Sunday, October 22, 2017






I am Free from Reem's Racist Stupidity!

Michael Lumish



Reem Assil and her malicious, anti-Zionist friends challenged the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and promptly got their legalistic butts kicked.

{Good for them.}

Anyone who followed the story of Assil's extremist and terrorist-admiring restaurant at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland knows that her attorneys dismissed her malicious "lawfare" action against Bob Pave, Robin Dubner, and myself.

This was due to the insightful work of Mitch Danzig, Evan Nadel, and Paul Huston of the law firm, Mintz Levin.

Speaking strictly for myself, I owe those gentlemen a significant debt of thanks.

There are, however, a few loose ends dangling that I want to tie up.

The first is that I owe an apology to StandWithUS, particularly Randy Kessler, Executive Director of the Northwest chapter.

And I owe a big tip 'o the kippa to Yael Lerman, Director of the SWU legal department.

{Were I her I do not know that I would have been quite so nice to me.}

When, during the vigils, it looked as if we would get zero support from the larger San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community, I lambasted that organization and stormed into Kessler's Facebook space with a self-righteous fit.

It was inappropriate, unfair, and I was wrong to do it.

Nonetheless, despite my bad manners, SWU did more to help the ongoing vigils at Reem's than any synagogue or other Bay Area Jewish organization.

After coming out of this nonsense, however, I have one significant message.

It is this:

The western-left is not a friend to the Jewish people and "intersectionality" as expressed within left-leaning politics is racist.

This is my "takeaway" from all of this mishigas.

There are plenty of self-identified progressives and "liberals" who are, indeed, great friends of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel. I do not mean to insult or castigate my progressive friends, but the obvious fact is that the western-left, in general, is unfriendly toward Israel.

According to recent Pew polling 40 percent of "liberal Democrats" support Palestinian-Arabs over the Jews in the Middle East, while only 33 percent favor the Jews.

Those who stood up with me against Reem's racist restaurant included members of the LGBT community and a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, yet we were called both homophobes and White Supremacists by the "progressives" who opposed us.

This is what the Left has descended into.

The people who confronted our vigil and who outnumbered us by a factor of at least three-to-one were entirely from progressive-left organizations and pro-Palestinian groups.

Despite all the evidence that is available - as Professor William Jacobson from the Cornell University Law School readily demonstrates - they still prefer to believe that Rasmea Odeh's confession was beaten and raped out of her over twenty-five days, despite the fact that the records show she admitted her guilt on the day immediately following her apprehension by the Israeli authorities.

We even have Aisha Odeh, Rasmea's partner, boasting of the murders and implicating Rasmea on Palestinian Authority television many years later.

The International Red Cross observed the trial and found it to be fair.

What more can anyone want?


Intersectionality and the Killing of Oscar Grant

It should also be noted that on the mural of Rasmea Odeh at Reem's bakery-cafe is a button or badge reading "Oscar Grant."

Oscar Grant was the young black man shot dead by Oakland police on New Year's Eve 2009 on the platform of the Fruitvale  BART Station within spitting distance of Reem's joint. The shooting sparked riots in Oakland and Reem Assil is trying to associate Rasmea Odeh with Oscar Grant for the purpose of associating Palestinian-Arab antisemitic anti-Zionism with the movement for "social justice" in the United States.

She is exploiting that movement and, in the process, is suggesting a sort-of ideological kinship between Grant, who was a victim, and Odeh, who is a murderer of innocent people. It seems to me that the Black community should be unhappy at the implied comparison.

In any case, the fundamental idea behind the intersectionalist trend is that just as African-Americans are said to be oppressed by the powerful "white patriarchy" in the United States, so Palestinian-Arabs are said to be oppressed by the powerful "Jewish white patriarchy" in Israel. The notion is that Zionism, like White Supremacy, is an oppressive system of dominance that must inevitably crush the Palestinian-Arabs under an iron boot.

These separate forms of alleged injustices are all thought of as sewn from the same racist and rapacious ideological cloth.

Needless to say, progressive-left anti-Zionism and intersectionality leave Jewish people out of the progressive-left Good Guys Club. Jews are considered "white" and "whiteness" is considered a predatory form of consciousness.

Meanwhile, the idea that Jewish nationalism must be crushed while Palestinian-Arab nationalism must be celebrated is racist, yet this is precisely what Assil is promoting by shoving Rasmea Odeh into the face of anyone who happens into her place. Since Odeh is a murderer in the cause of antisemitic anti-Zionism the message is that violence toward Jews - even to the degree of blowing people to smithereens - is honorable.

This is shades of 1930s Berlin and every Jew who passes that mural on the way into the Fruitvale BART Station has been put on notice.

Western-left intersectionality and the related identity politics, as practiced today, dockets people according to a racialized and gendered hierarchy of victimhood. The value of the individual depends on where they fall within the hierarchy. Jewish people, and particularly Jewish men, are at the very bottom of the hierarchy - along with men of European descent - and thus killing Jewish people is considered understandable under the toxic logic of progressive-left intersectionality and identity politics.

