Monday, August 29, 2016


During the recent Democratic National Convention (DNC), many “pro-Palestinian” activists complained about what they perceived as a lack of interest and support for their cause. As the ambitious Linda Sarsour – who has been hailed by the Obama White House as a “Champion of Change” – put it bitterly on Twitter: “The ‘most progressive’ platform in history of DNC except on Palestine. Actually it’s more to the right its [sic] ever been.”

One problem with this complaint is that there is absolutely nothing “progressive” about Palestinians – quite the contrary: they are so much “to the right” that they make US social conservatives like the Tea Party Republicans look almost progressive by comparison. Already a year ago, I made the case that, given Palestinian views, it is rather bizarre that “progressives” would be so eager to champion the “Palestinian cause.” This post was in part based on an extensive survey of Muslim societies published in 2013 by the respected US research center Pew, and as EoZ reported back then, Palestinians emerged as one of the most religiously conservative and extremist societies of all surveyed Muslim-majority countries. EoZ highlighted some of the rather shocking results in an infographic.

So 89% of Palestinians would like to have Islamic Sharia law as “the official law of the land” in Palestine; 87% believe a wife “must always obey her husband;” 81% think people who commit adultery deserve to be stoned to death, and 62% want the death penalty for Muslims who leave Islam. How “progressive” is that?

Then there is the little matter of the longstanding Palestinian support for terrorism. As surveys going back some two decades demonstrate, Palestinians have always firmly backed terror attacks targeting Israeli civilians – whether it’s Hamas rocket attacks, suicide bombings of restaurants or buses, or so-called “lone wolf” attacks. Just how immensely popular the killing of Israelis is among Palestinians was again demonstrated recently, when the supposedly “moderate” Fatah faction tried to shore up its support ahead of municipal elections by listing the killing of 11,000 Israelis as the group’s top achievement.
But even when the target is not Israel, Palestinians remain enthusiastic supporters of terrorism: in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Pew monitored support for Osama bin Laden among Muslim publics for almost a decade, and Palestinians always emerged as bin Laden’s most ardent admirers. This is all the more noteworthy because the specific survey question Pew asked was quite convoluted and seemed designed to generate results that would minimize support for the Al Qaeda leader: survey participants were asked if they had “confidence” in Osama bin Laden to “do the right thing regarding world affairs.” Remarkably enough, in 2003, bin Laden actually inspired more “confidence” in Palestinians than Yassir Arafat. Bin Laden for President of Palestine – how progressive is that?



To be sure, prominent “progressive” proponents of the “Palestinian cause” in the US – like Ali Abunimah or Max Blumenthal – don’t really have a problem with Palestinian support for terrorism; indeed, they themselves are outspoken supporters of the terror group Hamas. Unfortunately, White House-endorsed “Champion of Change” Linda Sarsour also seems prepared to justify terrorism. As she declared some two years ago on Twitter: “Israel steals more land and they expect the Palestinians to sit back? Then Palestinians are the terrorists? I am beyond words.” [Archived here]. At the same time, Sarsour also wondered if there are “still people out there who actually think a two-state solution is viable? SMH [shaking my head] at whoever they are.” [Archived here].

So it seems fair to conclude that when Linda Sarsour campaigns for the rights of Palestinians, she doesn’t really mean a Palestinian state that would peacefully co-exist with Israel. Of course, she can claim that this view faithfully represents how Palestinians feel, since an overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe that their “rights and needs” require the elimination of Israel.

Maybe that’s progressive – and western democracies, where majorities of people don’t share this view, are just too reactionary.

But it is instructive to examine a bit closer how Sarsour’s “pro-Palestinian” views reflect on supposedly “progressive” politics in the US.

A few days ago, Sarsour posted a tweet urging people to “Follow @P_I_A_Mag, first Palestinian American magazine in the US;” she added a photo of herself holding two issues of the magazine.



As marked in the screenshot, the top issue she holds has an article about Rasmea Odeh; a recent article about Odeh in the magazine is quite long, but requires that readers are familiar with the case. The Wikipedia entry about the Odeh case introduces it as follows:

“Rasmea Yousef Odeh (born 1947/1948; also known as Rasmea Yousef, Rasmieh Steve, and Rasmieh Joseph Steve)[2][3] is a Palestinian woman and former United States citizen. She served as associate director at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, Illinois. […] Odeh was convicted in 1970 by an Israeli military court of involvement in fatal terrorist bombings, and in 2014 by a US federal jury of immigration fraud. She was sentenced to life in prison in Israel for her involvement in two terrorist bombings in Jerusalem in 1969, one of which killed two people, and involvement in an illegal organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). She spent 10 years in prison before she was released in a prisoner exchange with the PFLP in 1980.[…] Odeh was convicted of immigration fraud on November 10, 2014, by a jury in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, for concealing her arrest, conviction, and imprisonment for the 1969 bombings.”

Professor William A. Jacobson has provided extensive coverage of the case on his blog Legal Insurrection; particularly useful in the context here is a post written a year ago that highlights “The Sickening Deification of Rasmea Odeh” by anti-Israel activists in the US. In this post, Jacobson refutes claims that Odeh is innocent of the terrorist murder charges and highlights efforts to transform Odeh into an icon “as part of a continuing effort by anti-Israel activists to co-opt and hijack the Black Lives Matters movement.”

Right – what could be more progressive than convincing Black Lives Matter (BLM)-activists that Jewish lives don’t matter and that therefore a convicted terrorist who murdered two young Israelis should be one of their heroes?

Linda Sarsour seems to fully support this approach.

