Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Jewish state in a hostile world - by Vic Rosenthal

...Being the world’s only Jewish state brings with it unique problems and stresses, but independence, Jewish self-determination and, above all, the realization of the dream for which our ancestors prayed daily for thousands of years, more than justifies the cost.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
29 April '16..

The relationship of Israel to the UN has always been difficult. Over the years, the organization has both reflected worldwide anti-Jewish prejudice and provided a focus for intervention against Israel’s interests.

UN General Assembly resolution 3379 which in 1975 declared Zionism “a form of racism and racial discrimination” was finally repealed sixteen years later thanks to the efforts of US Senator Daniel P. Moynahan, Assistant Secretary of State John Bolton and President George H. W. Bush, a president not generally considered particularly pro-Israel.

According to Dr. Yohanon Manor, the Israeli government didn’t take the resolution seriously for almost a decade, thinking that the “farfetched, aberrant, and shameful” declaration would fade from significance because of its “sheer inanity.” However, it was reiterated time and again in international fora and used to justify discrimination against Israel, Jews and Jewish organizations.

It should have been obvious at the time that this was something larger than just a maneuver by the Soviets to appease their Arab clients. It tapped deeply into the same dark forces which have lately gathered strength throughout the world. Manor quotes a member of the Israeli delegation, Judge Hadassah Ben Ito, who described the mood of its proponents after passage:

It was not only an excitement. The hatred was crawling on the floor. People embraced as if they had won the biggest victory of their lives…. We felt like pariahs. It is not only a sentimental reflection…. We should know that it was not just another resolution of the United Nations. Somebody like myself, who has never really felt personally attacked by, or maligned by an act of anti-Semitism, really felt it physically while sitting there.

There is a familiar feeling that comes over one while reading this. The expression of joyous Jew-hatred described by Ben Ito is well-known to anyone who has been at an anti-Israel demonstration, and observed the exaltation of the activists as they scream their slogans. Perhaps the UN delegates felt the same dopamine rush that SJP members do today when they disrupt an event featuring an Israeli speaker.

Although the resolution was finally rescinded, little changed at the UN, where Israel is the member state everyone loves to hate. Recently, the Security Council reacted with horrified alarm to the ‘menace’ of Israel’s intention to hold on to the Golan Heights, thus keeping it out of the hands of Da’esh or the Butcher of Damascus. In a normal world, one would expect thanks rather than condemnation.

The PA's billion dollar foreign aid fraud

The Palestinian Authority is deceiving Western donor countries, falsely claiming to have stopped paying salaries to terrorist prisoners, and reaping more than a billion dollars/year in return

Itamar Marcus..
Palestinian Media Watch..
27 April '16..

This special report by Palestinian Media Watch reveals a major fraud by the Palestinian Authority, through which it is reaping more than a billion dollars in foreign aid yearly.

In 2014, the PA announced that in order to continue receiving more than a billion dollars in financial support annually, it was acceding to US and European donor countries' demands that the PA stop paying salaries to terrorist prisoners. The PA claimed the money for prisoners salaries would no longer be paid by the PA but instead by the PLO.

Even though PMW warned at the time that this was a "ploy," the US and EU countries accepted the PA's assurance, and continue to give the PA over a billion dollars in financial aid every year.

This PMW special report cites numerous official PA sources and statements by officials, showing that the PA is violating the trust of the US and EU donor countries. According to all these sources, the PA Ministry of Finance continues to make the decisions and remains the source of the money for paying salaries to terrorist prisoners.

In addition, PMW has studied records of the PA Ministry of Finance that show money transfers the PA made to the PLO in the years 2012 - 2015. These transfers show a noteworthy money trail used to transfer money that is needed for terrorist salaries from the PA to the PLO. In 2015, after the PA had assured Western donors it was no longer paying the salaries, and after it had closed the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, it suddenly transferred more than double what it had transferred to the PLO in previous years. The additional amount transferred by the PA to the PLO in 2015 was almost identical to the budget the PA Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs used to have. This extra money the PLO received from the PA in 2015 matches the amount the PLO now needed to pay the salaries of terrorist prisoners.

The payments may be made by the PLO, but the money is still PA money.

Since it continues to fund salaries to terrorists, thereby clearly violating its promise to donors, the PA should be ineligible to receive Western donor money. However, through this deception the PA is still reaping over a billion dollars in foreign aid.

Click here to view the full report in PDF

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Choosing a more promising remedy to war and terror than an illusory "Two-State Solution"

...In a staggeringly complicated region, filled with ironies, there are legal truths that should assist Israeli leaders to choose a more promising remedy to war and terror than an illusory "Two-State Solution." Shimon Peres's early warnings about "Palestine" were on-the-mark and should be heeded today.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and
PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony
 on September 13, 1993. In 1996, Arafat publicly stated: "We
Palestinians will take over everything ... You understand that
we plan to eliminate the State of Israel, and establish a purely
Palestinian state. ... I have no use for Jews; they are and remain,
 Jews." (Image source: Vince Musi / The White House) 
Louis René Beres..
Gatestone Institute.. 
27 April '16..

