Friday, November 24, 2017

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Worried about Jew-baiters? Give it straight back to them
In the Diaspora, people are aghast at rampant antisemitism and Israel-bashing and dismayed over the failure to halt its apparently inexorable rise.

In Britain, the parliamentary group on antisemitism heard evidence last week that anti-Jewish bigotry is now entrenched in many British universities. Student officers have used the Twitter hashtag #Jew while discussing wealth, and the swastika is now seen on campus as a “casual symbol of fun.”

In the US earlier this year, researchers from Tel Aviv University found a 45 percent increase on campus of “all forms” of antisemitism. At McGill University in Canada, three board members of the University’s Students Society were removed from their appointments over their alleged “Jewish conflict of interest” in a battle about BDS.

Much valiant effort is going into fighting this scourge.

It’s not getting anywhere, though, because the overall strategy is wrong. This is because it’s based on defending Israel against demonization and Jewish students against intimidation. It needs urgently to move from defense to attack.

Accusations of antisemitism can easily be brushed aside as hysterical shroud-waving. Evidence of Israel’s humanitarian acts towards Syrians, the moral uprightness of the IDF, Palestinian rejectionism and so on is accurate but ineffective.

This is because it’s being presented on ground defined by Israel’s enemies. To engage with their calumnies is to grant these an inescapable validity. Israel’s defenders should be reframing the whole issue. Instead of trying to rebrand Israel, they need to rebrand its enemies.

The Israel-bashers delegitimize Israel through lies and libels. Its defenders need to delegitimize them through facts and truths. Israel’s defenders should not be trying to rid it of its pariah status. They should be turning its attackers into pariahs instead.
The Expanding Umbrella of Anti-Semitism
Islam did not trick Western nations; the West brought itself to the embrace of Islam.

The center of the original Islamic message seems to have been to convert, kill or drive away Christians and Jews, rather than to meet the spiritual needs of Muslims. To this day, the central preaching of Islam still appears to be an intolerance of non-Muslims.

What made America great is being discarded together with America's imperfect past, without acknowledging that America has taken -- and is still taking -- steps to correct its injustices, as many Middle Eastern nations have not.

There is a good possibility that, with the impact of Islam -- and the replacement of the active values of personal responsibility and "pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps" by the passive values of victimhood for blackmailing, redistribution and abdication to "government" -- the West's humanistic values, which welcomed Islam in the first place, may not survive.
Martin Kramer: Sadat and Begin: The Peacemakers
It has been 38 years since the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, most famously evoked by the three-way handshake on the White House lawn that changed the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat put war behind Israel and Egypt, and in so doing, ended the Israeli-Arab conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues, and so too does the Israeli-Iranian struggle.

But Israeli-Egyptian peace put an end to the destructive battlefield wars between Israel and Arab states of the kind that erupted in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973. Since the famous handshake among Begin, Sadat and Jimmy Carter, there has been no battlefield war between Israel and a conventional Arab army. And Egypt and Israel now have been at peace longer than they were at war.

It has often been said of Begin and Sadat that the two men were like oil and water. “The two men were totally incompatible,” recalled Carter, describing the Camp David negotiations that produced the treaty. “There was intense perturbation between them, shouting, banging on the tables, stalking out of the rooms. So for the next seven days, they never saw each other. And so we negotiated with them isolated from one another.”

Yet in a briefing paper prepared for the US team prior to the Camp David negotiations, these sentences appear: “Both Begin and Sadat have evidenced similar personal and national objectives throughout their familiar transformation from underground fighter to political leader. Despite their often vituperative comments, each should be able to recognize the other as a politician basically capable of change, compromise, and commitment.”

From Ian:

At least 235 dead in Sinai bombing, shooting terror attack
At least 235 people were killed and more than 120 wounded in a bombing and shooting attack against worshipers at a mosque in the northern Sinai after Friday prayers.

Egypt's government has declared three days of mourning in response to the attack that struck the Al-Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed west of El-Arish.

Reuters reports that witnesses saw terrorists enter the mosque to kill worshipers during Friday prayers, when mosques see the largest attendance. The attack began around noon time. They also attempted to prevent rescue services from reaching the area.

"They were shooting at people as they left the mosque," a local resident whose relatives were at the scene told Reuters. "They were shooting at the ambulances too."

No group claimed responsibility for the assault but it was the deadliest yet in the region where for three years Egyptian security forces have battled an Islamic State insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and soldiers.

Photos posted online by a Twitter account that publishes news from Sinai showed the wounded being transported in the back of pickup trucks to hospital. It said the attack also targeted a kindergarten. Photos from inside the mosque showed at least thirty bodies laying on the floor.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has summoned a meeting of security officials to address the incident.
After mosque massacre, Israel says it ‘stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Egypt’
Israeli ministers on Friday expressed solidarity with Egypt following a deadly terror attack in a north Sinai mosque that claimed at least 200 lives, with one calling for “a regional front” against jihadists.

