Tuesday, October 29, 2013

  • Tuesday, October 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the JTA archives, less than a century ago:

VIENNA (May. 29, 1923)
The formation of an international anti-Semitic body which will unite the Hakenkreuzler and Fascisti societies of many European countries, in contemplated in a resolution adopted at the party council of the Austrian Hakenkreuzler.

Declaring the present anti-Semitic activities as “inadequate”, the Council decided to create a “united anti-Semitic front”, one of whose purposes will be to prevent the election to the parliaments of the various countries of Jewish candidates of such as are known for their friendliness to Jews.

Leaders of the German National Party report that delegations have arrived from all Balkan countries with the object of obtaining information of Hakenkreuzler methods which have proven successful in keeping down the Jews in Austria and Bavaria.

Fascisti organizations are said by the visitors to have been established in their countries, who desire to work together with all Hakenkreuzler bodies abroad. The “National Socialists” announce they are prepared to join the international union of anti-Semites.
Elaph has an amusing article by a Saudi writer that talks about how Sunni Muslims are publicizing among themselves not to buy this brand of juice or that brand of milk, because the owners of the company are supposedly Shiite.

This is strange, he notes, "because we use products made by Jews and Christians, from the car to the needle as well as mobile phones and technology and tablet devices, but each is manufactured in countries populated mostly of Buddhists or atheists as is the case in the East..." - yet no one boycotts them! Eastern religions are considered idol worship my Muslims, and are far worse theologically than Judaism or Christianity.

This sounds familiar - the people advocating boycotts always choose products that won't really affect their lives, but they will threaten and attack others who dare to sell or buy them. It's been this way since the Arab League started its boycott of Jewish goods in 1946 and even earlier.

Although, I must admit, in 1923 the Arabs even decided to boycott "Jewish electricity."

Arab extremists are waging their fight against things Jewish even to the point of refusing the use of electricity derived from a “Jewish” station.

The Jaffa municipality has decided to stick to the old hand, foot and horse power rather than utilize any of the electrical power derived from the Buttenberg station at the Auja.

Efforts by the government to convince the Arabs that electricity was neutral and knew no politics proved unavailing.

But in 1923, that wasn't much of a sacrifice for them.

Hamas, on the other hand, boycotted Israeli fuel to Gaza for a year or so - until the Egyptian fuel supply dried up. Its lofty standards were only so lofty.
  • Tuesday, October 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
It isn't often that I hear a new idea, but this one, from commenter Andrew, has some real brilliance behind it:

All Israel needs to do is pick some date with some historical relevance to the time of the Roman occupation, then make a festival (just celebrate an unsuccessful rebellion of the Jews against Roman rule or something), celebrate the great influence Jews and Romans had on history (this will remove an anti-Italian slant from the festival and allow Christians to celebrate with us), and prepare speeches and texts in both Hebrew and Latin.

In the texts refer to Romans and Jews very very often and use the Latin word "Palestina", the Roman name for the protectorate/province in place of Hebrew "Yisrael".

In fact we can use this method a few more times to reach other goals.

Celebrate the Muslim invasion because it allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Invite the Hashemite king to the celebration.

Celebrate the Persian invasion and the Great King.

If our enemies use made-up history against us, just celebrate real history choosing occasions where we celebrate our enemies' ancestors and their stay in our land.

It will be difficult for the Arabs to condemn us for celebrating the Muslim invasion. And as long as we celebrate the invasion they cannot pretend that it wasn't an invasion and say that Jerusalem is Arab, not Jewish.

It will be difficult for the Iranian regime to erase Israel from the map, if Israel celebrates Iranian rulers of the past. They would have to erase those rulers from history as well and lose their past as they want us to lose ours.

And it will be difficult to pretend that "Palestine" was an Arab state that existed before Israel was "founded", if we celebrate the fact that our country was once the Roman province of "Palestina".