There is no lack of irony in the endless discussions of Israel and a Palestinian state. One oddly neglected example is the complete turnaround of former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres. Recognized today as perhaps the proudest Israeli champion of a "Two State Solution" -- sometimes also referred to as a "Road Map to Peace in the Middle East" -- Peres had originally considered Palestinian sovereignty to be an intolerable existential threat to Israel. More precisely, in his book, Tomorrow is Now (1978), Mr. Peres unambiguously warned:

"The establishment of such a (Palestinian) state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into Judea and Samaria this force, together with the local youth, will double itself in a short time. It will not be short of weapons or other military equipment, and in a short space of time, an infrastructure for waging war will be set up in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. ... In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel's existence..."

Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in apparent agreement with this original position of Peres on Palestine, is nonetheless willing to go along with some form or another of a Palestinian state, but only so long as its prospective leaders should first agree to "demilitarization." Netanyahu, the "hawk," is now in agreement with the early, original warning of Peres, the "dove." Peres's assessment has been Netanyahu's firm quid pro quo

For Israel, as Mr. Netanyahu understands, legal mistakes and misunderstandings could quickly give rise to potentially irreversible harms. With reference to the particular matter of "Palestine," the underlying hazards are complex, longstanding, and possibly global. These hazards would also only be exacerbated by any newly mandated (by the U.S., Russia, and/or United Nations) Israeli return of the Golan Heights to Syria. Then, armed militants could once again start shooting down at the farmers below, laboring on the Israeli plain. History can help us better to understand the real outcome of any "Two-State Solution." From the beginnings of the state system, in 1648, following the Thirty Years' War, and the Peace of Westphalia, states have routinely negotiated treaties to provide security. To the extent that they have been executed in good faith, these agreements are fashioned and tested according to international law. Often, of course, disputes arise when signatories have determined that continued compliance is no longer in their presumed national interest. 

For Israel, its 1979 Peace Treaty with Egypt remains fundamental and important. Still, any oscillating regime change or Islamist ascendancy in Cairo could easily signal an abrogation of this agreement. These same risks of deliberate nullification could apply to an openly secular Egyptian government, should its leaders (today, this would mean President el-Sisi) decide, for absolutely any reason, that the historic treaty with Israel should now be terminated. 

Any post-Sisi regime that would extend some governing authority to the Muslim Brotherhood, to its proxies, or to its jihadist successors (such as ISIS), could produce a sudden Egyptian abrogation. Although the cessation of treaty obligations by the Egyptian side would almost certainly represent a serious violation of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the governing "treaty on treaties," there is little if anything that Israel or the so-called "international community" could do in response. In the still-insightful words of seventeenth-century English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes: "Covenants, without the sword, are but words...." (Leviathan). Back to Palestine. As recently as last Friday, Palestinian Authority (PA) television, not Hamas, threatened the Jews, not just Israelis, with genocide:

PA TV Preacher: "Allah, punish Your enemies, the enemies of religion, count their numbers and kill them to the last one, and bring them a black day. Allah, punish the wicked Jews, and those among the atheists who help them. Allah, we ask that You bestow upon us respect and honor by enabling us to repel them, and we ask You to save us from their evil." [Official PA TV, April 22, 2016]

That is just part of a wider security problem. Under law, Israel has a "peremptory" (irrefutable, not open to challenge or appeal) right to remain "alive." It was, therefore, entirely proper for Mr. Netanyahu to have previously opposed a Palestinian state in any form. After all, both Fatah and Hamas have always considered, and still consider, Israel as simply part of "Palestine." On their current official maps, all of Israel -- not just West Bank, Judea and Samaria -- is prominently identified as "Occupied Palestine." As for Jerusalem, an April 15, 2016, UNESCO resolution was expressly dismissive of "so-called" Jewish sites, including the Western Wall. 

‘Disproportionate?’ U.S. Copies Israel - by Jonathan Tobin

...The rules of engagement used by Israel are highly restrictive as are those of the U.S. armed forces. But if terrorists are in built-up areas, they must still be tracked down and killed lest they be allowed to slaughter even more innocents. This is a lesson that the Obama administration and even a critic of Israel like Sanders should have already learned. Rather than carrying out war crimes, as Sanders seemed to imply, the Israelis have been role models for Americans tasked with the same thankless job of hunting killers. As the U.S. military’s actions demonstrate, the IDF deserves the praise of American leaders, not the ill-informed and spiteful slurs that have emanated from both the White House and the Sanders campaign.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
27 April '15..

