Wednesday, May 25, 2022


By Daled Amos

Jerusalem in general, and The Temple Mount in particular, continue as lightning rods of controversy that threaten to break out into violence.

Just this month, following Biden's meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, The White House issued a statement that read, in part:

The President affirmed his strong support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and cited the need to preserve the historic status quo at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. [emphasis added]

Not so fast.

In Protecting the Status of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem an article he wrote for The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Nadav Shragai writes about the original "status quo" designed in 1967 by then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan.

While Israel's success in reuniting Jerusalem and taking control of the Temple Mount was an exciting moment that filled Jews with pride --
Dayan, however, was moved by other considerations that pushed such emotions to the side: On both sides of the Israeli-Arab conflict there were deep-seated religious components that were intermingled with nationalist foundations. On both the Israeli side and the Arab side, the two religions – Judaism and Islam – had nourished countless struggles between the two sides.

Dayan saw himself duty-bound to try and establish a barrier between religion and nationalism, and prevent situations where the conflict was liable to take on a religious hue. He believed that it was possible to allow Islam to express its religious sovereignty over the Mount – religious sovereignty, in contrast to national sovereignty. Dayan believed that, in this manner, it would be possible to confine the Israeli-Arab conflict to the national-territorial domain, eliminating the conflict’s potential to become a religious one.

In permitting Jews to visit the Temple Mount, Dayan sought to curb demands for Jewish worship and religious sovereignty on the Mount; by giving religious sovereignty to the Muslims on the Temple Mount, Dayan believed he was blunting the site’s importance as a hub of Palestinian nationalism.

This situation is a status quo that has gone through major changes. For example:

o  Restrictions on Visits by Jews: The original status quo prevented Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, but allowed them to visit the site. Today, by contrast, Jews are often prevented from visiting the Mount (even without praying there) or such visits are substantially restricted

o  Expansion of Muslim Prayer Areas: When the status quo was established, the Muslims prayed only in the al-Aqsa mosque. Over the years, their prayer areas on the Mount were greatly expanded – first to the Dome of the Rock, which originally was a memorial shrine, not a mosque...In 2000, the Muslims began using two additional prayer areas in the compound: Solomon’s Stables in a subterranean space in the southeastern part of the Mount, where the Waqf established what became known as the al-Marwani mosque, and a section of the al-Aqsa mosque from an earlier period, located under the existing al-Aqsa mosque. Likewise, a large section of the Temple Mount compound was paved and serves, in practice, as a prayer site for tens of thousands of worshipers, primarily on Muslim holidays.

o  The Inclusion of Jordan in the Administration of the Temple Mount: The original status quo granted Jordan involvement in the administration of the Temple Mount through the auspices of the Waqf, which was an arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Sacred Properties. Jordan is, in practice, the official employer of Waqf workers on the Temple Mount and pays their salaries. Today, Jordan’s influence over the Temple Mount has expanded greatly...Today, Jordanian influence de facto extends even to the way the Israeli police conduct themselves on the Temple Mount.

Today, Muslims use the name “al-Aqsa” not only to designate the mosque that bears that name -- now, they also use the term to define the entire area of the Temple Mount, including the Western Wall.

As Shragai puts it:

From many standpoints, the status quo of 1967 formulated by then- Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan is dead. However, public debate continues to relate to the status quo as if it is still alive and binding

For all of Dayan's efforts, Muslim efforts to deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount continued and gathered steam. In 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution that did recognize that Jerusalem was holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However, it also contained a special section on the Temple Mount claiming that it was sacred to Islam, while omitting that it was holy to Jews as well. The Muslim names Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif were used, but the terms Har HaBayit and even Temple Mount were not.

The following year, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with Israel Radio that it was “completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple,” adding that “no one can deny the fact that Jerusalem is holy to three religions today,” including Judaism.

Palestinian Arabs responded by demanding an apology from Guterres for denying the UNESCO-approved Muslim monopoly on the Temple Mount.

Apparently, Israel should be grateful to Guterres for allowing that Judaism is one of 3 religions with a claim to Jerusalem.

Matti Friedman writes in The Treasure of the Jews that the underlying problem here is "one affecting many Western observers, with their narrative of a city 'sacred to three faiths'—namely, a failure to understand the unique centrality of Jerusalem in Judaism or to admit that the city is of interest to other religions only because it was sacred to Jews first."

It’s impossible to understand the city without grasping that Jerusalem has existed at the center of Jewish consciousness since Rome was a village on the Tiber and that it has that role in no other religion. Christianity cares about Jerusalem because Jesus and his followers were Jews who orbited the Jewish ritual center on the Temple Mount. Islam built the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount because that was the site of the Jewish temple. Both imperial religions have more important cities elsewhere but came here with architects and stonemasons to create a physical expression of a claim central to both—that they had supplanted the numerically insignificant but historically imposing natives of Judea.

When organizations in the UN like UNESCO are not busy being manipulated by its members to attack the legitimacy -- if not the outright existence -- of Israel, such organizations fall back on platitudes about the equality of the three monotheistic religions sharing a common, equal historical connection to Jerusalem.

But as Friedman notes:

This idea—that all thought systems and cultures are interchangeable and everyone’s ideas equal—is a religious idea in itself, the product of a specific moment in Western thought and one that could use some more rigorous introspection from its adherents.

 This is the same kind of equality that is offered Palestinian Arabs who are described as indigenous. That is quite magnanimous, considering that their roots, history, language and culture are all derived from Arabia -- unlike the Jews who are a product of the land of Judea.

That is why the ties of the Jewish people to the land is more than just question of time.

According to Allen Z. Hertz, a former senior adviser to Canada’s Prime Minister on aboriginal issues, Jews are not merely indigenous to the land of Israel -- they are aboriginal:

Of all extant Peoples, Jews have the strongest claim to be the aboriginal People of Eretz Israel. There, the Hebrew language (biblical Hebrew: yehudit יהודית) and Judaism gradually emerged, leading to the birth around 2,600 years ago of a distinct People that self-identified as Yehudim (יהודים). Earlier, the Holy Land was home to their immediate ancestors, including famous personalities like Kings Saul, David, and Solomon. There were also other local Peoples—like the Philistines, Phoenicians, Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Samaritans. But with the exception of the few surviving Samaritans, all of those other ancient Peoples have long since vanished.
What of the Arab People? The great Arab People of history is aboriginal to Arabia, not the Holy Land. Judaism, the Hebrew language, and a self-identified “Jewish” People were already in Eretz Israel about a thousand years before the ethnogenesis in Arabia (circa 600 CE) of the Arab People, the birth of which was approximately coeval with the emergence of Islam and Classical Arabic.

