Thursday, March 30, 2017

  • Thursday, March 30, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel's National Library has unearthed a telegram from Hitler's deputy Heinrich Himmler to the Mufti of Jerusalem.

Believed to have been sent in 1943, it contains a promise by Hitler’s deputy to Haj Amin al-Husseini that the German Reich will stand behind the Arabs of Palestine and support their struggle against “Jewish intruders.”

Published on the library website on Wednesday, the telegraph notes that the struggle against world Jewry has been a principle of the German National Socialists from the start, and that the regime has always followed “with particular sympathy,” the struggle of “freedom-loving Arabs,” especially those in Palestine battling the Jews.
 “The National-Socialist movement of the great Germany has made its fight against world Jewry a guiding principle since its very beginning,” Himmler wrote. “For that reason it [the movement] has been closely following the battle of freedom-seeking Arabs- and especially in Palestine- against the Jewish invaders,”
“The joint recognition of the enemy and the struggle together against it are what build the solid basis between the National Socialists of Greater Germany and freedom-loving Muslims of the world,” Himmler wrote.

The telegram concludes with the SS chief sending the mufti his warm greetings on the “unhappy” anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and best wishes for the continuation of the struggle.

You can be sure that no Arab in the 1940s would ever protest against Nazi Germany by claiming that they were only against "Zionists," not Jews.

The language of this letter is identical to the language used in Arab media to this day about Jewish "usurpers" in the land of Israel.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Mahmoud Abbas'  82nd birthday was March 26.

We hear often that Israel has to make peace with Abbas because he is the most moderate leader the Palestinians ever had.

Even if that is true, what do these people anticipate will happen when Abbas is dead? That the Islamists who replace him would keep whatever agreement he supposedly would make?

Peace cannot be made with a person (and Abbas is the least charismatic person around.) Peace must be made between peoples, and Abu Mazen has ensured that his people will never want true peace with Israel.

It's been 24 years since Oslo. For 24 years, the Palestinian leadership had the opportunity to teach peace and to build the institutions of a state, to gain respect as a people.

Instead, they have chosen terror. They chose to teach an entire generation to hate. They have acted like whiny children who are entitled to the benefits of statehood without taking any responsibilities. they have consistently chosen symbolism over substance, complaints over hard work, glorifying terror over teaching coexistence.

No responsible Israeli leader could have made any real peace with Mahmoud Abbas. Everyone who is honest with themselves know this. And Abbas has ensured that the next few generations of Palestinian leaders will be just as bad.

That will be his legacy.

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  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
(This post will be pinned to the top of the webpage for the day.) 

As my readers know, I (and my writers) try to cut through the bull and get to the facts, wherever they may lead. The truth is paramount and interpreting the facts accurately is a skill set that most people don't have.

That is doubly true for most of  the people who get paid to interpret the facts. (Including most writers for the New York Times despite its Orwellian "Truth" campaign.")

And as difficult as it has been to ferret out the truth in the past, today it is a much more daunting task. Between a US administration that has only a glancing familiarity with the truth and the media that flat-out lies when covering the same administration, and the reverberations of both trends throughout the world, figuring out what is really going on is harder than ever.

This obligation to ferret out the truth among the half-truths, lies, propaganda and unconscious bias has never been more important.

I think that EoZ's track record is admirable in this regard, better than most media outlets  - even though we have almost no resources.

Eventually, pointing out the truth makes a difference in the media that is awash with lies. Small differences to be sure, but Elder of Ziyon has an outsized influence for a niche website.

We've been branching out. EoZ now has eight columnists with other occasional contributors.

I was happy with the seminar I put together in Jerusalem a few weeks ago and I am thinking about doing that more regularly. (Mostly in the US, though.) There are other possible initiatives as well that could bring the message of the truth about Israel and the Middle East to a wider audience.

All of this and more can only be done with your help.

Donate to EoZ so we can continue to cut through the lies and the spin. We want to continue to provide fact-based analysis and news that is simply not available anywhere else.and the ensure that the message gets spread.

You can give a donation via PayPal here (or clicking here.)

Better yet, you can become a patron of EoZ via Patreon.

EoZ is not a tax-deductible charity, but if you want to give a more sizable donation you can pay for an advertisement to be displayed here and that would be a tax deduction. Contact me if interested.

As always, thanks so much for your support, and for those who celebrate, have a wonderful Pesach.

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From Ian:

