Monday, April 22, 2024

  • Monday, April 22, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon


Wishing everyone* who celebrates Pesach a chag kosher v'sameach!



* Not including those who use it as another Jew-washing excuse to bash Israel



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!

 

 


  • Monday, April 22, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon



Three weeks ago, a new Palestinian cabinet was announced under the leadership of latest appointed prime minister Muhammad Mustafa. Mustafa himself also became the foreign minister under this government.

No one really thought that anything would change. Mustafa has been an aide to Abbas and won't do anything that Abbas wouldn't want him to.

But something interesting happened on Sunday which shows even more blatantly that the Palestinian Authority is a dictatorship under Abbas, and nothing else matters.

The previous foreign minister was Riyad Maliki. Don't worry about him being unemployed, though - he landed on his feet in a brand new role that Abbas just made up: " Advisor to the President of the State for International Affairs and his Special Envoy" with a rank of ....Minister.

It sure sounds like Abbas wants his own foreign minister who reports directly to him, and he is spitting in the face of his new prime minister who has just become impotent in foreign affairs. Maliki already has connections to foreign leaders and Abbas will make sure that his new job will be an extension of his old job.

This is the sort of corruption that happens constantly under the Palestinian Authority - the government that the world wants to take over Gaza. Yet while the Western media is keenly interested in any whiff of controversy in Israel's government, with countless articles about judicial reform, here we have the head of the Palestinian Authority, and the PLO, and Fatah, publicly adding some additional powers - and  no one is saying a word.





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, April 21, 2024

  • Sunday, April 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is a video from Columbia University last night:

As described by @LawyerGoneRogue,

Violence against Jews on Columbia campus. 

A group of what I suspect are Jewish students are caught in the middle of the jihadi supporting protest at Columbia.   

The mob throws bottles at their heads and screams:

“Zionist!”
“Genocidal Maniac!”
“You’ve got blood on your hands!”
“Fuck you!”
“Genocidal Freaks.”
“Bye, Bye, Fuckers.”

Columbia IS NOT SAFE FOR JEWS!!!!!
That account has a series of videos from Columbia last night.

Some chants called for the ethnic cleansing of Jews in the Middle East: “Settlers, settlers, go back home.  Palestine is ours alone.”

Here is one student suggesting Hamas should kill pro-Israel counter-protesters.



This is utterly unacceptable in any public space, let alone a campus that should be safe for all. And there are no threats nor violence from the pro-Israel counter-protesters - the only people in danger are Jews.

The OU-JLIC rabbi at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Rabbi Elie Buechler, issued a statement today telling Jews that they are not safe on campus:

What we are witnessing in and around campus is terrible and tragic. The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy. 

It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved. 

*It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus.* No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school. 

If you need assistance please reach out to me. 

May we see better days on campus soon. 

Chag Kasher vSameach,
Rav Elie Buechler
Director OU-JLIC at Columbia/Barnard
I've never seen any announcement like that on any campus from any religious or ethnic group. 


While some students seemed to be heeding Rabbi Buechler’s advice, others were determined to stay on campus, with one Jewish student saying he plans to remain even after being “chased up the block” a few days ago by a pro-Palestine mob. 

“It’s honestly horrifying now. To walk around Columbia’s campus right now is to walk through a completely hostile environment,” the senior, Avi Weinberg, 25, told The Post on Sunday. 

Weinberg slammed Columbia’s administration for losing its “backbone” and failing to do more to protect students. 

He added that he doesn’t plan to follow the rabbi’s advice or take classes over Zoom just because “a group of lunatics decided to take over campus. 






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:

Biden’s ‘starvation politics’ help with his base
In recent weeks, massive amounts of humanitarian aid have entered Gaza in hundreds of trucks. Around 500 trucks are entering the strip daily. What is particularly irksome to Israelis is the fact that this abundance is being showered on the Gazans, who democratically chose Hamas, have never revolted against it, and still support the horrific massacre - all while our captives languish in Gaza's tunnels, enduring unimaginable torture.

According to Israeli experts, Gaza is receiving far more than it needs, and the Americans know this down to the smallest details. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has presented data to the Americans that 21 bakeries are operating in southern and central Gaza and another three in the north. They bake millions of pitas daily. The amount of water produced in the strip exceeds 5 gallons of drinking and cooking water per person per day. There have been 3,350 coordination efforts made between the IDF and aid organizations to facilitate the entry of aid.

This picture is well known to the official American representatives. Yet, they are hounding the Israeli leaders with endless demands. Everyone dealing with the issue knows that Israel is allowing far more than Gaza can absorb. "The Americans are driving Minister Ron Dermer crazy 24/7 with all these things, knowing there's no need for them. The UN inside Gaza is failing to distribute what's coming in. So why is more needed?" asks an Israeli who is privy to the data.

The American pressure results in an increasing burden for the IDF. Soldiers are required to secure the massive supply convoys, the construction of the seaport on the Gaza coast, the laying of a new water pipeline to the strip, and the opening of a crossing in the north. Defense Ministry inspectors spend nights and days examining the contents destined for the enemy, even though the enemy itself doesn't need it.

Meanwhile, the U.S. administration is tacitly endorsing, and sometimes explicitly using, the blood libel about "starvation in Gaza." Yet its officials are well aware that there was never any danger of starvation. Israel has been monitoring the humanitarian situation in Gaza from day one and would never allow this. Yet, the official and deliberate U.S. message is "immediate risk of starvation" - a lie that fuels the anti-Israel propaganda machine, which has been spreading the falsehood of "genocide in Gaza" around the world for months now.

One Israeli official said, "In direct conversations with the Americans, you see they are well-versed in the data. We, inside the room, wonder where they're getting these statements from. They know what's happening. They have an interest in not presenting what they know, and not affirming what Israel is saying. They should be saying, 'There is no starvation in Gaza, and Israel is doing everything it can to get food in. The bottleneck is not its fault.' But they choose not to say that."
Israel Is Hamas’s Most Potent Weapon
Sinwar took this strategy to a new level by building a massive underground city that would suck Israelis into killing Palestinians. Armaments, missile launchers, and terrorist command posts were positioned under hospitals, schools, mosques, and residential buildings, forcing Israelis to kill civilians, whether by airstrikes or in any conceivable ground operation if they were ever to stop the attacks. Sinwar, whose life was saved by Israeli medical intervention during his time in prison, knows that Israel does not execute even convicted murderers of Jews. His goal in provoking Israel into retaliation was to create and keep worsening Gaza’s “humanitarian crisis” and the toll of civilian casualties, thereby eliciting liberal sympathy for the Palestinians and international calls for an advantageous ceasefire while, most crucially, demoralizing the Israelis who must sacrifice their soldiers in a war they would have done anything to avoid.

