Sunday, January 23, 2022

From Ian:

Bret Stephens: What an Antisemite’s Fantasy Says About Jewish Reality
A moral conviction of our time, especially prevalent on the cultural left, is that the powerful are presumptively bad while the powerless are presumptively good. These categories aren’t just political. They are also social, economic, ethnic and racial. It’s why so many conversations today revolve around the concept of “privilege” — a striking redefinition of success that removes the presumption of merit from those who have it and the stigma of failure from those who don’t.

It’s also the likeliest reason there was so much obvious hesitancy to describe the attack in Texas as antisemitic. Unlike the Pittsburgh shooter or the “Jews will not replace us” crowd at Charlottesville — white, right-wing, mostly Christian and therefore “privileged” — the Texas assailant was a British Muslim of Pakistani descent. Not white. Not privileged. Not right-wing. In the binary narrative of the powerful versus the powerless, his naked antisemitism just doesn’t compute: Powerless people are supposed to be victims, not murderous bigots. If he had ranted against Israel for oppressing Palestinians, it might have made more sense. And if he had donned a MAGA hat, we would certainly have had a much fuller exploration of his antisemitism, without time wasted exploring his other motives or state of mind.

For American Jews, this small silence about what happened last week should be profoundly worrisome, and not just as a matter of a journalistic lapse. It’s bad enough that the Jewish state, which gained what power it has because its neighbors threatened it with extinction, is still treated by so many as a global pariah — its sympathizers abroad risking social or professional ostracism by mere association. It’s bad enough, too, that the foul antisemitism of the right, yoked to its old themes of nativism, protectionism, nationalism and isolationism, is erupting into the public square like a burst sewage pipe.

Now American Jews find ourselves at perhaps the most successful period in our history, at a moment when much of the progressive left has decreed that privilege is a sin and that those who hold power should be stripped of it. Anyone with a long view of Jewish history should know how quickly economic and social privilege can turn to political and personal ruin, even — or especially — in countries where it might seem unthinkable.

There’s much to be thankful for about how things ended last week in Texas, and about the outpouring of love and support, across faiths, for a little Jewish community. But the wise counsel for Jews is to be grateful for last week’s good luck, while taking it as a warning that our luck in America may run out.

Why 2022 will be critical for Jews in Europe
The year 2021 was alarming for Jews in Europe. In May, there was an escalation of antisemitism as violence flared in the Middle East. Synagogues in Germany were vandalized and Israeli flags burnt.

Similar antisemitic incidents were seen elsewhere, and online threats surged. Another dangerous trend has been the rise in antisemitic conspiracy theories during the pandemic. The narrative that Jews have benefited financially from the crisis continues to spread on social media.

Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have vowed to tackle antisemitic content, but more needs to be done. A Paris appeals court last week ruled that Twitter must disclose details of the human and technical resources it employs to moderate hate speech, confirming an earlier decision in favor of the Union of Jewish Students in France and other NGOs.

Governments and European organizations have also stepped up the fight against antisemitism with new initiatives. The 47-state Council of Europe issued a detailedRecommendation on Preventing and Combating Antisemitism. The European Commission, meanwhile, presented its Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030), including funding to protect Jewish communities. All 27 EU member states are expected to adopt national antisemitism strategies by the end of 2022.
David Collier: The outrageous hypocrisy of Anum Qaisar MP
Three weeks after an MP was bigging up increasing trade with the serial human rights abuser Pakistan, she was in Parliament calling for trade boycotts against the UK’s democratic ally Israel. Did she think nobody would notice? This outrageous hypocrisy exposes Islamist driven political bias at the heart of Westminster. Is this really what her constituents voted her into office to do?

Anum Qaisar
Anum Qaisar (she recently seems to have dropped the use of ‘Qaisar-Javed’ as her surname) is the MP for Airdrie and Shotts. Qaisar was originally a Labour activist, and was former general secretary of Muslim Friends of Labour. She defected to the SNP over Scottish independence. On the UK Government website, she identifies her nationality as Scottish, her ethnicity as Pakistani and the religion she follows as Islam. She openly says that being a proud ‘Scottish-Pakistani Muslim’ shapes the way she lives her life.

No problem so far. Although there were issues with her selection as a candidate for the seat. There were accusations that she was pushed through because of her friendship with the then SNP Scottish Justice Minister – Humza Haroon Yousaf. This was against the wishes of some local SNP party members – who said they were ‘disgusted at the way the selection had been handled and at the lack of respect to the branch‘.

Qaisar and the Israel issue
Following her defection to the SNP, Qaisar swiftly aligned with the SNP Friends of Palestine (image left 2015, image right 2016):

Qaisar won the byelection on the 14th May 2021. On the very same day, the toxic anti-Israel organisation CAABU published an anti-Israel letter signed by several politicians. Incredibly Qaisar found time to sign it – which makes this one of her first public political actions following her election win.

Leaving aside her traditional maiden speech in May 2021, the next time Anum Qaisar spoke in Parliament was on the 10th June 2021. What was the subject that drove her to ask a question? Israel. Her question was about arms sales to Israel and ‘the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli Government’.

