Tuesday, May 22, 2018



I’m reading a book that again reminds me how much we’re leaving unused our most potent argument for creating attachment to Israel among not just Jews but everyone else in the world.
Leading a Worthy Life by Leon Kass is not about Judaism, Israel or the Middle East (although the author is the child of Jewish immigrants). Rather, it distills decades of thinking and writing by its remarkable author into a set of essays that tries to establish what it means to live, truly live, rather than just exist in modern times.
Kass is most well known as a bio-ethicist who warns about promises made by bio-tech utopians offering brave new worlds of human advancement, oblivious to what Aldous Huxley had to say on the matter of Brave New Worlds. But Kass is also a self-educated humanist who “pivoted” later in his career to teaching literature and philosophy at the University of Chicago and the “great-books centered Saint John’s College.
Like others intimate with his cultural legacy, Kass understands that the components of time on earth worthy to be called a life are unchanging: work that allows you practice and experience excellence; a meaningful and loving relationship (preferably leading to children); genuine friendship; commitment to something greater than yourself (a community, nation; and/ or higher order); and life of the mind dedicated to seeking out truth and beauty.
In our present age, the choices leading to a worthy life are under assault by the wider culture. Work has become a means to an end (usually involving making enough money to live in comfort). Commitment to marriage is diminishing, even as the right to marry has expanded, with many couples not bothering to seal a life-long bond or breaking that bond once made. In such a world, Eros has been separated from love through emotionless “flings” or steady diets of pornography.
Regarding life of the mind, an abandonment of the very texts that inspired Kass in favor of not just trendy multicultural replacements, but pragmatic subjects like business and computer programming, means most students today are not striving to understand what it means to be human, but are rather lost in a sea of ever-expanding life choices all leading nowhere. It is this “lostness” that creates openings for snake-oil salesmen offering politics in the classroom as a replacement to genuine thinking and reflection, or radical experiments in lifestyle that further deteriorate the culture while bringing participants no closer to living vs. merely existing.
Despite what he’s seen happen to our culture over the last half century, Kass is actually an optimist. For in teaching young people over the decades, he has not seen any diminishment in their hunger for all the things he sees as adding up to a worthy life. Despite easy availability of one-night-stands and Internet porn, they want a life where their intellectual, emotional and erotic selves are tied to those of someone else. They understand that Facebook friends are not the same as real ones. And they are ready to ask (and attempt to answer) tough questions such as “What is true?”, “What is beautiful?” and “Who am I?”
This list of components of the worthy life helps unravel mysteries surrounding the topic near and dear to readers of this blog. Why, for example, are Israelis so damn happy despite living under existential threat few of us in the comfortable West even understand, much less experience? They are happy because their life has purpose, for each one of them is responsible for building and defending a nation, rather than just living off unearned inheritance. Such purposefulness equates to happiness that no level of threat or insult from Israel’s enemies seems able to shake.
Existence defined by worthy purpose might also explain why Israel’s high-tech nation (with its focus on life-saving technologies) seems so much more serious than even our own robust start-up culture which tends towards giving consumers ever more choices and pastimes. The fact that Israel is the only westernized nation where parents are committed to having children beyond replacement level also demonstrates an ongoing commitment to something more than the self and the now.
That’s good news for our Israeli cousins. But what do these observations provide to those of us who fight on the behalf of the Jewish state who may not live under similar existential conditions?
Some thoughts on that next time…





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From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: The media's misplaced sympathy for the Hamas lynch mob
As evidence mounts that Hamas intended to murder Israeli children, women and men after breaching the border fence to Israel, Hamas apologists must ask themselves why they are on the wrong side of morality.

The recent border attack and attempted invasion of Israel by Hamas was anything but a peaceful protest. It was a lynch mob targeting Israeli day care centers, schools, and homes. The goal of the lynchers, according to Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas political leader, was to “take down the border” and “tear their hearts from their bodies.” According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, “Hamas posted maps for their operatives showing the quickest routes from the border to Israeli homes, schools and day care centers near the border.”

Yet many in the media, and many Hamas sympathizers on the left, insist on portraying this invasion as a peaceful demonstration, comparable to those conducted against the Ku Klux Klan by Martin Luther King and his fellow civil rights demonstrators.