Earlier this month, Senator Bernie Sanders caused a stir by condemning Israel’s counter-attacks against Hamas terrorists in Gaza as “disproportionate.” After admitting that he had wildly exaggerated the number of civilian deaths in the 2014 Gaza war, he doubled down on the charge condemning the Israel Defense Forces. But while he took a much-deserved beating over this from the pro-Israel community, including many Democrats, Sanders could say in his defense that he was merely echoing the same sorts of unfair criticisms of Israel made by the Obama White House and State Department in 2014. But even as many of the leaders of the Democratic Party attacked Israel over its behavior in Gaza, the U.S. military was seeking to emulate them.

Evidence of that was made clear this week when it was revealed that U.S. fighting ISIS terrorists in Mosul were attempting to use the very same tactics employed by the IDF.
U.S. Air Force General Peter Gersten said in a news conference held via video link from Baghdad that the Americans seeking to take out terrorists embedded in civilian areas were now using the “knock on the roof” technique created by the Israelis. During the fighting, the Israelis sought to warn civilians in a building that was being used by Hamas killers by shooting a non-explosive device onto the roof allowing non-combatants as well as any terrorists present to escape.

The tactic saved many lives though sometimes that goal was frustrated by the fact that Hamas discouraged civilians from availing themselves as the chance to get out of harm’s way. Their interests were served by maximizing the number of civilian casualties. That’s the reason why they placed their fighters as well as the missile launchers responsible for shooting thousands of rockets at Israeli cities alongside apartment buildings and storing their munitions in schools, including those run by the United Nations. Israel did everything in its power to avoid hurting non-combatants even as its military was forced to silence the rockets and root out the tunnels used to carry out cross-border kidnapping and murder raids. But the fact that an administration and a senator that both pose as “friends” to Israel would repeat the canard that Israel is targeting civilians shows that Hamas’s misinformation efforts were successful in the United States as well as in countries where the Jewish state’s foes predominate.

But the U.S. military never bought into these lies. In November of 2014, General Martin Dempsey, then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly praised Israel for its conduct in Gaza. He correctly said that that Israel went to “extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilians casualties” in Gaza. More than that, he said the U.S. military would be seeking to use Israel’s conduct in the fighting as a model. This week’s announcement of the use of the “knock on the roof” technique is proof that this was not an empty promise.

Defeating Hamas in America - by Caroline Glick

Activists from US coast to coast robotically parrot the same lies, employ the same tactics of bullying, intimidating and silencing pro-Israel activists and speakers on campus after campus.

Caroline Glick..
Column One/JPost..
27 April '16..

To fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, it is first necessary to understand it.

The BDS campaign is an extraordinary phenomenon.

Activists from US coast to coast robotically parrot the same lies, employ the same tactics of bullying, intimidating and silencing pro-Israel activists and speakers on campus after campus.

Their goals are uniform. They seek to silence pro-Israel voices in US academia as a means to destroy general public support for Israel in America.

And they seek to make Jew-hatred socially acceptable in elite circles in America for the first time since the Holocaust.

This month it was leftist MK Tzipi Livni’s turn to fall victim to BDS bigotry and defamation. During a public appearance at Harvard Law School, one of the heads of BDS movement at the school, Husam el-Qoulaq, asked her why she is “smelly.”

Qoulaq is the head of Students for Justice in Palestine at Harvard Law School.

SJP is the central engine of the BDS movement.

Its members are the ones who organize the “divest from Israel” resolutions routinely passed by ignorant or intimidated student representatives on college councils.

SJP members are the ones who regularly harass pro-Israel students and riot or otherwise disrupt pro-Israel events on campuses.

They are the ones who willingly and purposely engage in rank anti-Semitic demonization of Jews and Israel to normalize Jew-hatred in America.

Given SJP’s lead role in the campaign against Israel and American Jewry on college campuses, students and Jewish groups trying to combat the racist movement focus their attention on SJP.

But it works out that SJP doesn’t formally exist.

There is no nonprofit group called Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP doesn’t file tax forms. It doesn’t have a paper trail. In other words, SJP is a ghost organization, an illusion.

To bring it down you need to find its controllers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Taking BDS to its logical conclusion while disregarding its own citizens' security?

...Europeans would be wise to wake up to the fact that when it comes to Israel, the policies that their governments pursue are not only wrong because they are anti-Israel and based on stubborn, often bigoted and anti-Semitic misperceptions, but that they may frequently be to the direct disadvantage of the European citizens that these governments were elected to serve. Clearly, a government that chooses to follow the principles of BDS rather than the best interest of its citizens is a government that has lost its moral compass entirely and is groping in the dark. Europeans should start asking some hard questions. The sooner the better.

Judith Bergman..
Israel Hayom..
27 April '16..