Or as Friedman puts it:

if you dig past the city’s Islamic and Christian layers, what you’re going to find is Jewish.

Are Jews supposed to be thankful when a UN official will acknowledge that Jews have an equal share in Jerusalem when the very holiness of Jerusalem itself derives from Judaism?

A primary cause of the change in the status quo of The Temple Mount is the ease with which Arab violence has been incited and the confidence with which more violence is threatened. It is not enough that Israel has the history and the connection to Jerusalem and The Temple Mount. 

Without the will and the ability to stand up for the special connection between the Jewish People and The Temple Mount, the status quo will continue to change against the Jews. 





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, May 25, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Brian Schatz, a senator from Hawaii (D), tweeted a truly offensive statement:

It would be great, if not a huge accomplishment, for everyone in the American Jewish community to jointly condemn the right wing antisemitic conference held in Hungary, and if there are American Jewish organizations who decline to condemn the conference, they should explain why.  
He's referring to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that was held in Hungary over the weekend. 

The conference was not antisemitic. There is plenty to criticize about holding an American conservative conference in Hungary, and about the choice of speakers, but that doesn't mean that the conference itself or the attendees are antisemitic, and it is libelous to say so.

But that's not the truly offensive part of Schatz's tweet. 

Schatz is demanding an ideological purity test for all Jews - we must condemn what he doesn't like, and if not, we must explain why. He is implicitly saying that Jews who do not  condemn the conference of being disloyal; only Jews must condemn the conference, only Jews must prove themselves to be against what he considers to be antisemitism, not everyone else.  (Schatz himself is Jewish.)

Beyond that, the idea that if you don't condemn something you condone it or support it is thoroughly offensive. By his standards, he must condone child pornography, wife beating and homophobia, because he has never condemned them, at least not on Twitter. He must explain why!

There is also a huge amount of hypocrisy here. Schatz pretends that he is showing his strong opposition to antisemitism, and he claims he has "condemned all antisemitism." But he hasn't. He considers left-wing antisemitism to be mere criticism of Israel, and he falsely accuses those who insist on everyone condemning it to be trying to silence legitimate criticism of Israel:


He is accusing some members of Congress of trying to use antisemitism as a cudgel to accomplish political goals - which is exactly what he is doing in his own tweet!

The idea that Zionists claim that all criticism of Israel is antisemitic is itself a slander. No one does.  Criticism of Israel's policy on Ukrainian immigrants or funding Arab communities or allowing Palestinians in Area C to build is perfectly legitimate. No one is "killing debate."

When Americans publicly support Islamic Jihad and Hamas on the streets of New York, that is not "criticism of Israel"  - it is a call to genocide and to ethnically cleanse Jews from the Middle East. Schatz has never condemned that. And that is exactly what Schatz's tweet is defending, consciously or not. 

So not only is Schatz imposing a loyalty test to American Jews, he is defending those who want to destroy Israel as not being antisemitic. 





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!

 

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
I was live-tweeting my analysis of the CNN report suggesting that Israel targeted Shireen Abu Akleh.

The targeting part is absurd. CNN based its analysis on "eyewitnesses" who are biased. It makes no sense that the IDF would target reporters under any circumstances, and certainly not during fighting - and there was fighting before Shireen was killed, although not immediately before.

But while much of CNN's analysis was biased and based on an "expert" who is known for his anti-Israel "research," the examination of the audio by a professor at Montana State University seems legit. He states that based on the time differential between the sound of the gun firing and the bullet hitting, he can calculate how far the gun was when it fired. CNN stated that the sound differential was 309 milliseconds, and stated which gunshots they believed killed Abu Akleh.

I examined the audio and found the gunshots CNN was referring to. But the other gunshots in that same video (the original one released that showed Abu Akleh on the ground) did not match the sound of the initial ones, so I thought perhaps those were the ones that hit her.

Here was my thread:

I found the gunshots that @CNN says were the ones that killed Shireen Abu Akleh on video, with the secondary sounds to identify the distance. It starts at :08 of this @DigFind video. There are 7 or 8 high pitched shots.

The secondary sound is indeed about 300 ms from the primary shot sound, and I'll trust the Montana State professor that says that indicates it is 190m away or so

Image

According to CNN, these are the shots that killed her, based on witnesses that they are trusting to remember those kinds of details. But we don't know if she was killed before or shortly after.

This is important because y
ou can hear yourself that nowhere else in this video can you hear such high pitched shots. And the same witnesses swear that they were pinned down, not able to aid Shireen, because the IDF kept firing.
I can find no other shots that have the same audio signature in that video.
At about 0:15 you her three clear lower register shots, not from the same gun and without the same "echo."
And automatic fire at :26 or so.ImageImage
However, after writing that I then realized that some of the sounds of that video overlapped with audio from the other video released later that showed the reporters milling around and then reacting to gunfire. 

I lined up the audio of the two videos:



Based on looking at the audio patterns, it was clear that the initial shots in the "reporters mulling" video had the same audio signature (slightly shorter time lag) as the "200 m" shots in the other video. (Here's the graphic showing the consistent time gaps between the two bangs in the initial volley.)




Assuming that the IDF was around 200 meters away as other sources indicate, my amateur and tentative conclusions are:

1) The initial shots that the reporters heard were from the IDF. There was no firefight at that immediate time.
2) The same kind of gunshot killed Shireen. There were no other weapons heard until we see her on the ground.
3) The IDF did not pin down the reporters with gunfire after she died as the reporters claim; after the initial volley there was other gunfire, presumably from militants towards the IDF after hearing the IDF fire, and the reporters assumed that it must be Israel.

The idea that it was an IDF sniper, as CNN claims, makes no sense. A sniper that would be good enough to hit Abu Akleh's forehead right below her helmet would not be at the same time so bad as to hit a tree three times separated by two feet. Plus IDF sniper rifles have a different sized bullet.

There is no possible way that the IDF would target reporters. 

