Monday, March 27, 2017

From Ian:

The 100 year betrayal of Israel by the West - Canada Free Press
Obama Era
Because of the pressure put on Israel by the US to create a Palestinian state, PM Sharon thought he had to initiate solutions before he was forced to do what the west wanted. Thus he proposed the Disengagement Plan. Bush gave him a letter in 2004 in support which committed the US to certain things including US support for the retention of the settlement blocs and a solution based on Res 242 rather than the API. It also committed the US to not allow any other Plan to be imposed. This letter was carefully drafted as it was considered to be binding on the US. One of the first things Pres Obama did after his inauguration was to disavow this letter so he would be free to impose terms on Israel if not a full plan. I would say that was a major betrayal.
Pres Obama betrayed Israel in many ways during his presidency including forcing Israel to institute a settlement freeze and to support a two-state solution which she wasn’t legally obligated to do. Rather than leave all final status issues to be negotiated directly as had been agreed upon, he attempted to influence the parameters of an agreement by insisting on a division of Jerusalem and the ‘67 lines as the borders. His parting shot was to refrain from casting his veto to UN Res 2334 which thoroughly attacked the settlements and demanded a permanent freeze. If that weren’t bad enough, it went on to apply these demands to communities in Jerusalem east of the ceasefire lines.
The Iran Deal requires special mention as a betrayal of major proportions.
The driving force behind all these betrayals is the desire on the part of the West to appease the Arabs due to their 300 million population, their oil and gas exports and to their one billion co-religionists. It matters not, what the facts, history, agreements, values, guarantees are.
It remains to be seen whether Pres. Trump will put an end to this 100 year betrayal.

Melanie Phillips charts her journey from ‘Miss Guardianista’ to ‘neoconservative Jeremiah’
Growing up in West London a distance away from the city’s thriving Jewish communities, Melanie Phillips did not have a particularity deep relationship with Israel. The veteran journalist describes her childhood family as “three times a year Jews” based on the frequency of their synagogue visits.
Israel “didn’t figure large in our lives at all. It was not really talked about. It was there, we approved of it but we never went there,” Phillips told the audience in Jerusalem’s Beit Shmuel Hall on Sunday night.
“Israel was fine for other Jews. Other Jews needed it, that was great and we supported that, and we cared about its fate and its future — at a distance. But it wasn’t for Jews like us because we were absolutely fine because we lived in Britain,” said Phillips.
Now sharing her time between Israel and her native UK, the veteran journalist has undoubtedly changed her views both on the necessity of the Jewish state and on the future of the Jewish community in Britain.
In conversation with fellow UK journalist Matthew Kalman in the latest in an ongoing series of events sponsored by The Times of Israel, Phillips described how Israel had played a key role in her journey from long-time liberal correspondent and columnist at the left-leaning Guardian newspaper to assuming the mantle of an ultra-conservative heavyweight frequenting the pages of the Daily Mail and the Spectator.
Phillips said it was the 1982 Lebanon War which first burst the bubble of her “seventh heaven” on the Guardian’s high-brow editorial team.
Rebel Media's Faith Goldy in the Israel Today Studio (h/t Yoel)

  • Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Jerusalem Post last month:
The German state of Thuringia announced on Friday it will remove a school book with an antisemitic illustration depicting a video game character – alongside the words “Rothschild Bank” – consuming Europe.

A Thuringian Education Ministry representative told the MDR Thüringen news outlet that “like in many other federal states,” Thuringia will remove the book, and called criticism of the book “justified.”

The cartoon shows a video Pacman figure devouring Europe, with the Jewish banking family named next to the cartoon.

The schoolbook has been in circulation since 2012. The Thuringian Education Ministry representative declined to comment on the number of books in use in Thuringia’s educational system published by Klett-Verlag.
As far as I can tell, the actual illustration from the book hasn't been published in any English-language outlet. So here it is:

The artist behind this is named David Dees, an ultra-right wing American with fairly poor Photoshop skills who has made lots of antisemitic artwork, especially for some conspiracy rag called Sheeple:

(h/t Irene)

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By Petra Marquardt-Bigman

When the news broke late last week that convicted terrorist and US immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh had decided to accept a plea bargain that requires her to leave the US while allowing her to avoid prison, no one needed to rally the “usual suspects”: anti-Israel activists at Ali Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada and the Orwellian-named Jewish Voice for Peace were quick to reaffirm their support for Odeh by eagerly amplifying the odious statement put out by the “Rasmea Defense Committee.” But these notorious fringe voices were soon joined by Noura Erakat, an assistant professor at George Mason University, “where she teaches in the legal studies, international studies, and human rights/social justice studies concentrations.” Erakat also seems to have some credibility with the US mainstream media; she has e.g. appeared on CNN and PBS and has voiced her views on terrorism in the New York Times, as EoZ highlighted in a critical post last year.