So, are we going to start a new holiday at the end of April to celebrate the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 637 - which did indeed allow Jews to return to their capital after the Byzantines defeated them a decade earlier? (If anyone can find the actual date, Gregorian or Muslim, I'd appreciate it.)
From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas's "Diplomatic Intifada" Against Israel
The next steps the Palestinian Authority is planning include seeking full membership in the United Nations General Assembly and other international agencies and conventions, especially the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian Authority says it has prepared a list of dozens of Israelis that it hopes to prosecute as "war criminals."
The anti-settlement drive should be seen in the context of the Palestinian Authority's massive efforts to isolate Israel in the international arena. Palestinian Authority leaders are hoping that international pressure will force Israel to its knees and prompt it to accept all of Abbas's demands, first and foremost a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
With such an intifada raging against Israel, it is hard to see how the peace talks could ever result in an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Abbas obviously does not believe that the talks will produce an agreement. That is why his strategy these days is, with the help of the international community, to try to impose a solution on Israel.
HRW and Amnesty Int´l Whitewash the PFLP Terror Group
In a press release protesting Israel’s alleged “harassing” of members of Palestinian NGO Addameer, Human Rights Watch (HRW) referred to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terror group responsible for hundreds of horrific attacks against civilians, as a “banned political organization (Israel: Military Harassing Rights Group Staff, October 27, 2013). HRW accuses Israel of “apparent persecution” of Addameer employees because of their supposed human rights work, erasing the clear “security risk” posted by membership in a terrorist organization.
Amnesty International also called the PFLP “an organization which Israel has banned” – ignoring the wide recognition of its terror status (Israel must drop charges against Palestinian human rights lawyer released on bail, October 24, 2013). Amnesty’s Middle East Programme Director, Philip Luther, accused Israel of “prosecut[ing] activists because of their peaceful work in defence of human rights” and of “harassment of Palestinian human rights defenders.”
‘Mail & Guardian’ parrots description of Marwan Barghouti as a “political prisoner”
This euphemism of course distorts the clear meaning of a term widely understood as referring narrowly to those imprisoned merely for their political beliefs. In fact, earlier in the year CiF Watch was able to gain corrections at both the Guardian and The Independent after they initially referred to the pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners (who Israel agreed to release in order to resume peace talks) as “political prisoners.”
More recently, while monitoring press coverage of Israel’s latest announcement that they will release 26 additional pre-Oslo prisoners, we noted that a major South African newspaper used this distorted term in a story about Desmond Tutu’s support for a campaign calling for the release of convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti.
Bereaved Sister: We Are Not a Gesture
Also speaking was Gila Molcho, sister of Ian Feinberg who was murdered in Gaza while working in the European Union building. One of Feinberg’s murderers was released in 2011 as part of the Shalit deal, a second murderer was released in the first release of terrorists three months ago. The next release wave will see a third murderer being released.
Molcho said that Israeli and Jewish blood can’t “be sold as a gesture.”
“We are not a gesture,” she said. “There is no peace process at the moment, and we cannot pay the price. Bibi Netanyahu needs to wake up and realize that our youth is getting a terrible message, that their blood is no longer sacred.”
Abbas vows to continue efforts to release all Palestinian prisoners
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Monday to pursue his efforts to secure the release of more Palestinians from Israeli prisons.
“We won’t have comfort until they are all released,” Abbas said in reference to the prisoners.
Palestinian minister: Israeli concept of 'life in prison' has collapsed
"The second phase of the prisoner release is a great achievment for the Palestinian leadership, for Abu Mazen [Abbas] and for the Palestinian people because it represents an extra step toward the release of all the prisoners from the Israeli occupation's jails," Karaka stated.
During a visit to the families of prisoners set to be released in Nablus, Karaka said that "the Israeli concept of 'life in prison' has collapsed, because the prisoners who are set to be freed were sent, according to this concept, to be locked up behind bars for the rest of their lives."
The Independent Constructs a “New Settlement”
No wonder an uninformed observer could get the impression that Israeli settlements are multiplying at a rapid pace. Take this paragraph from an article in The Independent about the release of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails:
To appease Israelis who oppose the move, which will see detainees involved in killing Israelis freed, the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of a new settlement on the West Bank.
CAMERA: Ha'aretz on Prisoners: A Correction, and An Error
As first noted yesterday on our Snapshots blog, the front-page article by Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis had erroneously reported:
The Prime Minister’s Office stated that all of the prisoners slated for release were involved in attacks before the Oslo Accords were signed, and all received sentences of between 17 and 27 years in prison.
All of the prisoners slated to be released tomorrow received sentences longer than 27 years. While prisoners slated to be released served 19 to 28 years, almost all received at least one life term. The exceptions were Mukbal Mahmed Badawi Najach (38 years), Ashur Masabach Khalil Mhamed (30 years), and Karan Azzat Musa Musa (28 years, the shortest sentence).
UN envoy files complaint over Gaza rockets
In the complaint, Ron Prosor accused Hamas of continuing to launch attacks against the Israeli people while Israel attempts to reach a deal with the Palestinians.
“Instead of committing itself to improving the lives of Palestinians, Hamas proves time and time again that its only commitment is to terrorism,” said Prosor in the complaint.
“While Israel works to advance peace, Hamas responds by firing on Israeli citizens.”
“While Israel brings trucks with construction materials into Gaza,” he added, “Hamas uses them to build terror tunnels.”
Hamas, circa 2013, is in a lot of trouble
Nevertheless, it’s too early to eulogize Hamas. Despite the difficulties it faces in ensuring the transfer of goods, it has succeeded in partially resuming its tunnel activities, especially south of Rafah, on the border with Egypt. The scope of the smuggling has lessened significantly, but several dozen tunnels continue to operate, mostly serving to transfer raw materials for Hamas’s military industry. And this industry has undergone a significant upgrade.
Instead of relying on long-range missiles from Iran or Libya, Hamas has opted to locally produce its M-75 rockets, which are capable of reaching Tel Aviv. According to reports, Hamas currently has several dozen of these readied, in case of an escalation with Israel.
10 Hamas Men Arrested in Samaria, Judea
"Ten Hamas operatives were detained overnight across the West Bank," an IDF spokeswoman told AFP, without giving any further details or reasons for the arrests.
'Free Officers Movement' Founded in Gaza
On the "Rebellion" movement's Facebook page the "Free Officers in Gaza" movement posted its first announcement, in which they warn the Hamas government about its attempts to suppress the popular demonstrations by force, demonstrations which according to the announcement are the legitimate right preserved for every nation.
The name chosen by the Free Officers in Gaza appears to be an allusion to the Free Officers' Movement of Egypt, which instigated the 1952 revolution that forced the unpopular King Farouk to abdicate as Egypt's leader in favor of General Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Song glorifies violence at memorial under auspices of Abbas
Sign: "Memorial under the auspices of Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestine and Chairman of Fatah's Central Committee"

