Sunday, February 19, 2017

  • Sunday, February 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

A new antisemitic Syrian TV series is in production.

The 30-episode series, "Warda Shamiyya", features famous actor Muhammad Kheir Al-Jarrah portraying a Shylock-type Jew in Damascus.

His greedy Jewish character, named "Shalit," is a miser who makes his money with fraud, deceit and usury.

But don't call them antisemitic.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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From Ian:

The case of disappearing support
This is precisely why the Arab world downplayed the meeting and its results, as if Trump's new approach to regional issues had nothing to do with the Arab nations and perhaps even served their purposes. A new approach to regional issues, one that differs from that of President Barack Obama, would most likely be in line with Egypt's interests, as Cairo has had enough of the criticism Washington has leveled at it since President Mohammed Morsi's ouster, as well as with Saudi Arabia's interests, as Riyadh had demanded a tougher American stance against Iran.
The Arab world has apparently turned its back on the Palestinian issue, which nevertheless still preoccupies the Arab public and could always be used as a means to blow off the steam of criticism usually aimed at Arab regimes or the West. However, the days when Arab countries were willing to indiscriminately sacrifice their interests for the Palestinian cause are gone. Moreover, the Palestinians themselves are divided between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, and the latter is reluctant to embrace a realistic approach that could promote its interests.
In the absence of support from Arab nations, Europe has stepped up to criticize Trump's actions, as they stand to undermine the European endeavor to play any role in Middle East politics. Nevertheless, with the European Union fraying at the seams, Europe is not a significant factor.
Thus, the Palestinians must now re-evaluate their policy. Hamas has already chosen its path by electing hard-liner Yahya Sinwar, a senior member of Hamas' military wing in Gaza, as its leader in the enclave. The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, could take its chances and resume the peace talks with Israel, as such steps have proven as the best way to move forward. However, if its leaders continue to idle, they may find the have missed their chance.
Haley’s Comet
"A star is born is our reaction to the first press briefing by President Trump's new ambassador at the United Nations...
The ambassador had just come from the regular monthly Security Council on Middle East issues. She said it was her first such meeting, and 'it was a bit strange.' The Security Council, she said, is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But the meeting, she said, was not about Hezbollah's illegal buildup of rockets in Lebanon, it was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists, it was not how we defeat ISIS, it was not how we hold Beshar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of thousands of civilians.
'No,' she said, 'instead the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that's how the Council has operated month after month for decades. I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore to the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias.'
The ambassador made clear that the Trump administration will not support the kind of resolution from which the Obama administration's ambassador - Samantha Power - shamefully abstained, though Mrs. Haley was too polite to name the humiliated Ms. Power...
The ambassador warned that it is 'the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change,' and said America will not hesitate to speak out in defense of its friend in Israel...She has the principles of a Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the grit of a John Bolton, and the star power of a Jeane Kirkpatrick, and in her first press briefing she certainly made her point."
Rubio questions David Friedman at ambassador to Israel hearing

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche 
"In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." - H.P. Lovecraft

Welcome to the new American moment of rising white nationalism, anarchist violence in the streets, and an irate progressive-left that refuses to reconcile itself to the fact of a Donald Trump presidency.

It is not merely that the Left disagrees with Trump on policy issues, it is that they have aggregated that hatred into the core of the sun for the purpose of creating nuclear fusion.

This is a level of domestic collective political hostility that no living American has seen before and nobody knows what it will produce beyond getting an autistic white kid tortured in Chicago, among other such imbecilic acts of identity politics-based violence and cruelty.

One would have to travel back to early 1860s Savannah, Georgia to gloriously revel in this degree of rancor for the President of the United States and for people of the wrong color.

When I was a kid the Left despised Richard Nixon and when he died in 1994 Hunter S. Thompson wrote an obituary for The Atlantic that twisted the knife even in death. In "He Was a Crook," Thompson wrote:
I have had my own bloody relationship with Nixon for many years, but I am not worried about it landing me in hell with him. I have already been there with that bastard, and I am a better person for it. Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.
But even Nixon, despite the secret bombing of Cambodia, was not as reviled as Donald J. Trump is today.

In college many of my friends did not much like Ronald Reagan, either, but we did not dress head-to-toe in black - almost like tight-fitting burkas, if you think about it - and then form ourselves into "black blocs" for the purpose of beating the holy hell out of perfectly innocent people in the streets.

And that is precisely what we saw when Milo Yiannapolous dropped by UC Berkeley on his "Dangerous Faggot Tour."

And then, of course, there was George W. Bush, the "Cowboy President" who allegedly robbed Al Gore of his rightful ascension and who followed in George Sr.'s footsteps by dragging the United States into more pointless warring in the Middle East. So we bitched and we moaned and we cried and we marched and some of us even went to Midland, Texas to say hello to Cindy Sheehan at "Camp Casey" not far from W.'s ranch.

Nazis, Klansmen, and Fascists

So, why does the disdain for Trump seem so much more angry and intense than these other examples of famous American presidential loathing? It is in part because while those who dislike Trump are loudly spreading their hatred, the rest of the country is quietly going about its daily business. Recent polling shows that something close to 50 percent of Americans actually favor the temporary ban from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya. My assumption is that, like all rational westerners, these people take the rise of political Islam seriously. Some of them follow the news of the immigration crisis in Europe. 