So the most reasonable explanation is the one the IDF floated, saying that there was another militant or group that was north of the IDF perhaps waiting in ambush. The IDF fired towards them and the gunshots reached/ricocheted to the reporters. 

I am definitely an amateur at this. One part I don't quite understand is that the IDF gunfire, while not automatic, is much faster than I thought usual for single shots. But at this point in time, I believe that a forensics analysis of  the bullet would show it was from an IDF gun. Which really sucks, because without bodycam footage or something showing another target, the liars will run with this as proof of "deliberate murder."

That is impossible. There is nothing to be gained by the IDF targeting journalists and lots to be lost. "Silencing" journalists makes no sense. The soldiers are a very visible target in the middle of an urban area, they are going to worry about who is targeting them, not about shooting Shireen Abu Akleh. Also, there was fighting in Jenin before this incident, so the troops were definitely concentrating on the enemy, not the reporters.

Since the incident, the IDF has been honest about the chances that it was responsible for Abu Akleh's tragic death. It is the only side that cares about the truth, no matter how the facts shake out. 

I hope that I can also always be on the side of the truth tellers.



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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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From Ian:

Einat Wilf: Who Does She Think She Is?
The new memoir by former Breaking the Silence director Yuli Novak is simplistic and solipsistic in equal measure.

The publication of the book Who Do You Think You Are? by Yuli Novak is evidence, once more, that the artistic bar for anti-Zionist creation is low. The book is badly written. The metaphors worn out. Descriptions of nature as stand-ins for emotional turmoil (comparing volcanic eruptions to her turmoil, geological changes to social ones, comparing getting lost and found while traveling to getting lost and found emotionally), present throughout, would barely cut it as a high school writing exercise. But because the book tells the story of how Zionism is so irredeemable that it must be scrapped altogether, the low literary value of the book is ignored. Given that the book peddles a recent incarnation of the ancient idea that no amount of reform could make the collective Jew palatable, there is a thriving and stable market for material that caters to it.

Who Do You Think You Are? is part biography, part political reflection, part coming-of-age story. Unfortunately, though, there is no coming of age. The protagonist begins and ends the story as the same petulant child whose so-called reflections lead her to realize that the world is to blame, and everyone but her is “blind, numb, fearful and angry.” A vein of irresponsibility runs through the book. The protagonist just happens to do things. By her own description, Novak became director of Breaking the Silence, an organization devoted to ending Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, on a lark. She was studying to be a lawyer but didn’t want to be one and hadn’t yet figured out what she wanted to do. She came across a job ad for director of Breaking the Silence and thought it was “something worth trying.” Why? Not clear.

Once at the job she doesn’t understand why people get angry. Israeli Jews who respond to Palestinian attacks with “hysteria” and are manipulated by politicians into “fear and hatred” are at fault. She and her colleagues merely want to highlight the “inherent immorality” of the Occupation. The fury against her is because she “stood up against the regime.” The forces that oppose her are nefarious and anti-democratic. They target Breaking the Silence to promote an “illiberal order” and “concentration of powers by the government.”

Her intentions have always been nothing but good. Oh, and the media is at fault.

Theoretically, bad writing and childish protagonists could still make smart arguments. Alas, not in this book. Even if judging only on substance, each of the author’s premises is wrong. The first is that Jewish citizens of Israel do not know what is involved in exercising military control over Palestinians in the West Bank, the Occupation. If they knew, they would end it. Therefore, there is a need to “break the silence” surrounding the Occupation. This is a tantalizing idea. It appeals to the human desire to uncover dark secrets lurking beneath the surface. It lures people with the promise that they will hear something they have not heard before. It also confers a halo of martyrdom on those willing to break the so-called silence.
A Passage to Israel
In the summer of 1965, nine Orthodox rabbis traveled to the former Soviet Union. They weren’t ordinary tourists. They had been sent by the Rabbinical Council of America with a mission: to investigate the murmurs that had begun reaching the West about Soviet mistreatment of Jews.

In those years, peering behind the Iron Curtain meant being escorted by a government guide who also worked for the KGB, and sleeping in a bugged hotel room. As one would imagine, only a small minority of intrepid tourists dared to make this trip. The rabbis’ journey proved such a novelty that The New York Times reported on it.

There were no lazy days wandering around Moscow, no independent explorations; to go off on one’s own was to risk expulsion, beating, or both. Yet one day, feigning illness, Rabbi Rafael Grossman—then the rabbi of a synagogue in Long Branch, New Jersey—left the group. He had his own private agenda: to locate a congregant’s long-lost brother. Lacking fluency in the Russian language or a sense of Moscow’s geography, and relying only on an address scrawled on the back of a 10-year-old envelope and the efficacy of his own prayers, he succeeded.

“My father had a lot of chutzpah,” recalled Grossman’s son Hillel, a New York psychiatrist. “My father also cared a great deal about the individual.”

At first, the congregant’s brother’s family wouldn’t open the door; they feared that the rabbi was a KGB dupe. Speaking in fluent Yiddish, which at that time was still Ashkenazi Jewry’s lingua franca, the rabbi eventually won their trust.

Inside their apartment, Grossman discovered another surprise: the man’s young son, whom the man and his wife had been raising inside the confines of the apartment, home-schooling him, never allowing him to play with his peers—all this to escape the sting of Soviet antisemitism. Initially, the rabbi was shocked—situations like this usually point to child abuse—but he quickly realized that these parents were acting out of love.

“This wasn’t a recommended child-rearing practice,” Hillel told me, “but it was undertaken under extraordinary circumstances for extolled purposes.”

The couple swore Grossman to secrecy; they were terrified that the communist authorities could take away their son and send them to Siberia. But the rabbi felt compelled to violate his oath. From his home in the U.S., he mounted a private lobbying campaign. With the help of several prominent members of Congress, he secured exit visas and the family moved to Israel. But he never shared their names publicly.
Eitan Pessin: We Are Many, We Are One
I’m currently wrapping up the second half of my sophomore year of high school studying in Israel on the Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) program. The program is amazing in every way, and it was difficult to decide just one thing to write about for now, but I’ve settled on this particular experience—which despite being so different from the rest of the program in a way captured its essence.

We spent four days at Gadna, learning a little about what it’s like to train, and be, in the Israel Defense Force. ... I could see where this was going. As the Samal spoke, I looked over at the beautiful view in front of us, felt the warm air on my skin, and absorbed as much of the sun as possible.

