Monday, December 04, 2023

From Ian:

Kissinger’s Final Interview: Forget a Palestinian State, Let Jordan Rule
The late Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who passed away last week at the age of 100, gave a recent interview in which he suggested that Hamas’s terror attack October 7 had killed the two-state solution, and Jordan should rule the West Bank.

The October 18 interview, published by Politico on Saturday, is thought possibly to be Kissinger’s last. It includes the following:

I am in favor of a peaceful outcome. I don’t see a peaceful outcome with Hamas involved in the conflict. I would favor negotiations between the Arab world and Israel. I do not see, especially after these events, that direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are very fruitful.

A formal peace doesn’t guarantee a lasting peace. The difficulty of the two-state solution is shown by the experience of Hamas. Gaza was made quasi-independent by [former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon in order to test the possibility of a two-state solution. It has led, in fact, to a much more complex situation. It has become so much worse in the last two years than it has been in 2005. So the two-state solution doesn’t guarantee that what we saw in the last weeks won’t happen again.

I believe the West Bank should be put under Jordanian control rather than aim for a two-state solution which leaves one of the two territories determined to overthrow Israel. Egypt has moved closer to the Arab side, so Israel will have a very difficult time going forward. I hope that at the end of it there will be a negotiation, as I had the privilege to conduct at the end of the Yom Kippur War. At that time, Israel was stronger relative to the surrounding powers. Nowadays, it requires a greater involvement of America to prevent a continuation of the conflict.

Kissinger was referring to the “disengagement” by Israel from Gaza in 2005, when it pulled out all of its soldiers and civilians.

Instead of turning Gaza into a viable state, despite generous promises of international aid, the Palestinians turned it into a staging ground for terror attacks and rocket fire against Israel. Hamas aso seized power from the Palestinian Authority in a 2007 coup, making the problems of the Gaza Strip even worse and giving Iran a foothold in the area, leading to several conflicts with Israel.

The “Jordanian option” has long been favored by the Israeli right, though it has been, until now taboo in foreign policy circles.
Seth Mandel: Israeli Arabs vs. the ‘Pro-Palestinian’ West
The truth is more complicated but also more rewarding for anyone who wants to understand the conflict. Israeli columnist Nadav Eyal points to a new study, which finds a decrease in Arabs’ description of their “most important identity factor” as Arab and an increase in those “who say the most important part of their identity is Israeli citizenship, which now stands at over 33%, surpassing all other factors (religious affiliation, Palestinian identity, and Arab identity).”

Israeli was the top choice for the most important facet of Arab-Israeli identity. The least popular choice? Palestinian, with 8 percent. That certainly counts as “many” people if, say, you’re stuck in an elevator with all them.

It’s not too difficult to understand the trend. After all, on October 7, a foreign army invaded their state and butchered Jews and Arabs alike. A similar poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found a marked increase in Arabs who feel part of the state. A few months ago, Tamar Sternthal and Gilead Ini surveyed previous polling:
A 2019 Israel Democracy Institute report found that only 13 percent of those surveyed identify as Palestinian (“Jews and Arabs: Conditional Partnership”). Other surveys have similar findings. For example, a 2017 study by Arik Rudnitzky and Itamar Radai found that only 8.9 percent of Israeli Arabs identify as “Palestinian in Israel/Palestinian citizen in Israel” and 15.4 percent identify as “Palestinian” (“Citizenship, Identity and Political Participation… ” p. 22). A third study, conducted in 2020 by Camille Fuchs of Tel Aviv University, found only 7 percent of non-Jewish people in Israel identify as Palestinian. Similar findings are apparent in the 2017 Shaharit survey.

None of this means the Palestinian cause isn’t important to Israeli Arabs. The point is that much of the Western media and activist class sees Israel’s Arabs as their own personal agents of destruction within Israeli society, while Israelis of all stripes view them as citizens. Deep Western antipathy toward coexistence in the Middle East isn’t helping anyone. It is also, thankfully, unrepresentative of the people these activists claim to speak for.
Nick Cohen: Why the far left sides with Hamas
The great fault of the global left is not that it supports Hamas. For how could western left-wing movements or left-inclining charities or academic bodies truly support Hamas if they were serious about their politics?

No one outside the most reactionary quarters of Islam shares Hamas’s aim of forcing the people of the world to accept ‘the sovereignty of Islam’ or face ‘carnage, displacement and terror’ if they refuse. You cannot be a progressive and campaign for a state that executes gay men. An American left, which includes in its ranks the Queers for Palestine campaign group, cannot seriously endorse lethal homophobia in its own country. Their kind will turn a blind eye in Palestine, but not in New York or Chicago. No left-wing organisation proudly honours the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the fascist tradition Hamas embraces, although in a sign of a decay that has been building on the left for more than a generation, many will promulgate left-wing conspiracy theories which are as insane as their fascist counterparts.

No, the problem with the global left is that it is not serious. It ‘fellow travels’ with radical Islam rather than supports it. The concept of ‘fellow travelling’, with its suggestions of tourism, dilettantism, and privilege, is well worth reviving. The phrase comes from the Bolsheviks. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 they looked with appreciation on westerners who supported them without ever endorsing communism. Artists, writers, and academics who were disgusted with the West, often for good reason, I should add, were quite happy to justify Soviet communism and cover up its crimes without ever becoming communists themselves.