Qaisar also made a tweet to let everyone know what she had done. She ended the tweet with the ‘free Palestine’ hashtag:
  • Sunday, January 23, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week, NGO Monitor sent a letter to the UN expressing concern over five of the six candidates being considered for the position of "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967." In the letter, NGO Monitor noted that "Special Rapporteurs are required to exhibit personal integrity, expertise, independence, impartiality, and objectivity. Unfortunately, at least five of the six eligible candidates (as appear on the OHCHR website) have records of substantial anti-Israel partisanship (see attached report). They cannot be said to fulfill the requirements of impartiality and objectivity as required by HRC resolution 5/1."

The letter was not made public.

But today, Palestinian NGO Al Haq - which has been linked to the PFLP terror  group - published the letter.

Which strongly indicates that someone in the UN leaked the letter to an organization with clear links to terror, that is now being investigated by the European Commission for possible terror ties. 

Shawan Jabarin, Al Haq's general director, is a convicted terrorist who maintains his membership and ties to the PFLP.  (And he is also a member of Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Board!) 

Al Haq itself - supposedly a human rights group - has never condemned PFLP terror attacks and does not seem to have ever condemned any Palestinian for any terror attack against Jews. It has downplayed and minimized the Hamas rockets from Gaza that reached Tel Aviv and killed multiple Israelis last May as merely  "homemade Palestinian rockets."

Al Haq has justified terrorist attacks against Israeli Jews as being legal: "Resistance against occupation and its arbitrary practices is legitimate under international law, and these acts are considered a part of the Palestinian people‘s resistance and struggle against occupation in order to achieve their right to liberation and independence, the occupation forces call it 'terrorism.'" 

So now we have a link between a UN Human Rights Council employee and a group whose leader is an unrepentant terrorist and which supports and condones terrorist attacks against Jews.

This is the cesspool that is the UN Human Rights Council.

  • Sunday, January 23, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here are some of the antisemitic articles in Arabic media from today. 

MENAFN has a column that begins:
What characterizes the Zionist movement is its hostility to all human beings, selfish behavior, devoid of all noble human values. It is a destructive, arrogant movement directed by Machiavelli’s theory (the end justifies the means)...
Zionism is the most dangerous movement in human history, because they do not despair  and do not rush matters. What is important to them is that they achieve what they want and achieve their goals. To demonstrate this, I would like to remind you of the first conference of the Zionist movement, which was held in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, chaired by Theodor Herzl. Decades ago I read interpretations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion...

Al Mal News has a story titled "The historical roots of Israeli psychopathy" that traces this supposed psychopathy from Jewish lust for wealth - somehow symbolized by the story of the Golden Calf - through Jewish oppression of Palestinians,

Al Watan says that the Jewish people are a fabricated people, and the Ashkenazim are not really Jews but really there is no Jewish nation altogether anyway.

The Islamic Christian Committee for the Support of Al-Quds and the Holy Sites affirmed that the United Nations resolution against the denial of the Holocaust without addressing the suffering of the Palestinian people, and the killings, isolation and Israeli siege they are subjected to, constitutes a breach of the legal and moral responsibility of the international organization.

The commission added that the Holocaust has turned into a Zionist industry in order to extort positions and money, and is being used in the media and politically to cover up Israel's crimes and its historical responsibility for displacing the Palestinian people from their land through murder and terrorism.
An academic conference in Jordan said that the Jewish ties to Jerusalem is a myth, saying that "Jewish historians are the ones who write the history related to the city of Jerusalem based on their trends and whims, in an attempt to obliterate any non-Jewish historical and archaeological identities found in the city." The real facts, according to this conference, is that Jews only controlled Jerusalem for 28 years after the Maccabi revolt, and never at any other time.

Al-Fath News describes how Jews own the media, with a reproduction of a story I discussed a couple of weeks ago. 

A columnist in Raia Al Youm (Jordan) says that the task of pro-Palestinian activists in the West is very difficult, because "some of them sometimes lose their job if they work for an institution where the Jews have influence."

This is just one day's worth of endemic, systemic Jew-hatred in Arabic language media.

  • Sunday, January 23, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week the Jerusalem municipality demolished two homes built illegally on land that didn't belong to the residents.

Ma'an News has an op-ed by the Palestinian "ambassador" to Portugal describing this as a crime against humanity.

Among things that this Palestinian official says are:
It is an embodiment of the Zionist nature in the ethnic cleansing of the owners of the land..... Whoever committed this heinous crime against the Al-Salihiya family of Jerusalem is not a human being.

It is a crime against humanity par excellence, is a stain on humanity’s forehead and a thorn in what remains of the human conscience.

The Palestinians are the incubator of its three monotheistic religions....What is happening in Sheikh Jarrah is demolition and Judaization with the aim of ethnic cleansing of the grandchildren of the builders of this holy city, the Palestinians.
In the small town of Ardmore, Oklahoma, population 25,000, 80 houses were demolished between July and December of 2021.

