Monday, January 31, 2022

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Late to the Propaganda Party – Amnesty’s Derivative Echo of the NGO Apartheid Attack Against Israel
On February 1, Amnesty International will release yet another volume in the litany of copy-paste NGO reports that label Israel as an “apartheid” state. The publication breaks no new ground and is not meaningfully different from the discredited Human Rights Watch (HRW) and B’Tselem reports from 2021 – yet Amnesty says they took over four years to produce it.

Like many previous NGO publications, Amnesty’s report manipulates and distorts international law, Israeli policy, and events on the ground, as well as denies the Jewish people their right to sovereign equality and self-determination.

Thus, Amnesty’s report can be considered antisemitic according to the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which notes that: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Likewise, Amnesty’s report criminalizes Israeli laws and practices designed to safeguard Jewish identity – such as the Law of Return – which are enshrined under international law and parallel the practices of many nation-states.

In these attacks, Israeli policies are artificially framed as attempts to preserve “Jewish domination” – an antisemitic trope and refrain throughout the publication. Amnesty’s overarching argument is that everything Israel does is nefarious, whether it promotes peace or Palestinian self-detemination, improves the lives of Palestinians or minority groups in Israel, or if mandated by international law. In service of this paradigm, Amnesty – often illogically – ignores or downplays the material differences between Israeli policy toward Palestinians living in Gaza, those living in the West Bank, and the country’s own Arab citizens.

David Collier: Amnesty – Apartheid? What a pile of…..
A call for the destruction of Israel.

If you want to read any of the 211-page report – and I strongly suggest you don’t bother – then just read one paragraph from page 20. It is all you need.

It says Israel – by its very existence – is an Apartheid state – and always was. Regardless of government and with no interest in the enemies that lined up or invaded its borders. These people have no interest in what is real. Amnesty’s anti-Israel activists have an agenda – and this report is part of it.

In their report Amnesty International call for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel. It is aligning Amnesty with Hamas and Hezbollah – who no doubt both received an embargoed copy in advance. The Amnesty report states in no uncertain terms – Jews defending themselves is unacceptable. Amnesty’s report is a pile of…. Amnesty’s predictable Apartheid smear
Last year B’tselem and HRW created reports suggesting Israel practices Apartheid. This year Amnesty and the UN (coming soon) are at it. Make no mistake this is a coordinated attack on Israel with the aim of delegitimising the Jewish state on the international stage.

To be honest I think both Israel and the other governments of the west are partly responsible. Amnesty is not a human rights organisation anymore – and has not been one for many years. Amnesty’s goal is the destruction of Israel. This is not about criticism of government policy – this is about a foreign politicised and hostile unit – with aims to destabilise Israel. So why do some still treat it with respect?

Yet western media and governments still continue to legitimise Amnesty – because hey – they are not the ones who really pay the price – the Jews are. If any media outlet had a real desire to expose antisemitism – they’d call in Amnesty and demand that it explains its lies and its obsessions. Amnesty spread more antisemitic hate than almost any other organisation in the west.
  • Monday, January 31, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

  • Monday, January 31, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Monday, the Syrian foreign ministry issued a statement:  "The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the criminal demolition and destruction of the property of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territories by the Israeli occupation forces, including the demolition of the two homes of the Salhia family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem. and arresting family members. [It] constitutes a crime that contradicts international law, the Bill of Human Rights, international humanitarian law, and United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions."

Here is what the Palestinian Yarmouk camp in Syria looked like after this humanitarian government was done with it.

Over 3000 Palestinians were killed in Syria during its civil war.

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Herzog's visit to UAE is both historic and heartwarming
The timing of the visit is also significant. The visit comes as the UAE and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly suffered attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen and indeed security for the visit was tightened.

Herzog’s trip can also be seen against the backdrop of the attempts by the US, Europe and others to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, something that threatens Israel and the Gulf. There is no doubt that the subject of Iran will be high on the agenda.

During the visit, it is expected that progress will be made toward the completion of a bilateral free trade agreement, and the president is scheduled to officially open Israel’s national day at Dubai Expo 2020 on Monday. This symbolizes, in many ways, the heightened importance of the three main groups of ties – political-diplomatic, commercial and technological – which benefit us all.

The visit by the president of Israel to the local Jewish community is also a sign of how far relations have come in such a short time. Jews in the UAE and Bahrain have lived openly and without fear of attacks for generations, but the ties between their countries and Israel have helped create stronger bonds within their own communities, too.

The links between Israel and the Gulf continue to strengthen, reinforcing the fact that Israel is an integral part of the region and can contribute to its growth and stability. Continuing to bridge the gulf that existed before the Abraham Accords is essential. That’s why the presidential visit is rightly described as both historic and heartwarming.

Israeli president meets UAE crown prince in Abu Dhabi

President Herzog makes historic state visit to the Emirates

UAE's Rabbi Elie Abadie reflects on Israel's president first visit to the UAE

‘It’s safer to be Jewish in the UAE than in the USA’
Herzog is the first Israeli president to visit the UAE and see the growing Jewish community firsthand. Before the September 2020 Abraham Accords, only around 250 Jews lived in the UAE. Today, according to Abadie, that number has doubled.

“Many French, British, Canadian, American and Israeli Jews have set up homes here and many are setting up businesses here,” Abadie told JNS. He estimated that in the next three to five years, there will be as many as 5,000 Jews living in the UAE.

Moreover, since the peace treaty, an estimated 200,000 Jews have toured the country.

“The Jewish community [in the UAE] is one of the safest, if not the safest, in the world,” Abadie contended.

He said that Jews in Europe, the United States and South Africa are attacked on a near daily basis just for being Jewish.

“We do not have that here,” Abadie said. “The UAE is absolutely, without a doubt, safer than the United States for Jews… We know that the government is protecting us, as it is all the citizens and residents of this country.”