I was part of those demonstrations back in the 1960s, and it is a gross insult to the memory of King and his followers to compare his peaceful tactics to the murderous goals of Hamas. One of Hamas’ co-founders, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, recently told the truth in an interview with Al Jazeera: “When we talk about ‘peaceful,’ we are deceiving the public.”

Many in the public seem all too eager to be deceived because Hamas has succeeded in portraying themselves as the civil rights demonstrators protesting against the Israeli Ku Klux Klan. But in reality, the roles are reversed. Hamas is the Ku Klux Klan, violently rioting to break down the protective barrier so they can lynch innocent Jewish children and other civilians, the way the Klan lynched innocent black citizens.

The Gaza hypocrites
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo organized by former (and perhaps future) presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the group demanded that the Trump administration address the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza. They described the “return” march as a response to the blockade of the strip being conducted by Israel and Egypt. It specifically and repeatedly mentioned the actions of “Israeli snipers” and cited inflated casualty figures produced by Hamas. But at no point did it reference the terrorist group or acknowledge its responsibility for what happens in Gaza, in addition to noting the ongoing international sanctions on an area that even the Europeans know is a terrorist haven with which normal commerce is impossible.

Just as outrageous, the 13 Democratic senators—a list that included Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.)—also demanded that the United States restore funding to the United Nations Relief Works Agency, a body that has not only existed solely to perpetuate rather than solve the Palestinian refugee problem, but which has been infiltrated by and exploited by Hamas as part of its ongoing military campaign.

Why did so many Senate Democrats deliberately ignore Hamas’s role in an effort that, as its name indicated, had as its purpose an attempt to wipe out 70 years of history and destroy the Jewish state? Why did they seek to blame only Israel and call to end Gaza’s isolation? Opening the border to Gaza wouldn’t really help Palestinians, who can have no hope for a better life while they are still being ruled by terrorist theocrats who “govern” the strip like tyrants. The only possible outcome of their appeal would be an influx of Iranian weapons and material that would allow Hamas to strengthen its fortifications and its ability to carry on its fight against Israel.

The unfortunate answer is that within the Democratic Party, there is now a faction that not only fails to think clearly about terrorism and the reality of Hamas-run Gaza. This group also seeks to appeal to the intersectional left leading the “resistance” to U.S. President Donald Trump, and which falsely claims a connection between the Black Lives Matter movement and the Palestinian war on Israel.

Fortunately, not all Democrats agree, and this struggle will play out as America heads towards the 2020 presidential race, in which the party’s left wing will seek to assert its control of the party. If the Democrats are to remain a pro-Israel party, those who care about Israel’s survival must speak out against these senators and others on the left who serve as Hamas’s dupes.

As much as Democrats are currently focused on “resisting” Trump, giving Sanders and his friends a pass for a stand that undermines any hope for progress towards peace, as well as undermines U.S. security, will compromise the integrity of their party. Contrary to the assertions of Israel’s left-wing critics, the Sanders’ letter and the left-wing hypocrites who support it show that the coming battle will be not so much for the soul of the Jewish state as it is for that of the Democratic Party. Those who care about Israel can only hope that sane moderates will step up and ensure that Sanders, Warren and their allies don’t prevail.
PMW: At championship dozens of terrorist murderers honored by Fatah, tournament named after arch-terrorist Abu Jihad
Arch-terrorist Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir), who organized terror attacks in which 125 Israelis were murdered, has been made into one of the greatest heroes by the Palestinian Authority. One of the PA and Fatah's ways to promote Abu Jihad as a role model to Palestinians is by naming sports tournaments after him.

Thus Fatah's Bethlehem branch organized the
"Martyr Khalil Al-Wazir [Abu Jihad] and Loyalty to the Bethlehem District Prisoners [Futsal] Championship"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, May 1, 2018]

At this tournament, in addition to glorifying arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, Fatah also glorified other terrorists and murderers from the Bethlehem district who are serving numerous life sentences for murdering over 100 people. The terrorists' families were invited to a ceremony and given honorary posters with pictures of their imprisoned terrorist relatives.

