Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Arab organizations and media are attacking Aisha Amehiham, the Mauritanian ambassador to France, for attending a dinner held by the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions or CRIF).

The "National Rabat to support the Palestinian people" released a statement saying that "the presence of Ambassador Amehiham at the dinner represents a new attempts of Zionist infiltration of the Mauritanian people through its embassies abroad, which is a bad and unacceptable, and we will not tolerate it, we will not accept it ever" .

The statement continued, "This represents a deep blow to the emergence of the Palestinian issue, and a blatant contempt for the proud Mauritanian people  which has long demonstrated its strict opposition to normalization with the Zionists."

It said that eating with Jews was a "provocative and disgraceful act", a "painful stab" and a "moral and political scandal."

A Mauritarian anti-Israel student group called her attendance "shameful" and said, "Instead of the Ambassador choosing to fight in the same trench with the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle against the occupation and reinforcing the anti-Zionist position of the Mauritanian people, the Mauritanian Ambassador is siding with the killers of children and usurpers of the land of the Islamic holy sites in Palestine."

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Monday, February 27, 2017

  • Monday, February 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

From JTA:

President Donald Trump reportedly is considering cutting a number of special envoy positions, including one dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, as part of a forthcoming budget proposal.

Trump will propose increasing defense spending by $54 billion and make cuts to federal agencies to accommodate the 10 percent defense increase in the new budget plan, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing unnamed administration officials.

As part of these cuts, Trump is considering whether to nix some special envoy positions, including ones dealing with anti-Semitism, climate change and Muslim communities, according to Bloomberg.
From looking at the (now archived) State Department pages from the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, it doesn't show too many accomplishments. But that is a little deceptive.

For one thing, there is a definition of antisemitism on the site that essentially uses Natan Sharansky's "3-D" test for when criticism of Israel crosses the line into antisemitism. That is significant.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center summarized other accomplishments of the office last year:
President George W. Bush appointed Gregg Rickman, who served from 2006-2009. He was succeeded in the Obama administration by Hannah Rosenthal (2009-2012) and then by the current special envoy, Ira Forman. Both Rickman and Rosenthal made noteworthy contributions to making combating anti-Semitism a part of official U.S. foreign policy. Rickman set the tone by vigorously engaging with more than 25 countries during his term, while Rosenthal built on Rickman’s accomplishments by establishing a mandatory course on anti-Semitism at the Foreign Service Institute as well as personally confronting the anti-Semitic mayor of Malmo, Sweden.

We at the Simon Wiesenthal Center have worked closely with the special envoys from the beginning, but especially with Ira Forman, the current special envoy. Forman has taken the office to new levels of engagement. Under his watch, the State Department convened a high-level meeting on anti-Semitism with Secretary of State Kerry that Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, described as “the first time that the State Department had elevated the battle against anti-Semitism to such a high level within the department’s leadership.” Forman, working closely with our office and other Jewish activists, was also instrumental in pushing the Hungarian government to abandon plans to erect a statue to honor a notorious Nazi collaborator who helped pave the way for the persecution and murder of over 450,000 Hungarian Jews.

Working alongside his colleague, Nicholas Dean, special envoy on Holocaust issues, Forman played a pivotal role in diplomatic efforts that led to the recent adoption by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of a Working Definition of Anti-Semitism. This is the first-ever formal international definition of anti-Semitism, and a potentially crucial tool for forcing governments and international agencies to confront and take action against it. There are numerous other efforts and initiatives related to anti-Semitism that Forman continues to be directly involved with in the waning days of the Obama administration.
Ira Forman also worked to raise the issue of European nations considering outlawing circumcision, although he curiously made a distinction between that ban and the bans on ritual slaughter for kosher meat:

Forman has raised the issue in meetings with ambassadors to Washington from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. He says he plans to raise it with envoys from other Northern European countries, where pressures to ban circumcision are most acute.

He also has asked the relevant desks at the State Department to have U.S. diplomats raise the issue in their meetings in their host countries.

Forman, who is Jewish, contrasted efforts to prohibit circumcision with bans on ritual animal slaughter — in place in some countries for decades — which at least have workarounds, for instance by importing frozen kosher meat.

“Circumcision, if you ban it, you have three choices: You do it underground illegally, you take a little 8-day-old baby across state lines — and if you have contiguous states [with bans], doing that becomes harder and harder — or three, you emigrate,” he said.
It seems strange that Forman would essentially surrender on the issue of kosher meat, which is prompted by antisemitism just as much as the bans on circumcision are - with both of them pretending to be about "human rights" or "animal rights."

The Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism also publishes annual reports on antisemitism in the world, and reports on more specific topics like antisemitism on college campuses.

As part of the State Department, the antisemitism office is oriented towards fighting hate in foreign countries. It doesn't do anything about domestic antisemitism, although the definition of antisemitism is very useful when other departments need to use it, such as this act introduced in the Senate last year to use that definition to fight campus antisemitism.

