Sunday, October 31, 2021

I've had my share of disagreements with Batya Ungar-Sargon, most notably when she was Opinion Editor of The Forward. But she has been outspoken about the dangers of the current far-Left "woke" movement, and I've had some reasonable private discussions with her, so I bought her brand new book to see what she has to say.

Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy is centered around two themes. The primary one is that the media has swallowed the woke narrative, specifically that everything must be viewed through the prism of race. 

Ungar-Sargon traces the history of modern journalism through the lens of the New York media world since the 1820s, noting the divide between the media that catered to the upper classes and the newspapers that were aimed at the working class, derided by the traditional media as "sensationalistic." She contrasts the New York World and the New York Sun with the founding of the New York Times, which was explicitly aimed at the rich. She shows that the NYT continues with that mission today, using even digital media to aim at the most wealthy people and those who aspire to join them. Local news and stories about ordinary working class Americans are given short shrift.

Ungar-Sargon demonstrates that while the news business was a trade, with most reporters not having attended college until five decades ago and in touch with the working people, now the journalists are nearly all from a small number of exclusive universities and are in the top tier of what is now known as privilege. Even though journalism pays very little for entry level jobs, the New York media world is filled with young people who could only afford to live in the city because of their wealthy parents who subsidize them. More recently, these privileged young journalists - who have remarkably little experience with actual, on the ground reporting and instead concentrate on doing their jobs using the Internet - have been pushing out the older, experienced journalists by canceling or threatening to cancel them. The result is a remarkably homogeneous, ultra liberal, mostly white class of know-nothings. 

Batya brings much evidence that the current fashion of claiming that everything is centered on race is nonsense. Americans are less racist than at any time in our history yet the number of articles about race have skyrocketed. Intersectionality theory is equally shown to be nonsense - African women immigrants, who should according to that theory be on the very bottom of the heap, have no economic disadvantage when seeking employment in the US. She does a great job at taking apart the hypocrisy behind the NYT's treatment of the Tom Cotton op-ed and the aftermath. 

Her argument falters when it intersects with her second theme, a more implicit one that pervades the book. This theme is that while the racial problems in the US are exaggerated, there is a serious class problem that is not being addressed, especially not by the media.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide up everyone into two types of people and everyone else. Looking at the world as though everything is a class problem is just as simplistic as looking at everything through the lens of race. There are certainly class issues, but they don't explain everything, and Batya's class arguments are not convincing. While she demonstrates very well that journalists are overwhelmingly in the super liberal upper class, she does not show that the upper class itself buys into the woke narrative. In fact, she doesn't define what she means by upper class - her most consistent definition seems to be "college educated." What about Wall Street professionals - it seems unlikely that they buy into the woke/intersectional narrative even though they are clearly upper class (and college graduates.)  The American middle class is treated as being effectively part of the upper class if they are "aspirational." But how many college-educated middle class Americans really want to be part of the rarified world of the New York Times Style section? And the huge middle class who live between the two coasts don't fit into her upper vs. working class worldview in this book at all. 

As with race, this is not to say that there isn't a problem with the divide between the professional class and the working class, or with the working class not being represented by the media. The author shows that it is this very feeling of being disenfranchised that caused so many working class Americans of all races to vote for Donald Trump, who instinctively spoke to their concerns about keeping their jobs- and he even gained non-white voters in the 2020 election. (Ungar-Sargon somehow manages to say that the Republicans don't care about the working class after showing that Trump's policies were geared exactly to them.)   

Because of her conviction that class is the defining feature of American life, one of Ungar-Sargon's core  arguments does not hold up well. She claims that the young writers at the major newspapers support the idea of wokeness because they feel guilty about their white, upper class privilege, so they choose to focus on race because it is immutable - if the problem is one of race, then they don't have to examine their own privileged lives because they cannot solve the problem. There might be some truth to that, but it seems to me more likely that they learned this ideology in their universities and never questioned it as they moved from the college bubble to the media bubble. 

If there was any consistent formula that Ungar-Sargon's data indicates, it is not the importance of class, but of money, power and influence. The reason that the New York Sun succeeded wasn't because of a principled coverage of the working class but because the larger market was lucrative. The reason Bernie Sanders flipped his stances on topics like immigration between 2016 and 2020 was because his desire to be elected was more important than his interest in consistency with his principles and agreeing with Trump was not a good look for a Democrat in 2020. The reason that the liberal media is obsessed over race stories is because they get ratings. 

Bad News is an excellent book for members of  the Left. If they have any intellectual honesty, it could convince them that their philosophy is not only wrong but a danger to democracy and the nation. For people who already know that critical race theory is ahistorical and wrong, this book gives more ammunition. There is plenty of interesting history and statistics (such as data that indicates that people on the Left are more racist than those on the Right)  that make it a worthwhile read for anyone. 

From Ian:

Rushing to defend terrorism-linked NGOs: Why are so many Americans taking the side of groups that work with terrorists?
In light of the wealth of publicly available information linking these NGOs to the PFLP, multiple financial institutions have previously closed accounts and denied payment services. For instance, in 2018, Citibank and Arab Bank closed DCI-P accounts, and Visa, Mastercard and American Express shut down online credit card donations to Al-Haq and UAWC.

European governments and institutions have also expressed concern that their funds were being diverted by these terror-linked actors. In August 2021, the EU opened a preliminary investigation into its financial support to PFLP-linked Palestinian NGOs, and the EU’s anti-fraud mechanism, OLAF, has also launched an investigation. Similarly, the Dutch government froze support to UAWC and initiated an outside audit.