They also used the attack as a platform to attack Iran.

On Twitter, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) offered “condolences to the families of the dozens of people murdered in the terror attack on a mosque in Sinai” and said the Jewish state “stands shoulder to shoulder with Egypt and other countries in region and the international arena in the war against radical Islamic terror.”

In a Hebrew tweet, he also said “Radical Islam is striking indiscriminately and murdering Muslims as well. It’s time to form a regional front against Iran’s Shiite terrorism and Islamic State’s Sunni terror.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) offered condolences and said: “The murderous terror attack is testimony to the fact that a new world order is being created around us, in which the distinction is between terror supporters like Iran and [IS] and supporters of humanity.
Egyptian army strikes vehicles of terrorists behind Sinai attack — report
An unconfirmed report in Sky News Arabia Friday said Egyptian military forces destroyed two vehicles carrying terrorists involved in an attack on a mosque in northern Sinai, in which at least 235 people were killed.

An unnamed army source told the TV station that unmanned drones had attacked two cars in a desert area called al-Risha, killing 15 jihadists. He added that the hunt for other perpetrators was ongoing.

There was no official word from Egypt’s military on the matter.

Armed attackers killed at least 235 worshipers in a bomb and gun assault on the packed mosque, state media reported, the country’s deadliest attack in recent memory.

A bomb explosion ripped through the Rawda mosque frequented by Sufis roughly 40 kilometers west of the North Sinai capital of el-Arish, before gunmen opened fire on those gathered for weekly Friday prayers, officials said.

Witnesses said the assailants had surrounded the mosque with all-terrain vehicles then planted a bomb outside.

The gunmen then mowed down the panicked worshippers as they attempted to flee and used the congregants’ vehicles they had set alight to block routes to the mosque.
Tel Aviv City Hall lights up in solidarity with Egypt
The facade of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality building wore red, white, black and golden hues on Friday night as it was lit up in solidarity with Egypt, which suffered a mass casualty terror attack on Friday.

The municipality building, situated in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, donned the colors of the Egyptian flag in an official expression of Israel's support of its southern neighbor, as Egypt continues to reel from the attack that claimed the lives of at least 235 worshipers at a mosque in the northern Sinai after Friday prayers.

The mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, expressed his condolences to Israel's southern neighbors in Egypt.

"A horrific attack in Egypt. We send our condolences to our friends across the border and light the Municipality building in their honor," wrote Huldai on Twitter.

  • Friday, November 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Arutz-7:

The number of “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon has decreased significantly over the past few years and many are leaving for other countries to try to improve their situation.

In an interview with the Hamas newspaper Palestine on Thursday, Hamas’s representative in Lebanon Ali Baraka said that some 260,000 “Palestinian refugees” had left the refugee camps in Lebanon to various countries in recent years because of the difficult security and economic conditions.

According to him, the figures he cited are based on a poll conducted by the Lebanese authorities and which indicates that there is a deliberate action to bring about the emigration of Palestinian refugees from countries bordering Israel.

"The Zionist enemy is working in this way to empty the refugee camps and to destroy the foundation for the right of return," Baraka claimed.

He further argued that this emigration should be dealt with through activities to improve the situation in the camps and through assistance from UNRWA to ensure stability in the camps prior to the return of the “refugees” to “Palestine”.

According to the data of the director of the Shahad Institution, Mahmoud Al-Hanafi, over 45 percent of the “Palestinian refugees” have emigrated from Lebanon and only 280,000 remain in Lebanon today. According to another version of the data, only 200,000 Palestinians remain in Lebanon. Hanafi noted that poverty, denial of work and security instability contribute to an increase in the phenomenon.
 Remember that UNRWA claims  that there are 450,000 Palestinian "refugees" in Lebanon. We have noted for years that roughly half of those have fled - but UNRWA still keeps counting them.

I couldn't find the original Felesteen article, but I found one from a few months ago quoting the same al-Hanafi about a study showing how Lebanese youth know that they have no future in Lebanon. 

59% of them believe that Palestinian identity is their main obstacle to achieving their aspirations to build a family and actively contribute to the development of society.

The study said that suffering is linked to the reality of "being a Palestinian" and linked this fact to "the practice of successive Lebanese governments of the policy of deprivation and harassment of the Palestinian, so that his life has become intolerable."

70.3 percent of the 18 to 20-year Palestinians in Lebanon would migrate if given the opportunity.

The funny part is that Lebanon is controlled by Iran by proxy - but the Palestinians there who Iran pretends to love are in worse shape than they've ever been. Must be because Lebanese authorities who practice apartheid against their Palestinian "guests" are really partnering with Israel, not Iran.