The leaders told Herzog about the services that the community is now striving to provide, such as kashrut services and synagogues. In addition, they said they are looking to establish a Jewish day school, mikveh, kosher bakery and pizza shop “in due time.”

“With God’s help, may you continue to go from strength to strength in building the institutions of the community, the education system, and of course synagogues and other institutions that every community has,” Herzog said. “Good luck to all of you.” ‘You want to pinch yourself to see if it is reality’

Abadie said the Jewish presence in the country is celebrated on a daily basis. Sometimes people salute him on the street, stop to say “shalom” or tell him how happy they are that the Jews are in the UAE.

But while he feels how special it is to live there on a daily basis, “when we have the president of the State of Israel received with such a beautiful welcome and the Israeli national anthem is played in the palace, and you see all the Israeli flags flying around the palace and the airport next to UAE flag—you want to pinch yourself to see if it is reality, and it is reality.”

Yesterday in Orlando,FL, a neo-Nazi antisemitic rally.

Last week in Brooklyn, a young visibly Jewish woman was verbally attacked on a subway car by a Black man who threatened her and screamed for her to leave the train while passengers watched and didn't intervene. 

Because to help a Jewish woman might be racist.

On Saturday in Lakewood, NJ, a snowplow driver laughingly took a video of himself purposefully dumping snow on two Orthodox Jews.

The Jewish Community in West Rogers Park, Chicago was hit by string of hate crimes over the past 24 hours, YWN has learned. Two Jewish institutions have had swastikas scrawled on them, two Jewish stores had their windows smashed, and a Jewish man was attacked.

The two Jewish institutions that had swastikas scrawled on them are the Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov, and Congregation F.R.E.E.

The two Jewish stores that had their windows smashed are Tel Aviv Bakery, and Kol Tuv Kosher Supermarket. 

Meanwhile, on Sunday night a frum [Orthodox] man walking was attacked and bloodied in an unprovoked incident.

The victim was walking near W. Devon Ave. and N. Sacramento Ave. when he was attacked by an unknown male.

In London, a group of youths smashed the windows of a Jewish-owned house. 

Meanwhile, also in London on Saturday,
 Reports of an open bus being driven along #StamfordHill #N16 at 12:20pm with speakers blaring "Yidos Go Home"

Appeared to be targeting Orthodox Jews leaving #Synagogue 

A Palestinian newspaper wrote today:

History depicts Nazi Übermensch against the Jews in Europe, and the correct truth is that Jewish Zionism is the Übermensch over the Palestinian.

 Which happens to be the same message that Amnesty International is communicating in its upcoming report accusing Israel of "apartheid," with its repeated message of "Jewish domination" over Palestinians. 

When no one does anything about the "little" incidents, they turn into much worse incidents. 

Israel has existed for 73 years. During that time, the rights of the Arab citizens of Israel have only increased. They lived under military rule until 1966 and not thereafter.  Since then, while it has been slow, their rights as full citizens have been strengthened and supported by Israel's High Court. Today, they have unprecedented rights and have become successfully integrated in fields like medicine and high tech, and millions of shekels are earmarked to improve the lives of Arab Israelis. 

Palestinian Arabs lived under effective belligerent military occupation from 1967 until the Oslo process in the 1990s.  Since then, the vast majority of them have been living under full autonomy in Area A and Gaza, and partial autonomy in Area B, under their own governments. They also have more rights than they had before the 1990s.

Yet at the exact same time that Palestinian Arabs both within and without the territories have been gaining more rights, human rights groups like B'Tselem, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have been steadily accusing Israel of worse and worse crimes.

Nothing makes that clearer than their recent jihad. During the course of a single year, each of those groups decided that Israel's treatment of Palestinians has crossed the line into being considered "apartheid."

And, amazingly, each of them - B'Tselem, HRW and Amnesty, whose report is being published Tuesday - relied on different and provably twisted legal analyses to reach this same conclusion. 

They didn't use that term in 1993. They didn't use that term in 2019. But now, suddenly, all three of them reach the same conclusion when there are more Arab rights under Israeli rule than ever before. (Even the Nation State law goes not say a word that contradicts the idea of equality under the law.) 

Put this together, and it is blindingly obvious that these three organizations deciding over the past year to label Israel as guilty of apartheid is not a coincidence. In each case, the decision to find Israel guilty was made first, and the lengthy, multi-page, laughably flawed "legal analysis" to justify it was written afterwards. 

In each case, counterexamples that prove that their fact-finding is biased and wrong is ignored or buried. 

In each case, the same arguments they use against Israel would find scores of nations worldwide far more guilty of the same crime, yet they are silent about those. 

So why are these purported human rights groups, who are still reluctant to call Chinese persecution of Uyghurs "apartheid," suddenly on the same page to make that accusation against Israel when they never did before?

I cannot know if there was any collusion to bring these three organizations to the same predetermined conclusion. Yet it does seem curious that these accusations follow Israel's historic normalization agreements with Bahrain, the UAE and Morocco. The Abraham Accords may have incentivized these groups who had relied on a solid Arab hatred of Israel as their reliable anti-Israel allies. When that dam burst, the "human rights" groups may have felt it was time to open up a new front against Israel to forestall Israel being treated by the world the same as its autocratic, human-rights violating neighbors. 

Whatever the reason for the timing of this choreography, there is an underlying theme between all three reports that points to the real goal for the "human rights" community: to claim that the concept of a Jewish state is itself a crime

The B'Tselem report concentrates its claims on the idea of "Jewish supremacy." Since that was largely decried as antisemitic, the other two reports mostly stayed away from that formulation (Amnesty prefers "Jewish domination.") But both HRW and Amnesty make it clear that they consider the very idea of a Jewish state to be the source of "Israeli apartheid," even when Israel's Declaration of Independence and numerous High Court rulings affirm the equality of all citizens. 