Leon Trotsky put it best when he said of fellow travellers that the question was always how far they would go. As long as they did not have live under the control of communists in the 1920s or the control of Islamists in the 2020s, the answer appears to be: a very long way indeed. W. H. Auden said, as he looked back with some contempt on his fellow travelling past, if Britain or the United States or any country he and his friends knew were taken over by a ‘successful communist revolution with the same phenomena of terror, purges, censorship etc., we would have screamed our heads off’. But as communism happened in backward Russia ‘a semi-barbarous country which had experienced neither the Renaissance nor the Enlightenment’, they could ignore its crimes in the interests of seeing the capitalist enemy defeated.
I usually don't bother reading Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, mostly because he rarely has anything intelligent to say - and he says it as if he is a genius.

But I just saw an Arabic article quoting him, so I verified that, yes, he indeed did write this stupidity:

The reason I was so wary about Israel invading Gaza with the aim of totally eliminating Hamas was certainly not out of any sympathy for Hamas, which has been a curse on the Palestinian people even more than on Israel. It was out of a deep concern that Israel was acting out of blind rage, aiming at an unattainable goal — wiping Hamas from the face of the earth as one of its ministers advocated — and with no plan for the morning after.   
I'm only going to pick on the "blind rage" part because a great deal of criticism of Israel is based on a complete misunderstanding of how large organizations work.

The Israeli government, and its army, are large bureaucracies. Bureaucracies don't operate by "blind rage." They couldn't survive that way. 

Unless either a country or a company are run by a dictator or majority-shareholder owner, their decisions have to be vetted by many people on many levels. This double and triple and quadruple checking is built in to the process. 

No one can imagine IBM or Exxon turning on a dime and choosing to attack a competitor with no regard to consequences. It couldn't happen because they have to answer to others - the board, shareholders,  whomever.  And mature nations have voters, a parliament, the cabinet, the media, all ready to say their own opinions. 

Yet when it comes to Israel, too many people anthropomorphize the Jewish state as if it is acting like an angry toddler. 

Israel has really smart people who aren't afraid to speak their minds. It doesn't make hasty decisions. And allowing Hamas to exist after 10/7 is not an option even - and especially - after sober analysis. Forcing Israelis to live under threat of kidnapping and rocket fire - from the South and the North - is not acceptable, and it is unacceptable for any state. Israel's mistake was not taking Hamas seriously enough for the past 15 years, not taking it too seriously now.

The problem isn't Israel's goals. The problem is blowhards like Friedman or know-it-alls from any country telling Israel how unrealistic the goal is. While I wish Israel did a better job debunking all the really stupid rumors and Pallywood accusations we are seeing every day, but it has a job to do.

And Israel has not changed its policy of adhering to international law, to minimize damage to civilians. It did change the proportionality calculation that it had self-imposed in previous wars, because this is not a war like previous wars - but it is still well within what other major Western democracies would do under similar circumstances. 

Israel, as a large organization, has plans on the shelf for hundreds or thousands of scenarios, so it never has to fly by the seat of its pants. The specific plan on how to fight Hamas has been written years ago, and probably updated several times, way before 10/7. Because that is how things work if you ever worked in a large organization or a government or a professional army.

Professionals plan.

This is why a high percentage of people who actually have military or government experience are supporting Israel, while its critics are those - like Friedman - who have very little exposure to the machinations of large organizations. (He is not a grunt at the NYT but a superstar who stays above the fray for the most part.)  The same goes for all the pundits - academics or freelance writers or students who simply do not know how the real world works.

Watching people like Friedman make pronouncements about how they know what's better for Israel than Israel itself is like watching a schoolkid confidently explain why Superman is more powerful than Santa Claus. He doesn't even know how little he knows, and his vapid self-confidence is enough to keep him employed.

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

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  • Monday, December 04, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Palestinian economy is being wrecked by the Gaza war. But good luck finding any articles about it in Palestinian media.

Western observers simply cannot fathom how much self-censorship exists among Palestinians, both in its media and among its people talking to the media. The honor/shame dynamic ensures that no one will say anything to outsiders that make them look vulnerable or weak. Palestinians tell themselves that they are strong, that they have "sumud" (steadfastness). Reality itself must be denied to maintain that fiction.

Obviously Gaza's economy is in shambles. Before the war, the unemployment rate was slowly going down, some 19,000 Gazans had obtained permission to work in Israel at much higher wages than they could get inside Gaza, the number of imports and exports from Gaza had risen to higher than the levels before Hamas' takeover and Israel's restrictions on the sector. Hamas chose to throw all Gazans under the bus in their zeal to murder Jews, and most Gazans still support that goal. 

The International Labour Organization estimated in early November that Gaza lost 182,000 jobs from the war so far, and that additionally some 208,000 West Bank Palestinians have lost their jobs as well, most of them from losing their jobs in Israel - which pay more than double the average local wages. Others have lost because tourism has gone down to almost zero.

Yet you will not find any of the hundreds of thousands of newly unemployed West Bank Palestinians complaining in the media about their loss of livelihood because of Hamas. That stoicness is their idea of sumud - supporting even the most heinous acts against Israel in the interest  of appearing unified to the world. 

And even if they do complain, the Palestinian media will not report it. 

Outside the Palestinian areas, however, you will find articles about the impact to their economy - in places like Sky News Arabia or China's Arabic News

And in English, the UN Development Program warned about the economic impact of the war last month:
The rapid assessment of economic consequences of the Gaza war released Thursday by the U.N. Development Program and the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for West Asia was the first U.N. report showing the devastating impact of the conflict especially on the Palestinians.

If the war continues for a second month, the U.N. projects that the Palestinian GDP, which was $20.4 billion before the war began, will drop by 8.4% — a loss of $1.7 billion. And if the conflict lasts a third month, Palestinian GDP will drop by 12%, with losses of $2.5 billion and more than 660,000 people pushed into poverty, it projects.