“Sean and his fellow tzevet members were traveling in an armored vehicle. Soon, when Hamas was shooting at them, Sean, being the person he was, poked his head out first to return the fire. Sadly, the instant his head popped out of the vehicle, a bullet hit him square in the forehead killing him on the spot. Sean was the type of person to put himself first, not to let his tzevet go into a mission without him. He’s a model of the type of person you should all strive to be. And though Sean was a lone soldier, over ten thousand people showed up to his funeral, because Sean is a role model for everyone.”

There was a beat of silence, during which I focused solely on the endless expanse of aquamarine, and then the Samal silently turned and started running back the way we’d come. We all silently followed, and as I ran I was consumed with the story of Sean. Sean had been an average person, but had felt such commitment and love towards this country and its people he’d gone into Gaza with a twisted ankle- it hit me hard because I feel as if that could be me in ten years.

This Masa marked the end of our Gadna experience. We got back and had some basic cleaning and packing to do, but about two hours later we boarded the bus and headed back home. The bus ride back was silent; we were bruised, beaten, and tired and nearly everybody slept the entire drive. It felt as if we’d been through hell in some respects - but it was a hell that had created unbreakable bonds between us and left us irreversibly changed. Gadna marked a turning point in my TRY experience; it was the moment it became not only about touring Israel, or school, but truly about us. It etched into our souls an important lesson about being part of something bigger, a lesson that can apply to our group on TRY, each of our camps, our synagogues, the Diasporic Jewish community, and most importantly of all, Israel. At Gadna, each of us were individuals with our own histories and lives, yes, but we operated as one team, as one brigade, one base. We were unique parts of a whole, and in the end, that’s what Gadna, and Israel, is about.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon










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!

 

 





Last week, a group of 57 House Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and FBI Director Chris Wray.

The letter says, "We request the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launch an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s death."

Does the FBI do independent investigations of US citizens killed overseas?

In a word, no. 

From the FBI (this is archived but I have no reason to believe that thing have changed since it was written in 2008):

The FBI’s jurisdiction in crimes or attacks against Americans abroad dates back to the mid-1980s, when Congress passed laws authorizing us to investigate hostage-taking and kidnappings of Americans and terrorist acts against U.S. nationals or interests overseas. Of course, we don’t go uninvited into another country—we get permission from the host government and always work with that nation’s law enforcement and security personnel, in concert with the U.S. Embassy and the Ambassador.

Our jurisdiction doesn’t extend to non-terrorism related homicides, robberies, rapes, and muggings of Americans—these are usually handled by local authorities. But we can—and sometimes do—offer investigative or forensics assistance in these cases if asked.

How it works. Let’s say the worst has occurred—a terrorist attack or kidnapping. What happens then? In general:

The victim or family (if able) contacts the U.S. Embassy closest to where the incident occurred.
The U.S. Ambassador there offers American assistance to the host government (in some cases that government asks for our nation’s help first).
Our Legal Attaché agent assigned to that country or region serves as a diplomatic liaison (we have more than 60 such agents around the world today) and works with the Ambassador and the entire embassy team to determine what resources are needed.
With the permission of the host government and in conjunction with the State Department, the FBI deploys its resources, supporting the investigative efforts of the foreign government. The size of our overseas deployments depends on the scope of the incident and what the host government requests.

The anti-Israel members of Congress aren't asking the FBI to offer help for Israel's investigation. They are asking for a fully independent investigation rto be launched to contradict anything that Israel finds that doesn't support their accusation of premeditated murder. 

The representatives know this very well. They know they are asking the FBI to violate its own policies of cooperating with local authorities and countries. 

As is virtually always the case with Israel, what is demanded isn't what the demand is really about. When they pretend to demand something that they know is against the FBI's own policies, what they are really doing is issuing a letter calling the government of Israel a bunch of liars who cannot be trusted to perform an investigation.

It is libel masquerading as concern about Abu Akleh, who is merely a pawn in this sordid exercise of demonizing Israel.

The letter asking for the impossible is meant to get headlines saying that members of Congress do not trust a close ally of the US, Israel. The goal is to separate Israel from the US and to position Israel as a rogue state.

Nearly every open letter, petition, boycott, and rally by the anti-Israel crowd has the exact same goal - the goal isn't what they pretend to want, but to change the conversation around Israel so people are less likely  to support it.

The easiest way to prove this is to ask a simple question about every one of these initiatives: 

How does it help the Palestinians? 

Does it give them more independence? More autonomy? More money? Does it help their economy? Does it weaken Palestinian extremists?  Does it bring peace closer? 

When the answer is nearly invariably "no," that's when you know that these are not serious initiatives. 

They aren't anguished cries for help. They are all cynical propaganda gimmicks meant to hurt Israel in world public opinion, and nothing more.



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!

 

 

From Ian:

Yisrael Medad: Israel's refusal to Jewish claims on Temple Mount encourages Islamists
An unstatic status quo
The irony, however, is that the “status quo” is anything but static. The Wakf Islamic religious trust has altered times of entry and prohibited Shabbat visits. Since 2013, Ramadan closure was artificially extended. The Wakf created new holiday periods, planted tree orchards, paved over new pathways, built outdoor prayer platforms and constructed three new mosques. The police permit youths to stay overnight, knowing they are gathering stones and fireworks to attack Jews in the morning or attempt to throw stones over the wall to the Western Wall Plaza below.

Israel yielded and, despite security concerns, does not have surveillance cameras or metal detectors in place, even though police and Jews have been shot dead and stabbed to death there or just outside the gates. Most importantly, no archaeological digs are permitted, and, on the other hand, in 1996 many tons of earth were removed and dumped outside the compound.

And while Jews have succeeded in having a High Court of Justice ruling of decades ago applied, that is, allowing non-demonstrative silent prayer, Jews looking like Jews are subjected to special profiling procedures and must walk in a small groups along a separate route surrounded by police and Wakf guards because Jews are viewed by the Wakf as “storming” and being “provocative.”

Moreover, there has been a name change. The term “al-Haram al-Sharif” has all but disappeared, while “al-Aqsa Mosque” has become dominant. The Palestinian Authority’s denial that Jews have any connection to the Temple Mount or Jerusalem increases. Tayseer al-Tamimi, former chief justice of the PA Religious Court, said recently “the blessed Aqsa Mosque is Islamic and belongs to Muslims alone... and the Jews have no right to it... or the right to pray in any part of it.” And he added, “al-Aqsa Mosque includes all its courtyards... and specifically its western wall.”

PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash also asserted that “al-Aqsa Mosque... will not be shared with anyone, and no one besides Muslims will pray in it.” In December last year, Habbash stated that the Western Wall is “an authentic part of al-Aqsa Mosque only.”

If al-Aqsa is supposedly in danger, it is due to Islamist extremism and the increased violence of Muslims championing exclusivism, as well as a government standoffish approach, as if the matter will just go away. It won’t. Israel’s descent from identifying with the Jewishness of the Temple Mount, as if dismounting, will not placate Islamists but only encourage them.
David Singer: Intra-Arab Apartheid, Palestinian Authority style
The appointment of a new Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Authority territories 'occupied' since 1967 – Francesca Albanese – serves to highlight the anti-Israel bias that dominates the United Nations (UN), to its eternal shame.

Albanese was appointed Special Rapporteur by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2022 - taking up her role on 1 May 2022.

Albanese’s mandate as Special Rapporteur derives from Resolution 1993/2 passed by the UN Committee of Human Rights on 19 February 1993:

“To investigate Israel's violations of the principles and bases of international law, international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

Albanese is limited to only investigating Israel – not Hamas or the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Albanese is not a neutral appointment as her announcement makes clear:
“She has widely published on the legal situation in Israel and the State of Palestine and regularly teaches and lectures on international law and forced displacement at universities in Europe and the Arab region.”

Albanese will therefore not be examining or reporting on apartheid policies being implemented by the PLO and Hamas in Gaza and the 'West Bank'
– where both the PLO and Hamas:are in charge and
- Keep 27 refugee camps open which house 800000 Palestinian Arabs: 600000 in 8 camps in Gaza administered and policed by Hamas and 200000 in 19 camps in the 'West Bank' administered and policed by the PLO - and
- Take no steps to close and resettle their camp populations within the villages and towns the PLO has controlled in the 'West Bank' since 1995 and Hamas has controlled in Gaza since 2007.

Israel’s attempts to close these camps and resettle their occupants had been denied under UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/39/99 (A-K) passed on 14 December 1984 in which the General Assembly:
- Under article E 1: “Reiterates its demand that Israel desist from the removal and resettlement of Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip and from the destruction of their shelters”;
- Under article J 1: “Calls upon Israel to abandon its plans and to refrain from the removal, and from any action that may lead to the removal and resettlement, of Palestine refugees in the West Bank and from the destruction of their camps;”


Palestinians: A Vote to Destroy Israel
These Palestinians are evidently fed up with the rampant corruption and bad governance of the Palestinian Authority leadership. Moreover, these Palestinians who no longer support Abbas are stating that they have no interest in any peace process with Israel.

As the last poll showed, 70% of the Palestinians are opposed to an unconditional return to peace negotiations with Israel. Another 58% expressed opposition to the two-state solution.

The truth is that Abbas called off the elections [in 2021] because he was afraid that Hamas would defeat his Fatah faction in the parliamentary election, as took place in 2006.

The results of the Birzeit University elections prove that Abbas's fears were not unfounded. Had he insisted on proceeding with the presidential and parliamentary elections, it is most likely.... that Hamas would have taken control of the Palestinian presidency and parliament.

Hamas, for its part, said that it sees the results of the university election as a vote of confidence in its policy of pursuing deadly terrorist attacks against Israel.

The students who voted in support of Hamas fully identify with the terrorist group's covenant, which states that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

Palestinians have been radicalized by their leaders and media to a point where they do not want to hear anything about a peace process with Israel. In fact, they want to see Israel vanish from the map, as the results of the student council elections and the polls clearly illustrate.

The results of the Birzeit University elections and the polls stand in sharp contrast to the views expressed by the Biden administration concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the past year, Biden administration officials have repeatedly stated their commitment to the "two-state solution" while totally ignoring the widespread support among the Palestinians for the elimination of Israel.

The Hamas victory at the university's student council should sound alarm bells in the Biden administration, especially the State Department, regarding the true intentions of the Palestinians – that their sole commitment is to have a state that would replace Israel, not one that would exist peacefully alongside Israel. That is why it is nonsensical to pressure Israel to make any territorial (or non-territorial) concessions to the Palestinians, who are openly proclaiming that they want to establish a Palestinian state on the ruins of Israel and the bodies of dead Jews.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday, I reviewed an academic paper by a Bedouin sociologist at Ben Gurion University of the Negev about how Israeli affirmative action programs are themselves racist against Ethiopian Jews, with a logic that only makes sense if you start from the assumption that the most progressive Israelis are racists.

Yet there was one section of the report that appears to me to indicate that the sociologist, Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, is actually more dismissive of the Ethiopian Jewish women she interviews than the Jews she is accusing of racism.

One of the interviewees, "Klara," makes a passionate, and very compelling, point about how Western academia is dismissive of non-Western accomplishments.

What is astounding to see is how the white, western culture, for at least a thousand years, but let’s focus on the last six hundred years, really like ties itself to antiquity, to Greece and Rome, how it celebrates it and tries to insert itself into it. Because there’s some kind of ascendancy because, like, they were at the top. But then you look and see that they, like you see the bias (strikes table with her hand) itself in the research. How. Don’t. They. Talk. About. Ethiopia!? Again, Ethiopia. Not even Africa. Ethiopia. Which, in the Iliad, which is Homer’s earliest text, he, too uses the word ‘Ethiopos’. Ethiopians. The word, it comes from there. It turns out Ethiopia was a nation highly valued by the Greek. (dolefully) No one even talks about it.
Because I found who I want to study. I want to study Tamra Temanuel. He’s a Jewish figure. He was in contact with the Haskalah movement, the Jewish Enlightenment movement. He was part of it and its exactly that. This exactly is that place that allows us to deal with things that people don’t want to deal with, or don’t interest anybody, or are silenced in an attempt to form our cognition this way or that. They like saying (angrily) that the Ethiopian Jewry was isolated! But here, it wasn’t cut off! It’s not true! The Ethiopian Jewry had ties to the Jewish diaspora.  
This sounded fascinating to me, so I went to look up the sources. Sure enough, Homer had only nice things to say about Ethiopians. Klara makes an excellent point.

What about Tamra Temanuel?