(h/t Josh K)

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  • Friday, November 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Al Ahram:
At least 235 worshippers have been killed by gunmen who attacked a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai during Friday prayer, the general prosecutor's office announced in an official statement, making the attack one of the deadliest targeting civilians in the country in recent years.

Earlier, the Egyptian health ministry said that at least 75 people were injured following the terror attack.

According to eyewitnesses who spoke to Al-Ahram’s Arabic website, the gunmen fired heavily on worshippers after IEDs were detonated at the mosque.

The attack targeted Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al-Abed, in the west of Arish province.
Reports say that the gunmen fired on first responders as well.

Blame the "occupation," because everyone knows that Israel is what causes all conflict in the region, right?

Also keep in mind - if this is what Muslims do to each other, imagine how Jews would far in Muslim lands nowadays without an Israel.

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  • Friday, November 24, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
According to an official Hamas website for Palestinian "refugees," there was a riot in the Al Bureij camp on November 11. During the riot,  youths attacked UNRWA schools with "explosive devices,"  frightening students and teachers.

This was not reported anywhere else that I can see.

Putting the pieces together, here is what happened:

UNRWA, under pressure from Western nations that have concerns about the bias in its teaching materials, added what it euphemistically called "enrichment materials" to blunt some of the more egregious anti-Israel and antisemitic lies in the official Palestinian curriculum that violates UN standards.

So for example, the official PA textbooks ask fourth graders about malnutrition and "martyrdom" of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. But the enrichment materials ask students instead to research malnutrition more generally on the Internet.

A lesson on air pollution said that one example was Israeli smokebombs in Gaza. The added material changed the example to  forest fires.

Teachers complained about the modifications to the curriculum, and UNRWA threatened to fire anyone who did not comply, according to the official Wafa news agency.

This news was published on November 9, two days before the riots.

The Hamas site says that after the riots, concerned parents met with UNRWA officials and UNRWA agreed that schools will be allowed to hold "national events" that were going to be curtailed. It's not clear to me if this is referring to a separate UNRWA edict to curtail school activities that were anti-Israel and antisemitic (as we've seen in the past) or if this is an oblique way of referring to the curriculum changes. They certainly seem to be related.

UNRWA caved to the threats and violence, which almost certainly were sparked by the parents and teachers themselves.

But no one reported on the riots to begin with, since this is Gaza and the hundreds of reporters there aren't interested in reporting news that is too uncomfortable.  Only after the agreement where UNRWA gave in to threats and violence - the desired outcome - was this mentioned in passing as a safety issue.

The idea that police would investigate and arrest people throwing firebombs at schools in Gaza is simply absurd, when the Hamas government supports the goals of the firebombers.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

From Global News (Canada):
A controversial University of Lethbridge professor returned to work on Thursday after being suspended for spreading conspiracy theories.

Dr. Anthony Hall was suspended without pay in October of 2016 following comments he made online suggesting there was a Zionist connection to the 9/11 attacks, and that the events of the Holocaust should be up for debate.

“The Board of Governors of the University of Lethbridge and the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association have agreed that the outstanding issues that have been raised concerning Dr. Anthony Hall will be addressed in the context of the faculty handbook. As a result, the suspension imposed on Dr. Hall has been lifted and he has returned back to work at the University,” the statement said. “The parties will be fully participating in the agreed upon processes in the faculty handbook to investigate and address the outstanding issues.”

Hall has spent over two and a half decades at the U of L, teaching Native American studies, liberal education and globalization.

Tony Hall is a conspiracy theory nutjob.

He co-hosts a weekly video show with antisemite Kevin Barrett (who is a regular on Iran's PressTV) called False Flag Weekly News. Literally every episode mentions Jews prominently - how we control the media, how the Holocaust is exaggerated, and so forth. Hall isn't as completely crazy at Barrett but he adds his two cents on the Jewish conspiracies as well.

If nothing else, Hall's partnership with a true antisemite like Barrett should be no different than an alt-right professor who partners with neo-Nazis. If one should lose their job, so should the other.

Hall also is the editor of a conspiracy news website, American Herald Tribune. Some headlines:

The funny thing about conspiracy theorists is that they pretend to exercise critical thinking skills that other less enlightened people don't have. But the truth is the opposite - they have zero ability to think rationally; they latch onto bizarre and insane ideas and defend them no matter how much evidence shows them to be idiots.

In other words, anyone who is a conspiracy theorist - right or left-wing - is supremely unqualified to be a university professor where one needs to actually think.

And here's the unbelievable part: Anthony Hall teaches 9/11 conspiracy theories to his students!

