage you to take a porcine valve or the bone graft. My mother likes to quote one of her favorite rabbis quite regularly. She says: We’re meant to live by our Judaism, not die by it. It’s about time these TV shows got that memo.

I understand the need to write good TV and create conflict. I understand (although do not agree with) the desire for out-of-the-box, exotic characters. But if you cannot construct a story without misunderstanding and misrepresenting an entire demographic of people, then it’s simply a story you have no right to tell.
  • Friday, March 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 1970, there were cholera outbreaks throughout the Middle East, and that included Israel and Gaza.

In August, to forestall any outbreak, Israel required any Palestinians who were traveling to and from Jordan to be inoculated.


But the disease did make it in, with sometimes fatal results.

When things got bad in Gaza, Israel vaccinated every single person in UNRWA camps.

JTA, December 4, 1970:

Four new cholera cases were diagnosed in the Gaza Strip today, bringing the number of cases registered with health officials to 152. Public Health authorities characterized the cholera situation in the Gaza Strip as extremely serious. All the 200,000 refugees living in camps have been inoculated but even inoculated persons have contracted the disease. Health officials noted that the serum against cholera is not 100 percent effective. The officials stated that they cannot apply the methods that have been so successful in Jerusalem to the Gaza Strip because it has proved impossible to trace and isolate all possible contacts of every cholera infected person. As a result, there are latent cholera carriers in refugee camps who cannot be diagnosed because they have been inoculated, but who pass the germs on until they find a person whose inoculation was unsuccessful. Health authorities are now trying to devise various ways and means to get the cholera in the Gaza Strip under control.
Israel consulted with WHO in order to come up with the best ideas, and it implemented them. Because only Israel was responsible for the well-being of the Palestinian Arabs, so it was obvious that this was Israel's responsibility.

If Israel's position nowadays is "vaccine apartheid," then all the more so should Israel have not cared in 1970! 

But of course the only problem today is the false accusations, not Israel's actions, which are fully in line with both international law and morality. 



From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Biden abandons Middle East peace
The Trump administration was on the verge of securing a peace agreement between Israel and Indonesia in its final weeks in office, according to a former senior Trump administration official involved in the efforts. The official divulged that the negotiations between Israel and the world's most populous Muslim state were run by then-President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner and Adam Boehler, then-head of the US's International Development Finance Corporation.

Israel was represented by then-Ambassador Ron Dermer and Indonesia by Minister Mohamed Lutfi. To secure peace, Boehler told Bloomberg News last December, the US would be willing to provide Indonesia with an additional "one or two billion dollars" in aid. Indonesia was interesting in Israeli technology and even wanted the Technion to open a campus in Jakarta. It wanted visa-free travel to the Jewish state and Arab and US investment in its sovereign wealth fund. Israel wanted Indonesia to end its economic boycott of the Jewish state. Direct flights from Tel Aviv to Bali were on the table.

The advantages of peace between Israel and Indonesia for both sides are self-evident. But such a peace would also pay a huge dividend to the US in its burgeoning cold war with China. An expanded strategic and economic partnership with the archipelago and ASEAN member would be a setback for China's efforts to dominate the South China Sea, particularly with Indonesia playing a role in an Islamic-Israeli alliance led by the US.

"We got the ball on Indonesia and Israel to the first-yard line," the official explained. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has dropped the ball on the ground and walked off the field.

On the surface, the Biden administration is interested in promoting peace. President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have praised the Abraham Accords, as well they should.

For 26 years, the Arab conflict with Israel was ignored and left to fester. Then suddenly, in Trump's last year in office, the situation was reversed as four Arab states rapidly normalized their ties with Israel. Expanding the accords to Indonesia, with its massive population and strategic location outside the Middle East would transform a strategic regional shift into a game-changer throughout Asia.

But despite the strategic logic of expanding the Abraham Accords and the praise Biden and Blinken have given them, starting in its first week in office, the new administration's actions have served to undermine the accords by removing their American foundations.
No Justice for Women Killed in Gaza
The Family and Child Protection Department seeks to protect women who are subject to violence that poses a threat to their lives, by sending them to care centres or safe houses, until proper solutions have been found and reconciliation ensures they are not harmed.