By defending the Palestinian NGOs, some of which may be implicated in murder, groups like HRW, IfNotNow and others undermine the basic human dignity they claim to so greatly cherish. They also prevent terrorist NGOs from facing proper accountability. Their impulsiveness can be attributed either to blind reverence to Palestinian NGOs, or worse, intentionally ignoring the facts that do not accord with their political priorities.

Caution and self-reflection might have been more appropriate responses to Israel’s carefully weighed decision. Instead, oblivious to the facts, these groups instantly condemned the move and again displayed their immoral agendas for all to see.

Michelle Goldberg and Angela Merkel seek moral absolution in the wrong place
Dr. Gerstenfeld is one of the many who concluded that at least when it comes to antisemitism there is little difference between mainstream Muslims and their Islamist masters. He specialized in Israeli-Western European relations, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and authored the book “The War of a Million Cuts.”

And so Gerstenfeld noted that the report defines Islamism as a form of political extremism that aims to end democracy. Anti-Semitism is one of its essential ideological elements. He said: “The document starts by stating that for historical reasons, and in view of the country’s experience with National Socialism, anti-Semitism was long viewed as being inevitably related to the extreme right. Only gradually has it become clear that right-wing extremists do not hold a monopoly on anti-Semitism in Germany today.”

The fact that Islamists and even less politically active Muslims have extreme anti-Semitic beliefs, has long been the “elephant in the room” and leftists seek to minimize their complicity in the immigration of antisemites by misleadingly categorizing antisemitism as emanating from the Right. This became a huge problem during President Trump’s administration as leftist news media, such as The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN , only could see the “racists’ on the right, when the numbers and influence of extremist views in the Right pales in significance to the Left in mainstream media, the universities and the Democratic Party.

This report is too important to be hidden from the public. The report, as summarized by Gerstenfeld, “states that the arrival of over a million Muslims in Germany between 2014 and 2017 increased the influence of Islamist anti-Semitism in the country. It cites Anti-Defamation League statistics on anti-Semitism among the populations of Middle Eastern and North African states. Turkey—a country from which many Muslims now living in Germany originated—is one of the least anti-Semitic countries on the list, yet even it is “nearly 70 percent” anti-Semitic. The study mentions that many children in these countries are raised on a steady diet of anti-Semitic indoctrination.”

Despite Goldberg’s contention that there is little Islamic extremism resulting from the mass immigrations of 2015, the report notes the uptick in Islamist anti-Semitism, which was really made clear as a result of a demonstration that took place in Berlin in 2017. At that event, demonstrators carried placards demanding that Israel be destroyed, and set an Israeli flag on fire

Goldberg is also contradicted in Gerstenfeld’s disclosure that German Health Minister Jens Spahn remarked that the mass immigration from Muslim countries was the reason for the demonstrations in Germany; and Stephan Harbarth, deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU faction in the Bundestag (the German parliament), said, “We have to strongly confront the anti-Semitism of migrants with an Arab background and those from African countries.”

Goldberg has a history of whitewashing the antisemitism inherent in anti-Zionism. She infamously wrote in 2018 that it’s entirely possible to oppose what she calls “Jewish ethno-nationalism” without being a bigot.

It is a new low for her to run interference for German antisemitic pro-Iran, pro-Hamas, leftists and join them in their attempt for a national “redemption”, once again at a horrible cost to the Jews.
The Moral Incoherence of an Academic Boycott Against Israel
Seeming to give credence to George Orwell’s wry observation that “there are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them,” the fatuous members of the Virginia Tech Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) passed a “Resolution to Divest in Compliance with the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions Movement,” tendentiously pronouncing their solidarity “with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation from Israeli apartheid, colonialism and military occupation.” Resolution 2021-22N3 calls on the university administration and staff, Virginia Tech administrators, and employees to “immediately begin to implement the academic and cultural boycott of Israel” by “adopting as a general principle a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and the denial of basic Palestinian rights.”

The poisonous and historically inaccurate language of the GPSS resolution, including such loaded terms as “apartheid, colonialism and military occupation,” was troublingly similar to that found in the dozens of unctuous statements that oozed from university departments, faculty unions, student groups and other organizations in the wake of the latest Gaza war in May. All of the blame and condemnation for the ongoing conflict was assigned to Israel, and conveniently, for instance, no mention was made — either in this resolution or the many solidarity statements in May — of the more than 4,000 lethal rockets Hamas had fired into Israeli towns with the express purpose of murdering Jewish civilians, nor any recognition that each of these instances of rockets being fired constituted a war crime, or that Israel had every legal right under the laws of war to suppress such aggression and to retaliate in an effort to protect its citizenry from attack.

What was different about the Virginia Tech resolution, however, is that included a demand for Virginia Tech to join the BDS campaign since, the resolution claimed, “academic institutions are not neutral arenas of knowledge production, exchange and dissemination” and, therefore, “academic institutions are demonstrably key sites of contestation that can either uphold or challenge Israeli apartheid and colonialism.” Moreover, any consideration that an academic boycott, in practice, constricts academic freedom should be ignored because, the resolution asserted without providing any evidence, “it is clear then that the existing status quo is not one which upholds academic freedom, but rather is one which violently denies Palestinian academics the ability to freely participate in academic institutions and conferences around the world.”
Literary intellectuals who pan Israel
Imagine. In 1922, Irish author James Joyce published his novel, Ulysses, and the central character Leopold Bloom, holds both court and Jewish blood. It would be remiss to believe Joyce could ever have held Anti-Semitic views,after creating such a loveable character as Bloom. Instead, you just know Joyce had to have been an ardent admirer of Jews, even though he dwells not on Bloom's Hebraic roots, but on Bloom as a personality of interest.