Has the genius of Israel met its match in the genius of evil? Other commanders in the history of war have been known to sacrifice tens of thousands of their soldiers rather than surrender, but no invader ever turned his enemy into his primary weapon. Sinwar intends never to surrender, hoping that Israel will be forced to kill most of the population of Gaza in order to stop Hamas. The genocide of Jews that he undertook to engineer has already been equalized to a genocide by Jews against the innocent, harmless Hamas electorate.

When Golda Meir famously told Anwar Sadat, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. But we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their children,” she divulged Israel’s greatest weakness. Coexistence is to Judaism as conquest has been to Islam, requiring the former to seek accord from the latter. Hamas was first to fully to exploit this political contrast. Liberal democracies are generally loath to go to war, but a look at the Middle East map shows why Israel—when you can find it there—has the ultimate disincentive for military action against neighbors whose acceptance it seeks. As a minority by choice, Jews have always been at the mercy of imperial powers, of which Iran with its proxies is currently the most threatening. To succeed, the aggressor has learned—and demonstrated—that he must come in the form of a victim.

Meir was wiser when she said, “Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” The defeat of Hamas is the necessary precondition for that day, though not yet its guarantee.

And now that sizable numbers of pro-Hamas sympathizers and belligerents are already active in this country, testing its freedoms and liberal virtues, we are seeing whether Americans learn enough from the war in Israel in time to prevent the brewing war against them.
‘Assume Hamas leaders receive UNRWA funding’
People can be excluded from refugee status if they violate the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, per UNHCR’s Resettlement Handbook.

More specifically, those about whom there are “serious reasons” to believe they committed a “crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity” or a “serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge” prior to being admitted to that country as a refugee or who have “been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations,” can be excluded.

Elsewhere in the handbook, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees notes that most acts of violence commonly called “terrorism” qualify, “particularly if they indiscriminately endanger or harm civilians.”

The 1951 convention, which the handbook cites, states that “This convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance.”

The United Nations has come to interpret that clause very broadly to include Palestinian “refugees” as “not only persons displaced at the time of the 1948 and 1967 hostilities, but also the descendants of such persons.”

Funding terror
“If UNRWA were truly applying universal principles, they would certainly remove anyone who belongs to Hamas from their employment from their staff but, in addition, deny them refugee status,” Neuer, of U.N. Watch, told JNS. “I’m not aware that’s ever happened.”

UNRWA has only suspended or removed an employee for belonging to Hamas in very rare instances, according to Neuer.

“I’ve never heard of anyone, though, including some of the chief terrorists, who are denied refugee status or denied aid,” he said. “We can assume that many, if not all, of the Hamas leaders are on the rolls as UNRWA refugees and are receiving funding in one form or another from UNRWA.”
  • Sunday, April 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

Last week, a Jewish man in London was threatened with arrest because he was "quite openly Jewish" near an anti-Israel protest:
Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, was wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap when he was stopped by police while trying to cross a street in central London as demonstrators filed past on April 13.

One officer told Falter he was worried that the man’s “quite openly Jewish” appearance could provoke a reaction from the protesters, according to video posted by the campaign group. A second officer then told Falter he would be arrested if he refused to be escorted out of the area because he was “causing a breach of the peace.”

London’s Metropolitan Police Service on Friday afternoon apologized for the language the officer used in describing Falter’s appearance, but said counter demonstrators had to be aware “that their presence is provocative.”

The Met later deleted that apology from its social media accounts and issued a second statement.

 That first apology confirmed, rather than mitigated, the idea that walking around while Jewish provokes violence, not the violent protesters.

At least British media is up in arms about this story. 

But the Metropolitan Police have a lot in common with Tunisia, which just canceled its annual Lag B'Omer  pilgrimage for Jews to the ancient synagogue in Djerba for the same reasons - any gathering of Jews is provocative to the peace of the nation.

Tunisia decided to cancel the annual Jewish celebration held at the Djerba Synagogue on the island of Djerba...

On Saturday, the Monte Carlo International Radio website quoted Perez Trabelsi, head of the body organizing the annual visit of Jews to the Ghriba Synagogue, as confirming that the annual visit this year will be limited to limited rituals inside the temple only.

Trabelsi explained that the tense security situation and the war in Gaza cast a shadow on this event, and the decision to cancel the pilgrimage did not come out of nowhere, but rather came as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of everyone in light of the current conditions the region is witnessing. He added that Tunisia, which has a long history of supporting cultural and religious pluralism, found itself forced to make a difficult decision that reflects the magnitude of the current security challenges.

This is how antisemites win. They create an environment where Jews are unsafe, and when the cost of protecting them is too high, the authorities suddenly find reasons to ban and blame the Jews for "provoking" violence against them with the crime of breathing while Jewish.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that in both cases, the antisemites insist that they are not anti-Jewish at all - but everyone knows that this is a lie, or else the Jews would be free to do whatever they want to do without fear or need for protection. 




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, April 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
CBS News has an article about Google firing 28 employees who blocked other employees from working in protesting the company's contract with Israel.

The article then goes on to say:

The protests came against Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion joint contract with Amazon to provide the Israeli government with AI and cloud services. In its statement, No Tech cited a recent Time Magazine report that found Google had built custom tools for Israel's Ministry of Defense, and contracts with the Israeli Occupation Forces.
"Israeli Occupation Forces" is the disparaging name that Israel haters use for the Israel Defense Forces.  The phrase is used by Arab, Iranian, Russian and far-left progressive media.

And now, by CBS News.

It appears that the writer of the article rephrased the press release from "No Tech for Apartheid" which said:
Google continues to claim, as of today, that Project Nimbus is “not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.” Yet, reporting from TIME Magazine proves otherwise: Google has built custom tools for Israel’s Ministry of “Defense,” and has doubled down on contracting with the Israeli Occupation Forces, since the start of its genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. 
Was this ignorance or malice? The reporter, Kate Gibson, is a business reporter who might not be familiar with the war of phraseology that is part of the cognitive war against Israel, and her editor Anne Marie Lee likewise specializes in business stories. 

The article has been up for three days now.  CAMERA pointed this out to CBSNews over a day ago. Nothing has changed as of this writing. 




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, April 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon


If you analyze the major criticisms of Israel, you will discover that every one of them is based on unstated but very real assumption that reveal not the truth about Israel but the anti-Jewish bias of the accusers.

These criticisms are framed in such a way that the truth, which are not antisemitic, is not even considered. As a result, facts that contradict the antisemitic assumptions are discarded and only the cherry-picked facts that support the antisemitism are mentioned.

This pattern becomes startlingly clear when you look at the major criticisms of Israel with both the antisemitic and non-antisemitic assumptions in mind.

Here are some examples.

Settler-Colonialism

The charge: Israel is a settler-colonialist state where Jews arrived from outside and claimed the land for themselves, pushing out the natives.

The unstated antisemitic assumption: Historically, Jews are not a people or a nation, and today's Jews have no history in the Land of Israel. 

The truth they want their audience not to consider: The Jews have been a people and a nation since Biblical times, a people whose lives remained centered around the Land of Israel in their daily prayers and dreams for millennia. 

