Wednesday, May 19, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Britain slides into an antisemitic sewer
This is what British and American so-called “progressives” — including, appallingly and tragically, many “progressive” Jews — are actually supporting when they endorse the Palestinian cause. But the point is that this horrific collusion has been going on for decades. And there’s a direct line connecting the west’s systematic incitement against Israel and incitement against Jews.

Over the years, demonstration after demonstration against Israel on the streets of London and elsewhere has featured mobs of Muslims marching shoulder-to-shoulder with leftists, liberals and other useful idiots behind the banners of Hamas — whose charter is committed to the genocide of the Jews, whom it dementedly accuses of every perceived ill of the world from the French Revolution onwards.

Such pro-Hamas demonstrations therefore represented a threat to British Jews. No-one ever did anything about this.

For years, such mobs have screamed on the streets of Britain the genocidal jihadi war-cry: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — in other words, a call for the eradication of Israel. This represented at the very least intimidation of British Jews for whom Israel is intimately bound up with their identity. No-one ever did anything about this.

These mobs have also screamed in Arabic, as they did again on Saturday: “Khayber Khayber Ya Yehud jaish Mohammed Sauf Ya’ud”. This means, “Khayber Khaybar oh Jews, Mohammed’s army is returning” — and is an inflammatory reference to Mohammed’s seventh century slaughter of the Jews of Khybar, and a threat to replicate it.

This represented an unmistakeable menace against British Jews. Not Israelis. Not Zionists. Jews. But no-one ever did anything about it. And unabashed western “progressives” continue to support these people’s cause.

But the threat isn’t limited to this chilling alliance. It’s deepened yet further by the fact that the murderous lies about Israel, which are so dangerously inflaming emotions against Israel and the Jews, are never repudiated by those who shape British political discourse.
Alan M. Dershowitz: Why does the hard left glorify the Palestinians?
The Palestinian people have suffered more from the ill-advised decisions of their leaders than from the actions of Israel.

Back to the present: Hamas commits a double war crime every time it fires a lethal rocket at Israeli civilians from areas populated by its civilians, who they use as human shields. Israel responds proportionally in self-defense, as President Biden has emphasized. The Israel Defense Forces go to extraordinary lengths to try to minimize civilian casualties among Palestinians, despite Hamas’ policy of using civilian buildings — hospitals, schools, mosques, and high-rise buildings — to store, fire and plan their unlawful rockets and incendiary devices. Yet the hard left blames Israel alone, and many on the center-left create a moral equivalence between democratic Israel and terrorist Hamas.

Why? The answer is clear and can be summarized in one word: Jews.

The enemy of the Kurds, the Tibetans, the Uyghurs and the Chechens are not — unfortunately for them — the Jews. Hence, there is little concern for their plight. If the perceived enemy of the Palestinians were not the Jews, there would be little concern for their plight as well. This was proved by the relative silence that greeted the massacre of Palestinians by Jordan during “Black September” in 1970, or the killings of Palestinian Authority leaders in Gaza during the Hamas takeover in 2007. There has been relative silence, too, about the more than 4,000 Palestinians — mostly civilians— killed by Syria during that country’s current civil war. It is only when Jews or their nation are perceived to be oppressing Palestinians that the left seems to care about them.

While the United States provides financial support for Israel, we also provide massive support for Jordan and Egypt. Even if the United States were to end support for Israel, the demonization of Israel by the hard left would not end.

The left singles out the Palestinians not because of the merits of their case but, rather, because of the alleged demerits of Israel and the double standard universally applied to Jews. That is the sad reality.
David Collier: Sky News and Mark Stone – the anti-Israel propagandists
The recent reporting from Sky News in Israel has been shameful, and their Middle East Correspondent Mark Stone has been leading the charge off the cliff. It wasn’t always this way – something seems to have broken in Stone, and his reporting seems to have recently deteriorated into one-sided anti-Israel activism.

Because of the sense of normality Israel tries to retain, despite rockets raining down around it – conflict in Israel is like nowhere else. It presents reporters with a unique challenge – an imbalance and distortion that they must contextualise to remain professional. The very fact they are there, walking around and able to witness these type of protests in a conflict zone – is repeated nowhere else on earth. This context is everything, and Mark Stone has lost it.

Mark Stone and the ‘peaceful protest’
Although this has been deteriorating for days, the public Mark Stone ‘jump the shark’ event occurred yesterday. Stone got shaken and angry. It is visible in both his online posts and Sky News reports.

There was a ‘Day of Rage’ called for by Palestinian leaders. Both Fatah and Hamas asked for violence, and the ‘Palestinian Street’ was called upon to rise up and confront Israeli security forces. The day started with guns paraded in Ramallah and a thwarted terrorist attack in Hebron. Stone was based in Jerusalem as crowds gathered.

Stone’s reports were all about ‘entirely unnecessary, provocative behaviour by Israeli police/military.’ Stone produced several tweets of the same nature.

The articles went viral online – as of course, they would. But the key issue in all this is not what his partial understanding of what was occurring might have been, it is in his description of the protestors as a ‘peaceful Palestinian group’. He refers to it as a ‘peaceful protest’ several times.

What on earth does he mean? This group literally turned up to a violent ‘Day of Rage’ protest.

It might be possible to have suggested that the protest ended peacefully – had it done so. It is also legitimate to suggest that the Israeli police reacted badly – if this is what Stone felt that he saw. What no journalist trying to report the truth can do in this circumstance, is refer to a group who turned up to a ‘Day of Rage’ in the middle of a conflict – as ‘peaceful’. If they were peaceful – they would have stayed at home. Period.

Rich Lowry: No, Israel Is Not an Apartheid State
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and her ideological compatriots tweeted the other day, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies,” which nailed the point, just not the way they intended.

Israel is a democracy that affords its Arab citizens full rights. They vote in elections, and Arab parties sit in parliament. These parties obviously have a profoundly different worldview than the Zionist parties, which has been a barrier preventing cooperation between them. But this year, in a first, Arab parties were part of the negotiations over forming a new government before they broke down. All Our Opinion in Your Inbox

Arab Israelis are full participants in Israeli society. There are Arab justices on the Supreme Court. About 20 percent of doctors in Israel and about half of pharmacists are Arab. Roughly 17 percent of students seeking an undergraduate degree are Arab, a number that has roughly doubled over the past decade.

As Steve Kramer of the Times of Israel puts it, “They arguably are the most free Arabs in the Middle East.”

Then, there are the Palestinian territories, where there is a marked lack of democracy, courtesy of the Palestinians themselves.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who is still serving a four-year term that began about 15 years ago, canceled new elections scheduled for May 22. He found a way to blame Israel for this move, of course, but the bottom line is that his party, Fatah, feared Hamas would win, as it did in the last Palestinian election back in 2006.

The Palestinians have made postponing elections into a high political art, in keeping with the lack of democratic accountability in other neighboring Arab states.

How Israel should handle the threat of another terror state devoted to its destruction arising on its borders is, any fair-minded person should concede, an inherently difficult question.
Playing American Race Politics in the Middle East
Congressman Jamaal Bowman’s district includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. He was elected with support from Jewish voters, four of whose synagogues were recently attacked and defaced by maniacs in his district.

Yesterday, responding to the onslaught of Palestinian violence against Israel, Congressman Bowman had this to say to his constituents: “Whether it’s the infringement of human and civil rights of Palestinians living in Sheikh Jarrah, the violence against those praying in the Al-Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in East Jerusalem… my heart is breaking for people around the world experiencing oppression and hurt.” And in case the virtue signal wasn’t heard loudly or clearly enough, Bowman added in a tweet, “enough of Black and brown bodies being brutalized and murdered.”

Now, this might be confusing to you, especially if you’ve been following the news over the past day. If so, you would have heard about Soumya Santosh, a 32-year-old Indian woman who, in order to provide for her 9-year-old boy, found work in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, caring for an 80-year-old woman. The pair were ducking for cover when their home was directly hit by one of Hamas’s rockets. Santosh’s brown body was torn apart by a projectile hurled by a terrorist organization and aimed at innocent civilians, none of whom, by the way, have any use for silly and preening identity politics.

Or maybe you know about 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta—his family hails from Libya, a country located, of all places, in Africa. Yehuda was shot and killed earlier this week by a Palestinian-American named Muntasir Shalabi, who was motivated, according to his neighbors, by equal parts Jew hatred and heavy gambling debts.