Iran 'already past point of no return,' warns ex-IAEA official
Dr. Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned Monday that Iran's pursuit of military-grade nuclear capability has passed the point of no return.
According to a report in The Tower Magazine, Heinonen has reviewed the latest Institute for Science and International Security report assessing Tehran's nuclear progress, saying that Iran's use of its existing lineup of 19,000 IR-1 centrifuges and its plans to install an additional 3,000 IR-2 centrifuges in its enrichment facilities have reduced its breakout time -- the amount of time that would elapse between a decision to manufacture a nuclear weapon and actually possessing one -- to just a few weeks.
'Grand Day of Death to America' rally planned in Iran
Militant factions in Iran are reportedly planning a sweeping rally titled, “Grand Day of Death to America,” to coincide with the 24th anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy there.
According to The National, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri is saying the planned Nov. 4 convocation outside the long-shuttered and now-graffiti-covered diplomatic institution in the capitol city of Tehran will be organized by a newly created bureaucratic body called the “Death to the U.S. Committee.”
‘Syria had 1,230 missiles ready to be loaded with chemical weapons’
The organization estimated, based on Syria’s declarations, that the regime actually possesses about 1,000 tons of Category 1 chemical weapons, which do not have peaceful uses, along with 290 tons of Category 2 substances, such as toxins with industrial uses, according to the London Times.
The UN report also suggests that Syrian rebels may have obtained small amounts of chemical weapons. It reveals that “Syrian authorities have reported finding two cylinders not belonging to them, which are believed to contain chemical weapons.”
Beleaguered Syrian Christians fear future, increasingly targeted by jihadis
The shelling and recent rebel assaults on predominantly Christian towns have fueled fears among Syria’s religious minorities about the growing role of Islamic extremists and foreign fighters among the rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad’s rule. Christians believe they are being targeted — in part because of the anti-Christian sentiment among extremists and in part as punishment for what is seen as their support for Assad.
Nasrallah Blames Saudis for Syria's Problems
"Today, political dialogue and the search for a political solution are enjoying international, regional and interior support ... but there is a state in the region which is furious (about the proposed Geneva II peace conference), and its name is Saudi Arabia," Nasrallah charged.
Iran, UN Envoy Agree on Syria Solution
According to the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen television network, an aide to Iran’s Foreign Minister on Monday said that Iran and the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, have reached an agreement on a political solution to the crisis in Syria based on internationally supervised elections.
Brahimi, who arrived in Damascus Tuesday, has been trying to arrange the "Geneva II" peace conference to deal with the Syrian issue, but until now has not achieved much success.
'Puppy Bombs' Rescued from Egyptian Violence
Two puppies from Egypt were rescued just moments before they were to be used by the Muslim Brotherhood in their protests as "puppy bombs" dipped in gasoline and set on fire.
The revelation about the Brotherhood's cruel tactic used two weeks ago at Tahrir Square during demonstrations against the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi's was made known by Robyn Urman, a pet rescuer in Tenafly, New Jersey, as reported by CBS 2.
What happened when anti-FGM campaigner asked people in the street to sign a petition in favour of mutilating girls
Leyla Hussein, 32, said many were scared to speak out against FGM because they were worried about criticising another culture.
She decided to conduct an experiment to see “how crazy political correctness has become” but was left in tears by the end.