Within progressive-left identity politics the murder of Jews is simply an expression of the Palestinian-Arab "resistance" to Jewish oppression. Assil and her friends consider Odeh innocent not because of the evidence - which clearly demonstrates her guilt - but merely because they want her to be innocent. And even if she is not, her actions were fully justified as a matter of the "liberation" of the Palestinian-Arabs.

Such a view is nothing more, nor anything other, than genocidal racism toward the Jewish people. 


A Dash of Jewish History

For thirteen centuries the Jews of the Middle East suffered under the heal of Arab-Muslim imperial rule, along with the Christian population, within the system of dhimmitude as we call it in the West.

Although dhimmitude varied from century to century, and within the various areas of Arab-Muslim dominance, it was never better than Jim Crow at its worst. 

Jewish people were not allowed to repair synagogues. They were not allowed to hold a position of authority over any Arabs. They were generally not allowed to ride horses or defend themselves in the streets. They were not allowed to possess homes that overlooked the homes of the dominant majority Arab population. Speaking ill of the prophet Muhammad was punishable by death, as was Jewish sexual relations with Muslim women. In some places Jews were not even allowed outside during a rainstorm lest their Jewish filth run into the streets, thereby contaminating the dominant majority population.

And we had to pay the jizya, otherwise known as "protection money." The formal process of that payment was designed to be a humiliating experience for the purpose of reinforcing our lowly place within Arab-Muslim culture.

{See, Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands, Yale University Press, 2010.}

Furthermore, the Palestinian-Arabs have turned down every single offer for statehood from the Peel Commission of 1937 until this moment and the greater Arab nation, which outnumbers the Jews of the Middle East by a factor of 60 or 70 to 1, have never ceased trying to destroy Israel and thereby reduce the Jews who survive back to the second and third-class non-citizenship.

And, yet, intersectionality in the mouths of western-leftists blames the Jewish people for the never-ending Arab-Muslim, Koranically-based hostility toward us.

When I attended the first vigils at Reem's restaurant my grievances with the progressive-left were largely theoretical. It seemed clear to me that by embracing various forms of racism - such as anti-white racism, antisemitic anti-Zionism, and what Manfred Gerstenfeld dubbed "Humanitarian Racism" - and through their growing opposition to freedom of speech, that the Left was (and is) shedding its liberalism and, thereby, hollowing-out its very reason to be.

{Progressivism without liberalism is authoritarianism, after all.}

Now, however, the criticisms have moved from the theoretical to the personal because Assil and her supporters tried to drag me into court for the purpose of shutting down my freedom of speech. People have suggested to me that this was a test case designed to challenge the American commitment to freedom of speech.

From where I sit, despite the howling of precious snowflakes from UC Berkeley to Columbia University, the First Amendment to the Constitution remains strong.

Now if only we could somehow get more Jewish people, and friends of Jewish people, to understand that the mural of Rasmea Odeh at Reem's remains an ongoing call to violence against the tiny Jewish minority wherever we may be in the world.

What does it say about a political movement that it venerates a genocidal Jew murderer in the name of "social justice"?

In the name of fundamental human decency, the mural of Rasmea Odeh should be removed from Reem's racist restaurant.

I have been in touch with Terry Joffe Benaryeh who has a piece in the Times of Israel concerning the murder Edward Joffe entitled, The day joy vanquished my terror. 

Terry is Edward's niece.

My guess is that she and her family would heartily agree.



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From The New York Times:

This time around, Hamas has so far refused to consider disarming its fighters and has insisted that it remains dedicated to liberating Palestine, not embracing Mr. Abbas’s project of a two-state solution — despite a new document of principles it released in the spring that accepted the idea of a provisional Palestinian state, without renouncing future claims to the land that is now Israel.
While the newspaper will often put scare quotes around the word "terrorist," claiming that the definition of that term may be interpreted differently by different parties, it has no problem saying that Hamas' goal is "liberating Palestine."

The implication that the Times is giving by not choosing to use those scare quotes is that "Palestine" is  a land that deserves to be liberated - from Jewish rule.

Of course, Hamas' goal is destroying Israel and expelling its Jewish residents, not "liberating Palestine.". It says this explicitly; one example comes from a press release last month:
Palestine is a holy land that can not be bargained for, and only its people and its martyrs will live there.
The NYT use of "liberating Palestine" without scare quotes is not a one-off. In 2011 the NYT published an op-ed that used that phrase in reference to Hezbollah's aims, as well as an article about an anti-Israel Facebook page taken down:

Facebook began closely monitoring the page after numerous complaints in the last couple of weeks, including a letter last week from Israeli Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein to the chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg. Mr. Edelstein asked for the page to be removed because of concern that it was calling for the killing of Jews and of “liberating” Jerusalem through violence.
The managers of the page could not be reached for comment. In the information box, they described the purpose of the page as liberating Palestine. “After the Tunisian intifada and the Egyptian intifada and the Libyan intifada comes the Palestinian intifada.”
In this example, by not using the scare quotes, The New York Times is explaining the meaning of a "Palestinian intifada" as being the liberation of Palestine.