I can't tell how effective this office has been in pressuring European nations on the issue. As far as I can tell, the office did nothing about Arab or Muslim antisemitism.

So while the office has some accomplishments, I would have hoped for a more muscular policy against antisemitism, and I also would have hoped that it would have had the opportunity to accomplish more under the Trump administration.

Human rights is not a priority in this administration, than this office seems to be a victim of that mindset.

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.
From Ian:

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign of Jew hatred
Scratch the surface of any chapter of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and you’re likely to come across an anti-Semite. This kind of statement is hardly new on the blog pages of the Times of Israel but never has it been given such a basis in fact as it has today by David Collier.
The London-based blogger has painstakingly trawled through the shadowy corners of Facebook to gather a powerful data set exposing a broad swathe of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s street activists as anti-Semites and/or barking mad conspiracy theorists. His report, "Antisemitism in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign" (pdf)
serves to highlight in excruciating detail just how extensive the anti-Semitism in the Palestine Solidarity movement is, one social media post at a time.
The research is 75 pages long and features post after post of -anti-Semitic conspiracy theorizing straight from the accounts of some of the PSC’s most ardent activists. These posts show many PSC activists live in a delusional world where Zionists are responsible for just about everything.
In one example, a PSC activist posts a fake news story alleging that the head of ISIS was actually trained in Israel. One of their Facebook friends attacked the story as a slur on…(ISIS) “Mujahideen”!
What Happens to PSC Now?
Recently the PSC made a submission to the now infamous Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism. In light of Collier’s research the document reads like a sick joke. That an organisation whose most active members are motivated by the belief that they’re engaged in a fight against a Zionist conspiracy to take over the world would seek to define antisemitism is an affront to Jews everywhere. According to the PSC;
“As an organisation we actively challenge racism, and do not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of racism within our membership.”
This is a fiction Collier has laid to rest. From now on it’s unlikely they’re going to be able to utter words like;
“It is vital that political parties avoid confusing or conflating support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism.”
This is advice the bosses at PSC should be taking on board themselves. Their quest for rights for Palestinians attracts way too many antisemites and the PSC as a body takes far too little responsibility when it comes to changing that proven fact. By refusing to act on the research PSC as a body is now complicit in the antisemitism of its own members. The next time they seek to contribute to any kind of Parliamentary finding one expects that they will be booted out of the room.
Rabbi Sacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is dangerously wrong because beneath the surface it's an attempt to delegtimize Israel as a prelude to its elimination. No Jew and no humanitarian can stand by and see that happen. Let me explain why.

  • Monday, February 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is a photo of Israel destroying a house built without a permit in Kafr Qasim, an Israeli Arab town.

Even though the BDSers love to target Caterpillar, there is no Caterpillar equipment here. Only Hyundai and Hitachi.

So how come we never hear of any initiatives to boycott those companies?

Could it be because Hyundai and Hitachi products are sold in the Palestinian Authority areas?

In fact, an anti-Israel organization listed lots of manufacturers of equipment that Israel uses for activities in the territories besides Caterpillar that we never hear about:  Bobcat, CNH Industrial (UK), Doosan, Hidromek (Turkey), Hitachi, Hyundai, JCB (UK), Liebherr (Switzerland), Terex, and Volvo (Sweden).

If the BDSers are so pure in their motives, then why don't we hear about boycotts of these companies? How come we aren't seeing any protests by Swedish anti-Israel activists against Volvo or the Swiss against Liebherr? Why haven't the divestment campus initiatives said a word about these other companies and only concentrate on HP and Caterpillar?

The reason, of course, is that the BDSers don't want the world to think that Israel uses so many manufacturers that are also used by Palestinians and Arab countries and their liberal European friends. Their BDS initiatives would fail miserably if they tried to cast such a wide net because everyone would know that the boycotts would be useless from the start.

But it might be fun to see if any of these so-moral anti-Israel activists drive Hyundais or Volvos.

UPDATE: It turns out that Hyundai has been on the BDSers target list - for a couple of weeks. (h/t Shaun)

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, February 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,
By Petra Marquardt-Bigman

It may be debatable if Israel’s recent decision to deny a work permit to Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), was prudent. Indeed, the inevitable outcry – amplified by coverage in the New York Times, Ha’aretz and numerous other outlets around the world – quickly produced assurances that Israel’s “Foreign Ministry … intends to reexamine” the matter. Yet, the Foreign Ministry was absolutely right when it accused HRW of promoting “Palestinian propaganda.”

You don’t even have to dig deep – just scroll through Shakir’s recent tweets and you’ll find excellent examples for HRW’s trademark anti-Israel propaganda (which has been documented extensively by NGO Monitor; the site also has a relevant profile of Shakir).