If Israel demolishing two houses is a crime against humanity, then what is the demolition of eighty homes in a tiny town in Oklahoma?

House demolitions are part of local government around the world. Only when Israel does it, and when the people who broke the law are Arabs, does it become a huge international incident with over-the-top accusations. 

Even if you don't consider Israel to have legally annexed Jerusalem, as the occupier it would still have the responsibility of maintaining local zoning laws!

This obsession is just more antisemitism. It doesn't happen anywhere there aren't Jews who could be blamed.

The squatters say they will appeal to the ICC. Really.

  • Sunday, January 23, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Iran's International Quran News Agency:

Muhammad al-Awadi withdrew from the J4 Dubai Tournament 2022 that is taking place in the UAE city from January 17 to 22, 2022, Al-Alam reported.

Social media activists lauded the move as a rejection of normalization of ties with the Zionist occupiers of Palestine.

They also regarded it as being in line with Kuwait’s support for the Palestinian cause.

Yusuf al-Sanad, a member of the Persian Gulf Scholars Union, wrote n Twitter that the Kuwaiti hero announced his withdrawal from the competition in solidarity with the people of Palestine and in rejction of the Zionist regime’s terrorism.

Osama al-Shaheen, a member of Kuwait’s parliament also tweeted, “Greetings and thanks to the Kuwaiti hero Muhammad al-Awadi for his refusal to normalize sports competition with the Zionists.”

The Youths for Al-Quds Society wrote on its Instagram page that normalization with the Israeli regime is an act of treachery and that the Kuwaiti tennis player’s move is worthy of praise.

If the Arab nations that would refuse to play against Israeli opponents wanted to be consistent, they shouldn't enter any tournaments that allow Israeli players to begin with. They should boycott them because they are "normalizing" with Israel.

By entering the tournaments, they are agreeing that it is an honor to compete in the tournaments to begin with even with Israeli players. 

Choosing only to withdraw if they happen to draw an Israeli opponent shows that there is nothing honorable or about withdrawal - it is pure cowardice. 

Israel doesn't suffer from the "snub."  An Israeli youth will now reach the finals, guaranteed at least second place. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

  • Saturday, January 22, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

Khaberni, which is a pan-Arab site but most popular in Jordan, has a fluff article about whether incense can help cure envy.

The article mentions that "Envy is one of the characteristics of the Jews." Later it says, "The envious person is similar to the Jews, because the Jews envy people for the blessings that God has given them."

And just in case you don't get the message, it adds, "The envious person is a vile person because he does not like good for others."

This is the sort of everyday antisemitism in Arab media that is simply ignored in the West.

Islam does not recommend incense to cure envy, by the way.

From Ian:

People Love Dead Jews—What About Living Ones?
America has a Jewish problem.

It’s strange to write that sentence, but the numbers are plain. Ninety percent of American Jews say antisemitism is a problem in the United States. Eighty-two percent say it has increased in the last five years. And this isn’t simply a Trump-era phenomenon: those who say American Jews are less secure now than a year ago outnumber those who say conditions are better by three-to-one.

These numbers pre-date the January 15 hostage crisis in a Colleyville, Texas synagogue. They represent something that’s been in progress much longer: the resettling of scenery after the American Jewish community’s pre-pandemic annus horribilis. One crisis supplanted another, but the worry continued to simmer: that the post-war story of Jews in America was simply a happy chapter in a longer and more complicated relationship.

In October 2018, a gunman murdered 11 Jews at prayer in Pittsburgh; the following April, another shooter entered a synagogue outside San Diego. All the while, greater New York endured a spike in targeted street violence against Haredi Jews that culminated when, in December, attackers sought out Jews to murder at a kosher supermarket in New Jersey (but only because they couldn’t get into the Jewish elementary school next door, where dozens of children hid) and, two weeks later, at a Chanukah party in upstate New York.

Covid made that year’s sheer awfulness surprisingly easy to forget (or at least set aside), even for me, pressed into service to chair my synagogue’s hastily-formed security committee. I spent the second half of 2019 designing and explaining emergency procedures, meeting with security consultants, memorizing the locations of panic buttons and emergency medical kits, and learning how to pack gauze into a bullet wound (keep packing).

Dara Horn was pressed into a different kind of service. A talented and award-winning novelist, she became one of the country’s go-to experts to explain violence against Jews, past and present.

This led to an unsettling epiphany and the genesis of her new collection of essays: dead Jews were the kind of Jews publishers, editors, and readers wanted her to discuss. “People love dead Jews,” she explains in the first sentence of the first essay. “Living Jews, not so much.”
American Jews Will Not Cower
The reality is that Jews have been the disproportionate target of hate crimes in this country for many years, and this needs to be highlighted and addressed. It is a narrative that has not been particularly popular to hear in recent years, generally shunned by the mainstream media. This, despite the fact that Jewish Americans are the lead victims of religiously motivated hate crimes in this country, year after year. Instead, Jews are too often wrongly seen as just another privileged, “white” class of Americans that need to keep their heads down and stop trying to “play the victim card.”