To all three, the entire raison d'être of Israel is immoral.  They aren't against apartheid - ask the Palestinians in Lebanon if they would gladly change places with the Palestinians under "apartheid" in Gaza or Ramallah or Jerusalem or Abu Ghosh. The word "apartheid" is simply a rhetorical weapon to attack Israel's very legitimacy as a place of refuge for Jews who are persecuted worldwide. 

These "human rights" NGOs are against Jewish statehood, Jewish self-determination, Jewish self-defense from antisemitic attacks and even peaceful, harmonious relations between the Jewish state and its neighbors. They want to set the calendar back to the days before 1948 when Arabs attacked Jews daily and Jews could not legally defend themselves.

Like all antisemitic movements throughout history, they justify their immorality and hate of Jewish human rights behind the lie of universal human rights.

In 1939, in the wake of Kristallnacht, the Wagner–Rogers Bill was proposed in the Senate to allow 20,000 Jewish children from Germany to immigrate to the United States. It did not even make it to a vote because of an antisemitic senator, Robert Rice Reynolds (D-NC.)

During hearings, one opponent of saving the lives of the Jewish children, Francis H. Kinnicutt of Allied Patriotic Societies, gave five reasons against allowing the Jewish children to be allowed to immigrate. His very first reason was:
On the humanitarian grounds on which all social agencies agree that children should not be separated from their parents and that foster parentage or institutional upbringing is prejudicial to children
Jewish parents in Germany would have been making the wrenching decision to save a remnant of their families by sending their own children away before things got even worse under Nazi rule, and Kinnicutt pretended that his immoral stance was based on his care about the welfare of the doomed children being taken away from their parents!

That is the kind of cynicism we are seeing from these so-called human rights groups today. They claim to care about universal rights, but when it comes to the human rights of Jews, they find "moral" reasons to oppose them. 

The Israel/Palestinian conflict is not about human rights for Palestinians, as these groups assert. It is about competing human rights for Jews and for Arabs. There is no perfect solution, but the optimal solution requires drawing the line that maximizes the rights for all and minimizes the violation of rights for all. 

History shows that no one besides Jews in a position of power will consistently defend the human rights of Jews, while lots of people - including Jews - will defend the human rights of those who want to take away the human rights of Jews. History also shows that Arabs under Jewish rule will always have more rights and more opportunities than Jews under Arab rule ever did or ever would. 

Which means that the Jewish state, with all its arguments and flaws and critics, is the optimal solution to maximize human rights for all. It will never be perfect, and there will always be people who are unhappy about the compromises needed to maximize rights for all, Jew and Arab. Yet the Jewish state  will always be better than the alternative that these human rights hypocrites are proposing - the dissolution of the Jewish state. 

Israel is the only guarantor of Jewish human rights - not the UN, not the ICC, not Amnesty or Human Rights Watch, and not even the US. These NGOs attack Israel's very existence as a Jewish state because they don't want Jews to enjoy the same human rights that everyone else has. B'Tselem's repeated use of the slander "Jewish supremacy" proves that.

That is the reason they all decided to get behind the Big Lie of "Israeli apartheid." They don't care about apartheid. Their goal is destroying the only state that can assure Jews will always have true political rights.

  • Monday, January 31, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jodi Rudoren, the editor in chief of the Forward and formerly of the New York Times, sends out a weekly newsletter to subscribers and potential subscribers. 

In last week's newsletter she wrote a very nice story about Bob Cumins, a photojournalist who has taken some of the most iconic photos in history, and how he went out of his way to send her a replacement copy of a New York Times edition with her very first front page story from 1998 that she had lost in a flood. 

But one sentence in that story seemed jarring to me.
He would eventually cover some 30 General Assemblies of the Jewish Federations of North America and make about 300 trips to Israel with politicians, business moguls and philanthropists. He’s witnessed every peace-treaty handshake — Camp David in 1978 and 1979; the Oslo Accords in 1993 and Jordan the next year; Wye River in 1998. He spent 18 months working for Hillary Clinton during her first Senate campaign. He caught Joe Namath in the locker room after Super Bowl III. He made a stunning collection he calls “Snows of Jerusalem” during a 1980 storm.
In Rudoren's list of peace treaty handshakes, she doesn't mention anything about the Abraham Accords. 

I messaged her and asked if Cumins had witnessed them as well, and she replied that this was a fair point and she didn't know.

Now, I have nothing against Rudoren. I used to criticize her a lot when she covered Israel for the NYT but my impression is that a lot of that should have been directed at the Times' own editors. I think The Forward, which I have also been very critical of, has improved since she took the job  as editor in chief.

But when a major player in the liberal Jewish media doesn't even think that the Abraham Accords were worth thinking about in her list of US diplomatic accomplishments in the Middle East, there is something wrong. 

The Abraham Accords are arguably the most important peace deal between Israel and the Arab world since the Israel-Egypt peace treaty 42 years prior. Israel's peace with Egypt and Jordan remain ice cold - the amount of antisemitism in those countries' media even today is astounding, today. Israel's Oslo agreements with the PLO did not result in the peace that everyone hoped it would, and Nobel prizes prematurely celebrated a man who continued to be an architect of terrorism against Jews years after he "agreed" to stop all support of terror. 

But the Abraham Accords have prompted a dizzying list of accomplishments and "firsts" that happen so often 16 months later than stories that would have been front page news two years ago are barely newsworthy today. Even yesterday, Arabic media was fascinated that Israeli president Isaac Herzog arrived in the UAE with a beard because he is mourning the death of his mother. 

Yet the Abraham Accords are simply not considered to be that important in the media, and are not top of mind to the Forward's editor in chief.