Teen terror victim to European Parliament: Stop funding war
The Friends of Judea and Samaria, a European Parliament caucus that aims to halt European Union funding of Palestinian terrorism and abolish EU trade barriers placed on Jewish goods from Judea and Samaria hosted its first ever conference in Brussels on Tuesday.
One of the speakers at the conference, named "Israel and the West Bank -- Facts and Myths," was Ayala Shapira, whose emotional speech earned her a standing ovation. Shapira was critically wounded in a terrorist attack in December 2014, when terrorists hurled a firebomb into a car she was riding with her father as they made their way home in Samaria.
With her face fully bandaged as a result of the third-degree burns she suffered in the attack, Shapira told conference attendees, "I am Ayala, almost 14 years old. I live in El Matan in Samaria. I like to read, write stories and draw. I want to describe the feeling of having a terrorist attack directed at you.
"One of the terrorists that threw the Molotov cocktail at our car was a 16-year-old boy, only a few years older than me. He did it, among other reasons, to help his family financially. He knew that if he went to prison, the Palestinian Authority would take care of them. I want you to remember that sometimes when you think you are donating money to peace, you are in fact funding the war," she said.
“Raus!”: How Jews were ejected from an anti-Israel meeting in Parliament
I had hoped to report on a meeting in Parliament (Conference Room 1) on 28 March. It was the ‘Balfour Apology Campaign’, chaired by Jenny Tonge. Unfortunately the Chair, Lord Warner (not Tonge – yes I’ll get to that later), threw out the only two Jews in the room, probably in order that the hatefest could not be witnessed.
So who knows what lies, demonisation and anti-semitism were voiced?
But of course, throwing out the only two Jews in the room – on an unfounded accusation in one case and with no reason whatsoever in the other (mine) – itself stinks of anti-semitism.
Down to speak was David Cronin. He writes for Spinwatch, that strange organisation which seems obsessed with ‘Jewish power ‘. Cronin writes from Brussels and is a specialist in demonising Israel and its supporters.
Here for example he writes ‘the Israel lobby is a force not only on Capitol Hill, but in Brussels, too, and … it is attempting to stifle debate about Israel’s sadistic treatment of the Palestinian people.’ He is famous (more accurately, infamous) for attempting (and failing) to make a citizen’s arrest of Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels. And look what he said about Jonathan Freedland in March 2015, when Freedland was thought to be a candidate to become Editor-In-Chief of the Guardian: ‘In a perverse way, it might be a good thing if he gets the job.
With Freedland at the helm, it would be easier to show how a supposedly progressive newspaper is in thrall to the toxic ideology of Zionism’.
How Blind College Liberals Help Foster Antisemitism
“Ending White Privilege Starts With Ending Jewish Privilege,” screams a flyer being distributed on the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois.
The flyer falsely alleges that 44 percent of Jewish Americans are in the top 1% of earners. The threshold for being in the top 1% is $465,626, and as much as 44% of Jewish Americans would like to have achieved that distinction, they haven’t. What the flyer’s authors meant is that 44% of Jewish Americans earn more than $100,000 a year.
Although foreign-born Muslims have not yet achieved the success of Jews, they are far more likely to earn more than $50,00-a-year, compared to native-born Americans. But don’t expect their success to be on a leaflet distributed on college campuses.
Southeast Asian Muslim immigrants — many of them from Pakistanis — are known to value education and go into the professions. They abound in medicine, comprising between 2.7% and 5% of all US physicians, and in high-paying technical fields. They also bring with them an entrepreneurial spirit. Sound familiar?
Rather than commend Jewish success as something to aspire to, the authors of the flyer view it with contempt because in their demented Marxist view of the world, all gain is ill-gotten and a function of privilege. They don’t recognize that a combination of gray matter, hard work and a willingness to take risks also contribute to success.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is flavor of the month with the Jews, and to a large degree, the warmth with which she has been received is warranted. One could argue that her support of the two-state solution proves her less than a friend to Israel. Haley may be carrying water for the White House with that stance. Otherwise, we’d need to conclude that she is unable to see the illogic of that concept, incapable of coming up with an original idea, or not quite courageous enough to express the idea that there is no real solution in sight to the Arab war against the Jews.

We do love Haley for standing up to the anti-Israel UN and as a result, we make her videos viral on Facebook. There’s this one where she let the UN Security Council have it for having a condemnation agenda that is stuck on one channel that is all Israel, all the time.

And there’s the new AIPAC interview in which she said, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

That proclamation made for a great sound bite. Most of the Jewish media used the quote as the lede for their articles on Haley’s interview at AIPAC 2017. The sense of that phrase, of course, is that things are finally going to change at the UN. No longer will the US simply abstain from condemning Israel. No longer will the US turn a blind eye to the continuous bashing of its “friend” Israel by the UN Assembly.

It’s almost too delicious to contemplate.

Therein lies the rub. Why do we Jews, as a collective, feel orgasmic delight when things go as they should? Why should we sit by and just let the sucky stuff happen? Why do we yawn when they bash us and simply accept the status quo as SNAFU*? Why hasn’t America stood by us at the UN since approximately 1975, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously denounced the Zionism is Racism resolution?

All of it is disgusting. It was disgusting the way we Jews clapped and clapped for Nikki Haley, as if it is Haley that matters, and not the truth. The truth being that Israel is a beacon of light unto the nations and that the UN should be celebrating the existence of the Jewish State and lambasting the Arabs for their ingratitude, terror incitement, and terror.

It is very nice to applaud when good guys make headway, but it’s not nice when we forget that good is how things should be, rather than so unusual as to be remarkable.

It is not Nikki Haley that’s remarkable and I mean that as no insult to Haley. It’s remarkable that all this time, America allowed Israel to be roasted on the spit of public and world opinion and failed to have Israel’s back.

Furthermore, it’s disgusting that Israel has stayed in the UN all this time, hoping against hope that someone would finally be our friend. It’s an abusive relationship. It’s not the way a sovereign nation should act.

That is why, to my mind, the part about Nikki Haley being the new sheriff in town in her AIPAC interview was much less important than the part right at the end where she said, “I appreciate all the support and kindness and everything that you've given to me, but all I did was tell the truth.”

Look at her face. She looks a bit puzzled. She’s thinking: Why do they make such a big deal over me for telling the truth? Isn’t honesty a basic standard of human behavior? I’m just being normal.

And she’s right: since when should humans of any stripe expend all that energy in response to normal or act like normal is amazing and somehow deserving of accolades?

It’s sick, is what it is. You can see that Nikki Haley, alone in that hall, perhaps, is the only one who sees just how sick that is: that normal now deserves our applause.

And that’s the real reason I like her. And conversely, the reason I worry that my people don’t have what it takes to make it in the long run. They shouldn’t be looking at Nikki Haley to raise them up. 

They should be rising up on their own. They should be speaking the truth out loud and proud to anyone and everyone.

They/we need to stop being sheeple. We need to stop pretending that Arabs have any rights to our land. We need to stop listening to the media’s lies—stop accepting them without question. We need to stop listening to the lies of intersectionality and study the truth, the facts of our indigenous rights.

We need to know there’s a Higher Power and that it is neither Nikki Haley nor Donald Trump.
Israel needs to stop acting like it is a vassal state for the U.S. Israel needs to stop looking to people like Nikki Haley to save its butt. Israel needs to save its own butt and stop worrying about what the world will say.

I like Nikki Haley. I love her for telling the truth. But we need to stop the fawning and get real. We need to be dignified and stop getting excited whenever someone speaks up for us the least little bit.

It’s enough to acknowledge that we’re on the same side. It’s enough to acknowledge that Haley is speaking the truth. Putting her on a pedestal makes us look weak and sycophantic, in need of rescue, a damsel in distress.

We’re better than that. Stronger than that. Prouder than that.

