Friday, February 28, 2014

Agriculture Minister Shamir - He is almost never heard, but his positions are firm.

...People may say I am wrong. Let them. A nation that is not willing to fight for its Jerusalem will cease to exist as time goes by. True, there are some cities called Jerusalem in the U.S. True, many countries change their capitals. For example, Nigeria changed the name of its capital from Lagos to Abuja. For us, there is no other capital. Jerusalem is the capital of the entire Jewish people, not only those who live in Israel. It is our historical and eternal capital.

Shlomo Cesana..
Israel Hayom..
28 February '14..

Two photographs of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir hang on the wall of the office of his son, Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir. Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's seventh prime minister, led the country for six years, and many people will recall him as the man who took a hard political line, dug in his heels, and stuck to the idea of Greater Israel.

"My father is my guiding light," says Yair Shamir. "Listen, he is my lighthouse. A lighthouse is not a particularly beautiful building. The stones are rough. Nobody will ever win a famous architectural award for building a lighthouse, but it is a massive structure. And where does one put a lighthouse? On rocks, where the waves break. Someone coming from a distance searches for its light. And it keeps on standing there and shining while other buildings fall. The beautiful thing about my father was that his beam was a narrow one. I can run in it, in his beam, and still find expression."

Shamir, a senior member of Likud-Yisrael Beytenu, has the his father's look physically and in his firm right-wing stance. He is almost never heard, but his positions are firm. He opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, does not believe that the talks have any chance of succeeding, and explains why the American efforts are superfluous.

"Considering how both sides are digging in their heels today, I do not see an agreement on the horizon. When you give a conflict that is more than a hundred years old nine months for a solution, as John Kerry has done, that is not serious," he says.

So what does he believe in, then?

"I believe in the Americans' good intentions," he says. "Looking at the regional conflict in American or Western terms includes a business approach, like the one that is used to solve conflicts between businesspeople. The problem is that this is not a business. For the Americans, everything looks solvable and logical. This is your position, this is my position, and in the end, we'll compromise. In our region, everything is a good deal more complex.

"I oppose the two-state idea. Let's start with Jerusalem. For me, Jerusalem comes under the heading of 'be killed rather than transgress.' I am willing to fight for it because it is the raison d'etre of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel."

One of the most astonishing attempts ever made at building a nation

...I recently listened to a British elder statesman, himself a pillar of Anglo-Jewry, telling a senior Israeli minister that any insistence on such recognition was bound to be seen in Europe as a tactic intended to wreck any chance of peace. It seems that Herzl's dream of a Judenstaat, a Jewish state, is still not fully accepted in Europe.

Daniel Johnson..
27 February '14..

In My Crazy Century, an excellent new memoir by the Czech writer Ivan Klíma (Grove Press, £16.99), the author recalls a visit to Britain in the mid-1960s. As a journalist on the magazine Literární noviny he took full advantage of the slight thaw that preceded the Prague Spring in 1968, soon to be crushed by the Soviet invasion.

In London Klíma went to see the Leftist guru Isaac Deutscher, politely explaining that as a Czech Jew he had "barely survived one bloody dictatorship only to begin serving another" — hence his efforts to promote democratic reform.

Deutscher would have none of it, proposing instead the slogan: "Never return to the old democracies but do return to the regenerated Soviets of the people's representatives." Klíma was aghast: "He was recommending this to me, someone who had come from a country where we had to argue with the censor over every semi-intelligent article, while he was living in a country where he himself enjoyed all the freedoms offered by a system he referred to as a bourgeois democracy."

It is easy to denigrate democracy while enjoying its benefits. This phenomenon is most obvious in relation to Israel, still the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

It is easy to demand that Israelis take risks for peace from the safety of a Western capital. While Obama administration officials tacitly concede Putin a free hand in Ukraine and ignore European indignation at their contempt for their allies (Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's leaked comment "Fuck the EU!" might be forgiven in any other context), the Europeans themselves are even more vitriolic about Israel and its supporters.

Those three no’s – reworded but same message

...Remember, besides rudely spurning Israel’s outstretched hand in 1967, The Khartoum conferees underscored their three no’s by reaffirming “the Palestinians’ right to regain the whole of Palestine,” i.e. destroy the State of Israel. That was precisely Abbas’s latest message – albeit in somewhat more discreet words. It may be frustrating but what was is what is – even if the more self-professed progressive sorts among us progressively refuse to admit it.

Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
28 February '14..

When it involves Israel, the international community’s hearing is notoriously selective yet never capricious or random. There is method in the apparent arbitrariness of what does and does not compellingly impress the self-appointed adjudicators of all that’s virtuous and/or villainous in our setting.

Israel’s own largely left-dominated media – forever engaged in advocacy journalism and tendentiously promoting hyped humbug – isn’t remarkably better.

The obliging etiquette of de rigueur enlightenment demands that Israel’s culpability be accentuated and amplified in all circumstances. Simultaneously, any Arab belligerence must by the niceties of politically correct protocol be disguised, discounted and ultimately denied. Stonewalling must be ascribed exclusively to the uncool Jewish state.

The hardly unforeseeable upshot is that nowhere was much interest shown in Ramallah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas’s latest song and dance. Deprived of resonance, the story of his two recent meetings in Paris with US Secretary of State John Kerry expired virtually unnoticed.

This means that few news-consumers, either at home or abroad, can conceivably be expected to realize that Abbas has just delivered three major no’s to Kerry, who is gung-ho on imposing an instant all-encompassing final solution to the Mideast problem – one that has eluded lesser minds than his for the past century-and-a-half.

Since his own ambitious nine-month deadline is fast nearing, Kerry wishes to wow the benighted natives with at least a fuzzy outline of a deal. Abbas has, nonetheless, inconsiderately demolished key components of Kerry’s fragile framework but he’s unlikely to get much flak for his intransigence.

Essentially this arises from the trendy predisposition to blame Israel for anything and absolve the Arab side of everything. This means that few pro forma informed individuals anywhere would at all discover that Abbas has walloped Kerry with the following three strident rebuffs:

1. Abbas’s purportedly moderate Palestinian Authority (the Ramallah half, as distinct from the Jihadist Gaza segment that’s notably altogether beyond Abbas’s control) will categorically not recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state in this region (i.e. the conflict will never end, no matter what paper the PA may sign and thereafter promptly disown or interminably quibble about).