The reason? Because they were brokered during the Donald Trump administration, and all proper liberals want to think of those four years as a black hole that simply didn't happen. To the liberal media, Trump was an aberration who should only be remembered as representing an immoral and evil part of American history, whose very position as President of the United States must be removed from history - along with anything associated with him.

There is plenty I dislike about Trump, but the Abraham Accords was - and remains - a game changer in the Middle East. No longer can it be assumed that a warm peace between Israel and Arab nations are impossible. No longer can it be assumed that Arabs are endemically antisemitic. No longer can Arabs easily point to Israel as being irredeemably racist against Arabs (although they still do, every day!) Positive articles about Israel and Judaism are now regularly published in Arabic media along with the constant antisemitic stream of articles that remain from Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, Houthi and Iraqi media. 

When dislike for Trump outshines the fact that he was able to accomplish what no one else could even visualize, that is no longer criticism of Trump but an obsessive hate. Even the Biden administration has problems mentioning the term "Abraham Accords," although its members do seem to be trying to spread them to other Arab countries. 

Accurate reporting requires getting rid of bias. Criticize Trump all you want, but don't throw out the good with the bad just because of antipathy towards him. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

  • Sunday, January 30, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

Ad Dustour is a pro-government Jordanian newspaper that was declared as the most influential newspaper in the Arab world in Industry Arabic's latest rankings. It is partially owned by the Jordanian government itself, so it will never say anything that goes against official government policy.

That includes Holocaust denial.

Columnis Rashid Hassan not only casts doubt as to whether the Holocaust actually occurred, but he parrots a claim that the "Palestinian Holocaust" was the worst calamity of the past century.

More than the Shoah. More than Cambodia or Rwanda or Darfur.

He writes about how Holocaust Remembrance Day is a cynical ploy by Israel to gain sympathy and distract the world from the real genocide.

While the hypocritical world - and most of it - celebrates the so-called “Zionist Holocaust” and makes a date for it January 27, we find this world ignoring the Palestinian Holocaust, which has been going on for 105 years... since the ominous promise... the Balfour Declaration of 1917 until today..

The Arab population in Palestine in 1917 was about 600,000. Today it is claimed that there are over 12 million Palestinians. 

Some "holocaust!"

Oh, and the UN spends  orders of magnitude more time and money on Palestinian issues than on the Holocaust. 

Certainly, this hypocrisy is linked to the major international conspiracy carried out by Britain, America and many Western countries to establish the Zionist entity on the land of Arab Palestine... and to displace its people in the four winds of the earth.

Of course, it was a conspiracy. Otherwise, how could weak despised Jews have defeated the combined warrior armies of the Arab world? 

Washington is behind the marketing of the Western world with a stick, in order to remember by force the so-called “Zionist Holocaust.” In return, the world must shut its mouth, eyes and ears from the Holocausts that the Palestinian people are exposed to, from the year of the Nakba until today. As the Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta says, "No people in the world have been subjected to massacres over a century like the Palestinian people... who gave more than half a million martyrs, and more than a million have entered Israeli prisons and prisons since 1967, and  7 million people were sentenced to displacement in places of refuge in the diaspora, while the other half, more than 7 million at home, suffer the bitterness of Zionist terrorism around the clock.. which desecrated trees, stones, and sanctities, and burned homes on the head of their residents.

Somehow, the Palestinian "Holocaust" didn't make it on Wikipedia's list of genocides. It must have been an oversight.

Half a million martyrs? By the most generous count, no more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in conflicts with Israel, and the majority of them have been militants.  And at the same time thousands of Palestinians were killed by Arabs (Lebanese civil wars, Black September, War of the Camps in Lebanon, Sabra/Shatila) and by fellow Palestinians (Second Intifada.)

The article goes on to curse the Arab nations that are normalizing relations with Israel. 

And this is coming from Jordan, which has been at peace with Israel for close to 30 years.

This is not unusual for Jordanian media. But perhaps it is time for Israel to tell Jordan that if this is the way the official government media feels, then perhaps Jordan should look elsewhere for water and natural gas. 

After all, Israel shouldn't want to make deals with a nation that trades with such immoral people as are described here.

From Ian:

In ‘message to the region,’ Herzog meets UAE crown prince in Abu Dhabi
President Isaac Herzog met on Sunday with Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, known colloquially as MBZ and seen as the UAE’s de facto ruler.

The meeting, which lasted over two hours, was described by the president’s office as “warm and cordial.”

“I wish to emphasize that we completely support your security requirements and we condemn in all forms and language any attack on your sovereignty by terrorist groups,” said Herzog at the beginning of the meeting. “We are here together to find ways and means to bring full security to people who seek peace in our region.”

He also called for more nations to join the Abraham Accords, saying that his visit “sends a message to the entire region that there is an alternative — of peace and living together — and that the sons and daughters of Abraham can reside and dwell together in peaceful coexistence for the benefit of humanity.”

Bin Zayed thanked Herzog for Israel’s condemnation of recent missile and drone attacks on UAE facilities by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

“It is a stance that demonstrates our common view of the threats to regional stability and peace, particularly those posed by militias and terrorist forces, as well as our shared understanding of the importance of taking a firm stance against them,” he said.

The crown prince said bilateral relations “are moving full steam ahead, and that there is a common and strong will to strengthen them for the benefit of our countries and peoples.”

Afterward, Bin Zayed invited Herzog for an unscheduled follow-up personal meeting at his private palace.

Israel Supports UAE Security Needs, President Says on First Visit
Israel’s president said his country supports the United Arab Emirates’ security needs and seeks stronger regional ties during the first such visit to the Gulf state on Sunday, as world powers try to revive an Iran nuclear deal.