One would not get this sense from the overall mainstream media, nor the alternative media, because the drumbeat of fear and loathing is so relentless one would surely think that almost every ethically-decent American considers the temporary ban as on some moral par with the unjust internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II.

So, why have so many Americans gone stone-cold crazy? Why are so many otherwise normal and intelligent people bursting with horror at this particular political moment?

The reason has to do with Nazis, Klansmen, and fascists.

Homophobes, Islamophobes, and Antisemites.

Sexists, Transphobes, and all other manner of benighted Arkansas pig farmers.

That's why.

When The Enemy - as embodied by the hideous yammering visage of Donald Trump - represents the very worst that unearthly existence can manifest then there are no ethical limits on behavior in beating back the terrible cosmic menace. A righteous moral stance cannot include mere disapproval or protest, but full on resistance by any means necessary... however bloody, hypocritical, or devoid of simple human decency.

And if Democrats and progressives prefer not to get their hands dirty, that's what the Boys in Black are for. Perhaps if they curb-stomp enough Trumpeteers it will serve as notice to the rest to stay out of sight and keep their white-bread, humanist-individualist, Judeo-Christian yaps shut.

And make no mistake, Trump did not magically transform into Zombie Hitler - or the monster of your choice - through his own behavior.

He was transmogrified into Zombie Hitler by a Democratic Party leadership that had grown so confident, fat, and self-satisfied that only a spectral fascist could possibly stall their well-meaning efforts to change America into a semi-socialist enclave of sneauxflakes and drones. If the Democrats decided that they are "the good people" and the Republicans are "the bad people" then they decided that Donald Trump is Cthulhu, a multi-tentacled, insatiable, monstrosity from the Deep... or a Zombie Nazi... choose whichever you like.

And this is why the self-righteous Idiots in Black took to the streets of UC Berkeley to beat the holy hell out of Trump supporters at the Milo event.

What else can you do to a supporter of fascism other than kick its head in in an anti-free-speech riot in the place most famous as home of the Free Speech Movement?

Race, Gender, Class

In the years between the end of the Vietnam War and the present, the progressive-left (or what political youtube icon Dave Rubin refers to as the "regressive-left") took the best ideas that American politics has to offer and turned them into mierda.

Questions of racial, gendered, and economic-class injustices go directly to the heart of the western political experience. From a liberal humanist perspective there is nothing more important than treating human beings as individuals with rights rather than as some annoying or frightening member of an othered group to be treated like dirt.

The fundamental purpose of movements for ethnic and gendered freedom was to relieve all of us of the burden of never-ending bigoted and unjust animosities. In Martin Luther King's iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, that was the dream.

But no sooner had this dream approached reality than the Left turned it into a weapon and betrayed its core values in doing so.

And this is where Hillary Clinton, her "basket of deplorables," and some ridiculous grinning green frog named Pepe, comes into the story.

During the campaign, and much to Bernie Sanders' ongoing annoyance, the drums of race and gender beat considerably harder and louder than those of economic class. Activists in the Democratic Party and the progressive-left who wanted to challenge the allegedly brutal, racist, white, patriarchal, imperialist, rape-culture of America were torn between Hillary's neo-liberalism and Sanders' anti-capitalism.

So, when Hillary, who we all knew was going to get the nomination despite Sanders' admirable challenge, decided to smack Trump around with Breitbart and white nationalism she unleashed The Fear into the American population on a national scale. The next thing that we knew Facebook and Twitter and God-Knows-What-All overflowed with rumors of gun-toting, Republican-voting, Nazi-sympathizing, angry, white guys prowling the streets of America as swastikas popped up all over the media like psilocybin mushrooms after a good rain.

The fact that there are no actual Nazis, Klansmen or fascists within the ranks of American power was not about to stop a good case of mass hysteria, however, so Team Hillary dug up Richard Spencer, tied Spencer to Breitbart, and threw both into the face of Donald Trump.

And they did so even as Milo darted between American university campuses humiliating idiots and referring to Trump as "Daddy." It is thus not difficult to see just why they would despise the guy and thereby smear him as a Nazi.

The truth, however, is that this sort of manichean, black-and-white, Good versus Evil, partisan politics is ripping this country to pieces. It's harming families and friendships.

Of course, if it makes people happy, they should continue spitting the hate.

I may find it interesting in a perverse and twisted kind of way, but it's certainly not doing the country any good.

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, February 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Earl of Balfour wrote a letter to the New York Times:

In 1917, my forebear Arthur Balfour, as British foreign secretary, wrote the Balfour Declaration, a great humanitarian initiative to give Jews a home in their ancient lands, against the background of the dreadful Russian pogroms. We are conscious, however, that a central tenet of the declaration has all but been forgotten over the intervening decades: respect for the status of (Arab) Palestinians.

The increasing inability of Israel to address this condition, coupled with the expansion into Arab territory of the Jewish settlements, are major factors in growing anti-Semitism around the world.