But where Joyce, as author, was highbrow enough to offer literary if not humanistic acceptance of a member of the tribe, certainly at a time where the same lovefest for Jews in Britain, if not the world, was questionable, the same humanity Joyce expended cannot be said today of others, including Irish authoress Sally Rooney, who has made public her distaste for Israel, the only Democracy in the Middle East.

So much so, that she decided - in a well-publicized photo opportunity - not to permit Modan, the Israeli Publishing House which had originally translated her works into Hebrew, to continue their professional relationship.

While no doubt, librarians and other enthusiasts of humane underpinnings against censorship must pity of find repugnant Rooney The Fool, her decision to relinquish her relationship with Modan, certainly shows that she has an intended audience for her latest book, Beautiful World. This elite group could include others.

How about having a literary evening with such UGLIES as Ben & Jerry, Unilever, Haaretz, Roger Waters, Lorde, The Islamic Republic of Iran, Al Qaeda, The Taliban, United Nations, UNRWA, Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Jimmy Carter, Holocaust Revisionists, Britain's Labour Party, and likeminded literary intelletuals, like the JVP ones to be found on college campuses?.
  • Sunday, October 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
There has been a huge uproar in the Arab world over the statements of a Lebanese Information Minister George Kordahi saying that the seven-year war by Arab Gulf states against the Iran-backed  Houthi rebels in Yemen in "absurd" and that the Houthis are “defending themselves … against an external aggression.”

One criticism against Kordahi in a Palestinian news site conflates the war against the Houthis with other Arab wars, especially against Israel, as if they are one and the same long battle against non-Sunni Arabs.

The article by Sheikh Abdul Manan Al-Sunbali describes why these wars are not "absurd." He knows his audience - it isn't Western media or the "progressives" but his own fellow Arabs who share his anger and shame. 

Sunbali uses the pure language of shame and vengeance that reveals the real reason most Arabs hate the Jews:
It is a war to restore the Arab dignity lost for more than seventy years!

It is a war of proving and confirming the Arab identity and rooting it anew in the hearts of Arab youth!

It is a war of revenge for the defeats of 48 and 67 and the victory for the values ​​and history of the Arab and Islamic nation!

It is a war to return Yemen to the warm Arab embrace, as Palestine and Iraq should be returned, as well as Andalusia before!

It is the war to liberate the islands of Abu Musa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, Ceuta, Melilla, the Golan Heights and the Shebaa Farms from the hands of the greedy invaders and occupiers!

It is a war to extricate the Arab nation from the clutches of backwardness, rupture, prostration and loss, and its liberation from under the armpits and feet of the foreigner!

What's wrong with you, George?!
Sunbali goes on to say that by defending the Houthis, Kordahi might as well condemn Hamas and Hezbollah rockets, or say "that the land of Palestine originally belonged to the Jews and not to the Arabs, and that the Zionists are our cousins ​​and the closest race to us, and that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state...or you should have said that the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance factions  are terrorist groups!"

To too many mainstream Arabs, the truth is what is absurd and lies are the path to honor.

  • Sunday, October 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Hackers believed to be linked to Iran have breached an Israeli internet hosting company, taking down several of its sites. The hackers on Saturday night released some alleged personal information online, including from an LGBT dating site, according to Hebrew media reports.

“Atraf,” a geo-located dating service as well as a nightlife index, is a popular app and website in the Israeli LGBT community, especially in the Tel Aviv area.

According to Hebrew media sites, names of “Atraf” users and their locations were posted online. The data leak had worried users it could expose those still in the closet.
Anti-Zionists and anti-Israel groups generally try to link their hate with more broad Leftist causes. But they have been completely silent over the potential danger to Israeli gays and their privacy being leaked by presumed Iranian hackers. Those that are still in the closet, especially those who come from religious families, are anguished over the news. (Reports say that the hosting company for the information was very lax in its security posture.) 

The only mention I can find from the anti-Israel crowd is the supposition by disgraced former CNN host Jim Clancy that this was "revenge" for what he claims was Israeli hacking of Iranian gas stations - a doubly unfounded claim to blame Israel for the hack.

If this hack had been on an American site, the Left would have been all over the story with concern and anger. But Israeli gays don't deserve any sympathy from bigots who claim the mantle of "anti-racist." 

  • Sunday, October 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Times of Israel:

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan chastised the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday for its disproportionate condemnation of Israel, tearing up the organization’s annual report while at the podium.

In a speech to the General Assembly, the Israeli envoy slammed the UNHRC for its “obsessive anti-Israel bias” during a special session at which the council presented its annual report.

“Since the establishment of the council 15 years ago, it has decided to blame and condemn Israel not 10 times like Iran or 35 times like Syria,” Erdan said. “The Human Rights Council has attacked Israel with 95 resolutions. Compared to 142 against all other countries combined.”

“It was on this stage at this very body that the very right of the Jewish people to have a national home was itself declared to be racist. A decision that was justly overturned. A decision that Israel’s ambassador at the time, Chaim Herzog, tore up at the United Nations,” Erdan said, referring to Herzog’s November 1975 speech. “And this is exactly what should be done to this antisemitic distorted one-sided report.”

