Thursday, May 24, 2018

From Ian:

CAMERA OP-ED: Is It Criticism or Bigotry?
Note: A slightly different version of this article appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune on May 20, 2018. (The commentary was written in response to an anti-Semitic Op-Ed that was published earlier in that newspaper. Following the negative publicity generated by CAMERA’s harsh criticism, the newspaper published an apology by the author.)

Honest and civil criticism based on truth is an essential component of any democracy. Bigotry is an expression of visceral hatred against a person or a people. Both are protected free speech, but the first strengthens democracy while the second erodes it.

A controversial opinion column by Michael Robinson in the May 6 Salt Lake Tribune has raised the question of what differentiates the two. The author claims his commentary simply represented criticism of human rights abuses by the Israeli government. Yet its misrepresentation of facts and reality and its inflammatory language convey undisguised bigotry, which is why it was the subject of a critique by CAMERA (Committee for Middle East Reporting in America), of angry comments and outraged letters, and of an editor’s column.

This was in reaction to the author’s self-declared hatred for Israel, rooted in misconceptions and inaccuracies about Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict. By lashing out emotionally and attacking Israel inchoately, without any facts to back up his accusations, the author precluded any rational discussion that might arise from legitimate criticism.

Many readers were appalled by the crude invoking of classic, anti-Semitic caricatures that have been used for centuries to demonize the Jews as a people possessing malign attributes — as monsters lacking human compassion. Such demonizing in the past has been the precursor to grotesque violence. Referring to “the Jews” interchangeably with “Israel” and conflating the two, the author was not criticizing specific government policies as much he appeared to be attacking “the Jews” as a people. And in dismissing the wholesale slaughter of European Jewry as akin to a child’s “owie,” the author did nothing to dispel that impression.

David Collier: The Parliament Square Kaddish. We have to fight back
The blog on the Parliament Square Kaddish event was the hardest I have ever had to write. My research has taken me into some of the darkest anti-Jewish movements on the internet. I have got up close and personal with neo-Nazis, Rothschild conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers. I have worn a Kaffiyeh, walked with the Hezbollah and broken bread with people who think Jews are ‘evil’ and Israel needs to be ‘nuked’. Yet after all this, it was reporting on a small gathering of Jewish ‘peaceniks’ saying Kaddish for Hamas terrorists that hurt me the most.

I admit to being angry and sickened by that event in Parliament Square. The act was deliberate, public and provocative. It was designed to create a stir. Those involved have little cause to complain about the publicity they asked for, simply because the publicity they received was overwhelmingly negative. The stunt simply backfired on them.

But these people are still not ‘the enemy’. Those that really wish us harm are numerous and determined and deadly. The people at the Kaddish event are not ‘traitors’, nor ‘kapos’. Nor is there anything malicious in their activity. They are even unaware that they have been infected with a poison that is dripping from within the organisations that are supposed to ‘educate them’. These people are our kids. Our nieces and nephews and cousins and siblings and children.

Looking to put names to faces and then to find those who act as ‘influencers’ was soul-destroying. There was no joy in this. This type of research is one of the things I excel at, but there was no sense of accomplishment when I succeeded. There was only sadness.
Anti-Israel Protesters Shout Down Amb. Nikki Haley at University of Houston
Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations was interrupted by protesters waving Palestinians flags while speaking at the University of Houston in Texas on Tuesday.

Less than three minutes after taking the podium, Nikki Haley’s speech on US foreign policy achievements was interrupted by a male protester who accused her of sanctioning “the genocide of a native people.” She seemed startled by the exclamation, muttering, “Oh jeez.”

About two dozen students, some affiliated with the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, quickly rose in unison and chanted, “Nikki, Nikki can’t you see, you are on a killing spree,” and “free, free, free Palestine.”

The disruption continued for more than two minutes, until most of the protesters were removed from the Cullen Performance Hall by police. The audience then applauded and Haley resumed speaking, only to be shouted over once again. “Any more?” she asked to loud applause after the final interruption.

“You know, while disruptive as that might have been, it’s a reason to celebrate,” she said. “Because my husband and my brother are combat veterans, and they fought for their right to be able to do that.”

The protesters continued displaying their signs outside the event hall, where SJP member Muhammed Fattoush expressed his objection to Haley’s defense of Israel’s response to recent Hamas-led riots in the Gaza Strip.




RISING UP: Showcasing Israel and Progressive Values in Unison
by Noah Phillips

We were all electrified by Nettas Eurovision performance. Whether you were bobbing your head and clucking your arms, or, like me, swelling with Israeli pride while partly confused with the European infatuation with this kind of music, we loved her moment. Netta, a proud representative of Israeli culture (Next year in Jerusalem! she declared to 180+ million viewers) and an important voice for the #MeToo movement of female empowerment, was fantastic in all respects.