And so we do. We are careful not to rock the boat. We laugh uneasily at the jokes made about how weak and scared Jews are on the one hand, and how evil and aggressive the Israelis and Zionists (read: Jews) of the world are on the other hand. We file our security incidents with law enforcement, and shrug our shoulders when we discover that too many police fail to file formal reports for fear of feeding soaring crime statistics.

It is true that a little light will combat much darkness. But it is also true that there is still a lot of good in this world. Jews have been protecting their way of life, and the lives of others, for millennia, whether in the United States or around the world — and we will continue to do so. Jews have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of. These are not the darkest times for Jews in this country or in world history; not even close. Jews have many allies. We have the silent majority in this country behind us. We serve proudly in all levels of government, the military, law enforcement, academia, entertainment and the sciences. We should be celebrating these accomplishments.

What is needed is for the silent majority in this country to start speaking up. Jews are unique in that they are hated by the far right, by the far left, and by radical Islamists. Haters might say that it is a sign that we are responsible for all the evils in the world, but in reality, it is a sign of their ignorance. The far-left elements in the Democratic party need to be condemned by their fellow Democrats, and not ignored or excused. The same is true for the extremists in the Republican party. And brave Muslim leaders such as Duke University Professor Abdullah Antepli, a founder of the Muslim Leadership Initiative, should be praised for his calls on fellow Muslims to address their own “alarming internal problem” of “increasing antisemitism” that necessitates “morally required tough conversations.”

Attacks on Jews — both verbal and physical, and whether on our city streets or on college campuses — must be condemned by all good members of society, and these stories should not be ignored or pushed to the back pages of our news media.

Jews will not cower and should not be scared. Colleyville should, and will, serve as yet another wakeup call for the Jewish community and all of our allies, that we must learn from these events and do a better job of protecting ourselves and speaking out against hate.

And we will.

Friday, January 21, 2022

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: A lethal state of denial
The Islamophobia canard has been eagerly endorsed by those in the wider community for whom the very concept of Jewish victimisation is a problem.

That pathology is on regular display at the BBC, which has been doubling down on its apparently baseless report last month that orthodox Jewish teenagers set upon by Muslim men in an antisemitic attack in the centre of London themselves voiced an anti-Muslim slur.

The deep reluctance by the wider community to acknowledge Muslim antisemitism has been further facilitated by the silence of British Jews on this issue. For the community’s leaders never mention it. Instead, they lash out at any Jew who dares call it out.

At the Board of Deputies, 46 left-wing members are demanding that the Jewish National Fund UK charity gets rid of its chairman, Samuel Hayek, over his “Islamophobic” suggestion that Jews might soon be forced out of the United Kingdom because of the rising number of Muslims who hate or want to harm Jewish people.

This misplaced attack by Jewish liberals is idiotic and disgraceful. For antisemitism is not only rampant in the Muslim world but is absolutely central to Islamic extremism.

Numerous Islamist terrorists have made it clear that, in attacking the west, their most fundamental target is the Jews. At war against modernity, they believe that behind modernity stand the Jews — who they think are behind everything in the world that the Islamists have decided is bad.

This doesn’t mean every Muslim antisemite will turn into a terrorist. But it does mean that every Muslim terrorist is an antisemite.

Antisemitism doesn’t just endanger the Jews. It is the marker for Islamic extremism. Until this is realised, the west will continually fail to understand the threat it faces.
Caroline Glick: Colleyville and the 'professional' civil servants
We also don't know who was responsible for permitting Akram, a British national with a criminal record, a history of public support for terrorism and a mental illness, to enter the United States. But then again, it's fairly clear that De Sarno and the FBI Dallas Field Office he leads played no role in that failure.

At any rate, given the outcome at the scene, from a professional statecraft perspective, De Sarno and his team played things by the book. De Sarno's denial of the terrorist's antisemitic motivation had nothing to do with professionalism. It was a political/ideological pronouncement. It wasn't made in a vacuum. And it should be deeply disconcerting to all Americans because it is a testament to a growing pathology within the FBI.

Over the past 15 years, much of the federal government, including the FBI and the US Department of Justice, have been politicized and radicalized. The first major demonstration of the politicization came in 2013 with the IRS's discriminatory use of its regulatory authorities against organizations and individuals aligned with the conservative and Republican side of the ideological/political spectrum.

In 2016, US intelligence agencies unlawfully targeted Donald Trump's presidential campaign. To promote a clear political agenda, the heads of the FBI and the Department of Justice wrongfully used their authority as intelligence and law enforcement "professionals" to conduct politically motivated, evidence-free criminal probes, first of candidate and later of President Donald Trump and his advisors. These investigations, which cost US taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, hamstrung Trump and his administration for two and a half years. They subverted Trump's domestic and foreign policies and contributed to unprecedented discord and division in American society.