Arguably, Erakat now clarified her views on terrorism when she took to Twitter and described Odeh as “[o]ur sister, our beloved leader;” she also re-tweeted a claim that Odeh was the victim of a “political expulsion;” eventually,  Erakat followed up with a lengthy piece at Jezebel, professing her “mad love and respect” for the convicted terrorist and immigration fraudster.

The title of Erakat’s piece, “When You Come for Rasmea Odeh, You Come For All of Us,” implies of course that all left-thinking people should now feel “we are all Rasmea Odeh.” Perhaps Jezebel readers don’t mind this sweeping declaration of solidarity with a person who joined a terrorist organization and was convicted for her participation in a deadly bombing attack on a supermarket. After all, the bombed supermarket was in Jerusalem and the casualties – two students killed and nine people wounded – were Israeli Jews. But while most Americans will never have heard of Rasmea Odeh, many would probably be alarmed to know that a former member of a group that “pioneered aircraft hijackings” and that is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Australia, and the European Union, is so enthusiastically championed by a Palestinian American professor who teaches at a well-respected US university.

Of course, Erakat pretends that Rasmea Odeh is just an innocent victim of Israel’s brutality, forced after weeks of monstrous torture to confess to a crime she didn’t commit. Yet, Erakat is apparently aware that a thorough documentation showing that Odeh was convicted in a fair trial has been available at Legal Insurrection for more than two years – but naturally, she thinks it’s enough to denounce the site as just one of the “right-wing rags” that none of her readers would ever even look at.

Perhaps Professor Erakat will one day write a learned book on how to tell right-wing facts from left-wing facts, but in the meantime, the fact of the matter remains that it’s pretty easy to show how utterly hollow the claims of Odeh and her fans are. Particularly easy to refute is the claim that she only confessed after enduring “45 days” of heinous torture: Odeh was arrested by Israeli security forces on February 28, 1969; three days later, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported:

“Jerusalem police said today that they had confessions from three suspects directly involved in planting bombs that wrecked the Supersol supermarket in West Jerusalem on Feb. 21, killing two Hebrew University students and injuring nine other persons. […] Police said the bombs were planted by two girls who received the explosives from a third saboteur. They were concealed in shopping bags. The crime has been reconstructed with the aid of the suspects, according to police.”

Moreover, as Erakat should know, Palestinians tend to be very proud of any terror attacks they committed – and sure enough, one of Odeh’s accomplices has repeatedly boasted about her own and Odeh’s role in the deadly bomb attack. You can watch Aisha Odeh doing just that here and here – and both interviews were meant to glorify what Rasmea and Aisha Odeh accomplished. (Incidentally, they are apparently not relatives).

So much for Rasmea Odeh’s “innocence”…

Of course, it can’t be ruled out that Noura Erakat would insist that Aisha Odeh and the programs that glorified her and Rasmea Odeh must be dismissed as part of some vast conspiracy orchestrated by “right-wing rags.” But “right-wing rags” really face a tough challenge: they can hardly hope to discredit the left more effectively than Erakat has done by asserting that being on the left means embracing a convicted terrorist who not only joined a group that pioneered airplane hijackings, but who also participated in the deadly bombing of a supermarket and then lied about it all to get US citizenship.

Given Erakat’s views on Odeh, it is hardly surprising that she is also an ardent admirer of Richard Falk, an antisemitic 9/11 truther whose support for the terror group Hamas has even upset the Palestinian Authority. But Professor Erakat is “honored” to call Falk “a friend” and she’s “so inspired, when not intimated, floored” by how much Falk gives the world…

Thanks to a tip I received on Twitter, it is also clear that as far as Erakat is concerned, Palestinian terrorism – no matter how gruesome – will never diminish her support for the Palestinian “cause”. An article in The Daily Californian from early April 2002 tells us that at a raucous “pro-Palestinian” rally,

“UC Berkeley senior Noura Erakat, praised the Palestinian people on being ‘steadfast in their refusal to leave’ Palestine, and drew wild cheers from the mostly pro-Palestinian crowd when she accused Israel of ‘racist, apartheid practices.’”