In general, I am loathe to deny Americans the right to play their national sports, which these days apparently include mau-mauing “white people”—though I will say that it seems creepy to use skin color as the primary way to identify human beings, like 19th century “race scientists” did. But since Congressman Bowman is being joined by a host of other elected officials including Rashida Tlaib in trying to chauvinistically transpose their own American psychodrama onto a foreign region, this is now starting to get terrifyingly dangerous—and I don't mean for Israel, but for Jews living here in the United States, including those in Congressman Bowman’s own district.
Kevin D. Williamson: The Truth about U.S. Aid to Israel
Suspending U.S. military aid to Israel would not slow down the Israeli military — it might even strengthen Israel’s military by giving it a broader range of real choices about how to arm and supply itself. Israel doesn’t need the money — it needs the relationship with Washington. And so it allows its national-security apparatus to be used as a conduit for old-fashioned American payola politics.

The questions facing the United States in our relationship with Israel are only incidentally financial. They are in the main questions of values and interests, which are what matter in international relations. And that puts President Biden in a tough spot, too: His party is home to a great many traditional, pro-Israel Democrats, and a commanding majority of Jewish voters supported him in 2020. Jewish Americans are not a homogeneous political bloc, but the Democratic Party at the moment goes out of its way to accommodate anti-Israel radicals such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and anti-Semites such as Representative Ilhan Omar and Representative Rashida Tlaib. Those present ultimately irreconcilable sets of values, which makes for a delicate coalition. Joe Biden, rolling through the world scene as stately and as relevant as a Studebaker, seems to believe he can finesse such questions as he pursues his own variation on Donald Trump’s nickel-and-dime diplomacy.

About that, he is mistaken.

Anti-Semitism is not simple bigotry or race-hatred. It is a political ideology, which is why the problems plaguing our Democrats also have plagued other left-wing parties around the world, notably U.K. Labour. In fact, in 2019 Representative Tlaib, Representative Omar, and the recently ousted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were grouped together by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as the world’s most significant anti-Semites in a 2019 report. A Democratic president cannot ignore this.

The ideology that heaps scorn and hatred on the Jewish state also heaps scorn and hatred on the United States, insisting that the United States and Israel are two local expressions of the same global phenomenon — and they are not wrong about that. The Left may give that phenomenon any number of damning names — capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, etc. — but the Noam Chomskys of the world are entirely correct to believe that the United States and Israel represent one possible way of being in the world while Hamas and Cuba and Iran and Venezuela represent a different way of being in the world. We know which side Representative Ocasio-Cortez is throwing in with.

What about President Biden?

The important question for the United States in this conflict is not the petty logrolling associated with foreign-aid payments amounting annually to approximately 30 hours of Social Security spending. With Israel on one side and Hamas on the other, the question for the United States is whether we still know how to take our own side in a fight.
The Lie of the Palestinian ‘Right of Return’
Disingenuous supporters of the Palestinians like to naively dismiss any suggestion that were millions of Arabs to “return” to Israel to create a bi-national state, this would create an existential threat to the Jewish state’s continued identity. Millions of Palestinians—who have been raised from birth to despise Zionism, Israel, and Jews specifically and view them as usurpers of Muslim land and illegal occupiers—flooding Israel would, as any sentient observer would assume, create a specifically non-Jewish state, where Jews again would be an oppressed—and despised—minority in the ruins of what had been a Jewish sovereign nation. Israel-haters such a feminist professor Judith Butler, as one example, envision a fantasy world in which Arabs and Jews would peacefully and comfortably co-exist as citizens in a new, bi-national state, even though reason and history suggest that would never happen.

Schwartz and Wilf noted that those pushing the right of return deliberately, and strategically, obscure the reality that Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish state if the right of return was acted on by the millions of Palestinians claiming it, ludicrously assuming that this new bi-national state would be a democratic utopia, something, of course, absent anywhere else in the Middle East.

“The idea of using the phrase ‘democratic country’ was intended to placate western publics and persuade them that Palestine, singularly in the Arab world, would manage to be a robust democracy where Jews could live securely,” they wrote.

“As much as this vision contradicted all evidence of the complete democratic deficit in the Arab world, and its record of treatment of ethnic minorities, especially Jews, it appealed (and continues to appeal) to Western ears. The fact that this vision was very much designed to annul the Jewish people's right to self-determination—that the country's character would be determined by its Arab majority, as a result of which the Jews would return to being a lowly minority under Muslim rule, the only role they ever had in Arab countries—was brushed aside as grumpy paranoia.”

Given Israeli’s history with its aggressive and genocidal foes, reaffirmed with every rocket fired from Gaza, Israel has every reason to be paranoid, since its enemies have made it clear that such tactics as the right of return are not claimed as a tool for peace but as part of a strategy through which the Jewish state would be weakened and, ultimately, eliminated once and for all.
The 3 Biggest Anti-Israel Myths On Social Media, Debunked
Earlier this week, violence flared yet again in Israel. Here in America, the response from our political class was just about as disconnected from reality as one would expect.

To combat the reams of disinformation making their way around social media at the moment, it seems necessary to debunk some of the most frequently cited arguments by anti-Israel activists. With the help of the media, celebrities, and politicians, these myths have become ubiquitous.

Myth 1: Israel Is Committing ‘Terrorism’ in Gaza
On Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted Israel was committing “an act of terrorism” after the nation conducted airstrikes in Gaza.

This claim is not supported by the facts. The only reason that Israel conducted any airstrikes was that the terrorist group in charge of Gaza, Hamas, instigated violence by indiscriminately shooting thousands of missiles into Israel. These rockets were not only aimed at their usual targets in southern Israel, but also civilian centers in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. These strikes have hit schools, hospitals, and homes in Israel.

While Hamas’s attacks were aimed at civilians, Israel only intends to strike military targets. Israel destroyed a Hamas military intelligence facility, a weapons manufacturing and storage site, terror tunnels used to kidnap and kill Israelis, and dozens of top terrorist leaders.
Matti Friedman (2014): An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth
How Important Is the Israel Story?
Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization. When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted.

To offer a sense of scale: Before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the permanent AP presence in that country consisted of a single regime-approved stringer. The AP’s editors believed, that is, that Syria’s importance was less than one-40th that of Israel. I don’t mean to pick on the AP—the agency is wholly average, which makes it useful as an example. The big players in the news business practice groupthink, and these staffing arrangements were reflected across the herd. Staffing levels in Israel have decreased somewhat since the Arab uprisings began, but remain high. And when Israel flares up, as it did this summer, reporters are often moved from deadlier conflicts. Israel still trumps nearly everything else.

The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: 60,000), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of India or Thailand. They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.
Matti Friedman (2017): What the AP’s Collaboration With the Nazis Should Teach Us About Reporting the News
Did the Associated Press, the venerable American agency that is one of the world’s biggest news providers, collaborate with the Nazis during World War II? A report and new counter-report on this subject offer a few striking lessons—not just for students of history but for anyone concerned with the way news coverage shapes our perception right now.

A paper last year by the German historian Harriet Scharnberg titled “The A and P of Propaganda” and published in Studies in Contemporary History makes the case that beginning in the mid-1930s, the AP’s photo office in Germany made compromise after compromise to keep reporting under Nazi rule, obeying successive orders from the Hitler regime until it ended up as a Nazi information arm in all but name. Remaining in Berlin after its competitors departed in 1935 allowed the AP to serve as a “key channel” for German propaganda, she wrote, an arrangement the New York-based agency was eager to preserve—even if it meant removing all of its Jewish photographers in keeping with Nazi race laws, for example, and even if it meant issuing a statement to the official SS magazine swearing that the photo bureau was pure Aryan.

In the Nazi years, according to Scharnberg, the AP was selling German images in the United States and selling images from the United States in Germany, allowing photographs of American Jews and others to be used in some of the vilest racial propaganda produced by the Nazi state. The AP was, for example, the “leading supplier” of images for a propaganda book called The Jews in the USA, and in third place among suppliers of photos for the book The Subhuman.

Eventually, Scharnberg claimed, the line between the AP’s German photo operation and the Nazi regime effectively ceased to exist—even as the Nazis pursued projects like the concentration camp at Dachau, which opened in 1933, and the “euthanasia” of disabled children, which began in the summer of 1939.
Richard Landes (2018): Netzarim Junction and the Birth of Fake News
One of the most shocking and transformative experiences occurred to me in late October 2003, when I got to see the original raw footage that a Palestinian cameraman had shot three years earlier at Netzarim Junction on Sept. 30, 2000. It was a peek through the lens of Talal Abu Rahma, the Palestinian cameraman who had filmed what journalists later depicted as a day of riots that killed many in the Gaza Strip, including the 12-year-old boy, Muhammad al Durah.