There is no such person.   Abu Rabia Queder just transcribed what she heard her Ethiopian interviewee say and guessed on the spelling.

The real person Klara is referring to is  Taamrat Emmanuel (1888-1963), a fascinating figure who was brought up as a Falash Mura - his parents were forcibly converted to Christianity - but he went to Europe, studied there with eminent professors, became a rabbi and translated the scriptures of the Beta Israel  from the Ge'ez language to Amharic. He is definitely someone who deserves more study and fame

Now, Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder worked on this paper for years. Yet she didn't even have enough respect for her passionate, brilliant Ethiopian interviewee to even look up the name of the person she references - the Ethiopian figure who Klara is dedicating herself to researching!

Racists have dismissive attitudes towards the people they hate. That is exactly the attitude that Abu-Rabia-Queder exhibits towards the people she is supposedly defending from Israeli Jewish racism. The "racism" that she accused Israel of - of appearing overly solicitous towards the Ethiopian minority - is not nearly as bad as her own, where she exhibits such disrespect towards the people she is interviewing and pretending to defend.





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  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
This AP "analysis" of the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh points to the endemic hate that the media (and Bellingcat) have for Israel far more than to any facts.

Almost two weeks after the death of the veteran Palestinian-American reporter for Al Jazeera, a reconstruction by The Associated Press lends support to assertions from both Palestinian authorities and Abu Akleh’s colleagues that the bullet that cut her down came from an Israeli gun.

Any conclusive answer is likely to prove elusive because of the severe distrust between the two sides, each of which is in sole possession of potentially crucial evidence.

Multiple videos and photos taken on the morning of May 11 show an Israeli convoy parked just up a narrow road from Abu Akleh, with a clear line of sight. They show the reporters and other bystanders in real time taking cover from bullets fired from the direction of the convoy.

The only confirmed presence of Palestinian militants was on the other side of the convoy, some 300 meters (yards) away, mostly separated from Abu Akleh by buildings and walls. Israel says at least one militant was between the convoy and the journalists, but it has not provided any evidence or indicated the shooter’s location. Palestinian witnesses say there were no militants in the area and no gunfire until the barrage that struck Abu Akleh and wounded another reporter.

Those witnesses say they have no doubt that it was Israeli soldiers who killed Abu Akleh, now celebrated as a martyr to both journalism and the Palestinian cause. The Israeli military says she was killed in a complex shootout between soldiers and militants, and that only a full investigation — including forensic analysis of the bullet — could prove who fired the fatal shot.

Here is a map from Bellingcat that shows the relative, confirmed positions of the IDF convoy and the Palestinian militants at the time Abu Akleh (red dot) was shot.


The AP and Bellingcat analysis starts with the assumption that all parties are equally likely to be shooting towards the reporters. That assumption is absurd. The IDF would be shooting at the militants - and the militants would be shooting at the IDF, towards the north, towards Abu Akleh.

The IDF has no incentive to shoot reporters, and the reporters know it, because they made their position known to the IDF. The IDF has every incentive to fire back at militants who were shooting directly at them - from the south.

The "analysis" is based on the fact that the IDF had a better line of sight to Abu Akleh - because the militants were "mostly" (but not entirely) separated by buildings and walls.  But only one party was (from open source materials) shooting in her direction. Bullets ricochet off buildings and the ground, so wildly shot automatic weapons fire can end up in places that are not line of sight. And Abu Akleh was well within range of the M16s that the Jenin terrorists use.

IDF gunfire towards the militants to the south of them could not have hit Abu Akleh.

Bellingcat's analysis makes a big deal that gunshots heard in a video taken after the shooting indicates that gunshots heard were from a distance that is consistent with the IDF position. But if the IDF was shooting south towards militants who just shot northwards towards them, that makes perfect sense. The audio analysis cannot, as far as I can tell, determine the direction of the weapon making the bang.

The main video that shows the exact time of Abu Akleh's shooting is this one:


Now, let's listen to one of the "witnesses" that AP interviewed:

Samoudi said the soldiers fired a warning shot, causing him to duck and run backwards. The second shot hit him in the back. 

Do you hear a warning shot?

The witnesses that AP interviewed are not only worthless, they have every incentive to bend the truth. 

As far as I can tell, Bellingcat did not submit this video to audio analysis to determine the distance of the gunshots heard here, at the very moments of her shooting. Last week I emailed to their expert, Robert Maher of Montana State University, asking if he did an analysis of that more important video, but have not received a response. (To be fair, practically no one who never heard of me responds to any inquiries from "Elder of Ziyon.") 

The only video where we know the IDF is definitely firing is this bodycam video taken the same day.


In this video at least, IDF soldiers shoot about one round a second. The shots heard in the video of the reporters are all faster than that, at least two per second. And some of them are clearly automatic fire. 

Both the witnesses and the analysts are primed to blame the IDF, and therefore they accept "evidence" that points to their predetermined conclusions. 

The IDF assertion that it is possible that troops were shooting towards militants to the north of them, between them and Shireen, and that bullets shot north might have ricocheted towards the reporters, is still a possibility. 

But there is no doubt that the automatic weapons fire heard in the first video above comes from Palestinian militants. There is little doubt that they were aimed northward at the IDF positions, in the direction of Shireen Abu Akleh. 

Another possibility, that Bellingcat and AP did not seem to consider, is whether the Jenin militants who were on roofs might have had a line of sight to Abu Akleh. At least one video shows that some were positioned on roofs in Jenin, although I have not seen any videos showing them definitely in line of sight.

Yet the "analysis" from AP and Bellingcat discount the possibility that shots from militants that were aimed northward could have killed her. They are more willing to accept that a few Israeli bullets were either aimed at Abu Akleh, or that several IDF bullets aimed at militants in the same direction as Abu akleh all ricocheted in the same direction, than that scores of bullets definitely coming from the south and towards Abu Akleh could have made it to her.

Both analyses are based on the idea that the IDF, out of the blue and not during a firefight with the militants they went to Jenin to engage, decided to shoot reporters - reporters who have been in hundreds of similar battlefields and who themselves implicitly trusted the IDF to stay away from them. In other words, their analyses only make sense if you assume the IDF is evil. If you factor in the fact that the IDF is a professional army that does not target civilians, none of the analysis makes any sense. (And especially when you understand that IDF snipers don't use the types of bullet that killed Abu Akleh.)