Where is that acclaimed stiff neck?

Now is the time to show it to the world. Beginning now. That’s the beginning of the end to all these lie—all these lies about Israel, all the time.

*Clean version: situation normal, all fouled up. 

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mooning the Dome of the RockJerusalem, March 28 - A representative of the religious council that administers the Temple Mount - known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif - encountered difficulty in describing to a group of tourists today how the respect and attachment Muslims feel for the location is manifest in the five-times-daily practice of bending over and pointing their backsides toward the golden dome marking the spot where Muhammad landed with his horse on the way to Heaven.

Ali, a tour guide, detailed for his guests the worship routine at the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the compound's southern end, an Islamic set of rituals that involves recitation of passages proclaiming the greatness of Allah while engaging in a series of prostrations. In the process, worshipers face south, pointedly directing their derrières toward the Dome of the Rock. The location, considered sacred in Islam because of its association with the Prophet, is thus subjected to a collective mooning of up to tens of thousands of Muslim bottoms at a time.

The guide attempted to explain that no slight was intended to Muhammad or his horse Al-Buraq, and that the demonstrable disrespect to the site was a mere function of bowing toward Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia. A tourist observed that the awkwardness could have been avoided by constructing Al-Aqsa to the north of the Dome, allowing worshipers to display reverence for both locations at once, given that, as the Waqf insists, the Haram al-Sharif is the third-holiest place in Islam.

"I, uh, it's important, but not as important as Mecca or Medina," stammered Ali. "In fact we used to bow to the Rock, centuries ago," he added, with a burst of confidence.

A visitor then pointed out that switching the direction of prostration after a period of bowing toward the Dome was an even bigger insult, as if Muslims were trying to convey that whatever had been there was no longer worthy of respect. "No, you don't understand," answered Ali, tension rising in his voice. "For Muslims the sanctity of this place is very important. We protect it all the time from desecration by, uh, Jewish settlers who storm it and want to bow directly toward the Dome of the Rock!" he paused to consider the import of what he had just said, then caught himself.

"I mean, it's not for Jews to do that - it's too holy," he stammered again. "They desecrate the place with their Talmudic rituals and make false claims about there being a Jewish holy site in ancient times, which is why we started bowing toward Mecca inst- never mind. You people must leave now - you are showing disrespect for a Muslim holy site! Guards!"

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From Ian:

PMW calls on US gov. to deny entry to terror supporter Jibril Rajoub this week
Palestinian Media Watch is joined by families of American terror victims in calling on the United States Secretary of State to prevent Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub from entering US soil. Should he enter the country, we are calling on the US to have Rajoub arrested and investigated for incitement to murder of American citizens. Rajoub is scheduled to speak in New York next Wednesday, April 5th at an event organized by the Israel Policy Forum.
In the letter to Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, PMW notes that Jibril Rajoub publicly incited terror and glorified terrorists throughout the 2015-2016 Palestinian terror wave that claimed the lives of 4 American citizens: Hallel Yaffa Ariel, Taylor Force, Richard Lakin, and Ezra Schwartz. Rajoub also called on Hamas to kidnap Israelis in 2014, just a few months before U.S. citizen Naftali Fraenkel and his friends Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were kidnapped on their way home from school.
Under US law any alien who "endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity" is "ineligible for visas or admission" to the U.S. [8 U.S.C. 1182 - INADMISSIBLE ALIENS, 2006 Edition, Supplement 5] PMW has documented Jibril Rajoub's continual vocal support for terrorism in its special report The Jibril Rajoub File.
PMW exposé leads Germany to cancel major sports deal with PA
The German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) is cancelling a recently-announced partnership with the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) because of evidence publicized by Palestinian Media Watch. According to the federation's spokeswoman Ulrike Spits, Germany called off the deal because "not all partners are committed to the high values of sport."
Under the 400,000 Euro agreement, Germany had planned to send sports expert Gert Engels to coach the Palestinian football team over a period of two years. The agreement, the first of its kind, was co-signed by German representative Peter Beerwerth and PFA Chairman Jibril Rajoub.
Immediately after the deal was signed, PMW released the bulletin "Germany signs sports agreement with terror-promoting PA official." The Simon Wiesenthal Center followed up with an official complaint to the DOSB drawing documentation from PMW's The Rajoub File. Today, the German daily reported that DOSB has withdrawn from the partnership.
Palestinians: We Have the Right to Poison the Minds of our Children
A statement issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Education in Ramallah warned that it would take "punitive measures" against anyone who tries to change or tamper with the curriculum. "Any attempt to change the Palestinian curriculum will be considered an assault on Palestine and an eradication and dilution of our national identity," the ministry cautioned.
The language used by the PA is strikingly similar to that used by Hamas to threaten an organization that has for decades helped millions of Palestinians to survive. In this regard, the Palestinians are once again biting the hand that has fed them. Ask Kuwait and other Gulf countries that used to give Palestinians billions of dollars before the Palestinians supported Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.
In his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington in mid-April, Abbas is expected to renew his commitment to combating anti-Israel incitement, according to senior PA officials in Ramallah. One wonders how Abbas plans to account for the PA's threats against UNRWA regarding the textbooks.
The PA, like Hamas, plans to continue indoctrinating their children through poisonous textbooks that depict Jews as evil occupiers and land-thieves who build "racist walls" and demolish houses for no reason. They also wish to continue teaching children that the conflict with Israel is not over a two-state solution, but the "liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea," which means the annihilation of Israel. The goal is for the students to believe that Israel is one big "settlement" that has no place in the Middle East.
Moreover, along with Hamas, Abbas and his PA plan to continue inculcating Palestinian children with the idea that they should look to terrorists who kill Jews as their role models. It might be illuminating if the conversation between Trump and Abbas were to be informed by these uncomfortable facts.

  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

As mentioned, Mahmoud Abbas was in Germany for a few days this week to have talks with Angela Merkel and to receive a "peace" award.

An op-ed in Die Welt shows that not everyone is drinking from the "Abbas as peacemaker" Kool-Aid.