U.N. Development Program Assistant Secretary-General Abdallah Al Dardari told a news conference that a 12% GDP loss at the end of the year would be “massive and unprecedented.” By comparison, he said, the Syrian economy used to lose 1% of its GDP per month at the height of its conflict, and it took Ukraine a year and a half of fighting to lose 30% of its GDP, an average of about 1.6% a month.
If the local media is not reporting on these issues of supreme concern to local residents, then what purpose does it serve?


While Palestinian media isn't mentioning the economic losses to their own people, they are gleefully reporting on the war's economic impact to Israel

Palestinian media wants to give the impression to its customers that it is winning. This is the message that their leaders insist the media pushes, but they don't need incentive - it is now baked in to how they think. And every time a foreign reporter or NGO speaks to a Palestinian, they don't realize that nearly every answer they get is tainted by this refusal to discuss reality in front of outsiders. 

This twists world coverage of the conflict. 

But it is the rare reporter who bothers to go beyond the sloganeering and self-deception to report the real story of how Palestinians truly feel about Hamas destroying their livelihoods and their lives. And when they do, they won't blame Hamas - but Israel. 

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

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From Ian:

Howard Jacobson: Charging Jews with genocide is to declare them guilty of precisely what was done to them
There is a sadistic triumphalism in charging Jews with genocide, as though those making it feel they have their man at last. The sadism resides, specifically, in attacking Jews where their memories of pain are keenest. By making them now the torturer and not the tortured, their assailants wrest their anguish from them, not only stealing their past but trampling on it.

The sadism of Holocaust denial has been a long time evolving. Calling Zionist Jews Nazis was an early go at discrediting them, inversely, by equating them with their murderers. Accusing them of harvesting the organs of Palestinian children, thereby invoking Josef Mengele’s experiments on Jewish inmates of Auschwitz, was a similar attempt to blur the lines between doer and done-to. But the genocide charge goes further than any of those. For the Nazis, “genocide” wasn’t a verbal flourish. “Final solution” meant “final solution”. Show that Jews intend a final solution on someone else, and we can fancy a retrospective justice to have been at work – the Jews being punished for a crime they were yet to commit. Call this Holocaust annulment.

Morality changed on 7 October. Black became white, evil good, ugliness beauty, the victim the culprit. It was Hamas’s genius to have seen something to its advantage in the declining status of the Jews in the conscience of the west. It realised how the drip, drip, drip of unremitting revilement in the western media and on western campuses had worn away their humanity. How sympathy had wearied and turned to scorn. How the west was of a mind to expunge its guilt.

It’s not unknown for the left to rejoice in acts of violence that lend brawn to its paper theories and then soul-search when that violence makes the world worse than it was before. Coming from the other political extreme, the American satirist Tom Wolfe called such political slumming “radical chic”. To describe the current revulsion from the Jews in favour of a terrorist group that kills and rapes and mutilates, I propose the less catchy term “metaphysical chic”.

That the respectable sometimes lose their hearts and reason to hardened criminals we know from the newspapers, and that the virtuous find it thrilling to go still further and bow the knee to vice, we know from the novels of Dostoevsky. Perhaps no writer better understood the perverse exhilaration of impiety.

When, for the sheer irreligious hell of it, we begin withdrawing fellow-feeling from Jews, upturning the moral universe and declaring them guilty of what was done to them, this impiety shows itself first as thinking the unthinkable, then as saying the unsayable. It is impossible not to ask – how long before we do the undoable?
Can Hamas really be ‘eliminated’?
The fall of Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy also provide some encouragement; in both cases, decisive military defeats marked the end of extremist ideologies. Japan’s post-war transformation into a pacifist state and Italy’s rebirth as a republic exemplify how the strategy of overpowering ideologues through force, when blended with reconstruction efforts, can indeed redefine a nation’s ideological course.

Those who say that Hamas is here for good might well point to the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan, two decades after it was kicked out of power. The Taliban’s refusal to die appears to superficially challenge the idea that entrenched ideologies can be decisively defeated. Yet this situation reveals a missed element: deep societal and economic reform. Unlike the Axis powers, which underwent transformative post-war changes, Afghanistan saw no such comprehensive overhaul. The Taliban could be defeated on the battlefield, but without the vacuum being filled by something more attractive, its return was inevitable.

Something similar could happen if Gaza, much of which has been destroyed or severely damaged by Israeli bombardment, is left to languish once Israel considers its military objectives to have been completed. The military defeat of Hamas must be definitive enough to prevent Hamas from claiming illusory victories amidst the ruins of Gaza and its people’s tragedy. But in order to prevent that happened, Gaza must be rebuilt – and those who live there offered hope of a better future.

Discussions have already commenced regarding the ambitious reconstruction of Gaza, a venture estimated to command an eye-watering sum of up to $50 billion (£40 billion), most of it is expected to come from the Arab rich countries. But this rebuilding package – and indeed any aid to the Palestinian people – must be linked to political and cultural reforms to ensure that a corruption-free, peace-committed political authority emerges from the ruins. Israel, too, must change in its attitude towards a two-state solution. It should do more to make this a possibility. By doing so it can offer hope to Palestinians who might otherwise be attracted by the siren call of Hamas.

History serves as a testament to the fact that the seemingly indomitable fortress of rigid ideologies can indeed be conquered. Hamas need not be here forever – but whether it can be killed off will depend on what happens when the latest war between Israel and Gaza finally ends.
President Biden must face reality_ It's time to act vs. Iran
A US Navy destroyer and three commercial vessels came under attack Sunday from Iran’s terror outfit in Yemen while Iranian proxies resumed attacks against US military bases in Iraq and Syria.