The UAE, along with Bahrain, signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel, dubbed the “Abraham Accords,” in 2020. The two Gulf states and Israel share concerns about Iran and its allied forces in the region.

Isaac Herzog discussed security and bilateral relations with the UAE’s de facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE has in the past fortnight been attacked twice with drones and missiles by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group.

“We completely support your security requirements and we condemn in all forms and language any attack on your sovereignty by terrorist groups. We are here together to find ways and means to bring full security to people who seek peace in our region,” Herzog said during the meeting, in comments released by his office.

Sheikh Mohammed said Israel and the UAE share a “common view of the threats to regional stability and peace, particularly those posed by militias and terrorist forces.”

En route to the UAE, President Herzog’s plane flew over Saudi Arabia, which he said was “truly a very moving moment.” Riyadh and Israel do not have diplomatic ties, but Israel has said it would like to establish a relationship with the kingdom which is home to Islam’s two holiest sites.

“The Abraham Accords should be continued and more nations should join us in this endeavor,” Herzog told Sheikh Mohammed.

Kuwaiti paper pushes normalization with Israel, criticizes Palestinians
Al-Jarallah called for the Gulf states to cut support for the Palestinians and to stop mediating whenever they launch missiles towards Israel. "In this case, let them rebuild what they destroy by their own acts."

"Enough is enough! The camel’s back has been broken from the burden of grief we endure due to the ingratitude of the Palestinians," wrote the editor. "All the Gulf states should normalize relations with Israel due to the fact that peace with this most advanced country is the right thing to do. Let the foolish fend for themselves."

This is not the first time the al-Jarallah has pushed for relations with Israel. In 2020, they welcomed the United Arab Emirate's move to normalize relations with Israel, saying this would prevent Israel from continuing to annex land. In 2005, they wrote, "After a long time, we have finally decided to leave the Palestinian cause to Palestinians."

In December, Kuwaiti Public Works Minister Dr. Rana Abdullah Al-Fares issued an order banning the entry of commercial vessels loaded with goods to and from Israel into Kuwaiti territorial waters, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba.

The order prohibits entry permits being requested for ships carrying goods to or from Israel, even if goods being carried from Israel are being brought to another country outside of Kuwait.

Under Kuwaiti law, individuals and companies cannot conclude agreements with organizations or persons living in Israel and cannot deal financially or commercially with persons who have an interest in Israel, even if they live outside Israel.

It is also illegal to import, exchange or possess any Israeli goods, commodities or products, whether received directly or indirectly. Products also cannot include any material from Israeli products.
  • Sunday, January 30, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
As the old joke goes, Jews should read the antisemitic newspapers - that's where we can learn about how well Jews are doing.

And right now the thing that alarms antisemites the most is Israel's continuing normalization with the Arabic-speaking world.

The Iraqi National News Agency reports that a member of Iraq's parliament has found evidence that Kurds have sold oil to Israel, and he wants to bring this terrible fact up to parliament this week.

Iranian media reports on a French Intelligence Online report that says that Bahrain has officially embarked on a process of reorganizing its security and intelligence services to work more closely with the Mossad and to purchase Israeli technology that can be used for intelligence like drones, satellites, and anti-drone systems.

A group called "The Council of the General Secretariat of the World Coalition for Youth and Sports for Solidarity with Jerusalem and Palestine"  condemned Morocco's agreement with Israel for closer sports cooperation. (The group is nothing more than a few people maintaining a Facebook page.)

At Al Mayadeen, a columnist says that Israel is becoming too successful at normalizing with Morocco, brainwashing its intellectuals that Israel is an oasis of peace and democracy. He worries that Morocco might actually start teaching students that the Holocaust actually happened.

It sure sounds like normalization is going full steam ahead. 

In our last post, we discussed how an upcoming Amnesty International report is trying to copy other NGOs and declare Israel to be guilty of "apartheid." 

In order to do that, it realizes that concentrating on different laws for Palestinians in the territories is quite obviously not apartheid since they are not citizens. Amnesty must find - or manufacture - evidence of discrimination against Arabs in Israel that rise to the level of the definition of "apartheid" that it made up.

Like HRW, Amnesty realizes that it must trump up the idea that discrimination against Arabs in Israel rise to the level of oppression and persecution. So, like HRW, it has to cherry pick examples that would seem to indicate that level of discrimination, without mentioning counterexamples that disprove it.

Some examples:

Israel maintains Jewish domination over the Palestinian economy through the exclusion and intentional neglect of Palestinian communities inside Israel...

Yet Israel's largest Arab-majority city, Nazareth, is a high tech hub, hosting R&D centers from Amdocs, Microsoft, Broadcom and Salesforce. Nazareth hosts over 70 startups. Thousands of Arabs work in technology and the number is skyrocketing

If Israel intends to have Jewish dominance over the Arab economy by neglecting Arab communities, then why does it allow so many major companies to open up in Nazareth? 

Amnesty is lying. And they know it.
Whilst Palestinians largely refuse to join the Israeli army for national and political reasons, the exemption of Palestinian citizens of Israel from military service has resulted in their discriminatory exclusion from substantial economic benefits and opportunities guaranteed under Israeli law to those who have completed military service. 
And Haredi Jews who also choose not to join the army? Since they have the exact same social obstacles to joining the workforce, that proves that this has nothing to do with "Jewish domination."

Also, an increasing number of Arabs are volunteering for the army. Meaning that Israeli Arabs have the opportunity to gain the same social advantages that Israel's military-centric society provides. The discrimination is based on army service, not religion or national origins. It isn't apartheid.

