Tuesday, January 23, 2018

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
When Netanyahu was in India, he took a selfie with major Bollywood stars, and this is making the Israel haters go even more insane than they were before

Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar and other Bollywood stars met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attended the Shalom Bollywood event in Mumbai yesterday. Not only did PM Netanyahu attended the much-anticipated Bollywood event last night but he also called all the Bollywood stars to join together for a selfie - which was shared by him on his official Twitter handle. In the selfie, which is now viral, PM Netanyahu was joined in by stars like Big B, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi and Madhur Bhandarkar among others. In his speech, PM Netanyahu referred to one of the most viral pictures of all time that took place at the Oscars, in which several celebrities including Brad Pitt took a selfie.

His tweet was "hearted" over 54,000 times.

Naturally, the Palestinian Authority and BDS movement are spitting mad over this.

From Wafa, the official news agency of the Palestinian Authority, in English:
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) in South Asia and other pro-Palestinian activists have slammed some Bollywood actors, actresses and figures for welcoming and embracing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to India.

Speaking to the Middle East Eye, Apoorva Gautam, head of the BDS movement in South Asia, expressed disappointment in Bollywood for falling for Israel’s “cultural propaganda”

These initiatives are ultimately part of a wider move by the Israelis to improve its image globally as it continues to perpetrate war crimes against the Palestinians,” he said.

You almost have to feel sorry for the BDSers who cannot stand the idea of Israel being portrayed as anything other than evil incarnate in any media woridwide.


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Before International Holocaust Remembrance Day it seems appropriate to share this in honor of those who survived and those that did not. 
The Holocaust was such a huge milestone in history that sometimes we forget that the people involved were individuals. I wrote this following an experience I had in 2014 and the example of one survivor who will forever influence the image I have in my mind of what it means to “survive.”
“Will I ever see you again?”
As I turned around I saw that these words were not meant for me. They were directed at the stones of the Kotel, the Western Wall of the destroyed Jewish temple, in the heart of Jerusalem.
Hanna Marx had tears in her eyes as she told me: “The last time I was in Israel I would never have imagined that I would be able to come back here again. That I would live this long, be strong enough. This is the greatest place on earth. Thank you for bringing me here.”
Hanna came to Israel with her friend of many years, Gerhard Maschkowski. Gerhard and Hanna are both survivors. He survived Auschwitz. She survived two concentration camps and a two and half month long death march. The fact that they are alive today is a miracle (or maybe, to be more accurate, countless small miracles).
Lenny and I spent a weekend with Hanna (86 years old) and Gerhard (89). They stayed at the Dead Sea, for the unique health benefits of the location. Although both had been to Israel before, Lenny could not bear the thought of them not visiting any other place in the country so he decided to take them to Jerusalem and the Kotel before they flew home to the USA.