So it was hardly surprising that Sarsour simply shrugged off recent protests about the inclusion of bigoted anti-Israel views in a newly released BLM platform. As far as Sarsour is concerned, spuriously accusing Israel of committing genocide is worth losing an important ally like the veteran Anti-Defamation League (ADL). So Sarsour took to Twitter and declared: “If ADL has conditions on which Black lives matter and when they matter, then their support isn’t needed.” Of course, the ADL didn’t put conditions “on which Black lives matter and when they matter,” the ADL simply didn’t want to support a movement that seems resolved to echo a 21st century version of the Nazi slogan “The Jews are our misfortune.”

If there is one constant in the long history of antisemitism it is the notion that whatever you see as your biggest problem, it is somehow the fault of the Jews. Nowadays, it’s the fault of the world’s only Jewish state.

And it seems that for “progressives” like Sarsour, black lives matter most when they can somehow be manipulated into adopting a murderous Palestinian terrorist as their hero while at the same time accusing Israel of genocide and other evils in the service of the “Palestinian cause.”



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From Ian:

MEMRI: Iraqi Writer: The Iraqis' Suffering Is Greater Than The Palestinians'; We Should Put Ourselves First
On July 3, 2016, Iraqi writer Haidar Sabi argued, in the daily Al-Zaman, that although the Iraqis are suffering as much as or even more than the Palestinians, the Arab world empathizes only with the Palestinians, abandoning the Iraqis to their fate. As proof of his statements, Sabi compares Iraqi and Palestinian death tolls, the overall situation of both, the devastation and destruction each faces, and the support each receive; he concludes that the Iraqis are far worse off. Some 1,500 Palestinians carried out suicide attacks in Iraq, he says, while Iraq is a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause; he concludes with a call to Iraqis to put themselves first, to rebuild their identity and their country, and only then to reach out to help others.
It should be mentioned that Sabi's article joins several articles by Iraqi writers in the past year criticizing the Palestinians. For example, on February 9, 2016, Haidar Jarallah wrote in the online Saudi daily Elaph that the large number of Palestinian suicide bombers in Iraq (which he puts at 1,400) indicates a Palestinian hatred of Iraqis, and prompts speculation over whether the Iraqis should stop sympathizing with the Palestinian struggle and instead normalize relations with Israel. In another article, published July 31, 2015 in the pro-Iranian Iraqi daily Al-Akhbar in response to an attack carried out by a Palestinian in Diyala Governorate, writer Jawad Al-Matayr complained about Palestinian ingratitude for the Iraqis' longtime support, and noted that they had acted the same towards Kuwait, cheering Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of the country in the first Gulf War even though Kuwait had hosted Palestinians for years.

The Palestinian Scouts hero who murdered my father
What follows is the text of a letter that I sent to Mr. Scott Teare, Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The WOSM is the umbrella organization for164 National Scout Organizations, including the Zofim in Israel and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the United States.
Dear Mr. Teare,
On October 13, 2015, Baha Alyan and an accomplice, boarded public bus number 78 in Jerusalem and committed a heinous terrorist attack. They brutally murdered three innocent civilians, and injured fifteen others. My beloved father, Richard Lakin, was among those murdered. Alyan and his accomplice shot my 76-year-old father in the head, and then, after he fell to the ground, stabbed him multiple times in the head, face, chest and stomach, severing most of his vital organs.
My father was a kind, gentle-hearted man who dedicated his life to education and promoting peaceful coexistence. Generations of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts passed under his loving wing as principal of Hopewell Elementary School in Glastonbury, Connecticut, USA. In 2007 he published a book called “Teaching as an Act of Love” summarizing his life’s work and educational philosophy. The message of his book is that every child is a miracle that should be nurtured with love.
This week I was shocked to discover that the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA), which six months ago was accepted as a full member in the World Organization of the Scout Movement, is training its scout leaders to see a cold-blooded terrorist murderer as their role model. The PSA leadership training course that started last week is named the “Martyr – Leader Baha Alyan Course,” after the terrorist Alyan who murdered my father. Below is a screen shot of the PSA website showing a picture of the terrorist murderer Alyan in Palestinian Scouts uniform. On the website is an article about the course.

  • Monday, August 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The UN released a report on rebuilding Gaza after the 2014 war.

It mentions something that one never sees mentioned:

While the vast majority of people who are repairing or rebuilding their homes are able to access materials, as long as they have the funds and legal property/land rights, the sharp reduction of cement imports in April and May 2016, and the subsequent artificial ceiling of 90 trucks of cement per day through the Gaza GRM, are causing delays in accessing material, particularly for building of new houses. 
In fact, the report says that 101,759 households that were damaged during the war have acquired materials for repair.

Some other interesting items that one would not know from the media:




Also, the UN wants Israel to import more goods from Gaza.

To fully harness the productive capacity of Gaza’s agricultural sector, the current restriction on exports – including transfers to the West Bank - must be addressed, including by improving the conditions for exporting fresh produce and allowing a larger quantity of produce to be exported to Israel4  and delivered to the West Bank on a more predictable basis. 
4. Currently, 250 tons of tomatoes and 55 tons of aubergines are permitted to enter Israel weekly. No other produce is officially allowed, though in practice, other items are occasionally allowed to enter on an adhoc basis. 
Israel, in fact, is the only country in the world who the UN says must buy and consume Gaza products; the possibility that Israeli consumers don't want to support the economy of a Hamas-run enclave being irrelevant.