Richard Herzinger writes for the newspaper:
It is clear  that Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) are largely incapacitated. The now 81-year old President dare not resign, because for him and his Fatah organization there is fear that the radical Islamic Hamas could prevail in elections.

Abbas travels endlessly around the world playing for time and to get international support for his attitude of refusal towards talks with Israel. And he shows his duplicity: Speaking in the West,  as now he says in Berlin, he claims that he strives for nothing but "stability" and peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel.

Yet at his home no day passes where the official PA media and schools do not spread anti-Jewish hate propaganda, wild anti-Israeli conspiracy theories and support for the terrorist cult of martyrdom.

Instead of getting obsessed only on the Israeli settlement policy, Berlin should tell  Abbas to finally call for a massive renunciation of this glorification of violence. The threat that otherwise we would curtail the huge amounts of aid money to the PA  might be helpful.
Slowly but surely, the cult of eternal Palestinian victimhood is being dismantled.

(h/t Quintessenz)

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  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
An amazing article in LiveMint,

When Narendra Modi visits Israel this year, it will be remarkable for two reasons: first, that it will be the first visit to the Israeli state by an Indian head of government; and second, that it will in all likelihood raise no eyebrows—never mind hackles—in the Arab world.

The exact dates for the trip have not yet been announced, but it has been known for some weeks now that it will happen this summer. And yet, no Arab state has voiced any displeasure, not publicly, and not even through diplomatic back-channels.

This is nothing short of astonishing to anyone who, like your humble servant, grew up in the India of the 1970s and 1980s, when it was routine for New Delhi to join the Arab chorus of condemnation for Israel at Tel Aviv’s every turn.

Whether it was because of India’s need for Arab oil, or because there were so many Arab members of the benighted Non-Aligned Movement, or because the Jewish state was tied to the US while New Delhi was chummy with the USSR, or simply because so many in this country genuinely sympathized with the Palestinian cause, a succession of Indian governments avoided diplomatic relations with Israel.

But that prospect is no longer surprising: the two countries began building close ties in the 1990s, and are now locked in a tight embrace of economic, defence and security interests.

What is astonishing, though, is the absence of even a murmur of protest from India’s friends in the Arab world. West Asian diplomats quizzed by my colleagues at Hindustan Times have shrugged off the idea of Modi’s visit as a matter of realpolitik. One expressed the mild hope that the Prime Minister might also visit the West Bank, to show some solidarity with the Palestinians, but acknowledged that this is unlikely.
That is almost as remarkable as the visit itself.
One reason for the Arab pococurantism over deepening Indo-Israeli relations is a resigned acceptance that the two countries have much in common, including their enemies, in the shape of Islamist terrorism.
This shows that even Arab governments put Hamas and Hezbollah in the same category as ISIS and Al Qaeda - which is regarded as a "Zionist talking point" among the "progressive" Western crowd.
Another is a profound sense of Palestine fatigue in Arab capitals, whether on account of the interminable and intractable nature of the problem, or because other Arab peoples—Syrians, for one—are making a more pressing case for sympathy.
I've been making this point for years. But since Arab diplomats reflexively pretend to prioritize the Palestinian issue in every meeting with their Western counterparts, the West is clueless that these are only words. And the proof is that the Arab nations routinely pledge hundreds of millions to the Palestinian cause  - and end up reneging on nearly all of it, while the West pays the bulk of aid.
Yet another reason for the lack of concern among Arab governments for India’s friendship with Israel is that many of them would themselves like an accommodation with the Jewish state.
 For all the pillorying Bibi gets in the media, both Israeli and from the West, this one sentence shows that he is the one that has had a masterful strategy for Israel's long term security.
Countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have for some time now reportedly been making quiet, behind-the-scenes contact with the government of Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, and the frequency has grown since January 2016, when the US and other major powers signed a nuclear treaty with Iran.

Arab leaders have determined that Shia-ruled Iran represents an existential threat to their Sunni-dominated regimes, and recognize that, in this, they have a common cause with Israel. Netanyahu’s trenchant tirades against the theocracy in Tehran have an enthusiastic audience in Arab palaces.

This is especially true in Riyadh and Manama, where the threat of Iran is felt most keenly. ...
Arab leaders have determined that Shia-ruled Iran represents an existential threat to their Sunni-dominated regimes, and recognize that, in this, they have a common cause with Israel


But Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and most other Arab states have no formal relations with Israel: most of them don’t even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.

For six decades, their propaganda machines have portrayed the Jewish state as an abomination, and have normalized anti-Semitism among their citizenry.

The rulers of these states cannot now afford to be seen breaking bread with Israel, and so can only play a form of diplomatic footsie—or rely on sympathetic intermediaries to ferry little notes between them.

So, if Modi does hear from Arab rulers before his visit to Israel, it may very well be in the form of requests to convey cautious felicitations. And it’s just conceivable that Bibi Netanyahu will want Modi to carry a message for Saudi King Salman, who is expected to visit New Delhi later in the year.
This is truly remarkable, all the more so for being true.

(h/t Zvi)