Hanna Marx & Gerhard Maschkowski in Jerusalem Sept 20th, 2014

I had not imagined that the brief time at the Kotel would be so moving to Hanna. (Please read more about Gerhard at https://forestrain.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/a-sign-upon-your-arm/ an article I wrote after his previous trip to Israel).
Survivor. What a small word for something so huge. Survival. Triumph. Overcoming the most unspeakable horrors…
From now on, when I hear the word “survivor” Hanna’s image will come to my mind.  An iron lady, even at 86 years of age, it seems like nothing can stop her. After what she endured as a teenager, what could stop her?
Hanna (like Gerhard) is unusual in that she is able to talk freely about her experiences during the Holocaust while not showing signs of bitterness or hate. She has smile lines and a joy for life. She magnetizes people to her and, when she can, teaches them.
Many survivors refuse to talk, saying they don’t want to burden the younger generations with the horrors of the past. Others do articulate their memories but are also trapped by them, stuck in bitterness. Some have difficulty connecting with their families, difficulty showing emotion, afraid to love because everything they once loved was ripped from them.
Hanna said that for many years she did not tell her children about her experiences. They heard about them in a roundabout way and then began asking questions. After that she began telling her story in front of school children, teaching them about the Holocaust.
Candidly Hanna told me that her beloved husband (also a survivor, now deceased), did not like it when she gave talks about her experiences because on the nights after she’d spoken she would cry and sometimes scream in her sleep and he’d have to hold her until she could stop shaking.
Calm, pleasant and articulate in the day, the horrors she remembered haunted her at night.
Although she didn’t tell me much of her story, some of the experiences Hanna described gave me nightmares too. I can’t imagine how it is possible to survive such experiences. How is it possible to smile, be happy and loving? How is it possible to trust other people?!
I asked Hanna about the death march. For two and a half months she and some 5-6 thousand were forced to march. They weren’t given any food. They had no shelter or even warm clothes (I wonder how many had decent shoes?). Anyone who collapsed or lay down was shot and left on the side of the road. They ate snow. How can you survive on snow? How can you have enough strength to walk mile after mile? They slept at night on the side of the road and in the morning, those that were still alive were forced to get up and march.
She said that sometimes farmers had piles of food outside in the field, vegetables meant for their animals to eat. When they could, Jews that saw this ran in to the fields and grabbed whatever there was and ate it – raw, dirty, it didn’t matter. Often they would be shot for running in to the field but they didn’t care. People that died on the way had their clothes taken by the freezing, starving survivors.
By the end of the march only some 300 hundred Jews were still alive.
I asked Hanna if, during the march she believed she would survive. She said no.
I asked, if she thought she was going to die, what made her keep getting up in the morning, keep walking? It would have been easy enough to lay down and die.
Her answer was that she didn’t know why. Something in her made her keep moving. Something in her tells her that despite the horrors she endured, God was with her, watching over her.
Two miracles helped Hanna through the Holocaust.
The first was when a German officer made a decision that saved Hanna’s mother and allowed mother and daughter to remain together. At the beginning of the war there were 58 people in Hanna’s family. At the end, 4 remained. Hanna lost her father and brothers but remained with her mother until they were both liberated.
The second miracle came at the end of the death march when German soldiers sent with grenades to blow up a hanger that housed the Jews that survived the march, changed their minds. The Russians were coming and the soldiers were supposed to act quickly. Instead of committing mass murder they decided to simply walk away.
Hanna’s mother spoke to the soldiers and her perfect German made them see her as a human being (most of the other survivors of the march were Polish and Latvian). She did not match the anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews prevalent in Nazi propaganda. She was a proper German lady. One of the soldiers said to the other: “I was raised in church and was taught that if I have to fight to protect myself that is ok but I must not kill innocent people and I am not going to kill these people.” He left and the other soldier followed him.
A few hours later the Russians liberated the surviving Jews.
Even in the darkest places, the most horrible times, there is still hope.
Hanna has attained “Jewish revenge” the ultimate “davka” – although she was subjected to unspeakable horrors, she has survived and more. She has thrived! Although her family was ripped from her, she created her own family, married and lived many happy years with the love of her life. They had children, grandchildren and now there are even great grandchildren! Each member of her family is happy and successful in their own right, leaving her free from worries about their future.
Hanna’s message to the world is one of acceptance, tolerance and kindness:
“Be good to people and it will come back to you”.
“If you are discriminated against, prove that you are better. They will respect you later.”
“Survivor” means so much more than the one little word can convey… After Hanna’s example how can I say: “I’m dying of hunger” or “I’m dying for a drink”? How many of us feel we can’t survive without that vacation, new car, pair of jeans, shoes or whatever? How many of us waste time whining, complaining, taking for granted, wallowing in misery, giving up… We who live in the relative comforts and freedoms of the west are spoiled and don’t even realize it.
The world we live in is shaped by our attitudes. It’s not about what happens to you, it’s about what you create out of what happens to you. Hana not only survived, she thrived because of her attitudes, because of what she made out of what life gave her.
Now the question is, what will you chose to create?
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms –
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
~ “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Victor E. Frankl

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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Jordan’s King Abdullah Disrespects America — Because He Can
So long as majorities reject the values of liberal democracies generally, and hate the U.S. specifically, there is little chance of America leading a democratization movement that will result in anything positive. Minority regimes may make unreliable allies. But popularly elected regimes that embrace bigotry and reject the U.S. and democratic values will reliably be enemies.

In Abdullah’s case, while his dependence on the U.S. ensures his loyalty, his regime is inherently weak because he lacks popular support. To avoid widespread unrest, Abdullah proclaims and occasionally adopts extremist positions against Israel and the US and in favor of terrorists.

Abdullah benefits twice from his hostile policies. On the one hand, he keeps his opponents at bay by satisfying their anti-Americanism and hatred of Israel. On the other hand, by encouraging the public to hate America and Israel, he makes it less likely that any pro-American alternatives to his regime will emerge that could reduce U.S. and Israeli dependence on him personally.

To modify his behavior, the U.S. can and should demand that Abdullah bar anti-American and antisemitic incitement in his state-owned media. He should be required to extradite Tamimi to the U.S. and run programming explaining why she is a terrorist, not a hero.

Such steps can begin to move back the dial of anti-Americanism and antisemitism in Jordan, if only minimally.

Over time, such basic steps may diminish Abdullah’s perceived need to buy off the mob at his gates with pro-terror policies and reduce America’s need to accept his double-dealing, as Pence was forced to do on Sunday in Amman.