Barsh attributes domestic violence and family disputes to the abuse of drugs on the part of the aggressors. She says society in Gaza is conservative, and crime is not a common occurrence. She adds that not all murders have motives, as in some cases people are killed by stray bullets.

The deaths of women in mysterious conditions in Gaza are ongoing. In every story of a new victim, there are details that people know nothing of except for what is said in the first hours following the crime.

Between the questions ‘Why was she killed?’ and ‘Did she deserve to die?’, the victims die twice, while the killers walk the streets with impunity thanks to a law that pulls their necks out of the gallows, and a society that accepts them again and sometimes hails them as heroes.

Every year, the number of missing women increases; some are murdered, some are said to have committed suicide, others die from a stray bullet or in mysterious circumstances. After the first news on the fate of the killer, the wave of public anger against them subsides. This continues in a vicious circle.

For the past ten years, women’s institutions in Palestine have demanded the enactment of a family protection law in the Palestinian Territories. However, this is strongly objected to by some lawyers and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who have signed a petition rejecting the law. There have also been demonstrations rejecting it by some communities in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

This opens the door to doubts about the seriousness of the denouncements of the killing of women on the ground of defending honour, and the rejection of violence against women.
French police prevent stabbing attack at Jewish school in Marseille
French police arrested a man who tried carrying out a stabbing attack at a Jewish school in Marseille, France on Friday morning, French media reported.

The attacker was turned away by the Yavne School security, made up of parents who serve as security on a volunteer basis, the Jewish Agency noted. The institution was immediately locked down with the students inside to ensure their safety. A police patrol car has been set up in front of the school building.

French police forces were alerted immediately, and instructed Jewish sites throughout the city to tighten security in light of the attempted attack.

After turned away from the school, the attacker tried to stab Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket in the city, where he was once again prevented from attacking anyone by the same security personnel.

"While the coronavirus has silenced the world in many ways, it has not silenced antisemitism, or the resulting danger for Jews," said Chairman of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog.
  • Friday, March 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The editor of Jewish Currents tweeted, "At @JewishCurrents, we are launching a dedicated investigative reporting fund to do  hold Jewish institutional power to account."

The article he links to says that the target of these one-sided "investigations" include:

Jewish communal funding, Jewish communal institutional accountability
Israel/Palestine and its intersection with US politics and Jewish communal politics
Dark money organizations
Israel-advocacy lobbying
#MeToo in the Jewish community or progressive spaces
It is pretty clear that the point of this initiative is to find dirt about Jews and Jewish institutions. The type of dirt isn't important as long as the targets are Jews and purported "Jewish power."

And the purpose of the investigations isn't to help fix any problems inside those institutions, but to publicize Jewish evil as widely as possible:
Your story should attempt to:

Hold those in power accountable by investigating important issues that are not covered, or not covered sufficiently, elsewhere.
Effect change in public attitude, policy, and conversation via your reporting.
Generate news-cycles based on those reports.

This is virtually identical to these guys who protest "Jewish power" and Israel outside a Maryland synagogue every week,  but in a somewhat more respectable way:





The myth of Jewish institutional power and assumed corruption is really a slightly warmed over version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And today's far-Left "As-A-Jews" enthusiastically embrace the worst antisemitic philosophies of the past century.

But I suppose it is all mere criticism of Israel.

I wonder how an investigation into David Klion's affiliations would come out. He has been an active Twitter member since 2009, but he has erased all of his tweets before 2020. What is he hiding?

(Since Jewish Currents is paying $1 a word for these "investigations," this essay exposing a "Jewish" institution as functionally antisemitic should be worth over $250.)



  • Friday, March 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


For decades, Air Sinai has operated with only one route: between Cairo to Tel Aviv. It is a subsidiary of EgyptAir that was created for that one purpose.

Fearful of criticism from its fellow Arab countries, Egypt didn't want to see its flagship airline visible at Ben Gurion Airport. AirSinai was created in 1982 specifically to avoid having EgyptAir fly to Israel. Their planes have no markings at all - no logo, no flag. 

It was a clear message that Egypt is embarrassed at having any relations with Israel at all. 

But now that Israel's airport is receiving flights from the UAE, Bahrain and soon Morocco, EgyptAir has changed its tune. 

