Thursday, March 31, 2022

From Ian:

Biden Administration Failing to Reform U.N.’s Palestinian Refugee Agency
The Trump administration cut off all U.S. funding for UNRWA in 2018, concluding that UNRWA needed to be reformed completely, if not dismantled. With a mandate to care for refugees, providing basic services like health care and education, but not resettle them, UNRWA has perpetuated the problem it exists to deal with. By conferring refugee status on multiple generations of Palestinians—a departure from U.N. practice in other conflicts—an initial refugee population of approximately 750,000 in 1948 has ballooned to 5.7 million. This expansive definition of who is a refugee, coupled with UNRWA’s support for the “right of return,” the Palestinian claim that all these millions of Palestinians have a right to resettle inside Israel, makes the agency a vehicle for prolonging the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To boot, UNRWA has also had serious issues of waste, fraud, and abuse.

When the Trump administration zeroed out aid to the U.N. agency in August 2018 after it resisted making changes, a State Department spokesperson announced, “The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation.”

The Biden administration opted to restore funding to the agency before securing structural changes in UNRWA’s mandate or operations—all but ensuring no change would occur. When announcing the decision last April, Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed U.S. taxpayer money would promote “neutrality, accountability, and transparency.” Since then, the United States has donated or pledged some $416.8 million to UNRWA, including more than $32 million contributed in the wake of the May 2021 Hamas-Israel war.

The Biden administration would likely defend its decision by pointing to the framework for cooperation with the State Department that UNRWA signed on July 14, 2021, in which it committed to stopping incitement against Jews and Israel in its education system and ensuring it does not support or provide assistance to terrorist groups. Days later, the United States announced another $135.8 million for the cash-strapped agency. On December 30, 2021, the State Department pledged an additional $99 million, again stressing the need for UNRWA to focus on “accountability, transparency, neutrality, and stability.”

But America’s return on investment appears to be negative. A report published in January 2022 by the Jerusalem- and London-based watchdog group IMPACT-se shows that UNRWA has continued to distribute teaching materials that glorify and promote violence. (Previous reports from the group, which pre-date the agreement with the Biden State Department, showed the same thing, as did an EU-funded report released in June 2021. Even the UNRWA commissioner-general, Philippe Lazzarini, admitted last September that textbooks distributed by his agency promote anti-Semitism, hatred, and violence.)

UNRWA has frequently hidden behind a claim that it merely uses the curriculum of its “host country.” With this approach, UNRWA has deflected accusations that the Palestinian Authority textbooks it uses in the West Bank and Gaza incite Palestinians to violence, even though UNRWA is under no obligation to use these materials.
Honest Reporting: EXCLUSIVE: How European Union Funding of West Bank Activities Breaches Int’l Law & Undermines Peace
The ongoing relevance of the Oslo Accords was more recently reiterated by longtime diplomat Dennis Ross, who served as former US president Bill Clinton’s Middle East envoy when the deals were signed. “These agreements, endorsed by the international community, form the cornerstone of the bilateral peace process until this day and continue to govern the relations between the parties,” Ross wrote in a submission to the International Criminal Court in 2020 [emphasis added].

But the illegal PA-EU land seizure effort taking place in Area C is, by contrast, making the actualization of the Oslo Accords more difficult as the subversive initiative seeks to, according to the Israeli intelligence report, establish “irreversible facts […] on the ground which have far-reaching implications on a future political agreement.”

The report also stresses that the land takeover is already endangering the lives of Israelis and Palestinians alike:
[…] This Palestinian activity has created a significant constraint on the freedom of movement along the main traffic arteries in the region, while transforming ‘traffic corridors’ from the Oslo era into ‘lanes,’ which are overseen and have come under threat, which might impact the security of the traffic along sections of some of the most important routes […]

For nearly three decades, the European Union has championed a “two-state solution based on the Oslo Accords and on international law,” often warning against perceived Israeli “unilateral departure[s] from the Oslo Accords.” As recently as last year, the European envoy to the United Nations Security Council explicitly invoked the agreements in an attack against alleged unilateral Israeli moves in the West Bank.

And while Europe has paid lip service to the need for direct talks between the two parties based on past agreements, with then-German foreign minister Heiko Maas in May 2021 saying that there is “no alternative to direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians,” Brussels is clearly abetting unilateral steps by the Palestinian Authority.

This, as part of an illegal campaign in Area C of the West Bank that is being funded by European taxpayers and effectively reducing the prospects for a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel: A Tale of 2 Parallel Universes
UNFORTUNATELY, Israel seems to exist in two parallel, contradictory worlds.

One universe has been constructed – a false, hackneyed, out-of-date, and threatening universe – that extends from Ramallah to New York, Geneva, and other unfriendly places.

This universe, dominated by so-called Western “progressives” in cahoots with Arab/Islamic radicals, disses rather than embraces the Abraham Accords and is stuck in a time warp where Israel is an evil actor. It is a malign universe where recalcitrant and violent Palestinian leaders are venerated, and admirable Israeli leaders are criminalized. It is a tragic, forlorn universe.

The other universe – real, promising, forward-looking, and stabilizing! – is marked by a peace dynamic that runs from Jerusalem to Dubai, Manama, Rabat, Cairo, and Amman; and from Jerusalem to the most important leaders in the world.

In short, the discourse about Israel in corrupt international institutions and in some aspersive Western campuses and capitals couldn’t be more different than the discourse in Arab capitals and other calm and considered decision-making centers. It’s confrontation versus cooperation, demonization versus solidarity.

It is time for more Western leaders and democratic activists to discover the true, new Middle East, and the real Israel: a force for peace, progress, security, and stability.