When you remove the false antisemitic assumption, you see that the Jews were returning to their ancestral lands, not invading land that was never theirs. That is a narrative that the critics ignore and exclude from discussion. 

The charge is based on antisemitism, and when you remove the antisemitism, the accusation disappears.

"Pinkwashing," "Aidwashing" and others

The charge: Israel only pretends to hold progressive-friendly positions and engages in liberal, progressive activities (like being gay-friendly or sending doctors to disaster areas) in order to distract from and hide its crimes from the world.

The unstated antisemitic assumption: Jews are deceptive and liars.

The truth:: Jews generally tell the truth at least as much as other people, and it would be difficult to lie in an open, free society without serious repercussions. 

These kinds of charges cross the line into conspiracy theories, where the entire nation of Israel is colluding to fool the world and its entire purpose is immoral. The praiseworthy things it does are converted into evil, and the assumptions do not allow any other explanation that does not damn Israeli Jews.


Apartheid

The charge: Israel is an apartheid state that systematically discriminates against non-Jews.

The unstated antisemitic assumption: Zionist Jews are Jewish supremacists who believe that they are better than every non-Jew.

The truth: Israel's entire purpose is to provide a safe haven for Jews who have been persecuted for centuries, but there is no desire nor are there any laws that discriminate against non-Jewish citizens of Israel. Israel, like every other nation, does give legal preference to citizens over non-citizens, but they apply to Jew and Arab alike.

Nearly all examples of discrimination one finds in major human rights reports accusing Israel of apartheid assume that Israel's discrimination against non-citizens is based on Jewish supremacy and not on favoring citizens above non-citizens. Once you remove the false assumptions, and re-read the reports, you see that the "evidence" was based more on the antisemitic assumption than on the truth, and every single example given has an explanation that does not involve Jewish supremacy.

Genocide and other war crimes

The charge: Israel routinely and constantly commits the worst war crimes: genocide, violations of the principles of distinction and proportionality, deliberately attacking civilians and especially women and children as well as protected civilian objects like schools and mosques.

The unstated antisemitic assumption: Israeli Jews are racists who not only don't care about the lives of Arabs, but actively intend to attack them.

The truth: Israeli Jews just want to live in peace and security and do not want war. But when wars are forced upon them, they do everything possible to minimize civilian deaths, prioritizing the lives of their own citizens, as every other nation would do.

All of the war crimes examples rely on mind reading. The  exact same military act can be legal or illegal depending on the mindframe of the military commander; if he or she makes a decision about whether a target is military or civilians, or whether the numbers of civilian victims would be disproportionate to the value of the military target, as long as it is based on the best currently available information and it is in line with what any reasonable military commander would do under similar circumstances, it is legal. 

The crimes of genocide and the others are similarly not based on numbers of victims but on the intent of the attacker (as the Genocide Convention makes clear.) If one assumes malicious intent, then one concludes that the crime was committed. 

Here's where the antisemitism is the most obvious. The competing ideas that (Israeli) Jews are generally moral and that Jews are generally immoral are not a coin flip. They do not require the same levels of proof. The bar is much higher to assume malevolence than to assume an innocent explanation, whether we are talking about civil or military matters. Even giving them equal weight is effectively antisemitic. One needs far more proof to claim that Israeli Jews are engaged collectively in the worst human rights crimes imaginable than to assume that they are normal people in difficult circumstances who are doing the best they can. Dismissing any alternate hypotheses to Jewish evil out of hand is antisemitism. 

The South African case at the ICJ assumed that Jews are malevolent. When Bibi Netanyahu invoked Amalek, the South Africans used that as proof of intent to wipe out Palestinians, when in the very same speech Netanyahu made clear that he was referring to Hamas  Their other evidence of intent that they submitted likewise depended on the assumption of Israeli evil.  If the charge had not rested on antisemitic assumptions, meaning that if the South Africans had believed that Jews are no better or worse than any other people, the case falls apart - because every piece of evidence would be seen to have had a non-malevolent explanation.  

Torture of Gaza detainees

Recently, UNRWA wrote a short report describing alleged torture by in Israeli detention facilities of Gaza detainees. 

I have no idea whether any of these allegations are true. If Israeli authorities are guilty of torture against the law, they should be punished. 

But in this report, and all the media reporting about it, the context and lived reality of Israelis is ignored. Israel's High Court has ruled on torture cases, it imposed limits on what can be done but it also allows exceptions in cases of necessity. Its 1999 ruling prohibited certain specific kinds of torture but admitted that the question is not black and white and also, crucially, discussed the Israeli angst at living with terrorism and the difficulty of ruling when a detainee might have crucial information that can save people's lives.  Its 2017 ruling allowed, after the fact, "moderate physical pressure" to compel a man to admit where there were explosives labs and a suicide belt that was already smuggled to Tel Aviv and waiting to be used. 

None of the NGOs attacking Israel's alleged actions mention that there is a "ticking bomb" in Gaza - every day that the hostages are not found makes their survival less likely. Again, I don't know whether the interrogation techniques cross the line or not, but without that context, Israelis look like monsters instead of people trying desperately to save the lives of innocents who were abducted by Hamas.

The implicit assumption in these reports is that using techniques like sleep deprivation are unquestioningly illegal. It isn't true, and Israel lives in unique circumstances after October 7. Whether there is real torture happening, and whether it is legal, is something for the courts to decide, but the automatic assumption that Israel is guilty when it has a very liberal judicial system that admits the complexities behind these cases  shows that those making the accusations today are not giving Israel or Israelis any benefit of the doubt. 

Which is, again, antisemitic. 

"Sderot Cinema"

Even minor issues reveal unspoken antisemitic assumptions. 

In 2014, news media became obsessed with picture of Israelis from Sderot bringing lawn chairs to a hilltop to watch airstrikes on Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. The stories were framed as Israelis cheering the deaths of Palestinians. 

The unstated antisemitic assumption was that Jews are heartless monsters who cheer the deaths of Palestinians. 

But that is not what was happening. The people watching and cheering had been the primary victims of Gaza rocket attacks, and they were hoping that this war would end their being tethered to living within a fifteen second dash to bomb shelters. They were cheering Israel attacking terror groups that had tormented them, not civilians. 

The unreported truth is what exposes the antisemitic assumption. But the reports were framed in a way to exclude the truth, as they were with all the other examples of implicit antisemitic assumptions that form the basis of much of the world's criticism of Israel. 

One sees this every day. Israel does X, and the only explanation allowed to be discussed is Reason Y which implies inherent Israeli evil. 

The critics don't admit that there may be another side to the story. This is deliberate. 

The dehumanization inherent in these antisemitic assumptions

To a large degree, social science research is qualitative (analyzing non-numerical data to understand people's social realities). This typically involves the researchers interviewing subjects to understand their own perspectives, and as is typically described, together they construct their realities and truths by talking together about them (social constructivism.) 