2. The PA will insist on a judenrein status for any land ceded by the Jews – even lands known from antiquity as Judea, long before any Arab invaders emerged from the Arabian Peninsula and long before the world came to know European meddlers like Britain, France, Germany or Spain, to say nothing of newbie synthetic concoctions like Belgium. In other words, the PA will not agree to land swaps that would allow Israel to keep areas that have become unassailably Israeli in the past 47 years.

3. Finally, and most critically, the PA will not relinquish what it promotes as its “right” to inundate sovereign Israel with untold millions of hostile Arabs (self-styled refugees). This means that the PA adamantly clings to the agenda of, in due course, wiping out the Jewish state once and for all.

Most of the multitudes who presumably comprise public opinion – both within Israel and overseas – couldn’t in all plausibility have even detected any fleeting resemblance between Abbas’s latest three no’s and the three no’s enunciated so bombastically in Khartoum shortly after the Six Day War of 1967. The Arabs had that year launched a concerted effort to annihilate Israel but failed, lost more territory as a consequence and then began whining wretchedly about Israeli “occupation.”

How Much Pressure Will Obama Use on Israel to Soothe Abbas’s Rage?

...It would be outrageous for Obama to respond to Palestinian blackmail by simply acquiescing to their demands and expect Israel to proceed without the assurance that the framework will be kept in place.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
27 February '14..

President Obama came into the White House determined to prioritize the Middle East peace process in 2009. That decision caused him to spend much of his first term immersed in picking fights with the Israeli government while doing nothing to actually advance the chances of peace. Since his 2012 election-year Jewish charm offensive in which such disputes were avoided, the president has largely distanced himself from the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, letting Secretary of State John Kerry bear the burden and the opprobrium for pursuing what most savvy observers think is a fool’s errand. But, if today’s report in the New York Times is correct, he may be returning to his old hobby with a vengeance next month and using meetings with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to keep Kerry’s effort alive.

But the most important aspect of another presidential deep dive into the complicated negotiations isn’t about whether it will ultimately succeed. Given the distance between the parties on the main issues of Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, and whether the Palestinians will recognize Israel as a Jewish state, it’s doubtful any amount of pressure exerted by the White House on either side will produce the document that will earn Kerry his Nobel Peace Prize. Rather, Obama’s objective is to merely keep the negotiations initiated by the secretary alive by getting Israel and the Palestinians to agree to a framework to keep the talks going beyond the nine-month period originally agreed upon last year. Since, despite some clear misgivings about Kerry’s purpose, the Israelis appear ready to agree to keep talking, the only real variable is whether the Palestinians will do the same. But rather than go along in order to avoid shouldering the blame for the collapse of the peace process, Abbas apparently intends to squeeze the Americans. The question is what will Obama give him in order to win his assent.

Altering the negotiations in his favor was the obvious intent of Abbas’s temper tantrum last week during his meeting with Kerry in Paris. Though widely reported in the Palestinian and Israeli press, Abbas’s fit over what he termed Kerry’s “insane” framework wasn’t even mentioned in the Times account. That means the key points to watch about the Washington meetings is whether Obama will change the framework by discarding its insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state or security guarantees in order to keep Abbas talking.

Ambassador Oren’s Perilous Plan B

Ambassador Oren’s plan for unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is neither new nor smart.

David M. Weinberg..
A Citadel Defending Zion..
27 February '14..

The Israeli political Left is perilously anxious. The same people who once sold us Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas as peace partners are now telling us that peace with the Palestinians is probably impossible yet the existing situation is unacceptable. Therefore, they now say, unilateral withdrawal from part or all of the West Bank is Israel’s best/only remaining course of action, and it is urgent.

In the Left’s newfangled political parlance, unilateral withdrawal is being giving a heroic shine. It involves “acting boldly to set Israel’s borders without being hostage to the Palestinians;” “making peace without (Palestinian) partners;” tearing down settlements in the distant reaches of the West Bank in order to “signal” to the world that our government is “serious” about compromise; “showing” America that Israel is not interested in “forever being an occupying power”; and so forth.

In Ambassador Michael Oren’s thinking (If peace talks fail: Michael Oren’s Plan B, The Times of Israel, Feb. 26), unilateral Israeli withdrawal is elevated even further and accorded almost angelic status. “I would supplant the word unilateralism with Zionism,” Oren gushes. “One good definition of Zionism is Jews taking their destiny in their hands… We do not outsource our fundamental destiny to Palestinian decision making.”

Ambassador Oren’s over-the-top salesmanship of Plan B (– unilateral withdrawal as “the Zionist option”!) suggests that he knows that Mahmoud Abbas won’t settle with Israel. “I believe the Palestinians have never indicated a willingness to meet our minimum requirements, which are recognition of Israel’s permanence and legitimacy as a Jewish state and end of claims and end of conflict,” Oren admits.

Alas, the only thing new about Oren’s “Plan B” is the sad adding of his important voice to the emerging, dodgy mindset of unilateralism. Others already are into detailed planning for unilateral Israeli withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria.

Former IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, who now heads Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), also says that if peace talks with the Palestinians fail – and he assesses that they will – Israel should withdraw unilaterally from 85 percent of the West Bank. This will “advance Israel towards a two-state situation, even if there is no two-state solution,” he and his colleagues wrote in their annual strategic assessment. Such a withdrawal will improve Israel’s demographic and international situation, Yadlin contends, and will supposedly gain Israel “the ability to be firmer on the Iranian subject and get the United States on board.”

Oren similarly argues (without a shred of logical evidence) that unilateral withdrawal would “help take the wind out of the growing BDS movement, particularly in Europe.”

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finger on trigger, Amnesty fires and again shoots self in foot

...Amnesty International should be ashamed of its role in exploiting the moral foundations of universal human rights to wage political warfare against Israel.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 February '14..

A major report, "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank", is being released by Amnesty International today.