President Biden must face reality: The ayatollah in Iran is attacking Americans and American allies without fear.

Biden so far has responded with American mush, but Ali Khamenei won’t back down until he runs into American steel.

The latest escalation against the USS Carney and three other ships, one British-owned, did not arrive in a vacuum.

Iran is the leading threat to freedom of navigation in the Middle East, perpetrating at least 26 harassments, attacks or seizures between January 2021 and July 2023.

In just the past week, the Yemen-based Houthis — a terrorist ally of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, trained by Hezbollah and armed with missiles and drones from Tehran — launched a drone attack against an Israeli-linked cargo ship and fired two ballistic missiles near another American destroyer, the USS Mason.

The week before that, the Houthis seized a Japanese-operated cargo ship in the Red Sea.

That’s on top of weeks of missile and drone attacks launched from Yemen toward southern Israel — most of which were intercepted by the Carney and Israeli air defenses.

It’s also on top of the 74 Iranian-directed attacks against US forces in Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17 — leaving dozens of US service members injured and one contractor dead.

Biden has deployed two carrier strike groups to the region in what was supposedly a show of force to deter Iran’s regional escalation.

But Tehran has been unimpressed.

A week after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, Biden and his closest European allies allowed the United Nations missile embargo on Iran to expire — opting against triggering the snapback of UN sanctions on Tehran. Why? Out of fear Iran would escalate in response.

Weeks later, following dozens of attacks on US forces, Biden issued a sanctions waiver giving Iran access to $10 billion previously held in Iraq.

That’s in addition to the $6 billion ransom payment that still awaits Iran in Qatar and the $30 billion in oil revenue Biden provides through nonenforcement of sanctions.

Biden refuses to add the Houthis back to the official US terror list — a status he revoked shortly after taking office.
  • Monday, December 04, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is a poster from the Columbia Social Workers for Palestine:

A pogrom that was arguably worse than any that ever occurred in Eastern Europe, an event of organized mass murder and rape, is framed as a "Palestinian counteroffensive."

By people who are, or want to be, social workers.

And this group is consistent. A month after October 7, the same Columbia Social Workers for Palestine - fully aware of the horrors, sexual violence, sadistic torture, murders, attempted murders and kidnappings of thousands of civilians - defended Hamas in a letter to Columbia's dean:

Make no mistake, terrorism is exactly what they are supporting. The letter is titled "Statement in Support of Palestinian Resistance." 

The letter says, "reducing the attack on October 7th to a 'surprise attack carried out by Hamas' opportunistically rejects the struggles of millions of people with a blanket denunciation of resistance." 

According to CSSWPalestine, October 7 wasn't terror - it was justified resistance. There is literally nothing that Palestinians can do to Jews that would be considered immoral, according to these "social workers." 

They start off the letter by claiming that their support of Hamas terror is consistent with the ethical code of the National Association of Social Workers:
Defending Palestinian resistance aligns with the NASW code of ethics: “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.”
That would be astonishing for anyone else to say.  One of the specific ethical principles of the National Association of  Social Workers is "Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person. Social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity." 

Saying that this includes rape and murder of their Jewish clients doesn't exactly fit those ethical goals. 

Unless you are a "social worker for Palestine." 

The National Association for Social Workers should issue a clear statement of condemnation against this Columbia group for perverting their code of ethics to justify and support the most heinous crimes anyone could do against another individual. 

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

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  • Monday, December 04, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
JTA reports:

 More than a dozen Jewish members of Congress gathered on Friday for the first meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives Jewish Caucus.

But following the meeting in the Cannon Office Building, convened by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, an influential Jewish Democrat from Florida, it remains unclear what the caucus will stand for as the chamber’s Jews are deeply divided over the Israel-Hamas war and other issues.  Wasserman Schultz suggested the caucus was still finding its feet.

There are currently official Black, Hispanic and Asian-Pacific caucuses in the House, and there are formal Jewish caucuses in state governments; one of the most active is in California. But one issue that may have prevented the formation of a House Jewish Caucus until now is the age-old question of what “Jewish” means.

A concern reported by Axios — which has long been discussed among Jews in the U.S. Capitol — is that some Jewish lawmakers fear setting the precedent of establishing an explicitly religious caucus — especially because Jews tend to cherish the separation of church and state. That may be why Wasserman Schultz’s statement included the word “secular” right before “Jewish Caucus.”

Another fear is that the wide differences among members of a Jewish Caucus would undermine its purported purpose: Jewish unity.

In late October, [Jerry] Nadler wrangled all 24 Jewish Democrats into signing a statement backing the Biden administration’s robust support for Israel in its war against Hamas. Within weeks, that united front was crumbling, as a number of Jewish Democrats joined calls for a ceasefire.

Beyond differences about the war, there are vast differences among Jews in Congress over, well, everything. Wasserman Schultz sought, and got, Miller’s membership in the caucus, making it the only one of the ethnic caucuses to have bipartisan membership. But [Ohio Republican Max] Miller is among the most enthusiastic endorsers of former President Donald Trump, while the caucus also includes Nadler and Reps. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Dan Goldman of New York and Adam Schiff of California — all of whom played leading roles in one or both impeachments of Trump. Schiff and Trump routinely express the hope that the other is jailed.

Jews are the least homogenous group there is, rarely agreeing on anything outside - perhaps - being against antisemitism. 

Which is the major reason why antisemitic conspiracy theories make so little sense. They seize on the "Jewishness" - real or imagined - of specific industries or political groups and assume that since so many members are Jewish, that points to a secret conspiracy to promote some evil Jewish agenda. 