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: The Real Trump Link in the Threats on Jews
In short, for all the criticism he justly earned for his belated and reluctant condemnations of anti-Semitism, Trump took action to stop it in a way his predecessor never did–a point to remember for anyone who believes that actions speak louder than words.
Many commentators have already noted that by rushing to blame Trump and his supporters for the bomb threats despite the complete absence of any evidence, the U.S. Jewish community has made the fight against anti-Semitism more difficult, because next time, its claims are liable to be met with considerable skepticism. But the new police information indicates that the damage was even worse than that: The anti-Trump hysteria actually encouraged the very attacks it was meant to combat.
The lesson here obviously isn’t that Jews shouldn’t react to anti-Semitic acts. But by tying the bomb threats into a broader anti-Trump narrative for their own political purposes, American Jewish leaders and their non-Jewish left-wing allies generated a degree of media hysteria that the acts on their own would not have produced. And that is precisely the type of hysteria that attracts copycats–in this case, not just the original perpetrator (who copycatted his own attacks once he saw they produced the desired media attention), but also the only other person arrested to date.
Absent this media hype, it seems unlikely that Juan Thompson, a black, left-wing radical who was stalking his girlfriend, would have come up with the idea of making trouble for her by phoning bomb threats into Jewish community centers and trying to make them look as if they were coming from her, instead of choosing any number of other possible targets.
In short, by making the bomb threats part of a broader anti-Trump narrative without a shred of evidence, American Jewish leaders discredited both themselves and the battle against anti-Semitism while also actively encouraging copycat attacks. Obviously, they didn’t mean to do any of those things. But there’s a lesson that needs to be learned here, and it goes way beyond the narrow issue of Donald Trump: Jewish interests aren’t identical to those of any political ideology, either liberal or conservative. And when you conflate Jewish interests with political ones, Jews are usually the ones who end up the losers.
Political narratives collapse
The past week had more than its share of big political stories -- a London terror attack, the collapse (for now anyway) of the Obamacare repeal and replace effort, and the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on U.S. President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Buried among this collection of breaking news was the arrest of an Israeli teenager on suspicion that he had orchestrated a campaign of phoned-in bomb threats at over 150 Jewish institutions across America, plus a few in other countries since the start of the year.
The arrest, made in Israel, undermined a recent theme in American politics since Trump's election: that the president had helped unleash a toxic strain of hatred directed against various ethnic/racial groups, especially Jews, supposedly demonstrated by the wave of bomb threats. The president's nastiest critics portrayed him and his administration as neo-fascists, if not actual fascists. Steve Bannon, the president's campaign adviser and later his strategic adviser, was seen by these misguided Trump haters as the godfather of the "alt-right" and an anti-Semite.
Cartoonist Scott Adams argued that this week marked a very important turning point in the fledgling Trump presidency. According to Adams, the defeat of the health care bill marked the end of the narrative of Trump as Hitler and the emergence of the new narrative of Trump as incompetent. A president who is viewed as incompetent is hardly new to American politics. In fact, it is about as mainstream a criticism as you can get. Conservatives thought Obama was incompetent. Liberals thought George W. Bush was incompetent. If leftists now come to view Trump as an incompetent, it means they might no longer need to be so scared of his presidency, since he is unlikely to get much done that would really disturb the Left (even if he were a fascist).
The arrest of the Israeli teen seemed to be a disappointment as well as a great surprise for many among the organized American Jewish community. A few weeks earlier, an African-American journalist, Juan Thompson, had been arrested in St. Louis for calling in some bomb threats to Jewish organizations. That arrest may also have been a disappointment to the organized Jewish community. After all, if the president is inciting the hard Right and other assorted anti-Semites, an African-American named Juan does not fit the perpetrator profile.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Mosul, Gaza and the world’s hypocrisy
Op-ed: ISIS learned from Hamas how to use civilian populations as human shields. While hundreds of civilians have been killed in US-led airstrikes in Iraq, there have been absolutely no protests and no claims of ‘war crimes.’ Those are reserved for one country only—Israel.
Hundreds of women and children were killed in west Mosul last week. The Americans bombed the area, as part of their cooperation with the Iraqi army against the Islamic State. The tragedy did not make the headlines. Claims of “war crimes” were nowhere to be found either. Neither was something more moderate like claims of “a disproportional response.” There were no protests whatsoever. The hostile sentiments, like the condemnatory headlines, are reserved for only one country in the world—Israel.
The United Nations issued condemnations—not against those who bombed the area, but against the use of civilians as a “human shield.” The New York Times, which constantly condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge, argued mostly with Trump: “Taken together, the surge of reported civilian deaths raised questions about whether once-strict rules of engagement meant to minimize civilian casualties were being relaxed under the Trump administration.”
One might have assumed that since 2003, or maybe only from 2008, the strict rules of engagement had led to minimum civilian casualties. Well, the figures show that 268,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since the war began there in 2003. There is no proof that former President Barack Obama reduced the number of casualties. The use of drones, for example, was 10 times higher during the Obama era than during the George W. Bush era.
Why Isn't There a Palestinian State?
Why don't the Palestinians have their own country? Is it the fault of Israel? Of the Palestinians? Of both parties? David Brog, Executive Director of the Maccabee Task Force, shares the surprising answers.

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Guardian:
It happened in history class. Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old American Muslim student at the University of Colorado, was supposed to be discussing the Crusades with the man sitting next to her. Within a few minutes, however, he was crusading against Islam.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” Hashmi’s classmate told her. What’s more, he complained, not enough Muslims were making a stand against terrorism.

Hashmi was perplexed by this analysis. Muslims are constantly denouncing atrocities that have been committed in the name of Islam. Yet many people seem to think Muslims don’t condemn terrorism enough. So Hashmi decided to put the notion to the test. Using Google spreadsheets, she made a “712-page list of Muslims condemning things with sources”, which she tweeted. The list includes everything from acts of domestic violence to 9/11.

“I wanted to show people how weak the argument [that Muslims don’t care about terrorism] is,” she explained.

Her stats struck a chord. Within 24 hours, Hashmi’s tweet had been retweeted 15,000 times. A couple of her followers volunteered to help her turn her spreadsheet into an interactive website and, within a week of the tweet, was born. This was last November, but the website has grown considerably since then and, sadly, flickers into prominence whenever a new attack takes place.
The Muslims Condemn site lists over 5000 cases of Muslims condemning...something. Usually it is terrorism, but sometimes it is something else.

Like 14 who condemned Israel's fighting Hezbollah in 2006.

Or the 32 who condemned the Simon Wiesenthal Center for building a museum near a deconsecrated Muslim cemetery.

There are also condemnations against Israel for "attacking Al Aqsa" and for Gaza. In a database of condemnations of "terror."

Among the terror attacks condemned, I could find very few condemnations for attacks that targeted Jews. The Islamic Society of North America, alone among Muslim groups in this database, condemned the 2014 attack killing 4 rabbis in a synagogue in Jerusalem;  and the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, alone among Muslims quoted in this database, condemned the 20123 Toulouse school murders.

That same Federation condemned the mythical Israeli attacks against Al Aqsa Mosque in 2015 - while Israelis were being stabbed in the streets. No Muslim condemned that, according to this database.