The terrorist prisoners who were honored by Fatah at the Abu Jihad Championship in the Bethlehem district included:
[All photos are from the Facebook page of the independent Palestinian news agency Al-Hadath, May 1, 2018]

Ali Abu Hleil - Palestinian terrorist involved in two suicide bombings on buses in Jerusalem - one on Gaza Street on Jan. 29, 2004, in which 11 were murdered, and one on Emek Refaim Street on Feb. 22, 2004, in which 8 were murdered. Over 100 people were injured in the two bombings. Abu Hleil is serving 21 life sentences.
On Abu Hleil's poster is also written: "Heroic prisoner Ali Abu Hleil - life sentence"

  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Mishary Rashid Alafasy, Imam of the Grand Mosque of Kuwait, has issued some controversial opinions on his Twitter account that seem to allow for peace with Israel - with caveats.

He called for a solution to the Palestinian issue and to accept Israel's existence, saying it is permissible to reconcile with Jews.

But when he was criticized for this he emphasized that he was against all normalization with Israel, and he also reiterated that Jerusalem as a red line.  He also said that reconciliation with Jews is a political choice, but not a permanent peace. The implication is that Muslims should accept Israel's existence as a tactical move until the Umma is strong enough to defeat it.

Alfasy pointed out that Mohammed reconciled even with polytheists (who are worse than Jews) before the conquest of Mecca.Reconciliation, he noted, is acceptable at a time when the Muslims are weak, but not when they are strong enough to prevail. He emphasized that he does not agree to normalization with Israel but only a temporary peace.

When Hamas complained about his statements, he pointed out that Hamas has previously offered a similar truce with Israel in the past.

An Arab religious leader who is willing to accept Israel as a temporary reality until it is possible to destroy it in war is what Westerners call a "moderate."




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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here's a cartoon in official Palestinian daily Al Hayat al Jadida making the moon that signals the beginning of Ramadan into a sling for Palestinians to attack Israel:


Here's the "Happy Ramadan" message from Palestine Today showing a Gazan with a burning tire and a traditional lantern for Ramadan:


Just imagine any other religion's symbols being used as positive incitement to violence.

(Obviously Palestinians have used Jewish religious symbols to incite each other to violence as well.)





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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here's a photo of Mahmoud Abbas reading the official Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat al Jadida in his hospital bed yesterday morning:


Let's zoom in a bit:


It depicts an Israeli soldier replacing a Palestinian Arab baby's bottle with poison. (The reference is to the baby who had a heart condition who was brought to the border fence during the height of the riots last week and died, supposedly after tear gas exposure.)

This is the kind of blood libel that regular Palestinians read every day, day in and day out.

There is indeed poison in Palestinian society, and it is not from the Israelis.

(h/t Yisrael Medad and Ibn Boutros)




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Monday, May 21, 2018

  • Monday, May 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an reports that a group of Palestinian "activists" threw stones at the car of an American delegation to Beit Jala where they attended a ceremony to celebrate graduate students who had studied under an American program.

Video shows that the rioters threw stones, placed posters over the car so the driver couldn't see where he or she was going, kicked the car, sat and stood on the car.



There are at least 7 USAID projects in Beit Jala.





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From Ian:

Ron Dermer: Stop demonizing Israel for defending itself
Hand it to Hamas. As this week’s events in Gaza showed, the terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction can still manipulate the media into demonizing Israel for the legitimate actions it takes to defend itself.

Hamas’s four-step formula for success is by now familiar. First, get a media that is largely hostile toward Israel, simply ignorant or both to ignore Hamas’s genocidal goals and excuse its terrorism. Second, put Palestinian civilians in harm’s way. Third, force Israel, while defending itself, to kill some of those civilians. Fourth, rely on that same hostile and ignorant media to blame Israel for these deaths.

In Gaza, step one began some seven weeks ago. Hamas called for tens of thousands of Palestinians to join a weekly “March of Return” — effectively, the flooding of Israel with millions of the descendants of Palestinian refugees from the War of Independence (which five Arab nations started, promising to throw the Jews into the sea).

The March of Return was to culminate in a mid-May march on “Nakba” day, which Palestinians mark each year to remember the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation.