From RateMyProfessors - from the students who like him:
Hall is makes the whole poli sci department look like court jesters for those in power. He has written peer-reviewed critiques of the official story of 9/11. Meanwhile the poli sci crew presuppose the nebulous and unproven official story. Take Hall's classes and feel privileged that at least one prof cares about truth and justice not just $$$

Professor Hall opened my eyes about many current events that have brought the USA to wars, such as the concept of False Flags.
And from students who don't:
This lecturer has no structure. Uses sensational, biased views to draw attention but does not substantialize any of them. He does not encourage your free thinking or a balanced presentation of opinions/facts he basically abuses the stage he receives as a "teacher".

Tony is extremely biased. I think it is OK to have your own beliefs, and to even teach different theories, but you cannot tell people that they are wrong just because they disagree with you. This class has no structure, and isn't designed to help the students. It is designed to feed Tony's ego.

Absolutely horrible. Anyone who follows politics should not take this class. Anyone who doesnt believe in the 9/11 conspiracy should not take this class. If you're not on the radical left, you will not enjoy this class at all.
There isn't even a free speech argument here. Tony Hall is an incompetent teacher.

But apparently, the University of Lethbridge is not concerned with actual academic integrity and standards for its professors.

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From Ian:

'P' is not for 'Palestine,' Ms. Golbard-Bashi
The Philistines hadn’t existed since the days of King Hezekiah. But the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed the Jews’ country for them, in a deliberate act of final humiliation to the Jews.

And this brings us to the question: What does the name “Philistine” mean?

– “Philistine” is the Anglicised form of the Hebrew name “P’lishti”, from the Hebrew “polesh”, “invader”. The P’lishtim (Philistines) were a sea-faring nation, invaders who came from the Aegean Islands (which is why they dwelt mainly along the Israeli coastline).

This is the true origin of the name “Palestine”. The name means nothing in Arabic, and indeed cannot possibly exist in Arabic. This alleged “Palestinian” nation is a nation which cannot even pronounce its own name.

Golbarg Bashi is quoted as saying, “I consider myself Palestinian at heart”. A truly interesting sentiment for a woman born in Iran, not even an Arab, who has no connection whatsoever with “Palestine”.

But then again, maybe not so strange. After all, the most famous “Palestinian” in history was Yasser Arafat, born in Egypt to an ancient Egyptian family, who served in the Egyptian Army in the 1948 war of attempted extermination against Israel (which turned into Israel’s War of Independence) – and who only later morphed into a “Palestinian”.

In a surreal world in which the entire identity of “Palestine” is a fictitious narrative which begins with Aegean invaders who were defeated by the indigenous Jews and whose identity was falsely resurrected a millennium later by the European Roman colonialist imperialists, an Iranian can be just as much a “Palestinian” as an Egyptian can.

But still, Ms Bashi, get your alphabet right. “P” is not for “Palestine”. “P” is not for any Arabic word. “F” can be for “Filastin”, which is about as close as the Arab colonialists can get to pronouncing the Roman colonialists’ version of the original Hebrew name of the Aegean invaders.

And “F” is also, of course, for “fraud” and “fake”.

IsraellyCool: N Is For You Know Nothing Nathan Lean
Someone called Nathan Lean, a self proclaimed expert in Islamophobia no less, and the author of an entire book on this made up construct “The Islamophobia Industry” came out with this “genius” reply:

Oh boy, where to start. Fortunately another contributor to Israellycool set him straight:

Here’s the chain:
Plisthtim – Hebrew – invaders from the sea, the Philistines from the bible.
Palæstina – Latin version of the Hebrew
Palestine – English version of the Latin
Filasteen – Arabic version of the English and, of course, lacking the P because non-indigenous language Arabic hasn’t got that sound in it!

Which is exactly correct. The Arabs only call this land “Filasteen” because they literally can’t pronounce the name they chose to give themselves as recently as the early 60’s.
IsraellyCool: Golbarg Bashi Did Not Think This Hashtag Through
The Israel haters have come up with all sorts of campaigns to promote their agenda, whether it be BDS, their own versions of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and the Salt Water Challenge.

But I think this one takes the (urinal) cake.

And yes, I do realize this is just a really unfortunate use of a hashtag, but it seems strangely appropriate.

  • Thursday, November 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Number of tweets from  Jewish Voice for Peace against the Balfour Declaration for its 100th anniversary:

Number of tweets from Jewish Voice for Peace celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sadat visiting Jerusalem:

It used to be that the word "justice" was the keyword that really meant to destroy Israel

Now the word "peace" is being used to mean the same thing.

Because if they wanted real peace, wouldn't they celebrate the first peace treaty Israel made with an Arab state?

JVP doesn't want peace. They want a world without Israel.