Before we look at some of Shakir’s recent tweets, it is important to realize that he has been an anti-Israel activist for all of his adult life. Given his biography, this is noteworthy, because Shakir has apparently long been exposed to the countless crises all over the Arab world. A biographical note from the Islamic Scholarship Fund, which sponsored him in 2010, tells us that he is “of Iraqi descent” and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area; he “graduated from Stanford University in 2007 with honors in international relations” and spent 2007-2008  as a Fulbright scholar in Syria, where “he conducted research on contemporary Syrian economic reform and studied Islamic jurisprudence;” he also studied “at Oxford University and in Morocco and Cairo.”

Yet, neither Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara nor the repression he must have witnessed in Egypt and Syria seem to have interested Shakir as much as the Palestinian struggle against the Jewish state. Starting in his freshman year, Shakir was already involved in efforts to promote a positive image of the Palestinians. Back then, in May 2004, the Palestinians perhaps needed some PR: the murderous “Al Aqsa Intifada” was still going on – having already claimed more than a thousand Israeli lives, with many thousands more wounded. The exploitation of Palestinian children and teenagers for terrorist attacks was already well known, and reliable polls showed that a shocking 71% of Palestinians “say they have confidence in [Al Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden [to do the right thing regarding world affairs].” Incidentally, the Pew surveys at that time were also showing that “[b]y wide margins, most Muslim populations doubt that a way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights and needs of the Palestinian people are met. Eight-in-ten residents of the Palestinian Authority express this opinion.” To put it in a less convoluted way: most Muslims – including 80% of Palestinians – felt that “the rights and needs of the Palestinian people” require the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.

But this was a view Shakir apparently shared, and there is no indication that he changed his mind in the following years. Quite the contrary: in May 2005, Shakir is listed as the organizer of a “Nakba Day” event at Stanford, commemorating what was described as “The Palestinian Catastrophe … the historic day, which saw the mass deportation of a million Palestinians from their cities and villages, massacres of civilians, and the razing to the ground of hundreds of Palestinian villages.” Two years later, in April 2007, an article on “Celebration and protest of Israel” in The Stanford Daily identified Shakir as “president of Students Confronting Apartheid by Israel (SCAI)” and quoted him as saying: “To be celebrating [Israel’s Independence Day] without even acknowledging what happened is really offensive … Our goal is to be here and to remember the events of May 1948. This is a day 750.000 refugees were created.” Shakir reportedly estimated “the current number of Palestinian refugees at close to five million” and explained his objections to celebrating Israel’s independence further: “While some celebrate the creation of a homeland, we stand here to remember the destruction of the indigenous society and a 59-year subjugation of the indigenous population that resulted from that.”

So for Shakir, it was not about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank since 1967; as far as he was concerned, it was Israel’s re-establishment in 1948 that resulted in “the destruction of the indigenous society and a 59-year subjugation of the indigenous population.” In other words, as long as Israel exists as a Jewish state, Shakir considers “the indigenous population” as ‘subjugated.’ It seems that even if you graduate from an elite university like Stanford “with honors in international relations,” you don’t necessarily know that the Jews are as least as indigenous to the area west of the Jordan River as the descendants of the Muslim Arabs who conquered the region.

In 2009, Shakir was busy protesting Israel Independence Day celebrations at Georgetown University, where “protestors held signs with slogans such as, ‘61 Years a Refugee’ and ‘Israeli Independence = 4,000,000 Palestinian Refugees.’” A year later, he marked the “the 62nd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) and the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian people” in a radio program devoted to comparing “Israeli & South African Apartheid;” alongside other notorious anti-Israel activists, he also participated in an event at UC Irvine for “Israeli Apartheid Week: A Call to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction.”  In 2006, the same event had been advertised under the title “Apartheid State of Israel Carries Out Holocaust,” which is just one reason why the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) eventually felt it necessary to document (PDF) that the “University of California, Irvine (UCI) has become a center for anti-Semitic activity in recent years.” As the ADL noted:

“Much of this activity has been organized by the Muslim Student Union (MSU), a vocal student group at UCI, which is responsible for staging large events every spring featuring virulently anti-Semitic speakers. In July 2010, the MSU was suspended for one year because of its involvement in disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in February of that year.”

We also learn from the ADL documentation that Shakir “praised the students” who had disrupted Oren’s speech, emphasizing at the “Israeli Apartheid Week” event he spoke: “it’s an honor to be speaking at the campus that made a statement heard around the world, the campus that officially said: ‘we have no place for a war criminal…’ you guys should be very proud of what you are doing.”