Palestinian “marchers” were told to break down the security fence separating Gaza from Israel, a clear and present danger to all those living in Jewish communities only hundreds of yards from that fence.

Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, could not have been clearer about his goals: “We will take down the border and tear out their hearts from their bodies.”

But as thousands of Palestinians showed up to achieve that murderous goal, the media was determined to tell another tale. Press reports insisted that the march was “against the occupation” and “for humanitarian relief” in Gaza. Such nonsense continued even as rioters destroyed the very infrastructure that enables Israel to deliver food, medicine and supplies into Gaza.

This week, the media narrative shifted. Despite all evidence to the contrary, suddenly we were told that the riots in Gaza were against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. “Marches over embassy move take on violent edge” read a headline in The Post, one of many similar headlines around the globe.

The media also insisted that these riots had been peaceful protests, or “mostly” peaceful, whatever that means. Apparently, grenades, molotov cocktails, fire kites, explosive devices, guns and machetes don’t quite hit the media’s bar for what constitutes Palestinian violence.
Israel Needs to Protect Its Borders. By Whatever Means Necessary
Of course, it does not benefit the Palestinians who dream about “returning,” or in other words, about eliminating Israel. But it is the only way forward for those who have more realistic expectations. The people of Gaza are miserable. They deserve sympathy and pity. But looking for Israel to remedy their problems will only exacerbate their misery. Expecting Israel to solve their problem will only lead them to delay what they must do for themselves.

There are two reasons for that. First, denying Hamas any achievement is the only way to ultimately persuade the Palestinians to abandon the futile battle for things they cannot get (“return,” control of Jerusalem, the elimination of Israel) and toward policies that will benefit their people. If Hamas is rewarded for organizing violent events, if the pressure on it is reduced because of the demonstrations, the result will be more demonstrations — and therefore more bloodshed, mostly Palestinian. Second, only an Israel that has the ability to feel secure about its borders could engage in any serious talks with the Palestinians. As Ehud Barak, a former prime minister and a critic of Israel’s current government, put it, “Those who believe in having separation from the Palestinians, getting into a peace agreement, having borders — you have to make clear that borders are respected.”

The Jewish sages had a famous, if not necessarily pleasant, saying that went something like this: Those who are kind to the cruel end up being cruel to the kind. As harsh as this sounds amid the scenes from Gaza, as problematic as this seems to good-intentioned people whose instinct is to sympathize with the weaker side in every conflict, sometimes there is no better choice than being clear, than being firm, than drawing a line that cannot be crossed by those wanting to harm you. By fire, if necessary.

PMW: The PA: US embassy in Jerusalem is a ticking bomb
Continuous hate speech against the US is being published in the official PA daily in response to the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem. The cartoon above depicts the embassy as a ticking bomb. It shows three domes in Jerusalem: (left to right) the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, and the new "US Embassy" as a large hand grenade. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16, 2018]

An op-ed in the same official daily called the embassy itself "an American military base" and its opening of it "a war crime":
"How can it be that Israel's future will be full of shining promises of peace, as [US Presidential Advisor Jared] Kushner said while representing his President Trump at the inauguration of an American military base (sic., the US embassy) in occupied Jerusalem? Those who were present at the inauguration ceremony of Trump's embassy in Jerusalem are partners in a war crime ..." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 15, 2018]

Another said the embassy was an "outpost" to be "uprooted" and that the US is now "the enemy":
"[US President] Donald Trump, who issued the ominous Jerusalem declaration... continues in his unparalleled stupidity to talk about peace... The US has no place in the Middle East peace. It has lost its position, qualification, and credibility. Donald Trump, who transformed it [the US] from a mediator into an enemy, is leading the hostility...
This outpost (i.e., the US embassy) that Trump has established in our Jerusalem will be uprooted, and what will remain is the face of free Palestine."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16, 2018]

Friday, May 18, 2018

From Ian:

Op-Ed: Left and right wing Anti-Semitism/Zionism
The left has accepted the outright lies told by the Islamists as a means of undermining political opponents. This is the old tactic of scapegoating/blaming the Jews/Israel for the ills of the world, again failing to take responsibility for their own behavior.