Also, while the report makes many demands on Israel to improve the situation in Gaza, it asks literally nothing from Gaza's other neighbor, Egypt. It doesn't demand Egypt provide more goods or construction materials or electricity; it doesn't demand that Egypt allow Gazans to enter and exit through the Rafah crossing - Gazans' fellow Arabs from Egypt are fully justified in their role of the "blockade" even while Israel allows millions of tons of materials to enter Gaza.


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  • Monday, August 29, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


The Washington Post reports:

For a quick reality check on the current stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there’s no better place to visit than this little village of miserable huts and sheep pens in the middle of nowhere.

The hamlet in the hills south of Hebron has become an improbable proxy in a cold war waged among Jewish settlers, the Israeli government, Western diplomats, peace activists and the 340 or so Arab herders who once inhabited caves on the site and now live in squalid tents.

Israel’s military authority in the West Bank wants to demolish the Palestinian community, contending that the ramshackle structures made of old tires and weathered tarpaulins were built without permits and must come down.

The Palestinian residents insist they are not squatters but heirs to the land they have farmed and grazed since the Ottoman era.

They say Israel wants to depopulate the area of Arabs and replace them with Jews.

“It’s ethnic cleansing,” said Nasser Nawaja, a resident of the village, who also is employed by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, which opposes the demolition.

That is nonsense, said Josh Hasten, international director for the pro-settler group Regavim, which has been pushing the Israeli government “to stop kicking the proverbial can down the road” and shove these “illegal squatters” off the land.

Hasten described Susiya as a phony village and part of a plot funded by the European Union and supported by the Palestinian Authority to assert rights that do not exist and create a “de facto Palestinian state” on land that should belong to Israel.
While the WaPo article doesn't claim that Susiya was an Arab village and only that the lands belonged to Arabs, other sources have insisted that there was an old Arab village - from at least Ottoman times - with that name (see Rabbis for Human Rights, Shlomi Eldar in Al Monitor.)

So, did Susiya exist as an Arab village before 1948?

The question should be an easy one to answer.

Plenty of travelers to the area in the 19th century noted that there were ruins there from an ancient synagogue. But none noted any Arab residents.

Here is everything Wikipedia says about it:

Ottoman era
In his book The Land of Israel: A Journal of travel in Palestine, Henry Baker Tristram wrote "We rode rapidly on through Susieh, a town of ruins, on a grassy slope, quite as large as the others, and with an old basilica, but less troglodyte then Attir. Many fragments of columns strewed the ground, and in most respects it was a repetition of Rafat."[73]

Victor Guérin noted in 1863: "I see before me extend considerable ruins called Khirbet Sousieh. They are those of a city important bearing whose homes were generally well built, like attested by the vestiges that still remain, and possessed several buildings built in stone."[27]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine says "This ruin has also been at one time a place of importance...".[31]

Maps of the 19th century which made the distinction sometimes depicted Susieh as a ruin and sometimes as a village.[74] For example, the Palestine Exploration Fund map of 1878 and the Guérin map of 1881 showed it as a ruin, while the earlier Zimmermann map of 1850, the van de Velde[75] maps of 1858 and 1865, and the Osborn map of 1859 showed it as a village.[74]

British Mandate

The Bartholomew's quarter-inch map of Palestine by The Edinburgh Geographical Institute[76] and the F.J. Salmon map of 1936[77] show Susya as ruins.
The only evidence of an Arab presence there comes from maps - contradicted by other maps - that show Susiya as a village rather than as ruins. Wikipedia reproduces the detail of one of the maps, but the text says that this map is from the the F.J. Salmon map that identifies Kh. Susya as ruins, not as a village.



So were there any Arabs living in or near the ruins?

There are two obvious places to look - the official census of  Palestine of 1922 and the official census of Palestine of 1931 by the British.

I looked in both places for the words Susya, Sousieh, Sussiya, Susieh, Susiya and every other spelling I could find. I looked at every reference to the word Khirbat or Khirbet (or "Kh.") and Qadima since it was also referred to in articles as Khirbet Susya or Susya Qadima.


Nothing.

The Wikipedia article in a separate section claims that there were some nomadic residents who lived in caves in Susiya during certain seasons but whose permanent homes were in Yatta and Dura. However, the British census noted nomadic populations as well.

In fact, that census also noted areas where there were nomadic populations who moved in and out of areas depending on the seasons, but Susya is not mentioned.

The British census lists hundreds of villages, but Susya is not mentioned at all in any variant of its spelling.

It appears that Regavim is correct, and the Europeans and others like Rabbis for Human Rights who insist that Susiya is some sort of ancient Arab village is nonsense.

See also this earlier article on the same topic from a different angle.

(UPDATE: Clarified that WaPo didn't explicitly claim that Susiya was an old Arab village, h/t Israellycool.)




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Sunday, August 28, 2016

  • Sunday, August 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
David Collier uncovered a gem of a video:


Many people have long surmised that external activists told several groups of Palestinians what they needed [to pretend to be in the forefront of calling to boycott Israel.] Then civil groups, some only made up of a couple of members, effectively sided with Hamas. They signed on the dotted line and BDS was born. The tail effectively wagging the dog. Whilst this has long been assumed, the evidence did not exist. Now it does. Watch the video. Bookmark it.

Having seen [Ilan] Pappe on many occasions, I know he holds the Palestinian ability to self-lead in total disdain. A typical self-righteous elitist. There is never a speech when he does not let his ego run away with him as he criticises them. As can be seen from the snippet in the video, he ‘begs’ them to lead. When Salah makes the comment about the Palestinian call for BDS, Pappe cannot resist. The exchange is stunning.