And this brings us to De Sarno's absurd denial of the antisemitic nature of Akram's actions at Beth Israel. As FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland have proclaimed in Congressional testimony over the past year, as far as the FBI and the Justice Department are concerned, the gravest terror threat facing the United States emanates from "domestic terrorists" (aka, Trump supporters). Islamic terrorists and violent far-left groups like ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter who looted and burned America's cities, killing dozens and causing billions of dollars in damages throughout much of 2020, lag well behind the MAGA crowd in terms of the danger they pose to America and its citizens.

Given the gravity of the perceived threat, naturally, US counter-terror and law enforcement agencies have invested their time, manpower and resources in investigating American citizens who participated in or supported the violent demonstration at Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021.

Akram was not a Trump supporter. He was not a white supremacist. He was an Islamic antisemite and terrorist. And so he was an inconvenient distraction from the real threat the FBI is concerned with.

De Sarno's false construal of Akram's motives flows naturally from the political/ideological closed circle of today's FBI.
The Caroline Glick Show: Ep35 – Can you rebuild a democracy after a deep state coup? | Guest: Lee Smith
Against the backdrop of plea bargain negotiations between Benjamin Netanyahu and state prosecutors that may well banish Netanyahu from politics for good, in this week’s episode of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline and co-host Gadi Taub spoke with Lee Smith, the author of The Permanent Coup and The Plot Against the President. The three discussed the influence the respective deep state coups in the U.S. and Israel that have unseated elected leaders have had on the two societies and what they portend for the future. They then shifted to the FBI’s denial of the anti-Semitic motive of the Islamic terrorist who took four Jews hostage at Beth Israel synagogue in Texas over the weekend and what it means for the future of Jews and anti-Semitism in the United States.

  • Friday, January 21, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

From Ian:

Gil Troy: Remember Deir Yassin!
Deir Yassin. For decades it was the main count in the Palestinian indictment against Zionism and Israel. In the 1970s, when Palestinian terrorists butchered schoolkids and Olympic athletes, they and their supporters cried “remember Deir Yassin!” In the 2000s, when Palestinian leaders blew up the Oslo Peace Process by dispatching suicide bombers to Israeli buses and cafes, they and their supporters cried “remember Deir Yassin!” Even today, the massacre of 254 Arabs, including 25 pregnant women, 50 breastfeeding mothers, and 60 other women—followed by mass rapes and other atrocities in this pastoral village just outside Jerusalem—remains one of the prime movers of anti-Zionism, an often-invoked justification for the rejectionism and crimes of Palestinian extremists. In their still-defining book on 1948, O Jerusalem, Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre describe Jews cutting open a pregnant woman’s stomach “with a butcher’s knife,” and slashing at least two people “from head to toe,” as they “killed” and “looted,” then, “finally they raped.”

But what if, as professor Eliezer Tauber argues in his new book, Deir Yassin is The Massacre That Never Was?

Tauber’s book, subtitled The Myth of Deir Yassin and the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, may have been 2021’s most snubbed yet significant scholarly work. Originally published in Hebrew in 2017 as Deir Yassin: Sof Hamitos ­(Deir Yassin: The End of the Myth), it was ignored then, as it is being ignored now.

Tauber, who founded Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Middle Eastern Studies, is a tenacious researcher, offering nearly 100 pages of Arab, Israeli, and British sourcing to back 208 pages of text. He painstakingly recreates the battle of Deir Yassin, noting who fought where, who had how many guns, and who died. Sixty of the Arabs who died were men, and 41 were women—some dressed as men and armed to fight. Tauber concludes that 61 of the 84 Arabs whose circumstances of death were ascertained “were killed under battle conditions.”

The battle began early on Friday, April 9, 1948, five weeks before David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. Since the United Nations had voted a Jewish state into existence on Nov. 29, 1947, Arab extremists in Palestine had launched a guerilla war against their Jewish neighbors. The British, who controlled Palestine under the 1920 Mandate, were counting down to their U.N.-mandated departure on May 14. Jews and Arabs were scrambling for strategic advantage—and starting to clash over land. Arab irregulars were besieging Jerusalem, and three different fighting forces were defending the Jews while competing aggressively with one another, too.
Erielle Davidson: Debunking Another False Narrative about Sheikh Jarrah in Israel
Those groups lambasting the evictions, such as the Israeli group Peace Now, insist that the plans to build a yeshiva down the road (also on public lands) should be scrapped in order to place the school there. However, the yeshiva site is farther from the residential areas of the Arab neighborhood, and, furthermore, not one argument has been made as to why the yeshiva project is unworthy of completion. In short, Peace Now wants to hold the education of Palestinian special-needs children hostage in hopes of possibly derailing a Jewish seminary at a different location.

Peace Now also argues that demolishing the home of the Mahmoud Salihye family is not necessary to build the school. However, one glance at the proposed building plan reveals how fatuous this argument is. The compound touches the anticipated school building. There is no physical space for a squatter (or any individual, for that matter) to essentially reside on the property of a school. Schools have various forms of infrastructure — playgrounds, fencing, and gates — designed to keep children safely on the property and to provide them with recreational space. It would also stand to reason that a school of this nature may require even more recreational space.