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 My Supreme Leader, We Can Attack The US And Biden Will Still Cave To All Our Demands

by Ali Mossadegh, advisor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

AlemiTehran, March 31- Your Holiness, I must express my admiration for your wisdom and insight regarding the Great Satan and the naivety of their political leadership. Not only did you tell us not to compromise, but to harden our demands and even extend them; you predicted that we could actively hurt American interests and Washington will still grovel to reach some sort of agreement over our nuclear program, regardless of how triumphant it makes us and how humiliated it makes them. It now appears we could conduct actual, direct terrorist operations on their soil and they will continue to grant us everything we ask for and more! A remarkable diplomatic achievement.

I suggest we do so, but defer to your greater experience and wisdom as to the timing, location - or locations - and extent of the operations. It is one thing to keep pushing Biden and the craven Democrats further and further back from their original negotiating position; it would be another entirely to risk alienating enough of the US voting public that the leadership, no matter how accommodating they wish to be to us, must take into account the animosity our actions may produce. We certainly need not take heed of domestic dissent from official policy - the perks of knowing we are right and Godly, and those who disagree are Satanic and worthy only of repression and abuse - but sadly, the Western countries adhere to benighted notions of "consent of the governed" and "accountability to the citizens." As such, we must not overreach.

I might suggest a series of coordinated attacks on strategic or important institutions with powerful symbolism, but not so powerful as to force Biden's hand against us. That means the Statue of Liberty is out, as are any number of prominent buildings in the Washington, DC area. Striking a blow against American tyranny, tempting and righteous as it may be, requires judicious restraint. Our friend Osama learned that the hard way.

Perhaps a chemical attack against a large city is in order. Not a city with the political and cultural valence of New York or Washington, however. We cannot risk the backlash. No, I suggest a city with significant population and some national renown, which probably indicates at least two major sports teams. Places such as Cleveland, for example: locales with no shortage of infidels we can murder and make suffer, but with no lasting contribution to America's sense of itself. San Diego. Seattle. Las Vegas.

I await your decision, Your Holiness.


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From Ian:

Noah Rothman: In Israel, the Grimly Familiar and the Utterly Shocking
An ominously familiar scene unfolded on Tuesday night in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak—one that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said was indicative of “a new wave of terrorism” washing over the country.

Gruesome video of that event showed an attacker, dressed all in black, firing an M16 assault rifle indiscriminately at passersby. The attacker shot and killed four, including a police officer, before he was neutralized. The gunman was later identified as a 27-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank. While no terrorist organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, several militant groups—including Hamas—welcomed this act of barbarism.

Another grimly familiar spectacle occurred shortly thereafter in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. As news of the bloodshed spread inside Gaza, images of militants handing out celebratory sweets to locals flooded social media. It was all evocative of the painful and persistent violence that has colored so much of the region’s history, and it may presage even more terrible events yet to come. This mass shooting was the fifth in a recent series of terrorist acts that have so far taken 11 lives inside Israel. That’s more violent death than Israel has experienced outside wartime in years.

“After a period of quiet, there is a violent eruption by those who want to destroy us, those who want to hurt us at any price,” Bennett said in a recorded address. “They are prepared to die so that we will not live in peace.” It’s enough to leave observers with a terrible sense of déjà vu. Yet, a sense that the bad old days might be back is belied by the truly unfamiliar—indeed, seminal—circumstances that likely contributed to this spate of violence.

The backdrop against which these attacks were set is the full flowering of Israel’s emergence on its regional stage as a key power—not just militarily but diplomatically, too. This week, the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, traveled to a resort in the Negev desert in Israel for a formal diplomatic summit. There, the representatives of these Arab nations coordinated with the Jewish state’s head of diplomatic affairs on issues ranging from the extraordinary to the mundane.
What's Behind the Spate of Terror Attacks in Israel?
On the face of it, the attacks are unconnected: a Bedouin from the Negev with nationalist leanings; two extreme Islamist Israeli Arabs connected to ISIS; and a Palestinian terrorist from the West Bank. In fact, there is a close and direct connection of atmosphere, encouragement and unceasing incitement on the part of terrorist organizations and political leaders, while several conditions for such an outbreak of terror have emerged.

The security forces are wont to describe the territories as a "bubbling cauldron", for economic, political, and other reasons, on which the lid is kept tight shut by various means, partly military, but mostly economic. The moderating effect of an economy that is in a reasonable state and is developing is huge, and prevents a popular uprising like the two intifadas. Effective security measures help to thwart most terrorist attacks, which are almost all stopped at the planning stage in the terrorists' homes.

The relative quiet has, however, perhaps led to a degree of lassitude and an exaggerated sense of security. We live in a hostile environment in which the desire to annihilate Israel is alive and kicking, and the bubbling cauldron spills over now and then. The consequences of successful attacks are far-reaching. Israel looks more and more vulnerable, the Israel Security Agency and the security forces are seen to have failed, and the video clips and security camera footage showing terrorists opening fire in the heart of Israeli cities are a highly effective catalyst. Israel looks vulnerable and weak. As one assessment from a security source described it in a closed discussion: "They smell blood. Suddenly, strong Israel is taking blows, and the attacks manage to inflict pain, and even more, to have a victory effect through clips of the attacks on social networks that go viral very fast." The influence of the video clips and the praise expressed in them for the "heroes" represent extremely strong encouragement.
Jonathan Tobin: Don’t reward Palestinians for a new wave of terror
After a week of terror attacks that took the lives of 11 people, Israelis are wondering whether they are on the brink of a third intifada. The Jewish state’s security forces are redoubling their efforts to try to anticipate or prevent further such atrocities. But the Israeli government needs to worry about more than just whether these seemingly random accounts will lead to more violence from Hamas or elements linked to the Palestinian Authority. It also has to be concerned about whether its sole superpower ally and other Western countries will use these tragedies as an excuse to revive failed policies of the past, whose goal is to pressure Israel into making concessions to the Palestinians.

Throughout much of the last 30 years, that was the pattern of events. But instead of taking an honest look at Palestinian political culture, which not only lauds terrorism but views violence as a legitimate and necessary expression of national identity, the West consistently treated acts of murder as a cry for help from the disadvantaged.