Pappe the activist, who at every single opportunity promotes BDS by suggesting that BDS began as a call from within civil society, now claims that is not true. He also seems to acknowledge that for ‘historical records’, it is important that people think this is the case. This conflict exists because if you remove the ethical underpinning of that boycott, the entire movement collapses. How can a humanitarian organisation side with a boycott that is put together by a few radical extremists and actually hurts the weaker members of civil society?

Illan Pappe would have been there at the time BDS was put together. So when we have Pappe clearly indicating a problem with the historical record we have to sit up and take note. What Pappe seems to be suggesting is that the Palestinians did not call for boycott, but rather were told to call for boycott. We can also see from the reaction by Salah, that the bog standard academic Palestinian activist is unaware of this deception. So whenever you see the suggestion that “The Palestinians called for Boycott”, you know now that is not true. Even on the edge of the far left, in the halls of the liberal humanitarian organisations, the very pillar of BDS has just fallen apart.

And let’s not forget, the head of a department of a UK university seems to have just suggested, it is okay to distort the historical truth if it suits your agenda.

It doesn't take long to see that the calls to boycott Israel predated the official, supposedly Palestinian-led BDS movement by years.
The BDS campaign is a product of the NGO Forum held in parallel to the UN World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in August and September 2001. The NGO Forum was marked by repeated expressions of naked anti-Semitism by non-governmental organization (NGO) activists and condemned as such by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson who chaired the Conference.

The Forum’s final declaration described Israel as a “racist, apartheid state” that was guilty of “racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing.” The declaration established an action plan – the “Durban Strategy” – promoting “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state…the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel” (para. 424).

The use of the apartheid accusation, which is the foundation of the BDS movement, is deliberate – drawing a false parallel to Apartheid South Africa. According to BDS proponents, if Apartheid South Africa was worthy of a boycott and sanctions campaigns that eventually led to the downfall of that despicable system, “Apartheid Israel should be subject to the same kind of attack, leading to the same kind of result.”
I found an anti-Israel book written in 2003 - two years before the BDS movement - that listed the boycott and divestment initiatives at that time:



Collier gives more o a background on the radical elements involved in telling "Palestinian civil society" to pretend to lead the boycott campaign that they had started but that had not gained any traction.

And Pappe was undoubtedly involved in these discussions.




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From Ian:

PMW: PMW asks “World Scout Movement” to cancel PA Scouts’ membership
Palestinian Media Watch has requested of the World Organization of the Scout Movement that it cancel the membership of the terror promoting Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).
This comes in response to the PSA's opening a course for training scout leaders named the "Martyr Leader Baha Alyan Course." Baha Alyan, a former Palestinian Scout Leader who is being presented as a role model for the new Palestinian Scout Leaders, was a terrorist murderer. He boarded a bus in Jerusalem last October armed with knives and a gun, and together with an accomplice he murdered three Israelis: Alon Govberg (51), Haviv Haim (78) and Richard Lakin (76).
The course for scout leaders was organized by the Committee for Training and Developing Leadership of the PSA. Six months ago, the World Organization of the Scout Movement accepted the Palestinian Scout Association as a full member.
The PSA's choice to present a terrorist murderer as a role model for future scout leaders contradicts the goals and mission of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
PMW has sent the World Organization of the Scout Movement the following request to cancel the membership of the Palestinian Scout Association, so it will not be a co-sponsor of this terror promoting course:
Rowan Dean: The mysterious epidemic of mental or psychiatric illnesses
The world of mental health and wellbeing has been rocked to its core by a bizarre global outbreak of inexplicable nervous breakdowns. Researchers are struggling to find a common cause or factor that may link or in some way help explain what is behind this mysterious epidemic of mental, or psychiatric, illnesses. Thus far experts remain baffled as to any similarities between the cases, which to date have been reported with their own specific medical terminology.
Homophobicus orlanditis: In this disturbing case, a young man from an ethnically diverse and culturally rich background that coincidentally has strong traditional taboos against such modern practices as man on man copulation or woman on woman coupling and yet who exhibited no previous symptoms of any mental disorder whatsoever mysteriously suffered an acute breakdown of his nervous system (or homophobicus orlanditis), when he found himself inexplicably confronted by a tutu-wearing group of cavorting drag queens in a "gays only" nightclub in an American tourist resort. Symptoms of the mysterious breakdown included loudly and repetitively shouting out guttural slogans with strong flat vowel sounds whilst expressing his neurological disturbances via the means of shooting everybody dead. Diagnosis: Unknown mental illness.
Catholicus intoleranza: In this extremely rare case, a young man and his associate, both from ethnically diverse and culturally rich heritages that coincidentally hold strong traditional taboos against the faith-expression practices of so-called "non-believers" and yet who exhibited no previous symptoms of any mental disorders mysteriously suffered an acute and simultaneous breakdown of their nervous systems (suspected catholicus intoleranza) when they found themselves accidentally confronted by one old priest and two nuns swinging a bowl of incense in front of their faces in a French medieval town. Symptoms of this unusual twinned nervous breakdown include both individuals simultaneously breaking into guttural verbal manifestations with unusual linguistic quirks whilst displaying signs of acute psychological disturbances via the means of slitting the priest's throat. Diagnosis: Unknown mental illness.
NYTimes: Can Israel and the Arab States Be Friends?
Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal diplomatic relations. The Saudis do not even recognize Israel as a state. Still, there is evidence that ties between Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states and Israel are not only improving but, after developing in secret over many years, could evolve into a more explicit alliance as a result of their mutual distrust of Iran. Better relations among these neighbors could put the chaotic Middle East on a more positive course. They could also leave the Palestinians in the dust, a worrisome prospect.
A recent case in point was a visit to Jerusalem last month by a Saudi delegation, led by a retired major general, Anwar Eshki, that included talks with Dore Gold, a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official. The meeting was notable because it was openly acknowledged. General Eshki and Mr. Gold reportedly began secret contacts in 2014; they went public last year by appearing together at an event in Washington.
Israel and the Sunni Arab states last fought a war in 1973. Now, after decades of hostility, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is seeking to engage his country’s former enemies. Meanwhile, since coming to power 18 months ago, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his son Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have shown a surprising willingness to take foreign policy risks.
The Israelis and the Saudis have reasons to work together. They share antipathy toward Iran, the leading Shiite-majority country. Both are worried about regional instability. Both are upset with the United States over the Iranian nuclear deal and other policies, including those dealing with Syria. For some time, Israeli and Saudi officials have been cooperating covertly on security and intelligence matters.