This statement from Erakat came at the height of the so-called Al-Aqsa Intifada that Palestinians initiated after they had been offered a state comprising all of Gaza and at least 90% of the West Bank at Camp David in July 2000. Here is just a partial list of some of the major Palestinian terror attacks in the three months preceding the “pro-Palestinian” rally in Berkeley:

In the Bat Mitzvah massacre on January 17, 2002, 6 people were killed and 33 were wounded at a Bat Mitzvah celebration in Hadera.

In the Jaffa Street bombing on January 27, 2002, Wafa Idris, “a 28-year-old female Palestinian suicide bomber, blew herself up in the center of Jerusalem, killing one person and injuring about 100 others.”

In the Karnei Shomron Mall suicide bombing on February 16, 2002, 3 teenagers were killed and 27 people were wounded.

In the Yeshivat Beit Yisrael massacre in downtown Jerusalem on March 2, 2002, 11 Israelis – including “two infants, three children and two teenagers” – were killed and over 50 people were injured by a suicide bomber who “detonated the bomb full of shrapnel alongside a group of women with their baby strollers, waiting for the services in a nearby synagogue to conclude.”

In the Café Moment bombing on March 9, 2002, 11 Israelis were killed and 54 wounded by a Palestinian suicide bomber targeting a popular café in Jerusalem.

In the King George Street bombing on March 21, 2002 in Jerusalem, 3 Israelis were killed – including a woman pregnant with twins – and more than 40 people were wounded by a suicide bomber.

In the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya on March 27, 2002, 30 people were killed and 140 were injured when a suicide bomber targeted a Passover seder.

In the Kiryat HaYovel supermarket bombing on March 29, 2002, “a 16-year-old Palestinian female suicide bomber blew herself up at the entrance of the main supermarket in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat HaYovel, killing three people and injuring 28.”

In the Matza restaurant suicide bombing on March 31, 2002, 16 Israelis were killed and over 40 were wounded.

Since Noura Erakat wholeheartedly cheered the Palestinian “cause” in April 2002, it’s perhaps not surprising that she is openly embracing a convicted Palestinian terrorist some 15 years later. But given that Rasmea Odeh was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at the time when the terror group “pioneered” the hijacking of airplanes, we should also recall that the Berkeley rally at which Noura Erekat “drew wild cheers” took place just half a year after the September 11 attacks on the US. While we can’t know if PFLP members like Rasmea Odeh felt particular pride that their organization had provided something of a precedent for the 9/11 attacks, we do know for certain that Palestinians in general were ardent admirers of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden: according to reliable polls first published in 2003, “72 percent of Palestinians voiced support for bin Laden;” and even almost a decade later, a poll conducted shortly before the demise of bin Laden showed that a solid third of Palestinians continued to have “confidence in the terrorist leader to do the right thing in world affairs.”

In this context it is utterly fascinating to see that Erakat opened her lengthy piece in Jezebel actually with a quote from a recent speech by Rasmea Odeh, starting with a reference to the 9/11 attacks on the US – and it’s all too obvious that Odeh couldn’t care less how most Americans felt in the wake of the attacks, because when she talks about “target[ing] our people,” the people she refers to are whatever people feel targeted by “Israeli and U.S. policies”:

“‘In the US, we are living in a time that is worse than the few years after the September 11th attacks,’ said Rasmea Odeh to nearly 1,000 people gathered at the Chicago Teachers Union Hall to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8. ‘Israeli and U.S. policies make it easy to target our people,’ she continued, ‘but Palestinians are resisting these attacks in Palestine, and here in the U.S., we are all resisting Trump’s attacks on immigrants, Black people, Arabs and Muslims, and others.’ The audience responded with a standing ovation.”

I’d say that the audience responded a bit like turkeys cheering Thanksgiving. But in any case, we should probably all be happy for Odeh, who won’t have to live much longer in the US at this terrible time “that is worse than the few years after the September 11th attacks.”