Charles Enderlin, chief correspondent of France2, aired the footage as news with his cameraman’s narrative: an innocent Palestinian boy, targeted by the IDF, gunned down while his father pleaded with the Israelis to stop shooting. It became an instant global sensation, enraging the Muslim world and provoking angry protests where Western progressives and militant Muslims joined to equate Israel to the Nazis. Ironically, for the first time since the Holocaust, “Death to Jews” was heard in the capitals of Europe. From that point on, for many, Israel was to blame for all violence, a pariah state.

Even had the child died in a crossfire, blaming his death on deliberate Israeli action made it a classic blood libel: A gentile boy dies; the Jews are accused of plotting the murder; violent mobs, invoking the dead martyr, attack the Jews. In Europe, the attacks the al Durah libel incited were mostly on Jewish property. In the Middle East, a new round of suicide bombers, “revenging the blood of Muhammad al Durah” targeted Israeli children to the approval of 80% of the Palestinian public. It was, in fact, the first postmodern blood libel. The first blood libel announced by a Jew (Enderlin), spread by the modern mainstream news media (MSNM), and carried in cyberspace to a global audience. It was the first wildly successful piece of “fake news” of the 21st century, and, as an icon of hatred, it did untold damage.

But it gets worse. Not only did the evidence show that the Israelis could not have fired the shots that hit the boy and his father, but everything about the footage suggests the scene was staged. There was no blood on the wall or ground and footage never shown to the public appeared to show the boy moving after being declared dead. I set out to explore this staged hypothesis, first raised by Nahum Shahaf, and exposed to the Anglophone public by James Fallows in 2003.
CUFI: It’s hypocritical to condemn the antisemitism you incite
The UK has seen an alarming surge of anti-Semitism over the past week, as 3000 miles away Israel is bombarded with Hamas rockets on a daily basis. Coincidental? Certainly not. The Israel-Gaza conflict of 2014 triggered some of the highest figures of anti-Semitism on record and a similar trend is emerging again.

Those with influential platforms play an important role in shaping the national mood towards Israel. On Saturday MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott were among those addressing the thousands that had gathered, blaming Israel for the ‘occupation of Palestine’ without once condemning Hamas. The next day the former Labour leader was tweeting words intended to comfort the Jewish community in light of the spate of anti-Semitic incidents triggered across London.

The reality is that failure to condemn Hamas is inciting scenes like that we have seen in London and other UK cities at the weekend. Their behaviour, and that of all those who side with attacks against Israel, is causing further division and placing the Jewish community in danger.

At Saturday’s anti-Israel protests in London, footage shows Met Police being attacked with bars and projectiles after pro-Palestinian protesters turned violent. A firework was thrown towards the Israeli embassy and protesters climbed onto a London bus causing disruption in the nation’s capital.

Addressing the crowds earlier in the day, Corbyn and other anti-Israel activists failed to point the finger even once at terror group Hamas for being responsible for the violence.

This deliberate omission along with verbally attacking Israel only fuels the hatred towards the Jewish state. How can anyone genuinely concerned for the Palestinian people avoid condemning Hamas? Not only are Hamas killing Jews and Arabs in Israel, their use of Palestinian civilians as human shields is a further war crime. One in every seven rockets fired by Hamas have landed in Gaza. Some of these have hit important power supply lines. What’s more, Hamas has even cut the remaining reserves in Gaza to bolster their terror campaign.
Seth Frantzman: Pakistan has strict blasphemy laws, but celebs still tweet antisemitism
A swastika, one of the many pro-Nazi symbols used among Pakistanis who hate Israeli and claim to support Palestinians, was spotted by social media users at a rally in Pakistan. Pakistan has strict blasphemy laws and its leader Imran Khan often complains about “Islamophobia” in the West, but does not condemn pro-Nazi expressions or hatred of Jews.

The pro-Hitler tweets in Pakistan were just one instance in a deluge of anti-Jewish sentiments expressed online and in rallies around the world.

Adeel Raja, a freelance contributor who had written for CNN in the past, wrote that “the world needs a Hitler,” in a recent tweet. When CNN cut ties with him over the tweet, which was exposed on Sunday, Raja complained that a “single tweet contributed to the Palestine cause and brought it to the limelight with me losing [sic] my job.” He complained that the West supposedly supports freedom of expression and human rights but that he lost his work because of his pro-Hitler tweets.

Apparently this wasn’t the first pro-Hitler tweet from him, and in 2014 he had tweeted a similar sentiment, saying that “Hitler did good with those Jews.”

Pakistani actress Veena Malik also tweeted support for Hitler. She posted a quote on Twitter, claiming Hitler had said “I would have killed all the Jews of the world, but I kept some to show the world why I killed them.” Twitter removed the tweet but some screenshots of it can still be found online. Some users pointed out the hypocrisy whereby her tweet was removed but her account was not suspended. Apparently pro-Hitler tweets are not a red line on social media.
Twitter's Holocaust problem
Twitter plays by a bizarre set of rules.

Verified users who tweet in support of the slaughter of Jews will not be banned provided they eventually delete their pro-genocide messages, a Twitter spokesperson told me this weekend.

“If Tweets are deleted,” the spokesperson said, “we cannot take enforcement action against them. And, we don't get into hypotheticals on deleted Tweets — as in, did they or did they not violate the Twitter Rules.”

In other words, a verified user can fantasize as much as he wants about the genocide of the Jews and not run afoul of Twitter’s censors so long as he eventually deletes his antisemitic messages.

That's a hell of a thing, considering Twitter permanently banned former President Donald Trump in January for insisting the 2020 election was stolen.

“The world today needs a Hitler,” freelance journalist Adeel Raja tweeted Sunday to his more than 80,000 followers.

Earlier, in 2014, he tweeted in reference to the World Cup, “The only reason I’m supporting Germany in the finals is – Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews!”

Raja, whose byline appeared on CNN’s website as recently as Sept. 2020, also tweeted in 2014, “My support for Germany is due to what Hitler did with Jews!” and “Hail Hitler!”
Richard A. Epstein: Calling Out Aggression in the Mideast
So much of the battle between Israeli and Palestinian interests depends on who can take the high ground in the moral debate. On the merits, this case should be easy. In this instance, there was no provocation for the Hamas attacks. And it is furthermore mistaken to criticize the Israeli response as being a form of “racist nationalism,” as did Senator Bernie Sanders. Such mischaracterizations only work to strengthen the misguided arguments of moral equivalence between indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations and targeted efforts of self-defense. The Israelis are trying to cope with an adversary in Hamas that is willing to use its own people as human shields to protect missile installations from counterattack, installations that are often located in hospitals and schools.

These tactics are difficult to overcome. The law of self-defense countenances the use of all feasible measures to avoid collateral damage on civilians. But by the same token, the cautionary warning against civilian casualties cannot be read so broadly as to allow Hamas to fire on Israel so long as it is willing to dragoon its own citizens into a position of peril. In dealing with these situations, it is unwise and mistaken to criticize Israeli tactical mistakes—of which there will be some—while overlooking the inexcusable use of indiscriminate and deadly force that provoked Israel’s use of force.

It is also important not to fall into the trap of thinking that the wrongs of Hamas and the Palestinians today are excused in light of past Jewish misdeeds. Peter Beinart, writing in the New York Times, advises that “Jews should understand” that crimes of the past do not remain in the past, and argues that past wrongdoing supports a Palestinian right to return to Israel. Yet this line of thinking is hopelessly one-sided, as it does not address the long history of Arab criminal aggression that started even before the Arab invasion of the new state of Israel in 1948, violence that has continued ever since. Hundreds of thousands of Jews have been forced out of their homelands in other Middle Eastern countries and are now in Israel, making a return for them neither possible nor desirable.

Beinart insists that if Jews can build houses for Russian immigrants, they can do the same for Palestinians, ignoring what sworn enemies of Israel will do once admitted to Israel in large numbers. His “modest” proposal could end the Jewish state as we know it, given the massive shifts that it would augur in political and military power.