If this situation is to have a chance of being neutralized, Israel must respect the United Nations resolutions (the same United Nations that gave Israel legitimacy 70 years ago) and look to allow the Palestinians their own state. Of course, this will mean disruption and Israeli political upheaval, and it’s disappointing that this week President Trump looked more like Janus on the issue.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu owes this to the millions of Jews around the world who suffer essentially because of the results of internal Israeli politics, as well as to the unenfranchised Palestinians.

Thus, we don’t believe that the declaration centenary can be properly celebrated this year unless progress is made, and soon. Simultaneous work toward making Jerusalem an internationally protected capital for all three Abrahamic faiths could see original intentions realized.

There is a lot wrong with this letter - for example, the Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish homeland but not a "Palestinian homeland" that Roderick implies it does, and he ignores history like the San Remo Conference and the partition of Palestine that created Transjordan specifically to create an Arab state.

But the worst part is that Balfour believes that Israeli policies are causing antisemitism.

For someone who invokes the Russian pogroms, Balfour sure hasn't learned the lesson of historical antisemitism: people don't hate Jews because of what they do.

Antisemites will come up with any excuse to hate Jews - Jews are capitalist/Jews are communist; Jews are wretched/Jews are too powerful.Jews keep themselves separate/Jews are infiltrating our hallowed institutions. We don't want Jews in our country/we don't want Jews to have their own country.

Settlements aren't the reason for modern antisemitism. Palestinians who are being supposedly oppressed by Jews living a few miles away mostly live in better circumstances than their Arab neighbors. Palestinians in Lebanon and Syria would gladly trade their lives with their fellow Palestinians in Nablus and Ramallah.

I would argue that using Israeli policies as an excuse for antisemitism is a form of antisemitism itself.

(h/ David B)

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  • Sunday, February 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Two years ago, the Simon Wiesenthal Center noted a large number of antisemitic and jihadist books being sold at the Casablanca Book Fair. And it wasn't the first time.

Their complaints about the book fair were noted, and largely derided, in the Moroccan press.

This year, at the 23rd Casablanca Book Fair which ended today, nothing has changed.
A small tour of the corridors make you discover that the Salafi books are the most popular. Authors who call for violence and incite hatred and glorify racism achieve unprecedented success,  along with the the classics of conspiracy theory, as well as translations of Mein Kampf  and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. 
The good news? This article wasn't written by the Wiesenthal Center or the ADL but by a disgusted Arab writing in the Moroccan site Al Yaoum 24.

At least some Arabs realize that their own world is in danger as long as hate is allowed to be promoted so freely.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: First strike to the black state
So in the light of all this evidence that Flynn may have been the victim of not just Washington in-fighting but an illegal and malevolent campaign, why did Trump throw him under the bus? If Flynn did mislead Pence, that is clearly important. Trust, as the White House said, is crucial. The president cannot afford to have a scintilla of doubt that his national security adviser is transparent to him at all times.
But that raises the further question of why Trump sat on the information that Flynn had misled Pence until the Flynn balloon went up.
Trump has met his first big test and he hasn’t come out of it well. He appears to have allowed a key appointee, someone whose reputation he made use of to bolster his own presidential credentials, to be brought down by smear and character assassination.
Both Israel and the moderate Arab states will doubtless have registered this with concern.
Having dared to believe that finally America had a president who would face down Iran and assert American strength, they may now be wondering whether he might just crumble.
Much depends on how Trump now behaves, and whether he takes action against the apparent illegality and even treason taking place within the intelligence world and political establishment. The fight will be ferocious, not least within the Republican Party.
Whatever the truth of this episode, a war to the death is now on for the soul of America. Is Trump up to it? We’re about to find out.
Alan M. Dershowitz: Trump: Palestinians Must Earn a Two State Solution
President Trump raised eyebrows when he mentioned the possibility of a one state solution. The context was ambiguous and no one can know for sure what message he was intending to convey. One possibility is that he was telling the Palestinian leadership that if they want a two state solution, they have to do something. They have to come to the negotiating table with the Israelis and make the kinds of painful sacrifices that will be required from both sides for a peaceful resolution to be achieved. Put most directly, the Palestinians must earn the right to a state. They are not simply entitled to statehood, especially since their leaders missed so many opportunities over the years to secure a state. As Abba Eben once put it: "The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
It began back in the 1930s, when Great Britain established the Peale Commission which was tasked to recommend a solution to the conflict between Arabs and Jews in mandatory Palestine. It recommended a two state solution with a tiny noncontiguous Jewish state alongside a large Arab state. The Jewish leadership reluctantly accepted this sliver of a state; the Palestinian leadership rejected the deal, saying they wanted there to be no Jewish state more than they wanted a state of their own.
In 1947, the United Nations partitioned mandatory Palestine into two areas: one for a Jewish state; the other for an Arab state. The Jews declared statehood on 1948; all the surrounding Arab countries joined the local Arab population in attacking the new state of Israel and killing one percent of its citizens, but Israel survived.
In 1967, Egypt and Syria were planning to attack and destroy Israel, but Israel preempted and won a decisive victory, capturing the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai. Israel offered to return captured areas in exchange for peace, but the Arabs met with Palestinian leaders in Khartoum and issued their three infamous "no's": no peace, no recognition, and no negotiation.
In 2000-2001 and again in 2008, Israel made generous peace offers that would have established a demilitarized Palestinian state, but these offers were not accepted. And for the past several years, the current Israeli government has offered to sit down and negotiate a two state solution with no pre-conditions-- not even advanced recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. The Palestinian leadership has refused to negotiate.
‘Eyeless in Gaza’ director reveals the headlines Hamas don’t let you see
Seasoned journalist Matti Friedman had noticed all was not as it should be at the Associated Press (AP) bureau in Gaza.
Hamas fighters had burst into the office and threatened staff over photographs they had published. Then they witnessed a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering the lives of staff and nearby residents – and yet AP did not report it.
Likewise, the news coverage failed to show how cameramen waiting outside Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties, but at the behest of officials, would turn off the cameras when wounded and dead fighters turned up – an attempt to preserve the illusion that only Palestinian civilians were being targeted by Israel.
Of course the truth was far from that, but while Hamas took pains to control how journalists portrayed conflicts in the region, the world’s media instead turned its attention on Israel.
It was a situation that Martin Himel, a Middle East correspondent for 25 years, had also observed before coming to the troubling conclusion that Israel was always portrayed as the aggressor and the Palestinians as victims – or, as Friedman says: “A morality play starring a familiar villain.”
Curious to discover how this came to be the media’s viewpoint, Himel has interviewed combatants, civilians and politicians from both sides of the conflict for his provocative documentary, Eyeless In Gaza, which premieres in London later this month.