There is an underlying bias behind these analyses against Israel. And a careful reading of these "expert analyses" proves it.




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  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
For whatever reason, I've been seeing a number of articles in The Intercept recently. And they prove that this is a news organization that is unencumbered by worrying about things like "facts" and "truth."

Which makes reporting really, really easy.

For example, former NYT reporter Robert Mackey read the same Haaretz article I did, but only one of us read it carefully.


Mackey claims that "Israel’s military was refusing to conduct the thorough investigation it had committed to just a week ago." It is a lie.

As I reported, Israel is definitely still investigating Abu Akleh's death, and the Haaretz article said so. It is not a criminal investigation, because there is no evidence of criminal activity from any soldier.  But Mackey doesn't care about truth, but truthiness, and pretending that Israel is quashing investigations fits in with his worldview, truth be damned.

The only people standing in the way of a full investigation is the Palestinian Authority which will not let anyone else examine the bullet that killed Abu Akleh. Who is engaging in a coverup again?

I also recently mentioned that The Intercept claimed, bizarrely, that there is a "shareholder revolt" at Google against their contracts with Israel. In fact the percentage of shares that these revolting [pun intended] shareholders own is a whopping 0.00013% of all Alphabet (Google) shares. It is a joke - but a joke that The Intercept is more than willing to pretend is a story, because they simply hate Israel enough to lie.

Now comes this article by Daniel Boguslaw that says, in its subhead, "Documents show that in 2021, arms made and funded by the United States destroyed UNRWA schools, USAID projects, and a Coca-Cola plant" during last summer's Gaza war (that was initiated by Hamas, a fact not to be found in the article.)

I know that when Israel targets specific terrorist targets that even Hamas admits are purposefully placed among civilian areas, sometimes civilian buildings are inadvertently hit. Israel never targets these civilian objects deliberately - there is no military advantage to do so, and lots of publicity damage. Anyone who is the slightest bit familiar with how wars are fought knows this.

The "USAID projects" seems to mean an industrial zone that USAID contributed some money to (along with the EU) a while ago. But did Hamas or Islamic Jihad have a rocket factory there, or a command and control center? Did they build a tunnel underneath used to stockpile rockets? Hate to break it to The Intercept, but if they did - and they almost certainly did - Israel's bombing of such targets is perfectly legal under the laws or armed conflict. Perhaps the aptly named Mr. Boguslaw doesn't know anything about international law but he happily makes it up.

I also know that Israel buys weapons from the US - as does most of the world.  Over a billion dollars a year's worth. There is nothing the least bit problematic, legally or morally, to use weapons that you buy during a war, unless there is an agreement that says otherwise.

Which brings us to the main accusation, that Israel used arms funded by the US to destroy civilian objects. How does Boguslaw know which arms that Israel used are funded by the US, and which ones were purchased?

He has documents!

He doesn't link to these documents. He doesn't name where they are from. He doesn't say how they were vetted. He didn't answer my query asking him for any information on these unnamed, unknown "documents."  For all we know, his documents came from Islamic Jihad or from "news" reports in Hamas newspapers.

But they are documents, and they were reviewed - by him! So they must be legit! 

We should trust a news source that we have already seen has absolutely no regard for the truth, right?

The truth is that Israel does have restrictions on how it can use weapons funded by the US. US aid is audited. I've researched this, unlike Boguslaw. If any US funded weapons were used in the war, it was under an agreement that allowed it - one example is Iron Dome, which is largely funded by the US. 

Based on what Boguslaw writes, there is no indication that anything illegal, immoral or violating US/Israeli agreements occurred. It is a story built out of nothing but the usual Intercept desire to demonize Israel. 

The rest of the article is filled with more lies about how Israel acts in wars. I suggest anyone interested in actual facts read this Rand Corporation analysis of Israel's conduct in the 2009, 2012 and 2014 wars in Gaza, written by actual military experts, desiring to apply Israel's experience to help US military strategy for similar styles of conflicts. In no way does anyone think for a second that Israel targets civilians, as Boguslaw claims. 

The upshot of the story: You cannot trust anything The Intercept writes. 

(h/t Martin)




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Read all about it here!

 

 

Monday, May 23, 2022

From Ian:

Senators Demand Biden Pull Taxpayer Funding for Anti-Israel Initiative
Senate Republican foreign policy leaders are demanding the Biden administration pull nearly $1 million in taxpayer funding for groups to investigate alleged human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip—an effort that the senators say is fueling a "new anti-Semitism."

The State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announced in March it will pay nonprofit groups up to $987,654 to "strengthen accountability and human rights in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza," according to a grant notice first posted online in February. Groups angling for the grant money are instructed to investigate alleged crimes inside and outside of Israel to "collect, archive, and maintain human rights documentation to support justice and accountability and civil society-led advocacy efforts, which may include documentation of legal or security sector violations and housing, land, and property rights."

The grant was seized upon by Israel's defenders on Capitol Hill as a prime example of the Biden administration's efforts to undermine the Jewish state and strengthen the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel. Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and 11 other Republican lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to cancel the grant program and live up to its repeated pledges to combat the BDS movement.

"As a policy matter, it is wholly unacceptable for the State Department to fund NGOs to delegitimize and isolate Israel," the lawmakers write, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The State Department, the lawmakers allege, is using taxpayer dollars to promote a "new anti-Semitism" that is "driven by a global network of anti-Israel nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and human rights groups."

Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill who spoke to the Free Beacon say the grant is part of a larger effort by Biden administration officials to mainstream the BDS movement and undermine the U.S.-Israel alliance, even as terror attacks on the Jewish state spike. The State Department has already come under scrutiny from the GOP and pro-Israel groups for hiring several people who worked in the anti-Israel community and promoted the BDS movement.
William Jacobson: Playing Defense Is Not Working on Campuses
A Reactive Approach is Not Working
The problem with pro-Israel Jewish campus organizations is less what they’ve done than what they’ve left undone. The actions they have taken thus far are all commendable and have been helpful in limiting damage. They’re necessary, but they’re not sufficient.

Currently, Jews are playing defense. By itself, that’s rarely a winning strategy. The false narratives that Israel is a racist colonial enterprise and that Jews are “white” oppressors are rarely addressed head on, because to do so would require taking on the progressive power on campuses.