PMW: Abbas: "Israel is exporting drugs to the Palestinians in frightening amounts"
In his recent speech to the PLO Central Council, PA Chairman Abbas repeated the PA libel that Israel floods Palestinian society with drugs deliberately to ruin the young generation:

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "We have a plan to fight the drugs. Israel is exporting drugs to us in frightening amounts. We need to pay attention in order to defend our young generation and defend it from the drugs."
[Official PA TV, Jan. 14, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch has reported that a host on official PA TV and the Palestinian Coordinator of the Project of the War on Drugs in Jerusalem accused Israel of being responsible for Palestinian drug problems:

PA TV host: "Jerusalem is probably the Palestinian district that suffers the most from drugs, [because] the occupation mainly targets young age groups in Jerusalem..."
Coordinator of the Project of the War on Drugs in Jerusalem, Issam Jweihan: "A war is being waged [by Israel] against Jerusalem. This is an unconventional war in which unconventional weapons are being used. The goal of the war is clear - to Judaize the city and empty it of its [Arab] residents. They are using unconventional weapons. The weapon that brings the best results for the Israelis is drugs."
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, June 21, 2017]

Fatah official: Trump stole from Arab nation, gave keys to Jerusalem holy sites to the Jews

Fatah official: Israel is “a racist and fascist occupation... a distorted model, even for the Nazis”

A week ago, Mahmoud Abbas let loose with a tirade that lasted over 2 hours, aiming his anger at enough people that Abbas had something to say about just about everyone, including blaming Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon and Winston Churchill for Israel's creation.
snapshot from video
Mahmoud Abbas. Snapshot of video
Not surprisingly, the left blamed Netanyahu and Trump for antagonizing Abbas and bringing him to this point.
Typical is Haaretz, which describes the speech as Abbas' Alarming Cry of Despair:
In effect, Abbas is saying that in the foreseeable future there is no chance of starting realistic negotiations that could yield a stable diplomatic outcome. This is not a tactical overturning of the chessboard aimed at mobilizing international pressure, but a cry of despair by a Palestinian president who sees how the vision of an independent Palestinian state has reached a dead end.
That is quite a claim, considering that Abbas made no attempt at face to face negotiations for the past 8 years. Similar is J Street, which agreed that the speech was "unacceptable", but also blamed it on Trump and claimed that it "reflected his own and the Palestinian people’s deep despair."

On the other end of the spectrum, there are "I told you so's" who say that his words justify and confirm that Abbas was never a moderate or peace partner.

But there may be more at stake than just Abbas's image.

One article of interest analyzed Abbas' speech and took it a step further, suggesting where it might lead, based on a project suggested by Daniel Pipes.

Last year I wrote about Daniel Pipes' "Israel Victory Project," a proposal based on the observation not only that in the normal way of war there are winners and losers, but also that winners need to actually win and that losers have to face the fact that they have lost. Wars and conflicts do not end until "failure causes one side to despair, when that side has abandoned its war aims and accepted defeat, and when that defeat has exhausted the will to fight."

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs contradicts that paradigm, where the losing Arabs have been sheltered from ever having to face the repercussions of defeat, and perpetually live to fight another day.
Writing for Mida, Daniel Krygier claims that with last week's rant, Trump's recognition of Jerusalem is tantamount to a "truth bomb" and the illusion of Abbas the moderate is gone. Also gone is the belief that with Abbas taking power after Arafat's death, peace could somehow be right around the corner.
Krygier writes about what can and should happen:
The implications of unmasking Abbas are clear beyond any doubt. PLO never abandoned its goal of eradicating the Jewish state and rejects Jewish national independence within any borders. Israel and the international community have wasted 25 years and billions of dollars on a “peace process” with a corrupt and genocidal PLO leadership that refuses to let go of its fantasy of destroying Israel.
Since PLO, Hamas and UNWRA are obstacles to genuine peace between Arabs and Jews, they must be dismantled and replaced with a new Arab leadership committed to the welfare of its citizens and peace with Israel. PLO’s leadership are the pupils of Nazi, Communist and Islamist ideologies that are incompatible with genuine peace.
Time has come for Israel and the US to tell PLO that the game is up. With or without Abbas, PLO is a dead man walking and is in no position to demand anything from anyone. Only a mad megalomaniac despot living in fantasyland, issues threats to powerful nations like the US and Israel.
The US, under the leadership of Trump, is key based on what Trump has done and has promised to do. With Abbas's speech last week, what Pipes suggested last year seems just a little bit more possible than one might have expected just a few months ago. In recognizing Jerusalem, Trump did something that even his biggest supporters had begun to doubt him capable of doing. Now Vice President Pence announced in Israel that the US embassy will be relocated to Jerusalem by the end of next year -- a step that would prove even further the weakness of the Palestinian Arab government.
Donald Trump. Official Portrait
Financially, Trump is undercutting the PA and may leave it with few options.