  • Saturday, February 18, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Greta van Susteren has a 13 minute interview with Binyamin Netanyahu where they talk about all the usual stuff, and Bibi doesn't say anything he hasn't said before.

However, he fumbled the first question badly. Maybe because the audience was MSNBC rather than Fox, but to the question of settlements Bibi gave the tired old answer that "the settlements are not the problem."

But he didn't defend them.

He didn't say that Jews have the right to live in their ancestral homeland. He didn't talk about the deep bond of Jews to the land for thousands of years. He didn't talk about how international law is being twisted on the issue.

If the only answer he gives is "they aren't the problem" he opens himself up to "but why build them to begin with?"

(h/t Yoel)

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Friday, February 17, 2017

From Ian:

Scandinavia: The West's Citadel of anti-Semitism
Hate for Israel has become a real obsession in Scandinavia, which revived the glorious partnership between the liberal "useful idiots" -- the ones concerned about equality and minorities -- and the Islamists, the ones concerned about submission and killing "infidels".
Despite the fact that Jews in Norway are only 0.003 percent of the total population, Oslo is now world's capital of European anti-Semitism. Norwegian newspapers are full of classic anti-Semitic tropes.
A festival in Oslo also rejected a documentary, "The Other Dreamers," about the lives of disabled children, simply because it was Israeli. "We support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel," wrote Ketil Magnussen, the founder of the festival.
The same racism exists in Sweden. Dagens Nyheter, the most sophisticated Swedish newspaper, published a violently anti-Semitic op-ed entitled, "It is allowed to hate the Jews".
Does Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström really mean that to defeat Islamic aggression, Israel must surrender? The Palestinians' situation is indeed desperate, but as they have had full autonomy for decades, their desperate situation is caused by their own corrupt leaders who appear deliberately to keep their people in misery try to blame it on Israel, in the same way that people maim children to make them "better" beggars.
The Nazi daily Der Stürmer could not have drawn it better.
Hillel Neuer on Sweden's Kowtow to Iran's Forced Hijab, Misogynistic Mullahs

Hypocrisy: Sweden now introducing U.N. resolution on Iran's human rights record

Picture of 2 deer in Israel sparks controversy at UN headquarters
A new Israeli exhibition that is being displayed at the U.N. headquarters in New York has sparked some controversy. U.N. officials contacted Israel's representative to the international body Danny Danon and asked him to take down a picture of two deer, claiming that it was taken in the Jordan Rift Valley, which is beyond the Green Line.
The exhibition was created by the Israeli delegation to the U.N and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and is scheduled to be on display for two weeks. It was designed to display Israel's beautiful environment. The U.N. officials asked the Israeli delegation and Danon to take down the picture because it is “controversial.” Moreover, the U.N. officials put up a sign near the exhibition stating that international body is not responsible for the content displayed.
“There’s no limit to the United Nations’ obsession with Israel,” stated Danon in response. “The decision to try and censor a picture of animals in nature just because it was taken in the Jordan Rift Valley is a new record of absurdity. We will not let them censor us and we will continue to display with pride the beautiful country of Israel.”
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority CEO, who even spoke at the grand opening of the exhibition, said: “Animals and nature need to be placed above politics as a part of the common denominator of all nations and all countries everywhere.”

  • Friday, February 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Arab political cartoonists are often the most trenchant in the world.