Contrast this with campus anti-Israel activists. They have been playing offense against Israel, its supporters, and Jewish students generally for many years. Groups like Students for Justice in Palestine have pursued an organized campaign of shutting down debate about Israel, imposing a narrative making outrageous claims against it (such as accusing it of Nazism and apartheid), and hounding Israel’s supporters or presumed supporters into silence.

Their cause—destroying Israel and persecuting Jews—is unjust, and their tactics harmful to the very nature of the university. Nevertheless, their public relations has been wildly successful. They have controlled the narrative of converting Israel and Jews into pro-apartheid Nazi racists, and their opponents into persecuted underdogs. Jews have responded to attacks and challenged them, but have rarely set the agenda, or tried to reframe the narrative to expose their opponents’ blatant anti-Semitism and goal of annihilating the Jewish State.

Jews were not always so passive. The Soviet Jewry movement, for instance, gained much of its energy from resourceful and provocative tactics like protestors chaining themselves to the Soviet Embassy fence, releasing black balloons during a candlelit vigil outside the Moscow Circus, picketing the Bolshoi Ballet, or unfurling banners before TV cameras at the Flyers/Soviet exhibition hockey game. These actions may or may not have had direct political impact, but they effectively framed the issue as one of Soviet repression of Jews and kept it in the public consciousness. Activists reached out directly to Soviet Jews, visiting them and supplying them with religious materials and gifts, as well as moral support, and keeping their struggle in the public eye. They also employed more conventional tactics, such as lobbying for passage of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which conditioned trade benefits on increased freedom of emigration from the Soviet Union.

Jews could apply similar initiative to the current campus climate. For example, Jewish student activists could:
- Turn the tables on Students for Justice in Palestine and similar groups by protesting their events, holding up pictures of Nizar Banat and journalists wrongly imprisoned and tortured by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, with captions underscoring that SJP is really not interested in “justice in Palestine,” but only in castigating the Jewish State. Better yet, Jewish activists could stage mock arrests of journalists by Palestinian security services.

- Protest (through traditional means like outside SJP events, or through mock trials or some other attention-grabber) the oppression of homosexuals in Palestinian society. Ditto for the treatment of women. Besides potentially embarrassing pro-Palestinian groups and creating pressure to improve the lot of homosexuals and women in Palestinian society, protests like this might shame gay advocates and advocates for women into joining the protests against Palestinian authorities. It’s one thing to claim “pinkwashing” when an Israeli quotes facts and figures, and it’s another when confronted with protests against anti-gay oppression, honor killings, and so forth.

- Likewise, find a way to visualize the persecution of Arab Christians by Palestinian Muslims, leading to their departure from the West Bank and Gaza. Over the past fifty years, the Palestinian Christian population has shrunk from roughly 15 percent to about 1.5 percent of the Palestinian population.

- Stage a mock trial/sentencing of Isaam Akel, an American citizen sentenced to life in prison for facilitating the sale of Arab-owned land to Israeli Jews, for the blatant religious and ethnic prejudice of barring land sales to Jews, and for demonstrating that what the Palestinian Authority actually wants is to make its territory Judenrein.

- Find some way to dramatize the reality that it’s the Palestinians, not Israel, holding up a peace agreement. For example, they could demonstrate outside SJP events with posters captioned “Palestinian Peace Proposal”—with the rest of the poster blank, as empty as Palestinian proposals.

- Demonstrate both the Jewish people’s indigenous connection to Israel, and Palestinian efforts to erase same. For instance, students could conduct mock archeological digs on campus “finding” ancient Jewish artifacts, bulldozing them, and throwing the artifacts into the trash.

The student-founded, grassroots organization Students Supporting Israel has begun to use more offensive tactics. During so-called Apartheid Week 2022, SSI tested out messaging similar to the above suggestions. That’s an excellent sign. Hopefully, where they lead, others will follow.


Ruthie Blum: Noa Tishby’s Surprisingly Welcome Splash on the ‘Hasbara’ Scene
But Tishby’s real tour de force came in the form of a Tik Tok video, which has gone viral on every social-media platform since its release on Wednesday.

“Here are some facts you may not know,” she begins, in the minute-and-a-half clip. “The International Federation of Journalists, the IFJ, conducted a report about the number of death cases of journalists in war zones between 1990 and 2020. According to the report, 2,658 journalists have been killed in that period of time. Three hundred forty were killed in Iraq, 178 in Mexico, 160 in the Philippines, 138 in Pakistan and 116 in India. Twelve of the cases were Al Jazeera journalists. Seven of them were killed in Syria, two in Iraq, one in Yemen, one in Libya and one case from last week.”

She goes on: “Each one of these deaths is horrific, but you can’t name the other 2,657 journalists. You can only name the one [who] was killed in clashes between Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli army. In any of the other deaths, we did not see such vitriol, hateful, horrific reactions and rhetoric as we’ve seen by the international community, social media, celebrities and the United Nations towards Israel.”

This, she concludes, “is what we call a double standard … and it’s purely rooted in sometimes subconscious antisemitism, anti-Jewish racism. So, please, just think about that for a minute, as well. Okay? And rest in peace, Shireen.”

Tishby’s splash on the scene brings to the fore the decades-old debate about Israel’s ostensibly poor hasbara (public diplomacy). Ironically, it’s the one issue on which even politically diverse pundits and politicians — other than those who agree with the Jewish state’s detractors — agree. The consensus throughout the years, particularly since the advent of social media, has been that Israel is losing the propaganda war to forces bent on its destruction.

These armies possess proverbial pens that are sometimes mightier than metaphorical swords, though they have the power to incite Israel’s enemies to mass murder. The many, varied and often top-notch efforts by pro-Israel organizations and individuals to rebut the onslaught of anti-Zionist lies haven’t excused successive coalitions from being charged with sleeping on the job where hasbara is concerned.

It’s an unfair claim. Those who argue that it’s the government’s job to tackle the problem have a fantasy that Jew-hatred can be conquered, or at least minimized, through an allocation of budgets for the endeavor and the hiring of the right people for the job.

Though the latter makes sense, the former is ridiculous. The most important thing that hasbara can do is sing to the choir. Indeed, Israel’s champions need ammunition to fling, intelligently and accurately, in the face of foes.

Tishby, thus far, is proving to be just the right purveyor of the message that needs to be voiced over the incessant and diabolical cacophony.

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