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From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Britain's pro-Israel pivot
The passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on December 23 was a low point in Israel’s relations, not just with the US, but also with Britain.
The UK was said to have played a key role in drafting and passing the resolution that describes Israel’s settlements in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem as “illegal” and “an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.”
At the time, the Jewish Chronicle quoted an unnamed British political source who claimed the UK’s “yes” vote was part of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s new strategy toward Israel, according to which the Jewish state’s friends have to take a stand against settlements for Israel’s own good.
What seemed to be a continuation of this hardline policy against Israel was Britain’s backing of a French-hosted Middle East conference that took place on January 15 that was seen by Israel as an attempt to force upon it a territorial arrangement with the Palestinians.
But, it has emerged since that Britain’s December vote in the UN Security Council was not an accurate reflection of British policy toward Israel.
Since Resolution 2334, May’s government has made a concerted effort to demonstrate to Israel and the world that it will be adopting a more pro-Israel stance.
Ron Prosor: Why the UK had to crack down on the UN’s anti-Israel hypocrisy, duplicity and dishonesty
Israel’s former UN Ambassador Ron Prosor dismantles the UN Human Rights Council
The UK’s statement on Friday, calling out the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for its “disproportionate focus on Israel” was an uncharacteristically forceful and public statement of truth on the issue.
It slammed “Agenda Item 7”, the structural, institutionalised mechanism singling out Israel at the Council.
Human rights in every other country are debated under “Agenda Item 4”; only Israel has an entire agenda item of its own. The result, noted Britain’s Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, is that of 135 country-specific resolutions adopted by the Council, 68 have targeted Israel.
This partly explains why in the past decade, although more than 300,000 civilians have been killed in Sudan, 55,000 children killed in Syria and more than 3,000 people executed in Iran, Israel has received more condemnation than those countries combined.
The UK did vote for two of the five resolutions against Israel and abstained on two more, which is not ideal. But whether prompted by the FCO or by Downing Street, it decided there must be limits to the Council’s hypocrisy, duplicity and dishonesty.

U.S. Diplomat Accuses UN of Bias Against Israel
The Trump administration is strongly condemning what it calls a systemic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, arguing Friday that U.N. monitoring of West Bank settlement activity allowed by the Obama administration is the latest example.
Michele Sison, the No. 2 U.S. diplomat at the United Nations, spoke against what the United States says is the unfair singling out of Israel during a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on Friday. There and elsewhere, the Trump administration is arguing that the United Nations has allowed valuable time and attention to be hijacked for bashing Israel.
Sison spoke during the session to hear the first U.N. report issued under a resolution condemning settlements that the Obama administration allowed to take effect in December. In a pointed and highly unusual critique of Israeli actions, the United States had abstained, allowing the resolution to pass, instead of vetoing it as U.S. envoys have done in the past.
The change in U.S. administrations, and the shift in positions on Israeli settlements flavored the discussion Friday.
“It is clear from what the U.S. representative said today that the U.S. administration is continuing to develop its thinking on some of the points of detail” about settlements and a peace negotiation, British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters.

If you scour through the comment section of any pro-Israeli blog, you’ll invariably run into accusations that those of us writing and doing anything on behalf of the Jewish state (or lambasting BDS and other anti-Israel propaganda activities) are paid agents of the Mossad, Netenyahu, AIPAC or the latest fantasized cabal of super-wealthy Jewish fat-cats.   

I’ve always assumed these accusations were just simple-minded attempts by the BDS brigade to portray their enemies as vast, powerful and wealthy in order to assuage the egos of those who have seen their argument smashed and their campaigns defeated time and time again.  After all, if this blog were a corporation filing taxes, those forms would - at best - indicate two- to three-figure annual losses (with tip-jar donations eaten up by design and production of works like this, or the pine-appley Polynesian cocktails I prefer to sip while writing).

But last week’s arrest of Omar Barghouti for tax evasion flagged the fact that there are some people in the BDS game (both pro- and anti-) making a decent enough profit off the gig to earn some attention from Internal Revenue. 

Most of the commentary on the scandal has understandably focused on the rank hypocrisy of Barghouti himself who travels the globe calling for the economic ruin of the nation he has and continues to benefit from, whether through subsidized tuition at an Israeli university or security services ensuring that the planes he takes from Ben Gurion to various Israel-bashing gigs don’t blow up in the sky.

While that reaction is warranted, I’m more intrigued by the sources of money the dear leader of the global BDS “movement” has managed to squirrel away and the hubris required to assume he could just sock his earnings into bank accounts on the West Bank or United States and never be called to account for not declaring what he’s actually earned on his national tax forms.