Britain's Jewish Chronicle, has a brief editorial under the heading "Amnesty report: tawdry and biased" that says in a single paragraph what rational onlookers ought to know before diving into AI's litany of innuendo, accusations and distortions:

Amnesty International was once widely respected for its work campaigning for prisoners of conscience. Its transformation into a caricature of an agenda-driven Israel-obsessed NGO is thus something of a tragedy. Across the globe, prisoners of conscience remain locked away for no reason other than the threat their thoughts pose to despotic regimes. There is still a vital need for the kind of work undertaken by the old Amnesty. The real tragedy, of course, is not Amnesty’s descent into hard core anti-Israel campaigning; it is the fact that life is so cheap in the Middle East. In regimes across the region, human beings are tortured, imprisoned and killed at the whim of governments and religious extremists. Genuine democracy and the rule of law is almost non-existent in the Middle East. Almost — because there is one state in which it is the very basis of existence. And yet it is that state, Israel, which is the focus of Amnesty’s tawdry report. Cobbled together from unverified and contradictory sources, Trigger Happy — even the name gives away Amnesty’s true agenda — discredits only the organisation which has published it. [Jewish Chronicle editorial, February 26, 2014]

We have only managed a quick read-through this morning, but can't help noticing it includes 32 mentions of the Tamimi tribe which proudly claims as its own a hugely-celebrated convicted mass-murderer. And it refers to Nabi Saleh no fewer than 25 times. That's the name of a dusty, undistinguished place north of Jerusalem about which we wrote last year: see "17-Mar-13: A little village in the hills, and the monsters it spawns". Nabi Saleh has brazenly re-invented itself as a symbol of the human rights movement, providing a platform for individuals like Bassem Tamimi, photographed in the report over a caption that honours him with the title "a human rights defender", who are thoroughly and successfully exploiting it. A year ago, a New York Times Magazine cover story said Nabi Saleh has "achieved a measure of cachet among young European activists, the way a stint with the Zapatistas did in Mexico in the 1990s”.

But thinking of Nabi Saleh and the Tamimis as being part of the human rights industry involves taking an extremely selective view of the evidence, and ignoring large parts of it.


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The Millions of Real Victims of Israel Apartheid Week

...The real victims are the millions being massacred, displaced, and starved while the West ignores them, because it’s too busy obsessing over Israel.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
27 February '14..

On Tuesday, I discussed how Israel Apartheid Week, which is taking place this week and next, feeds off latent anti-Semitism. But it’s a truism that anti-Semitism never harms the Jews alone, and IAW is a classic example. To understand why, consider three news reports from the last two weeks.

Some 500,000 Syrian civilians, or perhaps even more, have fled Aleppo in response to the government’s aerial bombing campaign, “creating what aid workers say is one of the largest refugee flows of the entire civil war”–an impressive achievement for a war that’s already created 2.4 million refugees and caused 6.5 million to be internally displaced. Tens of thousands of Muslims are fleeing spiraling violence in the Central African Republic, “in what human rights groups and a top United Nations official characterized … as de facto ethnic cleansing.” And in South Sudan, where a fragile truce has broken down, almost 900,000 people have been displaced, while “millions could go hungry if fields remain unplowed before the coming rainy season.”

And those are just samples. Altogether, millions of people round the world are being killed, displaced, and/or facing starvation. Yet IAW activists are blanketing campuses throughout the West with a campaign aimed at persuading educated young people that the world’s biggest problem, the one they should focus on persuading their governments to solve, is a low-level conflict that isn’t generating mass slaughter, mass displacement, or mass starvation–one whose total casualties over 65 years are barely a tenth of those produced by Syria’s civil war in less than three. And because the miserable Syrians, Central Africans, and South Sudanese have no comparably well-funded and well-organized group to press their cases, a great many well-meaning Westerners have become convinced that Israel’s “oppression” of the Palestinians truly is the world’s most pressing problem, and are lobbying their governments to direct their efforts accordingly.

Temple Mount rioting and BBC omissions

The presentation of the latest in a long series of pre-planned violent incidents as though it were the spontaneous reaction of “protesters” to “rumours” of unknown origin, together with the omission of crucial background information regarding the parties behind the organization of this riot and others, is clearly not an adequate representation of the entire picture. The BBC cannot claim to meet its purpose to “[e]nable individuals to participate in the global debate on significant international issues” if it satisfies itself with telling only particular selected portions of a story.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
27 February '14..

The photograph chosen to open an article headlined “Israeli police and Palestinians clash on Temple Mount” which appeared on the Middle East page of the BBC News website on February 25th is captioned as follows:

“Palestinians scuffled with Israeli police officers when denied entry to the site after the morning’s unrest”

In the absence of any clarification regarding “the morning’s unrest”, reasonable readers might well mistakenly conclude that the “clash” mentioned in the headline was brought about as a result of Palestinians being “denied entry to the site”.

The opening lines of the report which appears underneath the photograph do little to dispel that mistaken impression.


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The Truth about "Israel Apartheid Week". Where's the Coverage?

...But as to the truth about so-called “Israel Apartheid Week”… In the mainstream media… Where’s the coverage?

Sarit Catz..
CAMERA Snapshots..
26 February '14..

On a number of college campuses, this week is “Israel Apartheid Week,” a week where anti-Israel activists try to fool students into believing Israel systematically and legally oppresses minorities. This is a particularly ironic accusation since Freedom House, an independent watchdog group dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world, has rated Israel as the only free country in the Middle East.

If these activists were concerned with human rights, they would be sponsoring North Korea Apartheid Week, Iran Apartheid Week or Syria Kill-Over-One-Hundred-and-Forty-Thousand-Civilians Week. Activists could be marching against Saudi Arabia, where violations of human rights laws are enshrined in the Kingdom’s legal code, including the systemic discrimination against women and minorities, where citizens are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, denial of fair and public trials, torture and abuse, restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, association, movement, severe restrictions on religious freedom, and where homosexual activity is punishable by flogging or death by stoning.

Want to see who is behind “Israel Apartheid Week”? Here are a few of the culprits:

Many of the “Israel Apartheid Week” organizers are part of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, aimed not at ending human rights violations, but at damaging Israel. As CAMERA reported:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No qualms in Ramallah or Gaza City for ordinary Israelis to pay their tab

...The Palestinians’ serial refusal to honor financial obligations – in many spheres, not only vis-à-vis the Israel Electric Corporation – is no secret, yet as the arrears accumulate, the problem becomes harder to ignore.

JPost Editorial..
26 February '14..

While it is trendy overseas to condemn Israel on miscellaneous trumped-up charges – including apartheid, wholesale oppression, dispossession, malicious deprivation and much more in the same fallacious vein – few are aware that the Palestinians who are supposedly being oppressed enjoy free electricity courtesy of average Israelis.

The two Palestinian jurisdictions – under Ramallah’s and Gaza City’s control, respectively – have racked up unpaid electricity bills whose total approaches NIS 1.4 billion ($400 million). This debt increases by between NIS 70m. and 90m. each month.

There are no qualms about this in Ramallah or Gaza City. The authorities there are quite content to have ordinary Israelis pay their tab.