But what is that Jewish agenda? What do all these Jews actually agree upon? Practically nothing. 

The difficulty of finding commonality among Jews in this caucus proves it. All these Jews in powerful political positions in the US disagree on nearly every issue, so they cannot get anything done as Jews. 

But this doesn't stop antisemites from claiming that Jews are secretly plotting something bad. The "Jewish Caucus" is already feeding into these conspiracy theories.

Egypt's Shorouk News reports on the inability of the Jewish Caucus to agree to anything as proof that there is something deeply secret going on. Its headline says that the Jew gathered for "an undeclared reason" and says "Jewish Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman, who led the conference, said that effective talks took place at the session, but the congresswoman did not clarify what the attendees agreed upon."

The very existence of a group of Jews is enough to prove that they are conspiring to do something secret and underhanded. We will see plenty of these new conspiracy theories in coming weeks. 

And meanwhile, we cannot even get Jews  in Congress to wholeheartedly support Israel. 

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

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  • Monday, December 04, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here are a couple of abstracts from academic papers where the authors got Hamas so very wrong.

Khaled Hroub and friend
First comes "A Newer Hamas? The Revised Charter" by Khaled Hroub in the Journal for Palestine Studies, Volume 46, 2017:

On 1 May 2017, Hamas released its “Document of General Principles and Policies” following years of periodic speculation that the movement was working on a new political platform. Heralded by some as a significant milestone in Hamas's political thought and practice, the document reiterates longstanding positions but also lays out some new ones. Given the timing of its release, as well as its contents and possible implications, the document could be considered Hamas's new charter: it details the organization's views on the struggle against “the Zionist project” and Israel and outlines its strategies to counter that project. This essay aims to provide a fine-grained analysis of the substance, context, and ramifications of the recently released document. The discussion starts with an overview highlighting aspects of the document that could be considered departures from Hamas's original 1988 charter, and pointing to changes in the movement's discourse, both in form and substance. A contextual analysis then probes the regional, international, and internal impetuses behind the issuance of the document. Finally, the discussion concludes with a look at the possible implications for the movement itself, as well as for the Palestinians and for Israel.   
On that same May 1, I reported that Hamas newspaper Felsteen explicitly said the new document did not replace the antisemitic charter, I said, "The entire purpose of the document is to present a false, moderate face to the West."

I was right. The academic,  a professor of Middle Eastern studies and Arab media studies at Northwestern University in Qatar and research associate at Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, was wrong. (Hroub is also a supporter of violence.) 

And there is also "Questioning the moderation dichotomy: understanding Hamas’s evolving moderation" in Democratization, Volume 29, 2022, by Martin Kear, a lecturer and unit co-ordinator in the Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney:

In the moderation literature opposition movements are driven to alter their political behaviour via either inclusive or exclusive political forces. Despite each analytical pathway producing cogent analyses, the lack of any consensus complicates our ability to understand the drivers of the moderation process holistically. However, this research questions the efficacy of any dichotomy. Using the Islamist movement Hamas as its case study, I argue that concentrating solely on examining the structural causal mechanisms of moderation exhibited by inclusion and exclusion does not capture the full ambit of the moderation process. To provide a more nuanced account of the causal drivers of moderation, I argue for the need to examine a movement’s ideological agency within the moderation process. By doing so, the article demonstrates that what is driving Hamas’s moderation post-2004 is not only a combination of inclusive and exclusive political forces, but its evolving ideological reconceptualisation of resistance. Hamas’s dual-status means that its resistance legitimacy, gained from confronting Israel’s occupation militarily, is also used as a political buffer to justify making substantive ideological compromises. A key finding of this research is that while inclusion allowed Hamas to be more ideologically circumspect, exclusion forced Hamas to take more ideological risks.  
While the full article hedges its bets a little, its overarching theme is that Hamas has moderated its positions - and it also uses that 2017 document as evidence, again falsely claiming that it was a replacement for the violent, antisemitic charter. 

Both these academics chose to believe what Hamas wanted them to believe, and ignored all counter-evidence, which could be found easily in MEMRI and Palestinian Media Watch archives  (or my site, for that matter.) 

Or, to be less charitable, one of them may have knowingly sought to soften Hamas' image just so an attack like October 7 could be more effective.

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

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Read all about it here!



Sunday, December 03, 2023

  • Sunday, December 03, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Kohelet Forum published a really good pamphlet that discusses all the issues of the "Swords of Iron" Gaza war.

I've gone over many of these issues, but there are some points they make that I had not covered nearly as well.

Not only is Hamas clearly guilty of genocide, but that status obligates all nations to assist Israel:

Hamas further committed crimes of genocide, the most serious crime in international law. In fact, modern laws of war were drafted after the Second World War primarily to prevent genocide. Under the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide is the killing of people "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such".' Thus, there is no doubt Hamas committed the worst of war crimes. 

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which has been accepted as binding customary law, obligates all states to prevent genocide and punish its perpetrators. As such, international law enjoins all states to act in assisting Israel to prevent any chance of a repetition of the threat carried out in the October 7th massacre, and to act to punish all those involved in it and in the Hamas decision making apparatus. 

It should be noted that in addition to the monstrous actions which speak for themselves, Hamas has also officially declared murdering Jews to be one of its central objects (Article 7 of the Hamas charter, and countless words to that effect by Hamas officials)." 
And this:

Is the Compulsory Movement of Noncombatants to the South of the Gaza Strip Israel's Humanitarian Duty or, in Fact, a War Crime? 