Such thinking was the product of a fundamental mistake about the nature of the conflict. Rather than Palestinian violence being caused by alleged Israeli oppression or the lack of progress towards peace, it was instead an expression of a long-held belief in the illegitimacy of a Jewish state and the need for action to eliminate it.

Given repeated Palestinian Arab refusals of offers of compromise on even the most advantageous terms dating back to the pre-state era, that much should have been obvious. The support for terror even on the part of so-called Palestinian moderates, who have continued to subsidize and applaud acts of terror against Jews, had to be ignored. The foolishness of a policy that responded to terror waves with diplomatic pressure on Israel essentially rewarded Palestinians for violence.

So if the events of the last week are the harbinger of more attacks inside Israel, the question is whether President Joe Biden’s foreign-policy team will respond to them by doing the same thing every past administration—with the sole exception being the government led by former President Donald Trump—did whenever terror attacks surged and announce a renewed emphasis on reviving peace negotiations. If they do, they should not expect the results to be any different from what happened in the past. Instead of, as they claim, undermining the rationale for terror against Israel, it will send a message to the Palestinians that violence is the way to garner more support for their futile century-old war on Zionism and the Jewish presence in the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
  • Thursday, March 31, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

Anti-Israel arguments are sometimes quite amusing.

The National Working Group for Palestine/Morocco has been trying to get Moroccans to oppose normalization with Israel, with not much success. 

Ahead of yesterday's Palestinian Land Day, they called for a massive rally in front of Morocco's Parliament to show their anger and displeasure at normalization.

Abdelaziz Aftati, an MP for the Islamist Justice and Development Party, wrote on his Facebook page normalization "puts Morocco's strategic security at risk" isolating it from its Arab neighbors - which means Algeria. (Algerian media are the only ones that covered this story.)

How, exactly, does this affect Morocco's strategic security? Perhaps because Israel intends to "expand" into Morocco, somehow. The Moroccan Association for Human Rights warned of the "danger posed by the Zionist expansion." Perhaps Israel will invade Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria on its way to take over Morocco.

Finally, yesterday was Land Day, and a protest was indeed held outside Parliament. 

A couple dozen Moroccans showed up.



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  • Thursday, March 31, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

EU and Palestinians tweeted, "EUREP, MS & like-minded states attended a meeting with the heads of churches to discuss the ongoing settler occupation of the Little Petra hotel at the entrance of the Christian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, owned by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. Urge Israeli authorities to immediately deescalate the situation and take measures to fully protect the presence and heritage of the Palestinians and Christian community in East Jerusalem."

Haaretz reported earlier this week:

Following an 18-year legal battle, members of a settler organization have moved into the Petra Hotel in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Currently, Ateret Cohanim occupies only part of the Petra Hotel. Located near Jaffa Gate, the hotel is one of two large buildings the organization bought from the previous Greek Orthodox patriarch, Irenaios, in a controversial deal. The other is the nearby Imperial Hotel.

When the deal came to light in 2005, it sparked a major crisis within the local branch of the Greek Orthodox church that culminated in Irenaios’ unprecedented dismissal. His replacement, Theophilos III, then tried to repudiate the deal and get it overturned.

But the Jerusalem District Court, and later the Supreme Court, ratified it, despite concluding that there were “shadows and black holes in the moves that led to the agreement’s signing.” Among other things, it was proven that Ateret Cohanim had paid a church official.

Sunday morning, Ateret Cohanim members entered the building’s first floor under police escort. Under the terms of the lease, this floor is separate from the rest of the hotel, which is why the organization was able to take possession.

While the article notes some accusations of questionable conduct by Ateret Cohanim in regard to other property purchases, the purchase itself was 100% legal and they have every right to take possession. 

But the EU, so concerned about the law when it can be interpreted against Israel, wants it to be ignored when it supports the position of Jews. Buying a building and moving in is "settler occupation," and of course all "settler occupation" is illegal. 

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate is trying to incite violence over this, by "warning" that Jews buying property is likely to cause violence:

This act is extremely dangerous as it regards community relations on the ground. Acting in this illegally aggressive manner against a known Christian property and an Arab business –particularly ahead of Easter and Ramadan – could likely ignite local hostilities similar to what was witnessed last year in Sheikh Jarrah. Not to mention the timing that Mati Dan and his organisation, Ateret Cohanim, are choosing on the eve of Secretary Blinken’s arrival in the region.

In response to this illegal activity, local residents, business owners, and priests are demanding definitive action. Patriarch Theophilos III has been consulting heavily with the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and receiving counsel from all sides. The Church is doing all that it can to stop these actions, protect the tenants, and come to a lawful and peaceful resolution. However, there is tremendous pressure to address these actions in a powerful way. The Church fears certain actions could quickly escalate and ignite a very turbulent scenario in the Old City.

This is a typical Palestinian response - not to call on Palestinians to be calm but to "warn" that what Jews do can cause Palestinians to turn violent. The racist subtext is that Jews want to avoid violence and Palestinians naturally engage in it. 

The hotel itself looks like a dump. TripAdvisor reviews tell horror stories and show photos that are stomach-turning.

Ateret Cohanim probably paid millions for this fleabag motel whose previous owners wouldn't invest a dime in it.

In any other city, the property would be condemned and the owners fined.

As usual, no one shows interest in these properties until Jews do. Then they suddenly become holy places of utmost importance to the future of the free world.


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  • Thursday, March 31, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

Egypt's Youm7 (Seventh Day) had an article on Wednesday about the great Jewish philosopher and rabbi Moses Maimonides (Rambam), who was born on March 30, 1135.