As one of the foremost celebrities originating from Israel should, Netta embodies the progressive and inclusive principles of Israeli society through her music and personal triumphs. Nettas hit song, Toy, is emblematic of the #MeToo movement, embracing feminism and denouncing patriarchy of the past. The song rejects the objectification of women and resonates with a global audience at a time when individuals are disclosing painful past experiences of sexual assault.

From her various interviews, we know of Nettas personal struggles with bulimia and bullying from others about her weight and appearance. In Eurovision, Netta embraced her eccentricities and quirks. Garbed in a Japanese kimono and, at times, clucking like a chicken, Netta sang powerfully and connected with a diverse audience.

Her personal life story and messages conveyed through her music reach a current audience of young progressives demanding change from ideas of exclusivity and elitism--be it weight, size, race, or other markers. Nettas words: Thank you so much for accepting differences between us. Thank you for celebrating diversity. Thank you!

Nettas messaging as a champion of diversity only bolsters Israels international reputation, particularly among progressive-millennials. Its a stark contrast to both Israels general European and American-liberal perception as a state of apartheid, utilizing differences as divisors to further hate. To see Netta succeed while carrying her progressive ideals brings Israels complex reality and a more nuanced and positive state of Israeli society to millions of viewers. For example, while the LGBTQ community seeks acceptance and support in many closed, restrictive countries, Israeli society is known for embracing LGBTQ causes, and Israels largest city, Tel Aviv, hosts an annual week-long celebration of gay pride which attracts thousands of attendees from across the world. While the United States still awaits our first female president, Israel already reached that milestone nearly half a century ago. And while Jews have been expelled throughout history from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, and Spain among other nations due to religious intolerance, Israeli-Arabs enjoy religious freedom and integration in Israeli society, a fact often overlooked by Israels detractors.

Netta helps defy stereotypes personally and even about the State of Israel. Her influential agendas of feminism and gender equality are timely; similarly, her declarations of Israeli pride and inclusivity through her performances are long overdue.






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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column



Jaspreet Oberoi is a blogger who recently had an article published in Ha’aretz, entitled “From Punjab to Palestine: Why young Sikhs like me are becoming pro-Palestinian activists.” I read it with interest, because I would like to know too.

I met some Sikhs in California, and had some in classes that I taught in the prehistoric 1970s. They were distinguished by being extremely hard workers who wanted to get along with everyone. The Sikh religion has a strong tradition of self-defense. They didn’t strike me as the type of folks that would be pro-Palestinian activists.

Oberoi’s photo shows a young man, probably in his 20s. He says in the article that he has lived in Canada for 8 years, having been born and raised in Punjab. He works as "a research scientist for a quantum computing company," but his recent Twitter feed is peppered with links to his Ha’aretz article; he is clearly very pleased to have been published in what he calls “Israel’s longest running newspaper.” Maybe he has a future as a journalist, and not just a blogger with a day job? 

So why is he becoming a pro-Palestinian activist? In his words,

Sikhs know what it feels to be effectively shooed out of your homeland and be forced to live in exile; what it's like to be shot at "just for fun," as target practice; what it's like to be harassed daily by state security forces; what it's like to have a seven year-old arrested on charges of "terrorism"; and what it's like when the world simply ignores your plight.

One would think that such an experience would be precisely what would make someone a Zionist! But apparently that isn’t how it works.

When someone like Jaspreet Oberoi hears that some 59 “Palestinian protestors” were killed by Israeli snipers on May 14, he suffers “anguish, pain, remorse and disgust.” And later, his feelings were further assaulted by the lack of popular outcry over the “massacre” in Canada:

But after pacifying myself, when I peeked around, there was a stoic silence. At least nobody in Canada was celebrating or justifying the massacre, unlike many right-wingers across the globe, but there wasn't a strong rebuke either.

Oberoi is immediately reminded of the horrific violence in India between Sikhs and the majority Hindus that began with Operation Blue Star in 1984 and the subsequent assassination of Indira Gandhi. He tells a story of a minority’s violent persecution, and how its complaints are ignored by the majority government and the rest of the world. And he keeps asking: does this sound familiar?

I admit that I am not competent to judge whether his account of the plight of the Sikhs in India is accurate. I’m sure there are facts and interpretations that he doesn’t mention, things I would hear about if I asked a supporter of Indian PM Modi. In any event, I am not about to write an article for an Indian newspaper about the Sikhs.

And of course there are things that Jaspreet Oberoi does not know about the Israeli-Arab conflict in general and recent events in Gaza in particular. For example, he doesn’t know that 53 of the 62 dead Gazans were operatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, according to spokespersons for those organizations, and that Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, announced that “We will take down the border and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies.” 