The Palestinians’ serial refusal to honor financial obligations – in many spheres, not only vis-à-vis the Israel Electric Corporation – is no secret, yet as the arrears accumulate, the problem becomes harder to ignore.

This in essence is what IEC chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal told the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday.

“The IEC shouldn’t have to sustain the losses caused by the PA’s nonpayment of amounts outstanding,” he stressed. “Were private consumers to blithely ignore their utility bills, they’d be disconnected. But our hands are tied… We are plainly not allowed to disconnect the Palestinians from current for which they impudently don’t bother paying.”

Taking pains to provide freedom of worship for Muslims while denying it to Jews

...There is really no good reason that Jews should not be allowed to share this holy place with Muslims, especially since many Jews died in order to secure the city (even though Dayan, like Gal-on, might have preferred to see it remain in Arab hands). It’s ironic that Israel, the Jewish state, takes pains to provide freedom of worship for Muslims while denying it to Jews.
25 February '14..

News item:

A first-of-its-kind debate over the right of non-Muslims to enter, and pray at, the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem was held at the Knesset on Tuesday, with over 30 MKs from both right wing and left wing parties requesting to voice their opinion on the divisive topic. Almost all of the parliament’s Arab members chose not to attend the discussion in protest over the decision to hold it. …

“The Israeli leadership is shirking its calling,” [MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud)] said at the opening of the session, during which he called for Jewish freedom of worship at the site where the first and second Jewish temples once stood.

“Behind the back of our people we gave up on any vestige of Israeli sovereignty at the Mount. Every terrorist organization can wave their flag there, but the flag of Israel? It must not be mentioned. Reciting a psalm is grounds for arrest. Even wearing a skullcap [at the site] is inadvisable by police standards.”

There is no question that the Temple Mount itself is the holiest site in Judaism, far exceeding the Western Wall. But when the Old City was captured in 1967, the decision was made by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan to place the responsibility to administer it in the hands of the Muslim Wakf of Jerusalem, although Israel claims national sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Jews are not permitted to pray on the Mount “for fear that they will provoke a violent reaction from Muslims.”

Rabbi Shlomo Goren, IDF Chief Rabbi at the time, opposed the decision and wanted to construct a synagogue on the Mount. Although it is commonly thought that Goren also wanted to blow up the Muslim holy places, it is almost certain that this is a politically-motivated lie (see Shalom Freedman, Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Torah Sage and General, ch. 37).

This was once-in-a-millennium opportunity. The Muslims understood that they were defeated, and would have had to deal with Jewish religious rights on the Mount, especially when they it became clear to them that they too would be able to pray there and that their structures would not be destroyed (I’m sure in the first days, they fully expected it — it’s what they would do, after all).

But Dayan prevailed, and the chance was lost.

The only flag the police make sure is never seen there is Israel's flag

...It has been 47 years since Moshe Dayan handed over the keys to the Temple Mount to the Jerusalem waqf (Islamic trust) and ever since then we have been forced to stomach straw and gravel, incitement and violence, exclusion and damage to antiquities.

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
26 February '14..

For years now, the Temple Mount has not been in our hands and Israeli sovereignty in the area has been de facto conditional. The past three generations have seen Jews allowed to visit the compound, but only as long as they do not look like Jews, pray like Jews and, at times, as long as they do not mention to anyone that they had been there.

It has been 47 years since Moshe Dayan handed over the keys to the Temple Mount to the Jerusalem waqf (Islamic trust) and ever since then we have been forced to stomach straw and gravel, incitement and violence, exclusion and damage to antiquities. Hamas and Palestinian Authority flags are flown over the area more often than not and it seems that the only flag the police make sure is never seen there as is Israel's flag, and most recently -- Jewish worshipers.

On Tuesday, just like two weeks ago, and two months ago, and a year ago, the compound was closed to Jewish visitors over the Muslim worshipers' riots and threats of violence. The meager allowances made to the Jewish worshipers to visit the holy site in set hours and in very small groups, are being eroded.

The status quo on the Temple Mount, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to maintain, is fluid and the current allowances are constantly gnawed at to the detriment of the Jewish side. It is one thing if we were to stick to and uphold the official status quo, but as things stand, the Muslims are gaining increased control over the Temple Mount. When it comes to the Muslim worshipers the status quo is as pliable as play dough, but when it comes to the Jews it is as hard as a rock.

(You've Got to Smile) Canaanites Deny Being Forebears Of Palestinians

...Erekat was unavailable for comment, said a spokesman, as he was busy writing an article claiming that the Palestinians were already in the Levant when Homo Sapiens moved out of Africa.

Canaanites lining up to
refute Palestinian assertions.
PreOccupied Territory..
17 February '14..

Hatzor, Israel, February 17 – After several prominent Palestinians asserted that they were descended from the ancient Canaanites, leaders of the Canaanite city-states emphatically ruled out the notion that their descendants were modern-day Palestinians.

Amirapu I of Ugarit and Yavin of Hatzor held a joint press conference this afternoon, at which they repeatedly denied any ethnic connection to Palestinians, and called on Palestinian parliament member and peace negotiator Saeb Erekat to cease claiming that his ancestors preceded the arrival of the Hebrews.

“We realize that Mr. Erekat and his ilk do not put much stock in archaeology or history, which, to put it mildly, do not support his contentions,” they wrote in a statement issued to reporters at the conference. “However, it is our hope that as eyewitnesses to that ancient history, we can put an end to his nonsense once and for all.” They noted that in recent days Mr. Erekat contradicted his earlier statements to Westerners in Munich, proudly proclaiming his Jordanian Bedouin ancestry.


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Israel Acts in Syria

...The latest strike by the IAF against Hezbollah forces attempting to transfer Syrian weapons to its Iranian proxy army in Lebanon is yet another example of how in the absence of decisive American action, Israel instead is acting to prevent the further deterioration of security in the region.

Tom Wilson..
Commentary Magazine..
25 February '14..

Amid the Obama administration’s increasingly apparent dereliction of duty to America’s role on the world stage, it seems that, in the Middle East at least, Israel is taking on an increased level of responsibility in the effort to halt the proliferation of both weapons of mass destruction and terror groups. This has been particularly apparent when it comes to the ongoing crisis and instability in Syria and the reports today that Israel’s air force carried out strikes against Hezbollah strongholds on the Syrian border so as to disrupt efforts to transfer weapons from Syria into Lebanon.