Approaching shoppers with the petition supporting FGM, she told them she wanted to protect her “culture, traditions and rights”.
In only 30 minutes 19 people signed it with some saying they believed FGM was wrong but because it was part of Ms Hussein’s culture they would add their names. Only one person refused to sign.
  • Tuesday, October 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
The PA announced that starting in 2014, it will start adding an electronic chip to all "Palestine" passports to reduce fraud.

There is something bizarre about the idea of adding security to passports of a nation that will happily issue those same passports to convicted terrorists and murderers.

Then again, this could make those passports very popular among certain groups. If you want to bomb a plane or an airport - just get a Palestinian passport and you don't have to worry about the hassle of forging one!

It's 100% halal!

  • Tuesday, October 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,
Egypt has now closed Rafah for four consecutive days, this time without even informing the Palestinian Authority as they used to do.

An Egyptian source told the German Press agency that the crossing would be closed "indefinitely."

France24, unusually, is calling Egypts actions in Rafah a "blockade." But for the most part the media has been muted in any criticism of Egypt for what would be considered a human rights violation when Israel does it.

Meanwhile, Israel allowed 250 trucks of materials into Gaza today - but the ban on construction materials remains in place.

I have yet to see any Western media outlet note that Egypt, under Morsi, allowed construction materials to be sent through the Rafah crossing less than a year ago. There is nothing physically stopping Egypt from fully supplying its fellow Arabs in Gaza with everything they need.

In related news, YNet reports that Hamas is building a huge arsenal of rockets that could reach Tel Aviv in anticipation of the next conflict.

Egypt's security concerns for closing off Hamas from its territory is essentially unquestioned by the West. Israel, which is Hamas' sworn enemy, gets no such understanding.

One of the prisoners being released this week, along with one who was released in August 2013, murdered 67-year old Isaac Rotenberg with an axe.

Rotenberg wasn’t the oldest victim of the prisoners who made it onto the list Sunday. Fatah member Ra’ai Ibrahim Salam Ali was jailed in 1994 for the murder of 79-year-old Moris Eisenstatt. Eisenstatt was killed with ax blows to the head while he sat on a public Kfar Saba bench reading a book.

Another prisoner, Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mugdad, also of Fatah, was imprisoned in 1993 for killing 72-year-old Sirens Hotel security guard Israel Tenenbaum by beating him in the head with a steel rod.
By the way, this very photo of Abbas partying with released murderers is featured on Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page.

Monday, October 28, 2013

An email correspondent sent me part of a discussion from Mondoweiss that claimed that the US recognized Palestine as a state in 1932.

The assertion:
FYI, the US government formally recognized the Mandated State of Palestine in 1932. For example, the case of “Kletter v. Dulles, Secretary of State”, the United States District Court District Of Columbia ruled in 1953 that Mr. Kletter had lost his US citizenship when he was naturalized in the Mandated State of Palestine:

The contention of the plaintiff that Palestine, while under the League of Nations mandate, was not a foreign state within the meaning of the statute is wholly without merit. . . . Furthermore, it is not for the judiciary, but for the political branches of the Government to determine that Palestine at that time was a foreign state. This the Executive branch of the Government did in 1932 with respect to the operation of the most favored nations provision in treaties of commerce.
So I looked up the case.