PalflagAlmost everyone recognizes the "Palestinians" as a nation, but the main question is whether or not they will ever create a state?

The general idea among most westerners is that peace can only be achieved via the two-state solution (TSS). There are prominent voices that disagree, such as Caroline Glick and Martin Sherman, both of the Jerusalem Post - Sherman, it should be noted, is also a prominent contributor to Jews Down Under - but the general consensus among western governments, including, of course, the Obama Administration, is that the only viable solution is the creation of a Palestinian-Arab state to represent the "Palestinian" nation.

In a recent piece for the Gatestone Institute, Louis René Beres discusses the fact that Israel will only accept a Palestinian-Arab state on its borders if it is demilitarized. Anyone who thinks that such an Israeli requirement is unreasonable can simply go beat sand because there is no way that the Jews of the Middle East are going to live under the threat of a Palestinian-Arab army on their border.

However, he also points out that even if such a provision were agreed to by Abbas and his people it would never hold up. As an Emeritus Professor of International Law at Purdue University, he probably knows what he's talking about. The take-away is that under international law - whatever that is, exactly - there are all sorts of means and methods by which the Palestinian-Arabs could bypass anti-militarization provisions.

When, and if, the Palestinian-Arabs ever agree to a state for themselves it will not be demilitarized.

On the contrary, its primary function will be that of a big Arab club against the Jewish minority in the Middle East.

This being the case, it raises the question of why Jewish people are under any ethical or moral obligation to recognize "Palestinian" nationhood to begin with?

This is why more and more of us are putting the word "Palestinian" in quotation marks.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Jewish people, and friends, to recognize an alleged nation that only came into existence within living memory for the specific purpose of undermining Jewish sovereignty on traditional Jewish land.

The "Palestinian" nation is distinct from the rest of the Arab world in only one significant way.

Its purpose is to kill Jews.

That's it and that is all.

Benedict Anderson, who was a highly regarded political scientist and historian at Cornell University (just recently deceased) suggested that nations are "imagined communities" i.e., social constructs.

If this is true - as in historically accurate - then there is no more obvious case than the Palestinian-Arabs.

The bottom line is that the Jewish people, anywhere in the world, are under no obligation to respect a people who came into existence "as a people" for the sole purpose of destroying the Jews.

In my view, this is what the Israeli government needs to tell the West in a direct and forthright manner.

Given Israeli intellectual clout, economic significance, and military strength, maybe it is time for Jerusalem to tell Washington D.C., Paris, and London to respect their Jewish neighbors and friends.

The truth is that because of Jewish talent, concentrated in Israel, we are developing friends throughout the rest of the world, including Africa and China and Japan (and the rest of south-east Asia) and even Russia and other countries.

"Palestinian Nationhood" is an Arafat legacy and an artificial construction from the long-dead Soviet regime.

Perhaps it's time to bury it.

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, August 28, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Center for Constitutional Rights has released an article that has been heavily promoted by the anti-Israel crowd who are pretending that it is a scholarly essay proving that Israel is guilty of "genocide" against the "Palestinian people."

People who retweeted it include Linda Sarsour, Mondoweiss, Huwaida Arraf and others.

Casual readers of the article, heavily footnoted, would think that there is some real scholarship behind it. However, the article as a whole was written from the perspective that Israel is guilty ab initio of "genocide" and the sources that "prove" it were found afterwards.

Its centerpiece is that a leftist scholar of genocide studies and BDS supporter, Martin Shaw, has defined the 1948 war as genocidal, using an expansive definition that renders the word almost meaningless:

Sociologist Martin Shaw, one of the most distinguished modern scholars of genocide, has written, “We can conclude that pre-war Zionism included the development of an incipiently genocidal mentality towards Arab society.”[13] “Israel entered without an overarching plan, so that its specific genocidal thrusts developed situationally and incrementally, through local as well as national decisions. On this account, this was a partly decentred, networked genocide, developing in interaction with the Palestinian and Arab enemy, in the context of war.”
Shaw is saying that Jews, fighting a war where they were vastly outnumbered by Arab enemies who were explicitly genocidal towards them in their words and actions, are the ones who were guilty of "incremental" and "decentered" genocide. By that definition, nearly every war is genocidal and anyone who shoots any member of any group can be accused of "incremental genocide".

All of this ignores that no one on the planet identified Palestinian Arabs as a "national group" in 1948. They were identified as simply Arabs. But to accuse Israel of genocide against all Arabs in 1948 is a charge too absurd even for anti-Israel "genocide scholars" to make, so they have retroactively accused Israel of targeting the destruction of a people who simply did not exist as a distinct group, a fundamental element of any definition of genocide.