Letting claims of past injustices fuel current acts of violence will only expand the list of unsettled grievances, producing never-ending rounds of violence. There is a better way. It depends on starting to build trust between Arabs and Israelis through low-level business and social interactions. Such ground-level social cohesion is the only hope of ending the senseless cycle of Middle East violence. Sadly, by continuing to advance the false narrative of moral equivalence, the Biden administration’s position serves only to perpetuate the chronic violence in the Middle East.
Hamas vs. Israel: Psychological Asymmetry in Action
"Psychological asymmetry" refers to the difference between what is real in theory and what is real in practice, depending on perspective and ideology.

When it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, one example is the ability of an inferior military force to fight a superior one by resorting to tactics that the latter cannot and will not undertake.

Arab terror entities, which care little for international humanitarian standards, benefit from this asymmetry by having no restraints when it comes to targeting civilians.

They also care little about and even exploit to the point of sacrifice the well-being and lives of their own people, using them as cover in their missile-launching aimed at Israelis.

When civilians in Israel are victims, psychological asymmetry sees them as collateral victims of a formidable military force. But when civilians of the militarily weaker Hamas are hurt, they are seen as "true" victims of the supposedly worthy underdog.

Hamas realizes this well, and in the past has used images of wailing mothers and injured and dead children to promote the perception of the military superiority of Israel as being unfair and illegitimate.

Yet Hamas' increased bombing of major population centers in the center of Israel inversely weakens their ability to claim unique victim status in the psychological realm.
MEMRI: French-Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi: The Muslim Brotherhood Should Be Called The Devil's Brotherhood, Hassan Al-Bana Is A Monster; Political Islam Promotes A Vision Of Hatred, Barbarism, Savagery
French-Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, president of the Conference of Imams of France, criticized political Islam in an interview that aired on i24 News (Israel) on February 28, 2021. He said that while political Islam has been around for a century, it is on the rise owing to the Muslim Brotherhood. Chalghoumi said that the Muslim Brotherhood should be called the Devil's Brotherhood, and that the organization's founder Hassan Al-Bana was a "monster." He said that the Muslim Brotherhood uses sacred ideas and causes such as the Palestinian cause to manipulate ignorant people. Chalghoumi added that "if it weren't for the Muslim Brotherhood, all Muslims would be brothers," because they sow division and civil war in the Muslim world. He then said that the Iranian mullah regime is a Shi'ite form of political Islam. Chalghoumi stated that political Islam is promoting hatred, barbarism, and savagery.

"I Don't Call Them The Muslim Brotherhood; They Are The Devil's Brotherhood; [Founder] Hassan Al-Bana... Has Done So Much Harm To Islam"

Hassen Chalghoumi: "Political Islam has been around for more than a century. It is truly on the rise with the Muslim Brotherhood. On the one hand, Egypt... I don't call them the Muslim Brotherhood. They are the Devil's Brotherhood."

Interviewer: "So who are these people?"

Chalghoumi: "Hassan Al-Bana is, to me, a monster, this man who has done so much harm to Islam, by creating this ideology of confrontation, of the Caliphate...

"If It Weren't For The Muslim Brotherhood, All Muslims Would Be Brothers... Shi'ite Political Islam [Promotes] This Strict Vision... Of Hatred, Of Barbarism, Of Savagery"

"The fact is that they use sacred things for purely political reasons, only to manipulate the ignorant people, and in the name of certain causes, like the Palestinian cause and other causes. I have a proverb that says: If it weren't for the Muslim Brotherhood, all Muslims would be brothers. Because the Muslim Brotherhood is not a brotherhood. They sow division, civil wars, fitna... Fitna killed 200,000 people in Algeria alone.
MEMRI: Amid Present Round Of Fighting With Israel, Saudis Criticize Hamas, Palestinian Authority: Palestinians Are Paying With Their Lives For Hamas' Loyalty To Iran; Palestinian Leadership In West Bank, Gaza, Responsible For Bloodshed
During the present round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, there was a shift in the Saudi media's coverage of the conflict. While at first the Saudi media focused on the issue of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, while largely ignoring the events in Gaza and refraining from criticism of Hamas, in the recent days it began publishing articles harshly critical of Hamas and of the other armed organizations in Gaza.

The articles claim that Hamas used the issues of Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah to spark the present confrontation with Israel, and that the destruction in Gaza and the hundreds of Palestinians killed and wounded are the result of Hamas's loyalty to the Iranian agenda. Hamas, they say, is exploiting the Palestinian cause to further the interests of Iran, Turkey and the political Islam organizations; it thereby not only causes bloodshed among Palestinians but also undermines the Arab solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Some of the Saudi writers draw a direct connection between the events in Gaza and Iran's present negotiations with Europe and the U.S. over the nuclear issue, claiming that Iran is using the escalation in Gaza as a bargaining chip to improve its position in the talks, at the expense of Palestinian lives. Criticism of Hamas was also expressed in tweets by Saudi journalists. One tweet, by Sa'ud Al-Fawzan, called to stop the bloodshed between the sides and promote coexistence between Arabs and Jews.

The Saudi criticism is not confined to Hamas, but also extends to the Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by President Mahmoud 'Abbas. The writers accuse the PA and 'Abbas of mishandling the Palestinian cause and pursuing personal interests at the expense of the Palestinians. Some argue that 'Abbas's postponement of the Palestinian elections, to Hamas' chagrin, was one of the reasons for the outbreak of the conflict, and that the blame for the bloodshed rests with the Palestinian leadership in both Gaza and the West Bank. Others even call to replace the current Palestinian leadership with a new, more worthy leadership.
Turkey media threatens Israel with 'Libya model' of water grab off Gaza
Turkey’s far-right Yeni Safak newspaper argued on Monday, with a frontpage story, that Turkey might implement a “Libya model” for Israel by signing a deal with Hamas-run Gaza to get access to water and energy rights off Israel’s coast. The model is based on an agreement Turkey pushed on the embattled government of Libya in 2019 which resulted in Turkey sending Syrian mercenaries and drones to Libya in violation of an arms embargo.

The concept pushed by the Turkish media, likely with support from the government, argues that Turkey can sign a deal with the Palestinians and increase support for them by sea. This would put Israel and Turkey on a military collision course. Turkey hosts Hamas leaders and supports Hamas. Its potential plan to link Turkey and Gaza by sea would harm Israel’s gas pipeline plans with Cyprus and Greece.

The goal for Turkey was to ignore Greek and Cyprus claims to exclusive economic zones and blocks of undersea areas for energy exploration, to create a Turkish “blue motherland” grabbing all the Mediterranean around Cyprus, Greek islands and now near Israel. Turkey’s sea-grab has no precedent in international or maritime laws and norms. Nevertheless that has not stopped Turkey, empowered by the previous US administration, of sending its navy with “research vessels” to conduct energy exploration in areas usually claimed by Greece.

To understand Turkey’s goal, it is that Turkey will draw a line from the Turkish coastline directly to Gaza, ostensibly dividing the sea and creating a corridor. This would cut off Israel from Greece and the East Med pipeline that Israel, Greece and Cyprus want to build. Turkey argues that Cyprus does not exist and that Greek islands have no maritime rights around them. Greece and Cyprus view things differently, arguing much of the Mediterranean around Cyprus and Greek islands is linked to them. Cyprus has deals with Egypt and Israel and Greece and Egypt have deals and good relations.
Germany bans three groups accused of funding Hezbollah
Germany’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday banned three entities accused of raising funds for the EU and US-designated terrorist movement Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Police raided pro-Hezbollah associations in seven German states, which spanned Hamburg, Hesse, North-Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate "Those who support terror will not be safe in Germany. No matter in what guise our supporters appear, they will not find a place of refuge in our country," a ministry spokesman said.

The German news organization Tagesschau reported that sources from the Interior Ministry said because Hezbollah supports the family members of Hezbollah members who died, the organizations pursue the goal of destroying the state of Israel.

The ministry imposed bans on the German Lebanese Family, People for Peace and Give Peace on Wednesday. The proscriptions of the three entities were passed in April.

The German names of the pro-Hezbollah associations are "Deutsche Libanesische Familie," "Menschen für Menschen" and "Gib Frieden.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state-sponsor of international terrorism, according to the US State Department, is the chief sponsor of Hezbollah.
Lebanese-born man arrested for planned attack on German synagogue
German police in the northern city of Bremen arrested a 42-year-old man on Wednesday for a planned attack on a synagogue in the city’s Schwachhausen district. This man was also born in Lebanon.