He does not understand that the “protest” was actually an attempted invasion, and that the IDF was defending Israel’s border and the people that live just a few minutes’ walk away from it, with what was actually the minimum force necessary.

Ha’aretz editors knew all this (it was in their own newspaper), even if Oberoi did not. They published his article anyway. But this post isn’t about Ha’aretz.

So we come back to the initial question: why does a young Sikh become a pro-Palestinian activist?

The cynical answer is that there is a demand for it. It is an easy way to get published in a prestigious venue, even if your writing isn’t of professional quality. Many Jews have taken this path with great success. A Jew attacking Israel has an authority that say, an Arab or European, doesn’t. But a Sikh presents an interesting, diverse, perspective too.

But I will give Oberoi the benefit of the doubt, and say that he simply doesn’t know any better. He is so deeply immersed in and affected by the real struggle of his own people, that he was triggered to write on a subject that he knew less than nothing about. 

It’s a common psychological phenomenon. Each of us has his own story, and we impose it on chaotic reality that we don’t understand. To a woman who had an unpleasant divorce, every man looks like her jerk of an ex-husband. It’s not an accident that the idea of calling Israel an “apartheid state” arose in South Africa, or that Condoleezza Rice, Barack Obama, and the Movement for Black Lives have all drawn highly misleading parallels between Palestinian Arabs and African-Americans.

And why did he choose the Palestinians to identify with? Why not the Jews? Why indeed did he not end up a Zionist? Probably because he studied in Canada and that was the prevailing opinion. The easy, obvious choice.

It’s easier to apply a familiar pattern to a situation about which you are ignorant than to make the effort to learn about it. A good journalist or political analyst learns to avoid this trap. Mr. Oberoi hasn’t.






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From Ian:

Danny Danon: Why the UN should condemn Hamas
In recent weeks, Israel has faced violence at the security fence separating our country from Gaza. Tens of thousands of Palestinians, incited by Hamas - some armed with guns, improvised explosive devices and Molotov cocktails - have approached the fence to tear down any obstacle in their way and infiltrate Israel.

Instead of directing their condemnations at this internationally recognized terrorist organization for their war crimes against both Palestinians and Israelis, some countries and UN bodies have not only embraced Hamas' propaganda but have even criticized Israel's right to self-defense.

Such baseless charges against Israel are morally unjust. Those who criticize Israel's legitimate actions are either unaware, or are willfully ignorant, of the clearly violent nature of what's happening at the Gaza border. Israel is defending itself from terrorists committing orchestrated attacks, not from activists leading an innocent protest.

The real tragedy is that this situation was - and remains - completely avoidable. Israel removed all Jewish communities and military facilities from Gaza in 2005. In the years following, we have facilitated the transfer of billions of dollars of aid for Gaza's local population.

Countries that criticize Israel must ask themselves how they would expect their security forces to react if terrorists armed with rifles and explosives marched on their borders.

The UN must use its power and resources to improve the situation on the ground in Gaza and enforce change. To do so it must start by condemning Hamas for attacking Israel and for holding the people of Gaza hostage.

PMW: PA and Fatah honor terrorists with huge billboard, including one serving 10 life sentences
Since the day of his arrest, the PA has paid terrorist Izz Al-Din Hamamrah a monthly salary, which by now totals $155,909 (540,600 shekels)

The Palestinian Authority and Abbas' Fatah have come up with yet a new way to honor terrorist prisoners. A huge billboard with numerous photos of so-called "fighting prisoners" was inaugurated in the town of Husan, west of Bethlehem.

PA TV News said the billboard immortalizes 17 prisoners who are serving long sentences. Among the prisoners on the billboard is terrorist Izz Al-Din Hamamrah, who is serving 10 life sentences for recruiting a suicide bomber who murdered 8.

The billboard was inaugurated at an event in which the head of the PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake participated as well as the prisoners' parents, local school students, and a scouts group. Karake stated that the billboard is a sign of the "support for the prisoners":
Karake: "These [activities] are a kind of support, stand, and aid for the fighting prisoners who fought and sacrificed for Palestine. We say that the prisoners' cause is a central and main cause, and it is the criterion for any just peace in the region." [Official PA TV News, April 24, 2018]

Under Palestinian Authority law, the PA pays every terrorist prisoner a monthly salary. Since 2000, the PA has raised the monthly salaries a number of times. Currently, every prisoner's salary starts at 1,400 shekels/month and increases every few years, reaching as high as 12,000 shekels/month after 30 years. Until now, terrorist Izz Al-Din Hamamrah has received 540,600 shekels ($155,909) in reward for his crimes from the PA. His current salary is 6,000 shekels/month ($1,730).
PMW: We’ll take Jerusalem “if not peacefully then by force… Allah, drive out the Jews” - PA TV preacher
A preacher on official Palestinian Authority TV threatened that the Palestinians or Muslims in general will "soon" conquer Jerusalem "by force," unless it is handed over "peacefully":