It does indeed state that. However, the writer ignores that the case quotes an earlier case that defines the terms a bit better:
When the Congress speaks of a "foreign State," it means a country which is not the United States, or its possession or colony — an alien country — other than our own, bearing in mind that the average American, when he speaks of a "foreigner," means an alien, non-American. Uyeno v. Acheson, D.C., 96 F.Supp. 510.
Looking at Uyeno vs. Acheson, we see:
It is obvious that the words "foreign state" are not words of art. In using them, the Congress did not have in mind the fine distinctions as to sovereignty of occupied and unoccupied countries which authorities on international law may have formulated. They used the word in the sense of "otherness". When the Congress speaks of "foreign state", it means a country which is not the United States or its possession or colony, — an alien country, — other than our own, bearing in mind that the average American, when he speaks of a "foreigner" means an alien, non-American.
So the full context shows without any room for doubt that the US did not recognize British Mandate Palestine as a state, rather it was recognized as a foreign entity. The phrase"foreign state" was used for convenience, not as a legal ruling.

This is the quality of arguments of the anti-Israel crowd. Scratch a little and you see that they don't bother to read the very text they are quoting.

There is actually an entire book by John Quigley that tries to pretend that Palestine was a real state before 1948. Part of his argument is that Great Britain in 1932 gave Palestine (at the behest of Jewish leaders) "most favoured nation" status for purposes of easing tariffs so Jews in Palestine could export wine and fruit to England easier. The argument is that if Palestine was a "most favoured nation" then it must have been legally considered a nation by Great Britain.

This is of course absurd. The UK was looking for a legal fiction to allow easier exports from Palestine, it was not making a legal decision that Palestine was a state!

 Yet  Quigley further argues, bizarrely, that this supposed recognition of Palestine as a state in the 1930s carries over to today, as if there is a legal relationship between what was called Palestine at the time and a Palestinian state today, purposefully ignoring that Israel and only Israel took over the political institutions of Palestine.

However, the "most favoured nation" argument that Palestine was considered a nation by Great Britain can be demolished in an even easier way. Because Great Britain said explicitly that Palestine was not a state in a memo to the UN in early 1948!

In that memo, the United Kingdom says: "Palestine is today a legal entity but it is not a sovereign state."

It doesn't get more explicit than that.

Quigley, not surprisingly, doesn't mention this quote.

From Ian:

David Singer: Bandar Candour Can Help End Arab-Jewish Conflict
23 years ago in an Open Letter published in the Washington Times on 30 September 1990 – Bandar – then Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador in America – had publicly criticised Jordan’s King Hussein for his failure to create a Palestinian Arab State in the West Bank between 1948-1967.
Bandar made the following three very pertinent comments:
1.“Your Majesty, you claimed to defend the Palestinian people`s right to self-determination and a state of their own. And I support you in that. But you were responsible for the Palestinian homeland on the West Bank from 1948 to 1967. Why in all that period did you not give them their rights and statehood?”
Palestinians make stiff land demands for peace deal
The Palestinian Authority demands that any land swap with Israel as part of a peace deal not exceed 1.9 percent of the West Bank, less than half of the land necessary to incorporate the lion’s share of settlers, according to details leaked to Channel 2 by a disgruntled Palestinian official on Sunday.
According to the report, the Palestinians are also insisting that they gain control over water, and control at their sides of the Dead Sea and border crossings; that a Palestinian state be able to sign agreements with other states without Israeli intervention; that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners it holds; and that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants be granted the right to choose to live in Israel or the Palestinian territories as part of a final agreement.
Palestinian Terms Leave Little to Talk About
Peace is not just about pressuring parties to come to the table, though it must be conceded that Kerry’s efforts in this regard were impressive. In order for the diplomatic process to succeed there must be a desire to reach some sort of accommodation. But any discussion that involves terms that basically mandate the end of Israel illustrates that the Jewish state’s alleged peace partner is not genuinely interested in ending the conflict.
Given the Palestinian Authority’s culture of incitement and fomenting of hatred, this should come as a surprise to no one. And even if we accept the proposition that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas wants peace, the fact that Gaza is ruled by his Hamas rivals makes any agreement unlikely since signing it might give the embattled Islamists a major boost at his expense.
What would the UN do without Israel?
The United Nations often has a hostile approach to Israel, yet regularly turns to the Jewish state to solve issues of international concern.
At a time when boycotts of Israel are on the rise, the UN is increasingly turning to Israel for help. Historically, the UN has been viewed as one of the most difficult political environments for Israel.
However, recent indications suggest the UN is also, on occasion, used as a channel for countries with no official relations with the Jewish state, to seek its help. One such body is the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which has granted 13 Israeli NGOs ‘Special ‘Consultative Status’ and is currently considering granting this status to a further two.
Ending boycott, Israel to attend UN human rights hearing
Then-foreign minister Avigdor Liberman ordered the severing of Israeli ties with the council in March 2012 after the international organization said it would probe how Israeli settlements may be infringing on the rights of Palestinians.
“We will attend” the Universal Periodic Review held in Geneva, an Israeli official told AFP. Another Israeli diplomat tweeted the news, adding that “it’ll still be an unfair Council (see item 7) but we’ll do our part.”
BBC double standards on paramilitary murals
Not only does the BBC not adopt the language and narrative of paramilitary terrorist organisations when describing murals depicting them in Northern Ireland; it goes to the trouble of informing audiences about the violent reality of the actions of those groups and the perceived effects of such murals on the Northern Ireland peace process. So why does it embrace the double standard of romanticisation of terror in another part of the world?
CAMERA: Ari Shavit's Lydda Massacre
Israeli wrongdoing, whether real or imagined, holds a special fascination for certain media outlets, which seem to get a particular thrill from putting Israel under the microscope. Writing about genuine bloodletting in other parts of the world just isn't as much fun as indicting Israelis for supposed massacres, and thereby once again putting Zionism – and therefore the Jews – on trial.
Which brings us to the latest in this genre, "Lydda, 1948" (The New Yorker, October 21, 2013) written by the well-known and talented Israeli journalist Ari Shavit. In Shavit’s very deceptive and even contradictory recounting, Israeli soldiers led by a certain Lt. Col. Moshe Dayan, and armed with: "a giant armored vehicle mounted with a cannon, menacing half-tracks, and machine-gun-equipped jeeps" joined other Israeli forces attacking Lydda (and its neighbor Ramle) during Israel's War of Independence.
Sidney Blumenthal’s Idiot Racist Son Survives Trip Through Israeli Airport
Some people travel through deserts. Others skydive from space. Max Blumenthal, Sidney Blumenthal’s idiot son, gets his thrills trying to make it through an Israeli airport.
Max Blumenthal, political hack Sidney Blumenthal’s son, makes things up and makes himself into the center of the story. He’s like Julian Assange, except even lamer. Blumenthal’s claims to fame include being the son of a Clinton aide and making a viral video featuring drunken Israelis badmouthing Obama.
Victim of Sydney Attack: That's Why We Need Israel
Ben Haim is the JNF representative in Australia. "Unfortunately, what happened to us of Sabbath eve proves beyond a doubt how fatefully important the existence of the Jewish state is for any Jew, no matter where he is," he said Sunday, according to Maariv.
"We hope that this incident is not repeated and that the warm community in Australia in general, and in Sydney in particular, will know how to combat such phenomena and will know that the state of Israel is also there to protect them."
JPost Editorial: Anti-Semitism in Australia
Although some websites jumped to the conclusion, based on inconclusive security camera footage that captured part of the attack, that the assailants – two 16-yearolds and a 23-year-old – were Muslims, an Australian source said that only the adult’s name was released, and it sounded “southern European.”
The attack surprised leaders of Australian Jewry. “Who would have believed something like that could happen in Australia,” JNF executive director Ygal Shapir said. Peter Wertheim, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said the attack “appeared to be the most serious incident of spontaneous anti-Semitic violence in Australia in living memory.”
Hate Unleashed
This is evidence of growing anti-Semitism in Sydney, which is not limited to brutal physical assaults allegedly committed by morons. A crude loathing of Jews and Israel is also obvious in protests against the Max Brenner chain of chocolate shops, which is Jewish-owned.
Protesters claim that they are motivated only by the chain’s support for the Israeli army, but a vile streak of pure Jew-hate emerges in their online comments. This reached a shocking level earlier this year when the Max Brenner chain announced plans for a store on the University of New South Wales campus.
Sydney Chabad Rabbi: Attack Shocked Everyone VIDEO
Rabbi Eli Feldman from Chabad of Sydney, Australia, told Arutz Sheva Monday that "both Jewish community and larger Australian community were shocked" by the anti-Semitic attack in Bondi on Shabbat.
The rabbi said that the act was carried out by "thugs" but that "there was a clear anti-Semitic element there."
A round-up of coverage and reactions: Attack on Jewish group in Bondi