This is an Arab cartoon that shows very succinctly what Arab unity looks like:

Keep in mind that Arabs often tell themselves that the reason that they are not unified is because the Jews are setting them against each other.

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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The Trump-Netanyahu alliance
Given that at the heart of the two-state model is the conviction that Israel is to blame for the presence of Islamic terrorism and extremism, and that the only way to proceed is to establish a terrorism- supporting PLO state, it naturally follows that the policy’s adherents in the US cannot see any real purpose for the US alliance with Israel. It is also natural that they fail to see any potential for a regional alliance led by the US and joined by Israel and the Sunni states based on the common goals of defeating Iran and radical Islamic terrorist enclaves.
In other words, the two-state formula dooms its adherents to strategic myopia and defeatism while holding their strategic and national interests hostage to the PLO.
The insanity at the heart of the two-state formula, and the US and Israeli public’s desire to make a clear break with the strategic defeats of the past generation, makes its abandonment a clear choice for both Trump and Netanyahu. Abandoning it wins them support and credibility from their political bases when they need their supporters to rally to their side. And to the extent they are able to implement more constructive policies to defeat the forces of radical Islam, they will weaken the establishments that are working to undermine them.
By leaning on Netanyahu to help him to secure victories against the forces of radical Islam, and so putting paid to the bureaucracy’s most beloved policy paradigm, Trump can both secure his base and weaken his opponents.
So, too, by developing a substantive alliance with the Trump administration and increasing Trump’s chance of political survival and success, Netanyahu gains a formidable partner and makes it more difficult for the legal fraternity and its media flacks to bring about his indictment and fall.
Amazingly then, to a significant degree, the survival of both leaders is tied up with their success in keeping their promises to their voters and defeating their foes – domestic and foreign. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: New leader, same old terror
From Hamas' point of view, since Israel's defensive systems cannot stand up to a multi-rocket and missile attack launched from close range and from every direction, the strategy that Hamas has chosen will sooner or later lead to victory over Israel and the elimination of the Zionist project. Yehya al-Sinwar will be the leader, not manager, who will bring the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim masses after him to a major, final battle that will bring Israel to its knees and scatter the 21st century Jews to all corners of the earth, to the exile that Allah prophesied for them because of the their sins as enumerated in the 7th century Koran.
All that is left for Hamas to do, in addition to military preparations, is to encourage other forms of Jihad - economic, media, political, public and academic, so that Israel's international standing becomes shaky and its name is vilified around the world, while Hamas calls for the world to abandon and boycott Israel, punish it and pull all investments out of it using BDS. It intends to buy politicians, media and academic personalities using money from its Qatari friends, encourage the world to prevent moving embassies to Jerusalem and advance BDS decisions in international bodies that will proclaim that Jerusalem does not belong to Israel.
All these actions are intended to turn Israel into easy prey for military Jihad that will lead to its final destruction, to occur under the wise leadership of Yehye al-Sinwar and his deputy Khalil. Now that Hamas' sinister plans are clear as day, Israel - if it wants to survive - must challenge the new Hamas leadership in every way that can convince them and those who will be left after them to give up the dream of eliminating Israel. This is not an easy objective to attain, but it can be done using good Intelligence, exact measures and a firm decision by an Israeli leadership that looks ahead to what lies in store in the future.
In the Middle East, peace is granted only to those who are not vanquished and succeed in convincing their enemies that it worth their while to leave them alone. Hamas knows the rules of the game, and the question that is left open is whether the Israeli pubic realizes that the Middle East is not a place where acting according to the rules of the games played in other cultures allows for survival. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
David Singer: Bush, Obama, Russia, EU and UN buried under Trump Landslide
Obama proceeded to trash those commitments made with one of America’s closest allies with disastrous consequences for America’s foreign policy, its reputation and integrity.
Trump however had difficulty in reaffirming all of Bush’s commitments because one of them stated:
“ the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan”
Trump doesn’t like long negotiations without any deal – and Trump wants to cut a deal.
Trump has accordingly ditched the Bush two-state solution – endorsed by Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. It now joins the diplomatic graveyard housing other two-state solutions proposed by
* the 1937 Peel Commission
* the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan,
* the 1993 Oslo Accords and
* Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008.

The Arabs have missed yet another opportunity to end the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Roger Cohen weighs in on this week's meeting between Netanyahu and Trump with his characteristic lack of knowing what he is talking about.

Here's the one example that proves that one simply cannot trust a New York Times columnist to say anything remotely true:

Netanyahu was explicit. He wants a Jewish state that retains “the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River.” That, he claimed, was what he’s been saying for years. Wrong. When he first reluctantly admitted the possibility of two states in 2009, he insisted Palestine be “demilitarized.” That’s not the same as total Israeli security control.
Bibi's 2009 speech didn't mention the Jordan Valley  - but it didn't have to. That was part of Israeli demands way before Netanyahu. Yitzchak Rabin said it shortly before he was assassinated: " "The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term" Sharon also insisted on it. It was a well known position - for anyone who actually follows the news from Israel, unlike Roger Cohen who only pretends to.