Erdan said the report’s only place was “in the dustbin of antisemitism” before apparently ripping up it up and then leaving the podium.
In an irony that will be utterly lost on the world's media, one of the most notorious terror groups in existence - one which shoots rockets at Jewish civilians and celebrates the anniversaries of suicide bombings - came and defended the UN Human Rights Council from Erdan's attack.

A member of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, Dr. Youssef Al-Hasayneh said on Saturday  that the behavior of the Israeli ambassador, Gilad Erdan, in tearing up the papers of the Human Rights Council resolution at the United Nations on the investigation of the crimes of his entity against the Gaza Strip, is “a behavior that shows the extent of arrogance, superiority, contempt, and the crude political insolence with which this person deals.”  

He added, "It confirms his racist and aggressive tendency not only towards international institutions, but also towards the system of human values."

Yes, the people who brag about this are claiming to care about human values and fully support the UN's Human Rights Council.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

From Ian:

A terrorist organization by any other name
Hashem Abu Maria, the leader of Defense for Children International, died in a firefight with Israeli forces in 2014. The organization's president was the editor of the PFLP magazine. This NGO is funded directly by Italy.

The leaders of the UAWC are almost all members of the central committee and board of the PFLP. In addition, the vice president of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, already on the list of terrorist organizations, headed the military wing of the PFLP in Gaza and was sentenced to life in prison.

Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin was accused of recruiting and organizing the training of PFLP members. Italy also directly finances Al-Haq.

The list is long and speaks volumes.

The cloaking of terrorist groups in human-rights garb is an established practice for those who want to destroy Israel, and the cynicism of international politics not only enables pretending not to understand this reality but helps the system.

So, the law goes to dust, the victim becomes persecutor, and the terrorist who ignores every democratic principle becomes the key protagonist of the NGO era.

It is sad there are Israeli politicians who are, or should be aware of the terrorist nature of these organizations, yet prefer to show how much they idolize the cause of "human rights."

It is even more tragic that the term "human rights" has become a trap, creating an absurd inversion of the very real distinction between perpetrators and victims. The ongoing dispute over Gantz's declaration should make the entire world tremble.

House Dems Praise Designated Terrorist Groups for ‘Courageous Work’
A group of House Democrats will propose a resolution urging the Biden administration to condemn Israel and support six Palestinian groups that were designated as terrorist organizations by the Jewish state.

In response to Israel's terrorist designations, Rep. Betty McCollum (D., Minn.) plans to introduce a resolution celebrating the designated Palestinian groups for the "value and importance" of their "courageous work," according to Haaretz. The resolution will be cosponsored by several House Democrats, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.).

Among the groups backed in the Democratic resolution are the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is designated as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union. Also included is the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, which had funding cut from it in 2020 after the group's leadership was arrested for murdering a 17-year-old Israeli.

Rather than condemn the terrorist organizations, the group of House Democrats chose to attack Israel for its "repressive act designed to criminalize and persecute important Palestinian human rights organizations." The resolution demands that President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemn Israel’s "authoritarian and anti-democratic act of repression" and support the six terrorism-tied organizations.

The other Palestinian groups in question are Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees.

This isn’t the first time House Democrats like Tlaib have sided with terror-tied organizations. Tlaib has fundraised multiple times this year for Baitulmaal, which pays money to the families of Palestinian terrorists. The leader of Baitulmaal, Mazen Mokhtar, has been accused of raising money for the Taliban and Chechen Mujahideen.
  • Saturday, October 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Egyptian newspaper Youm7 has an explainer article about Chanukah, which is coming up at the end of November this year.

It starts off saying "According to Jewish accounts and allegations, the reason for celebrating this holiday is to commemorate the inauguration of the Second Temple in occupied Jerusalem in 164 BC."

Yes, they are saying that Jerusalem was "occupied" by the Hashmoneans. And that the idea that there was a Second Temple is merely "alleged."

Later on, we learn that there is a separate obligation of eating  "fried cakes" for adults and children:
It is strange that there is a particular limit for eating cakes. During the 8 days of the Festival of Lights an adult eats 3-4 pieces of fried cakes in oil, while children eat 6-8 of them. During Hanukkah, families also eat French fries.
I hope that "fried cakes" means small latkes, because I don't think kids would feel too good after eating eight sufganiyot every night.
Here was the lead photo for the story, which they captioned "Jewish ritual."

Friday, October 29, 2021

From Ian:

The Israel test of the Democratic Party
The radical left, it seems, never misses an opportunity to snub the Jews and vilify the Jewish state. True to The Israel test’s thesis, this attitude has not been relegated to criticism of Israel but has evolved into a politics of victimhood, a self-loathing of America.

Yet antisemitism is not a winning issue in the free world, and in America, these strident voices still represent a fringe minority of the Democratic Party. The recent special election in Ohio’s 11th District bears this out. Backed by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the Squad, a radical leftist, Nina Turner, at one point enjoyed a 35-point lead in the polls. But as the election approached, her advantage narrowed. Ultimately, she lost the race to Shontel Brown, a centrist Democrat and friend of Israel supported by Hillary Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus. The proof is on the ballot.

The defeat of the leftist radicals is not just an American phenomenon; a similar result occurred in the U.K. in 2019. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn single-handedly alienated the British Jewish community with his antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric and positions. This community represents only 0.5% of the general British population. Nevertheless, in late 2019 Corbyn suffered a massive defeat in the elections, with the worst Labour showing since 1935. In 2020, he was suspended from the Labour Party.