"An individual intended to attack the synagogue in Bremen," states an exclusive report by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

According to the report, the suspect had been previously arrested for threatening others, inflicting bodily harm, committing robbery as well as holding a series of narcotics violations.

The report added that he currently lives in an “asylum shelter” for men.

German Muslims have made attempts in the past to protest in front of a synagogue in the city of Gelsenkirchen, about 250 kilometers east of Schwachhausen, amid rising escalations between Hamas and Israel over the last two weeks.

The report added that the man is from Jerusalem, though it did not specify if he is of Palestinian origin. However, according to a police statement, the man is from Lebanon and they denied that the attack was planned.
Palestinian woman fires at Israelis outside West Bank settlement, is shot dead
A Palestinian woman on Wednesday opened fire at Israelis outside the southern West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, before being shot dead by soldiers.

The terrorist, armed with an M-16, shot at Israeli citizens and troops as she approached the entrance to Kiryat Arba, according to the military.

Two soldiers returned fire, “neutralizing her,” the Israel Defense Forces said.

No Israelis were injured.

The incident followed several other recent attacks in the West Bank, where on Tuesday thousands of Palestinians rioted amid growing tensions over the fighting in Gaza between Israel and the Hamas terror group, as well as over Jerusalem.

The West Bank and Jerusalem have seen increased violence during the current hostilities in the Gaza Strip, which began last Monday when the enclave’s Hamas rulers fired several rockets at Jerusalem, setting off the worst flare-up of fighting in seven years.

PMW: Editorial in official PA daily confirms PMW analysis that Abbas is pushing for more violence
Despite the fact that the terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad have placed the Palestinian Authority in their shadows by their launching of over 3,000 rockets against Israel over the last week, PA and Fatah leaders have been actively calling for escalation of Palestinian violence everywhere – in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip, and in the “Interior” – the PA’s term for Israel. While the war with Gaza is raging, Israeli Arabs have been attacking, shooting, lynching and murdering, as well as burning synagogues, apartments, and cars belonging to Jews. According to Israeli Walla News, 112 homes of Jews were burned, 386 were ransacked and/or looted, 673 were damaged, 10 Synagogues and 849 cars were burned, and over 5.000 cases of Arabs throwing rocks and boulders at Jews are documented. One Jew from Lod was murdered. He was hit by a rock, after which Arabs pulled him from his car and beat him to death, and many more have been injured. This is the violence that Fatah and the PA is celebrating and inciting.

It should be noted, that when some Jews responded by going to the streets to confront the attacking Arabs and in some cases attacked innocent people, the Israeli government condemned them and has been arresting them. Nonetheless, the PA has cited these incidents as further cause for violence, claiming Palestinians are fighting in self-defense.

On May 12, PA Chairman Abbas made a speech and Palestinian Media Watch showed that his call to violence was being used by his Fatah Movement to incite to more violent riots.

​Now an editorial published two days in a row by the official PA daily confirms PMW’s analysis, explaining to its readers that Abbas’ speech was a call for escalation of the violent riots. Using the PA term “resistance in all its forms,” which PMW has shown allows for and at times even encourages the use of violence and terror against Israelis, the editorial explained that Abbas meant for the violent riots to “escalate”:
“[Abbas’ statement] ‘We have had enough, leave us alone’ has only one meaning: Our people with all its forces and factions will never be silent about the existence of the occupation, and will not allow its crimes to pass without a response and without just punishment for the sake of the just resolution. What this means, in the clearest manner, is that the resistance to the occupation and its settlers in all its forms (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) and with all its legitimate means will escalate…”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16 and 17, 2021]

UN Condemns Israeli Farmers for Damaging Gaza Terror Balloons (satire)
The United Nations General Assembly issued a resolution Tuesday condemning Israeli farmers for damaging Palestinian incendiary balloons (or ‘terror balloons’), which Gazan militants have been sending over the border – along with the occasional rocket salvo – into southern Israel, causing millions of dollars in damages to Israel’s agricultural economy. According to the United Nations, the balloons are sometimes damaged before the Israeli fields can burst into flames.

“In a typical case of disproportionate Israeli aggression, Israeli farmers are now using their gigantic fields of various agricultural products to destroy significantly smaller Gazan balloons which float their way. These Zionist farmers have the audacity to cultivate fields creating incompatible landing ground for these incendiary balloons, thus causing unspeakable harm to Palestinian property”, the resolution states. “Such damage not only leads to a significant financial cost for Palestinian balloon owners and makers, but also emotional trauma and widespread concern amongst both the balloon owning and non-balloon owning population of Gaza.”

Israel, in response, has suggested the Palestinians “simply stop sending anything incendiary and then there could be peace”. The backers of the UN, however, said such an idea was “laughable and entirely unrealistic”, stressing that “it is the farms that are the real barrier to peace here.”
As Iran's Mullahs Incite Hamas Terrorism, Biden Administration Wants Sanctions Lifted
The Biden administration is apparently offering even more concessions and sanctions relief to Iran's leaders, concessions that "go beyond the nuclear-specific sanctions."....Meanwhile, these leaders from Iran are openly encouraging Hamas to launch more rockets....

In addition, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei...has been inciting terrorism on social media.... [and] labeled the whole nation of Israel a terrorist camp....

Twitter's policy indicates that it will suspend users "due to the risk of further incitement of violence." But Twitter appears to be giving him full immunity. It is worth noting that Twitter banned the former President Donald J. Trump... "due to the risk of further incitement of violence."

"Why is @khameni_ir still the fu*k on Twitter? If this isn't incitement, idk wtf is!!!" — @JeremyKossen, Twitter, May 12, 2021.

"Why on Earth aren't you banning @khamenei_ir and all his other accounts?" — @eL3CT10n to CEO Jack Dorsey, Twitter, May 12, 2021.

"The United States engaging in active negotiations with Iran and potentially providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief will no doubt contribute to Iran's support of Hamas and other terrorist organizations who attack Americans and our allies. We call on you to immediately end negotiations with Iran, and make clear that sanctions relief will not be provided." — More than 40 US Senators, letter to President Joe Biden, Newsweek, May 12, 2021.

It is mind-boggling that the Biden administration is forging ahead with its plan to revive the nuclear deal and lift sanctions against Iran's mullahs while one of America's strongest allies, Israel, is being attacked by the Iran-backed terror group, Hamas....

[T]he Biden administration must immediately halt talks with the Iranian regime. And definitely do not fund it. Any generosity will just be used to enrich Iran's militia, the IRGC, and target more countries in the Middle East -- in addition to the United States as it did on 9/11 and 1983. This time, however, the attacks may well come from Iranian bases in Venezuela or the Southern Hemisphere.
Biden and Iran: Temptation to Save the Zombie
[S]ensing that the American side is keen on producing the fudge, the Iranian side is raising the stakes.

On Monday "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei said that "liberating Palestine" is the "number one goal of the Islamic ummah", making it clear that even if the "nuclear deal" is revived, the clash of two visions on the future of the Middle East will not come to a close.

The Iranian side is also trying to have over 1,000 sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic for issues not related to the "nuclear deal" lifted without offering any concessions in return.

Rouhani's spokesman dropped another bombshell: whatever deal is made by officials representing the formal government of Iran in Vienna would have to be approved by "higher-up" in Tehran. In other words Khamenei would have a veto that he could exercise anytime he deems propitious.

Once the sham election is over [Khamenei] could revert to the "retreat-then-cheat" tactic that he describes as "heroic flexibility". The tactic has been used in numerous cases besides the hare-brained scheme concocted by former President Barack Obama, including a variety of deals Tehran made with the European Union, China and Russia.

Today, none of those factors [of 40 years ago] are in play. The Cold War has ended, Iran has been knocked out of the oil market and Arabs are moving towards normalization with Israel for reasons of their own.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif estimates that the zombie regime in Tehran needs a minimum of $60 billion a year to stay erect and do the mischief it needs to do to survive.

The Vienna talks may end up providing the extra cash Tehran needs to stay in the game. The question Biden needs to ask is this: would such an outcome serve the interests of the US, not to mention that of the Iranian people, who are now thirsty for a change of direction?
Labour Members Pushing to Adopt Peter Beinart’s, Richard Falk’s Definition of Anti-Semitism
A grassroots campaign is on the way to drop the IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism, which includes references to Israel in an anti-Semitic context, at the coming Labour party’s annual party conference in Brighton, Sept. 25-29, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday (Labour grassroots campaign to jettison IHRA definition of anti-Semitism).