The social scientists who believe in social constructivism rely heavily on researchers interviewing the subjects from the groups under study, and they interpret their answers to try to define what the subjects' reality is. 

Strikingly, the research that accuses Israel of crimes like apartheid and genocide almost never takes into account how Israelis see reality. 

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, let alone South Africa's government, generally don't  interview Israelis for their perspectives on Palestinians when they write their anti-Israel reports. They don't synthesize different sources. They don't try to understand the way that Israeli Jews think.  If they would follow their own methodologies, they would be forced to accept that Israeli viewpoints are just as valid and reflective of reality as anyone else's - and that would undermine their entire agendas. The bedrock of social science research, treating all subjects as woethy of respect and to be able to describe their lived realities,  is almost completely missing from the major sources of supposed Israeli crimes that are widely cited.

It appears that to these researchers, Israelis are not worthy of being studied with the same respect given to African tribes or inner city single mothers. Instead, they create assumptions of Israeli evil and base their conclusions on those antisemitic assumptions. 

The house of cards

In academia, papers will refer to earlier papers as if those papers were established as true. Many academic papers treat the "settler colonialism" charge as established fact that can be built upon in more papers. We see the same thing in the NGO and media worlds as well, with cross-referencing of the "apartheid" slur as if it is universally accepted. 

Similarly, Nicaragua's application against Germany in the ICJ assumes that Israel is guilty of genocide even before any ICJ ruling on the matter, and further claims that Germany is guilty as well:
In this Application, Nicaragua requests the Court to adjudge and declare that Germany by its conduct with respect to the serious violations of peremptory norms of international law taking place in the OPT (a) has not only failed to fulfil its obligation to prevent the genocide committed and being committed against the Palestinian people – including those in its component part in the Gaza Strip – but has contributed to the commission of genocide in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (hereinafter “Genocide Convention”);
It's not hard to see that this is the point for many of Israel's critics: they don't intend to report on any reality but to create one where Israel's guilt is not in question.

Just like a house of cards, if the foundation of the accusation is a lie, the entire edifice collapses. Which is why we see so little interest in calling out or testing the underlying assumptions: a lot of people depend on these lies, whether for prestige or funding or their own desire to attack Israel.

Everyone has implicit assumptions about the world. It cannot be avoided. It is apparent, however, that the implicit assumptions used by Israel's critics are one-sided and antisemitic; they create a framework that excludes any argument and any facts that contradict those assumptions. 




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!

 

 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: The illiberal crusade to defend antisemitic mobs
Just as troubling is the willingness of many in the chattering classes to defend the protesters and pretend that expressions of antisemitism are a matter of free speech rather than hate. The Guardian’s Moira Donegan attacked Shafik in a column for what she described as “colluding with the far right” by calling in the police to enforce the university’s rules. She treated the entire idea that antisemitism was present as a right-wing talking point rather than an awful reality for Jewish students, whose plight interested her not at all.

The Times’ Michelle Goldberg sounded a similar theme in her denunciation of both the House committee investigating antisemitism and Shafik.

Both quoted comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a committee member whose questions were aimed at denying the antisemitic nature of the mobs that had transformed Columbia into a hotbed of Jew-hatred. That someone who has been censured by the House for her own repeated antisemitic rhetoric should sit on such a committee (or in Congress itself) is an irony completely lost on leftists. Both Donegan and Goldberg thought it was an outrage that Omar’s daughter—a junior at Barnard College—was among those participating in the pro-Hamas demonstration and rightly suspended from the school, though that piece of information was not generally known when Omar was trying to sabotage the hearing.

As with the rest of the debate about whether the antisemitism being vented on college campuses in the six months since Oct. 7 should be protected free speech, most of the arguments in defense of these mobs are disingenuous. The notion that the pro-Hamas activists are defending free speech is risible considering that most of their efforts are focused on silencing defenders of Israel and the Jews. These are not idealists acting out their sympathy for Palestinian victims but, rather, ideologues who have embraced the cause of a terrorist war to destroy the Jewish state.

What must also be acknowledged is that the crusade on the part of much of the liberal commentariat to defend or rationalize this epidemic of antisemitism is profoundly illiberal. This applies to those who, like the Times’ foreign-policy columnist Nicholas Kristof, have sought to mainstream blood libels against Israel. Their goal is to change the conversation about the war against Hamas from a necessary campaign to eradicate terrorists to an effort to legitimize a genocidal movement and its Western apologists.

The saddest aspect of this debate is the way it has been politicized by the left to make it appear that the fight against antisemitism is a Republican issue. It is deeply unfortunate that much of the liberal activist base of the Democratic Party that has been captured by advocates for critical race theory and intersectionality has taken sides against Israel in the war against Hamas. It’s also true that—as the daily drumbeat of incitement against Israel and its Jewish supporters in the Times, The Washington Post and MSNBC show—left-wing journalists are doing their utmost to legitimize anti-Jewish hate.

The effort to curb the surge of antisemitism in this country should not be conducted along party lines. Democrats and Republicans, liberals as well as conservatives, should be lining up against those who agree with Omar and her cheering section that antisemitic mobs are principled idealists rather than self-entitled hate-mongers. All decent Americans should—if not agreeing with Cotton about roughly preventing illegal protesters from taking over our public squares—be actively seeking to treat these antisemitic agitators with the disdain and punishment they deserve. If the defenders of the mobs prevail, the alternative is a nation where antisemitism is mainstreamed and Jewish safety a thing of the past.
Andrew Pessin: The Indelible Stain of Antisemitism: The Failed Practice of ‘Jew-Washing,’ Part 2
The most famous here are perhaps the Neturei Karta, a fringe group whose members appear at anti-Israel events worldwide.[10] They are ideal for Jew-washers, since, in their ultra-orthodox appearance, they are quite visibly Jews—and what could better exonerate an Israel-hater from charges of antisemitism when such clear Jews hate Israel too? Yes, they are a small group, but they are real, and they do derive their anti-Israelism from their Judaism: the Hebrew Bible as they read it teaches that Jews will legitimately re-form their political collective in the Land of Israel only by divine means, upon the coming of the Jewish Messiah. The contemporary State of Israel, then, is a religious abomination. The fact that the state and its overall culture are largely secular—surely only worse. No wonder they have 3-D hatred toward it.[11]

But does the existence of Neturei Karta successfully exonerate the non-Jewish anti-Israelist from the charge of antisemitism? (Henceforth we focus only on the “invoking authority” mode of Jew-washing.)

To see why not, consider a distinction made by former Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, who famously described campus attempts to boycott and divest from Israel as “antisemitic in effect if not intent.” Effective antisemitism will roughly be any position, policy, or behavior that de facto discriminates in some negative way against Jews, whatever its actual content or intent. Intentional antisemitism is much harder to define, but doing so should not be necessary for our purposes. Suffice to note that sometimes a person’s intentions can absolve even his effective antisemitism from counting as antisemitism simpliciter.[12]

Neturei Karta’s ideology does seem to be effectively antisemitic, after all, for it discriminatorily denies to the Jewish people (pre-Messiah) the same right to political self-determination in their ancestral homeland that presumably all other peoples enjoy in theirs. Members of the group themselves may escape the charge of being intentional antisemites (or antisemites simpliciter), however, since they sincerely derive their position from bona fide Jewish principles.