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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

The most basic rule in dealing with the Saudis and their friends is that Israel must not feel that it has to pay anything for peace, anything at all. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada. – Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Dr. Kedar is talking about Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, but this is true for all of Israel’s foreign relations. So many times when dealing with Europe, the US, and of course Arab countries, agreements are made contingent on concessions on the “Palestinian issue.” And what does that mean? Usually it implies acceptance to some degree of the “Palestinian narrative,” namely that we Jews came along and dispossessed the “native” Palestinian Arabs, and now if we want to be left alone (never mind being treated like a normal nation and not the spawn of Satan) we need to make it up to them. Often the concessions demanded lead directly to the destruction of our state, but hey, the Jews lived so happily as a  Diaspora in the Christian and Muslim spheres for thousands of years, so why would that be a problem?

Enough. As Ben-Dror Yemini shows in his impressive but depressing new book, Industry of Lies: Media, Academia and the Israeli-Arab Conflict, demonization of Israel is pervasive. It is everywhere, it is irrational, it feeds on itself and it is effective. Ultimately everyone who studies in a university, a grade school, a high school or even a kindergarten has it explained to them that Israel is a uniquely evil enterprise that tortures and murders Palestinians, keeping them under a system of apartheid until they can be killed by the ongoing genocide.

So naturally, everyone, even if they are Israeli, thinks it is perfectly OK to demand that we give up to the Palestinians what we “owe” them, and maybe even a little more as punishment for the pain and suffering we’ve inflicted.

As I said, enough. Israelis, at least, should be capable of standing up for the truth, not to mention their own survival. Especially when the falsity of the accusations against Israel are self-evidently false: Yemini discusses “genocide” claims, including a particularly egregious one by Israeli academic Yitzhak Laor, who published an article in the London Review of Books including a statement that “gas chambers are not the only way to destroy a nation, it is enough to develop high rates of infant mortality.” But publicly available data show that Palestinian infant mortality dropped from between 152-162 per thousand births in 1967 to between 53-63 in 1985 and less than 20 in 2014. Palestinian life expectancy at birth has gone from 49 to 76 since 1967, and the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza has at least tripled since 1970. Genocide indeed!

Other accusations are logically inconsistent, not even needing empirical data to refute them. One of the well known ones is “pinkwashing,” the idea that Israel’s tolerance of LGBT people cannot be used as evidence for Israel’s overall liberal, tolerant behavior, including toward Palestinians – because Israel oppresses Palestinians. Could an argument be more circular?

One can’t forget the famous master’s thesis by Tal Nitzan at Hebrew University, which generated a storm of astonished criticism 10 years ago, when she received a high grade and a prize for a paper that claimed that the fact that IDF soldiers did not rape Palestinian women implied that Israeli Jews are racists who don’t find Arabs attractive! Leaving aside the fact that there has been an Arab Miss Israel (Rana Raslan, 1999) and that an Arab woman won the popular Israeli singing competition “The Voice” (Lina Makhoul, 2013), the argument illustrates a misunderstanding of the nature of military rape (which is about power and subjugation, not attractiveness) in addition to being, well, just blindingly stupid.

A great deal of the political discourse about Israel is based on premises which, while not so obviously false as Tal Nitzan’s thesis, are simply made up. Every day “journalists” around the world (especially in Israel) make up stories which are either completely false, biased, contextless, or exaggerated, and which cast Israel in an ugly light. Gideon Levy and Amira Hass of Ha’aretz are tireless masters of the art form. And anything ugly about Israel is immediately accepted as true by the hundreds of millions of people on this earth – I don’t think this is an exaggeration – who must believe that Israel is far more evil than Hitler was.

Political leaders, presidents, popes, prime ministers and EU officials are not immune, as we saw when President Obama and Pope Francis repeated Hamas-sourced accusations about child casualties in Gaza, or when then-EU Parliament President Martin Schultz parroted falsehoods about Israel keeping water from Palestinians.

Along with the continued demonization, there is also the suggestion that Israel’s very statehood is illegitimate, a colonial enterprise that should be undone, like white minority rule in Zimbabwe or South Africa. We are told that if we want “peace,” we need to surrender like the whites in what used to be Rhodesia did, although in our case there is a Jewish majority. But, no problem – that is precisely what would be achieved by implementing a Palestinian “right of return” for millions of descendents of “refugees,” many of whom were migrants who came to Mandate Palestine as late as 1946 before fleeing the war that the Arabs started. After all, that would be “justice,” because they are “colonized” and we are “colonizers.” Never mind that there is no precedent for any such “right” in modern history.

No, it wouldn’t be justice, and we don’t need “peace” on these terms, not with Saudi Arabia, not with the EU that is placing identification badges  on goods from the “settlements” that it speciously calls “illegal,” not with the PLO – which should never have been crowned “legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” in the first place – and not with the UN Human Rights Commission, which apparently is about to release a blacklist of companies to boycott who do business across the Green Line.

All of these entities see us as less than legitimate, not even the “normal” state that Herzl longed for, but far lower than normal. They project their own dark history – imagine, Europeans calling us “colonialists” and Arabs accusing us of racism and ethnic cleansing! – and they pretend that they’ll let us live if we repent from our “crimes” and compensate our “victims.”