As mentioned, the principle of distinction between combatants and noncombatants is the guiding principle of international law. Israel's efforts at moving noncombatants out of battle zones is not only legal but its duty under the law of war, in order to minimize collateral damage and unnecessary civilian casualties. The actions taken by Hamas to prevent noncombatants' movement southwards constitute a war crime and a violation of the principle of distinction. 

Since the beginning of the war, the IDF repeatedly urged North Gazan residents to move southwards to protect themselves from Israeli strikes. Some international organizations, amongst them the UNHCR, Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross, condemned the Israeli warnings and called them "forced evacuation orders". There is a difference between various international institutions, which are at times hostile to Israel, and the international law in and of itself, under which Israel and all other Western countries abide. The US and the coalition forces employed similar calls to the citizens to evacuate Fallujah and Mosul before commencement of the military operation. 

Israeli warnings are not "orders" since Israel has no jurisdiction over Gaza residents. Israel warns Gazans but has no means to enforce action. According to Rule 15 of the ICRC International Humanitarian Law Database there is a duty to take "all feasible precautions" to avoid civilian harm. Rule 20 recognizes advance warning as an accepted measure to minimize such harm. 

Hamas has the duty to assist in evacuating noncombatants from battle zones." In calling on the residents of Northern Gaza to stay in place Hamas violates its international duties.The only reason to demand that civilians stay in the killing fields is to endanger and use them as human shields.
Read the whole thing, and save it for reference.

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From Ian:

David Harsanyi: No, rewarding Islamists with a Palestinian state isn’t the only option for Israel
It doesn’t have to be this way. Palestinian culture is steeped in generational, self-destructive, virulent animosity toward Jews that manifests in waves of extremism and violence.

This was the case in the early 20th century when Arabs began sporadically massacring Jews before Israel existed, throughout the 1940s when Palestinian leadership embraced Hitler and during a post-war faux nationalism phase (also before Israel existed), in the 1960s when the Palestine Liberation Organization introduced the world to modern terrorism (before “occupied territories” existed), and to the present Islamist iteration of that violence.

Yet Palestinians and their defenders remain the only people in the world who think they can reset history every time they lose a war of aggression.

Their very claim to a state is contingent on the myth that Israel invaded and “occupied” the West Bank and Gaza (and Tel Aviv) in an act of colonialism, when the “occupied territories” were taken in defensive wars against Egypt and (the existing Palestinian-majority state of) Jordan.

But forget history.

Forget that you can dig anywhere in the ground and find ancient Jewish artifacts.

Forget that Israel offered Arabs back the land on numerous occasions in exchange for basic recognition.

More importantly, there is zero evidence that Palestinian self-governance will lead to more peace — quite the opposite, in fact.

Murphy’s notion that the only way to bring about coexistence is to reward the vilest act of Jewish murder since the Holocaust speaks to the destructive, insular, morally confused nature of the Brookings-approved DC blobthink.

Every time the sides revisit the negotiations on the terms dictated by these people, it ends in disappointment and, inevitably, violence.

Fortunately, this state can’t be willed into existence by Hamas-friendly newspaper editorial boards, nor by resolution-happy tyrants at the United Nations. What do you think? Post a comment.

And that’s fine. Just as there is no independent Hungarian nation in Transylvania and no Republic of Basque, there may never be a “Palestine” — or rather, a second Palestine (Jordan being the first).

Nothing says there has to be.

Yes, the situation might be intractable right now.

But that is no reason to make it worse.
Netanyahu: Palestinian Authority can’t return to Gaza, this isn’t Oslo II
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged not to repeat the mistakes made under the Oslo Accords by allowing the Palestinian Authority to return to Gaza after its military campaign to oust Hamas from that enclave is over.

“One thing for sure I am not doing. I am not ready to delude myself to say that the defective act that took place under Oslo through a terrible error” must now take place a second time with the return of a “hostile entity” to Gaza and the West Bank, he told reporters on Saturday night.

Netanyahu referenced the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s initial exit to Tunisia. He noted that this was a correct decision, adding that the error that had been made was to allow it to return in 1994 with through the Palestinian Authority under the auspices of the 1993 Oslo Accords.

“I won’t repeat this mistake and return this body to Gaza, because the same thing will happen,” he said. He referenced the 2007 coup in which Hamas ousted the PA’s Fatah party from Gaza and forcibly seized control of the enclave

The Palestinian leadership has split into two, Netanyahu said, but the ideology that denies Israel’s right to exist is common to both those who rule in the West Bank and in Gaza.
US: Palestinian Authority currently unfit to govern Gaza
The Palestinian Authority is currently unfit to govern a post-Hamas Gaza Strip, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Sunday.

During an interview with ABC “This Week,” anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Kirby about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to the P.A. playing any future role in Gaza due to its support for terrorism and promotion of Jew-hatred.

“What [Netanyahu] said was right now you’ve got an unreformed P.A. And that’s unacceptable to him. I would tell you that’s unacceptable to us too. We don’t believe the P.A. is in a position right now to be in—a credible control of governance in Gaza,” said Kirby.

He added that the administration wants a “reformed and revitalized Palestinian Authority” helping to govern the Strip.

“But whatever it looks like, and I’m not saying it has to be just the Palestinian Authority. We think that they should have a role, certainly. Whatever it looks like, though, George, it’s got to be responsive and representative of the Palestinian people, and certainly Hamas is not that,” he added.

Kirby also said that Jerusalem had been “receptive to our messages here in terms of trying to minimize civilian casualties.

“And I would tell you,” he continued, “we saw that as they went into north Gaza. They did it in a more precise way, a smaller way. And just in the last 24, 48 hours, George, they published online a map of places where people could go to avoid combat, and where they could go where they could find safety from combat.