The only specific number mentioned in news reports is $700,000 Barghouti deposited in West Bank accounts earned from his business installing ATMs in Palestinian-controlled territories.  At first glance, this number seems pretty high.  But upon second glance, that amounts to a mere $70,000 per year (given that this $700K total represents a decade worth of earnings).  A third glance, however, requires us to think how much one has to earn annually in order to sock away $70,000 out of that total in a rainy day fund.

Stories did not identify how much Barghouti makes in speakers fees and book royalties, although they did indicate that this is the money he’s kept in US banks (i.e., in banks held in the country he seems to despise only slightly less than he loathes Israel).  I have read that the speaker/writer supposedly donates his fees to “the cause,” which I suppose might be true (even if so much of everything else Barghouti spouts is a lie).  If that’s the case, however, what’s sitting in those US bank accounts?  Chanukah gelt?

Comparisons with Al Capone (who was finally put away for tax evasion, rather than his more violent crimes) were rife on the Net.  But I don’t recall the US Treasury Department letting Capone out on bail to travel the world denouncing the US.  Apparently, Israeli tax authorities are a bit more lenient in this regard, providing Omar leave to go abroad and give even more speeches proving Palestinians like himself live in the equivalent of the Warsaw Ghetto (before going out to dinner and relaxing in a comfortable hotel).

As I’ve said in the past, I begrudge no one who has found a way to get someone else to foot the bills (and even pay honorariums) at events in interesting and exotic locales.  And if Omar has managed to build a business flogging his book at speaking events, more power to him.  But if you want to keep such a scam going, there are a few business details worth staying on top of.  Paying your taxes is one of them.

A narrative is already emerging that the dread Israeli empire has found yet another way to suppress those stifled still voices of the BDS movement, turning their Mandelaesque leader into one more martyr to free speech who, for some reason, never stops talking (and never stops being given opportunities to be paid to talk).

To which I say “posh.”  But if the BDS “movement” wants to stake its reputation on an ATM salesman/tax cheat who remains unwilling to give up the privileges of the Israeli society he is dedicated to destroying, then I wish them a happy third decade of watching Israel go from strength to strength as their own project continues to burn.

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  • Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Israel Hayom:

Trump 'seriously considering' moving US Embassy to Jerusalem, Pence says
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday revived talk of the possibility of the United States moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying President Donald Trump is seriously considering the matter.

"After decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Pence told the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee at its annual policy conference in Washington.
There is no doubt that the talk from this administration about Israel is far, far warmer than anything we had ever heard from the Obama White House.

But Pence's statement about the embassy is literally meaningless. "Thinking about it" may be more than any previous administration did but in the end it is the same effect as long as the embassy remains in a place that is not Israel's capital.

After a clear-cut campaign promise from someone who says that he keeps his promises, this isn't exactly a strong message from the administration.

The important question is whether Trump will sign the waiver for Congress' demand that the embassy be moved - the waiver that every president has signed every six months since the Jerusalem  Embassy Act in 1995.

June 1 will be the test as to whether Trump is serious about doing the right thing. Until then, it is all talk.

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  • Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

From  the EU-BAM webpage:
The European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point – code name EUBAM Rafah – was launched on 24 November 2005, to monitor the operations of the border crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, after Israel and the Palestinian Authority concluded an Agreement on Movement and Access on 15 November 2005. The Council of the European Union welcomed the Agreement and approved that the EU should undertake the third-party role proposed.

The operational phase of the mission began on 30 November 2005. The Rafah Crossing Point was last opened with the presence of EUBAM monitors on 9 June 2007. ... [when Hamas took over Gaza - EoZ.] Since then, the mission has remained on standby, awaiting a political solution and ready to re-engage at very short notice.
For nearly ten years, the members of the EUBAM have been doing, literally, nothing. There is nothing on the horizon to indicate that the PA will take over control of the Rafah crossings from Hamas. Egypt is more frightened of Gazans and Gaza weapons going to Egypt than Israel is of smuggled weapons into Gaza from Egypt since Egypt cracked down on smuggling.

Yet every year their mandate is extended:
The Council ...extended the mandate of EU BAM Rafah until 30 June 2017....The mission maintains readiness to redeploy to the Rafah crossing point once the political and security situation allows. Natalina Cea has been Head of Mission since 1 July 2015. The mission's budget for the period between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017 amounts to € 1.54 million.
 €1.54 million every year to keep people on call for something that will never happen! The mission has existed for nearly 12 years, of which 10 have been doing exactly nothing.

Yet they still hire new Heads of Mission.  They create useless seminars. They get together every few years with other EU officials.