Local firefighters head to Israel to observe how they deal with tragedies
The firefighters are made up of five different agencies across the greater Tucson area. They met at a midtown cafe on Sunday to thank their sponsors. The $40,000 trip was fully funded by donations. The firefighters will learn how Israeli first responders deal with some of the biggest disasters and bring their knowledge back to Tucson.
Paula Abdul to get Kotel bat mitzvah
After a delay of of almost four decades, American singer and reality show star Paula Abdul, 51, will finally realize her dream of celebrating her bat mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Abdul, who became famous in the 1990s as a singer and more recently for her role on “American Idol” and “The X Factor,” is to arrive in Israel Monday as a guest of the Tourism Ministry and celebrate the milestone during this, her first visit to the country, according to a ministry statement.
Lou Reed’s Stand for Israel and against Anti-Semitism
Reed, who died yesterday of liver failure at the age of 71, was born Lewis Allan Reed to a Jewish family in Brooklyn. He said that while “he had no god apart from rock ‘n’ roll” his Jewish roots and standing up for Israel meant a lot to him. He was a frequent visitor to the country, last performing in Tel Aviv in 2008, and his aunt and many cousins live in Haifa and other Israeli towns.
Reed even had an Israeli spider named after him to thank him for his support for the country.
His connection to Israel and his distaste for anti-Semitism can be heard in his lyrics from the song “Good Evening Mr. Waldheim” on his 1989 solo album New York: (h/t Yoel)
Danish crown prince’s visit commemorates rescue of Jews
It’s been over 900 years between visits of Scandinavian royals to Jerusalem.
On October 30, Danish crown prince Frederik, 45, will make an ultra-short visit to Israel to attend a gala concert at the Jerusalem Theater on the 70th anniversary of the Danish people’s rescue of Denmark’s 7,000 Jews to Sweden in October 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark.
The rescue operation – the only light in the darkness of Nazi-occupied Europe – was almost completely successful, as about 90 percent of Danish Jewry was saved, and only a few hundred deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
The Next Stage in IDF Air Defense

From Hurriyet Daily News:
A draft presented to the Cabinet concerning hate crimes does not include provisions for those targeted because of their sexual orientation or ethnic identity.

The draft, which designates “hate and prejudice” as an aggravation cause for crimes, was presented as one of the reforms that government vowed to implement as part of its “democracy package.”

However, hate and prejudice crimes are defined in the draft as “crimes committed based on someone’s or some group’s language, race, nationality, skin color, gender, disability, political views, philosophical beliefs or religion,” excluding those based on ethnicity and sexual orientation, different to many European countries.

With the exclusion of ethnicity as a characteristic that could be basis of a hate crime, assaults against ethnic minorities in Turkey that don’t have a nation recognized by the United Nations would be charged with a regular punishment. For example, if an Armenian person in Turkey is targeted for being an Armenian, the crime committed against them will be regarded as a hate crime and whatever the crime is, its penalty would be aggravated.

On the hand, the largest ethnic minority in Turkey, Kurds, is not included in the regulation, as it does not have a U.N.-recognized country.

Although gender is included, the same is true for gays and lesbians, as attacking a person based on their sexual orientation is not regarded as a hate or prejudice crime, according to the draft.
Sounds like EU material, no?
El Bashayer Online has an interview, apparently originally done in 2012, with the caretaker of the Jewish cemetery in Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad.

Ziad al-Bayati took over responsibility for the cemetery from his father. I did find a Forward article from 2004 that indicated that one of the last Iraqi Jews was involved in fixing up the cemetery which had been neglected for decades, and gravestones damaged during the Gulf War were rebuilt.

And yet even in this article there has to be some old fashioned Jew-hatred.

The writer interviews an Iraqi "researcher" Ahmed Jawad who says:
It is a sign of the spirit of tolerance of Muslims, who respect the lives and bodies of their offenders, while fanatical Jewish organizations attack Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem's Old City and the cities of Palestine and even in the European continent, as in Germany and France.

Incidentally, the 2004 article notes:
Visitors to the Jewish cemetery in the turbulent Shia neighborhood of Sadr City, the scene of some of the most vicious fighting in recent weeks, have been stoned more than once by school children.
A bombed church. Gotta be the Zionists' fault.
The Daily Beast has an incomprehensible article that takes a few unrelated facts and half-truths to somehow blame Israel's existence and US support for Israel for the fact that Western Christians are mostly indifferent to the problems of Middle East Christians.