It’s worthwhile reading what the ADL reported on the event Shakir felt so ‘honored’ to participate in:

“As in previous years, Amir Abdul Malik Ali delivered one of the more radical speeches. Titled ‘Death to Apartheid,’ Malik Ali compared Jews to Nazis, expressed support for Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad and called for the destruction of the ‘apartheid state of Israel.’ He also accused supporters of Israel of ‘using’ the Holocaust as an excuse to oppress Palestinians, and claimed that it is easier to criticize Israel because people ‘are no longer being afraid of being called anti-Semitic.’ […]
 Hatem Bazian, president of the anti-Israel American Muslims for Palestine, gave a speech titled ‘Roots of the Conflict.’ Bazian portrayed Israel as a foreign colonial power and rejected the legitimacy of Jewish claims in the Middle East. He characterized [the] Jewish presence in the Middle East in Biblical time as ‘occupation,’ which he said was similar to the ‘occupation in the present context.’ […]
Prior to each presentation, an MSU representative read a prepared statement rejecting accusations that the event was anti-Semitic. The statement argued that it is ‘hypocritical and immoral’ to describe ‘anyone who has the courage to stand up and speak out against the genocidal Zionist policies of Israel as anti-Semitic.’ The statement then compared Israel’s policies to ‘the oppression that took place in Nazi Germany.’ 
The event’s organizers erected a mock version of Israel’s security barrier, which displayed anti-Israel messages and a poster that hailed Hamas as ‘Freedom Fighters’ decorated with a picture of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmad Yassin.”

Given that Shakir considered it “an honor to be speaking” at such an event, it’s only natural that he continued with his anti-Israel activism in the following years (see e.g. here and here). Just three years after he had the ‘honor’ to participate in the UC Irvine hate-fest – and while he was still involved in anti-Israel activism –, HRW hired Shakir as the “2013-14 Arthur R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellow at Human Rights Watch;” eventually, when he was appointed HRW “Israel and Palestine Country Director,” Shakir must have been very pleased to have found an employer willing to pay him for doing what he had done as a volunteer for so many years.

It is thus no surprise that Shakir was now only too happy to give an interview to Ali Abunimah’s notorious Electronic Intifada (EI) – a site dedicated to demonizing Israel, mainstreaming antisemitism, and cheering Islamist terror groups like Hamas. EI contributor Charlotte Silver, who wrote about Israel’s “ominous” refusal to grant Shakir a work permit, probably knows him from the good old days ten years ago, when they both protested the celebration of Israel’s Independence Day at Stanford.

While Shakir is surely aware that EI readers are already convinced that Israel is too evil to be allowed to exist, he told Silver that by refusing to issue a work permit for him, “Israel puts itself in the same group as Sudan, Uzbekistan, North Korea and Egypt, all of which have barred Human Rights Watch from entering.” A similar charge is made in an official HRW statement, and Shakir’s Twitter timeline is littered with tweets emphasizing that Israel should now be counted among the “most repressive states we [i.e. HRW] cover.”

I have archived Shakir’s own tweet because the breathtaking arrogance and the implicit disregard for the untold misery inflicted by the world’s “most repressive states” – as well as the deep-seated hostility to Israel – seem worth documenting. All it takes for Israel to be counted among the world’s “most repressive states” is denying a long-time opponent of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state in any borders a work permit for a job in which his main task is coming up with “evidence” that will be eagerly seized by his old BDS buddies to further their campaigns of demonizing the world’s only Jewish state as simply too evil to be allowed to exist.

 While there are several other revealing tweets (or re-tweets) recently posted by Shakir, one by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, is arguably particularly noteworthy.

Roth’s own openly displayed bias against Israel has been amply documented (e.g. here my own effort in 2014 and a stunning EoZ analysis from the same time). So now Roth objects to Israel’s defense minister (not FM, i.e. foreign minister) emphasizing the threat posed to Israel by Iran during the recent Munich Security Conference. It is downright bizarre that Roth apparently expects that instead, Israel’s defense minister should compete with HRW and talk about “Israel persecuting Palestinians.” While we can only speculate what exactly Roth means by that, I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of the “persecuting” occurs whenever Israel defends itself against Palestinian terror.

But what about Iran? Does Roth disagree with the many respected analysts who think that Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East poses very serious security risks?

As it happens, on the same day Roth complained about Israel’s focus on the threats posed by Iran, the Tehran Times had an article announcing that Iran was about to hold a “conference on Palestinian intifada.” A few days later, the conference duly took place; reportedly, there were reserved seats for the heads of the terrorist groups Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Let’s just quote for Ken Roth one short passage from the rambling speech given by Iran’s Supreme Leader on the happy occasion of this “Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada”:

“From the beginning, this cancerous tumor [i.e. Israel] has been developing in several phases until it turned into the current disaster. The cure for this tumor should be developed in phases as well. Until today, several intifadas and a constant and continuous resistance have managed to achieve very important phased goals. The Palestinian intifada continues to gallop forward in a thunderous manner so that it can achieve its other goals until the complete liberation of Palestine.”

As far as Ken Roth is concerned, Israel should apparently just shrug off being called a “cancerous tumor” by a regime that massively supports several terror groups – most notably Hezbollah – dedicated to the elimination of the Jewish state.