The postmodern Marxists have successfully inverted the meaning of anti-Semitism. It is no longer hatred of Jews. It is acceptable (normative) to attack pro-Israel Jews for their Jewish identity (part of their program of identity politics and intersectionality.)

Linda Sarsour, women’s movement activist and representative of the terrorist organization Hamas in America, recently redefined anti-Semitism at the New School in N.Y. She reformulated the age-old hatred of Jews so that progressive left activists could continue to be anti-Zionist or anti-Israel.

Hating Jews is not the definition of anti-Semitism under this new language formulation.

Criticizing progressive left activists for being anti-Israel is the new definition of anti-Semitism. Thus, this is a corruption of language and evidence of compelled speech, the very kind that Dr. Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto refused to use in Canada.

This redefinition by a Muslim who represents a terrorist organization in America is a ploy and a shield to protect its own anti-Israel activities. It is benefiting the leftists to the detriment of the Jews and of Israel.

The American Jewish community needs to have the necessary discussion about its safety and security. The time to educate is now so that the community has the tools to take collective action on its behalf.
A Great Historian of Russia on the Soviet Jewish Plight
Richard Pipes, one of America’s foremost historians of Russia and the Soviet Union, died yesterday at the age of ninety-four. In a book review he contributed to Commentary in 1989, when glasnost and the release of substantial numbers of Soviet Jews had made possible new and better-informed histories of Soviet Jewry, he presented a characteristically incisive summation of the situation of Jews under the Communist regime:

[A]lthough they protected Jews from violence and declared overt anti-Semitism a crime, the Communists espoused a program that promised slow death for Jews as a religious community and a nation. Measures outlawing private trade and manufacture, passed in the early years of the Soviet regime, undercut the economic base of Jewish life, creating millions of unemployed. The regime’s anti-religious policies affected Jews no less than Christians: as early as 1919, synagogues and other religious buildings were made liable to confiscation. Hebrew was declared a foreign language and Zionism a subversive doctrine.

In the 1920’s, especially during the relatively benign period of the New Economic Policy, Jews managed to circumvent many of the prohibitions on their economic and cultural activities. But all this came to an end in 1929 when Stalin undertook in earnest to realize Lenin’s revolutionary agenda. . . . By the time he entered into his alliance with Hitler in 1939, Stalin had restored many of the tsarist discriminatory laws, setting quotas on access to educational and bureaucratic opportunities and closing altogether the more sensitive positions. He meant to go farther. In 1942, as Germany’s armies were deep on their murderous mission in the Soviet Union, Hitler confided to his associates that Stalin had promised Ribbentrop “he would oust the Jews from leading positions the moment he had sufficient qualified Gentiles with whom to replace them.” . . .

In the decades since Stalin’s death his successors have done away with the most egregious manifestations of persecution, but discrimination against Jews remains in place. There are no Jews in the Politburo and hardly any in the upper echelons of the military. Strict quotas are imposed on admissions to institutions of higher learning. [Mikhail] Gorbachev’s reforms, which have eased Soviet discriminatory policies, have also allowed the emergence of overtly anti-Semitic movements, of which Pamyat [“memory”] is the most notorious. . . .

Hence very many Russian Jews see no future for themselves and their children, and if given a chance would emigrate. Recent Israeli estimates are that a continuation of Gorbachev’s liberalized emigration policy might lead to the exodus of at least 500,000 Jews. A community that a century ago was not only the largest in the world but also culturally the most vibrant has been destroyed by a regime that many Jews in and out of Russia once regarded as a beacon of hope.
Guatemala becomes 2nd country to open embassy in Jerusalem
In anticipation of the inauguration of the Guatemalan Embassy in Jerusalem’s Malcha Technology Park on May 16, the city illuminated the Old City walls with flags of Guatemala, Israel and the United States along with a message thanking President Jimmy Morales Cabrera of Guatemala.

Morales and the Guatemalan ministers of foreign affairs, defense and economy arrived in Israel earlier in the week to prepare for the event, which closely followed the official opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Guatemala’s embassy was originally in Jerusalem and had moved to Tel Aviv in 1980.