Nobody condemning the Hypercacher attacks, although plenty of condemnations of the Charlei Hebdo attacks.

Nobody condemning the 2014 murders at a Jewish museum in Brussels, but plenty for the 2016 Brussels bombings.

Nobody condemning Hamas rocket attacks towards Israeli civilians, but plenty condemning Israel for defending itself.

Out of the many terror attacks since 200 that targeted Jews for being Jews, very few of these Muslims quoted here condemned any of them. No one, as far as I can tell, condemned more than one of the hundreds of attacks on Jews.

It is easy for Muslims to claim that they are against ISIS attacks in Europe. Many of them claim that the Mossad is behind ISIS.

Yet since nearly all of those, even those who condemn some Islamic terrorism,  cannot condemn terrorism when innocent Jews are the victims (and, as we have seen, in fact many celebrate those very attacks,) then the entire basis for this database rings very, very hollow.

(h/t Zach)

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From Ian:

PMW: Fatah students: Martyrs' blood will create state
Fatah's message to its students is that Israel will be erased and become "Palestine" which will be accomplished through violence and terror (March 27, 2017)
At two Palestinian universities, An-Najah National University in Nablus and Al-Quds Open University, Fatah's student movement Shabiba is sending a clear message as to the path they advocate. On their logos (above and below right), the following text appears:
"From the sea of blood of the Martyrs (Shahids) we will create a state"
The logo is a coat of arms featuring on a raised fist in the shape of the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas. The symbol also features an image of the Dome of the Rock and the keffiyeh (Arab headdress) pattern. Both Fatah student movement branches use this logo, while adding the name of their respective universities.
The ideology that "Palestine" is to be created from the blood of "Martyrs" echoes Fatah leaders' promotion and encouragement of terror and glorification of terrorists, which Palestinian Media Watch has recently documented in a report released earlier this month in the American Congress.
Caroline Glick: A test for King Abdullah
Zahran, who seeks to replace the Hashemites with a Palestinian majority regime, which would allow Jordan to serve as the national home of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, argues that Jordan is a state run by the military and intelligence services, which themselves are controlled by the US military’s Central Command.
In his words, Jordanian forces cannot “relocate an armored vehicle” without first getting “permission from US Central Command.”
Zahran’s vision of a post-Hashemite Jordan is interesting. He envisions the US continuing to have overall control of Jordan’s security forces. The new regime would liberalize the economy and stop jihadist incitement while actually targeting jihadists rather than coddling them.
The regime for which he advocates would be dominated by the long-discriminated-against Palestinian majority. It would work with Israel to solve its conflict with the Palestinians. Zahran’s Jordan would restore Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria and give them voting rights in Jordan.
It is hard to know whether Zahran’s vision of Jordan is a viable one. Certainly it sounds a lot better than what we experience with Abdullah. And it deserves serious consideration.
By the same token, it is time for the US and Israel to test Abdullah, the moderate man we cannot do without.
The first test should be an ultimatum. Abdullah should be told that he must either extradite Tamimi to the US for trial or send her back to Israel to serve the remainder of her sentence. If he refuses, then either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or US President Donald Trump, or both, should meet publicly with Zahran to discuss his vision for the future of Jordan.
Ruthie Blum: Free to commit jihad against the Jews
Earlier this month, on March 14, the world was reminded of Tamimi, when the FBI announced that it had placed her on its list of "Most Wanted Terrorists" and the U.S. Justice Department requested that Jordan extradite her to the United States to stand trial for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American nationals on foreign soil, resulting in their death.
On March 19, as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported, Tamimi tweeted: "If USA afraid about its citizens, mustn't sending them to Palestine [sic]."
On March 20, the Amman Court of Cassation -- akin to the Supreme Court -- rejected the U.S.'s extradition request.
On March 22, a buoyed Tamimi gave an interview to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated weekly newspaper Assabeel, in which she said -- according to a MEMRI translation from the Arabic -- "After my release as part of the released-prisoner deal, I lived my life normally, with my released-prisoner husband Nizar Al-Tamimi [also freed in the prisoner exchange]. We started a family, completed our studies, and then began [looking] for work. We led the normal life that was denied us when we were in the Zionist prisons. ... When the Americans demanded to arrest me, I was surprised, because I didn't know that the victims [of the Sbarro bombing] included two Americans. I know that the Zionists came [to Israel] from all over the world and they had no [other] place, but I did not know the victims' nationalities."
However, she went on, "We released prisoners do not complain, because we know that the path of jihad has many obstacles and many rewards, [but also] many tests. I placed my trust in Allah, but it was a shock and was accompanied by great rage, because I hate injustice and will not agree to be rearrested after incarceration in the Zionist enemy's prisons. I then launched my legal jihad, which is a different form of jihad, after the jihad in Palestine."
Tamimi also rejected being classified as a terrorist, calling it a "sick thought" induced by the attempt on the part of the "Zionist entity ... to exert ideological influence, through organizations that believe in normalization, the rights of the other, and freedom of speech."

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

One of the features of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), is that it republishes articles from decades earlier.

For instance, last week it posted an article that seemed oddly familiar of something that happened in Nuremberg Germany in March 1935:
Arrest Nazi Leaders for Pogrom Posts

A number of Nazi leaders were arrested here today for calling upon the population to massacre the Jews and for spreading posters bearing the slogans “Death to the Jews!”

A pogrom of Jews in Nuremberg was averted due to the quick action of the police, who removed the posters after Julius Streicher, the Nazi leader of Franconia, declared that they had not been spread upon his order. Streicher himself, though the most notorious Jewbaiter in Germany, issued an order to arrest all those guilty of calling upon the population to attack the Jews.

Those who were arrested are being questioned today to establish the originators of the plot. All those arrested are members of the Nazi party. They are accused of spreading a rumor that the Jews are seeking to assassinate Hitler, by this means hoping to enrage the population against the Jewish inhabitants...
All that is missing is the outbreak of  the knifing attacks against Jews that we still read about happening in Israel.

But the Nazis had other things in mind.

The connection of Nazi and Arab Antisemitism becomes even stronger when you notice the name of Julius Streicher in the article.