Last but not least a few words on the media coverage of Israel’s refusal to give Omar Shakir a work permit. If you google “Omar Shakir Human Rights Watch,” you will see that this incident received global media coverage. But most of this coverage amounted to not much more than giving HRW a megaphone to broadcast its outrage as entirely justified. The organization’s longstanding and well-documented record of bias against Israel was largely ignored, and nobody noticed that HRW demanded a work permit for an employee who would “investigate” Israel’s human rights record even though he has a long record of opposing the existence of the world’s only Jewish state in any borders.  

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.
From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Why a "Regional Peace Process" Will Fail
Many Palestinians sometimes refer to Arab leaders and regimes as the "real enemies" of the Palestinians. They would rather have France, Sweden, Norway and Belgium oversee a peace process with Israel than any of the Arab countries.
Hani al-Masri, a prominent Palestinian political analyst, echoed this skepticism. He, in fact, believes the Arabs want to help Israel "liquidate" the Palestinian cause.
The Jordanians are worried that a "regional solution" would promote the idea of replacing the Hashemite kingdom with a Palestinian state. Former Jordanian Minister of Information Saleh al-Qallab denounced the talk of a "regional conference" as a "poisonous gift and conspiracy" against Jordan and the Palestinians.
The Lebanese have for decades dreamed of the day they could rid themselves of the Palestinian refugee camps and their inhabitants, who have long been subjected to apartheid and discriminatory laws.
Israel as a Jewish state is anathema to Palestinian aspirations. Any Arab or Palestinian leader who promotes such compromise is taking his life in his hands. And Palestinian history will record him as a "traitor" who sold out to the Jews and surrendered to American and Israeli pressure.
Abbas and his Ramallah cohorts are already up at night worrying about the talking between Israel and some Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Such "normalization", in the view of the PA, is to be reserved for after Israel submits to its demands.
Any "regional solution" involving Arab countries would be doomed to fail because the Palestinians and their Arab brethren hate each other. Any solution offered by the Arab governments will always be regarded as an "American-Zionist dictate."
Here is what Palestinians really want: to use the Europeans to impose a "solution" on Israel.

Israeli intelligence minister says Trump created a new path to peace
Katz’s plan, which he says has been adopted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is regional and multilayered. And if all goes smoothly, there might be some type of autonomous, demilitarized Palestinian entity at the tail end.
“Netanyahu went to America after many discussions here in which we spoke about the idea for regional peace, based on security and economic considerations in the region,” said Katz in an interview with The Washington Post.
“I told the prime minister that the goal should be to deal less with labels and more with content,” said Katz, who also serves as Israel’s minister of transportation.
This was the one of the messages Netanyahu shared in a news conference with President Trump in the White House earlier this month.
Responding to a journalist’s question asking if the prime minister had come to Washington to tell the president he is backing off from the solution of two states for two people — the Israelis and the Palestinians — Netanyahu said: “Rather than deal with labels, I want to deal with substance. It's something I've hoped to do for years in a world that's absolutely fixated on labels and not on substance.”
“I am against two states. As one White House official pointed [out] – ‘if you ask five people what two states would look like, you'd get eight different answers,’ ” said Katz, a member of Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet.
Katz said this point and others made recently by the new U.S. administration has made clear that Trump will allow Israel to find its own solution, in its own time.
Trump, he said, has opened up the playing field for peace.
Trent Franks: Israel’s ally serving in the White House
As President Obama’s days in office were coming to an end, he and Secretary of State John Kerry broke with over 20 years of bipartisan precedent by refusing to veto a resolution at the UN Security Council designed to undermine Israel’s right to exist. The resolution, orchestrated by the Obama administration, went to such an outrageous extent it would categorize even places like the Western Wall as occupied territory. This overt betrayal by Obama of our closest ally reinforced the position of the ubiquitous antisemites at the UN.
The cowardly refusal of the Obama administration to confirm to the world who our allies are left President Donald Trump in the very uncomfortable position of having to do damage control before he was even sworn in. If anything should serve as unequivocal confirmation to the entire world of America’s commitment to Israel and the Jewish people, it is the president’s choice of Dr. Sebastian Gorka as White House deputy assistant.
I am compelled to respond with disgust to recent attempts in the press and on social media to libel this American patriot. Dr. Gorka truly understands the existential threat Global Jihadism poses to both America and Israel. He has repeatedly stated that groups like al-Qaida and Islamic State (ISIS) share a totalitarian bond with the Fascists and Nazis who threatened the world in the 20th century. To associate him in any way with such ideologies is repugnant and a prime example of “fake news.”
Most disturbing of all is the attempt to portray Dr. Gorka as in any way antisemitic. Having called upon his expertise on counterterrorism repeatedly in Congress and used his analysis to inform our work, I can attest that he is a deep and relentless friend of Israel and the Jewish people.
Sebastian Gorka’s service to the nation, his reputation, and his national security credentials are all unimpeachable and I am delighted that Israel and the Jewish people have such an ally serving our president in the White House.
The author is serving his eighth term in Congress and is the chairman of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus.