In fact, Netanyahu said this explicitly in 2011 - not to the Israeli cabinet, but to a joint session of Congress!:

So it is therefore absolutely vital for Israel’s security that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized. And it is absolutely vital that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River. Solid security arrangements on the ground are necessary not only to protect the peace, they are necessary to protect Israel in case the peace unravels. For in our unstable region, no one can guarantee that our peace partners today will be there tomorrow. 
So Netanyahu really has been saying it for years. Cohen just didn't bother to check his facts.

Because since he thinks he's an expert, he doesn't need to bother with such trivialities as truth.

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  • Friday, February 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Unbelievable spin in an attempt to smear David Friedman from AP:

David Friedman, President Donald Trump's pick to be U.S. ambassador to Israel, displayed an exhaustive knowledge of Israeli-Palestinian affairs during his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday, but at times glossed over intricacies of the famously complex region. A look at some of his statements before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

FRIEDMAN: Asked about the Trump administration's position on a two-state solution, he said he would be delighted to see a peace deal giving Palestinians an independent state. But he acknowledged skepticism "solely on the basis of what I've perceived as an unwillingness on the part of the Palestinians to renounce terror and accept Israel as a Jewish state."

He said Palestinians had failed to "end incitement" of violence, and terrorism had increased since the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, intended to be a stepping stone toward Palestinian statehood.

THE FACTS: Not all Palestinians are the same.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization, the group that formally represents all Palestinians, officially denounced terrorism decades ago, although attacks have continued to be a problem for Israel in the years since. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in office since 2005 and in charge of autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has spoken out against violence, saying it undermines Palestinian statehood aspirations.

Hamas refuses to renounce violence or recognize Israel. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip after seizing it in 2007 in a violent takeover and setting up a government there to rival Abbas' West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

As far as Israel being a Jewish state, Abbas, current head of the PLO, says the Palestinians met their peace requirements by recognizing Israel, and it's not up to them to determine the religious nature of the state of Israel.
Friedman's statement was 100% correct. The Palestinians have failed to end incitement, the PLO still praises terrorists today despite pretending to be against terror have failed to renounce terror, the PLO's main faction officially says that terror is a legitimate right if it is not tactically wiseat this time, and all Palestinians still regard terrorists as heroes.

And the reasons Palestinians refuse to accept a Jewish state is because they want to ensure that they have a "right to return" to flood it with Arabs and destroy it demographically.

Friedman is right, AP is wrong and spinning furiously.
FRIEDMAN: Asked whether under Palestinian law the Palestinians were "rewarding terrorists" and whether there was an "increasing incentive" based on the number of people a terrorist murdered, said, "Exactly true."

THE FACTS: It's complicated.

Israel has long scoffed at the Palestinian fund for "martyrs," set up in 1967 by the PLO, arguing that the payments it makes are an incentive to kill Israelis. The fund makes monthly payments to roughly 35,000 families of Palestinians killed or wounded in the conflict with Israel and had a budget last year of $170 million, Palestinian figures show. Recipients include relatives of Palestinian suicide bombers.

But the fund doesn't pay people in advance to carry out attacks. The Palestinians argue the fund helps support Palestinian victims of Israel's occupation, including families of those driven to attack by the dire conditions of occupation or by a desire to avenge others killed by Israelis.
Friedman is 100% right. The PLO pays terrorist families, and terrorists know that their families will be taken care of (and that they would have automatic jobs when they get out of prison.)

Not paying them ahead of time is not the definition of incentivizing terror. Friedman is right, AP is obfuscating the truth.

FRIEDMAN: Asked about his connections to Beit El, a settlement of religious nationalists near Ramallah in the West Bank, Friedman said his affiliation had been as the president of a group called American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva, the U.S. fundraising arm of the settlement's Jewish seminary and affiliated institutions. He said the money he'd helped raise had gone toward educational facilities like dormitories, gymnasiums and classrooms.

"It primarily derives from my commitment to Jewish education," Friedman said of his involvement with Beit El. "The quality of those schools is excellent."

THE FACTS: It's true that the funds Friedman's group raises help support the settlement's educational activities. But Friedman appears to be playing down his family's long association with Beit El.

In addition to supporting Beit El's institutions, which include high schools and an Israeli military academy, Friedman has written numerous columns for Arutz Sheva, a right-wing news site affiliated with Beit El. It was in some of those columns that Friedman made controversial comments that have attracted attention since his nomination.

In Beit El, his and his wife's names are on the facade of the Friedman Faculty House, which the anti-settlement watchdog Kerem Navot says is built on private Palestinian land without permission from its Palestinian landowners.
Ap did not manage to contradict a single statement Friedman said. Writing for Arutz Sheva is not a violation of any law or US regulation. And trusting an anti-settlement group without fact checking it is irresponsible.

This is a travesty of a "fact check." AP has nothing to contradict Friedman so instead it throws a bunch of mud at the wall, hopes that some sticks, and calls the resulting mess "fact checking."

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  • Friday, February 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Mahmoud Abbas has a new potential heir apparent.
Forrmer Nablus governor Mahmoud al-Aloul was appointed as the first ever vice president of the ruling Palestinian Fatah movement Wednesday night, marking him as a possible candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian Authority president.