But in 2010, referring to Hamas, the newspaper did put the word "liberating" in quotes, noting accurately that it meant destroying Israel, an explanation that was not made clear in this latest case.

Newspapers, especially prominent papers like The New York Times, have style sheets and guides on consistent use of phrases. It seems unlikely that this phrase has been mistakenly kept in its reporting without an editor having made a clear decision to allow it is be used without the scare quotes.

By using the term "liberating Palestine" as a matter of fact phrase and not a quote by Israel's enemies, the NYT is telling the world that a nation that never existed is in need of being "liberated" from Israel, meaning the destruction of Israel.

That is about as anti-Israel as it gets.

(h/t Gary Weiss)




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  • Sunday, October 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


From Asharq al Awsat:
Israeli artillery shelled three Syrian regime positions in the Golan Heights amid threats that Tel Aviv would escalate its response to rocket fire from the Syrian side of the Golan.

The Israeli shelling came in retaliation to five rockets being fired from Golan territories that are held by gunmen in Syria. The rockets had veered off their course and landed in the Israeli-occupied section of the region.
Actually, the rockets came from territory controlled by the Syrian army.
For its part, the regime acknowledged the Israeli attack against one of its positions,.

“The general command of the military and armed forces renews its warning of the dangerous repercussions of such hostile activities and holds Israel completely responsible for their consequences,” regime forces said in a statement.

“The attack is part of Israeli coordination with the terrorist groups that it supports in the region,” they added.

It said that the initial rocket fire that prompted the Israeli retaliation was originally coordinated with Tel Aviv “in order to give the Zionist enemy an excuse to carry out its aggression.”
 This has Iran's fingerprints all over it:
Concluding a visit to Syria on Saturday, the commander of Iran’s armed forces signed a memorandum of understanding with Syrian officials in which the two allies announced plans for tighter military cooperation and coordination — notably against Israel. The sides agreed to expand cooperation on intelligence, training, technology and against what they called “Zionist-American schemes,” the Ynet news website reported.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, Iran’s chief of staff, has spent several days in Syria, touring war zones and meeting with high-level officials, including President Bashar Assad.

In what was seen as part of a determined effort to put an end to Israel’s hitherto unimpeded air superiority over Syria and Lebanon, Bagheri on Wednesday said Tehran would not tolerate violations of Syrian sovereignty by Israel and vowed that the two countries would jointly fight against Syria’s enemies. “We cannot accept a situation where the Zionist entity attacks Syria from the ground and the air,” he said.
It is notable that even "moderate" Arab media like London-based Asharq al-Awsat - which is pro-Saudi Arabia - simply believes Syria's version of events over Israel.



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Saturday, October 21, 2017

  • Saturday, October 21, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
On the Map is a documentary that is now making the rounds of Jewish and Israeli film festivals.



It looks really good.

(h/t Yoel)




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From Ian:

Israel believes rocket fire from Syria may have been deliberate
Israel believes five rockets fired across the border from Syria early Saturday morning may have been deliberately launched at Israel, rather than constituting errant spillover from clashes in Syria, military sources said late Saturday.

Israel fired back into Syria, hitting three rocket launchers, in response to the rocket fire, and warned that further fire would prompt a more intensive response.

Syria, in turn, claimed that Israel had “coordinated” with terror groups, inviting them to fire into Israel as a pretext for the IDF response, and it sent letters of complaint to the United Nations.

The Israeli army said five projectiles were fired at around 5 am, and that four of them fell relatively deep inside Israeli territory. The rockets set off alarms in several locations. They landed in open ground, and caused no injury or damage. One of them landed close to an Israeli residential area.
UN soldiers patrol near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights after projectiles land on the Israeli side of the border, October 21, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Channel 2 news reported that although the IDF officially referred to “spillover” fire in its statements Saturday, there was “a growing sense” in the army that the Syrian fire was deliberate.

There was no fighting going on in Syria at the time of the fire, the TV report said. It added that the area from which the rockets were fired is under the control of the Syrian army. And it noted that the projectiles fell deep inside Israeli territory on the Golan Heights, one after the other, rather than close to the border.
In letter to UN, Syria blames Israel for faking attack to 'justify own aggression'
The Syrian Foreign Affairs Ministry sent two letters to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday accusing Israel of faking an attack on its own territory following the IDF's aerial attack on Syrian military positions in Quneitra on Saturday morning.

The Israeli military struck the Syrian targets in retaliation after five projectiles were launched at Israel from Syria, with three landing in an open area on the Golan Heights.

