Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


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

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

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

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

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

The wire service, as usual, misses the point.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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





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Monday, January 22, 2018

From Ian:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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




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  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


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

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

(h/t Ibn Boutros)



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From Ian:

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




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  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From JTA:
The main umbrella group of British Jews accused their local branch of Amnesty International of  targeting the community following the abrupt cancellation of a joint event.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That says it all.




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  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Uri Bar-Joseph is a professor in the international relations department of the University of Haifa and a Haaretz contributor.

He writes that Israel's security situation has never been worse.

Really. It is worse today that in 1948, worse than on the eve of the 1967 war, worse than 1973, worse than when Israel was forced to act like a sitting duck for Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War, worse than during daily bus bombings in the early 2000s.

The reason?

Hezbollah’s enormous rocket stores pose an unprecedented threat to Israel. Defense officials judge that in the first days of the next confrontation with Hezbollah, 3,000 to 4,000 rockets will be fired into Israel, some of them highly precise and with high payloads.
If the threat is realized, there be hundreds or thousands of casualties and significant damage to infrastructure: airports, seaports, power stations, desalination plants, transportation hubs and the like. Hezbollah’s missiles are capable of hitting not only has enough rockets to hit not only the Kirya military center in Tel Aviv but also the upscale neighborhoods around it. The military response to the threat is only partial, and it cannot prevent most of the damage.
While no one discounts the dangers of Hezbollah's arsenal, there is a reason it doesn't use it: because the damage to Lebanon in such a war would be incalculable. For all of Hezbollah's boasts that it won the 2006 war, it is not eager to start another one, where Israel's gloves would be off.

But Bar Joseph has a new piece of information, one that somehow nearly everyone in the world missed but him - Iran accepts a two state solution, if only Israel would accept the Arab peace initiative!
The solution to the growing dangers has long been on our doorstep, but our leaders will not even consider it. On December 13 the president of Iran, the state behind the ballistic threat to Israel, signed a document stating “we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Ash-Sharif as its capital. We support peace based on a two-state solution. The borders of Jerusalem will be determined in negotiations. ... we support, as a strategic choice, the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which was adopted in 2005 by an extraordinary Islamic summit conference.”

President Hassan Rohani signed this document at a session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul. Apart from one analysis by Akiva Eldar on the Al-Monitor website, there was no reference in the Israeli media to this change in Iran’s position. Iran had never before expressed support for the Arab Peace Initiative. This pivot is a game-changer, and also a reflection of slogans heard in the recent wave of demonstrations in Iran, calling on the state’s leaders to spend less on Hezbollah, Syria and the Gaza Strip and more on domestic needs.

Again, in the absence of the stick wielded by Hezbollah it wouldn’t be so terrible for Israel to ignore the new Iranian carrot, but the existence of this stick makes ignoring the Arab Peace Initiative irresponsible.
If only Israel would accept the demands of the Arab Peace Initiative without any negotiations, withdraw from all of its holy sites, uproot hundreds of thousands of people - we would have a peace that even Iran wants to see! And then Hezbollah's missile threat and Iran's nuclear threat will magically disappear! Iran would recognize Israel! the lamb will lie down with the lion! Why is Israel so intransigent? Can't they see this is a game changer?

And you can believe Bar Joseph, because he is an academic and must know what he is talking about! Akiva Eldar agrees as well!

What could be wrong with his analysis?

It took me less than two minutes to find that, sorry, Iran didn't change its position one bit:
Iran has expressed reservations about certain articles of the documents adopted at a recent emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jerusalem al-Quds, which suggest, somehow, the recognition of the occupying Israeli regime.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi reiterated the Islamic Republic’s support for the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

However, he said, Tehran’s backing for the two documents adopted at the Istanbul summit “does not at all amount to the recognition of the occupying and fake regime of Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Qassemi added that Iran’s reservations about its non-recognition of the Israeli entity was announced during the Istanbul forum, and officially submitted to the secretariat of the summit in a written form.
Iran signed the document - but publicly said it did not agree to the words  that Ben Joseph and Eldar insist it did.

But why would we expect a professor and a journalist to actually do some research when they are so sure  that Iran quietly did a 180-degree turn in its policy?