EgyptAir is set to meet with Israeli officials next week to discuss having direct flights under the EgyptAir name, and to triple the number of daily round trips from one a day to three. It will also now offer connecting flights for Israelis  to destinations worldwide from Cairo, which could not be booked through AirSinai.

This is another small but significant way that the agreements between Israel and four Arab countries last year are having very real and major effects in the rest of the Arab world. 

Israel's cold peace with Egypt and Jordan never had those effects. They were looked upon in the Arab world as arm twisting by the US at best, treasonous at worst. 

But this new wave of agreements has broken the Arab consensus at officially hating and marginalizing Israel. 

The peace dividend can only come when both sides truly want peace. Egypt may be finally getting that message, only forty years too late. 




  • Friday, March 05, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon


From the UN Development Programme:

One of the major issues affecting water utilities in the State of Palestine, and developing countries, in general, is the considerable difference between the amount of water supplied into the distribution system and the amount of water billed to consumers - or Non-Revenue Water (NRW). NRW is attributed to either real losses related to water leakage during pumping, storage and transmission in network pipes or apparent losses due to theft or illegal connections, metering inaccuracies or unbilled consumption.

According to the Water Sector Regulatory Council (WSRC) in the State of Palestine, the average rate of 33% NRW accounts for US$45 million of more than 85 million cubic meters of fresh water lost annually that would have  been utilized to relieve part of water scarcity and insufficient supply. 

If they are losing 33% of their water because of leaks and other inefficiencies, that means that fixing those problems would increase the amount of drinking water available by 50%.  

If only they had some experts nearby that they could ask to help them....

In an area where water is “liquid gold”, they use high tech monitoring to discover leaks in water systems so that they can be found soon and fixed. Water system leaks can occur at any point from main feeder lines to distribution and service pipes that convey water to homes and businesses. Leaks can range from tiny (at the time) pressure leaks to large cracks and can add up quickly. For example, a one-eight inch crack in a pipe at 60 pounds of pressure can lose more than 3800 gallons per day. Because of this, water leakage rates around the world are high (In the UK, it is estimated that water losses are more than 3 billion liters per day). Israelis have invented and applied technology to find and stop leaks when they are small. This commitment accounts for Israel’s leakage rate of 7-8% on average, the lowest in the world.

Israel has a number of companies that specialize in detecting and preventing water leaks. If the Palestinians would ask, they could get eager graduate students from Israel more than willing to work with them to fix their issues.

But they won't. The reason is the same as the reason that they are not asking Israel for COVID-19 vaccines - because asking for help from the people they tell their kids are genocidal racists is shameful. 

People who say that Israel is the reason there is no peace in the Middle East don't want to know the truth: the Palestinians do not want peace, they do not want "normalization," they do not want Israel to help them in any way whatsoever unless it can be painted as a concession from the Jews. 

(h/t Irene)





Thursday, March 04, 2021

From Ian:

J Street and the Problem of Palestinian Anti-Semitism
J Street's May 2018 condemnation of Abbas was a rare and impressive criticism of a figure whom J Street had almost never previously criticized. Publicly challenging a leader whose policies you generally support is never easy. At the time, some skeptics, myself included, wondered if the condemnation was sincere, or was just a quick gesture intended to make J Street look reasonable but with no intention of actually confronting Palestinian anti-Semitism.

If J Street wants the Jewish community to believe that its opposition to Palestinian anti-Semitism is sincere, it must insist that Abbas officially recant his speech, withdraw his anti-Semitic book from circulation, and eliminate anti-Semitic statements from the PA-controlled media and schools.

When I say "recant," I don't mean a mealy mouthed statement like the one Abbas issued in 2018, following the international uproar over his anti-Semitic remarks. "If people were offended by my statement in front of the PNC, especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them," Abbas said. That wasn't a genuine apology. Not even close. The problem with Abbas's speech was not that some people took offense (as if they were being thin-skinned and overreacting); the problem was that what Abbas said about Jews was wrong, vile, and bigoted. That's what Abbas has to admit, and recant.

Admitting he was wrong is vitally important, in order to send a message to the Palestinian public that the anti-Semitic lies they have been hearing all these years – in their leader's speeches and books, and in their media and schools – were wrong.

Only when the Palestinians, starting with their leaders, genuinely give up their anti-Semitism, can we take seriously claims by Dylan Williams and J Street that "moderate Palestinian leaders" exist with whom the United States should interact.