Amnesty is lying. And they know it. 
In 2014, the Knesset raised the electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25%, primarily affecting parliamentary representation of Palestinians and other minority groups in Israel. Adalah and ACRI argued that raising the electoral threshold for parties to gain seats at the Knesset violated Palestinian citizens’ voting rights and enabled the disqualification of their candidates and parties. CERD also noted that raising the electoral threshold in Israel considerably weakens “the right to political participation of non-Jewish minorities”. 
Yet in the 2021 elections, not one Arab party fell below the 3.25% threshold - and about 25 "Jewish parties did. Which means the Arabs did not lose a single seat with the 3.25% threshold law.

The current government includes an Arab party in the ruling coalition,. Amnesty doesn't mention that because it contradicts its thesis of Israeli Arabs living under apartheid.

Amnesty is lying. And they know it. 
[T]he Ministry of Interior also requires children under the age of 12 of these “mixed couples” to be registered, with proof that Israel is their “centre of life”.397 According to the Society of St Yves, a legal support centre in East Jerusalem, from January 2004 to July 2013 the ministry received 17,616 applications for registering children of “mixed marriages”. Of these, 12,247 were approved and 3,933 were rejected. As a result, nearly 4,000 children live separated from at least one of their parents for bureaucratic reasons.
But if Israel approved 69% of those applications, doesn't it mean that those "bureaucratic reasons" have nothing to do with racism?

For Palestinian Bedouins living in the Negev/Naqab, accessibility of health services is even worse, as there are no medical clinics in most Bedouin villages.Israel does not provide healthcare facilities or medical services in unrecognized villages. These villages are not connected to public transport, forcing families to travel long distances to receive basic healthcare.

Name one country that provides medical clinics where residents build entire illegal communities on public land. 

In these and countless other cases in this long report, Amnesty is going out of its way to twist the facts to make Israel appear guilty. The decision that Israel is guilty of "apartheid" was made by HRW, B'Tselem and HRW way before they gathered any evidence. It was a pre-ordained conclusion and any facts that prove they have been dishonest in their information gathering is simply ignored or buried. 

It isn't an honest report about Israel. It is a hatchet job. And Amnesty knows that very few people will read it critically, because they assume that Amnesty is an honest broker. So later this week we will see Ap and Reuters and the New York Times give fawning coverage of this report, and not one mainstream reporter will take the time and effort to look at it critically.

Amnesty International is set to release a report this week that parrots Human Rights Watch's report of last year accusing Israel of apartheid.

As we have seen, HRW had to take bits and pieces of different international conventions to try to pretend that Israel's treatment of non-citizen Palestinians somehow fits under the definition of apartheid. Their main evidence that apartheid applies to groups beyond racial groups came from the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which did expand the definition of "racial discrimination" to include discrimination against national groups - but HRW did not quote the next paragraph of the ICERD which explicitly says "This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens."

Clearly, HRW was twisting the definition of apartheid in ways it was never meant to be defined, as the bulk of its arguments are based on how Israel makes distinctions between Israeli citizens and non-citizens, not between Jews and Arabs. 

Every nation on Earth gives fewer rights to non-citizens. 

I have seen a copy of Amnesty's embargoed report, and for the most part its arguments have the exact same flaws as HRW's. But they came up with another definition of apartheid under international law they claim says that discriminating against "national origin" is also apartheid.

And this definition is just as much a lie as  HRW's.

Amnesty's report  says:
The public international law prohibition of apartheid is best found in an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice relating to South Africa’s presence in Namibia (Namibia case), where the violation is defined as “distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and limitations exclusively based on grounds of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which constitute a denial of fundamental human rights”.
Wow! The ICJ defined apartheid in 1971? This changes everything!

Except that the phrase quoted by Amnesty says nothing about defining apartheid.

Here is what it says:
130. It is undisputed, and is amply supported by documents annexed to South Africa's written statement in these proceedings, that the official governmental policy pursued by South Africa in Namibia is to achieve a complete physical separation of races and ethnic groups in separate areas within the Territory. ...
131. Under the Charter of the United Nations, the former Mandatory had pledged itself to observe and respect, in a territory having an international status, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race. To establish instead, and to enforce, distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and limitations exclusively based on grounds of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which constitute a denial of fundamental human rights is a flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter. 

International law did not define the crime of apartheid in 1971. This ruling did not try to define apartheid in any sense.  South Africa freely admitted it had a policy of apartheid. The entire question before the IJC was whether South Africa's policies in Namibia were a violation of the UN Charter. 

Just like HRW, Amnesty realized that the definitions of apartheid under international law do not apply to Israel, so they must grab whatever half-truths they can find and claim that the Frankenstein monster of connecting parts from the Rome Statute, the Apartheid Convention (which only say "racial discrimination" similar to that of South Africa), the ICERD (which excludes non-citizens from its expanded definition of "racial discrimination,") and now the ICJ Namibia Case (which does not define apartheid nor racial discrimination in any sense.)

Amnesty is lying - and they know it.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

From Ian:

Normalize, let insulters fend for themselves
WHY are we the ones being insulted by the Palestinians?

When they are happy, they curse the Gulf leaders and people. When they are angry, they use all of the defamatory and abusive words in their dictionary against us.

We, the Gulf nationals, overlook all that by sending them aid. We also participated in all the Arab wars for defending the right of the Palestinians for self-determination and the establishment of an independent state on the 1967 borders.

We are the only ones who rescued them in the year 1970 when they launched their war on Jordan. The late Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah evacuated their leader Yasser Arafat from Amman. The Arabian Gulf states, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, boycotted oil export to the Western countries during the 1973 war.

Furthermore, Riyadh presented two initiatives to solve the issue. Despite their support of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and their participation in acts of intimidation, abuse and killing against Kuwaiti citizens, the Gulf nationals especially Kuwaitis continued to support the Palestinians and their resistance factions.

They supported the late Jamal Abdul Nasser against us. They stood with Gaddafi when he hurled everything he had on the leaders of the Gulf. Their derision even reached the point that they wrote the names of the kings and princes of the Gulf countries on animals and marched with them at the forefront of their demonstrations.