It quotes Egyptian philosopher Sheikh Mustafa 'Abd al-Raziq, Professor of Islamic Philosophy at Al Azhar University who died in 1947 and who was considered an expert on the Rambam:
I am one of those who place Maimonides and his brothers among the philosophers of Islam, and I said in a speech I gave at the Maimonides celebration at the Opera House on the first of April 1935 AD, “Abu Imran Musa bin Maimonides is a philosopher from among the philosophers of Islam. Muslims and non-Muslims have been called philosophers of Islam, and their philosophy is called Islamic philosophy, meaning that it grew in the countries of Islam and in the shadow of its state, and was characterized by some characteristics without regard to the religion of its owners, their gender, or their language."
Al-Raziq said that Jews like Maimonides translated Arabic philosophy to Hebrew, where the Christian West could read it and understand it, spreading their ideas throughout the world. 

In general, this was a complimentary article. But this 2018 article in the same newspaper gives the Rambam credit for - Zionism!

The Rambam was famously the personal physician to Sultan Saladin, the article says:
What did Maimonides offer to the Jews, and how did that sultan's doctor open the way for Jewish immigration to Palestine, and did the Cordovan philosopher have a hand in paving the way for the establishment of a Hebrew state for the Jews in Palestine, which was officially announced in 1948?
According to the book “The Dictionary of the Philosophers” by the great thinker George Tarabishi, Moses Ibn Maimon, who was seeking to raise the spiritual and moral level of the Jews, used his influence in the country to provide more protection for his religion, and after Salah al-Din conquered Jerusalem, he obtained for his people the right to settle there [they had been expelled by the Crusaders - EoZ]  and in Palestine in general, and to build synagogues and schools for them there, and he used that period to write to the poor Yemeni Jews to revive their hearts by believing in God and the Torah.

Dr. Muhammad Ziyad Hamdan, analyzed the last incident in his book “The Necessity of Civil Islam and the Nation State: Man’s Failure in Developing Countries,” that the decree, which Musa Maimonides approved of Salah al-Din, opened the way since that day for the establishment of the State of Israel, and to what it has reached in our present time of tyranny and corruption in the land."

Something else to admire about the Rambam!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

From Ian:

New York Times Uses Israel-Arab Summit to Claim Ben-Gurion ‘Never Believed in Real Peace’
The summit was held at Sde Boker, the site in the Negev that was Ben-Gurion’s final home. The Times reports:
[I]f he were alive today, “no one would be more stunned than Ben-Gurion himself” to see the summit, said Tom Segev, an Israeli historian and biographer of the Israeli leader.

“He never believed in real peace with the Arabs,” Mr. Segev said of Ben-Gurion.

That’s nonsense. Here is Prime Minister Ben-Gurion’s statement to the Knesset on May 6, 1963, from the website of Israel’s foreign ministry:
When we proclaimed our renewed independence at four o’clock in the afternoon of Friday, May 14, 1948, we declared:

“We extend the hand of peace and good-neighborliness to all the States around us and to their peoples, and we call upon them to cooperate in mutual helpfulness with the independent Jewish nation in its Land. The State of Israel is prepared to make its contribution in a concerted effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.”

Israel realizes that her fate is interwoven with the fate of all mankind, and her peace depends on the peace of the world….I believe with implicit faith that the day will come when true peace will reign between Israel and her neighbors, but until that day we must ward off the danger of the war that the Arab rulers are planning against Israel.

How can the historian Tom Segev possibly know for sure that Ben Gurion was lying when he said he believed in peace? And why would the Times pass along that accusation to its readers without any evidence, or without providing the ample evidence to the contrary?

Segev’s biography of Ben-Gurion was rightfully panned by Ephraim Karsh in the Wall Street Journal (“Segev, like his fellow revisionists, is not bothered with mere facts in his endeavor to rewrite Ben-Gurion and, by extension, Israel’s history in an image of his own making.”)

It’s all a useful reminder that for Israel’s real enemies at the New York Times, the issue isn’t really the post-1967 “occupation” of the West Bank, or Israel’s supposed lurch toward the authoritarian right under Benjamin Netanyahu. The real issue is 1948-style Zionism itself: the mere existence of a Jewish state of the sort brought into reality by Ben-Gurion.

Leave it to the Times to take a positive story about Israel’s blossoming relations with its Arab neighbors and somehow find a way to turn it into a nasty, posthumous attack on Ben-Gurion.

'Arafat was a coward and the PA is paying a heavy price for it'
The arduous attempts to prevent terrorist attacks, the decision to drive the Palestinian Authority from Jerusalem, and the missed opportunity to eliminate top Hamas leaders: former Shin Bet chief MK Avi Dichter recalls the days of the iconic Operation Defensive Shield.

Passover night, March 27, 2002: The Dichter family home in Ashkelon was full of family and friends. All of a sudden, the Israel Security Agency director's phone rings out. Avi Dichter, by then a veteran of the service, was used to being away from home on holidays. Sometimes it was a security incident. Sometimes it was a source asking for an urgent meeting. This time, it was difficult for him to just get up and leave. After all, he was the host.

"I answered the phone, and the voice on the other end of the line said 'there's been an explosion at the Park Hotel in Netanya. We're checking to see if it was cooking gas,' recalls Dichter. "I was familiar with the routine of reporting a gas explosion. People found it difficult to report that there had been a suicide bombing, so when they didn't yet have proof, they would usually say, 'there may have been a gas explosion.'

"I told the guests that I had to leave and on the way to the office, I spoke with Arik Sharon, who was prime minister at the time. By now it was obvious that it was a terrorist attack and that we would be launching Operation Defensive Shield which was something that had already been discussed. Sharon decided that the main target would be Ramallah so as to send the Palestinian leadership a clear message.