"The Jews are an arrogant and tyrannical enemy, occupying Jerusalem and Palestine... Allah willing, we will soon take what was taken from us, if not peacefully then by force."[Official PA TV, April 13, 2018]

The preacher called on Allah to help "drive out the Jews" from Jerusalem, using the Muslims to do so. The preacher compared this to the way Allah helped drive out the crusaders who "left it humiliated and disgraced, dragging their tails behind them":
Preacher on PA TV: "The Jews are an arrogant and tyrannical enemy that is occupying the land of Jerusalem and the land of Palestine, and that they have no right to arrogance, tyranny, and occupation... Allah willing, we will soon take what was taken from us, if not peacefully then by force... How long did the European Crusaders live in this country? They lived here nearly 100 years, but by Allah's will, they left it humiliated.

They left it humiliated and disgraced, dragging their tails behind them, because Allah inscribed for this [Islamic] nation eternity and victory... Allah, protect our Al-Aqsa Mosque and our Jerusalem for us, and return it to the rule and sovereignty of the Muslims. Allah, drive the Jews out of it, humiliated and disgraced, by means of those [the Muslims] who are monotheists, humble, and purified."
[Official PA TV, April 13, 2018]

The same preacher asked Allah to "punish the wicked Jews" and prayed for their genocide in another sermon, which was broadcast by official PA TV in 2016 and exposed by Palestinian Media Watch:


  • Thursday, May 24, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


i24 reports:
The Arab League on Wednesday cancelled a memorandum of understanding with Guatemala in retribution for the Latin American country's decision to transfer its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales inaugurated the country's mission in the holy city on May 16, just one day after the new US embassy in the city threw open its doors, garnering condemnation from the Palestinian leadership.

The Arab League's axing of its 2013 agreement with Guatemala "came in light of activating the [League's] decision to condemn the Central American country's relocation of its embassy and taking the suitable political and economic suitable measures in that regard," a statement from the pan-Arab body quoted by Xinhua said. 
The Guatemalan government responded (autotranslated) that "it is respectful of the sovereign decisions of the States and has the interest to maintain cordial and cooperative bilateral relations with all the States with which we maintain established diplomatic relations.. So far there is no treaty of cooperation [with the Arab League.]

"The Republic of Guatemala and the League of Arab States have a mechanism of Political Consultations, which promotes coordination to carry out an exchange of information, however it is important to clarify that there is no instrument on International Cooperation and to date there is no official communication on the subject."

Essentially, the 2013 agreement was a piece of paper that no one has done anything with yet.

Meanwhile,  the Guatemala-Israel Fund for Investment and Development announced $2 billion in joint projects between the two countries.





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  • Thursday, May 24, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Gaza Health Ministry, run by Hamas, is complaining that its pharmacies are suffering from a severe shortage of medicines.

The director of the ministry said that there is significant depletion in their stocks of drugs, especially some antibiotics and blood dilution drugs such as Heparin and Clyxan.

"Despite the arrival of quantities of drugs donated to the ministry, but in light of the huge number of casualties and the great depletion from them these medicines do not fill the deficit," he said.

The Health Ministry is run by Hamas - which rejected truckloads of medicines and medical supplies sent by Israel last week.

So while Hamas tries, and succeeds in telling the world that Israel is blocking needed goods to Gaza, it is in fact Hamas itself that is doing it.

Here is a cartoon from the Fatah website showing Israel locking out goods from Gaza for Ramadan:


Yet on Tuesday, despite Hamas directing Gaza youths to firebomb the Kerem Shalom goods crossing, Israel facilitated the transfer of over 14,000 tons of goods to Gaza.

Propaganda once again wins over reality, and the world is eager to believe the lies.




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  • Thursday, May 24, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


From Al Jazeera:
Iran's supreme leader has set out conditions for Tehran to stay in its nuclear deal with world powers, including steps by to be taken by European banks to safeguard trade with Tehran after the US withdrawal from the deal.

European powers must continue buying crude oil, protect Iranian oil sales from US pressure and promise to not seek new negotiations on Iran's ballistic missile programme and Middle East activities, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's official website said on Wednesday.

"European banks should safeguard trade with the Islamic Republic. We do not want to start a fight with these three countries [France, Germany and Britain], but we don't trust them either," Khamenei said.