In the U.S. Congress, radical leftists remain but marginal group, the Squad notwithstanding. And the American public soundly passes the Israel test. To stay vibrant and relevant, the Democratic Party needs to do the same. It must unite around its support of Israel and disavow the radicals who are out of touch with the American public.

This is a pivotal moment for the Democratic Party. To keep from splitting at the seams, Democrats must choose to stand with Israel, as they historically have and as most of them continue to do. If the Democratic Party recognizes that the Israel test will determine its future, it can muster the integrity to withstand the radicals, reclaim its time-honored support for Israel, and return to the deserved vitality it once enjoyed.

Caroline Glick: Progressives can't handle inconvenient truths
The leftist-progressive camp's relationship with reality is at best ambivalent and more often than not pathological. For progressives, the narrative, rather than reality is what counts. According to the leftist-progressive narrative, antisemitism in America is the provenance of the political right, not the left. As a result, Barber merely "echoed" European blood libels that are deeply dangerous and harmful to the Jewish community. He didn't deliberately craft and disseminate slanderous statements to harm the Jewish state and its supporters in America.

Wiesel gave Barber a pass for his antisemitism initiative not because there is any question about his views – he stated them plainly and publicly. Wiesel gave him the benefit of the doubt because Barber is a progressive. And as a progressive, Barber can't be an antisemite. He can only be ignorant. And his ignorance can be remedied through a "conversation," and maybe a trip to Israel.

In a similar fashion, in the leftist-progressive narrative, the Palestinians are the victims of "Zionist colonialists." For progressives, champions of the Palestinian struggle against Israel must be good people because they are on the side of the oppressed. On the other hand, those who oppose the Palestinians and side with Israel must be bad, because Israel is the bad oppressor.

Both Lapid and Wiesel are soft progressives. As such, they try to be simultaneously on the side of reality and on the side of the narrative. But they can't, because there is no connection between the two.

Barber isn't interested in learning the truth about the Palestinians' hundred-year war against the Zionist movement and the Jewish people. He is interested in attacking the Jewish state. And Zank and Boston University want to help him to achieve his goal by giving him a pulpit embossed with the name of one of Israel's greatest late champions.

Likewise, the EU, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the UN and EU member states don't fund organizations that facilitate the Palestinian war against Israel, including terror groups because they are ignorant of their goals. The donors fund these organizations because they support their goal of destroying the Jewish state.

Labor leader and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, Meretz head and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and their fellow government ministers are harshly criticizing Gantz's designation of the six Palestinian groups as terror organizations for two reasons. First, their partners on Israel's far-left from B'Tselem, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, Peace Now, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and others are funded by the same donors that fund the terror groups. And second, Israel's far-left politicians are critical of Gantz's move because they have adopted the progressive camp's narrative of Palestinian victimization at the hands of their countrymen.
Hating Jews is Becoming a Leftist Purity Test
The answer is all around us.

Compelling people who used to be Democrats, then liberals, then progressives, and finally dogmatic leftists to jump through one more hoop makes them more willing to do anything.

And if there’s anything that history teaches about the Left, from Stalin to Mao, from Che to Pol Pot, from Kim Jong-Il to Mengistu there will come a time when ordinary people will indeed be expected to do “anything”, whether it’s to kill or to be killed in the name of the revolution.

Anti-Semitism is just one more stop on the extremist expressway. Like critical race theory and much of the rest of identity politics, it divides people into those who deserve to be beaten and those who deserve to do the beating to distract everyone from the fact that the leftist ideology of victims and oppressors is really about creating plenty more of both as grist for its political mill.

The Sunrise Movement claims that the planet is on the verge of destruction and Black Lives Matter insists that the greatest threat to black people are police officers, both are absurd lies, but like anti-Semitism they’re really weaponized distractions for a massive power grab.

Meanwhile the same American Jewish establishment that was convinced that the answer to anti-Semitism was social justice can’t help but double down on it even as it is becoming inescapably obvious that social justice isn’t the answer to anti-Semitism: it is anti-Semitism.

Organizations like NCJW or RAC embrace the extreme margins of the Left and are baffled when the anti-Semitism from those margins not only intensifies, but burns hotter than ever. The purity tests intensify with each concession: each willingness to embrace Sarsour, Omar, and whatever leftist social justice bigot follows on their heels only leads to worse hatred.

The leftist anti-Semitism that began on college campuses is defining a leftist America.
  • Friday, October 29, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Remember when Israel was the pariah in the Middle East?

From Globes:

Senior US sources as well as Israeli sources have told "Globes" that talks on ties with more Arab countries have intensified recently.
Senior US sources have confirmed that there are advanced talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia on establishing diplomatic relations. The sources said that it was not clear if Saudi Arabia would join the Abraham Accords and establish full normalization, or make do with lower level economic trade ties.

This would probably involve representative offices to deal with economic and trade matters and other topics, like handling the Covid pandemic. Israeli sources told "Globes" yesterday that diplomatic talks have intensified recently between Israel and some Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, as part of the Abraham Accords.

Some Arab countries might not want to publicly embrace Israel - but they happily cooperate with her:

A German military photographer posted two pictures of Jordanian fighter jets taking part in this month’s massive Blue Flag aerial exercise on social media on Friday, apparently inadvertently revealing that the kingdom had participated in the Israeli-hosted drill.

Until the cameraman, Falk Bärwald, posted the photographs on his Instagram account, Jordan’s participation in the two-week-long exercise had officially been kept a secret.