But the same is simply not true for the non-Jewish Israel-haters who Jew-wash with Neturei Karta. They share the group’s effectively antisemitic doctrine that the Jewish state is illegitimate while not sharing precisely those intentions that would exonerate their antisemitism.[13]

So Jew-washing with Neturei Karta fails. Neturei Karta provide an illusory cover for Israel-haters’ antisemitism, but they do not remove it.

We turn in the next part to what we might call “ultra-non-orthodox Jewish anti-Israelism.”
Gaza cease-fire alone won’t repair larger enduring rift, political scientist says
Calls for a cease-fire in Gaza may be well-intentioned, but a halt to the current fighting will not repair the enduring rift between Israelis and Palestinians. That can only happen once the Palestinians abandon an ideology that rejects the legitimacy of a sovereign Jewish state, said Israeli political scientist Einat Wilf ’96.

During a conversation Friday with Tarek Masoud, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Governance and faculty director of the Middle East Initiative at HKS, Wilf spoke about the war in Gaza and why she thinks there’s been so little progress reaching a resolution over the years. The talk was the fifth in an ongoing Middle East Dialogues series at Harvard Kennedy School, organized by Masoud, which aims to showcase a range of viewpoints on the current crisis and promote informed dialogue.

Describing herself as “the poster child of the Israeli Two-Stater Left,” Wilf served in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, from 2010 to 2013 as a member of the Labor Party, which supports the creation of an independent Palestinian state. She said she still favors such a goal, but no longer believes the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is just about land.

“I voted for [Yitzhak] Rabin; I voted for [Ehud] Barak,” she said of the former Labor prime ministers. “I was euphoric in the ’90s, like many Israelis … when Barak goes to Camp David,” she said. “I believed in the vision of a new Middle East.”

But in 2000 and again in 2008, she watched Palestinian leaders refuse the terms of proposals from the Israelis for a state in the West Bank in Gaza.

“And I began to ask myself, ‘What is going on? What do the Palestinians want — because it’s clearly not a state,’” said Wilf, a former intelligence analyst. “They could have had that, and they walked away” without being criticized by the Palestinian people.

She came to that realization after conversations she’s had with many highly educated, moderate Palestinians over the last 20 years. “They basically tell me things like, ‘The Jewish people are not a people. You’re only a religion. This idea that you have a connection to this land, you invented it to steal our own,’” she said.

“And I realized from the conversations with them that how they think about the conflict, and how I think about it, don’t even meet. For them, the very existence of a sovereign Jewish state is illegitimate.”

Friday, April 19, 2024

From Ian:

The Rape Denialists
Considering the overwhelming evidence that sexual assault took place, despite the inherent challenges in collecting such evidence in wartime, it’s difficult to fathom why so many on the anti-Israel left continue to deny that it occurred or cast doubt on its significance.

The most obvious explanation is that by questioning what happened on October 7, activists hope to undercut the rationale for Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. Showing that systematic sexual abuse didn’t happen would, they believe, demonstrate that Israel is engaged in a mass public deception to justify killing Palestinians.

But some experts I spoke with see other factors at play.

The charge that Jews have exaggerated and weaponized their suffering has long been the basis for Holocaust denialism, said Amy Elman, a professor of political science and Jewish studies at Kalamazoo College who has written extensively on anti-Semitism and women’s rights. Now that same claim is being used by anti-Semites to portray efforts at justice for October 7 as “part of a larger nefarious scheme to harm Palestinians.” “Rape denialism is absolutely consistent with Holocaust denialism,” Elman said, and “this rape denialism is another form of anti-Semitism.”

One of the more troubling aspects of the left’s response to October 7 has been to cast the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians in simplistic terms: Palestinians are the oppressed, dark-skinned minority population; Israelis are the white oppressors. Never mind that Israel is a diverse, multiethnic society. (Most American Jews trace their origins to immigrants from Europe, but the majority of Israeli Jews descend from those who came, most often as refugees, from the Middle East and North Africa.) This reductionist binary has also made it easier to explain the conflict to a younger generation unfamiliar with Arab-Israeli history but well versed in the American civil-rights movement.

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, a historian at the New School, says that this black-and-white framing has led to a distorted view of what happened on October 7—one that is informed by a reductive view of modern feminism. “There is a very powerful and understandable resistance on the left,” she told me, “to centering ‘white feminism’ or white womanhood in understanding the experiences of women and the purpose of feminism, domestically and internationally.” By this logic, white feminism is inherently “problematic”—and because many on the left see Israelis as white, she says, they “see any defense of Israeli women as some sort of capitulation to ‘white feminism.’”

Moreover, claims of sexual assault against white women have historically been used to justify racial violence, which has, according to Elman and Petrzela, led some pro-Palestine activists to compare Hamas to Emmett Till, who was accused of whistling at a white woman in the Jim Crow South before his brutal murder. It’s “unhinged,” Petrzela said, “but in some ways totally predictable.”

Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for The Guardian, suggested to me that left-wing rape denialism is, in effect, a refusal to believe that Hamas could stoop so low as to engage in sexual violence. On the surface, this sounds bizarre. Hamas massacred more than 1,100 Israelis, the majority of whom were civilians, and has a long history of massacring Jewish civilians, including children. How could any crime be considered worse than murder? But Freedland says that there are leftists who are prepared to countenance “armed resistance” but cannot do the same for sexual violence. “You can see why it would be essential for them to say that Hamas was ‘only’ guilty of killing and not guilty of rape.”

Freedland noted that Hamas itself has consistently denied that its fighters committed sexual crimes, perhaps in an effort to retain its standing among devout Muslims. “Hamas would be nervous of being seen not as warriors for Palestine but as a bunch of rapists who bring shame on Islam,” he said. Indeed, as Sulitzeanu pointed out to me, some Israeli Arabs who have stood in solidarity with the victims of October 7 have also refused to accept that their Palestinian brethren could commit such heinous, un-Islamic crimes.
Seth Mandel: Progressives’ Pro-War Protest Movement
Yesterday’s protests at Columbia highlighted a key difference between the left-wing protests of generations past and the current demonstrations: While both cheer America’s enemies, the 2024 version is ostentatiously, undeniably pro-war.

I used to shake my head when people would accuse others of being “warmongers,” because the term was so often reserved for people who very obviously did not fit the bill. If you want to know what a warmonger actually is, check out those who have for six months cheered rabidly for the very concept of war itself. Anti-war protesters usually lose interest when the U.S. isn’t involved. But personal interest has no role here; these protesters live vicariously through any fascist with a gun, drone, or rocket launcher.