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Gulf states and their people offered to the Palestinians, who were and still are ungrateful.

They stood with the Iranian Houthi aggressor against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. They slandered and cursed the leaders and governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries because they did not mourn the assassination of the head of the terrorist snake Qasem Soleimani.
Kuwaiti poet: ‘Embrace Jews without having a political agenda’
Kuwaiti poet and writer Nejoud Al-Yagou urged, in an eye-popping article, that Kuwaitis embrace Jews and put aside their power politics to create religious and social peace.

“Let’s take religion aside. Many here do not even practice religion but still hold a caustic hatred for Jews,” Al-Yagou wrote on the English-language website earlier this month.

“What is their excuse? Is it politics? If that is the way we think, why are we judging others for being afraid of us?” she asked. “There are Muslims who have used religion to justify and perpetrate attacks on innocent civilians. Did the world ban mosques?”

Al-Yagou apparently authored her article in response to hateful reactions to the US embassy wishing Jews in the oil-rich Gulf country a happy Hanukkah on social media.

“Some commentators trolled the ambassador, and anyone who responded to the message in a spirit of love was verbally abused,” she wrote. “Some argued that there are not many Jews in Kuwait, so why would the US Embassy post such a message? The commentators used the message not only to accuse the ambassador of having an agenda but to attack Jews as a whole.

“What is this cringe-worthy fear we have toward Jews?” she asked, adding that “we cannot use the excuse that we don’t celebrate the festivities of other religions, because many Kuwaitis love to celebrate Christmas, and a few celebrate Diwali with Hindus.

“We cannot say we are protecting Islamic principles, because Kuwait is filled with people of all faiths and no faiths. As such, is this who we have become in a country whose heritage prides itself on coexistence?” she asked.

“What a pity; what a loss for us,” she lamented. “How heartbreaking for our forefathers, a few of whom were Jews who lived here alongside us.”

Honestly with Bari Weiss (podcast): An Imam Blows the Whistle on Muslim Antisemitism
As a boy growing up in Turkey, Abdullah Antepli thought hating Jews was normal. He read Mein Kampf before he was 15. His parents gave him a children's version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He burned Israeli flags.

Today, he is an imam, a professor at Duke University, and, as he puts it, a recovering antisemite. Imam Adbullah has been fearless about blowing the whistle about rising antisemitism in the Muslim community. In the wake of the recent hostage-taking at the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, he tweeted: “Houston, we have a problem!” He wrote, “we need to honestly discuss the increasing anti-semitism within various Muslim communities.”

Today, on Holocaust Remembrace Day, a conversation with a man who has paid a heavy personal price for working to eradicate Jew-hate and to promote peace between Muslims and Jews.
  • Saturday, January 29, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

From MLive (Ann Arbor):

After two years of legal battles over anti-Israel protests outside an Ann Arbor synagogue — demonstrations the courts have upheld as free speech — a federal judge has ordered the plaintiffs to pay the protesters nearly $159,000 to cover their legal defense fees.

U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts issued the ruling this week, deciding plaintiffs Marvin Gerber and Miriam Brysk and attorney Marc Susselman are liable for the protesters’ attorney fees for pursuing meritless and frivolous claims.

The ruling comes as Brysk, represented by Susselman, is now petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

Gerber, now represented by a Washington, D.C. law firm, is separately petitioning the nation’s high court.

Susselman, who has been lead counsel in the federal case, called the judge’s ruling on attorney fees “a reversible error” and said he plans to file an appeal challenging it. He disputes Roberts’ determination the claims were frivolous.

The original lawsuit was filed in late 2019 by Susselman and Gerber, a member of the Beth Israel Congregation on Washtenaw Avenue, where Henry Herskovitz and his anti-Israel group have protested on Saturday mornings since 2003.

Brysk, identified in court records as a Holocaust survivor and member of the Pardes Hannah Congregation in an annex next to the synagogue, joined as a co-plaintiff.

The lawsuit targeted both the protesters and the city for allowing the protests without restrictions, alleging the demonstrations amount to hateful, antisemitic speech and infringe on the rights of congregants to exercise freedom of religion.

Protest signs have carried messages such as “Resist Jewish Power,” “Jewish Power Corrupts,” “No More Holocaust Movies,” “Boycott Israel,” “Stop U.S. Aid to Israel” and “End the Palestinian holocaust.”

Susselman argues the judge erred in determining the claims were frivolous. Even though the Court of Appeals upheld the case’s dismissal last year, Susselman notes the court wrote, “One could colorably argue that signs that say ‘Jewish Power Corrupts’ and ‘No More Holocaust Movies’ directly outside a synagogue attended by holocaust survivors and timed to coincide with their service are more directed at the private congregants than designed to speak out about matters of public concern. The claims require a context-driven examination of complex constitutional doctrine.”
The "protests" are aimed at people attending synagogue, during synagogue hours, for 18 years. It is harassment and only a week ago has Ann Arbor admitted that it is antisemitic. 

(h/t Andrew)

Friday, January 28, 2022

From Ian:

Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper: As world marks Holocaust remembrance day, Hitler's vision lives on
Never again should anyone confuse an advanced education with morality. Some of Germany’s most educated enthusiastically followed Hitler; today there are too many educated people prepared to forge strategies legitimizing crimes in the name of a greater good. Never again should leaders turn a blind eye to today’s evils unleashed against innocents in China or Iran with the hope that somehow catering to tyrants will work out for the best. That didn’t work for Neville Chamberlain and it won’t work now.

Germany will always have special obligations linked to Wannsee: First and foremost. It must never harm Jews.