The Gulf states, led by the Saudis, want something from us today: to stop Iran’s march across the region. Tomorrow the West may need something – you laugh, but look at the direction Europe is going. Whatever any of them offer, we should demand in return an end to their abusive treatment, including a true end to the academic incitement that governments allow to pass and even fund. And they can stop it if they want to: anti-Israel academics are whores – watch their fervor evaporate with their grants. If countries can make it illegal to use the “wrong” pronoun, they can stop the demonization of Israel in their schools.

That’s part of what we should get. And what we should pay in return?

Other than our contributions to science, technology, medicine and the arts – that we would freely give them anyway – nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

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From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: How Ten Dem (Dumb) Members of Congress Encourage the Use of Child Terrorists
In a desperate effort to justify her proposed legislation Congresswoman McCollum argued that, "peace can only be achieved by respecting human rights, especially the rights of children." McCollum's hypocrisy in this context is palpable. She claims to be an advocate for "the rights of children." Yet the Congresswoman refuses to acknowledge or condemn the Palestinian leadership for perpetrating acts of child abuse by recruiting children to commit terror attacks on Jewish women and children. She expressed no outrage when members of the Palestinian leadership have been caught posting material on social media inciting and encouraging young Palestinians to go out onto the streets and stab Israelis. McCollum failed to protest when Hamas set up training camps — under the mantra "Vanguards of Liberation" — aimed at training children as young as 15 to use weapons against Israel, or when children in Gaza were crushed to death when the terror tunnels they were recruited to build by the Hamas leadership, collapsed on their bodies.

So I ask: what do these members of Congress think Israel should do? If children as young as 13 or 14 were roaming the streets of New York, Los Angeles or Boston stabbing elderly women as they shopped at the supermarket or waited at a bus stop, would they protest the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators? Of course not. No country in the world would tolerate terror in its cities, regardless of the age of the terrorists. Israel has a right — according to international law — to protect its citizens from constant terror attacks, even those committed by young Palestinians. Indeed, it has an obligation to do so.

If Israel were to be punished for trying to protect its citizens from teenage terrorists, it would further incentivize terrorist leaders to keep using children in pursuit of their key objective: wiping the Israel off the map. Meanwhile, rather than condemning the abhorrent and unlawful use of children as pawns in this deadly process, this group chose to single out only the nation-state of the Jewish people for punishment, as it tries to protect its own citizens from indiscriminate terror attacks. People of good faith on both sides of the aisle should call out this double standard for what it really is: an attack on Jewish victims of teenage terrorism and their state. For shame on this group of biased anti-Israel "progressive" Democrats, which include the following members of Congress: Mark Pocan (WI), Earl Blumenauer (OR), André Carson (IN), John Conyers, Jr. (MI), Danny K. Davis (IL), Peter A. DeFazio (OR), Raul Grijalva, Luis V. Gutiérrez (AZ), and Chellie Pingree (ME). They give a bad name to the Democratic Party, to the Progressive Caucus and to Congress.

MEMRI: Kuwaiti Writer Abdullah Al-Hadlaq: Israel Is a Legitimate State, Not an Occupier; There Was No Palestine; I Support Israel-Gulf-U.S. Alliance to Annihilate Hizbullah
Kuwaiti writer Abdullah Al-Hadlaq said that Israel was an independent and legitimate sovereign state and that there was no occupation, but instead, "a people returning to its promised land." "When the State of Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called 'Palestine,'" said Al-Hadlaq. He recalled that he had once written: "I wished that we could be like the people of the State of Israel, who rallied, down to the very last one, to defend a single Israeli soldier." In the interview, which was broadcast by the Kuwaiti Alrai TV channel on November 19, Al-Hadlaq further said that he believed in peaceful coexistence with Israel and envisioned a three-way alliance of Israel, the Arab Gulf states, and America "in order to annihilate Hizbullah beyond resurrection." The interview caused an uproar in the Arab media and social networks.

Host: "What is Israel? What does it represent? Is it a state? A group? A terrorist organization? An entity? How can we define it before we go into our topic of discussion?"

Abdullah Al-Hadlaq: "Like it or not, Israel is an independent sovereign state. It exists, and it has a seat at the United Nations, and most peace-loving and democratic countries recognize it. The group of states that do not recognize Israel are the countries of tyranny and oppression. For example, North Korea does not recognize Israel, but this does nothing to detract from Israel or from the fact of its existence, whether we like it or not. The State of Israel has scientific centers and universities the likes of which even the oldest and most powerful Arab countries lack. So Israel is a state and not a terror organization. As I was saying, it is an independent country..."

Host: "Is it a legitimate country?"