“Never forget the 7th of October,” they shouted at Jews at Columbia last night. “That will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10 more times, not 100 more times, not 1,000 more times, not 10,000… The 7th of October is going to be every day for you.”

This kind of enthusiasm for the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, complete with sexual torture and the dismemberment of young children, is important to note for several reasons, only one of which is that it highlights these protestors’ uncontrollable urge for the Mideast war to go on forever. It’s also notable because it’s honest: The Hamas-a-thons all around the country have been clear about what their participants want. Screeching bloodlust so explicit it would have made Nazis blush has become the ticket to ride in progressive activist circles.

“Iran, you make us proud!” they cheered in New York City, after the Islamic Republic launched hundreds of ballistic missiles and drones from its territory aimed at Israel, in what was an unprecedented region-wide act of war.

In January, another chant became popular at such gatherings: “Yemen, Yemen, make us proud; turn another ship around!” This was a reference to the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen who declared war on civilian ships traversing the Red Sea. Though the Houthis talk mostly about their hatred for Jews and America, their victims so far have been Vietnamese and Filipino. The Iran attack, lauded by Khamenei fans in New York City, badly injured one person: a young Arab girl. But it doesn’t matter to these psychos whose blood you draw so long as you pair your war strikes with demented comments about Jews.
Iran follows footsteps of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia
Iran’s case is different, and yet the principle – that aggression contains the seeds of its own defeat – applies to it all the same.

Iran’s aggression is unique both technically and substantively. Technically, unlike Germany and Japan, it is endowed with natural resources, and in this regard resembles the Soviet Union. However, unlike the other great aggressors, all of which were driven by secular ideas, Iran is driven by religion.

The ayatollahs believe Iran should dominate the Middle East, Shi’ism should dominate Islam, and Islam should dominate the world. This is what made Tehran spend billions on the creation of militias that destabilize the Middle East, this is what made them dispatch terrorists from Buenos Aires to Bangkok, and this is what now makes them help Russia confront the West in Ukraine.

The free world’s response to this aggression is the same as it was in all three previous cases: strategic reluctance and psychological denial.

It’s easy to say this in hindsight, but the fact is that Germany’s aggression could have been preempted militarily, had the free world not lied to itself that Hitler’s appetite begins and ends in the Sudetenland. Similarly, in May 1939, when Soviet and Japanese armies clashed in Mongolia, the democratic powers could have sided with Moscow, and thus prevented the following summer’s Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and also the subsequent attack on Pearl Harbor.

That, of course, is not how democratic statecraft works. Just like for fascists war is a national value, a moral ideal and a political weapon of first resort, for us democrats it is anathema, trauma, and a weapon of last resort.

That is why the free world in 1956 abandoned Hungary to its Soviet masters’ devices rather than help its anti-Soviet revolt, even after Budapest declared its desire to join NATO.

That is why there was nothing surprising about this week’s pleas to Israel from both Europe and America to avoid a grand retaliation against Iran.

It’s a time-honored tradition in which everyone plays their part: the aggressors keep upping the ante, the free keep denying aggression’s threat, and history, while leading the aggressor to its dustbin, keeps raising freedom’s price.

So yes, the Islamic Republic of Iran, like Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia, will sooner or later collapse. The only question is whether that will happen because of the free world’s conduct, or despite it.
From Ian:

Iran, not Israel, is escalating this war
The West’s admonishments of Israel certainly cannot be put down to simple wavering on Joe Biden’s part. Despite his oft-professed claim to be a staunch supporter of Israel, he has been equivocal in backing Israel in its war against Hamas. Crucially, he has also avoided discussing the Hamas-Iran connection despite it being transparently clear. As Gadi Taub, a veteran Israeli journalist, noted last year: ‘From the get-go, the US denied Iran’s fingerprints on the Hamas attack. National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said there was no “direct” evidence of Iranian involvement.’ That was despite the fact there was ample evidence, including public statements by Hamas leaders thanking Iran for its support.

Last month, the Biden administration approved a sanctions waiver worth $10 billion to Iran – a nation it has publicly declared to be a state sponsor of terrorism. America could have chosen to suspend or discontinue this waiver in the wake of Iran’s assault on Israel, but it has not done so. That it remains in place is all the more remarkable given that a drone attack by an Iranian-backed group recently killed three American soldiers and injured 30 others in Jordan. You don’t have to support the sanctions to notice the wide gap between America’s words and its deeds when it comes to Iran.

Biden’s relatively soft stance on Iran is actually in line with a political realignment among Democrats dating back to the Obama administration, when Biden was vice-president. As Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington, has noted:

‘Those policies began in the week after President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. In one of the 44th president’s first acts of foreign diplomacy, Obama sent an offer of reconciliation to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. That June, in his historic Cairo speech, Obama became the first president to refer to Tehran’s regime as the Islamic Republic of Iran – legitimising the oppressive theocracy – and stood aside while that republic’s thugs beat and shot hundreds of Iranian citizens protesting for their freedom.’

There are two distinct motivations for America’s long-term attempt to tilt away from Israel and towards Iran. The first is geopolitical and the second lies in the sphere of domestic politics.

Where geopolitics is concerned, the Democrats are keen to draw the Islamic Republic, a regime that has condemned America as the ‘Great Satan’, closer into the US’s orbit. Officially, the US has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1980, the year after the Islamists took power in the Iranian Revolution. They have instead tried to maintain relations by other means. These have included the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), unofficially known as the Iran nuclear deal, promoted by Obama and later by Biden.

This is all part of a broader US strategy known as the pivot to Asia. The aim is to reorient American foreign policy away from the Middle East and towards East Asia. Its priority is to contain China.

The Biden administration’s hope is that defusing tensions with the hostile forces in the Middle East will make its pivot to Asia easier. Yet since the pivot was announced, the US has found itself dragged into further conflicts in the Middle East, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. America has also found itself reluctantly drawn into the periodic conflicts between Israel and Hamas. Biden wants to untangle America from this bitter strife as much as he possibly can. This means downgrading its commitments to Israel.

What’s more, the Biden administration, like Obama before it, is increasingly influenced by domestic identity politics. Many grassroots US Democrats see the conflicts involving Israel in simplistic black and white terms. Israel is today portrayed as a regional bastion of privilege – supposedly akin to those who enjoy privilege at home in America – with the Palestinians representing the oppressed. The involvement of Islamist movements in the region, which have pledged to destroy Israel, is ignored or at least downplayed. The activists who hold this view have placed considerable pressure on Biden to withdraw support for Israel.

There are also notable overlaps between the Islamist worldview and the woke worldview. Both tend to see Israel representing the side of evil. Both fail to distinguish between the Palestinian people and Hamas, with its goal of an international Islamic order. And both also tend to downplay or even dismiss the role of anti-Semitism as a key motivating force in the current conflict.