Given the refusal of the administration to take decisive action in Syria, the ongoing indication that Obama is seeking further withdrawals of U.S. troops–most significantly in Afghanistan–and now the cuts to the defense budget, it is clear that Western allies in the region are going to find themselves increasingly isolated. If this policy is to continue, Israel faces the prospect of being ever more alone in a region descending into worsening turmoil. The concern in places like Syria is not simply restricted to the fear of rogue regimes using stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons against their own people. Rather, with the growing strength of al-Qaeda-linked groups in these conflict zones, there is a real risk of the most devastating weapons falling into the hands of Islamist militants prepared to use them indiscriminately.

It is essentially only on account of Israel that the world does not currently face the unimaginable possibility of a Syria armed with nuclear weapons. Israel is widely understood to have been behind the 2007 strike on the North Korean-abetted nuclear program in Syria. Just as it was Israel that spared us all from the grim reality of life with a nuclear Iraq–no doubt with Saddam still in power to this day–when the Israelis took out Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981. As such, it does not seem unreasonable to speculate that, had it not been for the Obama administration purposefully tying Israel’s hands, the Iranian nuclear threat and the risk of a nuclear domino effect across the region might already have been lifted by now.

When racism raises its head as perhaps the last gasp of an entitled “progressive” elite

...Just what is this global Left? It ostensibly includes labor and social democratic parties in Europe – as well the fascistic, thuggish murderers running Venezuela. It takes in Hezbollah, Hamas and the communist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The same movement that stones women and throws acid in their face is taken in, alongside a movement championing Arab women as dancers, singers and performers. It is the same “progressive values” that allows Silverstain to castigate as “negro” any black person whose ideas threaten his worldview.

Mr. "Tikun Olam" Silverstein
Seth J. Frantzman..
Terra Incognito/JPost..
25 February '14..

"They finally did it: found a Negro Zionist: Uncle Tom is dancing for joy!” tweeted extremist Richard Silverstein, who maintains the Tikun Olam blog. He explained in a follow-up: “when I call @cvaldary ‘Negro Uncle Tom’ it reflects on her betrayal of progressive values respected by most African-Americans.” The decision by Silverstein to label those who support Israel “negroes” is the latest in a long line of recent racially- tinged assaults by the radical Left. Recall for example Israeli writer Gideon Levy claiming that Russians have “crime in their blood.”

Racism is raising its head as perhaps the last gasp of an entitled “progressive” elite. It leads us to wonder, what fuels the rage? One of the greatest achievements of the Left and its radical fringe was simply establishing “Left” as a positive value in itself. This occurred largely due to the rise of Fascism and Nazism; the horrific evils of the Axis regimes gave the Left an imprimatur of being on the side of right.

And in many ways it made sense: The original progressives fought for what were undeniably good causes: the reduction of working hours for menial laborers; stricter safety conditions in mines; the end of child labor; women’s rights.

However, many of these campaigns were paired with other, more obscure activism that was by no stretch of the imagination positive, at least according to most people, and to which not enough attention was paid. For example, eugenics was one aspect of the progressive manifesto.

In the progressive vision of utopia, working hours would be reduced (good), but people would be herded into collectives and forced to work certain jobs with meaningless pay and no chance of social mobility (bad). The utopianists and futurists sought the perfect ordering of society along strict lines; a top-down organization in which dictatorial “parties” would organize things for the “betterment of man.” Prophets of the Left described the evils this could entail in works like 1984 or Brave New World.

Moreover, as the ancient regime was washed away and conservative and classical liberal voices proved incapable of controlling the emerging extremisms, many turned, W.B. Yeats-like, to the answers traditionally associated with the Right: Nationalism and order. Thus the more obscure evils of extreme progressivism and the obvious evils of the fascist Right were all combined under the progressive banner.

We have suffered under 100 years of this leftist-progressive hegemony, during which time the “progressive” brand has come to dictate the normative worldview of Western society – regardless of what the brand actually represents. Consider the case of Judith Butler recently deciding to cancel a presentation on author Franz Kafka at the Jewish Museum in New York City. She withdrew, claiming victimhood, due to an “uproar over my political views.” Let’s recap her political views: During a 2006 “teach in” at UC Berkeley she was asked, “Since the Left hesitates to support Hamas and Hezbollah ‘just’ because of their use of violence, does this hurt Palestinian solidarity?” She responded, “I think yes; understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important.” We have here a clear example of the absurdity of the “Left good” construct. The Left is perceived as moral precisely because in its initial form, it abhorred violence; the normative leftist “peace” position.

But here is Butler arguing that we should define these radical, violent, religious fundamentalist movements as “progressive” and part of a “global Left.” Why? Because they oppose an enemy of this self-defined global Left: Israel.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The genius of Israel Apartheid Week’s organizers

...That modern anti-Semitism is propagated mainly by mainstream intellectuals shouldn’t actually be surprising, as Schwarz-Friesel noted in the original Hebrew interview: “Throughout history, anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred never began in the street, but with educated people – in the writings of the Church, in poems, in novels and fairy tales” (a quote regrettably omitted from the abridged English version). Yet this fact has been forgotten – or deliberately obscured – in the modern West, which still sees anti-Semitism as the province of the far right.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
25 February '14..

It’s no accident that “Israel Apartheid Week,” an annual two-week extravaganza that began this week, focuses on Western college campuses. It’s not just because that’s where young, impressionable future leaders can be found. It’s also because, as a new study reveals, the educated mainstream is the mainstay of good old-fashioned anti-Semitism in today’s West. That counterintuitive finding explains why college campuses are such fertile ground for attacks on the Jewish state.

Prof. Monika Schwarz-Friesel of the Technical University of Berlin reached this conclusion after studying 10 years’ worth of hate mail–14,000 letters, emails, and faxes in all–sent to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli embassy in Berlin. In an interview published in Haaretz yesterday, she said she fully expected to discover that most of it came from right-wing extremists. But in fact, right-wing extremists accounted for a mere 3 percent, while over 60 percent came from educated members of “the social mainstream – professors, Ph.Ds, lawyers, priests, university and high-school students,” she said. Nor were there any significant differences between right-wing extremists’ letters and those of the educated mainstream, Schwarz-Friesel said: “The difference is only in the style and the rhetoric, but the ideas are the same.”

To be clear, these letters weren’t just criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; we’re talking about classic anti-Semitism–as evident from the samples Haaretz cited:

“It is possible that the murder of innocent children suits your long tradition?” one letter said.

“For the last 2,000 years, you’ve been stealing land and committing genocide,” said another.

“You Israelis … shoot cluster bombs over populated areas and accuse people who criticize such actions of anti-Semitism. That’s typical of the Jews!”