This is the purposeful of the so called pro-peace camp. They hang on to (and eagerly insist on) any shred of hope and ignore the massive amounts of easily discoverable information that contradicts their fantasies. The fact that they can think that Iran, which literally has an annual religious holiday dedicated to inciting Muslims across the world to call for Israel's destruction, suddenly changed its mind in Istanbul, is a special kind of stupidity.

(h/t Zvi)




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Sunday, January 21, 2018

  • Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Jameel al-Salhoot, a Palestinian novelist, has an op-ed in Ma'an where he insists that Muslims have never been antisemitic.

Putting aside that this is an out-and-out lie, what is hilarious is his conclusion which puts all the antisemitic canards onto "Zionists."

We never differed with Judaism as a religion, and history shows that Arabs and Muslims in Andalusia  embraced the Jews who were persecuted in Europe and gave them protection. When the Muslims came out of Andalusia in 1492, the Jews came out with them and spread in North Africa. The Jews of the Levant, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Palestine, enjoyed full citizenship until the emergence of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century....

Zionism is a racist movement, believing that Jews are the "chosen people of God". In other words, it sees Jews as better than the rest of humanity. Not only did Zionism distinguish between Jews and "goyim" - non-Jews - but went beyond that to distinguish between Western Jews "Ashkenazim" and Eastern Jews.

Israel, described by President Trump as a "unique democratic state" and described by his predecessors in the United States and Europe as "the dawn of democracy in the Middle East," has two laws, one applied to its Arab citizens and the other to Jews. And in which institutions [Jews] are not allowed to work for non-Jews.

[The Zionists] controlled the entire world. It also controls international institutions and banks that have been able to mislead the world public opinion and exploit it for its benefit. Its power has reached the level of control of America's policy in the world and it convinced the US that it is the protector of American interests in the Middle East. In view of Israel's expansionist Zionist ambitions, it failed to bring peace and security to its people.
This part shows again that the Palestinians have started to give up on support from Arab states.

.... America has inherited the British and French role in controlling the Arab region. Through its influence and strength and strategic alliance with Israel it has worked to create an "Arab Zionist lobby" represented by Israeli security and trade alliances with Arab countries.  But it has not and will not be able to tame the Palestinian people struggling for their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. Will history record that the Palestinians have stood alone in the face of the Zionist threat whose ambitions transcend the historic borders of Palestine?
The romanticism of standing alone against the world seems to be more important to some Palestinians than to actually work for a state.




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  • Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Day after day, week after week,  people reading Haaretz are told about an Israel that is bigoted, anti-Arab, dominated by the religious, with the dwindling number of liberals under siege from the extreme right wing and Orthodox.

But today, Haaretz has a political reason to show the liberal side of Israel - to make fun of Mike Pence:

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s itinerary for his two-day visit in Israel may check all the diplomatic and political boxes, but frankly, it’s a bit boring.

But what might a more daring itinerary look like - one that challenged the arch-conservative American politician's long-held beliefs instead of reinforcing them, and one that introduced him to the Israel outside the Jerusalem bubble? Here are a few suggestions.


Visit the Caracal mixed gender IDF combat unit

Israel, of course, has never had the luxury of keeping women out of the army and has drafted both sexes since the state's establishment. As for combat, it has been integrating women into an increasing number of roles including units like the Caracal light infantry battalion that patrols the country’s border with Egypt.

Caracal was the first mixed-gender combat battalion in the Israeli army, begun as a pilot project 15 years ago, proven a success, and continuing to grow.


If, after his visit, Pence still doesn't believe women belong in combat, that’s OK.

Check out an Israeli health clinic

It would be educational for Pence to take a look at what a well-run universal health-care system looks like - the kind that he and his fellow conservative GOP members have been battling so hard to prevent. And if it isn’t too much for him to handle, it can be explained to the hardline pro-lifer that in Israel, abortions are not only legal, but largely paid for by the state as well.

True, married women of childbearing age are required to appear in front of an “abortion panel,” though permission for the procedure is granted for a vast majority of women - over 97 percent.

If Pence thinks that safe, affordable, easy access to abortion surely makes them are all too common - he should think again. Abortion rates in Israel have both dropped dramatically over the past quarter century and are significantly lower than in the United States...