Of course, the idea that the Jews who really were ethnically cleansed from Arab lands  were victims of genocide is not considered. That wasn't "incremental" but a virtually total, planned elimination of a specifically defined group from the Arab world.

The fate of Israeli Jews would have been the same had they lost the war in 1948.

The CCR uses 1948 as its main argument that Jews are guilty of genocide, but it doesn't stop there. It includes quotes from widely criticized pseudo-historian Ilan Pappe who also uses the term "incremental genocide" to describe Israeli actions. Its own late president Michael Ratner is also quoted using the meaningless phrase "incremental genocide."

The article then descends into farce, by quoting an ad by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network claiming that 300 Holocaust survivors and descendants accused Israel of "genocide" during Operation Cast Lead [sic - the ad was about the 2014 Gaza War, not Cast Lead.]. Specifically, it quotes anti-Israel activist Naomi Wolf as saying, 'I mourn genocide in Gaza because I am the granddaughter of a family half wiped out in a holocaust and I know genocide when I see it."

If a tiny minority of Holocaust survivors and their descendants want to bizarrely accuse Israel of genocide, that is their right. But to give them more moral authority than the vast majority of survivors and descendants who find the word odious and immoral when applied to Israel proves that the CCR is not interested in a reasoned argument, but in anti-Israel propaganda disguised as research.

The CCR, incidentally, is funded by the Ford Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Foundation, among others.

This article is so one-sided and so obviously deceptive that it discredits anything else that the CCR might be doing. Indeed, this article doesn't shed light on the immorality of Israel as much as it does on the immorality of falsely accusing Israel of crimes, using a yardstick that it applies to no other nation.

(h/t Dani, Andrew)




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Saturday, August 27, 2016

  • Saturday, August 27, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the IAF website on August 16:
50 years ago today, a MiG-21 fighter jet was brought to Israel in a covert operation that received the name Operation "Yahalom" and as its name states, was the crowning jewel. In the operation, an Iraqi pilot recruited by the "Mossad" (Israeli secret service) defected to Israel with the aircraft and also provided instruction and maintenance material which proved very valuable for the security and reputation of Israel.

Brig. Gen. (Res') Yesha'ayahu (Shayke) Barkat, a fighter pilot who had served as a Squadron Commander and Flight Instructor and who was the Head of the IAF's Intelligence Directorate at the time of the operation, goes back to those days. He recalls the intelligence based operation and how Israel was the only country to succeed where many other countries had failed and acquire the aircraft that intrigued and threatened the west.

"The MiG-21 was the pride and joy of the USSR and after bringing it to Israel we flew it and fought against our fighter jets with it. We had a quiet and comfortable environment to train for 'dog-fights' with it and test its strengths and weaknesses. We learned its speeds, maneuvers, reactions and the field of vision from its cockpit - all of these helped us understand how to shoot it down", he shared. "These were the lessons that decided the 'Six Day' War. Moreover, acquiring the jet granted us an international status as an intelligence system and ushered us into the ‘International Intelligence Market' and to trading intelligence".

The "Mossad" and its international branches were responsible for recruiting the pilot, they activated their personnel around the world in an attempt to find the man that would bring them closer to the long-awaited aircraft. "Among the candidates, there was one outstanding option - Munir Radfa. One of my men joined the meeting between the Mossad and Radfa in Athens. They became friends and planned the flight together, based on technical details about the MiG-21 that we learned from Munir".

Captain Munir Radfa was an Iraqi MiG-21 pilot and served as the Deputy Commander of a Fighter Squadron in the Iraqi Air Force. Being a Christian singled him out in a Majority Muslim ruled Iraq and as a result, despite his professional achievements, his promotion was halted. In addition, Munir was riddled with feeling of guilt and revulsion from the cruel missions assigned to him, which required the bombing of Curd civilians in Northern Iraq. Radfa wanted to leave Iraq and flee to a Western country with his family. The circumstances of his life became the reasons he was chosen by the "Mossad".

"When everything was already set, I still wasn't sure that Munir would be able to pilot the jet and arrive here. I knew that all of the efforts would have been for nothing if I wouldn't make sure. I asked the then IAF Commander to fly with him. He thought that I was crazy, but we took a ‘Meteor', a dual-engine two-seater jet, from Ramat-David AFB and Munir came to Israel. The' Mossad' arranged a dinner for us, we spoke about our families and personal lives and the next day I tested his flight skills".

Didn't you suspect that Radfa was in fact operating on behalf of Iraq and that it was all a plot of theirs to penetrate Israeli airspace?

"That's why I wanted to fly with him. We met in Ben-Gurion Airport in the morning; IAF commander was worried about me so he put the whole force on ready alert. I was very young and had no fear of flying behind an Iraqi pilot who I barely knew, I wasn't worried at all. Back then, the stick was manual and not electronic, so it operated on the force of your hand".

In August 1966, the last and most important leg of the operation began. The "Mossad" had a novel way of signaling Radfa, who had returned to Iraq, that they were ready for his arrival. Every day, a song in Arabic was broadcasted on The Voice of Israel Radio Station. The song's lyrics were "Marhabten, Marhabten, Marhabten" ("Welcome"). "I hid in the bathroom in the hour on which the song was to be broadcasted, so my wife wouldn't ask me why I was listening to that station. For three days straight the song was broadcasted at a predetermined hour. On the first day the IAF's Senior Command congregated in Operational HQ, but Radfa did not make contact and slowly, the room emptied. On the third day he arrived, we were sitting together and saw the MiG-21 on the screens".

Radfa had indeed made it to Israel and was followed by his family, but he had a hard time acclimating himself to Israel and later moved to the U.S, where he lived until his death from cardiac arrest in 1998.