The manufactured outrage at the eviction, when considered in conjunction with the yeshiva, shows that progressives embrace the goal of a Jew-free eastern Jerusalem to such a degree that they would be willing to block a special-needs school for Palestinians in the hopes that it would keep Jews from studying Torah there. It is worth noting that none of these groups claim that the evicted tenants have any legal claim to the land — only that Jewish property rights should be ignored, that the needs of Jerusalem’s most vulnerable population be ignored, and that the areas purged of Jews by Jordan in 1948 remain essentially Jew-free forever.

A war crime, indeed.

Richard Goldberg: Biden saves Iran from itself
Iran’s response was predictable. The regime cut back U.N. access to its declared nuclear sites, produced uranium metal, a key component of nuclear weapons, and increased its enrichment purity level to 60% — dangerously close to weapons-grade. Considering Tehran’s failure to cooperate with the IAEA’s investigation, the obvious course of action presented itself: Refer the matter to the Security Council and restore U.N. sanctions on Iran. But in June, September, and November, Biden opted against any action that could provoke Iran at the IAEA’s quarterly board meetings.

Biden made other poor choices as well. He chose not to respond militarily to the March death of a U.S. contractor in Iraq. He chose not to respond militarily for months thereafter despite continuous drone and rocket attacks targeting U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. And the two times he authorized a U.S. military response, he directed fire at non-Iranian personnel or installations rather than targeting the Revolutionary Guard commanders orchestrating the attacks.

Biden also gave a green light to Iranian adventurism in the region, a large source of chaos, instability, and deadly violence. In Yemen, Biden ended U.S. military support for a Saudi-led campaign against the Iran-backed Houthis and rescinded the group’s designation as a foreign terrorist organization. On Tehran’s orders, the Houthis responded by increasing missile and drone attacks against Saudi and Emirati citizens. In other words, Iran responded to Biden’s concession with more violence against U.S. allies. How did Biden respond to this pattern? By rewarding it. The administration removed American missile defense from the Saudi kingdom, which invited more Houthi attacks. In mid-January, a combined drone, ballistic missile, and cruise missile attack on Abu Dhabi left at least three people dead.

If the supreme leader had any doubt left about whether he could establish Iran as a nuclear weapons threshold state without fearing a U.S. military response, Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, looking the other way as the Taliban marched on Kabul, sealed his calculus.

All the while, Biden let Iran’s economy stabilize. He suspended sanctions, which gave the regime access to billions of dollars more in frozen funds. And he refused to crack down as China increased its imports of Iranian oil. As Tehran’s regional violence increased and its nuclear transgressions continued unabated, Washington essentially helped the mullahs avoid a financial crisis.

Never has a U.S. president given up so much leverage so quickly for absolutely zero gain. To borrow a football analogy, Biden started his presidency with Iran backed up against its own goal line, and he deliberately allowed the regime to march all the way to America’s red zone, the threshold of nuclear weapons.

The president made a bet one year ago that abandoning maximum pressure in favor of maximum deference would somehow induce the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism that pledges “Death to America” to make concessions. He lost that bet. And every time he doubles down on that bet instead of admitting his mistake, he loses again.

Biden came into office and implemented a new Iran policy. He owns its failure.
  • Friday, January 21, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

As we've seen many times, there are daily headlines in Arab media from Algeria to Iraq of "fanatic Jewish settlers storming Al Aqsa mosque" when Jews quietly roam and tour the Temple Mount.

But that evergreen headline changes on Fridays.

On Fridays, Jews aren't permitted to ascend, and tens of thousands of Muslims go for Friday prayers.

The Arab media theme every Friday looks like this: 

Tens of thousands performed Friday prayers in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, despite the strict military measures imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities at the gates and entrances to the Old City of occupied Jerusalem. 

The Department of Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem estimated that about 50,000 worshipers performed Friday prayers in Al-Aqsa compound. The occupation police prevented the worshipers from entering the mosque, who flocked since the morning hours, through careful inspections of their belongings, and checking their personal identities. 

The occupation forces deployed in the streets of the city and the vicinity of Al-Aqsa, stationed at its gates, stopped the worshipers, checked their ID cards, and prevented the entry of thousands of citizens from the governorates of the West Bank.

The worshipers heroically evade evil Israeli police, and 50,000 of them managed to slip through the Israeli cordon.

What is really happening is that Israel doesn't allow Palestinians from the West Bank to come into Jerusalem without a permit every day. Residents of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel are free to go worship. 50,000 is pretty typical, when the weather is bad it is usually 40,000 or so. 

There is nothing newsworthy happening, but the Arabs know that unless they keep emphasizing the importance of Al Aqsa, the people will lose interest, as they did for centuries between the Crusades and the twentieth century.

  • Friday, January 21, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Over the years, this site and others have lampooned BDSers who use Israeli products (or go to Israeli universities) while telling everyone else to boycott Israel.\

It looks like this kind of boycott hypocrisy has been around for a while.

I found this article about how Arabs who pretended to be following the anti-Jewish boycott, and even boycott leaders, would use Jewish products when it made their lives easier.