"Europe should fully guarantee Iran's oil sales. In case Americans can damage our oil sales … Europeans should make up for that and buy Iranian oil."

He warned if the Europeans did not meet these demands, Iran would resume its enrichment of uranium, halted under the deal to minimise the risk of Tehran developing the means to build nuclear weapons.
Khamenei isn't demanding that Europe continue buying Iranian oil, but that it increases its purchases to make up for any shortfall from the US.

Or else.

Moreover:
The UK, France and Germany should pledge not to seek negotiations on Iran's ballistic missile programme and regional activities, both demanded by Washington
A pledge to not even bring up an issue that can directly threaten the capitals of Europe!

Khamenei knows that the EU wants to do anything to keep the deal - they've pretty much said so - so it is only logical that he adds demand upon demand.

Europe should really learn how bargaining works in a souk. Because right now, not only are they eagerly willing to accept the initial price of the item, they are happy to allow the seller to raise his prices - and for the shopkeeper to threaten them if they don't buy it.





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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

From Ian:

The ADL Betrays Jews to Left-Wing Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism is the sewer, sausage factory and the boiler room of the leftist soul.

The ADL has tried to find common ground with the left. But the left is not in the common ground business. Where the left takes institutional power, in a country, a state, a college or a profession, ideological diversity quickly vanishes leaving behind its ruling activists and a silent majority.

As a liberal consensus vanishes, the ADL is becoming an organization with no base. The ADL is too pro-Jewish for the left and not pro-Jewish enough for the right. The left has its own collection of organizations that it wants to impose on the Jewish community. The Soros lobby’s JFREJ, Bend the Arc and If Not Now were hurled into action against the ADL. Eventually they will cannibalize the ADL.

The ADL failed to stand up the left. And like other liberal collaborators, it will be replaced with a leftist Yevsektsiya that will divide its time between condemning Israel and denouncing Jews as bigots who need to be reeducated about their privilege and their complicity in whiteness. And then it will get ugly.

When the ADL was founded, there was a mainstream consensus for it to influence. The consensus has been replaced by political and racial tribalism. The margins are becoming mainstream. And it’s dying.

The ADL may choose to shut down. Or like HIAS, it may jettison its Jewish identity and join the anti-Jewish left. Or it can do what it should have done all along. It tried colluding. It promoted Black Lives Matter and signaled softness on BDS. But its efforts to collude with intersectional anti-Semitism failed.

Now an irrelevant organization in its final years has one last chance to stand up to the left. (h/t steelraptor from Saturn)
ZOA Shocked at ADL sympathy for Hamas terrorists
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) president Morton A Klein released a statement condemning the Anti-Degfamation League (ADL) for sympathizing with terrorists following the death of Hamas rioters by the Gaza border last Monday

"it is a horrific tragedy that so many people have been killed and wounded at the Gaza border." said ADL President Jonathan Greenblatt.

ZOA President Morton Klein criticized the ADL statement for failing to distinguish between the minority of the fatalities who were innocent victims and the vast majority who were members of terrorist organizations.

"We must ask, how is the death of mostly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists a “horrific tragedy?” In fact, the deaths of these terrorists prevented a real “horrific tragedy” – the murder of thousands of innocent Jews who would have been slain if Hamas’ violent rioters had succeeded," Klein wrote.

He noted that even Hamas admitted that 50 of the 62 people who were killed during the riots were members of the terrorist organization which rules the Gaza Strip and that the goals of Hamas were to break through the border and overrun Israeli towns nearby.
New report: “false promises made by [Arab] leaders and political elites” created Palestinian Nakba
Last week on May 15th was Nakba Day, when Palestinians and their supporters mourn what they call the ‘catastrophe’ of the modern Jewish state’s establishment, mark the displacement of some 750,000 Arabs in 1948, and call for the ‘right’ of return of the Palestinian refugees to their lost homes in present-day Israel.

There are many reasons that hundreds of thousands of Arabs were displaced in 1948—but as we highlighted in a recent post, chief among them was the fear of being harmed by the approaching Zionist forces.

Basically, people fled in terror because they were led to believe, by their own leaders, that the Zionists would slaughter them like they allegedly did in the Arab village of Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, even though no massacre ever took place there.

These are important facts for anyone interested in Nakba Day and the origins of the Palestinian refugee problem to know, and there’s a new Hebrew-language book by renowned Israeli historian Eliezer Tauber that provides them.

But, as we discussed in our prior post, American scholars and students won’t be able to learn about it. That’s because Tauber can’t manage to land a U.S. academic press contract on account of virulently anti-Israel faculty reviewers of his manuscript who don’t want the truth to come out, lest it upend their own narrative about these historical events, Silencing History: U.S. University Publishers Shun Book ‘Ending the Deir Yassin Myth’.