Even with Abbas turning to the EU, and already having their backing for the creation of a capital in "East Jerusalem," it is not clear the EU can provide a unified front in support of the venture. On top of that, with Trump cutting back on funding of UNRWA and of the Palestinian Authority, the EU may be putting themselves in a situation where they not only will be expected to talk like a superpower, but also act like it as well -- providing the financial backing the PA needs on a regular basis. That will also mean the EU placing itself into the spotlight where it is obvious where the money for terrorist stipends is coming from.

Even if the Palestinian Arabs were to come back to Trump with the expectation of his presenting the outlines of a feasible peace plan, they already know that such a plan is being prepared and based on elements of it being leaked, the Palestinians are becoming familiar with a position Israel has been in for a long time -- being told what peace is going to look like.

It could be interesting to see how things develop, especially since one would expect Trump to try to put as much as possible into effect rather than relying on a second term.

Nothing can be certain, of course, but seeing Trump doing things -- and promising more -- that others have said cannot be done, make the 2018 something to look forward to.

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  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The American Council for Judaism was a small but vocal anti-Zionist group whose main purpose in the 1940s and 1950s was to convince Americans that not all Jews supported Israel. It used its supposed Jewish bona-fides as a means to split the Jewish community and to show others, especially American Christians, that since the Jews were not all pro-Israel, then the non-Jews should be reluctant to support Israel.

Later, the ACJ dropped its most toxic opposition to Israel's existence, but remained (and remains) politically opposed to Zionism and Jewish nationalism by pretending to be far more representative of American Jews than it really is.

J-Street is today's American Council for Judaism.

While Americans are overwhelmingly pro-Israel,  J-Street wants to make it look like plenty of Jews are against Israel to disrupt support for Israel and enhance support for Arab terrorist sympathizers who want to destroy Israel - but who, like J-Street, talk out of both sides of their mouths.

J-Street reached its political apex during the Obama administration, as they were invited to meet the President on many occasions and were used as a means to put political cover on Obama's anti-Israel bias.

In the current White House, J-Street is trying to find a way to remain relevant. And that has been to attack anything Trump does.

The clear affinity between Mike Pence in his current trip to Israel and ordinary Israelis has shown that J-Street's claim to be "pro-Israel" is hollow.

In a mailing that J-Street leader Jeremy Ben Ami sent out yesterday, the group has now adopted the exact same methodology as the anti-Zionist websites like Electronic Intifada  - to associate people they don't like with each other.

Ben Ami writes:
The common threads running through the actions and rhetoric of the far-right here and there -- of Trump, Pence and Netanyahu -- are clear:
- Extreme partisanship that puts right-wing ideology ahead of national interests and democratic values;
- Contempt and disrespect for immigrants and people of color;
- Disdain for diplomacy, negotiation and compromise.
Netanyahu has contempt for people of color? He is the one Israeli leader who has done more for the people of Africa than any other, and African nations respect him more than most world leaders! He set up a ministerial committee to battle racism in Israel.

Netanyahu has "disdain" for negotiation and compromise? He is the one who accepted a US framework (by Obama!) for peace - a framework that goes against Bibi's opposition to basing a solution on the 1967 lines! - which was rejected by Abbas.

And after watching Bibi's amazing political maneuvers that has brought Israel closer to Arab states, India, China and many other countries, the idea that he puts narrow ideology over Israel's national interests is laughable. Netanyahu has positioned Israel better politically than any other Israel leader.

J-Street has decided that the best way to show how much it hates Israel is to associate it with Trump. Since many Americans hate Trump, J-Street wants them to hate Israel's leaders just as much. Saying that Bibi (and, by implication, Israel's government and Israel itself) is racist and illiberal is simply slander. Which is all that J-Street has as it scrambles to raise money in an era where it is irrelevant as a factor in changing US policy towards Israel.

Jeremy Ben Ami is the one who puts ideology over Israel's best interests, and truth is the obvious casualty.

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  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From AP:
Palestinian Christians say US Vice President Mike Pence's brand of evangelical Christianity, with its fervent embrace of modern-day Israel as fulfilment of biblical prophecy, lacks their faith's compassion and justice.

Palestinian Christians slam the Christian Zionist views as a negation of the teachings of Jesus.

"For me, it's a sick ideology," said Munib Younan, the recently retired bishop of the small Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and former president of the Lutheran World Federation, an umbrella for churches with millions of believers.