Diarmaid MacCulloch is Fellow of St. Cross College and Professor of the History of the Church, Oxford University. Here's his bizarre thesis:
[O]ne of the silences which I find most frustrating is precisely the lack of noise from Western Christians about the fate of ancient Christianities in the Middle East. At the heart of the problems in the Middle East is seven decades of unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine, and I notice that when American politicians discuss those matters, they seem to assume that all Palestinians, and indeed all Arabs, are Muslims. Not so: there are Christians there too.... Why this blindness, why this silence?
Given that every single Christmas for over a century there have been articles in major American and British papers about the Christian community in Bethlehem, this first assertion seems not very plausible. (Not to mention that even after seeing two years of Arab upheavals, MacCulloch  still places Israel at the center of all Middle East problems.)

But even if US politicians were uncommonly stupid, isn't this article about the silence of normal Christians? Are they equally unaware that Christians live in the Middle East?

His second unrelated point:
The problem is a Protestant one, going right back to sixteenth-century Reformation. From Martin Luther onwards, many Protestants have eagerly been awaiting an imminent end to the world, the return of Christ in glory. Reading the Bible, it’s easy to link this to the idea that a necessary precondition for Christ to return is that his ancient people the Jews convert to the Christian faith...But by the nineteenth century there was a further thought: the Jews must return to their Promised Land of Israel. In 1846 there was founded a worldwide Evangelical Alliance. One of its main concerns was to return Jews to Palestine and convert them there...
Yeah, we know that. So let's go to a third mostly unrelated point:

Fast-forward to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. For some years after that, American relations with Israeli governments were dominated by power politics. ... [I]n the 1980s [American politicians] discovered a large constituency emphatically in favour of Israel, precisely for reasons related to the apocalypse....

Now American Evangelicals made common cause with the Jewish community in the United States, and they seemed to care little if at all for the opinions or the sufferings of their fellow-Christians in the ancient Churches of the Middle East. Israeli politicians have not been slow to exploit this political windfall, caring little for the fact that Evangelical apocalypticism expected the conversion of the Jews to Christianity. American foreign policy has for decades seemed locked into hardly questioning its support for the State of Israel, even though the consequences for its relations with the Arab and Muslim world, and with others, are almost entirely negative. They have been particularly dire for the traditional Christianities of the Middle East.
OK, so the US - by siding with Israel to make US evangelicals happy - has caused Arab Muslims to turn against Arab Christians.

Um, what?

This has to be one of the most bizarre anti-Israel arguments I've ever seen, and I've seen some doozies. Although to call it an "argument" seems too charitable. It is more a vain attempt to blame Israel for Christian suffering throughout the Arab world by throwing things against the wall and hoping they would stick.

Exactly how does one draw a line from "US support for Israel" to "Muslims drive Christians out of all Arab countries"? How much can one twist facts in order to absolve Arabs from their actions?

But MacCulloch's theory is even nuttier. He still doesn't give a reason for those crazy evangelicals to ignore their fellow Christians. If they were all Islamophobes, wouldn't they be in the forefront of the campaign to defend Arab Christians from Muslims?  Apparently, somehow, their support for Israel means that they don't have the mental capacity to understand that more than one thing can happen in the Middle East at once. It must be that they are just too stupid.

That's not all. MacCulloch thinks that US Zionist evangelicals are the only Christians on the planet who have the ability to help their fellow Christians. What about non-evangelical Americans? What about the entire continent of South America? What about European Christians? Are they all completely impotent because US Zionist Christians have taken over the entire religion?

What continent is the Vatican in again?

The entire article reveals much more about MacCulloch's mentality than about any reality in the Middle East. Rather than try to puzzle out the illogic of this piece, try this on for size:

1) MacCulloch is upset that Christians have been silent about Muslim persecution.
2) MacCulloch hates Israel and Christian Zionists.
3) Therefore, Israel and Zionism must be at fault for Christian apathy.

The rest is all detail. (And absolving the actual people doing the persecution is obligatory, as long as Zionists can be somehow blamed.)

Even the Daily Beast employee who wrote the subheading of the article can't quite figure out MacCulloch's argument:
Why has the suffering of the Middle Eastern Christian communities not ignited outrage and support from Western Christians? The answer has something to do with Israel and the Second Coming, writes Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch.

(h/t Daniel F)


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