Dichter, 69, has many stories from those dark days. The Likud MK and former public security and deputy defense minister was appointed to head the Shin Bet in May 2000. The Second Intifada erupted in October of that year, and terrorist attacks claimed hundreds of Israeli lives. Israel's response, 2002's Operation Defensive Shield, dealt a lethal blow to the terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

Dichter says that to comprehend how Operation Defensive Shield came about, you have to go back to August 1993, when the Oslo Accords were signed. "You have to go from there, through the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the Western Wall tunnel riot, and then Defensive Shield. Those are more or less, the main waystations," he says. "The Oslo Accords were finalized without the knowledge of the defense establishment which had no idea that the government was about to sign the agreements.

"At the time I was head of the Southern District at the Shin Bet and 90% of the burden fell on me. We had great expectations for cooperation from the other side because we knew everyone, from the head of the preventive security apparatus Mohammed Dahlan through to Moussa Arafat, who was chief of military intelligence. They were people that I had sat down with just like we are sitting together now. PLO leader Yasser Arafat in 1994 (Moshe Shai/Archives)

"It's like when you marry a woman, and the next day you find out that she isn't who you thought she was. When the terrorist attacks began, we supplied them [the PA] with intelligence so they could take care of things. But instead of taking care of things, they were looking for where we got our intelligence from. After [PM Yitzhak] Rabin's murder [in November 1995], when Shimon Peres was prime minister, we had a meeting with [PLO Chairman] Yasser Arafat, Peres asked me for a breakdown of the situation. I said that the man behind the suicide bombings was Mohammed Deif," he said, naming the head of Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas military wing.

"Arafat looked at [PA security chief] Mohammed Dahlan who was sitting next to him and said 'Mohammed who?' Dahlan said, 'The guy I told you about.' Arafat replied, 'You never told me anything.' We all knew he was lying. The most frustrating thing was that the Palestinian Authority was doing absolutely nothing to stop the violence."
UN Watch: Report: UN to name investigator on Israel who compares it to Nazi Germany
The U.N. Human Rights Council is planning to violate its own impartiality rules by appointing a new investigator on Palestinian human rights who exults in calling Israel an “apartheid” state and repeatedly compares the Palestinian situation to the Nazi Holocaust, according to a new report by the independent non-governmental monitoring group UN Watch.

Francesca Albanese, an Italian lawyer who worked in Jordan for UNRWA, is slated to be the next “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories,” whose mandate is actually to investigate solely “Israel’s violations.”

While UN experts are obliged to be objective and impartial, UN Watch’s 25-page report reveals that Albanese has repeatedly equated the Palestinian Nakba with the Nazi Holocaust, accused Israel of apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes.

On her application, Albanese was asked whether she holds “any views or opinions that could prejudice the manner in which the candidate discharges the mandate.” She replied “No.”

Yet just last year, Albanese acknowledged the opposite, saying her “deeply held personal views” on the Palestinian issue “could compromise my objectivity.”

Indeed, Albanese has said Israel is “keeping captive millions of civilians,” organized a panel on “Israel Apartheid,” and campaigns for an arms embargo against Israel.

On her application, Albanese also certified no personal conflicts of interest, failing to disclose that her husband, who compares Palestinians to Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto resisting the Nazis, formerly worked for the Palestinian Authority, where he authored a report on Israel’s “exploitative” policies.

“According to its own rules,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, “the UNHRC must give paramount importance to impartiality when selecting its experts, and Francesca Albanese is the very opposite of impartial.”

Albanese Expected to Follow Anti-Israel Agenda of Outgoing Michael Lynk
UN Watch: Axis of Iran and Amnesty International Accuse Israel of "Apartheid"
UN Watch's Hillel Neuer took the floor at the United Nations Human Rights Council to call out the Moscow-inspired disinformation campaign of "Zionism is Racism." March 25, 2022.

Zionism, for me, is a complicated subject. Growing up, I thought I was a Zionist. My family was Zionist. My parents were always going to ZOA bond dinners. Morris A. Paul, my dad’s uncle, was president of the local ZOA chapter, and also served this organization at the national level. I devoured books about Israel, ate, slept and dreamed Israel, and ultimately made Aliyah at the tender age of 18.

For me, however, Zionism was not the Zionism of Ben Gurion or Jabotinsky. My Zionism was unconnected to any political ideology, but rather a Zionism of the heart. Israel was where I wanted to be, come hell or high water.

My very Zionist uncle, Morris A. Paul
As my religious sensibilities evolved and solidified, I came to see my Zionism as a religious imperative. Aside from the commandment of settling the Land of Israel, there’s the fact that many commandments cannot be performed outside of Israel. Nachmanides, in fact, was of the opinion that the commandments were given specifically to be performed only in the Land of Israel. Phrased another way, all of the commandments are invalid, performed outside of Israel.

The word “Zionism” in and of itself, is a political ideology. You don’t find it in the bible. What you do find in the bible is 152 mentions of Tzion or “Zion.”

As a woman with a strong streak of rebellion who had embraced orthodoxy after growing up in the Conservative Movement, I took pride in telling people, “I am not a Zionist.” Looking back, I am embarrassed to admit what I now know: I enjoyed the shock value of this declaration, for everyone knew from my blogs and social media activism that I fought for Israel with both words and deeds. It made no sense to anyone I knew. “Of course you’re a Zionist!” they insisted.

“Nope,” said I, pigheaded and proud.

The State of Israel was to me, only a convenience that allowed Jewish people to live in the land and to properly carry out the commandments without kowtowing to a foreign entity. I thought, and still think that the Israeli system of government is stupid. Despite my patronizing view of Israeli politics, I voted in Israeli elections, choosing the candidates most likely to support the study of Torah. Until today, I find much Israeli legislation to be antithetical to the spirit of Judaism and Torah law (one recent example, the caving in of Ayelet Shakked regarding the entrance of non-Jewish Ukrainian refugees, which might lead to intermarriage and other dangerous phenomena). Then too, the Jewish State is not synonymous with the Land of Israel, which comprises a much larger landmass, and should, in my opinion, be governed by God-fearing, commandment-following rulers.