"When I say Jesus is love, they want my Jesus to be a political Jesus," Younan, 67, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian, said in a recent interview at his church.

Younan said he supports a solution to the conflict with Israel, including the establishment of a Palestinian state in the lands Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. Jerusalem, he said, should be shared by Christians, Muslims and Jews, adding that a peace deal would enhance Israel's security. Israel, however, view Jerusalem as the indivisible and eternal capital of the Jewish people.

The wire service, as usual, misses the point.

The problem that Palestinian Christians have with Christian Zionists have nothing to do with "compassion and justice."

Munib Younan is very good at portraying himself as someone who supports peace with Israel. But he was one of the first signatories of the antisemitic Kairos Document, which embraces Christian supercessionism, the idea that the church has replaced Israel in Biblical prophecy and Jews who remain Jewish are essentially defective.

While Christian Zionists like to quote the Old Testament because they believe that the modern state of Israel can only be viewed through the lens of Biblical prophecy, Palestinian Christians say in the Kairos Document that the Torah is "a dead letter" and that all of it must be discounted - except, of course, when they find parts that they can twist to support their hateful viewpoints.

The Kairos document talks of "love" but then spends far more time talking about "resistance," and not specifying the non-violent kind. It does not embrace a two state solution, rather it calls for a single state where Jews would become the minority. It discounts the fact that Palestinian Arabs engage in terrorism by putting the word in scare quotes and then insisting that the "Occupation," never defined as only the 1967 lands, is the reason for Palestinian violence.

And Kairos is the ultimate political document, despite Younan's seeming hate for politics.

Younan has stated that, for Palestinian Christians, the entire Old Testament looks like a Zionist book - and therefore it must be discounted and ignored.

 In fact, in Younan's own church, any mention of "Israel" and "Zion" has been expunged from prayers. 

The Palestinian problem with Christian Zionism is far deeper than a disagreement over "justice." It is doctrinal.

Israel's very existence is a challenge to their entire belief system, which values hate for Israel and Jewish nationalism above the words of the Bible.

And while Christian Zionists like Mike Pence can easily see the hand of God in everyday life in Israel, Palestinian Christians edit the Bible to conform to their own politics.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: Palestinian Manipulation of the International Criminal Court
According to an Israeli television news report on January 9, 2018,[1] the Israeli prime minister’s National Security Council recently cautioned the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will likely open a formal investigation against Israeli officials and officers in response to Palestinian complaints regarding Israel’s 2014 “Protective Edge” operation in the Gaza Strip and Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank areas of Judea and Samaria.

According to this report, “The opening of an investigation has serious implications for Israel. It will be directed against people and could involve warrants for investigations and arrests.”

In light of the lack of any valid legal basis to the Palestinian claim to statehood, and in light of the fact that Palestinians’ status, and that the status of the territories are under ongoing dispute and negotiation, there can be no legal or logical foundation to accept “Palestine” as party to the ICC statute. Thus, there is no basis for extending the court’s jurisdiction over the territories under dispute, pending resolution of the dispute and the determination, by agreement, of their final and permanent status.

Lacking any legal foundation, the Palestinian complaints – regarding both the “Protective Edge” operation and Israeli settlements – must, therefore, be rejected by the ICC.

The ICC statute renders inadmissible any case that has been duly investigated[11] and, as necessary, prosecuted by the legal authorities of the state concerned.[12] The appropriate legal and law enforcement authorities in Israel maintain the highest international standards, in fitting with the norms and requirements set out in the ICC Statute.
Iranian brutality, European cowardice, US leadership
In March 1979, shortly after the mullahs grabbed power and dragged Iran into theocratic dictatorship, destructive wars and terrorism, Iranian women took to the streets to protest the forced hijab. “Freedom is not eastern, not western, it is universal,” they chanted.

Almost 40 years later, the Iranian people are still fighting the same tyrants. In the struggle for freedom, you would expect an institution like the European Union, defined by the universal character of liberty and democracy, to stand in solidarity with the oppressed against their oppressors.

So far Europe has sent the opposite message. “We are not going to sustain political and economic relations with a country engaged in the brutal oppression of peaceful protesters,” are the words Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, never uttered. Instead, she remained silent for six days.

When she finally broke her silence, Mogherini’s message was tainted by moral myopia. “We expect all concerned to refrain from violence,” she said, after Iranian security forces had already killed at least 22 people and incarcerated more than 3,000. The EU statement echoed earlier ambiguous messages from the British, German, French and Swedish governments.

The EU’s cowardly reaction contrasts with the strong response from the United States. Lawmakers from the left and right of the political spectrum – everyone from President Donald Trump and Marco Rubio to Bernie Sanders and Bob Menendez – responded to the call for freedom in Iran.