Julius Streicher. Credit Wikipedia

Streicher was much more than just a prominent member of the Nazi party. He was the founder and publisher of Der Sturmer, a key part of the Nazi propaganda machine, and known for its antisemitic articles and especially its degrading cartoons of Jews. Der Sturmer was so incendiary that in the Nuremberg trials Streicher was found guilty of crimes against humanity -- despite not participating in the actual murder of Jews -- and executed.

Comparisons have been drawn between the antisemitic cartoons published by Streicher and the cartoons, seen even today, in the Arab press.

But the influence of the Nazis on the Arabs does have some limitations.

The Nazis came to power in 1933, while in then-Palestine Arab attacks on Jews were earlier.

There were Arab riots in the 1920's in Palestine, culminating in the Hebron massacre in 1929, where cries of "kill the Jews" were heard. And of course, the claim of Jews "storming" the Temple Mount or threatening to Judaize Jerusalem is, even today, a popular way to stir up the Arabs.

The Arabs did not need the Nazis to teach them to hate Jews. In her book From Time Immemorial, Joan Peters lists Arab attacks on Jews recorded as far back as the 15th century, including multiple attacks just in Hebron alone:
  • 1775: Blood libel is spread against Jews in Hebron, resulting in mob violence. [p. 179]

  • 1834: Jews in Hebron are massacred by "Egyptian soldiers who came to put down a local Muslim rebellion" [p. 183]

  • 1848 Hebron plundered. [p. 191]

  • 1848-1878: Reports from the British Consulate in Jerusalem document scores of anti-Jewish violence. Example--"July, 1851: It is my duty to report to Your Excellency that the Jews in Hebron have been greatly alarmed by threats of the Moslems there at the commencement of Ramadan..."

  • 1858: Muslim in Hebron is confronted with his theft and vandalism of Jews and responds that "his right derived from time immemorial in his family, to enter Jewish houses, and take toll or contributions at any time without giving account" [p. 173]
But times have changed, Overt antisemitism is now being excused.

Attacking Jews does not get the same reaction today.

In 1995, an Austrian prosecutor decided that calling for the death of Jews is a valid form of criticism of Israel.

This year, a German court decided that firebombing a synagogue was not really antisemitism -- it was just criticism of Israel.

And the excuse of "criticism of Israel" is used to excuse more than mere violence.

Today, terrorist Rasmeah Odeh is considered a prominent speaker on women's rights.

Rasmeah Odeh. Credit: Canada Free Press

Meanwhile, back in the Middle East, the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi finds safe haven in Jordan, where she protests on her Twitter account that the US should leave her alone so she can raise her family.

An admitted terrorist, safe in Jordan, has an account on Twitter.

photo cropped from video

One doesn't need Nazis to hate Jews.
But what does one need to feel the outrage to seek justice?

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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Remember Larry Derfner, the columnist who was fired from the Jerusalem Post for submitting an article that said that Palestinians murdering Israelis was a "right"? The JPost editor said that Derfner had written "hate speech."

Naturally, Derfner found work writing for Haaretz, the Forward and +972.

And now....for the New York Times.

Because instead of being disgraced by showing such callous disregard for innocent Israeli lives, he is celebrated.

Derfner's thesis for his NYT op-ed is just as fact-free as his justification for murdering Jews.

In this country, people have learned to accept that one war follows another, every two or three years. “An Inevitable Conflict in Gaza,” ran a headline in the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot earlier this month. “With Lebanon no longer hiding Hezbollah’s role, next war must hit civilians where it hurts, Israeli minister says,” Haaretz reported a few days later.

What hardly any Israelis will consider, though, and virtually no influential voices in the West will publicly suggest, is that Israel — not Hezbollah in Lebanon, nor Hamas in Gaza, nor the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria — is provoking the next war. Counterintuitive though it may be to Israeli and most Western minds, Israel, not its militant Islamist or brutal Syrian enemies, is the aggressor in these border wars.
His evidence? Israel attacks weapons convoys from Syria to Hezbollah - advanced weapons that are illegal under UN Security Council resolutions. This, to Derfner's mind, makes Israel the aggressor.

Derfner, who as far as I can tell has no expertise in either military or political strategy, performs his "analysis:"

Hezbollah and Syria are well and truly deterred, and if Israel were to simply let them be, they would have to be crazy to strike first. (Hezbollah tried that in 2006, killing two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, and in the war that followed Israel taught Hezbollah and all of Lebanon a very harsh, lasting lesson.) But if Israel keeps rubbing their noses in their weakness — as Mr. Netanyahu is now doing — national honor at some point will compel them to hit back with force. The “inevitable” next war will begin.
It doesn't occur to Derfner that these occasional Israeli raids pinpointing specific weapons convoys and terrorists are the deterrence, not memories of a war ten years ago.

Hezbollah and Hamas don't want to start a war directly - but they do want to push what they do as far as possible. To prepare for the next war.  What other purpose do tunnels and advanced missiles aimed at Israeli targets have?

Derfner justifies Arab aggression as natural. You see, Arabs have honor that must be protected. They have no choice but to shoot missiles and send bus bombers to Israel. Besides the mention of honor above in the context of Syria and Hezbollah, Derfner invokes it to pre-emptively justify Hamas aggression:

Lately, militant groups in Gaza other than Hamas have been firing their rockets in Israel’s direction, typically hitting nothing but open space. In return, Israel has been blasting away at Hamas military targets. Hamas has been holding its fire, but as the military affairs commentator Alex Fishman wrote in Yediot Aharonot, that calm “may be broken as soon as Israel attacks and Hamas feels that it can no longer take the humiliation, or if an Israeli strike leaves too many casualties.”
What Derfner doesn't tell the clueless New York Times readers is that Israel's retaliation for ineffective rockets is to hit empty buildings and fields. Just as in Syria, the point is to remind Hamas that they must uphold their responsibilities - that Israel can just as easily hit much more valuable targets.

It is true that there is a war every few years - 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014. Each of those wars were started by outrageous actions on the parts of Hezbolah and Hamas that no nation on Earth would tolerate - and in fact, Israel has been very reticent to respond to the vast majority of outrageous actions by those parties.