Map of the Holy Land (1795)

With the passage of time, accumulation of years, and hopefully a bit of acquired wisdom, my views on Zionism began to change. I came to see that in fact, I am a Zionist, if not in the political sense. I believe that Jews have the right to self-determination in all of their indigenous territory, what Jabotinsky and the Likud call “Greater Israel.” This understanding of Zionism is not inconsonant with Orthodox Judaism. At the same time, you will never see a Jew in a black suit and hat declaring themselves to be Zionists.

My children span the spectrum of Jewish religious belief, yet all of them have strong, right-wing views on the right of every Jew to live in all parts of the land. This too, tells me that in truth, I am a Zionist, perhaps more than I should be. Politics are what we talk about at our Sabbath table and also from day to day.

Over Sukkot, my eldest invited us to her Sukkah to share a meal and have some family time. As we were leaving, my grandson, the first of my grandchildren, walked us out to the car. He noticed my gold necklace, a silhouette of the State of Israel, and asked about it. I said, “Oops. I better hide that. I wouldn’t want to give you a bad reputation by being seen with Zionists.”

“Why?” asked my grandson. “What’s wrong with being a Zionist?”

“Well,” said I, “Zionists think the Jews need a state that belongs just to them. They believe we have the right to our own government. For me, it also means that every Jew can live in Eretz Yisroel, wherever they want.”

“If that’s what it means to be a Zionist,” declared my black-hatted grandson, “Then I too am a Zionist!”

‘Nuff said.

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Weekly column by Vic Rosenthal

Last week, after a terrorist attack in Beer Sheva that took four lives, I (rhetorically) asked our leadership if they had a plan to deal with Arab terrorism, something more long-range than beefing up the police presence over Ramadan. Since then, there have been two more attacks, one in Hadera and one in Bnei Brak, bringing the total number of murder victims to eleven in one week.

The Beer Sheva terrorist was a Bedouin Arab, a citizen of Israel. The Hadera murderers were also Israeli citizens, from Umm al Fahm in the “Arab triangle” east of that city, who identified with the Islamic State. The terrorist who murdered five on Tuesday in Bnai Brak was from the Jenin area in the Palestinian Authority. He was in Israel illegally, working on a construction project. Some reports say that he was associated with Fatah, the party of PLO/PA leader Mahmoud Abbas. Diversity in terrorism.

Three of the murdered and one of the seriously injured victims were policemen. And of those, one was a Druze and another was a Christian Arab.

These terror attacks are the tip of an iceberg. Part of the rest of it showed itself last May, when during a war that was provoked by Hamas rocket attacks, we experienced a murderous uprising by Arab citizens:

In little more than a week, Arab rioters set 10 synagogues and 112 Jewish residences on fire, looted 386 Jewish homes and damaged another 673, and set 849 Jewish cars on fire. There were also 5,018 recorded instances of Jews being stoned. Three Jews were murdered and more than 600 were hurt. Over 300 police officers were injured in disturbances in over 90 locations across the country.

That wasn’t a peaceful demonstration. It wasn’t even a riot. It was a rebellion, an attempt to open a second front during a war. And it wasn’t “clashes between Arabs and Jews”:

By contrast, although some commentators have push [sic] the ‘both sides’ line, no mosques were damaged, one Arab home was firebombed (by Arabs that mistook it for a Jewish home), 13 Arab homes and cars were damaged, and 41 Arab bystanders were hurt by hurled stones. There were also two attacks by Jewish extremists against Arab bystanders, in Bat Yam and Herzliya. Bat Yam saw a large and violent demonstration by far-right Jews.

More of the iceberg, which has been growing for years while Israelis and their leaders have kept their eyes shut, has recently become visible. That is the astonishing fact that a great deal of the Negev and the Galilee have become no-go zones, controlled by Bedouin crime gangs:

Residents of the Negev (and parts of the Galilee) have felt, for years, that the government has abandoned them to the violence and crime of the Bedouin community. According to some estimates, some 100,000 acres of Israeli land have been ceded to the Bedouin—security forces will not or cannot exercise control in those areas, and the Bedouin have, some say, created a state within a state. … today the amount of weapons that the Bedouins in the Negev have right now … they have more weapons than two divisions of the IDF right now in the middle of the Negev. They smuggle weapons and drugs of more than 4 billion shekels a year between the Negev and Egypt …

Israel has very strict firearms laws. An Israeli citizen generally cannot possess a rifle, and must demonstrate a need (living in a dangerous area, a job as a security guard, etc.) to obtain a permit for a pistol. The amount of ammunition one can have is also limited. Yet the Bedouins and the criminal gangs in Israeli Arab towns are armed to the teeth with weapons stolen from the IDF, smuggled from Egypt or Lebanon, or even homemade. The murder rate among Israeli Arabs reflects this, being 12 times greater than that of Israeli Jews. Possibly the next time there is an uprising like the one last May, these guns will be turned against the Jews.

The trends are not encouraging. Our Muslim Arab citizens increasingly believe that the State of Israel is illegitimate, built on land “stolen” from them, and is a temporary edifice that will soon be liberated and replaced by an Arab state. Although it is true that only a small minority would engage in terrorism,

According to statistics published by Professor Sammy Smooha of Haifa University, 77.1 per cent of Israeli Arabs view Zionism as a colonial and racist movement, and demand that Israel be replaced with a binational state. 70.5 per cent of Israeli Arabs demand the right of return of Palestinian refugees, a move that would turn Israeli Jews into a minority. According to a 2017 study carried out by Smooha, Arab-Jewish relations have deteriorated since the previous survey done in 2015. In 2017, only 58.7 per cent of Israeli Arabs recognized Israel’s right to exist, as opposed to 65.8 per cent in 2015. In 2017, 44.6 per cent accepted Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state as opposed to 60.3 per cent in 2015. The acceptance of Israel retaining a Jewish majority declined from 42.7 per cent in 2015 to 36.2 per cent in 2017. …

The perpetrators of … violence operate in a society that is to a large extent sympathetic or supportive of their goals, if not always their methods.