Tauber’s meticulous research about what really happened at Deir Yassin needs to reach a larger audience, especially because new material keeps coming to light that corroborates his central findings.

“Just in case you are in the mood to get annoyed,” read the private message from a friend of mine in Canada, the text accompanying a link. I clicked the link. It was to a status from one Fran Miller, whose profile photo was her sweet-looking pet dog.
“Please inform yourself re what's happening in Gaza. People are being MASSACRED and EXTERMINATED. Yes those words should ring for us Jewish people. Gazans live in an "open air prison," there is no hope for young people, 75% unemployment, no prospects, a few hours of electricity per day, and closed borders - they can't get out. The soil and water are poisoned b/c there is no good sewage system. The events away from the fence were festival-like, families with food and kids dancing. Of course there were some rock-throwers; they pose no imminent danger to Israeli soldiers - not a one has even been injured! These were snipers aiming slowly at people not even that close to the fence, and drones going way beyond the fence dropping tear gas and suffocating 8 month old children.
“The shootings at the fence are being done on Netanyahu's orders, who of course is Trump's best friend. (If you hate Trump, please think about that if you continue to defend Israel's actions.) Today, Democracy Now has a very strong piece on what's going on, if you want more detailed info.”
Below the post one could see the enthusiastic response: 9 shares, 4 hearts, 8 angry emojis, and 23 just plain thumbs ups. Appearing below that was a LONG thread of sycophantic comments thanking Miller and blessing Jesus for cluing them into “the truth.” Miller’s people alternatively damned Trump, and cursed Israel and its democratically elected leader, PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The words “horrific” and  “inhumane” came up as did #FASCISM.



Now pretty much, I’ve given up on debating random strangers on the internet. It’s just a waste of time and energy. In my experience people have lost the art of genuine debate, particularly when it comes to politics.
Most people just don’t care enough to bring facts and sources to the table. It’s too much work. Instead, it’s about who can twist words into the twistiest pretzel or trip up a sparring partner with tautologies and semantics. If all these things fail, we are told that feelings matter more than facts. And there is, of course, the last refuge of any content-less debate: impugning the sources of the other.
Since my friend had sent me that post, however, I stopped to consider: was my friend asking me to get involved? To say something? To shoot down these lies with facts and truth?
Like I said, I’ve given up debating random strangers on the ‘net, but I’m nothing if not loyal to my friends. And if my friend needed help, I was THERE.
So I took a deep breath and jumped in.
Note that Miller brought in a lot of s**t in her post. Throw enough of it, some of it is bound to stick. That is how people like Miller serve to confuse the picture for their followers. They know that their readers will take away some of it: how much, it doesn’t really matter, as long as they take away something really ugly (and share it with their friends).
For some, that takeaway would be: If you hate Trump, hate Israel.
For others, the message received would be: Israel exterminates and massacres innocent brown people.
It’s all good.
When forced to confront the pathology of these liars, I try to keep things very basic. I work to pin them down with one or two actual facts. Which of course, leaves them with nothing left but to impugn my sources. Because that’s what they do.
What happened in this case was interesting, because my source was unimpeachable: a prerequisite for this sort of internet chatter. (Go pour yourself a tall cool one, and settle in to watch the fun.)


“The only thing that should concern Jewish people is the truth. Hamas admits that 50 of those killed are terrorists: https://www.jpost.com/.../50-Hamas-members-reportedly...” I wrote.

But then I just had to get into her pathology, because really, it is egregious. “Actually, not one thing you've written is true. Why would you lie like this unless you really hate your own people? Are you not aware that Jews ceded this territory to the Arabs, lock, stock, and barrel, expelling 11,000 Jews from their homes in a unilateral gesture of peace? Are you not aware that these people have their own democratically elected leadership? If they live in an open-air prison and have no electricity, complain to the appropriate address: Ismail Haniyeh, their democratically elected leader.”
As for “open air prison” I thought to share a link showing the luxury malls and resorts of Gaza. I searched around on Google for a while, and then I remembered a recent piece Elder of Ziyon had done on new Gaza homes built with German money. That should work, I thought, and wrote, “Also, I wish I had as nice a home as one of these: http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/.../new-gaza-houses...
I waited to see if Miller would respond. She did, and since my points were inarguable facts, she naturally impugned my source. Because that’s what they do. (She was running true to type.)