In one photo, a Jordanian F-16 fighter jet can be seen riding along a runway in the Israeli Air Force’s Ovda base, just north of Eilat, while a French Rafale jet flies above it. In the second, a Jordanian F-16 could be seen taking off from the same base.

It is not a stretch to say that Israelis are more popular than Palestinians nowadays among Arabs.

(h/t Yoel)

From Ian:

Mark Regev: Balfour Declaration, Palestinian weaponization of post-colonial guilt
Next week’s anniversary of the Balfour Declaration will once again highlight the seemingly insurmountable Israeli-Palestinian divide.

While Israelis venerate Britain’s decree of November 2, 1917, when His Majesty’s Government officially endorsed “Jewish Zionist aspirations,” Palestinians exploit the very same British pronouncement as a weapon in their war to negate Israel’s existential legitimacy.

For Israelis, Lord Balfour’s famous letter to Lord Rothschild is both an undeniable inflection point in their history and a genuine cause for celebration. It was the first time (since Cyrus the Great in antiquity) that a major world power publicly declared its support for the Jews’ desire to return and reconstitute their homeland.

The declaration also had a significant practical impact, leading directly to the pro-Zionist decisions taken at the 1920 San Remo Conference by the victorious allied powers, and to the League of Nations giving the Mandate for Palestine to Great Britain in order to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home.”

The eminent Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said characterized the declaration as colonialist collusion. In his words, it was “made by a European power… about a non-European territory… in a flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority resident in that territory.”

Twenty-first-century Palestinian nationalists follow Said’s lead and manipulate the contemporary post-colonial guilt widely felt across the West to assert that the Palestinian people remain colonialism’s greatest victim, and that hence, the international community owes the Palestinians an immeasurable moral debt.
How TIME reported the North African exodus in 1962
The independence of Morocco, Tunisia and now Algeria—joyful news to Moslems—has for Jews signaled another vast and melancholy exodus like so many other uprootings since Moses. A decade ago, 250,000 Jews lived in Morocco. 150,000 in Algeria and 100,000 in Tunisia; now about half of them have left. Last week alone, 5,000 North African Jews arrived by ship and plane in Marseille. By 1975, Jewish leaders estimate, their communities in North Africa will be reduced to less than 15% of their former size.

Jews were living and working in North Africa before the Romans came. Some of them are Berber tribesmen whose ancestors were converted from paganism before the 7th century A.D. Others are Sephardim—Descendants of Spanish Jews who were forced into exile across the Mediterranean by Visigothic persecution in the 6th century or the Inquisition of the 15th. A third strain consists of European Jews who settled in North African cities after World War II. All three have found that exile is the inevitable aftermath of independence.

In Tunisia, President Habib Bourguiba promised that Jews would be allowed to practice their religion in peace: “While I am alive, not a hair on Jewish heads will be touched.” But Tunisian Jews are trapped in the cold war between Israel and the Arab states. Bourguiba’s government has disbanded even Jewish religious organizations on the ground that they promote Zionism, and Jews fear that other Arab countries could force Tunisia to impose restrictions upon them.

In Morocco, the government placed restrictions on Jewish emigration until last October, and fortnight ago closed down the office of the agency in Casablanca that chartered ships and planes for Jews eager to leave the country. Although Jews who leave for Israel are officially forbidden to return to their homes, there is little overt anti-Semitism in Morocco. But emigration goes on, and businessmen in Casablanca complain that they cannot find Jewish labor. “Morocco is down the drain for us,” says one Jewish cafe owner.

In Algeria, Jews fear the onset of independence this week even more than their Christian pied-noir neighbors. Many were active supporters of the underground Secret Army; in Constantine, for example, the first anti-Moslem commando force was composed largely of Jews—and the F.L.N. has not forgotten it.
Honest Reporting: This Date In History: Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat Named Nobel Peace Prize Winners
On October 27, 1978, then-Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end more than thirty years of conflict during which Cairo spearheaded four full-scale Arab-initiated wars against the Jewish state (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973).

Five months later, on March 26, 1979, the two leaders signed a formal US-brokered peace treaty in Washington, D.C.

In retrospect, the historic agreement seemingly paved the way for the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accords, which, in turn, laid the groundwork for the October 26, 1994 peace deal signed between Israel and Jordan.

While Jerusalem has, as a result, maintained peaceful, albeit predominantly frosty, relations with both Cairo and Amman, the conflict with the Palestinians remains unresolved.

To mark the above-mentioned occasions, below please find links to materials HonestReporting previously produced in order to help elucidate the ramifications — and complexities — of these and other current related events.
Hillel Neuer: Warrior for Israel in Geneva
UN Watch’s defense of Israel against undue bias, and Neuer’s own related outspokenness in the media, may prevent potential collaborations with other promoters of universal human rights. But Neuer is unapologetic.

“Everyone will look at things in their own way and based on their own perspective, milieu and pressures. Some may be uncomfortable with us. But the reality is that we are who we are,” Neuer said.

Where does Neuer see himself a decade from now? Still at the helm of UN Watch, “fighting the good fight.”

If the workaholic can find the time, he would like to write a book on how the human rights movement “went off the rails.”

“It began with moral clarity fighting against Hitler, with people like Eleanor Roosevelt and René Cassin and has ended up with people like [Human Rights Watch executive director] Ken Roth who attacks Israel as a war criminal every single day, and basically compares Israel to Nazis,” Neuer said.