The above is true not only of the “Arab in the street,” but especially so of their representatives in the Knesset and their academic intellectuals.

This situation has arisen because of a basic misperception of who we are – or rather, who we must be – in order to survive as a Jewish nation in the Middle East. The same misperception also weakens us in our relations with other nations, both our “friends” in Europe and North America, and our enemies. Israel cannot continue to survive as a “villa in the jungle,” in the words of Ehud Barak. We cannot establish a Scandinavian country here. Israel is part of the Middle East. We must put limits on who can live here and who can have political power.

In the Middle East, religion and ethnicity, tribal characteristics, are of great – no, overwhelming – importance. The idea that these can be ignored and a democratic and egalitarian state maintained here, given the demographic reality of today’s Israel, is delusional.

As everyone knows, in a non-totalitarian state, most people don’t obey laws because of fear of the police. They do so because they accept the principle that laws exist for the common good, and the legitimacy of the state that enforces them. If this were not the case, there would need to be almost as many police as citizens (as was close to the truth in communist East Germany). But most members of the Muslim Arab minority in Israel do not accept these propositions. Although we need to act with greater harshness against terrorism – a good start would be a death penalty for terrorist murder – we would need to become a police state like East Germany before we could suppress what is a genuine popular movement among one-fifth of the population. And keep in mind that this popular movement also has a great deal of external support (as well as help from the masochistic, autoantisemitic Left within the country).

We will not convince the acolytes of the Palestinian Movement to turn around and support the Jewish state. No amount of money or benefits to this segment of the population, or the participation of their representatives in the government will help (indeed, they have had the opposite effect). The only way to defeat this movement is to remove its supporters from the country. It would be good if this could be a gradual, nonviolent process effected by incentives, as suggested by Martin Sherman. But if that is impossible, then we must force them to leave.

Either we will face these facts and deal with them head-on, or we will not survive in the region.

From Ian:

Five killed in Bnei Brak shooting as Israel enters 'new wave of terror'
Five people were killed by a Palestinian terrorist in a shooting attack in the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) city of Bnei Brak on Tuesday night.

The shooting was first reported around 8:00 p.m. on HaShnaim Street. One person was found lifeless in a car and two other people were shot dead on a nearby sidewalk. A video later circulating on social media showed the attacker yelling in Arabic, shooting bystanders with an assault rifle on a residential street.

Another Israeli was found dead on Herzl street, perpendicular to HaShnaim Street. Yaakov Shalom, a Bnei Brak resident and father of five, and rabbi Avishai Yehezkeli, a yeshiva teacher and father of two, were identified as two of the five people killed in the attack. Victor Sorokopot, 38, and Dimitri Mitrik, 23, two workers from Ukraine, were also identified as victims of the attack.

The shooter was later shot dead by a police officer who arrived at the scene on a motorcycle. The officer, 32-year-old Arab Christian Amir Khouri, was evacuated to Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in critical condition and died from his wounds soon after, making him the fifth victim.

The shooter was identified as Dia Hamarsha, 27, from the village of Ya'bad in the northern West Bank near Jenin. He was jailed for six months in 2015 for dealing in illegal firearms and affiliation with a terrorist group, and had worked illegally at a Bnei Brak construction site.

Another person was arrested at the scene and investigated on suspicion of assisting the shooter, and a third person was arrested later on Tuesday night further east on Jabotinsky Street.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar to discuss the attack and rule on Israel's response.

In the meantime, Israel Police was put on its highest alert level for the first time since Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021. Shabtai decided that the police will focus on visible public security and will put more officers on the streets and in crowded areas. The IDF also announced that it was also sending reinforcements to the West Bank.
Victims of Bnei Brak terror attack: 2 local fathers, Christian Arab cop, 2 Ukranians
Authorities early Wednesday identified three of the five victims of a deadly terror shooting spree in Bnei Brak the previous night, including two young fathers and a police officer who helped kill the gunman.

The victims were named as officer Amir Khoury, 32, a Christian Arab; and local residents Yaakov Shalom, 36, and Avishai Yehezkel, 29.

The two other victims were foreign workers from Ukraine who had not been identified by Wednesday afternoon.

Khoury, an Arab Israeli from the northern town of Nof Hagalil, served on the Bnei Brak police station’s motorcyclist responders team.

Khoury was part of a team of two motorcycle officers who caught up with the gunman and killed him, ending the deadly shooting spree.

Khoury was hit in the exchange of fire and later died after being rushed to the Beilinson Medical Center, officials said.

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai spoke later with Khoury’s father, Jarris. The father told Shabtai that they are a police family and that he was a veteran of the Tel Aviv police department.

Shabtai said his son’s death, confronting the attacker, was “a great tragedy for the police.”

“Alongside the tragedy, it is important for me to tell you that your son saved the lives of many civilians,” Shabtai says. “His actions will become a legacy and memory of heroism for the whole country.”

Khoury leaves behind his parents and two sisters.

'Israel is dealing with a new wave of terrorism' - Bennett
In a video statement released after the Bnei Brack attack, Bennett said that Israel is "currently facing a new wave of terrorism.”

"After a period of quiet, there is a violent eruption by those who want to destroy us, those who want to hurt us at any price, whose hatred of Jews, of the State of Israel, drives them crazy," Bennett said in a short video address Wednesday morning.

"They are prepared to die – so that we will not live in peace," he added.

Israel has already pushed to thwart what it feared would be outbreaks of Palestinian violence, similar to what sparked a Gaza war last May and a wave of ethnic Jewish-Arab riots within sovereign Israel.

"What we witnessed less than a year ago in Operation Guardians of the Walls, the terrorism and the violence, from within Israel and inside Israel, was the first sign," Bennett said.