That modern anti-Semitism is propagated mainly by mainstream intellectuals shouldn’t actually be surprising, as Schwarz-Friesel noted in the original Hebrew interview: “Throughout history, anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred never began in the street, but with educated people – in the writings of the Church, in poems, in novels and fairy tales” (a quote regrettably omitted from the abridged English version). Yet this fact has been forgotten – or deliberately obscured – in the modern West, which still sees anti-Semitism as the province of the far right.

Lies, Falsehoods and the Truth Behind the Palestinian Water Libels

...The sum total of the situation described (below) is that the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is more interested in reducing the amount of water available to Israel, polluting natural reservoirs, harming Israeli farmers, and sullying Israel’s reputation around the world than truly solving water problems for the Palestinian people. The Palestinians are not interested in practical solutions to address shortages; rather, they seek to perpetuate the shortages, and to blame the State of Israel.

Prof. Haim Gvirtzman..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 238..
24 February '14..

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes, build sewage treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern water-saving devices, or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage, leading to enormous waste. At the same time, they drill illegally into Israel’s water resources, and send their sewage flowing into the valleys and streams of central Israel. In short, the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is not interested in practical solutions to solve the Palestinian people’s water shortages, but rather perpetuation of the shortages and the besmirching of Israel.

A significant public debate has been sparked by the assertion of European Parliament President Martin Schulz that the amount of water available to the average Israeli unfairly overwhelms the amount of water available to the average Palestinian. The main issue that should be discussed – and has not been sufficiently analyzed – is: What are the causes of Palestinian water supply problems?

The discussion must be informed by the following basic facts:

1. The Oslo agreements grant the Palestinians the right to draw 70 million cubic meters from the Eastern Mountain Aquifer (ground water reservoir). Yet this water resource is not currently being capitalized on by the Palestinians; the waters spill untapped underground into the Dead Sea. As per the Israeli-Palestinian agreement, some 40 sites were identified for drilling into this aquifer in the eastern Hebron hills region, and permits were granted to the Palestinians by the Israel-PA Joint Water Committee. Nevertheless, over the past 20 years, the Palestinians have drilled at just one-third of these sites, despite the fact that the international community has offered to finance the drilling of all sites. If the Palestinians were to drill and develop all these wells, they could have completely solved the existing water shortage in the Hebron hills region. But the Palestinians have preferred to drill wells on the Western Mountain Aquifer, the basin that provides groundwater to the State of Israel. Instead of solving the problem they have chosen to squabble with Israel.

2. The Palestinians do not bother fixing water leaks in city pipes. Up to 33 percent of water in Palestinian cities is wasted through leakage. Upkeep on the Palestinians’ urban water infrastructure has been completely neglected. By comparison, leakage from Israeli municipal water pipes amount to only 10 percent of water usage.

3. The Palestinians refuse to build water treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so under the Oslo agreement. Sewage flows out of Palestinian towns and villages directly into local streams, thereby polluting the environments and the aquifer and causing the spread of disease. Despite the fact that donor countries are willing to fully fund the building of treatment plants, the Palestinians have managed to avoid their obligations to build such facilities. (Only over the past two years has Israeli pressure moved the PA forward a bit on this matter.)

4. The Palestinians absolutely refuse to irrigate their agricultural fields with treated sewage effluents. By comparison, more than half the agricultural fields in Israel are irrigated with treated waste water. Irrigating Palestinian agricultural fields with recycled water instead of fresh water would free up large amounts of water for home usage. This would greatly reduce the water shortage in many places.

5. Some Palestinian farmers irrigate their fields by flooding, rather than with drip irrigation technology. Drip irrigation, as practiced in Israel, brings water directly to the root of each plant, thereby reducing water consumption by more than 50 percent. Flooding fields causes huge water evaporation and leads to great waste.

6. The international community has offered to build a desalination plant for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have refused this gift. A desalination plant could completely solve the Gaza Strip’s water shortages. The Palestinians refuse to build this plant because they claim they have the right to access the fresh groundwater reservoir in Judea and Samaria, and they are prepared to suffer until they realize this dream. In the meanwhile, Gaza residents suffer from severe shortages of water.

These basic, undeniable facts are extremely important because they have wide-ranging consequences.

BBC on UK and Middle East terror - Cultural relativism and double standards

...The cultural relativism which lies behind the different styles of reporting of these two stories is all too apparent and it of course leads to the adoption of double standards which clearly compromise the BBC’s reputation as an impartial provider of news.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
25 February '14..

A recent report which appeared in the BBC News website’s ‘London’ section provides an opportunity to take a closer look at the markedly different styles of reporting employed by the BBC when dealing with the issues of terrorism and the glorification of terrorism on its own home turf compared to its reporting of the same issues in the Middle East.

Readers will no doubt recall that the BBC’s coverage of the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists last August included two filmed reports by Yolande Knell – here and here – from the lavish reception laid on by the Palestinian Authority at the time.

In the party-like atmosphere of Knell’s reports, viewers were kept in the dark with regard to the crimes committed by the released convicts, who were described on multiple occasions as “heroes of the Palestinian cause”. Audiences were also encouraged to question the categorization of the released men as terrorists, with that terminology clearly signposted as an “Israeli view”.

As readers are no doubt aware, the subject of the Palestinian Authority’s glorification of terrorism is not one which receives BBC coverage and so, unsurprisingly, neither Knell nor any other BBC journalists reporting on this event (or the similar later one) had any comment to make with regard to the fact that the PA organized reception focused on the glorification of the men and their terrorist acts.

In contrast, the February 12th report appearing on the BBC website’s ‘London’ page – titled “Woolwich murder: Man pleads guilty to Rigby videos” – is factual in tone and includes ample use of various forms of the word ‘terrorism’, as do the three “related stories” (which, like Knell’s reports, date from August 2013) promoted by the BBC at the side of the report.


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Again and again on the Kerry-go-round?

...There is an asymmetry between Arab and Jewish perspectives. In both the Israeli and broader Jewish society, the idea of trading our hard-won land for something else is acceptable, and even viewed as enlightened. This outlook might be attributable to thousands of years of wandering, during which a physical connection to the Land of Israel was lost for most Jews, while a bond with the host land never developed....But to Wael, and to many of my Arab neighbors, giving up land is anathema because it’s dishonorable, and honor is paramount. ... The worst thing that can happen to you in the Middle East is to have no honor, and be seen as contemptuous in the eyes of your neighbors. In the moral code of the Middle East, one without honor has no protection; anybody can beat him, take his property or kill him. Loss of honor invites aggression.