“There’s not a whole lot of modern militaries that would do that. I mean that you know, so, to telegraph their punches in that way. So, they are making an effort,” added the spokesman.
Israel's UN ambassador slams Soros for donations to 'pro-Hamas groups' seeking destruction of Jewish state
Left-wing activist billionaire George Soros is facing intense criticism from Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. for pumping over $15 million into a network of nongovernmental organizations that allegedly support Hamas.

"George Soros’ donations to organizations that seek the destruction of the State of Israel as a Jewish state is shameful. However, I am not surprised," Israeli ambassador Gilad Erdan told Fox News Digital.

Hamas launched a full-blown invasion into southern Israel Oct. 7, resulting in the mass murder of 1,200 people, including over 30 Americans. Hamas also took more than 200 hostages. American citizens were among civilians kidnapped by the jihadi terrorist entity.

"For years, Soros has backed and transferred money to organizations supporting BDS that want to isolate Israel," added Erdan, who has been leading the diplomatic campaign at the U.N. to spell out Hamas’ crimes against humanity. "They have never been about real peace or any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state. The German and Austrian parliaments classified BDS as an antisemitic movement that resembles the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses during the nascent phase of the Holocaust.

Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of "The Soros Agenda," told Fox News Digital, "Support of pro-Hamas, pro-Palestinian groups in the U.S. is not limited to foreign entities. It also comes directly and indirectly from U.S.-based foundations. George and Alexander Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) is one of them."

Over a thousand pro-Palestinian protesters marched from Columbus Circle around midtown Manhattan, ending up at Grand Central Nov. 10, 2023. (Stephen Yang for Fox News Digital)

"Soon after he settled in the White House, Biden appointed Robert Malley as his special envoy to Iran," Ehrenfeld wrote in her book. "Malley is the former president and CEO of the Soros-funded, Brussels-based International Crisis Group, which, like Soros, has been criticizing Israel and praising Hamas. "
David Collier: Cambridge University event plugs Steven Sizer group
On 29 Nov, I spent 90 very-long minutes watching an anti-Zionist event at Cambridge. The event was advertised by the Cambridge Faculty of History. The title was ‘Jewish Solidarity with Palestinians: Antizionism, Activism and Liberation for All’.

In the middle of an awful episode in Jewish history – academics at Cambridge decided to bring together some of the fringe Jews that stand with antisemitic haters – so as to provide an orgy of lies, misinformation, and raw anti-Israel hatred.

Our Host – Dr Hana Morgenstern
Toxic events such as this only make it into the university space because of sympathetic faculty members. In this case it was Dr Hana Morgenstern. She is an Associate Professor in Postcolonial and Middle Eastern Literature at Cambridge. She was the only one at the event who didn’t actually speak, but her presence as the facilitator was her gift to the anti-Zionist world. Without her, there is no platform for this event.

I have previously discussed this issue of academic clones, with some campus spaces becoming conveyor belts for a series of anti-Zionist academics. Morgenstern achieved her PhD at Brown, and the acknowledgements section in her thesis is full of gushing praise for anti-Zionist academics such as Professor Ariella Azoulay. She was radicalised in the academic space and now she seeks to radicalise others. Morgenstern is a product of the demise of western academia.

Morgenstern recently signed a letter ‘from within the location of British imperial complicity, that opposed ‘Israeli settler colonial dispossession, ethnic cleansing, military occupation and apartheid’. The letter – signed by lots of brain-dead students and academics, even includes a reference to the bombing of al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital, which as we all know – was caused by an Islamic Jihad rocket. Still, modern academia has little need for things such as facts anymore, and I am sure that the University of Cambridge is immensely proud that their academics are busy signing such nonsense.

Bottom line – if I was a Jewish student who needed Morgenstern’s academic approval to succeed – I would be both intimidated and scared. Such is the life of Jewish students these days. As it is, she helped put together an event that for an evening at least, turned Cambridge into a sewer of anti-Jewish hatred.
  • Sunday, December 03, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Finally, nearly two months after Hamas' systematic mass sexual assault on Israeli women and after withering criticism, UN women has issued a statement of condemnation.

The details of the statement show that they are not serious at all about caring about Israeli women.

We deeply regret that military operations have resumed in Gaza, and we reiterate that all women, Israeli women, Palestinian women, as all others, are entitled to a life lived in safety and free from violence.

We unequivocally condemn the brutal attacks by Hamas on Israel on 7 October. We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks. This is why we have called for all accounts of gender-based violence to be duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core.

In all conflicts, UN women fully supports rigorous investigations and Commissions of Inquiry where they exist. We are actively supporting the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, which began its investigation into sexual violence very shortly after the attacks occurred. We welcome that the Commission has opened its call for submissions on gender-based crimes since 7 October. 
This is the same UN Commission of Inquiry whose very mandate is stacked against Israel. It is headed by Navi Pillay who is an apologist for both terrorism and antisemitism. One member has engaged in absurdly antisemitic tropes. 

We also know from previous "calls for submission" that this same Commission of Inquiry has a history of ignoring hundreds of submissions that don't fit its predetermined anti-Israel stance. 

To give an idea of how twisted this commission is specifically in the context of accusing Israel of hurting Palestinian women, here is what it says in its latest report released in September:

Gender impact 

Fewer women and girls are killed and injured by Israeli security forces compared with men and boys. This should be seen within the social context in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, where women and girls participate less frequently in the public domain (see A/HRC/40/CRP.2, paras. 592–598). These gender dynamics result in a disproportionate burden on women who have had to become caregivers to injured family members and primary breadwinners when men are killed, injured or detained, underscoring the context of intersecting forms of discrimination and violence against Palestinian women and girls.
You see? Because Israel kills terrorists and terrorists are mostly men, that disproportionately affects the terrorists' wives and mothers! Therefore, Israel is misogynist!