Hard-left websites have been urging Labour constituents to attend the party conference in order to force a debate on replacing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism with the “Jerusalem Declaration,” a document conceived of and signed by about 200 extreme-left academics, including dedicated enemies of Zionist Israel such as Peter Beinart, who has collaborated with the likes of Rep. Rashida Tlaib in attacks on the Jewish State; and Richard Falk, a UN official and ardent Hamas supporter who was expelled from Human Rights Watch for his anti-Israel positions.

The Jerusalem Declaration (The Jerusalem Declaration On Anti-Semitism) argues that since out of the IHRA’s 11 examples of anti-Semitism, 7 focus on the State of Israel, “there is a widely felt need for clarity on the limits of legitimate political speech and action concerning Zionism, Israel, and Palestine.”

This, according to JDA, creates confusion, which its authors are eager to set to rest in order to “strengthen the fight against anti-Semitism by clarifying what it is and how it is manifested. At the same time, naturally, they wish to “protect a space for an open debate about the vexed question of the future of Israel/Palestine. We do not all share the same political views and we are not seeking to promote a partisan political agenda. Determining that a controversial view or action is not anti-Semitic implies neither that we endorse it nor that we do not.”

Major milestone reached as half of all UK universities adopt International Definition of Antisemitism, leaving those which have not increasingly isolated
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s researchers have recorded that half of all universities in the UK have now adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The University of Westminster, which is popular with Jewish students, has brought Britain’s Higher Education sector over the halfway line.

This is a major milestone for Jewish students, showing the strides being made to ensure that antisemitism is properly understood and tackled on campuses.

Widespread adoption of the Definition also shows that those universities in Britain that have yet to adopt the Definition will become increasingly isolated. Just this week, as antisemitism online, on our streets and on campuses has skyrocketed, the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has reiterated his and the Education Secretary’s calls on universities to adopt the Definition. It also comes in the same week as the National Union of Students (NUS) has apologised for a statement “in solidarity with Jewish students” in which it blamed antisemitism in Britain on Israel. In the past, it has been suggested by the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, that universities could face financial penalties if they fail to address antisemitism.

However, adoption of the Definition is not enough on its own, as shown by the appalling example of the University of Bristol, which has adopted the Definition but is yet to discipline Prof. David Miller. Most recently, Prof. Miller asserted that “Zionism is racism” and declared that his objective is “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world”. Most egregiously, he suggested that Jewish students, by virtue of being Zionist, “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”.

Nevertheless, adoption of the Definition remains a powerfully symbolic act of solidarity with Jewish students, as well as a vital tool in the fight against antisemitism on campus. It is no coincidence that UCL has become ground zero for the campaign by academics against the Definition and has also seen death threats against Jewish students.
In reversal of initial decision, college gives Zionist student group recognition on campus
Skidmore College in New York will allow a student group called the "Progressive Zionists for Peace" to undergo a trial period as a student group on campus, reversing its previous decision not to recognize the pro-Israel group as an official club until it gained "more diverse perspectives."

As first reported by The Algemeiner on March 15, the Club Affairs Committee of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Skidmore College denied the group’s application for trial status in March because of concerns “that a dialogue focused club with one perspective being conveyed could be troublesome."

The students could reapply to become a club, according to student government senator Sarah Baker, after they made efforts to gain “more diverse perspectives” or "reframe the mission to be more advocate focused with a specific stance."

Progressive Zionists for Peace founder Nessa Goldhirsch Brown told The Algemeiner that she hoped to recruit “pro-Israel, pro-peace students to organize to act together on behalf of a two-state solution and a more peaceful, secure, and democratic future for both Israelis and Palestinians."

They were motivated, she said, by the Student Government Association's previously granting trial status to the Students for Justice in Palestine in New York.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in New York City is a student group that describes itself as “a diverse group of students and community members in New York City organized on democratic principles to fulfill our role as solidarity organizers against U.S. imperialism and Zionist settler-colonialism."
World Council of Churches Assists in Propaganda War Against Israel
Predictably enough, the World Council of Churches has, yet again, joined the propaganda war against Israel.

The WCC, an umbrella organization of 350 Protestant and Orthodox Churches with a long history of demonizing the Jewish state, did this soon after rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad rained down on Israel, forcing millions of people to hide in bunkers, safe rooms, and apartment stairwells throughout the country.

Some of the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, fell short of their Jewish targets in Israel and killed Palestinian children that Hamas declares it is “liberating.” Despite all this, the WCC’s ire is directed at Israel and not at its attackers.

It’s a disgrace. An awful disgrace.

While the WCC has backed away from its ongoing support for BDS, the organization and its “peacemaking” activists have yet to abandon their ideological template of the Palestinians as innocent victims and Israel as the convenient villain.

Years of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement on the part of Arab and Muslim extremists in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (and elsewhere in the Middle East) are simply ignored by the WCC’s staffers in the Holy Land and Jerusalem. Incitement doesn’t rate as a factor in the WCC’s understanding of the conflict.

While the WCC continues to bang on the Jewish state, it remains largely silent about acts of intimidation and violence directed at Jews at anti-Israel rallies throughout the world.
The Washington Post’s Opinion Page Attacks Israel and Hides Iran
“It doesn’t interest me if we cannot explain [our actions] to the world,” Golda Meir told Israeli premier David Ben-Gurion in the 1950s. “It will not be because the world doesn’t understand, but because it doesn’t want to understand.” Meir’s observation is borne out by the Washington Post’s opinion page, which, amid Hamas’s war on Israel, has served as a fount of disinformation, willfully misunderstanding basic facts and history.

The newspaper even published a column by a former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) spokesperson.

On May 13, 2021, the Post’s global opinion page published an op-ed entitled “What we’re seeing now is just the latest chapter in Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians.” The author, Rashid Khalidi, is identified as merely a professor at Columbia University and “an adviser to Palestinian negotiators at Madrid and Washington from 1991 to 1993.” This is an incomplete description of Khalidi’s resume.

As the historian Martin Kramer has documented, a 1978 New York Times report from Beirut noted that Khalidi “works for the PLO.” Similarly, a 1976 Los Angeles Times report refers to Khalidi as a “PLO spokesperson.” A sympathetic 1979 documentary about the PLO, The Gun and the Olive Branch, even featured interviews with Khalidi—who was identified as a “PLO spokesperson.”

During this time period, the PLO was still a U.S.-designated terror group and actively waging a war against Israel in Lebanon (Martin Kramer, “Khalidi of the PLO,” Oct. 30, 2008). By 1991, the PLO was feigning moderation and involved in peace talks. Thus, the difference between being “an adviser to Palestinian negotiators” from 1991-93 and being a “spokesperson” in 1976—a mere four years after the PLO carried out the Olympic Games massacre in Munich and murdered an American diplomat in Khartoum—is no small thing.

Khalidi’s views are unsurprising when one considers that the PLO never revised its charter, which called Israel’s very existence “illegal.”
The Washington Post Can’t Find the Culprit for the Israel-Hamas War
The Washington Post can’t seem to find the culprit for the lack of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

It’s not Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip and is currently launching thousands of rockets at the Jewish state—each rocket a war crime. It’s not Fatah, the movement that rules over the majority of Palestinians and which insists on paying salaries to those who murder and maim Jews. Nor is it the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hamas’s chief benefactor, which, like the Gaza-based terror group, calls for another Jewish genocide.

One contributing factor for the lack of peace, a May 14, 2021 Post blog asserts, is the Iron Dome defense system. The blog’s headline is “Israel’s Iron Dome defense system protects Israeli lives. It also perpetuates the Israel-Gaza conflict.” Writers don’t always choose their headlines, however. And the article itself, by Yagil Levy, a professor of public policy at the Open University of Israel, is more nuanced than its title would suggest.

Levy notes that the Iron Dome system saves Israeli lives and gives “freedom of action against Hamas.” The system, he correctly observes, provides Israeli leaders with a tool that not only saves lives—Gazan and Israeli alike—but it gives them greater options in mounting a response. Iron Dome, he notes, “protects Gazan civilians from the potentially devastating outcomes of an Israeli ground offensive,” which would be more likely if Israel were to sustain high civilian casualties from rockets.
BBC ‘escalated violence’ backgrounder avoids terrorism, promotes equivalence
On May 13th the BBC News website posted a filmed ‘explainer’ titled “What is going on between Israel and the Palestinians?” on its ‘Middle East’ page together with a misleading synopsis.
“Hamas militants have launched dozens of rockets at Israel after Israeli air strikes killed senior commanders and felled a multi-storey building in Gaza.