The businessman exiled for being Jewish
When Adam Ringer was forcibly removed from Poland simply because he was Jewish, he didn't think he'd ever be able to return to his homeland.

It was back in 1968 that Mr Ringer, 19 at the time, was made to renounce his Polish citizenship and kicked out of the country, during one of communism's darker episodes.

Just 23 years after the Holocaust, Poland's surviving Jewish population was targeted by an anti-Semitic purge officially sanctioned by the country's then communist authorities.

Branded an "anti-Zionist" campaign, Polish Jews were stripped of their jobs and deported, because of the government's - and the wider Soviet Bloc's - growing hostility towards Israel at the time.

An estimated 14,000 Poles of Jewish faith or ancestry were forced to leave the country, after each being given a document that stated that its holder was stateless and had no right to ever return to Poland.

Looking back, Mr Ringer says: "Many of my colleagues were arrested... my father was expelled from his job. We were all in shock and feared for the worst." (h/t Zvi)

  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Salameh (center) with Arafat

The official Wafa news agency has a lengthy article on 38th anniversary of the "martyrdom" of Ali Hassan Salameh, chief of operations for Black September, the terror group responsible for numerous attacks including the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. (It's actually the 39th anniversary of his death by a car bomb in Beirut.)

The article says that he was behind a string of letter bombs addressed to Israeli embassies worldwide, although they claim that the targets were all "Mossad agents."

Over the past few years, both the PA and Hamas have been claiming that the terror attacks they celebrate have only targeted soldiers or "settlers."

But both this article and the similar biography of him in the Fatah Facebook page explicitly say that he was involved in the Munich Olympics massacre. It doesn't mention athletes but does say that the "operation" was "famous."

As the PA pivots towards the EU to impose a solution on Israel, as the Arab world and the US are finally treating the PA and the PLO it reports to as the terror group it is, one can only hope that the eyes of the Europeans will also finally open as to who they are dealing with.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here is a section of Mahmoud Abbas' speech in Cairo last week that has not been translated previously:
Dear brothers and sisters, for a long time now blessed Palestine, with its capital Jerusalem and its murabitoun people [people who man fortresses for Islam]  has been exposed to enormous challenges and targeted by racists. Tribulations and catastrophes have come upon this people, which has been assailed by the forces of evil for more than a century, ever since the days of the Balfour Declaration, but its banner has remained fluttering up high, and the morale of its sons and daughters has remained high, (they) struggle and believe in the promised victory, and despite the blood and the suffering, not a single child among us will surrender, and not a single old man will surrender, generation after generation.
Yes, this man of peace is saying that the UK and Israel, and by implication the US and the League of Nations as well, are "forces of evil." Come to think of it, the UN partition plan that would have created a Palestinian state must be on the naughty list as well.

Abbas then went on to praise Ahed Tamimi:
You witnessed with your own eye that Palestinian flower, that giant, Ahed Tamimi, ever since she was 6 years old, and now she is 16 years old, as she attacked an Israeli soldier and hit him, and she was not afraid although (the soldier) was armed. She is now in prison, and the State of Israel has punished her through detention and a racist and arbitrary/unfair trial.
 Why was she not afraid? Because Israeli soldiers are not going to attack civilians, unlike the Palestinian "murabitoun people" who are given salaries for doing exactly that.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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From Ian:

Trump Dropped a Truth Bomb on the Middle East
The implications of unmasking Abbas are clear beyond any doubt. PLO never abandoned its goal of eradicating the Jewish state and rejects Jewish national independence within any borders. Israel and the international community have wasted 25 years and billions of dollars on a “peace process” with a corrupt and genocidal PLO leadership that refuses to let go of its fantasy of destroying Israel.

Since PLO, Hamas and UNWRA are obstacles to genuine peace between Arabs and Jews, they must be dismantled and replaced with a new Arab leadership committed to the welfare of its citizens and peace with Israel. PLO’s leadership are the pupils of Nazi, Communist and Islamist ideologies that are incompatible with genuine peace.

Time has come for Israel and the US to tell PLO that the game is up. With or without Abbas, PLO is a dead man walking and is in no position to demand anything from anyone. Only a mad megalomaniac despot living in fantasyland, issues threats to powerful nations like the US and Israel.

Just like peace in post-1945 Europe required the denazification of Germany, future Middle Eastern peace requires a denazification of the Arab world in general and the PLO-held territories in particular.

Humiliating defeat is never pleasant, especially for aggressors who got intoxicated with hubris and victories. Post-1945 Germany and Japan can attest to it. However, in the end, accepting defeat was the best thing that could have happened to the Germans and the Japanese. Their genocidal despotic regimes were replaced with genuine democracy and progress.