“It bothers me how the human rights movement got so subverted and skewed, and I want to understand how that happened,” he said.
  • Friday, October 29, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Egypt's popular Youm7 (Seventh Day) newspaper wrote a profile of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels:

On this day, the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels was born

On this day, October 29, the German Joseph Goebbels was born in 1897 in the town of Rheydt, and had great skills in public speaking , which made him the voice and the mouthpiece of the Nazi Party from 1933 until 1945. He was known for his dedication to leader Adolf Hitler and directing the media machine to glorify his recent work and to discredit his political opponents and the Jews.

Known for his love of language and his desire to become a writer, he is similar to Hitler, who wanted to become a painter before turning to politics. He graduated from Heidelberg University after studying German philology, to join the Nazi Party in 1924 and complete a two-decade journey until his suicide by cyanide poisoning  in 1945.
That's it. Goebbels was a good speaker, he originally wanted to be a writer, he was dedicated to his leader and he knew how to use the media against his opponents including Jews.

There is not a hint that he ever did anything wrong.

Another Egyptian newspaper, Al Masry Al Youm, also wrote a biography of Goebbels in May, on the anniversary of his suicide. That one was a little more expansive - it noted how skilled he was in the art of propaganda and lying.

And then, twice, it says that Zionist learned how to lie from Goebbels.

Egyptian media seems to treat Nazis either as admirable or as models for Jews.

  • Friday, October 29, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Palestine News Network:

The Palestinian professional and popular unions in the PLO announced their decision to consider the Zionist organizations NGO Monitor and Regavim as terrorist organizations operating outside the scope of international law, and called on all relevant international institutions and bodies to sever relations and never deal with them, as they are among the many Israeli institutions that operate according to the directives of the occupation security services, and with direct instructions from the fascist occupation government.

They stressed that NGO Monitor is a specialized institution skilled in falsifying facts that seeks in all its reports to stigmatize the Palestinian national struggle and the development and human rights work of NGOs  as terrorism, while the Regavim organization specializes in supporting settlement activity and works to monitor and prosecute any Palestinian activity in  Area C. using incitement to prevent it for racist settlement goals. The occupation government and its security services rely on the false reports of these two institutions in their decisions against popular and civil Palestinian action.
This was of course in response to Israel's declaration that six "civil service" organizations were in fact diverting EU aid towards the PFLP terror group, whose members are employees at every one of them.

Regavim responded by saying "We must be doing something right: The Palestinian Authority has blacklisted us." 

Meanwhile, NGO Monitor published the most comprehensive summary of the ties between the PFLP and these six organizations. 

It notes that Fatah itself published an article in 2012 describing various organizations as affiliates of the PFLP, including Addameer, the Union of Women's Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. 

  • Friday, October 29, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Biden administration is insisting that the US must open a consulate in Jerusalem for Palestinians - directly insulting Israel by saying that it wants a divided Jerusalem that would be a Palestinian capital.

Why wouldn't it open up a consulate in Ramallah, the actual seat of the Palestinian government?

Not too many people know that since 2014, the US has had an official presence in Ramallah. From the US Embassy in Israel page:

America House Ramallah
America House Ramallah, established in June 2014, is the Palestinian Affairs Unit’s educational and cultural outreach center in Ramallah City.  While the current America House Ramallah location is under renovation, , America House programming continues at partner spaces and other venues.

The mission of America House is to encourage dialogue between Americans and Palestinians in order to foster mutual understanding and emphasize shared values. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State through the Palestinian Affairs Unit in Jerusalem, America House is a place where residents of Ramallah and West Bank can learn essential skills to take advantage of new economic opportunities, including English language, entrepreneurship, and technology skills.  It also serves as a place where people can come together and take advantage of the many resources we offer, including our library, 3D printer, wifi connection and computers.   America House Ramallah offers a wide variety of presentations about U.S. society and culture throughout the year, hosts regular film screenings, and presents  English language classes.
There is also an America House in Jerusalem for Palestinians.

There is absolutely no reason there cannot be an American diplomatic presence in Ramallah - there already is one.

Which makes the desire to create a consulate in Jerusalem even more of an insult.

Even stranger is the news that the US State Department admits that the US cannot re-open the old consulate without permission from Israel.

Brian McKeon, the U.S. deputy Secretary of State for management and resources, said on Wednesday that Washington would need the Israeli government’s consent before reopening the consulate in East Jerusalem it once used to serve Palestinians.

McKeon said it in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when he was asked by Republican Senator Bill Hagerty whether Israel would have to agree to the United States’ reopening a consulate. 

“That’s my understanding – that we’d need to get the consent of the host government to open any diplomatic facility,” McKeon responded.
This was not thought through before it became an international incident. 

(h/t Irene)

Thursday, October 28, 2021

From Ian:

David Singer: UN''s racist plan to exclude Jews from East Jerusalem backed by Biden
Biden’s decision will certainly give added impetus to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 – passed on 23 December 2016 as then Vice President Biden was vacating his office in the White House prior to the handover of power from President Obama to President-elect Trump.

Security Council Resolution 2334: If you have never read it, now is the time to see the extent of Obama's betrayal of Israel when he did not keep lto the ongstanding American tradition of vetoing anti-Israel resolutions.

1. Reaffirmed that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity and constituted a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

2. Reiterated its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

3. Underlined that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;

This racist resolution:
-Ignored that all Jews living in East Jerusalem before 1948 had been ethnically cleansed from there following Jerusalem’s invasion and partial conquest by Transjordan in 1948.