"Israel asked terrorists to launch projectiles at its own territory, so it could justify its own attack," the letters to Guterres reportedly charged.

"This new Israeli aggression against the outskirts of Quneitra is a new chapter in the connection between the Israeli occupation and the armed terrorist organizations, and a desperate attempt to support those organizations," the letter read in a blatant accusation but did not specify which terror groups Israel is allegedly collaborating with.

The letter continued to allege that "Syria repeatedly warns of the grave repercussions to the repeated aggressive actions that cannot be explained as anything but support of terror and criminal terror organizations, against Security Council resolutions."

The Syrian Foreign Ministry urged the UN to step up its involvement and to actively condemn Israel for its so-called 'manipulations,' writing to Guterres that "Syria is surprised by the lack of reaction from the Security Council [that isn't calling on Israel] to stop its aggression and isn't condemning it, seeing as it hurts basic UN principles as well as international law."
Corbyn says no to Balfour dinner
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation to attend a dinner to commemorate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in London next month.

Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said today it was “deeply unfortunate” Mr Corbyn was not going to the event.

“I do think it will not have been amiss for Mr Corbyn to understand that the Jewish community will have taken great heart and great comfort for seeing him attend such an event because it recognises the right of Israel to exist,” Mr Goldstein said.

He noted Mr Corbyn had also not attended a reception for Labour Friends of Israel during the party conference last month.

But Mr Goldstein said he hoped there would be representation from among the Shadow Cabinet at the dinner.
RELATED: Andrew Neil's Holocaust Educational Trust speech

The Labour Party has been asked to comment.

Earlier this month in an article in the Sunday Times, Mr Goldstein hit out at the Labour party's "utter failure to denounce the pernicious antisemitism that continues to pervade Labour".

Friday, October 20, 2017

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: Liberal Jews and that inconvenient Israeli consensus
Jewish institutions are under siege these days, and their principal critics aren’t neo-Nazis. Despite the clear leftward tilt of most organized Jewish life, liberal critics are constantly telling us that mainstream groups like AIPAC and federations are toadies of an Israeli government that is pursuing policies that American Jews abhor. The ferment on the left runs from tame—and largely irrelevant—liberal Zionist groups like J Street to more extreme opponents like IfNotNow and the virulently anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace, which also dabbles in anti-Semitic libels as well as support for boycotts of Israel.

The critics and the naysayers have the ear of many Jews. The reason for this has more to do with the demographic collapse and decline of a sense of Jewish peoplehood among the non-Orthodox denominations that make up about 90 percent of American Jews, than it does with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s shortcomings. But it’s also true that the majority of the non-Orthodox Jewish community has little sympathy with the Israeli government’s positions on the peace process.

The notion promoted by President Barack Obama that Israel needs to be saved from itself still resonates among the majority of Jews who voted for him. This view holds that Israel’s continued presence in the West Bank is the prime obstacle to peace as well as the future of the Jewish state. But while this liberal consensus deems Netanyahu a problem, its proponents rarely stop to ask why he was elected prime minister four times, including winning the last three elections in a row.

The answer is simple. There exists a broad consensus within Israeli society that contradicts the assumptions held by most American Jews. The majority of Netanyahu’s compatriots see his policies as the only possible response to a Palestinian political culture that still refuses to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders might be drawn. Moreover, that Israeli consensus isn’t merely upheld by Netanyahu and his allies; his rivals on the center and the left also embrace it.

The most complicated city in the world: Talking to Mayor Nir Barkat about running Jerusalem
On 12 September Fathom hosted a briefing with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Below is an edited transcript of the event. Barkat spoke candidly about running a city that is under the microscope like no other and contested like no other. He also discussed his vision for Jerusalem to be a model for peace and coexistence around the world and his policies to close the gaps between its different communities.

Nir Barkat: I think with this expert audience I’m excused from explaining how complicated the job is. What I’d like to do is share with you the vision that I have for my city. If you understand that vision, you will better understand the decisions I take.

Let me take you back 3,000 years.

When the people of Israel came back from Egypt after hundreds of years of slavery, the land was divided between 12 tribes. Each tribe had its own bit of land, except for Jerusalem, which for a thousand years made everyone welcome at the gates of the Holy City. Hence the phrase in the Bible, “Jerusalem makes all people friends” – a place where all tribes, Jews and non-Jews alike, could worship.

There is another famous phase in Hebrew, “from Zion, new leadership comes out of Jerusalem”. Returning pilgrims would be asked, “what’s new in Jerusalem?” The idea was, if it works in Jerusalem, it might work here. And that need not apply only to the past of Jerusalem; it could apply to its future too. My experience as a mayor is that Jerusalem is a thought-leader. When we get things to work here – between the secular and the religious, between Muslims, Jews and Christians – we offer a model to others.
Arab Muslim Israeli: Anyone Who Slanders Jewish State As ‘Apartheid’ Regime Should Be Ashamed
An Arab Muslim citizen of Israel blasted the anti-Semitic charge that the Jewish state is an “apartheid” regime, saying people should be “ashamed” of using that term to describe the only country in the Middle East that provides “freedom of belief, the right to educate, to elect and be elected” to all minorities.