"This is a great and complex challenge for the IDF, the ISA and the Israel Police that requires the security establishment to be creative and for us to adapt ourselves to the new threat and read the tell-tale signs of lone individuals, sometimes without organizational affiliation, and to be in control on the ground in order to thwart terrorism even before it happens," he explained.

"The security forces of the State of Israel are the best in the world. They are up to the task and, as in the previous waves, we will prevail this time as well," he added.

He sent his condolences to the families of the victims, wished a speedy recovery to the wounded and thanked the civilians and police officers who helped end the attacks for their heroism.

"I stand by the civilians and police officers who shot the terrorists in the various locations. I have spoken with some of them and thanked them on behalf of all of us. These are heroes of Israel who, thanks to their courage, have saved lives," he said.

"We face a challenging period. We have experience in dealing with terrorism, from the very beginning of Zionism. They did not break us then and they will not break us now," Bennett said.

"The secret of our existence is the mutual responsibility among us and our determination to maintain the home that we have built – at any price," he explained, adding that "citizens of Israel, we will prevail this time as well."
No, it's not the Third Intifada - analysis
A generation of both Israelis and Palestinians who grew up in the midst of suicide bombings do not want to see a repeat of such a scenario. Both sides understand the catastrophe that they lived through during those violent years.

Because of that, Israel’s defense establishment only last week increased the number of work permits for Gazans to 20,000, in an attempt to reduce the tensions that have been bubbling under the surface.

Officials from Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar are also working to reduce the flames-holding an unprecedented number of meetings in public. Those meetings came as Israel tried to differentiate between terrorism from the West Bank and Gaza and terrorism carried out by Arab-Israelis.

Nonetheless, despite the rush of diplomatic meetings and doubling of troops in flashpoint areas, 27-year-old Dia Hamarsheh was still able to illegally cross into Israel through a hole in the security fence and open fire on unarmed civilians with a military-grade assault rifle, just mere minutes from Tel Aviv.

In order to prevent future attacks, including copycat attacks, security forces and Bennett’s government have a lot of work to do.

One issue that should top their list is to fix the holes in the security fence through which thousands of Palestinians cross to Israel daily – including the mornings after each deadly attack this past week.

Security forces must also ramp up their operations in combating the trend of illegal weapons that have flooded into Arab communities and continue to be smuggled in from Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

Combating the ideologies of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a struggle that will continue for years, and will be harder to deal with as long as Palestinians and Arab-Israelis feel they have nothing to lose.

Israel’s military does not want Defensive Shield 2.0 2022. But in order to prevent that, the IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police must get the situation under control.

They can no longer afford to play catch-up.
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Isidor Bieber was a successful owner and breeder of racehorses during much of the 20th century. He worked closely with trainer Hirsch Jacobs who had an uncanny ability to pick talented horses and work with them.

Bieber, who was born in the Warsaw suburb of Vasloveck, liked to name horses after causes he was passionate about. He was anti-smoking and named horses Puffaway Sister, Kansirette, Shedontsmoke and Burnt Lips. Other horses were named Hail to Reason, Hate War, Reason Is One.

He was also a passionate Zionist who  named horses Promised Land, Forgotten Ally. and Humane Leader in honor of David Ben-Gurion.

And Palestinian, born in 1946.

Palestinian won this exciting race in San Francisco in 1951:

Unfortunately, Palestinian had to be put out to pasture when he was injured the following year.

Palestinian was only successful as long as he relied on Jews for his welfare. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

  • Wednesday, March 30, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
As documented by Joe Truzman, here is a list of Palestinian groups that praised the terror attack in Bnei Brak yesterday:

Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Mujahideen Brigades
Popular Resistance Committees
Popular Resistance Movement

This is besides Hezbollah.

Mahmoud Abbas' half-hearted condemnation of the attack reportedly came after Israel sent a strong message to him to do so.  As far as I can tell, this is obvious to the Palestinian media, none of which have condemned the attack, even the media that slavishly echoes the official Palestinian position. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

  • Wednesday, March 30, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Celebration in Beirut of Bnei Brak attack

Al-Araby, which is based in London, and Egyptian Al Masry al-Youm, both briefly mention that "Following the attack, mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip raised the takbir, to celebrate the operation in Tel Aviv."
"Raising the takbir" means publicly praising Allah, usually in the form of "Allah hu-Akbar."

Imagine the outcry if a synagogue of any denomination would blast out of loudspeakers (or publish in its weekly newsletter)  joy and praise at the murder of civilians. It would be a major news item. The foremost critics would be Jews themselves. 

And rightly so.

Yet, today, it isn't only Palestinian youths celebrating the murders of five people. It is their mosques - mosques that are run by older, respected men. 

Where is the outrage from Muslims worldwide? Where is the horror at sacred mosques being used as places to celebrate terror? Where are the hand-wringing articles, in any language, saying that the Muslims who use Islam to celebrate death aren't "real Muslims?" Where are the social media posts that show disgust from religious Muslims at their faith being hijacked by immoral worshipers of death?

This is not to say that there are no Muslims horrified at these attacks - there certainly are. But the fact that no one expects any denunciations of the use of Islam to celebrate the most heinous crimes shows that the bar of expected behavior from Muslims, even Western Muslims,  is very, very low. 

Think about it: Can you even imagine that the Council on American-Islamic Relations would ever criticize fellow Muslims for supporting terror and using Islam to justify it? It is pure fantasy. But everyone would expect major Jewish organizations to forthrightly condemn any Jews doing anything remotely resembling this. 

Part of the reason for Islamic terror is because it is so thoroughly justified and celebrated among so many Muslims without any pushback from their leaders - or from Western media and politicians who are cowed into worrying that any criticism will be labeled Islamophobic or result in death threats. 

Arab and Muslim media today are romanticizing the attacks, or at best ignoring them - but they are emphatically not condemning them. This creates an environment where such heinous attacks are all but inevitable. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!


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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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