-Denied Jews had any right to return or take up residence there after 1967

-Failed to acknowledge that Jews had lived there for 3000 years

The Obama-Biden administration failed to veto this overtly anti-Jewish Resolution to ensure it could never be weaponised to attack Israeli policies.

NGO Monitor: PFLP Ties of Six Newly Designated Terror NGOs
On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) designated six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the MoD, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Al-Haq, Addameer, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), and Bisan were included on Israel’s list of terrorist organizations because they are operated by and for the benefit of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.1 (A seventh PFLP-linked organization – Health Workers Committee (HWC) – was designated in January 2020.)

The MoD, building off a ISA (Shabak) May 2021 press release, explained that these NGOs diverted humanitarian funds from European donors to the PFLP and recruited members into the terror group. Relatedly, a security official told Israel’s N12 news site on October 23 that these NGOs provided a funding “lifeline” for the PFLP, employed PFLP terrorists, and that PFLP terror operatives used NGO offices for meetings.

In addition, since 2007, NGO Monitor has published numerous reports, based on open sources, documenting the close connections between these and other Palestinian NGOs and the PFLP. It is likely that Israeli authorities possess further materials on the NGO-PFLP ties, but it is unknown whether they will make this public.

See below for details – all previously published by NGO Monitor – regarding each of the newly designated organizations, including organizational ties between the NGOs and the PFLP, as well as individual links between NGO board members, officials, and employees and the terror group. We have also included statements made by NGO officials that glorify or excuse violence.
The Caroline Glick show: Ep24: The West’s War Against the Jewish State (and the Abraham Accords) | Guest: David Wurmser
In Episode 24 of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, while Gadi is travelling, Caroline was joined again by her colleague at the Center for Security Policy in Washington Dr. David Wurmser. The two discussed the Biden administration’s unmoving hostility to Israel and the new unity of anti-Israel purpose joining the U.S. with Europe. Caroline and David then moved on to the political instability in Sudan and the Biden administration’s weird request that Israel suspend its normalization talks with Sudan. It was a riveting, eye opening discussion. Watch, enjoy, subscribe and share and together we’ll win the war of ideas!

Why Israel is boycotting human rights NGOs.

Progressive Dems submit motion panning Israel for outlawing Palestinian groups
A group of progressive Democrats introduced a resolution in the United States House of Representatives on Thursday condemning Israel for its “repressive” and “anti-democratic” decision to blacklist half a dozen Palestinian human rights organizations.

The resolution describes the labeling of the six Palestinian groups as “a repressive act designed to criminalize and persecute important Palestinian human rights organizations.”

It is highly unlikely to pass, given the unwillingness of the vast majority of lawmakers from either party to criticize the Israeli government so harshly.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, one of the most vocal critics of the Israeli government in Congress, but also a proponent of the two-state solution who sometimes votes in favor of pro-Israel bills (McCollum voted in favor of legislation to offer $1 billion in supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system last month).

Her latest resolution was co-sponsored by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, Chuy Garcia, Marie Newman, Raul Grijalva and Andre Carson. All of them voted against the Iron Dome supplemental funding — except Ocasio-Cortez who chose to abstain on the legislation.

The resolution calls on US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to “publicly condemn this authoritarian and antidemocratic act of repression” and publicly call on Israel to cease such measures.
  • Thursday, October 28, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

Check out their Facebook page.

Iron Dome radar

Ramat HaSharon, October 31 - A government-owned Israeli corporation that manufacturers arms and other defense goods took legal action today against a producer of Judaica, charging that the latter's branding of its armored skullcap series violates the military corporation's trademark on the its renowned air defense system against rockets and long-range artillery.

Israel Military Industries sent an official warning today to Talleisim East, a producer of high-end yarmulkes and other Jewish ritual items, that use of the name "Iron Dome" is reserved by law for the air defense system by that name, and that Talleisim East's use of the term for its line of kevlar-reinforced kippot constitutes an illegal breach. The warning included a demand that Talleisim East recall all the units it has distributed under the trademarked name, and sell no more under the Iron Dome name.

A spokesman for IMI stated that the firm will pursue an aggressive defense of its rights. "The danger here lies in the fact that customers, and the public at large, will erroneously conclude that Israel Military Industries produces these goods, or endorses them," explained Shem Baduy. "Talleisim East is welcome to manufacture armored kippot to its hearts content - but not billed as Iron Dome, which is an IMI trademark." Attempts to reach the offices of Talleisim East in Jerusalem proved unsuccessful, and a call to o a Mt. Vernon, NY, phone number listed in the company's promotional catalog went similarly unanswered.

Iron Dome skullcaps have sold as novelty items in Judaica and souvenir stores, according to the proprietor of the Etrog chain of shops in central Jerusalem. "It's too bad, because it's a great gimmick," she lamented. "They come in several types of camouflage pattern, of course, but there's military green and black, as well. We've sold six or seven in the last week alone, and they only became available a few weeks ago. I hope IMI and the manufacturer can come to some sort of agreement, maybe license the name, because there's business to be had here." She voiced the pessimistic view that entrenched protectionist attitudes in Israeli government and government-run enterprises will view the situation only through the prism of a threat, and not the commercial opportunity it presents.

Legal sources revealed that IMI also attempted to file suit against a mountain in northern Israel for unauthorized use of the name Tavor, but at the last minute withdrew the filing when the company received information indicating the mountain may have taken the name before its application to the IMI-manufactured assault rifle.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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