Just like today.

From the Chicago Tribune, October 15, 1946.

Zionist Products Given Moslem Labels 

BY CLAY GOWRAN [Chicago Tribune Press Service]

JERUSALEM. Palestine, Oct. 14— Since last December, top ranking leaders of the Arab world have been attempting to enforce a rigid boycott of Palestinian Jewish products in the Moslem states as a protest against Zionism. Amusing details of how the boycott works, or rather fails to work, were revealed today in the Holy City. 

As conceived by the Arab League, the boycott was designed to close the entire middle east Arab world to Jewish goods. All Arab nations passed stringent measures forbidding the importation of Jewish products. then sat back to wait for the Jewish economy in Palestine to topple. 

However, due to the zeal of Arab merchants to carry on business, plus a similar frame of mind among Palestinian Jewish businessmen, it did not work out that way. 

New sport: Beat Boycott 
Boycott evasions became a high priority sport throughout the middle east. Take chocolate, for instance.

Three large, Jewish owned factories in and near Tel Aviv probably produce more of this delicacy than any other concerns in this part of the world. One of the chocolate firms' best customers is an Arab owned candy company in Palestine. which buys huge quantities of the sweet, re-wraps the bars in folders bearing Arabic labels, then sells it either to Palestinian Arab shops or exports it to Arab countries as a Moslem product. 

Trade in aluminum kitchen utensils operates the same way. Products of Palestinian Jewish factories, the utensils are purchased wholesale by Arab dealers, fitted with labels stating they were made either in Arab factories or in England, then sold here or exported to Arab league nations. 

Jews Even Make Labels 
The zany point is that even the phony labels with which the chocolate and utensils are tagged are products of Jewish owned print shops, according to experts here. 

In recent weeks, the whole world heard much about the Nejada, so-called militant Arab Boy Scout movement of Palestine, which in reality is the closest facsimile of an army which the Palestinian Arabs possess. However, the world to date has not heard this about the Nejada—that the copper badges sported by its members. which bear the slogan. "Arab lands for Arabs," are products of a Jewish factory in Jerusalem. 

Blowing Hot and Cold 
One of the best boycott anecdotes, printed in local Jewish papers, occurred three weeks ago in Haifa. An Arab bought a bugle in a Jewish owned music store. The next day when the owner of the shop was sitting in front of his store, an Arab parade passed by. The purpose of the parade was to advertise the Moslem boycott. Playing a bugle in the front row of the band was his customer of the day before

Arab owned weekly papers of Jerusalem and other Palestinian cities print lurid cartoons urging Moslems to stand by the boycott and picturing grim dangers if they fail to do so. Because there is no Arab plant in the Holy Land equipped to prepare such line drawn cartoons for newspaper reproduction plates, they are let out under contract to a Jewish owned engraving concerns 

  • Friday, January 21, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution  that "rejects and condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part."

Nearly all envoys who spoke at the session strongly supported the resolution.

But not Iran.

The UN's press release about the session highlighted Iran's statement along with that of Israel and Germany, and even implied with its wording that it has validity:
Iran’s representative disassociated his country from the resolution although it did not block the passage of the text.  Strongly rejecting the attempt to misuse the concept of the Second World War to provide cover for the continuing practices of racism and expansionism, he said:  “The Israeli regime has applied both in its policies and practices over seven decades.”  Its brutal crimes against Palestine, which include ethnic cleansing, an inhumane blockage and forced evictions, have continued, he said.
The way this is written, the bold section sounds like the opinion of the UN writer, not only Iran.

Iran's statement was expanded later in the press release when the entire discussion was summarized:
The representative of Iran, speaking in explanation of position ahead of the vote, strongly rejected the attempt to misuse the concept of the Second World War to provide cover for the continuing practices of racism and expansionism, adding:  “The Israeli regime has applied both in its policies and practices over seven decades.”  Its brutal crimes against Palestine, which include ethnic cleansing, an inhumane blockage and forced evictions, have continued, he said.  Iran condemns genocide as a crime against humanity.  Therefore, Iran disassociates itself from the text in its entirety.
The representative from Ukraine was the only one who showed disgust at Iran's statement. “It is morally egregious to poison this moment and use it to attack and single out countries,” he said.

The Arab bloc, represented by Egypt, also tried to use the resolution against Israel, although only implicitly:
The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, echoed consensus on the resolution, stating that memory of such a black hole in history must be kept alive in the global consciousness so that it is never repeated.  However, this can only be ensured if the international community makes a sincere effort to strive for peace, and recognize the rights of others, including the right to self-determination and mutual coexistence.

 In 2007 a similar resolution passed at the UN, and Iran opposed it then as well

Iranian representative Hossein Gharibi, while reiterating his country’s “unambiguous” condemnation of genocide against any race, dismissed the resolution as a manipulation to deflect attention from Israel’s “atrocious” crimes and said it should have included other cases of genocide such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the US dropped atomic bombs, Palestine, Rwanda and the Balkans.