  • Monday, February 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Fools, apparently, rush in where angels fear to go.  At the same time, he who hesitates is lost.  So it seems that folk wisdom doesn’t provide obvious advice on how fast to move when military or political advantage opens up.

As mentioned last time, timing is one of the crucial ingredients for any sort of political or military strategy.  And for a small nation such as Israel, which has been at the center of military and political conflict since the nation’s birth, deciding between “full-speed-ahead,” “steady-as-she-goes” and “proceed-with-caution” is a routine decision.

At this moment in history, when a U.S. President hostile to the Jewish state has been replaced by one respectful of its interests, there is an understandable tendency to want to rush ahead and gain as much advantage as possible.  In some cases, this is a wise choice, especially in places like the UN where American backing of Israel has returned with a vengeance.

At the same time, while it might seem that this is the right moment for Israeli politicians to push controversial legislation, or for Israel’s supporters abroad to assume a friendly White House and Congress means brighter days ahead, there are a number of reasons to move cautiously through the today’s uncharted waters of US and international politics.

To begin with, the new US President has become a lightning rod for a broad range of opposing forces, domestically and internationally.  And as we have seen in recent years, such forces have little resistance to being infiltrated – if not entirely taken over – by anti-Israel activists ready to force their issue to the top of everyone else’s agenda. 

The mercurial nature of now President Trump also means that assuming continued unalloyed support from this White House is as much a folly as counting on anyone outside of ourselves to make protection of Israel’s interests an ongoing top priority.  While it is highly unlikely we’ll see the same kind of animus we experienced with Trump’s predecessor, there is no shortage of potential flash points Israel and her friends need to navigate.  Are we prepared, for example, if the new President gets it into his head that he can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute with some grand bargain that has eluded less talented “deal-makers?”

Last time, I mentioned the difference between administrative, legislative and cultural victories which can provide a framework for determining how to best proceed during unpredictable times. 

The sorts of Executive Orders we’ve seen flowing from the White House represent the sort of slam-bam wins that make supportive partisans cheer and opposing ones squeal, but such “victories” tend to be highly unstable.  President Obama’s major victories (including ObamaCare, the Iran Deal and various Executive fiats he ordered), for instance, are all examples of victories won without widespread legislative and public support.  So it’s no accident that these are the very issues most easily undone by his successor.

Legislative victories – especially ones that take into account multiple perspectives – tend to be more stable and longer lived.  One need only look at how bi-partisan Congressional support prevented the Obama administration from doing even more damage to the US-Israel relationship to see the power bi-partisan consensus wields within a democracy.   

But on the whole, the most long-lasting political victories take place at the cultural level.  Civil rights, women’s rights, LGBQ rights, victory in the Cold War and – yes – support for the Jewish state are societal transformations within the US that were cultivated over decades, to the point where they are now givens threatened more by over-reach of their supporters than by hostile forces eager to see these examples of social progress overturned.

Anti-Israel forces assume they are playing a long game, hoping that the violence and propaganda they have visited upon the world will eventually translate to an abandonment of the Jewish state – if not by this generation of Americans, then perhaps the next.

What they have failed to take into account is that Israel and her friends are also capable of long-game strategy.  Bi-partisan Congressional support, for example, did not emerge out of thin air but was cultivated over decades by smart, political operators within the organized Jewish community – leveraging general support for Israel within a US public cultivated by countless other Jewish groups and individuals dedicated to telling the truth to counter the lies of the BDS “movement” and its antecedents. 

What this means in today’s unstable world is that Israel needs to continue to leverage the current supportive atmosphere while not becoming joined at the hip with today’s administration – or any administration – to the exclusion of alliances that contribute to ongoing legislative and cultural support. 

Friends of Israel happy with the new President need to understand the cost (and potential instability) of administrative victories, and plan accordingly.  Similarly, pro-Israel forces hostile to Trump et al need to fight within the movements they work with to ensure the anti-Trump agenda doesn’t become yet another progressive cause that falls to ruins after infiltration and takeover by the ruthless foes of the Jewish state.

Winning in a long game requires forgoing today’s single marshmallow for tomorrow’s two.  In other words, it requires resisting impatience, thinking in terms of decades, rather than weeks, and refusing to allow foes or friends to turn support for the Jewish state into a domestic partisan football. 


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  • Monday, February 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Times of Israel:
A Palestinian woman was convicted on Sunday of assaulting an Israeli legislator during the Knesset member’s November 2014 visit to the Temple Mount.