This isn't the only useless EU organization on permanent assignment in the PA. The EU police mission for the Palestinian Territories spend over €10 million a year in order to help the PA learn how to run a functioning criminal justice system since 2006. And as far as I can tell from Palestinian media, there are extraordinarily few cases that actually make it to Palestinian court, after over 10 years of EU mentoring and oversight.

But in both these cases, the EU doesn't want to admit that it was throwing money away, so it continues to throw good money after bad and pretending that it is making a difference. Unless someone starts asking why the EU auditors aren't looking for results from these missions, they will continue to waste money - and incidentally continue to infantilize the Palestinians by telling them that 25 years after Oslo, they still don't know how to build their own institutions by themselves.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

  • Sunday, March 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Felesteen, a cartoon warning Israelis what will happen since Israel is blamed for the assassination of a major Hamas figure on Saturday:

This is hardly the first time the map of "Palestine" was made into a weapon by Palestinian Arab graphics designers and cartoonists.

This was published by Fatah in 2012:

This went around social media during the "knife intifada":

Once again proving that the entire point of "Palestine" is not to create a new nation but to destroy one.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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  • Sunday, March 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week, EoZ columnist Forest Rain wrote a great article entitled "Unapologetic Zionist Feminist."

Commenter Ruth asked for someone to make a T-Shirt with that message.

Here it is:

My old CafePress store disappeared and I didn't have time to make this one look nice, but if you want a T-shirt with this logo, you can get it here.

For the next couple of days you may get a significant discount if you use the code BLOOM25 at checkout.

If you want the logo on a mug or magnet or something besides a T-shirt or tank top or hoodie, let me know.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

David Brog: Mahmoud Abbas’ Embrace of Terror
Why is there peace between Israel and Jordan? Because King Hussein said “yes” to Israel’s peace offer. He said “yes” because he recognized the humanity of Israelis and the necessity of compromise. He said “yes” because deep down he hated the murder done in his name.
Why is there no peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Because Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessors said “no” to Israel’s peace offers. They said “no” because they fail to recognize the humanity of Israelis and the necessity of compromise. They said “no” because they celebrate and even reward the acts of violence done in their name.
And make no mistake about it, Israel’s peace proposals have been frequent and far reaching. The Israelis offered the Palestinians a state of their own on at least five separate occasions – in 1937, 1947, 1967, 2000/2001 and 2008. In 2008, the territory on offer included effectively all of the West Bank (with land swaps) and the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Gaza was already under Palestinian control.
Abbas’ predecessors turned down the first four offers. Abbas turned down the 2008 offer. This rejection puzzled many observers. After all, Abbas was supposed to be different. He was supposed to the long overdue Palestinian moderate. Many still see him that way.
But it’s become increasingly apparent that Abbas is not—and never has been—the benign uncle of Israeli dreams. In our interconnected digital world, new evidence of Abbas’ true character is emerging almost daily. Do you want to know why Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians rages on? Look no further than Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page.
David Brog: 350 Wrongs And One Right
Young progressives have an Israel problem. They believe that Israel is occupying the land on which the Palestinians want to build their state, thereby rendering them stateless. And they’re convinced that this makes the Palestinians the last stateless people on planet earth. As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas phrased it in 2014, “we are the only people on earth still living under occupation. Not acceptable.”
The underlying claim is certainly true. The Palestinians are stateless. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that Israel is to blame for it. National suffering, much like personal pain, can be self-inflicted.
The fact is that the Israelis have offered the Palestinians a state in substantially all of the West Bank and Gaza – or in even larger territories — on five separate occasions. The first offer was made in 1937. The most recent offer was made in 2008. Palestinian leaders turned down each of these opportunities. This history of independence offered and rejected should at least temper the zeal of those seeking to blame Palestinian statelessness on Israel.
It’s also important to note that statelessness is not nearly as rare as Israel’s critics claim. President Abbas’ protestations notwithstanding, the Palestinians are not the only occupied people on the planet. Far from it. The Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations (yes, there actually is such a thing) contains detailed entries for 350 stateless peoples who are actively seeking their independence.

  • Sunday, March 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Twenty-First Century "Hijab Cool"
When I was growing up in the outskirts of New York City in the 1970s there was hardly a hijab to be found.

Of course, when I was growing up in the outskirts of New York City in the 1970s there was hardly a Muslim to be found, either.