Steven Emerson: Marc Lamont Hill’s Vile Antisemitism and Duplicitous New Book
Hill has only leaned in further to antisemitic conspiracy theories, such as repeatedly invoking the inflammatory and false accusation that a police exchange program between Israel and the United States leads to police killings of Black people in America. In 2018, he said: “But again, there’s a relationship between the two. The New York City Police — they’re killing us. But they’re being trained by Israeli security forces. [Host: “Really?”] Yes! They’re being trained — New York City Police and in other cities as well. So there’s a connection between the two.”

In October, the IPT exposed this narrative about police exchanges as a big lie, in the IPT series called “House of Lies.”

It’s also a claim that even an ideological ally of Hill — Jewish Voice for Peace — now says is antisemitic, and even admits to being inaccurate: “Suggesting that Israel is the start or source of American police violence or racism shifts the blame from the United States to Israel. … It also furthers an antisemitic ideology … Taking police exchanges out of context provides fodder for those racist and antisemitic tropes.”

All of this context makes it abundantly clear that Hill’s call for “a free Palestine, from the river to the sea” is a call to erase the Jewish state of Israel.

Hill now finds his infamous UN comments a joking matter — publicly, at least, so as to distract from the true meaning of his comments and to diminish the cause of his firing from CNN. At an April 2019 talk he gave at the University of Houston, he said: “I said, ‘we must do what justice requires.’ And justice requires ‘a free Palestine.’ Then there was like six other words. I can’t remember what they were…(laughs) ‘From the window to the wall…’ I don’t know. (laughs). And this idea of ‘from the river to the sea’ became the whole story.”

For good reason.

Hill’s record unambiguously shows that he has not stopped advocating for the destruction of Israel. He just tries to camouflage his antisemitism through a campaign of lying and denial, disguising his scandalous hatred of Jews in the form of a policy book that even “reputable reviewer” Kirkus Reviews falls for when praising his book as a “clear and evenhanded analysis.”

No.

As former US ambassador to Israel (under the Obama administration) Daniel Shapiro tweeted when he first heard Hill’s “from the river to the sea” comments in 2018: “This is disgusting. Calling for the elimination of Israel is anti-Semitic…”

Hill’s book is duplicity at its finest.


Beginning of a new era in Israeli-Arab relations?
On October 2, 1947, weeks before the partition vote that would signal the beginning of an Arab war against the Jews of Palestine, Ben Gurion wrote, “This is our native land; it is not as birds of passage that we return to it. But it is situated in an area engulfed by Arabic-speaking peoples, mainly followers of Islam. Now, if ever, we must do more than make peace with them; we must achieve collaboration and alliance on equal terms …. Talk of Arab Jewish amity sounds fantastic, for the Arabs do not wish it… they want to treat us as they do the Jews of Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus. (Nevertheless) history has … set conditions … which will compel Arab and Jew to work together…

For most of the past seven decades, Ben Gurion’s words have seemed hopelessly optimistic as one war followed another and Arab acceptance of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state seemed forever out of reach. But in spite of ongoing conflict, there are signs that the situation may be starting to change.

Reasons for cynicism have been many. While Israel’s cold peace with Egypt and Jordan has held, all attempts to come to terms with the Palestinian Arabs have foundered in bloodshed and mutual recrimination. For those of us who believed that a new era was at hand in 1993 as Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin shook hands on the white house lawn, the disillusionment has been particularly bitter. The murder of Yitzchak Rabin and the upsurge of terrorism emerging from the Palestinian Territories after 2000 were coupled with the Durban declaration and a renewed attempt to convince the world that Zionism was colonialist and racist and to turn Israel into an international pariah.

Now, in just a few months, we have seen dramatic and encouraging developments in Israeli Arab relations. The normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates has led with lightning speed to booming economic and political contacts. The dissatisfaction of Israeli Arabs with the Joint List as articulated by the Mayor of Nazareth has been fuelled in part by their stand against the UAE peace agreement, which is popular with many of their Israeli Arab supporters. As the new ambassador from the United Arab Emirates takes up his post and Israelis prepare once again to go to the polls, perhaps at long last we are seeing the beginning of that era of Arab Israeli collaboration foreseen by David Ben Gurion.

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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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