Abdullah Al-Hadlaq: "Yes, it is legitimate. It received its legitimacy from the United Nations.

"My colleague called Israel 'a plundering entity,' but this may be refuted both in terms of religion and politics."

Host: "In what way?"

Abdullah Al-Hadlaq: "From the religious perspective, Quranic verse 5:21 proves that the Israelites have the right to the Holy Land. Allah says: 'When Moses said to his people... Oh my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you.' So Allah assigned that land to them, and they did not plunder it. The plundering entity is whoever was there before the arrival of the Israelites. Therefore, I do not go for obsolete slogans and terms like 'Zionist plundering entity,' and so on. The fact that I am an Arab should by no means prevent me from recognizing Israel. I recognize Israel as a state and as a fact of reality, without denying my Arab identity and affiliation."

Guest: "I don't know... Let's determine the frame of discussion. Is Palestine and its occupation an Arab cause or a religious one?"

Abdullah Al-Hadlaq: "There is no occupation. There is a people returning to its promised land.

PMW: PA educator praises “blood of Martyrs” in broadcast on school radio
On the annual day celebrating the Arab headdress, the keffiyeh, the director of the Qalqilya district Directorate of Education - which is a branch of the PA Ministry of Education - told Palestinian teenage girls that the blood of "Martyrs" is "the purest." His statement was broadcast on the school radio:

"Fahmawi reviewed the symbolism of the Palestinian keffiyeh... and added that the Palestinian keffiyeh has been colored with the purest blood, the blood of the Martyrs (Shahids) of Palestine during their resistance to the occupation, and the keffiyeh has become the shroud of the Palestinian fighter who has sacrificed his soul for the homeland."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2017]

This glorification of Martyrdom-death to Palestinian youth is in line with general PA education as Palestinian Media Watch has detailed in its report PA Education - A Recipe for Hate and Terror.

Two days ago, PMW reported on similar praise for "Martyrs' blood" expressed by parents of dead terrorists at another PA school.

The school at which the PA educator spoke of "Martyrs' blood" is named after terrorist Abu Ali Iyad who was appointed head of Fatah military operations in 1966 and was responsible for several terror attacks. The attacks included a bombing in the town of Beit Yosef in northern Israel on April 25, 1966 (injuring 3 people), and placing bombs in the town of Margaliot in northern Israel on July 19, 1966. He was killed in 1971 in Jordan by the Jordanian army when it forced Fatah members out of the country.

  • Thursday, November 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

This past Sunday, I went to hear Jere Van Dyk speak at an event sponsored by the Algemeiner.

Jere Van Dyk is a journalist and author who has been a consultant for CBS news on Afghanistan, Pakistan and al-Qaeda. In 2008, he was captured by the Taliban. He has written about his experience and spoken about it. When he spoke on Sunday about it with Dovid Efune, the editor-in-chief of the Algemeiner, the title of his talk was "From Daniel Pearl to Steven Sotloff - Jews and Political Kidnapping."

Jere Van Dyk. Screenshot

The main focus of his talk that night was Daniel Pearl, and in his book THE TRADE: My Journey Into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping goes into more detail.

By The Trade, Van Dyk refers to political kidnapping that has been honed and perfected
The Trade is the new cold, cruel weapon of modern warfare, like drones with no visible pilot, a barter process without official structures, a new criminal enterprise, a form of terror open to anyone...The Trade is a weapon for the poor and the weak, like suicide bombing, against the strong. It exists from the Philippines to the Sahara, and it is growing, part of the kidnap and ransom business. It coarsens everyone. [page 386]
He writes that kidnappings per se in the modern era started in 1985 with the Hezbollah kidnapping of Terry Anderson in Lebanon. In that incident, there was no ransom demand. Instead, his captors used him as a political pawn against the US. Anderson was released in 1991.

  • Sometimes the kidnappers use their hostages to coerce action.
  • Other times they demand a ransom, such as money.
  • The ransom could also be weapons.
  • Hezbollah, which used Anderson as a protest against US action, has also used kidnap victims as protection -- as they did after sending suicide bombers to murder US troops.

The political kidnappings Van Dyk writes about, and which he himself experienced, were in the area of Afghanistan and Pakistan -- areas that we would not normally expect Jews to be found. Yet we know that Jews have in fact been kidnapped and executed by these terrorist groups.

Among those who have been kidnapped and killed are Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, Warren Weinstein (killed in an American air strike) and Steven Sotloff -- all of whom were Jewish.

Was that the reason they were kidnapped and killed?

In 2010, after giving a talk, Van Dyk was approached and asked, “Do you think you would have survived if you were Jewish?...You were the next person after Daniel Pearl and he was Jewish.” The question came from Dovid Efune, the editor at the Algemeiner. At the time, Van Dyk had no answer. But he does offer one now.

Daniel Pearl was kidnapped on January 23, 2002.