President Trump could become the Middle East’s nuclear Truth Bomb. Unlike the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, the truth bombs in the Middle East do not kill anyone, but force the Muslim Arab world finally to come to terms with reality and the permanency of the reborn Jewish state and its rebuilt ancestral capital Jerusalem.
Amb. John Bolton: time to 'stop playing charades' Give the West Bank to Jordan

PMW: Song on PA radio encourages Martyrdom for Jerusalem
A song on official Palestinian Authority radio encouraged Palestinians to "redeem" Jerusalem "with your life and blood":
"O Palestinian, Jerusalem is your name, your land, your heartbeat, and your mother. Redeem it with your life and blood, O [you] who raises my head in pride... O pained Palestinian, your head is lifted high with pride, the entire world hears your voice, only your resolve strengthens me... We are united, Muslims and Christians. So that Palestine will live, we must remain united." [Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, Jan. 1, 2018]

This song joins the similar messages Palestinian Media Watch has documented have come from PA and Fatah officials calling for "rage" and promoting violence since US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6, 2017.

The same ideal - to die as a "Martyr" for Jerusalem - was expressed by students belonging to Fatah's Shabiba Student Movement at Birzeit University. At an event, several participants wore mock bomb belts - imitating suicide terrorists - while masked in keffiyehs (Arab headdresses) and wearing yellow Fatah headbands. The participants in white held a Quran in one hand and held up one finger with the other signifying Allah. Other masked participants wore military uniforms and held Fatah flags with the Fatah logo that includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas.
Song on official PA radio encourages Martyrdom: “Jerusalem… redeem it with your life and blood”

I’ve recently read So You’ve Been Publically Shamed by British journalist Jon Ronson which looks at a reemergence of public shaming, one where it is the Internet serves as the judge sentencing others to the stocks, the stocks themselves, and the mob throwing rotten fruit at the stocked defendant. 

One of the reasons such shaming has snuck up on us in today’s culture is that we’ve relegated shame to a collection of second-tier emotions whose burdens modernity is supposed to be freeing us from.  But, far from being trivial, shame is the mechanism by which cultures are formed and perpetuated. 

Philosopher Lee Harris, in his 2007 book The Suicide of Reason, points that that shame is the tool one generation uses to acculturate the next into a society by training children from a young age to feel shameful for believing certain things and acting in certain ways.  Religious communities that raise their kids to feel the hot rush of sweat and queasiness (both shaming symptoms) at sin or disbelief is an example of this phenomenon.  But, as Harris points out, even moderns raising our kids in a culture of reason do not use reason to get them accept cultural norms such as tolerance of minorities.  Rather, we work hard to ensure that our children will feel shame at the gut level for engaging in bigoted behavior, or even having intolerant thoughts.

Given the number of people recommending “naming and shaming” as a strategy within our own community of activists, it’s worth looking at the shame phenomenon and when it has proven effective (or not) a bit more closely. 

One pro-Israel organization that has utilizing shaming tactics with some success is NGO Monitor which has managed to get a number of European governments and organizations to stop funding Palestinian “human rights” NGOs that are actually involved with glorifying terror or spreading propaganda (often as part of BDS campaigns).  

While exposure of those organizations spending cash to celebrate violence is the tool NGO Monitor uses in its shaming strategy, their success derives from the fact that the entity being shamed (such as European governments) are provided the opportunity to claim that they have not misbehaved themselves but have instead been duped by the Palestinian groups they have funded.  This provides them the opening to take the right action (cut off funding) in order to preserve their self-image as tolerant and supportive of human rights, which helps them avoid the shame of knowing (and being seen) to have abandoned those principles.

In contrast, campaigns designed to directly shame individuals for their political activity (such as the profiles created by Canary Mission, or postering campaigns on campuses that expose Israel haters by name) are not designed to elicit self-reflection.  Rather, they are supposed to create a “price tag” for misbehavior, creating a mechanism whereby future employers, graduate school admissions officers or family members will have full access to an individual’s sordid behavior (often created from background material created by the shamed activist him or herself).

The nature of this form of “naming and shaming” explains the mixed response to and level of effectiveness of such campaigns.  True believers, for example (those who refuse to accept any self-characterization save unvarnished virtue) see inclusion in Canary Mission as a badge of honor.  And those whose inclusion might make them think twice about continuing their activity are making a practical choice based on their own self-interest, rather than engaging in moral reflection. (As an aside, this helps explain why those aforementioned postering campaigns have proven so ineffective, since their narrow audience means they do not create a price tag high enough to trigger a change in behavior).