The escalation of the fighting, which began on Monday, has prompted the UN to warn of a “full-scale war”.

At least 65 people in Gaza, including 14 children, and seven people in Israel have been killed since then.

Ros Atkins looks at the recent events that triggered this latest violence between Palestinians and Israelis.”

The same four-minute film was also apparently shown on BBC television channels.

Ros Atkins purported to provide six reasons for the recent escalation in hostilities.
“These tensions reach back decades. But why have they escalated now? Well, there are many reasons. Here are six.”

The first ‘reason’ promoted by Atkins presented a superficial account of the long-running Sheikh Jarrah property dispute which has been used by Palestinian factions to fuel tensions of late.
“The first concerns growing Palestinian protests. Some have been sparked by an imminent ruling on six Palestinian families who are threatened with eviction in the neighbourhhod of Sheikh Jarrah. It’s connected to a lawsuit brought by Israeli settlers and these protesters see that as part of a broader effort to drive them from East Jerusalem.”

Atkins made no effort to question that latter claim or to explain the history of the area and the long-running legal case.
AFP Gaza Coverage Rife With Errors, Omissions
Agence France Presse coverage today of events in Israeli and the Gaza Strip is marred by factual errors and egregious omissions which downplay the destruction that Hamas, a designated terror organization, has sown with its thousands of rocket attacks on Israel. Today’s article, “Gaza reels under Israeli strikes as violence enters second week,” errs: “Israel says 10 people, including one child, have been killed and more than 300 wounded by the rocket fire, which has been the most intense to ever rain down on the Jewish state.”

In fact, Israeli authorities report that two children have been killed in rocket fire: 5-year-old Ido Avigail, killed as he huddled in his family’s shelter in Sderot, and Nadine Awwad, 16, from an Israeli-Arab community near Lod, killed by Gaza rocket fire along with her father.

A second AFP article today, “No respite from Israel strikes, as diplomatic efforts intensify,” repeats the error, stating: “In total, Israeli air strikes have killed 212 Palestinians, including 61 children, in Gaza — whilst rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups have killed 10 people in Israel, including a child, according to officials on both sides.”

In addition, it should be noted that the above passage falsely states that Israeli officials confirm Hamas numbers for casualties on the Palestinian sides. This is not the case. According to the Israeli military, the army has killed over 150 terrorists, most of them belonging to Hamas.

Neither article includes this significant information about Hamas’ significant casualties. Reuters, in contrast, has commendably reported that Israel “says its forces have killed at least 140 Hamas or Islamic Jihad fighters in Gaza.”
CNN Cuts Ties With Writer Who Praised Hitler for Years
CNN says it cut ties with a writer who took to social media to praise Adolf Hitler, but his admiration for the Nazi leader who killed more than six million Jews was well-established prior to this weekend's post.

Adeel Raja, a Pakistani-based CNN contributor whose byline has appeared on the network's website at least 54 times, wrote on Sunday in a now-deleted post, "The world today needs a Hitler." CNN said Sunday night that due to Raja's "abhorrent statements," he would "not be working with CNN again in any capacity."

Raja’s Sunday post, however, is just one of several praising Hitler and criticizing Israel in vitriolic terms. In other tweets, such as one during the World Cup in 2014, Raja wrote, "The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals is—Hitler was a German and he did good with those jews [sic]!" In another 2014 tweet, Raja said, "Hail Hitler."

Raja claims on his LinkedIn account that he has contributed to CNN for more than seven years.

Raja’s praise for Hitler comes as violence between Israel and Palestinian terror groups turns into a full-scale war. Israel conducted multiple airstrikes in the Gaza Strip to stop Hamas terrorists from firing missiles at the Jewish state. Iran-backed terror groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, fired thousands of rockets at Israel this week. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s defensive actions will continue until the terror groups are eradicated.

The ongoing violence has incensed anti-Semites and anti-Israel activists online, including the country’s detractors in Congress, like Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.). They have accused Israel of terrorism but have not condemned Hamas for its actions.

The news network's decision to cut ties with the Nazi admirer was not covered by CNN reporters Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy in their Monday newsletter on the media.
Reuters Arabic Corrects Northern Kibbutz of Misgav Am Not a Settlement
CAMERA Arabic yesterday prompted correction of a Reuters Arabic report which erroneously referred to Kibbutz Misgav Am, a small Jewish community in northern Israel, as a “settlement.” The May 17 article about rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel, and the Israeli military’s return fire, had stated (all translations by CAMERA Arabic):
The Lebanese shelling caused Israeli air raid sirens to blare near the settlement of Misgav Am, along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

Established 1945 and continuously inhabited ever since, Misgav Am is not “a settlement” located beyond the Green Line, Israel’s pre-1967 armistice line; it is a Jewish residential community inside Israel’s internationally recognized territory.

Notably, the English version of the same report correctly referred to it as a “kibbutz.”

In response to communication from CAMERA Arabic, Reuters commendably corrected the Arabic article by replacing “settlement” with “kibbutz” and posting the following a correction at the top of the report (screenshot below):
Correction of the Misgav Am reference in the seventh paragraph […] clarifying that Misgav Am is a kibbutz and not a settlement.
Toronto Star Article About Anti-Israel “Protest” in Toronto Replete With Antisemitism, Bias and Errors
We are disturbed to see a Toronto Star article published on May 15 about pro-Palestinian protests at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto over the weekend that was replete with an antisemitic comment, anti-Israel bias and which was error-plagued.

Zena Salem, a staff reporter at the Star is listed as a co-author of this report. It’s noteworthy that Salem is a signatory to an anti-Israel open letter which lobbies Canadian journalists and news organizations to regard Israel as having carried out “ethnic cleansing” and “indiscriminate airstrikes” on Palestinians.

Salem’s report notably carried a quote from an individual named Michael Schirtzer saying: “It is the biggest human rights issue of our generation. This reminds me of the Warsaw Ghetto, so I feel compelled to do something about it,” said “We do not want colonization done in our name.” Importantly, drawing contemporary comparisons of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Holocaust (I.E. the Warsaw Ghetto) is bona fide antisemism. This statement should never have appeared in the Toronto Star.

Reporter Salem led her article by saying: “Thousands of people took to the streets in downtown Toronto Saturday night in a show of solidarity for the Palestinian people, as fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza City grew more intense.”

In truth, Israel is fighting Palestinian terrorists – not Palestinians.
UK police arrest 2 men they say assaulted rabbi in hate crime
We are hearing disturbing accounts of Jewish schoolchildren being pressured by their peers to “pick a side” in the conflict between Israel and the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, Hamas.

We have published a short resource on “What to do about antisemitism at school” for children and parents, which helps identify antisemitism using the International Definition of Antisemitism and provides pointers on how to act when antisemitic incidents arise.

The problem is not only impacting pupils but also Jewish teachers. The spouse of one Jewish teacher wrote on Facebook this week of how she had to “ensure multiple incidents” in one day at her school in Mill Hill, as students repeatedly screamed “Free Palestine” at her in large groups, “targeting her alone as a known Jewish teacher at the school”.

She is reportedly feeling very unsafe and is considering handing in her notice.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Reports of antisemitism directed at Jewish schoolchildren and teachers are harrowing. Teachers, colleagues, headteachers and governors have an obligation to step in to prevent abuse and punish perpetrators when it arises. There must be no place for racism in schools. We have produced a resource for pupils and parents who encounter antisemitism at school, and we urge victims to contact us for assistance.”
Pro-Palestinian activists storm UK factory co-owned by Israel defense firm Elbit
Pro-Palestinian activists in the United Kingdom have stormed a factory co-owned by the Israeli defense firm Elbit to protest Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Several members of the Palestine Action group on Wednesday climbed up on the roof of the building in Leicester, a city located about 100 miles northwest of London, Newsweek reported. Others chained themselves to the gates.

The factory, which is also co-owned by the French firm Thales, is involved in the production of drones, they said.

Police, along with the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, were on the scene, a police spokesperson told the BBC.

“A further group of protesters have since arrived on the ground,” the spokesperson said. “Police remain at the scene and are attempting to engage with those on the roof.”