“Guatemalan Embassy, welcome home!” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. “I thank President Jimmy Morales Cabrera of Guatemala for his courageous decision and am honored that we will be opening the embassy in the capital of Israel.”

Before the ceremony inaugurating the new embassy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Guatemalan President Morales held a private meeting as did their wives, Sara Netanyahu and Patricia Morales. President Reuven Rivlin also met with Morales.
Where were the Democrats?
This should be clear enough, even for clueless Conor Powell, that If you don’t show up for Israel it means you’re showing up for Hamas.

That’s the tribe of terrorists who rule Gaza with love and tolerance for nobody, including their own children.

Why, for Fox News, is Powell dishing this Hamas propaganda about right of return to “ancestral homes” that can only fool a reporter who knows nothing.

Well, what can you expect from today’s journalists except zilch city. On the political front, however, Democrats occasionally know right from wrong. I said occasionally.

So in or out, as we’ve been saying. You can’t be half for Israel, where every child is precious, and half for Moloch who practice child incineration.

Was this a boycott? Either way, mark them as absent without an excuse. The Democrats were not there in Jerusalem when it counted, so count them as sharing the values of Radical Islam.

Include them with Hamas, ISIS, al Qaeda and Hezbollah. Nothing wrong with beheadings, wife beating, gay bashing, honor killings, and capricious mass executions.

It’s a sale, according to this new wave of Bernie Sanders Liberalism and… we should try it at home.

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Israel’s sucker’s game on the Gaza border
There was a depressing familiarity both to Hamas’s suicide protest operation along Gaza’s border with Israel this week and to Israel’s response to it.

Hamas’s jihadist regime in Gaza doesn’t have a lot of cards to play in its continuous war against the Jewish state. But, as we have been seeing since Hamas launched its campaign against the border six weeks ago, it does have one card, and no matter how often it plays that card, Israel can’t seem to figure out how to beat it.

Hamas’s card is Western hostility to Israel. The Western media, along with the EU and most European governments, hate Israel. Leftist governments in other Western countries – Canada under Justin Trudeau, the US under Barack Obama, are similarly disposed.

Acting on the sure knowledge that the Western media, the EU and the international Left will always side with Israel’s enemies against it, Hamas’s high card is its ability to stage assaults on Israel that provide Israel’s haters in the West with a pretense for condemning it.

For more than a decade Hamas has deployed Western Israel-haters alongside Palestinian civilians as suicide protesters used for anti-Israel photo-ops. In 2003, Rachel Corrie, the Israel-hating activist from Washington state, walked in front of a giant IDF bulldozer building the border wall separating Gaza from Egypt’s Sinai. The driver couldn’t see her, ran her over, and Hamas and its Western partners created a blood libel of Corrie’s martyrdom.
Einat Wilf: The Gaza Protest Is About Ending Israel
In the past few days, we have come closer than we have in some time to touching the core issues that drive the conflict between Israelis, Palestinians, and the wider Arab and Islamic world.

After decades of discussing “territories,” “borders,” “settlements,” “two states” and “occupation,” and lamenting the lack of trust between the sides and the absence of leadership, we are finally discussing the key question, which is: Is the Arab and Islamic world, and the Palestinians among them, ready to acknowledge that the Jewish people, as a people, have the equal right to self-determination and sovereignty in their ancestral homeland?

Put another way, is Israel a temporary aberration in what should be properly an Arab and Islamic region?
Israel’s Choice To Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify — But Not Surprise Us
Peter BeinartMay 15, 2018

The twin images of the clashes on the 1967 border of Palestinian Gaza with Israel, and the inauguration of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, both serve to highlight the two dominant issues in the conflict that directly touch upon the question of the right of the Jewish people to the land: Jerusalem, and the Palestinian demand for “return” into the state of Israel within its pre 1967 lines.

No other two issues expose so clearly the extent to which the dominant Islamic, Arab and Palestinian narrative remains still one in which Israel is a colonial enterprise of a foreign, invented people who came out of nowhere to a place to which they have no connection.

  • Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Wishing a happy holiday of Shavuot to my readers in earlier time zones!

I will not be online until Monday night EST at least.

Chag sameach!