Yishai Fleisher..
JPost Magazine..
20 February '14

It is common knowledge that Israeli cab drivers are the best barometers of national opinion. For me, Arab cab drivers also give a peek into the Arab street, of which I am often shut out.

So recently, when I took a cab from the Damascus Gate (a.k.a. Sha’ar Shechem or Bab el-Amud) to my house on the Mount of Olives with a driver named Wael (how it was spelled on the card he gave me, though pronounced Wa-yeel), I was happy to make conversation.

He asked me where I was originally from. “Haifa,” I answered, and then with a little humor, “You know, where Jews and Arabs get along, and where I could go into an Arab store and feel welcome, unlike here in Ras el-Amud. Why is it like that?” In a friendly but serious tone, he replied, “You know, in Arabic, we have a name for you, Almustawten. Do you know what that means?” “Yes,” I replied, “it means settler.”

“Correct,” he said. “But while the whole world is talking about the problem of the settlers, and how to get them out, you go and decide to be a settler in Palestine.”

Taking the bait of Jerusalem taxi sociopolitical debate, I riposted: “Palestine! You love to wave the flag of Palestine, but when it comes to jobs, healthcare, social security, courts and especially your blue identity card [Israeli resident status], you are not willing to give that up.”

He nodded.

“So you talk all day about the occupation, but you don’t actually want to live in Palestine, you want to live in Israel!” Wael took a pause, and glanced at me in the rearview mirror. “Yesh b’zeh mashehu.” There’s something to that, he admitted.

I was mighty proud of myself for getting him to admit the hypocrisy of the Arab position, but then he shot back with something that threw me off balance: “Look, forget about flags or jobs, it’s all about land – and this is our land.”

Now, I could have launched into a whole discussion of historical Arab immigration trends to Palestine, which prove that most Arabs came to Palestine in the hopes of finding work provided by the nascent and then fledgling Jewish state. I could have talked about the San Remo Conference of 1920 in which international law recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people within Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

I could have talked about the Jewish people’s eternal, primal connection to the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, and I could have mentioned the absence of that kind of historical and literary relationship to the Land of Israel in Islam and the Koran. I could have easily pointed to the Mount of Olives, with its 3,000 years of Jewish burial. I could have said a lot! But Wael’s simple statement transported me into a hazy and distracted dream.

Why did I lose concentration? Because in Wael’s words, I heard a basic down-home Middle East principle: I will never give up my land. But in his claim I also heard the loud absence of ours.

The water libel, one step removed from the blood libel

...The purpose of this war, like all previous ones, is to roll back the great achievement of Zionism – the establishment of a sovereign state for the Jewish people in their ancient homeland. The strategy of this war is to associate Israel and Zionism with all that is evil in our world, so that one day the physical the destruction of the modern state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people will not seem like a great loss, and maybe even be a blessing.”

Petra Marquadt-Bigman..
The Warped Mirror..
24 February '14..

Quote of the day: the water libel

“To many Israelis, the allegations about water are one step removed from blood libel. Water is a sensitive issue and is deeply symbolic, especially in the Middle East. […]

Had Martin Schulz [the president of the European Union Parliament, addressing the Israeli Knesset] checked the facts, and wanted to bring up this issue in a serious and constructive manner, he could have said: ‘There is a difference in water usage between Israelis and Palestinians of about 2:1. I am aware that part of this is due to different levels of economic development, that a share of it is due to mismanagement by the Palestinian Authority of the water systems, and another due to the agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. However, I think that given the important symbolism and sensitivity of water in this region, and the technological advancement of desalination and water re-usage, in which Israel is a world leader, Israel could and should go above and beyond the official agreements it signed with the Palestinian Authority, even more than it already does now, to provide Palestinians with more water.’

Such a paragraph in the speech would not have raised such criticism, but is also would not have created such intense media coverage. Could this be the real reason that Schulz preferred to not check his facts? Could it be that he knew that provocative allegations would create a greater stir than level-headed analysis that highlights the complexity of the situation? For many Israelis, Schulz’ act in the Knesset represents a dangerous and slippery slope, where even those who support Israel are willing to believe the worst about it, and lend their credibility to voicing problematic allegations against it.

Terrorism charges brought against rock-hurling, firebomb-throwing gang on Jerusalem's northern fringe

...The threat posed by determined, ideologically committed hurlers of rocks and shooters of bullets against ordinary folk traveling the roads in their cars and buses is consistently diminished - to their great shame - by Israel's enemies in the media and in political life.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
24 February '14...

If you're familiar with our nation's capital city, you'll be aware that there are two main intercity roads that connect Jerusalem with the coastal plain and the Tel Aviv region. One is Highway One, now under major reconstruction and expansion, and by far the busier of the two alternatives. And the other: Route 443 that winds its way out of Jerusalem through the Judaean Hills, past Machane Ofer prison, the new urban zone constituted by burgeoning communities of Modi'in and Hashmonaim/Kiryat Sefer, and meeting Route One just south of the international airport.

For 25 years, Route 443 has been the road we traveled more than any other leaving from and returning to home, but not entirely without incident. About ten years ago, our car was hit by a well-aimed rock hurled by a Palestinian Arab man perched on one of the hills near one of the two Bet Ur villages (Bet Ur El Fuqa, Bet Ur El Tahta), with minimal damage to the body thanks to some last-second evasive action. Mostly, thank Heavens, it's been clear sailing.

Lately though, the state of safety on this important artery has noticeably deteriorated. A report less than a week ago ["The road to Jerusalem that’s off limits to Israel’s leaders", Times of Israel, February 19, 2014] included some candid comments from an IDF officer charged with securing the area, and pointing out how easily lives can be endangered:


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Statesmen, Fantasies and the Refusal to Make “Tough Decisions” for Peace

...Israel is once again offering as much as it can without ceasing to survive as Israel. But then this is the crux of the matter. It really looks as if it may just be the case that no offer that leaves the Jewish state in existence will be acceptable to Palestinians.

Tom Wilson..
Commentary Magazine..
24 February '14..

On the eve of the German government’s arrival in Israel, Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has called on Israel to make the “difficult but necessary decisions” for the peace process to succeed. There is of course nothing particularly remarkable or unprecedented about Germany’s foreign minister having made these statements. Such phrases just so easily roll off of the tongues of statesmen trying to find something constructive sounding to say about a process that has proven to be anything but. However, these unthinking assertions are problematic, because they display an utter refusal to take account of the reality of the peace process as it actually exists.