Today, Israel faces not just the wrath of its genocidal enemies – from Hamas to Iran and its other proxies. It also has to contend with its increasing isolation from the West. This is a dangerous moment.
Bernard-Henri Lévy: Israel Must Respond Forcefully to Iran’s Attack
The Islamic Republic of Iran is not just a failed regime, economically ruined, disavowed by its youth, women, and its living elements, revealed to have the force of a paper tiger.

It’s also a country that—like the USSR of recent times, where there coexisted both a real country devastated by economic misery and public demoralization, and decoupled from that, an ultramodern military-industrial complex able to compete with the United States—established a secret but effective nuclear industry.

It’s a country whose programs in that area have only grown and prospered as America changed course, over the last 15 years, oscillating between Obama’s ineffectual and misbegotten policy of détente and, under Trump, ineffectual ranting.

And, as for Iran’s nuclear programs, their sites have been moved and often buried over the years; their centrifuges have become capable of producing enough enriched uranium to build stockpiles 22 times above the limit authorized by the 2015 nuclear deal; IAEA inspectors no longer have meaningful access to them. These sites have become giant black holes, off the radar, from which the world could learn, in six months, in a year, suddenly, that Iran has been allowed to join North Korea and Russia in the club of dictatorships capable of setting the planet on fire …

I’ll add that the same Iranian drones that, with the exception of a young girl in the south of the country, systematically missed their targets are the very ones that Putin has used, for two years now, to ravage Ukraine.

And I’ll add that the same Iran that was mocked, this Monday morning, for its pathetic failure in the face of the solidity of the Iron Dome, recently engaged, in the Persian Gulf, in joint naval maneuvers, largely unnoticed, with the Russian and Chinese navies.

Let’s imagine, then, that the Iranian regime emerges unharmed from this adventure.

Let’s imagine that it sees this adventure not as a lamentable defeat, but as a dress rehearsal. And let’s suppose that they repeat it, six months, a year from now, with faster and more accurate drones and missiles, equipped with operational nuclear warheads.

That, for Israel and, beyond, for the region, is a terrifying prospect. It is a clear existential threat.

And that is why it feels unreasonable to me that “cowardly relief” reigns among Israel’s allies and dictates, everywhere, the same recommendation for “de-escalation” and “restraint.”

Iran has declared war.

There is no other choice, alas, but to retaliate.
Victor Davis Hanson: Are Iran’s Nine Lives Nearing an End?
Before the Biden appeasement of Iran, the Trump administration had isolated and nearly bankrupted Tehran and its proxies. Its Revolutionary Guard terrorist planners proved to be easy targets once they operated outside Iran.

Iran’s only hope is to get a bomb and, with it, nuclear deterrence to prevent retaliation when it increases its terrorist surrogate attacks on Israel, the West, and international commerce.

Yet now Iran may have jumped the shark by attacking the Israeli homeland for the first time. It is learning that it has almost no sympathetic allies.

Does even the Lebanese Hezbollah really want to take revenge against Israel on behalf of Persian Iran, only to see its Shia neighborhoods in Lebanon reduced to rubble?

Do all the pro-Hamas protestors on American campuses and in the streets really want to show Americans they celebrate Iranian attacks and a potential Iranian war against the United States?

Does Iran really believe 99 percent of any future Israel barrage against Iranian targets would fail to hit targets in the fashion that its own recent launches failed?

Does Iran really believe that its sheer incompetence in attacking Israel warrants them a pardon—as if they should be excused for trying, but not succeeding, to kill thousands of Jews?

In sum, by unleashing a terrorist war in the Middle East and targeting the Israeli homeland, Iran may wake up soon and learn Israel, or America, or both might retaliate for a half-century of its terrorist aggression—and mostly to the indifference or even the delight of most of the world.
  • Friday, April 19, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon


Iran International looks again a that supposed fatwa that Ayatollah Khamenei made against Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Contrary to widespread perception, a fatwa itself is not a legal document – but, an advisory opinion on Islamic law offered by a high-ranking cleric. It is not set in stone and can be changed at any time.

But nonetheless, when examining Khamenei's "nuclear fatwa", three questions have remained unanswered for public opinion from the outset: Was the opinion expressed by Khamenei really a fatwa? Is Ali Khamenei in the position of issuing fatwas? And, how and for what purpose was this opinion sold to the global community under the title of a fatwa?

His statement to the nuclear disarmament conference on April 10, 2010, was presented as Khamenei's "nuclear fatwa". Typically, heads of state issue statements or messages to conferences, not fatwas. The content of this message bears no resemblance to the fatwas issued by Shia jurists throughout history. Khamenei's statement opens with "we believe," a phrase not traditionally used by Islamic jurists to begin their fatwas. It reads:
"We believe that besides nuclear weapons, other types of weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons also pose a serious threat to humanity. The Iranian nation … feels more than any other nation the danger that is caused by the production and stockpiling of such weapons… We consider the use of such weapons as haram [forbidden] and believe that everyone must make efforts to secure humanity against this great disaster.”  
Shia jurists do not include public opinions within the text of a fatwa. In the Shia jurisprudence tradition, jurists typically also do not provide reasons for their fatwas within the body of the text itself, contrasting with Khamenei's approach of arguing for his opinion in this statement. It is also in contrast with other fatwas, given the rarity of fatwas issued on this particular topic. Integrating this opinion into any of the 52 chapters of Shia jurisprudence, as outlined in classical Shia texts, proves difficult.


...Framing this opinion as a fatwa aimed to alleviate pressure by invoking religious beliefs that would persuade the audience of its credibility. Of course, the international community had not yet fully understood the blurred lines between religious and political leadership in Iran, with some viewing Khamenei as the country's spiritual leader.

This fatwa also pursued two other goals: to make the nuclear program appear peaceful, which was doubted by the international community, and to provide legitimacy for the project of building the Islamic Empire, of which nuclearization was considered an integral part.

The authorities even tried to formalize this fake fatwa by incorporating it into a United Nations resolution. By presenting Khamenei's opinion as a fatwa, the orchestrators showed deep insight into international dynamics. Aware of the pressures on Iran, they aimed to lessen these by strategically blending religious rhetoric with political maneuvers, targeting global perceptions and responses to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran lies, all the time. And they know that the world will continue to believe the lies.  




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By Daled Amos 


This interview was done before Israel's response to Iran's attack this morning. It outlines an approach that in fact appears to be the one adopted by Israel in Syria and Iran.

"Israel continuing undeterred to attack Iranian interests as before, would frustrate the Iranian attempt to stop Israeli action against Iran and their proxies"
Irwin Mansdorf, Ph.D., fellow at the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs specializing in political psychology 

Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf



In your recent article, To Respond or Not to Respond: Is That the Real Question? you discuss the issue of Israel's deterrence of Iran, in light of Iran's direct attack on Israel. From a psychological standpoint, what is the definition of deterrence? How is its success measured?