If Israel would use the argument of "national honor" to justify attacks, Derfner would rightly castigate it for being cavalier in going to war. When Arabs invoke honor to justify attacks and military buildup, though, Derfner is all love and kisses for their cultural desire to protect themselves from humiliation.

Derfner looks at everything through the lens of his anti-Israel glasses while Hezbollah and Hamas are viewed through rose-colored lenses. Sure, Israel teaches and advocates peace in private and public, while the Islamists that Derfner is defending openly advocate murdering Jews literally every day in their media, schools and public statements. But Derfner, whose entire career has been built on bashing Israel, is obligated to try to convince everyone that Israel is the aggressor and the poor Hamas and Hezbollah militants just want their honor.

It is also notable that at no point does Derfner mention that Iran is who is behind everything happening in Syria and Lebanon, because he wants to ensure that Israel is perceived as the big bad aggressor and the terror groups as the victims. It is hard to do that when you remember that they are proxies for a regional superpower that pledges to destroy Israel.

Of course, the only criterion the New York Times looks for in their Middle East op-eds is that the author has something bad to say about Israel.  Supporting facts are not necessary.

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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Times of Israel reports on her talk with Dan Senor:

Without seeming slick about it, she also offered, early in her remarks, a very potent parallel between her Indian-American Sikh upbringing and what she called Israeli culture (I’m guessing she meant Jewish) that would have endeared her to anyone in the audience who wasn’t already won over: “We’re very close knit. We love our families. We have a strong work ethic. We believe in professionalism and philanthropy and giving back,” she said. And then paused. “So that’s all the good things,” she continued, to much laughter. Then, “We’re aggressive. We’re stubborn. And we don’t back down from a fight. So it’s a…” She didn’t get to finish that sentence, so overwhelming was the roar.

Her rhetoric smacked of common sense. She’d gone to the United Nations, and found it to be an absurd place. And now she was telling the folks at AIPAC about it.

She recalled how “bizarre” it was for her, when she first set foot in the UN, to listen to delegate after delegate simply bash Israel — the more so when there are so many crises and threats to deal with in the Middle East. “I knew they said it was bad, but until you hear it, and you see it, you just can’t comprehend how ridiculous it is,” she said.

She lambasted former president Barack Obama’s beloved Iran nuclear deal, and said it was “beyond me” and “terrible” that the deal got passed.

She declared that when UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was approved in December 2016, its passage facilitated by the Obama administration’s failure to exercise a veto, “the entire country felt a kick in the gut. We had just done something that showed the United States at its weakest point ever,” she said. “Never do we not have the backs of our friends. We don’t have a greater friend than Israel. And to see that happen was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful.” Nowadays, by contrast, she went on, “everyone at the United Nations is scared to talk to me about Resolution 2334. And I wanted them to know that, Look, that happened, but it will never happen again.”

All these forthright declarations were met with delight.

So, too, some of her one-liners, delivered with restraint, but with unmistakable conviction.

On Iran: “We’re going to watch them like a hawk.”

On her approach to confronting what she thinks is unfair: “All I did was tell the truth.”

On engineering change at the UN: “I’m not there to play.”

And: “The days of Israel-bashing are over.”

And: “I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick ’em every single time.”

And most loudly applauded of all: “So for anyone that says you cannot get anything done at the UN, they need to know there’s a new sheriff in town.”

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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Marwani Mosque entrance

This story has been all over Arab and Muslim media the past couple of days, and I can't find out what the real story is.

Here's the story from the official Palestinian Wafa news agency:

 Israeli police detained four guards of the Muslim holy site, Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem after they stopped a Jewish archaeologist from stealing an ancient mosque stone.

Police first detained three guards when they attempted to block the theft of the stone and shoved the director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Omar Kiswani, when he tried to intervene on behalf of the employees.

A fourth guard was later detained for the same reason.

All four were taken into custody.

Fanatic Jews claim Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is the site of the old Jewish temples.

Muslim fear the Jewish fanatics want to destroy the mosque to build a temple on its ruins.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is under Jordanian custody and its staff, including the guards, are Jordanian government employees.
Turkey's Anadolu Agency adds:
 Israeli forces have detained seven guards of East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in the past 24 hours, a Palestinian official said on Tuesday.

“Four other guards were rounded up from their homes at dawn on Tuesday,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic sites, told Anadolu Agency.

“Three others were detained on Monday after they prevented a Jewish archaeologist from stealing an ancient stone from inside the mosque,” he said.

Al-Dibs said the archaeologist had allegedly attempted twice to steal the stone under the protection of Israeli police, triggering clashes between the guards and Israeli forces. 
Middle East Monitor identifies the supposed archaeologist as being from Israel's Antiquities Authority.

IMEMC tells the story differently, claiming that the Israeli police tried "confiscating some of its ancient stones to send them to an Israeli archeologist." instead of the archaeologist being there and trying to steal a single stone under Israeli protection.

Needless to say, all of these sources have very big credibility problems in their past reporting.

The inconsistencies in the stories multiply in Arabic. Assabeel and other sites say that the IAI employee tried to "storm" the underground Marwani mosque "to steal ancient stones." The Marwani mosque was built illegally in the area that is known as Solomon's Stables and tons of the debris from that huge excavation are what volunteers continue to sift through to find Jewish artifacts from the Temple periods.

My guess is that the Waqf made up the story of the "ancient stone" that was to be "stolen." Archaeologists prefer that artifacts stay in the exact spot that they were found when they want to do research. Something else happened where the Muslim guards got into a fight with the Israeli police, and it is unclear if any IAI official was there to begin with, but it seems more likely that the only thing the IAI would have wanted to take were photos.

UPDATE: Haaretz spoke to the IAI:
An Antiquities Authority official told Haaretz on Tuesday that the archaeologists were touring Temple Mount to examine areas under threat of collapse. The official said the incident began after one of the archaeologists picked up a stone that had fallen in order to examine it. He added that there was no intent to remove anything from the complex.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

From Ian:

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

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

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