In a video that went viral this week on Facebook, Dema Taya, who lives in the central Israeli city of Qalansawe, said on an Arabic-language news channel, “Israel is not an apartheid state and anyone who believes this should be ashamed of himself.”

“You live in this country and enjoy the full benefits of its citizenship. You are free to work, study, express yourselves and whatever you desire,” she told the host. “You lead and educate the next generations in a state that respects you. Look at Syria, Iraq, Egypt and the rest of the Arab countries. What have they done for the good of their people?”

Taya is currently in the U.S. on a speaking tour as part of a delegation organized by Reservists on Duty to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and tell of their personal experiences growing up as members of Israel’s minority communities.

“I’m proud to stand up and speak for Israel and that I’m an integrated part of it,” Taya said in the interview.

“I hope that all Arab countries will adopt the Israeli democratic regime – and for your information, 90% of Gaza Strip citizens and the West Bank wish they were under such a regime,” she concluded.


From Ian:

Quoting Arafat, Palestinian mission in Colombia calls for Israel’s destruction
The official Palestinian mission to Colombia on Thursday night tweeted a quote from former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.

The tweet read, “Our goal is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations…. We don’t want peace. We want WAR and victory — Yasser Arafat,” according to a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following a report on Israel’s Channel 1 television, the Spanish-language tweet was removed. No explanation or apology was offered.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded to the tweet by condemning Arafat for his “legacy of hostility” and death.

“A quote from one of Arafat’s statements clearly illustrates to us the hatred that was always his lot and the legacy of hostility he left behind,” the ministry told the TV station. “In his life and death, his entire legacy is death, hatred and disgust.”
Israel’s ambassador to Colombia said the matter had been raised with the local authorities.

“We brought the matter of the Palestinian mission’s tweet to the attention of the government in Bogata,” Marco Sermoneta told Channel 1. “Anyone who believes everything the Palestinians say must also believe them when they say this.” (h/t Yenta Press)
Senior UK Jewish Leader Criticizes British UN Diplomat Over Balfour Declaration Comments to UN Security Council
The top organization representing British Jews has lodged a complaint with the British government over remarks by the UK’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN suggesting that the absence of a Palestinian state represents the “unfinished business” arising from the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

In a speech to a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East on Tuesday, Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen underlined that the “UK is proud to have played a role in helping to make a Jewish homeland a reality” when it issued the declaration in November 1917. But Allen drew the ire of British Jewish leaders when he added, “let us remember, there are two halves of Balfour, the second half of which has not been fulfilled.”

“There is therefore unfinished business,” Allen said, a remark he repeated in a later tweet.

In a letter to Britain’s senior diplomat at the UN, Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, Jonathan Arkush – president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews – invoked Prime Minister Theresa May when he asserted that it is “completely inconsistent with the United Kingdom’s declared policy to mark, commemorate and celebrate the Balfour Declaration (all terms used by the Prime Minister and other ministers in recent weeks).”

“In just a fortnight’s time a commemorative dinner is to take place to be attended by the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Arkush said. “It is deeply unattractive for the UK’s Mission to the UN to strike a critical note and exposes the UK Government to a charge of hypocrisy.”
Yisrael Medad: Tweeting to UK UN Depty Ambassador Allen
It really is, my man, quite at matter of simple historical facts.

You are reading into the text things that are not in it, or intended to be. The Arabs of the area were to gain at least three national states, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and the area known as Palestine was to be the Jewish state. The one Jewish state.

And in any case, as Jonathan Hoffman tweeted,
Oh rubbish. The 'civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in [former] Palestine' are completely protected.

  • Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
MEMRI recently published this clip:




Fatah Revolutionary Council member Salwa Hudaib said that the Oslo Accords had destroyed Jerusalem. "I say, on my own behalf and on behalf of the Fatah movement, that we are not bound by the Oslo Accords, because these accords no longer exist on the ground," she declared, speaking on the Palestinian Authority's Alfalstiniah TV channel on September 16. "Our leaders were tricked into signing some of the articles," she said, adding that Israel "is known for its deception, its treachery" and "regularly avoids implementing agreements."

Interviewer: "Has the Palestinian leadership ever officially declared that it is no longer bound by the Oslo Accords?"

Salwa Hudaib: "The Vienna Convention stipulates that if any party breaches an agreement, that agreement becomes null and void. Israel did not implement the agreement within five years, and it continued its activities of settlement, of Judaization, of deportation, killings, and oppression, and only intensified its occupation and settlements, and therefore, we are not bound by the Oslo Accords. President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] has not declared this officially, except for when he said, during the [2017] Al-Aqsa Uprising, that we were halting the [security] coordination and all bilateral relations with the Israelis. This started on July 14th, 2017, and it continues to this day. In addition, the popular resistance has intensified. So we are not bound by the Oslo Accords. I say, on my own behalf and on behalf of the Fatah movement, that we are not bound by the Oslo Accords, because these accords no longer exist on the ground."