Deterrence is simply reducing the probability, frequency, or intensity of an action. For Iran, deterrence is directed at Israel’s actions against Iranian interests in Syria, Lebanon, and in Iran proper. For Israel, deterrence is targeted against Iranian aggression against Israel.

Israel has been attacking Iranian targets both in Syria and in Iran itself for years now. What do you think Israel's goal has been, and has it been successful?

Israeli actions in Syria differ from Israeli actions in Iran. Most of the activity in Syria was directed against arming Iranian proxies who fight Israel. Action on Iranian soil was directed largely at thwarting Iranian nuclear ambitions. Measuring success is relative, and since the motivation for attacking Israel and developing nuclear capability still exists, we can only talk about suppressing behavior as opposed to eliminating it.

As a psychological tool, does Israeli deterrence rely only on the 2 opposing parties, or is there a message there for Israel's "allies" in the West and the Gulf as well?

To the degree that Israeli interests align with that of “allies,” the message is the same. But for each “ally”, there are domestic considerations, and those considerations can determine how far any country will go in their cooperation with Israel or the United States against Iran.

You indicated in your article that the debate of whether Israel needs to retaliate has overlooked Iran's purpose in launching their barrage of drones and missiles. What was Iran's intent? How does that goal affect Israel's calculation of whether to retaliate immediately? What do you think Israel should do?

The immediate goal of Iran was to “punish” Israel for the strike that killed several top IRG commanders. This was a public humiliation for the Iranian regime that they apparently felt they needed to respond to. By launching such a massive response, they hoped for success, which would be a reduction in Israeli activity against Iran. However, Iran’s ultimate intent is to destroy Israel. That has been made clear time and time again. I don’t think there was an expectation that the drone and missile attack would destroy Israel, but it certainly was a test of their weaponry and an exercise that was aimed at convincing Israel to restrain attacks against Iranian interests.

Since Iran’s goal was to reduce Israeli military and covert operations against Iranian interests, Israel needs to continue according to a plan that demonstrates that the Iranian attack did not achieve that goal.

You write:

Considering the success of Israel in its defensive stance, any future Iranian actions in response to Israeli initiatives should be viewed as a failure in Iran’s stated goal of deterrence, viz. Israel

Can you elaborate?

I don’t think that Iran expected that their drone and missile attack would fail to produce more damage than it did. That reduced the deterrent effect of their action. Considering the scale of their attack, they would be risking an even greater loss of deterrence should a subsequent attack produce similarly limited results.

Business as usual -- Israel continuing undeterred to attack Iranian interests as before -- would frustrate the Iranian attempt to stop Israeli action against Iran and their proxies. While a larger-scale "show" attack would certainly make waves, we need to keep in mind that Iran's purpose in their attack was to stop the current Israeli policy, and an approach that counters those goals would appear to be most effective, and, given the international support at the moment, the most functional and practical for Israel to take.


In 2006, Kissinger wrote:

A modern, strong, peaceful Iran could become a pillar of stability and progress in the region. This cannot happen unless Iran's leaders decide whether they are representing a cause or a nation — whether their basic motivation is crusading or international cooperation. The goal of the diplomacy of the Six should be to oblige Iran to confront this choice.

Hamas sees itself more as a cause than as a nation, claiming that the defense of Gazans falls to the UN and Israel. Would that explain in part why deterrence has not worked?

Absolutely. Hamas is an abbreviation for the “Islamic” resistance movement, and “Palestine” is not even part of their name. Their motivation may include nationalistic goals, but their primary purpose is a religious one—and that sort of ideology is much more resistant to change

What about Iran -- do you think their "cause" of spreading Islam in general and their brand of radical Islam in particular help explain why the West, for its part, has had difficulty deterring Iran? Is it possible to successfully deter Iran?

“Deterrence” is temporary. Within Islamist philosophy, temporary breaks in fighting are acceptable so long as the goal of ultimate victory can be resumed at a later stage. The religious ideology of Iran’s leadership will not be deterred, in the conventional sense, from moving towards their ultimate goal. While they may make temporary concessions that, to Western eyes, may appear to be steps toward accommodation, this is only a “break in action” until the circumstances and conditions are ripe for them to take the next step toward their goals. Iran may seem to accept “moderation” as a temporary and functional step, but their ideology will always keep its goals against Israel and the United States on “standby” until they are able to take action.





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  • Friday, April 19, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon


Jordan's official Petra News Agency reports:
Minister of Endowments, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, Dr. Muhammad Al-Khalayleh, condemned the desecration of the courtyards of the Blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque/the Holy Mosque by extremist Jewish leaders and groups.

Al-Khalayla said in a statement today, Thursday, that the attacks took place under the protection of the occupation police and with the support of political leaders in the government of the occupying authority.
Al Jazeera shows the actual Jews doing a full ninety seconds of storming. "On Thursday, dozens of extremist settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, under heavy Israeli police guard. "



So much storming! So much desecration! Such extreme attacks! It's almost too much to bear!





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  • Friday, April 19, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Late Wednesday, I published a Twitter/X poll asking my readers what Israel's response to Iran's attack was likely to look like: 



"Symbolic attack" placed only 7th out of 8 choices, but that appears to be the actual response after the initial reports of a much larger set of airstrikes, reported primarily by ABC News  and then repeated and elaborated on by others.

Israel was trying hard to come up with a response that threaded the needle between lots of competing desires: don't prompt an escalation, don't appear weak, don't upset Joe Biden, don't wait too long.

We still don't know all the details, but we know that Israel hit an airbase near Isfahan as well as an air defense site in Syria. The latest reports say it was hit with missiles fired from aircraft, probably from outside Iranian airspace.  Earlier reports that drones were involved appear to not be true.

At the moment it appears that the attack was calibrated to appear similar to Iran's target of an Israeli airbase. In that case the target was also chosen to be symbolic. Iran tried to hit the airfield from which Israel allegedly struck Damascus, killing senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards leaders. 

But the symbolism in this morning's strike is multifaceted..

First of all, Iran's strike was much more massive - and much less successful. Israel is sending a message that it can hit Iran much more easily than Iran can hit Israel. 

Secondly, the choice of an airbase in Isfahan is significant, since Iran has nuclear facilities in Isfahan. Israel is telling Iran that it could have done a lot more if it wanted.

Thirdly, it is Iran's Supreme Leader's 85th birthday today.  Israel was sending an unmistakable "present" not only where but also exactly when it wants to. 

Fourthly, Israel's response was a surprise, unlike Iran's which was telegraphed for days - if not carrier-pigeoned.

Fifthly, Israel made it clear to the world that it would not succumb to massive Western pressure notto respond.

Sixthly, Israel sent a message that it was not isolated - it has powerful friends to help it defend itself. Iran has no one.

Finally, Iran  had promised it would respond to the tiniest attack "within seconds" at an "immediate and maximum level." Iran has lost credibility, both to its people and to the Arab world altogether that it wants so badly to lead.

Iran is very sensitive to symbolism, and it received these messages loud and clear.  







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Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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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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