Such vague talk of “difficult decisions” is easy, but precisely what tough decisions is it that Israel could make that these diplomats can honestly say would make an iota of difference to the current Palestinian attitude? This talk simply neglects to account for the present, and indeed longstanding, attitude of the Palestinian leadership. Last week Palestinian Authority head Abbas told Kerry formerly that he rejects Kerry’s current peace framework, while also having said that if no framework is agreed upon by the end of April, then the Palestinian side will exit negotiations. It should further be recalled that the only reason that the Palestinians are even at the negotiating table is because of the Obama administration’s bribery. In return for Abbas going through the motions of peace talks the U.S. government released large amounts of funding to the PA, held up on account of the Palestinians’ unilateral activities at the UN, while Israel was pressured into releasing several rounds of convicted terrorists for the pleasure of the Palestinians’ company at the negotiating table.

Then there is the matter of Abbas’s ever-changing and fluid list of demands, red lines, and negotiating positions, with the goal posts continuously on the move. Yet, as much as it is possible to pin down precisely what the Palestinian position is, it appears to be completely at odds with what any reasonable person would expect a final agreement to look like. The Palestinians have refused to even consider recognizing the Jewish state, demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners in a final deal, and Abbas has additionally said he will not give up the claims of the descendants of Palestinian refugees to move to the Jewish state rather than the Palestinian one. And such positions also have to be considered alongside the PA’s continuous use of its media network and school system to stirrup incitement against Jews and the very existence of Israel.

In defense of liberty by Chloe Valdary

...Moreover, I am a Zionist. I am unabashedly pro-Israel, and a proponent of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. Silverstein is not a Zionist, and because I disagree with him — like the old slave masters who believed that their view of the world was superior to and should be foisted upon the negro slaves — he contends that I am an “Uncle Tom” (a derogatory term meaning “house slave,” or one who is subservient and servile to white masters.).

Chloe Valdary..
Times of Israel..
24 February '14..

When addressing contentions that run counter to such normative values as justice, morality, and truth, I believe it is my academic professional duty to analyze the details of the argument in question and illustrate to my audience why such contentions are sub-par, nefarious, and worthy of reproach.

Admittedly, it is difficult to analyze such pieces from a purely academic standpoint when invectives are hurled at me personally — not in a spirit of academic debate, but rather, to malign and denigrate my personal character. Indeed, I am tempted to speak out in an equally hostile tone against those who would attack me in a pejorative manner. However I will attempt to refrain from doing so here as it is my moral duty to be civil both to my enemies and to my friends, and because I do not believe it to be fitting to stoop down to the level of disrespectful persons. It is in that spirit of civility that I write this piece.

On February 22, a gentleman by the name of Richard Silverstein took considerable issue with an article I wrote in the The Times of Israel about the contentions of one Judith Butler, professor at the University of California, Berkley. I find Butler’s analysis regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict lamentably disagreeable.

Silverstein did not point out any possible faulty premises in my column. He did not question the evidence I presented. He did not find I was lacking in my analysis. Instead, to illustrate his (ahem) intellectual prowess, he shared a Facebook status linking to my column and in his commentary, wrote: “They finally did it: found a Negro Zionist: Uncle Tom is dancin’ for joy!”

His intention is obvious: I am an African-American, and Silverstein believes that all African-Americans are monolithic. Indeed, he believes that because of my skin color, I must think, act, and behave in the certain way — a manner in which he perceives black people to be. Like the old white masters in the antebellum American South, Silverstein believes that he and his ilk alone can be the bearers of opinions which must be held by African-Americans. To think for oneself, to formulate an opinion independent of his consent — well now, this is unacceptable. The consequence is a verbal lashing on social media; an attack on my character because of my skin color, and because, I am, as he puts it, “a Negro,” who does not feel the need to make her analysis contingent upon his approbation.

Moreover, I am a Zionist. I am unabashedly pro-Israel, and a proponent of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. Silverstein is not a Zionist, and because I disagree with him — like the old slave masters who believed that their view of the world was superior to and should be foisted upon the negro slaves — he contends that I am an “Uncle Tom” (a derogatory term meaning “house slave,” or one who is subservient and servile to white masters.).

Question - What's the difference between BDS and terrorism?

...BDS is a terror movement. Its economic impact is negligible but that isn't what they are after - they want to terrorize companies and individuals by creating an atmosphere of coercion and fear. Their victims need to understand that they are being intimidated and coerced by people whose morality and goals are virtually indistinguishable from that of jihadists.

Elder of Ziyon..
20 February '14..

While there is no single accepted definition of terrorism, the dictionary definition of terrorism is:

The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

Terrorism's main purpose is to terrorize, to instill fear in a large population by attacking a relatively small number of people. That's why the threat of a "dirty bomb" is a perfect example of terror - in general, it wouldn't hurt very many people but it would cause panic, which would affect people's behavior.

When Palestinian Arab terrorist groups shoot rockets or send suicide bombers, the number of casualties is relatively small. But if you look at their media afterwards they exult on the larger effects that such actions cause even more than the direct damage. Every time the schools in Ashkelon are closed because of rocket threats, it is reported in the terrorist-leaning Arabic media as a victory. They love making videos showing Israelis running to shelter during Code Red alerts.

To terrorists, fear is the goal - causing panic among a large population by attacking a small number of people.

This story, which may or may not be true given its source*, gives a perfect example of how the goals of BDS are identical to the goals of terrorist groups:

Leading international companies bidding to build private seaports dropped out of the Israeli government’s tender due to concerns over the political repercussions, a report said on Tuesday.

The Israeli daily Haaretz said that Royal Boskalis Westminster, a Dutch operator of ports that had submitted a proposal under the name Holland Terminal in the prequalification stage last December, dropped out shortly thereafter. More recently, Italy’s Condote

Haaretz said that the companies that had initially expressed their interest in the PQ stage last April made their decisions to drop out in recent months as boycott pressure on Israel has grown. The deadline for submitting bids was Monday, the report said.
Notice the reasons given for this alleged dropping of bids. The companies didn't do it because of Israel's policies; they didn't do it for "moral" reasons, they didn't announce that they would never want to work with a country such as Israel because of its supposed mistreatment of Palestinian Arabs..

The story says that they dropped out because of fear that the boycott movement might attack them.

In other words - they were intimidated. They were coerced.

They were terrorized.


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