The Oslo Accords created the Palestinian Authority. it is what gave the Palestinians self-rule over Areas A and B.

So if they say it is abrogated, then Israel has every legal right to take over the entire West Bank again, and control it legally under international law, since there is no Palestinian legal entity.






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Jasbir K. Puar of Rutgers University is publishing a book called The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability.

The blurb:

In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar's analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel's policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury. Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies. Tracing disability's interaction with debility and capacity, Puar offers a brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics while showing how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.
It is, as always, an amazing coincidence that such a high percentage of so-called "academics" somehow manage to find Israel to be the paradigm of whatever evil they identify - "settler-colonialism" is a classic example, but even campus rape and racism have been linked to Israel through the magic of the new intersectionality where any two concepts can be linked as long as the author hates both of them - and one of them is Israel.

We looked at the hate that animated a speech of Puar's last year, when she attempted to link Israel to pretty much everything evil at a conference on gender and ecological issues:
In centering in human entities and temporalities how Palestine matters resituates the geopolitical that has been oddly alighted in the resurrection of the ecological and the geographical and emergent fields of new materialisms and Anthropocene studies. Many scholars have rapidly noted that much of the Anthropocene talk has been enabled through a rather bald-faced appropriation of long-standing native and indigenous cosmologies. So the book attempts to offer a counter genealogy to the surge of theories of object-oriented ontology and theories of post-humanism by putting them into direct relation to the fields of post-colonial theory, questions of imperial occupation and settler colonialism and disability studies.
This is the germ of her idea for this new book.

But first, let's look at the first paragraph of Puar's new book's preface, before she completely  descends into pseudo-academic gobbledygook:

 The intensification of the writing of this book, and the formulation of “the right to maim,” its most urgent political theoretical contribution, began the summer of 2014. This was the summer police shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the summer of Operation Protective Edge, the fifty one-day Israeli siege of Gaza. Organizers protesting these seemingly disparate events began drawing connections, tracing the material relationships between the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the militarization of police in Ferguson, from the training of U.S. law enforcement by the Israeli state to the tweeting of advice from Palestinians on how to alleviate tear gas exposure. Descriptions of the militarized containment of civilians in Ferguson
echoed those of the settler colonial occupation of Palestine. It was not long before the “Ferguson to Gaza” frame starting taking hold as an organizing rubric. Ferguson-to-Gaza forums sought to correlate the production of settler space, the vulnerability and degradation of black and brown bodies, the demands for justice through transnational solidarities, and the entangled workings of settler colonialism in the United States and Israel. The comparisons, linkages, and affective resonances between Ferguson and Gaza were not perfectly aligned, and they did not always yield immediate alliances. But these efforts were convivial in their mutual resistance to the violent control of populations via targeted bodily assaults, and reflected desires for reciprocating, intersectional, and co-constituted assemblages of solidarity.
Puar accidentally highlights the sequence of events that contradicts her entire academic career. Israel-hating activists (like Puar herself)  decided to tenuously attempt to link protests against US police practices to Israel which even Puar admits is "disparate" and that the connections between the two are not obvious.  The desire to link the two completely disconnected issues precedes the actual supposed linkage. Puar the quasi-academic is willing to embrace and fabricate these linkages not because there is any truth to them but because they fit her politics. Facts are merely props for foregone conclusions where context is the enemy.

As a thought experiment, decide: Which is closer linked to each other,  Israeli practices with US police brutality, or Palestinianism and Nazism? The links between Palestinianism and Nazism are direct: the founder of the Palestinian national movement was an open antisemite who proudly supported the Nazi aims of genocide against Jews; Palestinianism aims to remove Jews from positions of political power as the Nazis did in the 1930s, Palestinian media today continues to publish articles that are antisemitic and which include the blood libel and Holocaust denial just as Nazi media did, the Palestinian leadership violently suppresses any dissent within their own areas of power. Yet can one even imagine an academic paper pointing out these links ever getting published, let alone an entire book by an academic press?

The linkages that Puar and her ilk claim where Israel is the personification of whatever is fashionably evil at the moment are not only tenuous - they are fictional. One can literally choose any topic and any nation and find linkages that are at least as believable. All one needs is the desire and the links come by themselves. It isn't research - it is dumpster diving.

In fact, the next two paragraphs of Puar's preface highlight exactly that. She claims that US police (as if all the police departments in the US are magically linked to each other in what she calls the "US security state") have a seeming default "shoot to kill" policy against blacks, but Israel's policy not to kill Palestinians is framed instead as a "shoot to maim" policy: They are, obviously, opposite.