So that’s shaming our enemies.  But what about shaming our allies?

Such a tactic is not as strange or unusual as you might think.  For, within the divided Jewish community, there are many times one group of activists might think another is not doing enough to deal with a particular outbreak of anti-Israel activity.  And one way to get others to do what you think they should is to try to shame them into doing so by alerting the world that supposed friends of Israel are either not living by their stated principles or – in some cases – actually doing wrong. 

In some cases, the shamer can get what they want from the shamee using such tactics.  But while the personal shame we feel when we stray from our principles or self-image is made up of emotions like regret and a desire to do better, public shaming usually drives those constructive feelings out in favor of the resentment we all feel at being humiliated.

Like shame itself, humiliation (or, more particularly, the need to avoid it) is a major driver of human activity since we will all go to great lengths to make it stop.  This can include doing what we’re told will make such humiliation go away.  But, more often than not, we respond to shaming with resentment which can lead to anything from passive aggressive “acceptance” to do the right thing once (but never again) to lashing out at those who have chosen to humiliate us (drowning out discussion of whatever issue triggered the original bout of shaming).

When supposed allies don’t step up (or worse, do the wrong thing) about an issue we feel passionately about, it’s easy to believe that shaming them serves a strategy purpose (or at least avoid considering the negative impact of a tactic that tends to breed more resentment than repentance).

But if we want to utilize powerful but potentially destructive human emotions as political weapons, it might be worth considering what options we have for making friends, neutrals or even wavering enemies feel good about themselves for supporting our cause, rather than hoping self-disgust will motivate others to do the right thing.  

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From JTA:
The main umbrella group of British Jews accused their local branch of Amnesty International of  targeting the community following the abrupt cancellation of a joint event.

The accusation by the Jewish Leadership Council — a charity founded 15 years ago comprising 32 groups with different politics, including the Board of Governors of British Jews, the Jewish World Relief aid organization and several synagogues – came Monday following the cancellation of an event concerning Israel and the United Nations.

Amnesty had undertaken to host the event on Jan. 24 but withdrew the invite Friday, explaining: “are currently campaigning for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements. We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements.”

The panel session that Amnesty canceled is entitled “The UNHRC and Israel: How it works, what’s not working, and how it might be repaired.” It was to be chaired by Danny Friedman, a renowned Human Rights lawyer, with speakers including Fred Carver of the UN Association and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch.
Amnesty-UK is worried about the optics of hosting a group that includes some members that support Jews living in their ancestral homeland as being inconsistent with its human rights mandate.

That would be fine, if Amnesty-UK hasn't hosted actual antisemites, terror supporters and people who want to see Israel destroyed.

Wikipedia summarizes one such event:
Amnesty allowed a speaking event to take place in London in May 2011, organized by the magazine Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO) and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Much controversy surrounded this event since one of the speakers included Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. In the past, Atwan has said that "he would 'dance with delight' in Trafalgar Square if Iran attacked Israel, and that the terrorist attack on the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, in which eight students were killed, "was justified" as it was responsible for "hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists." Amnesty responded by saying that "while we did have concerns about the way the event had originally been organized, these have been resolved."
Amnesty-UK bent over backwards to allow an antisemite to speak at an anti-Israel event, but it pulled a Jewish event where the supremely offensive Jewish towns aren't even on the agenda.

Moreover, Amnesty has hosted Ben White, the author who tirelessly and falsely accuses Israel of "apartheid."

Amnesty's justification for hosting these past events in their space implied that Amnesty doesn't necessarily host events and people that completely align with its own positions.

Yet Amnesty's pretense of a moral stand to drop the Jewish event because of the political stances of some of the organizers  proves that, in retrospect, Amnesty's hosting of the previous events is not just in the position of a disinterested host renting out a space but of an organization that will only host events and speakers that are completely consistent with its own position.

Amnesty's justification of the ban says this explicitly: “A wide range of organisations hold their events at our London office, but we reserve the right to withhold permission for our building to be used by organisations whose work runs directly counter to our own."

Meaning that this banning of the Jewish group has proven that Amnesty International really is antisemitic. Not because the group is Jewish, but because Amnesty has hosted antisemites without any qualms of their work being in the least bit counter to Amnesty's own positions.

And, it should be recalled, Amnesty members voted against a resolution condemning antisemitism. Amnesty has praised a group that posts literal antisemitic photos and supports violence against Jews. Amnesty has sponsored talks by Palestinians who promote a blood libel against Jews. Amnesty has done other things to indicate that they have a problem with Jews.

This incident shows that Amnesty is worried about optics - and it is not at all worried about the optics of supporting antisemites and banning Jewish groups.

That says it all.

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

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