“i guess we will have to agree to disagree since i believe not one thing you've written is true. look at your sources - elder of ziyon? ‘For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it,’” she quoted at me from the Mondoweiss commenter's comment on the right side of Elder's home page.
“Fran Miller," I wrote. "All his blogs are sourced. Check the sources. All factual. If you prefer not to believe the truth, it's because you prefer the lie. Why is that?
“Elder's first link, for instance, is to Maan, the Palestinian news service. http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=945598,” I wrote.
I waited a bit. Miller didn’t respond. Because really, what could she say? Elder had only cited Maan, the Palestinian news service. It was the same exact story; the same photos of the same gorgeous homes the wonderful German people had built for the Arabs of Gaza, only in English instead of Maan’s Arabic. 
If Miller persisted in impugning my source, Elder of Ziyon, she would be impugning the Palestinian news service, Maan. And she couldn’t be seen to impugn the Palestinians, God forbid.
So she shut up.
Since I had successfully shut up her stupid, ugly trap, I decided to deliver one more broadside.

“So peaceful,” I wrote, delivering the coup de grâce, this clip of Hamas Yahya Sinwar describing the true aim of "The March of Return," to tear out the hearts of the Jews.

To her credit, Fran Miller didn’t block me nor resort to ad hominem insults.
I went back to my friend. “Who is Fran Miller? Is she important?” I asked.
“She is with the JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace), a virulent antisemite,” said my friend. “What she does is bordering on criminality; she spreads Nazi-like propaganda while claiming to be Jewish. I have no idea if she is important, but people seem to be inspired by her and share her posts.
"I have a friend in New York who has been manipulated by her," said my friend. "That really upset me."
I could only hope her friend had read the exchange between me and Miller. 
Such debates are a dime a dozen really. I shared it here only because clearly it was one for our side: Fran Miller got trounced by the truth. And when that happens, it’s always a win.
Especially when the sycophants are watching.




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Credit: יעקב via Wikimedia Commons
Credit: יעקב via Wikimedia Commons
Beit El, Binyamin Regional Council, May 23 - Housing starts in this community north of Jerusalem were put on hold this week following revelations that the development plans for the new homes had only been included in settlement watchdog groups several dozen times, a figure that does not meet official criteria for generating the impression that Israel is expanding Jewish settlements at a blistering pace and not, as the reality on the ground indicates, more slowly than any other government in the country's history.

Clerks at the Ministry of Housing and Construction reported Monday they were putting a provisional stop on the scheduled construction of fifty-five free-standing and semi-attached houses in Beit El, now that they discovered the deficient figures. According to precedent, development plans beyond the 1967 armistice line with Jordan must be included in no fewer than eighty reports by groups such as Peace Now and Yesh Gvul before actual construction may proceed. Without repeated mention of the same housing units as if they represent many different ones, explained a ministry official, the world will understand the actual figure, and remain unable to characterize Israel's settlement policy as "radical," "strangling hopes for a two-state solution," "pounding mails into the coffin of a peaceful resolution," or "beholden to far-right settlement zealots."

"There's cultural and political precedent we have to respect," noted Deputy Secretary-General of the ministry Gad Demmitt. "It's kind of a ritual. The government announces approval of certain plans, the international community condemns them, some time passes, the approval lapses, gets approved again, and Peace Now makes sure not to note the approval applies to units that had already received approval, so everyone thinks there are twice as many houses for Israelis going up than originally planned, but in fact it's zero. Repeat."

"Once the requisite number of watchdog reports have been issued, contractors bid for the project," continued Demmitt. "In this case, however, because of a bureaucratic oversight, the tender was issued without provoking the necessary outrage quotient from the usual suspects, and we will be forced to place a hold on this building initiative until that deficiency is remedied."

This incident marks the second time is as many months that such a bureaucratic failure has stymied government projects. In early April, the Ministry of Defense shelved an initiative to train the IDF Spokesman's Office in better use of social media because the six-month quota of UN resolutions against Israel had not been met.




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From Ian:

Sohrab Amari: The EU Picks Iran and Hamas
From the mullahs’ nuclear-weapons program to Hamas’s calculated campaign to rush the barrier fence with Israel to the Iranian-led insurgency in Yemen, Mogherini and the EU see only diplomatic challenges to overcome. And the answer is always, always to convene a gabfest in Basel, Lausanne, Vienna or some other plush Continental city, where civilizational clashes and historic animosities and sharp moral contrasts can be dissolved in technical solutions.

Never mind that the Iranian nuclear deal on its own terms puts Tehran on the glide path to the bomb, and never mind that it fails to address the mullahs’ missile program, regional aggression, and human-rights violations. “We had a process,” say the Brussels mandarins, “and that process must be preserved at all costs.” Never mind that Hamas is constitutionally committed to the destruction of world Jewry and has been staging terror attacks and bloody stunts for decades. “We had a process,” say the mandarins, “and Trump’s embassy move disrupts the process.” In this worldview, the likes of Iran and the Palestinians can appear as friends and good guys, because they cynically embrace European process games. All the while, the U.S. and Israel are cast as the bad guys since they don’t play geopolitics the European way.