Pro-Palestinian activists have long targeted Elbit facilities in the United Kingdom. In February, several occupied an Elbit building in Waterhead, a town located about 262 miles northwest of London, for several hours.
CAA publishes resource for pupils and parents as reports grow of harrowing antisemitism in schools in wake of conflict between Israel and Hamas terrorists
We are hearing disturbing accounts of Jewish schoolchildren being pressured by their peers to “pick a side” in the conflict between Israel and the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, Hamas.

We have published a short resource on “What to do about antisemitism at school” for children and parents, which helps identify antisemitism using the International Definition of Antisemitism and provides pointers on how to act when antisemitic incidents arise.

The problem is not only impacting pupils but also Jewish teachers. The spouse of one Jewish teacher wrote on Facebook this week of how she had to “ensure multiple incidents” in one day at her school in Mill Hill, as students repeatedly screamed “Free Palestine” at her in large groups, “targeting her alone as a known Jewish teacher at the school”.

She is reportedly feeling very unsafe and is considering handing in her notice.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Reports of antisemitism directed at Jewish schoolchildren and teachers are harrowing. Teachers, colleagues, headteachers and governors have an obligation to step in to prevent abuse and punish perpetrators when it arises. There must be no place for racism in schools. We have produced a resource for pupils and parents who encounter antisemitism at school, and we urge victims to contact us for assistance.”
Reality TV star Erica Mena: ‘Special place in hell’ for ‘these Jewish people’
Reality TV star Erica Mena tweeted “These Jewish people are really killing children” and added, “A real special place in hell for them all.”

“I’m so disgusted with Israel,” Mena wrote to her nearly 275,000 Twitter followers, referencing the ongoing violence between Israel and Gaza.

Journalist John-Paul Pagano captured the tweet from Monday before she took it down.

Mena appeared as a dancer in music videos for several famous rappers before appearing on VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: New York” and “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami,” a spinoff of the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” show. Mena has nearly 5.5 million followers on Instagram.

After taking down her original tweet, she added one on Monday that called Israel “devils” that are carrying out a “genocide.”

“I don’t care what anyone has to say. If you think it’s okay to kill young innocent children and remove people from their homes, you can go to hell along with the devils of Israel that are taking part in a genocide right now as we speak,” she wrote.
Pro-Palestinians vandalize Illinois synagogue
Palestinian supporters vandalized the Persian Hebrew Congregation synagogue in Skoki, Illinois ahead of the Shavuot holiday, local media reported this week.

Surveillance video showed several masked people enter the synagogue at approximately 3 p.m. Sunday after smashing one of the windows. The suspects left several Palestinian flags and antisemitic banners behind.

Steve Hoffman, the former president of the synagogue, told reporters that no one was in the building at the time, and therefore, no one was injured. He also said they had hired security to protect the place of worship.

Lonnie J. Nasatir, President of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, said: "This was clearly not freedom of speech, this went right into actually a real assault, and quite frankly, a terrorist act on a religious place of worship.

Local police said they were investigating the hate crime.

A Review: Jews Don’t Count by David Baddiel
At 123 pages, David Baddiel’s “Jews Don’t Count” is more like a very long essay than a full length book – which is no criticism. The book’s brevity, as well as its plain, non-academic prose, means that his trenchant argument about an often-overlooked intellectual current that obfuscates antisemitism will result in more people grappling with these important ideas.

The premise of ‘Jews Don’t Count’ is one that would resonate with those who read our blog posts: that antisemitism is not taken as seriously by the anti-racist, identitarian left – and even mainstream literary, political or media personalities – as bigotry towards other minorities. Baddiel cites numerous examples of well-known figures who spew out antisemitic rhetoric, yet avoid the public opprobrium normally meted out to those who engage in racism.

One example relates to the 2019 musical production of Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple. While the actress, Seyi Omooba, was sacked due to her anti-gay views, the grotesquely antisemitic writings of Alice Walker herself didn’t cause even a ripple of controversy.

Much of this double standard, Baddiel convincingly argues, is based in part on the perception of Jews as “white”, successful and thus “privileged”, thus not genuine ethnic minorities deserving of the sympathy afforded to other ‘truly’ oppressed minorities. Baddiel cites, as one example of this dynamic, an incident in 2019 that we covered at the time, in which BBC presenter Justin Webb promoted a version of this very idea – a narrative that another BBC presenter, Jo Coburn, legitimised more recently.

“With the transition to identity politics”, Baddiel writes, the left “has become less about for the masses and more about specific minorities”. A “sacred circle”, he adds, “is drawn around those whom the progressive modern left are prepared to go to battle for”, and the ‘monied’ and ‘powerful’ Jews aren’t in it. When ‘progressive’ anti-Semites attack Jews, others writers similarly cognizant of this dynamic have argued, they often believe they are “punching up” – that they are bravely “speaking truth to power” and rebelling against the (rigged) system.
Martha Gellhorn Loved Hemingway and Israel
Of the pieces Gellhorn filed from Israel, the best known are “The Arabs of Palestine,” (1961) and “Eichmann and the Public Conscience” (1962), both of which appeared in The Atlantic. Read today, at a moment when Human Rights Watch is using the word “apartheid” to describe the Israelis, “The Arabs of Palestine” could seem tone deaf. Gellhorn, visiting U.N. refugee camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, found the Palestinians if not flourishing, doing far better than other refugees she had seen. She is openly unsympathetic.

She was not the only one. Others noticed the antisemitic propaganda coming from Arab radio 13 years after the Holocaust ended. Fueled by her experience trying to stop the war, and the horrors she saw at Dachau, “The Arabs of Palestine” is extremely sharp. “Arabs gorge on hate,” she writes. She was reporting the piece during the Eichmann trial and she thought it was important to reject the point of view, adopted by many global powers, that Israel was a bully. Her villain was Gamal Abdel Nasser, who she described as brainwashing Palestinians into thinking that Jews were evil. She met some Arab Holocaust deniers and had what she called “Mad Hatter” conversations. In one famous passage, she writes that the Arabs do not pity the Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, therefore she cannot pity them.

It is easy to dismiss “The Arabs of Palestine,” or talk about what Gellhorn missed or how she couldn’t see that this situation was different from Europe. But Gellhorn brought an important perspective to the conversation—the necessity for a Jewish state in a post-Holocaust world. Published in The Atlantic the following year, “Eichmann and the Public Conscience” may be the more enduring piece because it is about a subject universally agreed upon as evil. It appeared before Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem” ran in The New Yorker, but in fact, the two pieces are difficult to compare. Arendt provides sociological and biographical background on Eichmann. Gellhorn, focusing on Eichmann’s testimony in the courtroom, draws from her years of reporting from different parts of the front. She singles out for praise especially Scandinavians who provided asylum for the Jews or resisted the Nazis in other ways. She criticizes the press for protesting “in weariness” as the trial went on. She insists that the reader pay attention, that politicians pay attention. In an echo of her fascination with the level of detail in the Nazi records at Dachau, she calls Eichmann the worst kind of organization man and asked how he could even be human. “His voice is ugly, with a hard R, a sound that makes one think of a hammer and a knife.” She feared that if the world flinched, there would be another Holocaust.

As in her Dachau piece, she laid the heaviest amount of blame on the United States. Also as in that piece, she provides many surreal images. One of the most stunning moments comes after Eichmann describes how, after he decided he wanted to learn Hebrew, he paid for lessons (instead of grabbing and arresting a rabbi), and “he was startled by the low wave of sound” coming from the courtroom. She describes how, when various European governments made efforts to get special people back, Eichmann “replied icily that these Jews could not be found” when he knew exactly where they were.

In 1967, Gellhorn returned to Israel to write about the Six-Day War. She filed pieces on it for The Nation, The Guardian, and Vogue. She still considered Israelis heroes and Arabs villains. She admired Israelis’ informality, the way they comported themselves in war, and seems at times more Zionist than her friend Moshe Dayan. In the Vogue piece, she writes of “the glorious, incredible, matter-of-fact, Israeli army” which “seems to operate on the revolutionary principle that everyone is glad to be there.” She writes that “the secret weapon of Israel is Israelis.”

Although Gellhorn would be a Zionist until her death, she stopped going to Israel in the ’70s. She should be remembered for her devotion to heroes and for her writing, which she believed “is better than silence.” And she should also be remembered for trying to live up to the phrase “Perhaps it is impossible to understand anything unless it happened to you yourself.”


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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