In word and deed, Germany in 2022 must be guided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. Today’s Germany should take all necessary measures to hold accountable all perpetrators and purveyors of anti-Semitism at home.

It must take the public lead against all Holocaust denial and distortion, on social media and in the halls of power and diplomacy.

Nowhere is such a commitment as needed and sorely lacking as when it comes to Germany’s continuous pursuit of economic gain in Iran.

That is the only way to explain Berlin’s deafening silence as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Khamenei, and his human-rights-crushing regime pursue Holocaust denial as state policy and Iran’s top leadership threatens to destroy Israel – home to over 6 million living, thriving Jews.

The German president can put an end to Iran’s Holocaust denial by inviting the ayatollah and his new president to visit Wannsee along with Dachau, Buchenwald, or Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

We Jews and, we believe, millions of Germans have learned the hard way that words have consequences, and that we must take tyrants at their word.

We can only pray that Germany’s new leaders along with the U.S., UK, and France will pause in these days between January 20 and January 27 to study the Wannsee Protocol. It might just save humankind from the next “unthinkable” catastrophe.
Global antisemitism meets most criteria for stages of genocide
On Jan. 27, we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the six million Jews killed in the Nazi genocide, as well as the millions of other victims persecuted in that era. This remembrance will be meaningless, however, if we do not seriously consider the growing threat faced by world Jewry today. To understand the seriousness of this threat, consider how it measures under Genocide Watch founder Dr. Gregory Stanton's canonical classification of the ten stages of genocide.

The first stage, classification, refers to the division of people into "us" versus "them." This phenomenon is now widespread on American college campuses. Known to anti-Israel activists as "anti-normalization," it can be seen, for example, in the 2018 pledge by more than 50 New York University student groups to boycott pro-Israel student groups on campus, as well as national pro-Israel organizations. The ongoing effort is aimed at pushing Jewish students "beyond the pale" unless they join forces with groups that make war against Jewish identity. To address this early-stage activity, we must strengthen institutions that can inculcate universalistic Western values, such as equal respect and civil discourse.

The second stage, symbolization, can be seen in Proud Boys' apparel emblazoned with "6MWE," which stands for "six million wasn't enough." It is also seen in alt-right use of parentheses, such as the triple parentheses used on neo-Nazi sites to indicate Jewish ancestry. On such sites, I have seen triple parentheses placed around my own head, suggesting something like a marksman's bullseye. However, it is most often seen in swastikas used to communicate hate. It is high time for the US Education Department to address higher education's massive under-reporting of swastikas under the Clery Act.

We see the third stage, discrimination when Jewish, pro-Israel students are forced out of student government positions. In recent years, the Brandeis Center has successfully defended Jewish students against such discrimination at Tufts University and the University of Southern California. Stronger civil-rights enforcement is needed, starting with the codification of the federal Executive Order on Combating Antisemitism.

The fourth stage, dehumanization, is seen when antisemites treat Jews as animals or as demons. In 2010, Egypt's then-President Mohamed Morsi called Jews the "sons of apes and pigs." Such dehumanizing insults are a common feature of Muslim antisemitism. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan exemplified this demonization when he called Judaism the "synagogue of Satan." Dehumanization, in both forms, should be taken seriously and condemned vigorously.

Meir Y. Soloveichik: Christopher Hitchens Wasn’t Great
Meanwhile, as his life came to a close, Hitchens’s criticisms of Israel grew more and more vile. In 2010, he published an infamous article in Slate titled “Israel’s Shabbos Goy,” wherein he asserted that America’s support for Israel embodied the “old concept of the shabbos goy—the non-Jew who is paid a trifling fee to turn out the lights or turn on the stove, or whatever else is needful to get around the more annoying regulations of the Sabbath.” As Kerstein notes, this sentence combines all sorts of anti-Semitic talking points in a single go. It is, if you a will, a demagogic literary triple lutz. It fuses a classical trope according to which Jews are pharisaic charlatans with the more modern stereotype of Jews as dishonest, and tops it all off with the contemporary progressive assault on the Jewish state.

This execrable essay points to an interesting aspect of Hitchens’s legacy and life. Why would a man who inveighed with such passion about the War on Terror continue to write in such a putrid way about the very country that was on that war’s front lines? I am not certain of the answer, but I do have a guess. What drove Hitchens above all was his hatred of faith; he began God Is Not Great by explaining, “I have been writing this book my whole life.” Perhaps the one fact that Hitchens was never able to explain, the best piece of evidence for the existence of God that would not go away, was Israel itself.

Thousands of years ago, Jewish scripture claimed that Abraham’s family would affect the world far beyond its numbers, that there was one land linked to its destiny, that this tiny people would experience exile, that it would survive all efforts to destroy it and would one day return from around the world. Then the most unexpected event of all occurred: It all came true. How does Hitchens explain that? What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed; but the evidence was there, right in front of his face. If Israel, despite its mistakes and flaws, truly was the beacon of freedom in the very War on Terror he was now supporting, then his insipid atheism was under threat. And so Israel had to be assaulted, with all Hitchens’s eloquence, even if it required the mustering of anti-Semitic tropes whose history he understood all too well.

In reading the many tributes that were written 10 years ago and today, it is obvious that Hitchens was a loyal friend, filled with joie de vivre, and a man of many talents. Watching his last interviews, it is painful to see someone who so clearly relished life battling against the dying of the light. But in my pastoral experience, I have seen many die too young, men and women who filled their lives with love and friendship without devoting so much of their time on earth to hateful and irresponsible invective. So 10 years later, I will not celebrate a man who attacked all I hold dear in so shallow, callous, and deceitful a manner. And because I am unwilling to dismiss the evidence that anti-religious dictatorship has provided us, I believe that freedom in the West is made more secure when Hitchens’s writings about religion are exposed for the scurrilous, ignorant assertions that they are.


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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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