There were only a few more Muslims in Kingston, N.Y. or Trumbull, Connecticut than there were Jews living in Mayberry, North Carolina, ten years earlier, with that nice Sheriff Andy Taylor and his cute little boy, Opie Cunningham.

It was only long after 9/11 - as political Islam stridently re-asserted its presence on the international stage - that I focused on political Islam and its relentless hostility toward Gay people, women, and dhimmis throughout the Middle East. Christians in that part of the world have it the worst, as Raymond Ibrahim will be more than unhappy to inform you. Although neither Europe, nor the Vatican, seems to much care, there is a Christian genocide happening right at this very moment throughout much of what was the Byzantine Empire.

To the extent, however, that as a kid I even thought about Muslims I figured that they were pretty much like everybody else. I grew up somewhere in the middle of the middle class, during the early years of the Age of Sesame Street, and my friends were from all across the ethnic kick-ball court.

Irish kids. Black kids. Italian kids. Asian kids. Catholics. Protestants. Jews. It was all just part of the mix and virtually none of us gave a damn one way or the other.

Although I did not realize it at the time, I grew up during a period when the United States, in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, was well into the process of moving beyond racial animosities. I came across the occasional antisemitic slur, because it's not as if all of my neighbors were head-over-heels in love with Jewish people or Gay people or Black people to begin with.

Yet us kids played baseball together and went fishing together and hung out after school. Most of our parents were not particularly bigoted, and considerably less so than were their parents, and we were less so, still. The United States was shedding its prejudicial past as minority groups moved into the professional class, as women gained social and economic equality, and as Gay people, through the efforts of people like Harvey Milk in San Francisco, gained acceptance in the general culture toward the end of the twentieth-century.

Sadly, however, the ideal of ethnic and gendered diversity has been replaced on the illiberal progressive-left by multicultural fragmentation and identity politics as represented by the hijab... all of which moves in a direction entirely counter to Martin Luther King, Jr.s liberal dream of equality.

The hijab is a symbol of Muslim supremacism, not liberal diversity.

It could recently have become a symbol of liberal diversity in the United States if people like faux-feminist icon, Linda Sarsour, had made it so, but they did not. There is nothing essentially anti-feminist about any style of headscarf, so long as it is worn voluntarily, but unfortunately that is not the case for hundreds of millions of women throughout the Muslim world.

If Sarsour, and those westerners unironically adopting an Islamic patriarchal style of women's apparel in the name of feminism, had made it clear that they oppose the rise of political Islam, things might be different. If they had stood up for the 1,200 women victimized by the mass rapes in Cologne on New Years Eve, 2016, things might be different.

But they did not.

On the contrary, contemporary feminism betrayed its essential values precisely because it failed to speak up for the rights of women, Gay people, or dhimmis in either Asia or Europe. Thus it becomes difficult to see how contemporary feminism can possibly be said to stand for universal human rights.

By embracing the hijab western feminism drains itself of ideological content. It stands for everything and nothing, which is precisely why the recent Women's Marches held aloft no specific demands even as they reduced women to their sexual organs and wore pink "pussy hats." Thus, whatever anyone might say about Sarsour, she is not liberal and neither is contemporary feminism.

For most of us from the various abused ethnic minorities who lived for thirteen centuries under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule, the hijab is not a cool western fashionable accessory representative of "hip" culture. 

On the contrary.

For Jewish people - and other dhimmis familiar with their own history - the hijab is, along with the keffiyeh, a symbol of ethnic oppression. The keffiyeh is to many Jews what the Klansmen's hood is to most African-Americans. It represents the intention of violence towards one's own people in order to ensure racist political objectives, by any means necessary.

And the keffiyeh, needless to say, is born of the hijab.

Understand, however, that if the Muslim world had given up on its imperialist tendency to oppress all non-Muslims then I would not care about the hijab. I am no more offended, for example, at the Christian cross, or a nun's habit, then I am at the Flying Spaghetti Monster, because none of those things represent hostility toward Jews. Christianity traversed the European Enlightenment of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and came out the better for it because it heightened the value of self-criticism within Christian culture resulting in a humanistic sensibility.

Whereas Catholicism formally renounced its doctrinaire Jew-hatred in Vatican Council II, Islam has never done any such thing and God knows that they need to. 