Aloul, 67, apppointed by the Fatah Central Committee, is a close confidant of the 82-year-old Abbas. He is considered popular within the party, and was a long-time leader of Fatah’s armed wing before following the group’s leadership from Tunis to the West Bank in 1995 in the wake of the Oslo Accords.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies notes:
 Within Fatah’s upper echelons, al-Aloul assumed the portfolio of mobilization and organization within the party, and in that role he has had an active presence. He is frequently spotted leading protests in the West Bank, and in November of last year, he gave a speech where he declared: “When we talk about our enemies, we talk about the [Israeli] occupation and the United States.”
 Al-Aloul has consistently stated that "armed resistance," meaning terror, is a "right" the official Fatah position.

In 2012 he said that "no one has dropped the armed resistance from his dictionary" and that Fatah’s political program had reaffirmed that “resistance is a legitimate right to resist the occupation.” He repeated this in 2013.

But he's stated this much more recently and explicitly as well. Last June, Al-Aloul emphasized that the Palestinians have "the option of resistance in all its forms in light of the fact that the peace process is stalled and the occupation continues its crimes," as reported in Palestinian media.

In November, on TV, he said:
Perhaps there are people who think that in the [recent] past the Oslo Accords took place and new and defined strategies were created that were connected to a realistic view of the situation. [However, this occurred] out of consideration for the balance of powers, and not as a strategic change. Some of the people thought that the essence of Fatah had changed, and that its strategy had changed…
Therefore, in the Sixth Fatah Conference - and we will again emphasize this in the political plan of the seventh conference – we passed a resolution that defines the identity [of Fatah], we called it a political declaration, and this declaration opens the political plan: … ‘Despite our adherence to the option of a just peace and our efforts to realize it, we declare that we do not renounce any option, and we believe that resistance in all its forms (i.e., including violence) is a legitimate right of the occupied peoples in their confrontation against the occupiers.’
In December, he declared that the PLO is not obligated to uphold the provisions of the Oslo Accords any more because he claims Israel is not upholding it, and this was another declaration made at the Seventh Fatah Congress.

I have not yet seen a list of all the declarations from the Seventh Fatah Congress last November, but from al-Aloul's statements it appears that they have not fundamentally changed from the platform from the sixth congress in 2009 which said exactly what he is saying, that terrorism is still a legitimate option but one that is not being exercised at this time for tactical reasons.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

From Ian:

Is BDS a Bust?
In 2005, a coalition of organizations claiming to represent Palestinian civil society issued a call to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. Since then, the BDS movement has acted, in church organizations, on college campuses, and elsewhere, to make Israel the equivalent of apartheid-era South Africa; a pariah state. BDS has been active in the U.S., and COMMENTARY has covered many of its individual wins and losses. But it is worth pausing every now and again to consider its overall effect on American public opinion.
At least as Gallup measures it, that effect has been zero.
In 2005, 69 percent of U.S. adults held a favorable view of Israel and 25% held an unfavorable view. Today, those numbers are 71 percent and 25 percent.
A particular target of BDS has been young people, and polling has for some time shown that young people view Israel less favorably than their elders. In the 18-29 age group 63 percent view Israel favorably and 33 percent view Israel unfavorably. But BDS has focused on college campuses. “Israeli apartheid week” is, unbelievably, a feature of the American college landscape, and divestment votes, more often than not BDS fails, took place at 50 schools from 2012-2016. It is therefore surprising that young people view Israel so favorably. In spite of the longstanding leftward lean of our campuses, college graduates and postgraduates remain on par with non-graduates in their favorable views of Israel.
This year’s results are so far similar to last year’s, though Gallup has not yet released its findings concerning how 18-29 year olds view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For U.S. adults in general, though the numbers—62 percent sympathize more with the Israelis, 19 percent more with the Palestinians—are considerably better for Israel than they were when the BDS campaign began.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak live with Michael Lumish in the San Francisco bay area about the latest developments in the United States; we then speak live with Alex Ryvchin from the ECAJ in Sydney about a range of issues.
Following this we hear from Israeli political activist May Golan on Israel's illegal immigration problem, and finish with Isi Leibler in Jerusalem.
3 min Editorial: Anti-Netanyahu petition
14 min Michael Lumish in USA
50 min Alex Ryvchin, ECAJ
1 hr 11 min May Golan, Israeli political activist [ also check NL facebook page terrific interview with Hanity on Fox News]
1 hr 32 min Isi Leibler, Jerusalem
NGO Monitor: Sweden's "Special Envoy" to NGOs to the Arab-Israeli conflict
On February 15, 2017, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström announced that Sweden will be naming a “special envoy” to the Arab-Israeli conflict, tasked with working “full-time on the Israel-Palestine conflict,” responsible for establishing “contacts” in the region, and representing “Sweden in international talks.” According to Wallström, the sense that “hope can turn to despair” was repeated in her consultations “with almost 150 Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations” during a December 2016 trip to the region.
Prior to this, during preparation for the January 15, 2017 Paris Peace conference, Sweden, “initiated and led” a “civil society component” as one of three areas of focus to further a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Emphasizing Sweden’s close relationship with highly politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a diplomat stated that prior to the Paris conference, “We spoke to NGOs, associations, bloggers and other actors. Everyone apart from politicians. The results of our survey are by no means scientific, but I believe they reflect well the situation at hand…” (emphasis added).
This alliance with favored NGOs does not occur in a vacuum – for many years, Sweden has provided large-scale funding to many such groups.
In 2015, Sweden budgeted approximately $16.1 million to NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many of these NGOs lead and take part in campaigns that are inconsistent with Sweden’s foreign policy goals of promoting peace and a two-state framework in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some groups have even used antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to terror organizations.
In addition, Sweden provides over $5 million, to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (Secretariat) – a framework that supports NGOs that promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) and “lawfare” campaigns against Israel. (h/t Yenta Press)