Along with Mogherini, Barack Obama and Angela Merkel epitomized this bankrupt mindset. One of the three, Obama, has already exited the world stage. The tectonic electoral shifts underway in Europe mean the other two are likely to fade sooner than later.
PMW: PMW posters of terrorists and their PA salaries distributed to Israeli MPs at committee hearing
Palestinian Media Watch was invited to the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense committee once again last week for the latest debate on new legislation to deduct the amount the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists and their families from Israel's tax transfers to the PA.

In order to impress upon members of Parliament the horror of the PA practice of paying salaries to terrorists, PMW produced 13 small posters with information about a number of Palestinian terrorists, their hundreds of victims and how much money the PA has paid each of the terrorists since they were arrested.

PMW's Director, Itamar Marcus, and Head of Legal Strategies, Maurice Hirsch, both actively participated in the debate. In addition, PMW had invited relatives of terror victims who also spoke at the hearing, demanding that Israel not transfer any money to the PA that might go to pay salaries to the murderers of their loved ones. Some of them held up PMW's posters while they spoke, documenting how much money the PA has already paid the terrorist who murdered their relatives.


Caroline Glick: Pompeo Presents the Trump Doctrine
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech Monday at the Heritage Foundation marked a pivotal moment in U.S. foreign policy.

Pompeo made several important arguments in the course of his half hour address, in which he set out President Donald Trump’s policy regarding Iran in the wake of his May 8 announcement that he is abandoning Barack Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

The key line in his speech was, inarguably, “As President Trump said two weeks ago, he is ready, willing and able to negotiate a new deal [with Iran]. But the deal is not the objective. Our goal is to protect the American people.”

The basic insight that there is no intrinsic value to any agreement – or foreign policy initiative of any sort – that does not advance the interests of the United States or protect the American people is striking, because it has been absent from American foreign policy in relation to rogue regimes and entities for better part of the last generation.

In 1994, when then president Bill Clinton sought to contend with North Korea’s illicit nuclear program, the first fantasist president, Jimmy Carter, turned up in Pyongyang to see if there was a deal to be had.

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Last week Hamas terrorists stood on principle.

They turned away 2 Israeli trucks of medical supplies, including IV fluids, bandages, pediatric equipment, disinfectants and fuel for hospital generators.

This despite the fact that hospitals in Gaza are suffering from shortages.

But Hamas did not turn everything away. They did accept 4 shipments from the Palestinian Authority and 2 from UNICEF.

So what was Hamas trying to prove?

Keep in mind that whatever point they are trying to make, Hamas is not above making that point at the expense of their own people.

Earlier this year, Israeli reported that when Gaza was suffering from power shortages, Hamas was stealing electricity from power lines leading into the southern Gaza Strip. There was a video to support the claim:



In fact, despite the economic situation in Gaza, in 2014 Forbes Israel ranked Hamas as one of the 10 wealthiest terror organizations -- ahead of Hezbollah, Al-Qaida and Taliban, and second only to ISIS.



photo



Former Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh (far right) aboard his private plane




So when Hamas turns back medical essentials at a time that hospitals in Gaza don't have enough of the supplies it needs, it is unlikely Hamas expects to suffer the natural consequences of their actions.

After all, we are talking about the same terrorists who have no problem using their people as human shields.

In fact, we know that Hamas has no problem affording themselves the best medical treatment in the region - from Israel.

Former Hamas PM Haniyeh sets the example:

April 2012: Haniyeh's brother-in-law was treated in Israel for a serious cardiac episode that could not be treated in Gaza. According to Al Arabiya, Haniyeh's brother-in-law and his wife "had the option of going to a more advanced medical center in Egypt but chose to go to the Israeli hospital instead." Haniyeh did not stand in their way.

o  November 2013: Haniyeh's granddaughter was admitted Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petah Tikva in serious condition for acute infection of the digestive tract.

o  June 2014: Haniyeh's mother-in-law was admitted to the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, by the Mount of Olives

o  October 2014: One of Haniyeh's daughters was admitted to an Israeli hospital for emergency medical treatment after she suffered complications from a routine procedure.
Haniyeh is not alone.

In November 2014, the sister of Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk was treated in an Israeli hospital for cancer

Actually, Hamas does generally allow regular Gazans into Israel for medical treatment.

According to Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which coordinates with Palestinian authorities on border crossings, about 20,000 Gazans enter Israel per month, mainly for medical treatment.

Hamas treads a fine line, making a show of rejecting Israeli aid.

But the fact is that as things stand now, Hamas leaders are as much in need of Israel and the help it provides as the people of Gaza are.





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