One striking aspect of the connective tissue between Ferguson and Gaza involved security practices mining the relationship between disability and death. Police brutality in the United States toward black men and women in particular showed a definitive tendency to aim for death, often shooting numerous bullets into an unarmed, subjugated, and yet supposedly threatening body—overkill, some might call it. Why were there seemingly so few attempts to minimize the loss of life? The U.S. security state enacted powerful sovereign entitlements even as it simultaneously claimed tremendous vulnerability. ....

The might of Israel’s military—one of the most powerful in the world—is built upon the claim of an unchanging ontological vulnerability and precarity, driven by history, geopolitics, and geography. Alongside the “right to kill,” I noted a complementary logic long present in Israeli tactical calculations of settler colonial rule—that of creating injury and maintaining Palestinian populations as perpetually debilitated, and yet alive, in order to control them. The Israeli Defense Forces (idf) have shown a demonstrable pattern over decades of sparing life, of shooting to maim rather than to kill.This is ostensibly a humanitarian practice...
The ostensible "US security state" policy of shooting to kill is linked to the IDF policy of trying to avoid death.

Yet, sure enough, Puar finds a linkage between the two in the next paragraph - because anyone can find any linkage to anything when they look hard enough.

Indeed, immediately after that she describes the egotism that caused her to try to link the movement for the rights of the disabled with Black Lives Matter and therefore Israel:

On this particular day [July 10, 2016] the main Black Lives Matter protest in New York City was happening in Times Square. Not far from this location, the Second Annual Disability Pride parade, marketed as a festival and celebration, was marching on Broadway from Union Square to Madison Square Park. International in scope, the parade included veterans and actors involved in the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I was in a part of Manhattan equidistant from both activities, one being an action and the other being an event. The relationship between the two confounded me.
Why does there have to be a relationship between two completely different marches in Manhattan on a single day? Because Puar wants there to be one. After all, she was equidistant from both - that must have some sort of divine (sorry, intersectional) meaning, right?

And, of course, Puar succeeds in finding that link, which is the basis for this entire book!

This isn't research. This isn't innovation. This is simply hate dressed up in academic clothing, and the hate that Puar has is just as toxic and noxious as the racism she pretends to oppose.





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  • Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
A few years ago, Jordan's Al Rai newspaper wrote an article that says that there was nothing special about the Holocaust, saying that Nazis killed lots of people besides Jews, and that the Holocaust itself is "surrounded by doubts an ambiguity" and raises many questions, and that there were many other "holocausts".

Also that Palestinians suffered from multiple "holocausts" at Deir Yassin and Sabra/Shatila and Gaza.

The Holocaust denial and soft-pedaling is sadly typical in Arab media.

But when one can make a political point, then Holocaust events become much more believable.

Two weeks ago, according to Haaretz, a large group of Jewish teens rioted in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem.
According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, approximately 400 youths marched through the Old City from the Western Wall towards the Muslim Quarter's Damascus Gate, allegedly shouting, beating the doors of houses and shops, throwing rocks and smashing car windows.

As they approached Damascus Gate, the youths stormed an open shop and attacked the shop's Palestinian owner. The owner was taken to Hadassah University Hospital to be treated for his wounds and was released in the morning, his injuries described as "light."

A police force of about 20 officers later arrived at the scene and escorted the rioters out of the Old City however no arrests were made. Police issued a statement on Thursday morning saying that there had been a fight between two groups of youths.

"During the night, a confrontation broke out between young people on Hagai Street in the Old City, during which stones were thrown," the police said.
Police say that it was a fight between two groups, not a group of Jews rioting -and Ma'an says "dozens" of Jews, not  400, were involved - but Haaretz' headline still lies and says "Hundreds of Jewish Teens Run Riot in Muslim Part of Jerusalem's Old City."

One Palestinian shopkeeper was lightly injured, according to the report.

I'm not defending anyone rioting or causing damage. But following Haaretz's lead, the same Al Rai newspaper that said that the Holocaust is questionable now says that what happened in Jerusalem was - yes, you guessed it - Kristallnacht.

In the two days of Kristallnacht, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, 91 Jews were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by.

Comparing the disturbances in Jerusalem two weeks ago with Kristallnacht is as obscene as comparing Israel responding to rockets to the Holocaust.

But for Israel haters, the Holocaust only exists as a prop to say that the Jews are worse than Nazis.





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Thursday, October 19, 2017

From Ian:

Report: UN Promoting Anti-Semitic Hate Groups, Terrorism
The United Nations has formally endorsed and approved scores of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hate groups that promote terrorism against Jews from within the halls of Turtle Bay and elsewhere, according to a new report that exposes how these organizations have been granted privileged status by the U.N., potentially in violation of the international body's own bylaws.

The U.N. has formally accredited scores of non-profit organizations that use their legitimacy to spread anti-Semitic propaganda promoting terrorism against Israel and Jews, according to an in-depth new expose by Human Rights Voices, a watchdog organization.