  • Thursday, February 16, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Bnei Menashe in Indian airport en route to Israel

JNS reports:
Over one hundred members of India’s population of “lost Jews” are arriving in Israel this week, with hundreds more planning to make aliyah this year.

The Bnei Menashe community — which claims to descend from the Jewish tribes banished from ancient Israel in the 8th century BCE — have organized waves of immigrants to make the move to Israel through nonprofit Shavei Israel, which describes itself as the “only Jewish organization…actively reaching out to ‘lost Jews.'”

Michael Freund, the organization’s founder and chairman, said in a statement prior to Tuesday’s arrival of 30 Indian olim, “With God’s help, we will bring a total of more than 700 Bnei Menashe immigrants to Israel — the largest-ever airlift in a single year.”

Later this week, an additional 72 immigrants are scheduled to arrive, and, according to Shavei Israel, they will be living in the northern city of Nazareth Illit, which “already has a flourishing Bnei Menashe community.”
Arab media isn't happy about this.

The immigrants will live where the other Bnei Menashe have settled, in Nazareth Illit, the Jewish-majority city next to Nazareth. But Arab media  are claiming that they are moving to "Arab Nazareth" implying that they are displacing Arab residents of the town - essentially calling them settlers.

 Ramallah News is more direct, saying that they will be living in "occupied Palestine."

Arab antipathy towards Jews moving to Israel far predates the modern state of Israel, and they are still complaining about it. There are plenty of articles about French aliyah, Russian aliyah and so forth, exulting in years where there are fewer immigrants and upset in years that they increase.

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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Wednesday, February 15. Prime Minister Netanyahu is in Washington, and will meet President Trump later today. At the same time, the American media is hyperventilating after the forced resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, over something to do with his contacts with Russia. I say this, because right now, nothing is clear – not what Flynn actually did and not why Trump fired him. All options, from Flynn truly conspiring with the Kremlin, to this being the beginning of a putsch against Trump orchestrated by the CIA and/or former Obama Administration officials, are open.

Poor Bibi, who would really like to talk about Iran, Syria and the Palestinians! Trump’s mind will not be on the Middle East if he thinks that his presidency is in danger (which in my opinion it is).

Bibi should understand Trump’s position quite well, since he himself is the object of a prolonged and vicious media and legal witch hunt, which I discussed in this column last week. This is apparently the fashion in modern “democratic” politics today: when you have a leader that powerful elites dislike but who is also so popular with the average voter that he can’t be defeated at the polls, then tie him up with a firehose-stream of accusations and scandals. If you can get him entangled in sticky legal spider-webs, so much the better (this is harder to do in the US, where an American president has much more power than an Israeli Prime Minister).

Personally, I believe Bibi when he says, “they won’t find anything because there is nothing.” But I also believe that he could be indicted for “nothing.” At least he is safe in the US for a few days, even if Trump gives him an expensive cigar or two.

The parallels between the precarious situations of Trump and Netanyahu are interesting, even though they are personally so different – and although Trump has been in office for less than a month, compared to Netanyahu’s multiple terms as Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister.

Both were elected in fair elections in which they defeated lackluster opponents. Nevertheless, both enjoy strong support from their bases and appealed enough to independent voters to win. Both are strongly, even viciously, opposed by a majority of media outlets and personalities, and by academic and artistic elites in their home countries; and both are considered enemies by the international Left. The previous American administration even tried to intervene in Israel’s recent elections against Netanyahu, and some of the same people may be involved in the effort to damage Trump.

Trump’s and Bibi’s opposition became used to wielding power, and did not give up the taste for it (although they have certainly had enough time to do so in Israel), and will use any means they can get away with to get it back from the leader that they view as an illegitimate usurper.

But now is a particularly inconvenient time for these two nations to be tied up by internal strife. It’s a cliché, but it’s true that the world is at a historical inflection point. America is the only power strong enough to stand up to the forces of darkness that are threatening to overtake Western civilization; and Israel is on the front line of this struggle. 

Iran/Hezbollah, North Korea, Da’esh, the Muslim Brotherhood – these are the real threats. Putin might be one too. It is vitally important that the leaders of our nations focus on them, rather than on domestic insurrections by spoiled elites.

Could you give them a chance to do so, please? I promise that you can have another go in the next election.

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


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