“In view of the above we truly disassociate ourselves from this entire hypocritical political exercise,” he declared.

 Israel's ambassador responded:

Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said the lessons of the Holocaust are universal, compelling all nations to recommit to preventing the horrors of genocide. “While the nations of the world gather here to affirm the historicity of the Holocaust with the intent of never again allowing genocide, a Member of this Assembly is acquiring the capabilities to carry out its own,” he added.

“The President of Iran is in fact saying: ‘There really was no Holocaust, but just in case, we shall finish the job.’”

Iran has a history of Holocaust denial by its leaders, officials and state media. The US Holocaust Museum published a summary in 2016.

(h/t Irene)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

From Ian:

A Stronger and Wider Peace: A U.S. Strategy for Advancing the Abraham Accords
The normalization agreements that the United States brokered between Israel and four Arab states – the United Arab Emirates (the UAE), Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan – represent a major inflection point in the history of the modern Middle East. Struck in rapid succession over the final months of 2020, the Abraham Accords have the potential to shift the region’s strategic trajectory in ways overwhelmingly favorable to U.S. national security. These agreements hold out the prospect of ending the persistent conflict between Israel and a group of pragmatic Arab states, which since the early days of the Cold War has regularly frustrated Washington’s ability to establish an effective multinational framework for safeguarding vital U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Realizing their full potential will entail continued and concerted American leadership, both to help deepen ties among the members of the Accords, especially in the defense sphere, and to expand the agreements to include other pivotal regional actors – in particular Saudi Arabia. The Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) convened the Abraham Accords Policy Project and this task force – comprised of leading retired senior American military officers and national security officials with deep Middle East experience – to understand and articulate how U.S. policies can capitalize on these historic developments to encourage further progress that will strengthen regional stability, boost America’s waning global influence, and ultimately leave it better positioned to compete against the growing strategic challenges posed by China, Russia, and Iran. As part of their research and deliberations, members of the task force conducted an extensive, high-level fact-finding mission to Bahrain, Israel, and the UAE in the fall of 2021, with a special focus on examining new possibilities created by the Accords for building defense cooperation and military-to-military ties.

This comprehensive report is intended to provide in-depth analysis and recommendations to help inform the work of American decision makers, both in the Biden administration and Congress, as well as the broader policymaking community and public. Its first section identifies the factors, both long-term and proximate, that made the Accords possible, and details some of the remarkable and unprecedented cooperation they have already spurred in the realms of diplomacy, trade, culture, and even defense. The second section contains the group’s key findings, anchored around the vital importance of sustained U.S. leadership and support for consolidating and widening the Accords, including taking full advantage of the multinational framework provided by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and Israel’s recent integration into its area of operations. In laying out a menu of policy prescriptions that range from less controversial low-hanging fruit to more ambitious, complex, and even transformative initiatives, the third and final section of the report emphasizes how the Executive Branch and Congress should maintain attitudes of flexibility and opportunism to seize upon the many strategic breakthroughs made possible by these landmark agreements.

The Arab influencer pushing the Abraham Accords from Abu Dhabi
At the age of 28, when Loay Alshareef, then a French language student from Saudi Arabia, stumbled into his homestay in Paris to discover he was surrounded by Stars of David — his instinct was to turn on his heels and find another family to stay with. “I didn’t feel comfortable at the beginning,” he told The Circuit.

Putting it mildly, Alshareef said he “didn’t have positive views about Israel or about the Jewish people,” at that time, in 2010.

“I called the school and they said ‘take your time’” — and with the gentle guidance of his “wise” host mother, he did.

That accidental and intimate almost year-long encounter with a Jewish family proved to be a turning point for Alshareef, an observant Muslim, whose father is originally from Egypt and who also has family from Bahrain, which he described as “a very nice mix.” Alshareef grew up in a middle-class household in Jeddah with his brother and sister.

Today, he is a prominent face among movers and shakers in the region who have embraced the Abraham Accords, normalization deals signed in September 2020 between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and are working to strengthen people-to-people ties between those countries and beyond. He’s caught the attention of Israeli, U.S. and Gulf leaders, and frequently meets with prominent figures visiting the UAE, where he has lived since 2020.

Alshareef owns a PR company in Abu Dhabi and works with both governmental and non-governmental entities, and also teaches English and Arabic. He has also learned Hebrew, largely from watching TV and listening to songs and podcasts, which he readily explained to The Circuit in the language. Prior to moving to the UAE, Alshareef lived in Bahrain, and spent a couple of years in the U.S., where he earned a master’s degree in software engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

He hasn’t yet visited Israel, but hopes to do so when the COVID-19 situation isn’t so rife — he’s waiting to visit his mother back in Jeddah for the same reason. Ultimately, he strives to get an academic degree in Israel and study the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls, further embracing his love of Biblical Hebrew which he describes as “very authentic and very deep.”

He said that while he appreciates the focus on Israel as a startup nation, “the history of Israel itself is also a beacon in our world and deserves to have more attention to it.”
  • Thursday, January 20, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon
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