Lay a wreath at Tel Aviv’s Pink Triangle

Yad Vashem is all well and good, but how about a ceremony at the Tel Aviv memorial to LGBT victims of Hitler, inaugurated in 2013? The memorial is in Gan Meir, a park in the heart of Tel Aviv, where the vice president could also notice the large, rainbow flag flying proudly from the roof of the local center for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, established and funded by the city's municipality.

Sit in on a session in sharia court

Pence might be interested in seeing that in Israel, of all places, sharia law is something practiced in a real court that does not condone any such practices. The Muslim religious courts date back to the Ottoman Empire, when they functioned as the official court of the state. Since the establishment of Israel, they have jurisdiction over marital matters for Muslims.

Last spring, for the first time in Israeli history, a woman, Hana Mansour-Khatib, was appointed as a sharia court judge (no woman has yet been named to an equivalent position in a Jewish religious court). President Rivlin has said Israel’s sharia courts represent “the recognition of the unparalleled importance of the vitality of communities, cultures and traditions to the fabric of the life in the modern state.”

The full article still has digs at Orthodox Jews, but it is interesting that Haaretz suddenly discovers a side of Israel that it strenuously denies exists in other contexts.




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From Ian:

Revlon Award Winner Has History of Anti-Semitism
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl—an online magazine where “Muslim women talk back” to combat “misconceptions surrounding Islam”—made headlines last week when she turned down an award from multinational beauty giant Revlon because of the company’s engagement with Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

“I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador,” Al-Khatahtbeh announced in a statement on Twitter. “Her vocal support of the Israel Defense Forces’ actions in Palestine goes against MuslimGirl’s morals and values.”

The rejection, of course, is well within Al-Khatahtbeh’s rights, but it’s also an invitation to examine precisely what MuslimGirl’s morals and values truly are. A good place to start may be a piece, published by MuslimGirl in 2016, entitled “Israel’s Organ Harvesting and the UK’s BDS Movement”.

Written by “Yelena,” a mysterious doula from San Francisco, the piece is mostly a rehash of professional anti-Semite Alison Weir’s riff on the blood-libel—a conspiracy theory in which Israel occupies Palestinian territory in order to murder the locals and loot their body parts. But like all knockoffs, the piece’s craftsmanship is poor, so Yelena’s version is helpful in that it sheds Weir’s usual scrupulosness and directly cites anti-Semites as sources. What sources does “Yelena” offer to document the ghoulish crimes of which she accuses the Jewish state? These include Iran’s PressTV and 9/11 Truther Michel Chussodovsky’s conspiracist web site, GlobalResearch. Both are classic “fake news” media, distributing anti-Jewish conspiracy theories by the shipping container throughout the Internet. Most troubling, however, is the article’s quotation of retired Cal State psychology professor Kevin MacDonald, a darling of far-Right anti-Semites, who couches standard white-supremacist teachings about Jewish “white genocide” in trappings of evolutionary psychology. Here’s what “Yelena” took from MacDonald: “Organized American Jewish lobbying groups and deeply committed Jews in the media are behind the pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy that is leading to war against virtually the entire Arab world.”

The Forward: Why MuslimGirl’s Rejection Of Gal Gadot Is A Good Thing
New York Times on Israel’s “Biological” Racism?!
In the pages of The New York Times, columnist Roger Cohen concludes that Israel is a racist country.

His logic?

Shuhada, a road within Hebron, a particularly violent area in the West Bank, is closed except to those passing through security checks, and sometimes closed to the public entirely.

In almost every country and language in the world, this type of security arrangement is referred to as a “sterile area,” meaning that it is kept free of potential security threats. In fact, the term “sterile area” is used around the globe in airport security, domestic crowd control, and military operations.

But Cohen has unilaterally decided that in Israel, and only in Israel, that word means racism:

The Israel Defense Forces refer to “tzir sterili,” or sterile roads, because no Palestinian is allowed on them, whether in a car or on foot…. Jews did not go to the Holy Land to deploy for another people the biological metaphors of classic racism that accompanied their persecution over centuries. But the exercise of overwhelming power is corrupting, to the point that “sterile” streets, presumably freed of disease-ridden natives, enter the lexicon.

Presumably?

By Cohen’s logic, governments around the world presumably consider all air travellers to be “disease-ridden natives,” as well as football fans, local residents in military towns, anyone who attends a presidential speech, and more.

But no, Cohen’s presumptions apply only to Israel. Even when Israel uses exactly the same terminology as…well, everyone.

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