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From Ian:

Arab Support for Palestinians Frays
It’s relatively easy for anti-Israel activists to persuade ignorant young Westerners that Israel is an “apartheid state” when the main opposition to this canard comes from Jews, who can be smeared as “interested parties.” It’s much harder when a Muslim Bedouin comes up afterward and says, “My name is Mohammad, and I served in the Israel Air Force, and I’m preparing Bedouin guides to serve. I’m here to protect Israel from the BDS lies. You must know that Israeli Arabs have the freedom to live, work, worship and travel.”
Like Wannous, Ka’abiya is still very much in the minority, but again, neither is he unique. His best-known colleagues include diplomat George Deek, who argues that Israeli Arabs can and should “live as a contributing minority” in Israel just like “the Jews in Europe, who kept their religion and identity for centuries but still managed to influence,” and Father Gabriel Naddaf, who has been successfully encouraging his fellow Christian Arabs to serve in the Israeli army and has defended Israel at the UN.
In arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian status quo is unsustainable, both the Israeli left and its American Jewish counterpart rely heavily on fears that the ongoing conflict is eroding Western support for Israel, and that therefore, time is on the Palestinians’ side. But given the West’s growing and unhappy acquaintance with radical Islam, Israel’s improving status in other parts of the world (as detailed in my previous post), and the nascent change in Arab attitudes toward the Palestinian issue, it’s looking far more likely that time is on Israel’s side.
In the long run, these developments could also help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by convincing Palestinians that Israel isn’t likely to disappear, so negotiating a reasonable peace deal is their best option. But whether or not that ever happens, there’s no reason for Israel to feel pressured to make hasty concessions for fear of diplomatic isolation. As recent developments make clear, Israel can afford to wait.
More on Palestine is Part of Syria
Continuing to research the link between Palestinianism and its Syrian roots on the question of whether the term "Palestine" was an actual one or did the Arabs who resided in the territory actually see themselves of Syrians, or South-Syrians.
Nuri As-Sa'id's Fertile Crescent Project 1943
The following proposals of mine are based on the close and firm ties between
Iraq and all the Arabs inhabiting historical Syria. The States of the Arabian Peninsula
The Arab States and the Arab League have an economic system which differs from our own, though they are very close to us in respect of language, customs and religion. On the other hand, Egypt has a bigger population than that of backward (i) States. It also has its (own) problems in the Sudan and elsewhere. Because of this, I have assumed that these States are not inclined to join an Arab federation (2) or an Arab League from the start (3). But if the union (ittihad) of Iraq and Syria does materialize, it may then be very likely that these States mentioned (4) may in the course of time show their desire to join this union. But I expect that this union - even if confined to Iraq and Syria - will at the very beginning lead to the facilitation of joint consultation among all the Arab States and to all these States acting in concert, whether they are inside the union or outside it...
...In my view, the only equitable solution indeed, the only hope of securing permanent peace, reassurance and progress in these Arab areas, is for the United Nat- ions to declare now the following:
(1) That Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Trans Jordan be reunited into one State.
Douglas Murray: From Cannes to Bavaria, politicians fiddle with burkini bans while Europe boils
To diminish that pool, European governments should avoid unnecessary policies (such as policing swimwear) that exacerbate unnecessary grievances and focus instead on those necessary policies – slowing Muslim immigration, carrying out proper vetting of those who arrive and expelling anyone who preaches hatred – whether they cause grievances or not.
With this approach currently seen as politically impossible, it is increasingly clear that the governments of Europe are preparing for the worst. In Germany in recent days, the government has been advising citizens to stockpile essentials, including water. A leaked government document also raises the issue of conscription in Germany.
For a country that last year took in perhaps as many as 1.5 million additional Muslims, these are signs of panic. Clearly the Germans are expecting that at some point one of the mass-casualty, possibly chemical or biological attacks that Islamist groups have been trying to carry out for years will be successful.
Aside from the fact there is little that the public in Germany, or Britain, could do in such a situation, such warnings are additionally unwise because they do much of the terrorists’ job for them. The German government and Chancellor Merkel, in particular, have a huge problem on their hands.
On the one hand, they cannot admit that their indiscriminate open borders policy – even before 2015 – to have been a mistake. On the other, they rightly fear the public backlash that is already nascent but which would explode should any mass casualty attack occur.
And so it is unsurprising that Germany has been having its own burkini debate in recent weeks, with politicians discussing the wisdom of a ban. It is not only the perfect summer story, but also the perfect modern European story. Not one life will be saved by banning the burkini. But the politicians who have presented Europe with this huge societal change now find they have no answers in the face of growing public anger at the circumstances they have brought about.
When a problem has no solutions, the only thing left to do is to change the topic. And so, in the wake of daily attacks, our continent is spending the summer talking beach-wear. Some people may think this is better than nothing. But it isn’t. It is fiddling while Europe boils.