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I don’t share Nas’s videos but this, I feel needs to be addressed.
Take a look:

He seems so passionate and yet so reasonable, I am sure many people will simply accept what is said in this video. The problem is that it’s a big fat lie.

LIE 1: Nas says he “can’t stand with Israel because Israel is doing something wrong.” 

What is Israel doing wrong? Absolutely nothing.

Israel is defending her sovereign borders. Any country in the world would do the same and with much more force. It would be easy to just drop one big bomb, kill everyone and there would be no more riots. Instead the IDF is resolutely standing and keeping the border, stopping only the few who are absolutely necessary. It would be very easy to not get shot – just stay away from the fence.

LIE 2: Nas says he “can’t stand with Palestine either because Palestine is doing something wrong.”

Palestine is a non-existent country. This is not one country against another country. 

What does is exist is a terrorist entity ruled by Hamas, terrorizing Israelis and Gazans alike. The real equation is country against terrorist entity like America vs AL Qaeda on 9/11 or the Allied Forces vs ISIS

LIE 3: Nas says that “if you stand with one side only, you are wrong” because it’s not black and white. 

It actually is black and white. There is right and wrong here and if you can’t tell the difference between the two you have a real problem.

If you can’t see that terrorists sending their own people to die in order to retain their own power is wrong – you have a severe moral deficiency.

If you can’t say that using women and children to hide behind while trying to murder other people is wrong – you have something deeply wrong with you.

If you can’t see that attacking the borders of a sovereign nation is not going to end peacefully – you have a severe disconnect from reality.

If you can’t stand with innocent people, Israelis and Gazans against the terrorist entity that is threatening both – you are enabling more deaths.


THAT is what pleasant, urbane, talented Nas is doing.





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  • Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


(This is an expansion of a Twitter thread I wrote yesterday.)

The revelation that seemingly 53 of the dead on the Gaza border on Monday were Hamas and Islamic Jihad members doesn't only exonerate the IDF - it shows that the IDF acted in a remarkably professional way, exactly the opposite of how they are being painted.

It's simple math. We can assume that there were at least 48,000 non-Hamas members out of 50,000 people there. Many women and children were at the fence itself, in the front of the Hamas members who were often behind and giving instructions. As the ITIC writes:
Confirmation of Hamas involvement was ascertained by information gained by interrogating Palestinians who crossed the fence into Israeli territory. According to the interrogations, Hamas encourages and dispatches demonstrators (including children and adolescents) to the border to carry out violent acts, vandalize security installations, and even cross the fence. On the other hand, Hamas forbade its operatives to approach the fence, lest they be killed or captured by IDF forces, and therefore when they are present in the field (i.e., among the rioters) they wear civilian clothing.
Confirmation that Hamas members were told to take off their uniforms, to appear to be civilians, came from Hamas head Yahya Sinwar's statement in an interview:.

Picture the scene: real Gaza civilians, including women and children, are dispatched to the fence. Some of them, in their enthusiasm, try to cut the fence itself - including a 14 year old girl who was given the wire cutters from some unknown person.

Yet nearly 90% of those killed happened to be members of the (say) 4% from terror groups, members disguised as civilians, and possibly not at the fence itself but behind the scenes, directing the action.

Behind huge walls of smoke from burning tires that were specifically set to protect the ringleaders from IDF snipers.

It is astonishing accuracy.

It shows that the Israeli snipers are incredible at identifying potentially deadly behaviors and neutralizing them, while avoiding the tens of thousands of people deployed as chaff to hide the Hamas activities.

There really were human shields in Gaza. A captured Gazan said explicitly that  Hamas "tell women to go forward. They say to a woman: Go ahead, you’re a woman and the army doesn’t shoot women. They tell small children: Go ahead, the army doesn’t shoot small children.”

And somehow the IDF managed, for the most part, to avoid killing the human shields and to target the terrorists who were orchestrating what can only be considered a military operation using civilians as shields.

Israel's critics, if they really cared about saving innocent lives, should be using the IDF as a model for all armies and police in violent riots. Given a completely unprecedented and complicated situation, the IDF was exemplary in avoiding killing innocent people.

But Israel's critics have an agenda that rarely has anything to do with the humanitarian principles they pretend to espouse.





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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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