The indictment from the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court said Sahar Natshe shouted “go away” and “Allahu Akbar” as she pushed Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Jewish Home), in an attempt to prevent the MK from entering the compound.
Here's the video, although it is unclear when exactly Moalem-Refaeili was pushed.

This is hardly a big story, but Palestinian media are upset over this ruling.

Not so much because of the conviction, but because the court apparently also noted that Judaism's holiest site is holy to Jews.

The "Quds Foundation for Human Rights" issued a statement condemning the court for daring to claim that the Temple Mount is holy to Jews. It said that the court ruling mentioned not only previous Israeli Supreme Court decisions but also referred to Maimonides (the Rambam.)

"The Court used the Jewish religious vocabulary to bestow the Jewish character on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and defined the limits of the sanctity of the place and according to the Jewish religion," the statement said.

The group warned of the use of Jewish legal texts to prove that something is holy to Jews is outside the bounds of the court's legal rights. It also claimed that declaring the Mount holy for Jews is a violation of the rights of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.

This is of course ridiculous; quoting the Rambam is meant as objective proof of the holiness of the site, it is not being quoted as a legal precedent.

By their logic, there is no such thing as a Jewish holy place, because every single such place is claimed as a Muslim holy place (by sheer coincidence, of course.)

Another Arab newspaper claimed that the court also gave the right for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount unimpeded. I cannot find any corroboration to that.

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  • Monday, February 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Iran's AhlulBayt News Agency:
Secretary-General of International Conference in Support of Palestinian Intifada (Uprising) Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Saturday that the issue of Palestine should be kept alive as the major issue of the Islamic world.

Supporting the Palestinian nation and countering aggression of the Zionist Israel will effectively contribute to the security of the entire region, added Amir-Abdollahian.
So what, specifically, does "supporting the Palestinian nation" mean?
 He made the remarks in a meeting here with the visiting wife of the Palestinian commander Martyr Qantar, a high-profile Lebanese ... killed by the Zionist regime's airstrike on a residential building in Jaramana near the Syrian capital in 2015.

Qantar’s wife, Zeinab Barjavi is in Tehran as one of the guests of the International Conference on the Palestinian Intifada which was held in the Iranian capital on Feb 21-22.

Martyr Qantar who spent three decades of his life in the Zionist regime’s prisons is considered a role model for patience, resistance and self-sacrifice,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
He is referring to Samir Kuntar, the monster who murdered Danny Haran while his 4-year old daughter Einat watched, and then killed her by bashing her head against a rock with the butt of his gun.

Kuntar, who was released in a swap for Israeli soldiers' bodies, then reportedly went on a spree of rapes in Lebanon that was hushed up by his grateful hosts for his role in the "resistance." His ex-wife told a TV reporter that he deserved to be killed.

And, of course, that peace-loving moderate Mahmoud Abbas, who is in Geneva today to discuss his peculiar ideas of human rights at the UN Human Rights Council, went out of his way to meet Kuntar as a hero. And Kuntar isn't the only child killer for whom Abbas has gone out of his way to meet and honor.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

  • Sunday, February 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Two weeks ago, Hamas held elections in Gaza.

One of the people elected to a senior role was Dr .Suhail Hindi, who was head of UNRWA's Gaza teachers' union and has been known to be affiliated with Hamas for years. When UNRWA tried to fire him in 2011 after that little fact was publicized, the Gaza teachers all went on strike (he was the head of the union, remember) - and UNRWA caved, allowing Hindi to keep his job as a principal.

After being elected to a Hamas position this time, Hindu still wanted to keep his UNRWA principal's job. So, with an almost unbelievable amount of nerve, he vehemently denied that he was elected to anything, even though his name was published as one of the members of the winning slate.

When Israeli media, prompted by COGAT, started mentioning that Hindi was elected a Hamas leader while he was a UNRWA employee, Chris Gunness of UNRWA defended Hindi, saying he had no reason to disbelieve Hindi's denials - as if he forgot the 2011 incident altogether.
“Allegations have been circulating in conventional and social media networks about an UNRWA staff member being elected to political office in Gaza,” said UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness in a press statement on Gaza neutrality issue.

“As soon as the allegations came to UNRWA's attention, the Agency undertook a preliminary investigation, including discussing the allegations with the staff member. Based on the due diligence carried out by the Agency to date, UNRWA has neither uncovered nor received evidence to contradict the staff member's denial that he was elected to political office,” the statement read.

UNRWA reported Sohail Al-Hindi as rejecting the news about his name appearing amongst the winning list of the Hamas political bureau in Gaza, saying: "I have no relation whatsoever with the issue".
But now UNRWA has changed its tune, after more evidence came in, but claiming that they were ready to suspend Hindi all the while before Israeli authorities said anything.

A United Nations agency said on Sunday it was suspending a Gaza staffer accused of being politically active in the terror group Hamas, which rules the coastal strip.

UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, said the decision had already been taken ahead of an Israeli call earlier Sunday to fire Suhail al-Hindi, head of the agency’s staff union.

“Before that communication, and in light of our ongoing independent internal investigation, we had been presented with substantial information from a number of sources, which led us to take the decision this afternoon to suspend Suhail al Hindi, pending the outcome of our investigation,” UNRWA spokeswoman Chris Gunness wrote.
Given the history of UNRWA with al-Hindi, don't bet that this suspension will last any longer than his last one.

Gunness is being exposed as a liar yet again in front of our very eyes.

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  • Sunday, February 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yes, this was a real question on Quora last week:

The answers are, as you might imagine, very funny:

My guess would be that we are extremely popular, thus many advertisements like to hitchhike when the word Israel is mentioned. Your iPhone gets chocked up with the cookies.
Of course, to check my theory, you’d need to write something good about Israel and see if the consequences are the same. Would this reflect badly on your health?
If you send your iPhone to the Mossad for repair, they will fix this problem.

You may be aware that we just held our annual Meeting of the Elders of Zion. One of the issues we were grappling with was people criticizing us. One especially sleazy technology controller came up with a strategy to combat this.
Every time someone criticizes Israel or Jews, we will make their device slow down a bit. Eventually, they will either stop, or their phone will stop for them.
Of course this was with Donald Trump’s approval.

Maybe your phone is tired of you criticizing Israel online. Try to criticize Palestine and see if it goes faster, you never know.

It's because Apple is founded by the Illuminati and the Illuminati’s aim is to establish a Jewish world government so they slow down people’s iPhones so that these people don't mess with the Illuminati’s plan to establish a Jewish world government.
I hope you're now enlightened.

Wrapping the phone in tin foil will solve the problem. Use the same foil that you use to make your hats. 

(h/t Josh K)

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From Ian:

David Collier: You don’t want dialogue! Says the Palestinian to the SOAS PalSoc
The event passed successfully. I was surprised by the amount of students that engaged. Israeli chocolate was handed around, very few SOAS students refused. I think it highlights how minority opinion is allowed to rule over everyone, even in (especially in?) the most hostile of environments.
I did what I normally do, and wandered. Listening to the exchanges between Israelis, and some of those, who in a few short days, will be screaming about the ‘Apartheid state’. I had a few interesting exchanges, but not many. The SOAS Palestinian Society had set up an ‘opposition stall’, but they were ineffective. However, the message I want to deliver today is not about the successful event, but rather to tell a short story through one Palestinian SOAS student I met there.
Hope not Hate
As I was considering that the majority of feedback I was hearing was positive, I came across two of the Israeli girls talking to someone who identified as a Palestinian SOAS student. I listened intently for about 10 minutes. Question, answer; another question another answer. But this was a two way street and the Israelis were interested in asking questions too. It proved to be an opportunity for real dialogue between two groups of people, who are normally unable to engage properly. Exactly what we should be used to seeing on campus. After a while, I said to the Palestinian student that I wished there were more like him, and went away.
Shortly after this, he left the crowd where the Israelis stood. I saw him begin to make his way back into the SOAS building. A couple of girls from the SOAS Palestinian Society stall were clearly unhappy that a SOAS student, and a Palestinian one, had spoken to the ‘enemy’. So they approached him to bring him into line.
This is the exchange:
Palestinian to SOAS PalSoc 'this is what's wrong, you don't want dialogue""

Report: Trump may pull US out of UN Human Rights Council due to Israel bias
The Trump administration may soon back Israel on its claim of UN bias and pull out of the organization's Human Rights Council, Politico reported on Saturday.
According to the report, the administration is not expected to withdraw ahead of the council’s next session that begins on Monday, but discussion of the option has already begun and is expected to include input from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump.
The administration regards the Council as being inherently anti-Israel which is the main reason for the consideration for pulling out of the international body, according to the report.
The news site also reported that in private conversations, Secretary Tillerson has expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the Council.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner did not confirm whether the issue was being considered and would only say that "our delegation will be fully involved in the work of the HRC session which starts Monday." (h/t Yenta Press)
UN Watch: U.S. Needs to Stay in the U.N. Human Rights Council—To Fight Back
There’s a reason that France, Russia, China and every other world power invests time, money and political capital to campaign for a seat at the U.N. Human Rights Council: to gain influence in a consequential world body.
Like it or not, the UNHRC’s decisions, translated into every language, influence the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of people around the globe.
If the U.S. wants to be a winner, it would be foolish to abandon the coveted 3-year term that it just won a few months ago. When the U.S. left from 2006 to 2009, nothing got better; the UNHRC only got worse, and it began sending its anti-Israel reports to the International Criminal Court.
Here’s what UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said before the U.S. Congress in testimony earlier this month:
Why the U.S. Needs to Stay in the U.N. Human Rights Council - Neuer in Congress

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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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