Friday, August 26, 2016

From Ian:

Jew-Hatred at the World Social Forum
The 2016 annual meeting of the World Social Forum took place in Montreal this month to strategize and coordinate campaigns in support of anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, and now anti-Semitism.
Viewed as a progressive alternative to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, it began with an anti-Semitic cartoon depicting a stereotypical hook-nosed Orthodox Jew controlling the United States government as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by proxy. The cartoon, part of a now-canceled talk by Seyed Ali Mousavi, titled “Terrorizm [sic], Wahhabism [sic], Zionism,” was criticized by two Canadian members of Parliament, leading to removal of the Canadian government logo from the forum’s list of partners.
Although Mousavi’s talk was canceled, the WSF website lists at least a dozen other events intended to promote the wholesale boycott of Israel. They include a workshop comparing the calling-out of anti-Semitism to McCarthyism, headlined by Diane Ralph, a notorious conspiracy theorist who has blamed Israel and the U.S. for staging the September 11 terrorist attacks.
WSF attendees also heard from Sabine Friesinger, a former student union president involved in the violent riot preventing current-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking at Concordia University in 2002. Elderly Holocaust survivor Thomas Hecht was physically assaulted during that riot.
Another speaker at the conference was Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. In a 2014 speech at UCLA, Barghouti denied the existence of the Jewish people, claiming that Jews are not indigenous to Israel and have no right to self-determination or collective rights. Nonetheless, Barghouti rejected the notion that BDS is anti-Semitic.

Black Lives Matter and Self-Hating Jews
Between 1939 and 1945, one-third of the Jewish people in the world were murdered. That was genocide. And since Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 in a war of self-defense, the Arab population in these two areas has gone from just over a million to well over 4 million. That is not genocide. If anything, it’s a population explosion.
Why is it worth mentioning this demographic data? Because the recently released manifesto of the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement set up to address the issue of innocent black men who have been shot by police officers, includes a broadened agenda denouncing Israel, the Jewish homeland, for practicing “genocide” against the Palestinians.
Rachel Gilmer, a woman born to a Jewish mother who has disavowed her Judaism, played a major role in insinuating this hatred for Israel into the Black Lives Matter document. And why am I not shocked? Because historically, Gilmer fits into a well-known description of a “self-hating Jew.”
One of the most famous such figures was the iconic Jewish communist Rosa Luxemburg, who when approached to denounce anti-Jewish pogroms, responded with this heartwarming declaration: “Why do you come to me with your special Jewish sorrows?… I cannot find a special corner in my heart for the ghetto. I feel at home in the entire world wherever there are clouds and birds and human tears.”
Well, not exactly the entire world. Luxemburg’s indifferent response to the death of her mother prompted her anguished father to write: “An eagle soars so high he loses sight of the earth below… I shall not burden you any more with my letters.” Other than her father, the only other person I know who referred to Rosa Luxemburg as an eagle was that “great humanitarian,” Vladimir Lenin. “But in spite of all her mistakes,” Lenin declared after Luxemburg’s murder, “she remains for us an eagle.” As the ever-shrewd Winston Churchill remarked of Lenin: “His birth was Russia’s greatest tragedy. His death [and succession by Stalin] was Russia’s second greatest tragedy.” And among Stalin’s few supporters in the United States—even after he was revealed to be a mass murderer —a large, perhaps the largest, percentage were, who else? Self-hating Jews.
Black Lives Matter and the endless war against the Jews
The man who controls the language controls the conversation, as George Orwell rightly observed. The word that the left is trying, with a certain success, to appropriate now is “genocide.” Genocide is what Hitler set out to do, to exterminate Europe’s Jews (and who knows where his evil ambition would have gone from there).
The manifesto of the Black Lives Matter movement, with the connivance of intellectually slovenly academics, applies “genocide” to Israeli self-defense in Gaza. There’s neither logic nor data to prove it.
“Between 1939 and 1945,” writes Joseph Telushkin in the Tablet, an online magazine, “one-third of the Jewish people in the world were murdered. That was genocide. And since Israel took control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 [as a result of a] war of self-defense, the Arab population in these two areas has gone from just over a million to 4 million. That is not genocide. It’s a population explosion.”
Facts are stubborn and persistent, but so are those who deny, manipulate and abuse them. Black Lives Matter, in protesting the shooting of young black men by police (and in the case of one or two of the young black men, they were asking for it) was a positive thing, but the movement now is trying to turn the rage against injustice to destructive rage against Israel. It’s an old phenomenon. Blame the Jews: They’re rich (most of them own department stores) and live the life of Riley, so why not?
Until now the Jew-baiters tried to camouflage their game, being careful to say they weren’t talking about the Jews, just the Zionists, the Jews who wanted to build and protect a Jewish homeland. When a black student at Harvard tried this line on Martin Luther King, he was having none of it. “When people criticize Zionists,” he told him, “they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”
This was a time when Jews and blacks marched together against segregation and racial abuse in the South, when racial reunion and solidarity seemed both close and far away. Now, after nearly eight years of the Obama era, it seems only far away, and the Jew-baiters now rarely bother to camouflage Jew-baiting by calling it skepticism of Zionism.

  • Friday, August 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ancient Beer-sheva

From Times of Israel:

In an official letter this week, the United Nations specifically referred to Israel’s southern city of Beersheba by its Arabic name — Ber asaabeaa.

The letter requested the release of a UN Development Program employee, whom Israel has accused of aiding the Hamas terrorist group, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said Thursday.

The name Beersheba comes from the Hebrew Be’er Sheva, meaning well of seven or well of oaths. Though the exact origin of the name is disputed, according to the Bible the city gained its moniker as a result of the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac digging seven wells in the area, after having sworn two separate oaths there with the Philistine King Abimelech.

Though Beersheba was part of the proposed Arab territory in the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, the city is located deep inside the sovereign borders of the state since 1948, which have been recognized by the international body.
Imagine the diplomatic firestorm that would follow if the UN referred to the city of its headquarters as "Manna-Hata" which was the original Lenape name from which Manhattan was derived. (Speaking of, why does the UN allow itself to exist on usurped native American lands?)

The UN is attempting to erase not only Israel, but Jewish (and Christian) history in its zeal to delegitimize the Jewish state on all possible fronts.





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