The report, which provides pictorial evidence of this behavior, exposes how these organizations use their U.N.-accredited stature to slander the Jewish state and promote terror groups such as Hamas.

The report is likely to galvanize the Trump administration and pro-Israel supporters in Congress to further scrutinize the U.N.'s systematic promotion of anti-Israel propaganda, according to those familiar with the matter.

The Trump administration has already removed the United States from a U.N. cultural organization known as UNESCO due to its repeated efforts to pass anti-Israel resolutions that claim Jewish historical sites do not belong to the state of Israel.
Evelyn Gordon: Outside the UN, BDS Is Losing Badly
Until now, because most boycott initiatives have been small-scale, it’s been possible for people who advocate “just boycotting the settlements” to ignore what that actually means. The irony is large-scale initiatives like the UNHRC blacklist, by publicly spelling out exactly what it entails, make it much harder for people to keep ignoring the truth: that “boycotting the settlements” actually means boycotting Israel.

Nevertheless, this realization isn’t going to sink in without a lot of work on the part of both the Israeli government and Jewish and pro-Israel activists worldwide. Indeed, that’s one of the main lessons of the victories to date.

When the BDS movement first emerged, many well-meaning people advocated ignoring it rather than fighting it on the grounds that fighting it would simply inflate the importance of an otherwise insignificant movement. But victories like those of the past few weeks show why that strategy was wrong. The growing understanding that BDS is anti-Semitic didn’t happen because Israel and overseas activists ignored the movement; it happened because both the Israeli government and overseas activists relentlessly explained the connection between boycotting Israel and anti-Semitism. And a similar effort will be needed to explain that “boycotting the settlements” is just a euphemism for boycotting Israel.

Even though large swaths of polite society are now perfectly comfortable with anti-Semitism as long as they can tell themselves it’s just “anti-Zionism” or “fighting the occupation,” open avowals of anti-Semitism are still taboo. Once stripped of the comforting pretense that it’s not anti-Semitic, BDS will be finished. And groups like the Austrian student union and the Bavarian Green Party are now tearing that pretense to shreds.
Why Europe's New Nationalists Love Israel
There is another path, taken by the United States, which allows that every nation can be "almost chosen," in Lincoln's memorable phrase. It can emulate Israel without seeking to supercede it. What distinguishes American culture is the radical Protestant belief that the City of God cannot be realized in the City of Man, that life is a pilgrimage whose goal is ever beyond the horizon. This concept defines and shapes American literary as well as popular culture, as I tried to show in this essay.

The existence and success of the State of Israel changes everything. It is not merely a promise, spiritualized by Christianity into a vision of another life beyond this one, but a living, breathing people that punches above its weight in every field of human endeavor. Perhaps the people of Israel will help fulfill their mission to be a light unto the nations by example. Europe's new nationalists may attempt to emulate Israel not but superceding it or by asserting their claims for election against each other, but by seeking to identify its virtues.

Post-nationalist Europe bears an irrational hatred of Israel, I wrote in this space in 2014.
The flowering of Jewish national life in Israel makes the Europeans crazy. It is not simply envy: it is a terrible reminder of the vanity of European national aspirations over the centuries, of the continent's ultimate failure as a civilization. Just as the Europeans (most emphatically the Scandinavians) would prefer to dissolve into the post-national stew of European identity, they demand that Israel do the same. Never mind that Israel lacks the option to do so, and would be destroyed were it to try, for reasons that should be obvious to any casual consumer of news media.

It is too early to judge the direction of the new European nationalism, which has some elements that make me cringe, and some that make me release the safety-catch on my Browning. But it also has men and women who do not want to disappear into the dustbin of history and look to Israel for inspiration. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

  • Thursday, October 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Palestine Children's Relief Fund styles itself as a "non-political" organization that only cares about Palestinian children's lives.

Here is a snippet of a speech by Hanan ashrawi at their annual dinner in Atlanta this past weekend, where she accuses Israel of having no interest in peace.



Non-political?

Ashrawi gave a speech at another PCRF gathering in 2015 where she accused Israel of attempting to destroy Palestinians not only physically (11:27 -"Israel is a settler colonial project is attempting to complete the Nakba that started in 1947-48") but culturally (" a people [Jews] are attempting to eradicate the very
presence, the very history,  the very culture,  the very identity of another nation and to take over not just that land but that narrative.") She claimed that Israel created towns where they stole Arabic names and Hebraized them, which is the exact thing Arabs have done to Biblical-era sites.



Ashrawi mentioned Israel 85 times in this speech, which seems curious for a "non-political" organization that is only concerned with treating Palestinian children (and most of their actual work does seem to be to treat them, especially Syrian Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.)

Hundreds of well-heeled Arabs pay to attend fancy dinners where they tell themselves they care about Palestinian children but the star of the show is spewing anti-Israel lies (and barely talking about Palestinian children, except to say that they are being blown up by Israeli missiles.)





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