Daniel Pearl. Source: Wikipedia.
Used under fair use

According to Vanity Fair, as part of the strategy to get him released, US media organizations agreed not to reveal that Pearl was Jewish so as not to put his life in danger. That secrecy didn't last long:
But on January 30, Danny's Jewishness leaked. In a story in The News, Kamran Khan, the paper's chief investigative reporter, wrote that "some Pakistani security officials — not familiar with the worth of solid investigative reporting in the international media — are privately searching for answers as to why a Jewish American reporter was exceeding 'his limits' to investigate [a] Pakistani religious group. [emphasis added]"

...Khan's revelations stunned colleagues. But there was no wondering about the source of his information: he was well known for his contacts at the highest levels of the ISI [Pakistan's intelligence agency].

The same morning Khan's story appeared, the kidnappers released a second note, changing Danny's supposed spying affiliation from the C.I.A. to the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service
A connection between the terrorists and Pakistan would also explain why, besides demanding the release of Pakistani al-Qaeda suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Pearl's kidnappers also demanded the US deliver the F-16's Pakistan had ordered in the early 1990's in a deal that was eventually cancelled, in response to Pakistan's continuing efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

The kidnappers wouldn't care about those F-16's being delivered to Pakistan.
But the ISI would.

On January 29, before the leak, it was already being reported that US intelligence officials believed that the Pakistan's ISI was involved in Pearl's abduction.

But why should Pakistan care about Daniel Pearl, whether he was Jewish or that his father was Israeli?

Van Dyk believes the answer is Azerbaijan:
In Pakistan, the Trade is not just about money, but part of the quiet war, I believe, that Pakistan feels compelled to lead. More than once, I heard in Pakistan that it was afraid that the Israelis would attack Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, from their secret base in Azerbaijan. That is why, I realized later, the Taliban I met with high in the mountains south of Tora Bora, said, for the first time, that the Taliban would go anywhere, “even Azerbaijan.” I wondered then how they even knew where that secret Israeli base was. I believed one reason why I survived, and Daniel Pearl, Adam Gadahn, and Warren Weinstein did not, was because I wasn’t Jewish. Because of the visceral fear of Israel among some members of the Pakistani security apparatus, a Jewish journalist or a Jewish kidnap victim is always more vulnerable than a non-Jew. [page 343]

As he put it in another interview, “kidnapping is not done in a vacuum” -- there is state involvement. The states back up these terrorist groups for their own geopolitical reasons.

The terrorist group that killed Pearl is identified as Al-Qaeda, and used the beheading of Daniel Pearl, in part, to again make itself known to the world. That would explain, Van Dyk believes, why Pearl was executed in a matter of days while Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in April 2011, was held for years till he was accidentally killed by US forces in January 2015. Al-Qaeda didn't need to prove themselves.

Yet, while he discusses the question whether Daniel Pearl was murdered because he was Jewish, Van Dyk does not suggest that Daniel Pearl -- or anyone else -- was actually abducted because they were Jewish.

But that doesn't make those areas any safer, neither for Jews nor for anybody else as long as The Trade flourishes.

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.
  • Thursday, November 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israeli venture capitalist and former Knesset member Erel Mergalit participated in a conference in Doha a couple of weeks ago entitled "Enriching the Middle East's Economic Future Conference." It appears that he even spoke there:

He posted this photo:

The person on the right of the photo, seemingly oblivious to the Jew next to him, is Rafiq Abdel Salam Al-Kaidi of the Ennahda (Muslim Brotherhood) Movement in Tunisia and brother-in-law of that movement's leader in Tunisia.

Now he is in hot water for "normalizing" relations with Israel.

Brotherhood members in Tunisia are angry at al-Kaidi and investigating his crime of sitting next to an Israeli. the leadership said that he attended the conference in a personal capacity, not as a representative of the group, and he didn't check out whether any hated Zionists would be attending.

The Brotherhood tried to downplay this, saying that he didn't know who he was sitting next to.

Well-informed sources in the Tunisian Ennahda movement said that they would have an internal inquiry into the matter. Knowingly attending a conference with a Zionist would represent a departure from "the principles and positions of the movement."

The Ninth Conference of the Ennahda Movement held in July 2012 stressed the need for what it called "criminalization of normalization," saying that that the Palestinian issue "remains a central issue of the nation."

But from Margalit's photos, it looks like another enemy of Israel attended the conference where he spoke. He took this shot of the place-card of an Iranian attendee.

Any way you look at it, Israel is indeed becoming slowly more and more accepted at conferences like these. And the people screaming about it look more and more like idiots.

When mainstream Arabs are more accepting of Israel's existence in public, and cooperating more closely with Israel in private, the BDS movement must be panicking.  After all, how can they complain about British rock stars visiting Israel when the Arab world itself is happily accepting Israel's help?

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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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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