The cultures under Islam, including most of those in the West, have simply not gone through a similar liberal reformation and couldn't give a fig about western-left liberal notions concerning the freedom of the individual. From the seventh-century until the present, most of the Muslim world treats women like chattel, murders Gay people outright, and seeks the elimination of Jewish self-determination and self-defense on the very land of Jewish ancestry.

Whatever else the hijab represents it has absolutely nothing to do with western liberalism, feminism, or universal human rights.

The corporate embrace of the hijab, much like the now-and-again corporate embrace of hip socialist iconography, is a way of co-opting cool for the purpose of making a buck. 

In The Conquest of Cool, historian and The Baffler publisher, Thomas Frank, argues that the New York advertising agencies were key in creating the 1960s counterculture and I feel reasonably certain that Mad Men's fictional Don Draper - who at the end of the series we are led to believe created the famous 1971 "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" Coke ad - would have agreed.

In the meantime, while Madison Avenue seeks to make a few bills marketing the hijab, the western-left is shedding itself of liberalism.

The primary question facing contemporary western feminism, therefore, if they wish to maintain anything resembling ideological credibility, is just how they square one of the world's foremost symbols of patriarchy, the hijab, with their alleged devotion to women's equality?

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.



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  • Sunday, March 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

In a region rife with ironies, one of the least reported is that the same people who lecture to Israel about discrimination are far more discriminatory towards Muslims than Israel is.

There was much coverage about Israel passing a law to limit the heavily amplified Muslim call to prayer to during normal daytime hours. Yet most (if not all) European countries restrict the call to prayer far more. In most European countries, many Muslim communities are so worried about Islamophobic backlash that the amplified call to prayer is not requested to begin with. In places where it is allowed, it is often restricted to Fridays only, or only twice a day in the case of the East London Mosque. In Norway it is limited to Fridays only and cannot exceed 60 decibels.

Even the Netherlands, which explicitly allows the Muslim call to prayer as law, "the way in which it is carried out, the permitted volume and the number of times (it is not normally allowed for all five daily prayers) is pragmatically regulated by the local authority. In Amsterdam, for example, as in many other places, it is only allowed on a Friday, and in all cases there is a decibel limit that must not be exceeded."

All of these laws are far more strict than Israel's.

All of these restrictions in virtually all European countries are far greater than Israel's law. Yet no one speaks about it as a violation of human rights. Only Israel is singled out for its much milder restrictions. And I can tell you that even they are not being enforced yet, as I heard the amplified call to prayer as early as 4:10 AM from my Jerusalem hotel.

Similarly, Israel has no restrictions on Islamic dress. Even the full burqa is allowed. Yet in Europe there are heavy restrictions on the Islamic veil and headcovering:

Several Belgian municipalities have used municipal by-laws on face-covering clothing to ban public wearing of the niqab and burqa.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, lawyers, prosecutors and others employed in judicial institutions can not wear the hijab to work.

In 2016, a legal ban on face-covering Islamic clothing was adopted by the Bulgarian parliament.

The government of Kosovo banned the headscarf in schools in late 2009.

A legal ban of face-covering Islamic clothing was adopted by the Latvian parliament.

In December 2016, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said the wearing of full-faced veils should be prohibited in Germany "wherever it is legally possible".

In Austria, the ruling coalition agreed in January 2017 to prohibit full-face veils (niqab and burka) in public spaces such as courts and schools.

France became the first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places in 2011.

A law banning the full-face veil came into effect in Belgium in July 2011.

Several towns in Italy have local bans on face-covering veils.

In Spain, the city of Barcelona announced a ban on full Islamic face-veils in some public spaces such as municipal offices, public markets and libraries in 2010.

In Denmark in 2008, the government announced it would bar judges from wearing headscarves and similar religious or political symbols in courtrooms.

It is illegal to wear a face veil in public in the Tessin region of Switzerland.

The European Court of Justice ruled that employers have the legal right to ban staff from wearing the Islamic headscarf.

Beyond the call to prayer and the restrictions on clothing, Switzerland has banned building minarets on mosques since 2009. Slovakia has passed a law which will effectively ban Islam from gaining official status as a religion. In the French town of Charvieu-Chavagneux, the mayor bulldozed a mosque in 1989 and today Arabic is forbidden to be taught in schools.

Israel has no such restrictions.

Yet the EU spends money to teach Israelis tolerance. Israel has far more Islamic terror attacks than all the European nations combined yet the EU lectures Israel on how it fights terror - in ways that are far more tolerant of Islam than Europe is.

Who should be teaching whom about tolerance? 

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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