This isn't a serious analysis. This is just one of thousands of examples of how this UN Commission of Inquiry decides Israel is guilty beforehand, and seeks to twist facts to fit that verdict afterwards. 

But it is worse than that. If you look at the reference they gave, about the protests at the Gaza fence in 2018, we see this interesting fact:

Women have also told the Commission that they perceived that they were less likely than men and boys to be shot by the ISF. A 26-year-old woman told the Commission: 
"Women do not usually go close to the fence like I do. I burn tyres and throw stones, usually women do not do that. When the men want to cut the fence, I help them. For example, I walk in front of them to cover them when approaching the fence. Soldiers do not kill women usually – men on the other hand are hunted by Israelis like birds."

 Gaza women specifically act as human shields and participate in terror activities because Israeli soldiers are less likely to shoot them. 

And this UN commission tries to spin this as a source to prove Israel is discriminating against Palestinian women!

This is the commission that UN Women is praising for opening up an inquiry on the events of October 7 and afterwards. (Interestingly, the title of the inquiry is "Call for submissions on gender-based crimes since 7 October 2023," not "on or since 7 October 2023," although the text itself includes October 7.)

Both the Commission of Inquiry and UN Women are jokes who care far less about the human rights of women than they do in promoting an explicitly anti-Israel, antisemitic agenda. 

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!



  • Sunday, December 03, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Naharnet (Lebanon):

French Special Presidential Envoy for Lebanon Jean-Yves Le Drian has called on Lebanon to “implement” U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 by “ending the presence of armed appearances within a 30-kilometer-deep area so that it serves as a buffer zone,” a media report said on Friday.

If Lebanon does not comply, Le Drian has warned that the resolution would be amended so that the U.N. forces become “more effective in their military jurisdiction” and that the international community might resort to Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter to implement the resolution “by force,” the Nidaa al-Watan newspaper reported.

“The international pressure for the implementation of the resolution has reached Lebanese officials from several international sides, not only from Le Drian, and it is something expected to happen, especially that the settlers of the Israeli north are refusing to return to their homes without security guarantees starting by the withdrawal of armed appearances from the area south of the Litani River,” diplomatic sources told the daily.

“International pressure on Lebanon will intensify as time passes with the aim of rearranging the situations in the border area, seeing as it will be difficult to return to the pre-October 7 situation,” the sources added.

“That’s why the stances of the Lebanese forces are being explored regarding the issue of delineating the land border after Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied areas and the 13 contested points while halting its violations, in return for pulling back armed appearances from the area south of the Litani River,” the sources said.
UN Security Council Resolution 1701 calls for "security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL... deployed in this area." While it doesn't mention Hezbollah by name, that is clearly what it is talking about. 

The threat of things escalating into a full-blown war has placed this issue on the front burner, even though it had been almost completely ignored for 17 years. U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka issued a statement saying "the full implementation of Resolution 1701 is a key entry point to realize peace, security and stability in the region." 

Hezbollah doesn't want to lose "honor" by appearing to back down. Lebanon doesn't want a war. Israel cannot live with its northern residents under threat of Hezbollah rockets, artillery and anti-tank weapons. 

Things will come to a head one way or another. Since Lebanon cannot fix itself, the best alternative is for the UN to strengthen 1701 by giving UNIFIL additional power to enforce it by itself with or without the Lebanese army.

A potential war with Lebanon will make Gaza look like a picnic. 

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!



  • Sunday, December 03, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is a table of the number of Palestinians killed, according to the Gaza Health Ministry (as reported by UN-OCHA), on these days in mid-October.

DateNumber claimed killedCumulative number 

According to the ministry, Israel killed several hundred people on most days.

Now, look at the figures from October 18, covering the alleged deaths from October 17.

The ministry claimed that 471 people were killed at the Al Ahli Hospital on October 17, but for the entire day they only counted 478 dead.

The ministry swears that Israel bombed that hospital. Which means that outside that one explosion, only 7 additional people were killed! Suddenly, the death toll went to practically zero on that one day. 

Of course, every observer of the aftermath of the rocket explosion believes that the 471 figure was grossly exaggerated to begin with. 

But that is hardly the only bizarre anomaly in the Hamas health ministry numbers.

Here are their numbers from October 28 and 29 in the UN report:

On October 29, the ministry said the total number killed in the previous 24 hours was 302 (8005-7703.)  But the number of women and children killed in the same 24 hours was 328! (2062-1863=199, 3324-3195=129, 199+129=328.) 

Yes, more of the deaths were women and children than...the total. 109% of those killed in that day were women and children. 

Sure it's impossible, but why let that dissuade you from believing their statistics?

Similarly, the November 6-7 reports indicate 306 killed, yet they claim 337 - over 110% - were supposedly women, children and elderly.

Almost as unlikely is the October 29-30 reports, which indicate that 210 out of 216 killed - over 97%! - were women and children (They didn't count elderly until October 30th, if we had those alleged numbers, almost certainly the count would go above 100% as well.) 

And somehow, we never see women and children looking at damage after an airstrike. They all seem to be men of fighting age.

These numbers are all randomly made up. There is no other explanation. The news media has no independent source for casualties, as they did in previous wars, so Hamas can issue whatever numbers it wants without fear of anyone calling them out on it. 

Even though their numbers literally don't add up.

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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