The boycott, divest and sanction movement, despite all its noise, has so far avoided the logical step of actually boycotting all Israeli products and inventions. This is because it would make life too difficult, as Israeli inventions and products are integral to so much of modern technology and are very often a necessary and unavoidable part of products that people simply cannot live without.

Boycotting Israel only to the extent that it suits you, while taking advantage of Israeli IT or medical technology is, of course, a particularly sickening form of hypocrisy and possibly a completely new breed of bigotry. Nevertheless, it would appear that some state officials on the European continent have indeed tried to bring BDS to its logical conclusion, even when it meant that they might find themselves at a considerable disadvantage in an area of grave importance to national security.

According to news reports, France was offered Israeli security technology to track terrorists, which might possibly have prevented the disastrous terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 and in Belgium in March 2016. The technology tracks terrorists by finding and matching intelligence reports from a number of national and international databases and employs powerful analytical tools and unique algorithms to navigate and process the information. According to an Israeli counter-terror specialist, French authorities liked the technology, but were told that there was a higher-level instruction to abstain from purchasing it. No official reason was stated for the rejection.

If true, this shows that not only has BDS made significant inroads into official France, but also that there is at least one European government willing to disregard its own citizens' security just to pursue the goals of the BDS movement. It should give every concerned European pause that a European government puts the twisted and basically racist policy of boycotting Israeli products before its obligations of securing its own citizens and keeping them safe from terrorism -- especially recently, with the Islamic State terror threat at an all-time high.

Being offered advanced terrorist-tracking technology from Israel – an indisputable leader in this field -- and refusing it simply because it is Israeli does not merely constitute a terrible form of mindless bigotry but also gross malfeasance toward the citizens of France.

Lies, Damn Lies and Faculty Lies - by Ben Cohen

...Nobody is questioning their right to preach this coarse and hateful discourse. Implementation of their political program, however, is a vastly different story, as it involves active discrimination and requires civic organizations to ditch their own charters. Now that they’ve figured that out in Beirut, university administrations and faculty associations here in America have no excuse not to do the same.

Steven Salaita, the anti-Zionist professor of
American Studies who formerly worked for
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Credit: Facebook.
Ben Cohen..
26 April '16.. – To understand the significance of the newly announced legal challenge against the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israel, we need to go back around 18 months.

It has been that long since the anti-Zionist fanatic Steven Salaita left the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under a cloud. Salaita, who teaches American Studies, departed the school following a bitter struggle that resulted in an offer of a tenured professorship being retracted.

His supporters claimed, as is their habit, that Salaita was being punished for his support of the Palestinians. A more detached reading of the case suggests that Salaita was denied tenure because of a series of bizarre Twitter rants in which he stated, inter alia, that anyone who defends Israel is “hopelessly brainwashed,” that Zionism had made antisemitism “honorable,” and that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to don a “necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children,” nobody would be surprised.

The Salaita affair was a salutary reminder of just how low standards at American universities have fallen. Salaita was simply one more example of how anti-Zionist advocates abuse academic departments by masking their eliminationist agendas under the cover of “academic” research.

This trend is, of course, hardly new. But what is new, relatively speaking, is the existence of social media platforms in which the true character of folks like Salaita is revealed in their own words. After all, Salaita is not the only academic to have advocated for Israel’s destruction from the safety of a computer in his study. More recently, Joy Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin College, has drawn fire for postings that make even Salaita look sensible, blaming Israel for the 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo atrocities, and accusing — in classic antisemitic fashion — the Jewish Rothschild banking dynasty of engineering every financial crisis since the era of Napoleon Bonaparte. (No, I’m not making that up.)

All things considered, though, Salaita did pretty well out of the University of Illinois scandal. After he filed a lawsuit, the university agreed to pay him $875,000 in an out-of-court settlement. He was also appointed to a position at the American University of Beirut (AUB), arriving in Lebanon about a year ago.

You might think that would be that. But no. This month, AUB announced that it was severing ties with Salaita, and that he would consequently not be appointed as director of its Center for American Studies and Research. Predictably, his supporters again began railing that AUB “is reproducing the trend of persecuting scholars who condemn the injustices committed in Palestine.”

One of Salaita’s closest collaborators, Corey Robin of Brooklyn College, even compared the ditching of Salaita to the “purging” of “leftist scholars” from American academia during the Cold War. If you’re wondering whether Robin is similarly outraged by the banishment of Soviet dissidents into gulags during the same period, don’t hold your breath; the Soviet Union was “progressive,” you see.

Why Does Freedom House Attack Israel’s Free Press? - by Jonathan Tobin

...To openly support efforts to suppress a publication that has provided much-needed diversity to the Israeli press is a betrayal of Freedom House’s mandate. To attack Israel again in this manner demonstrates that, as with so many other groups that pose as defenders of liberty, freedom in the Jewish state or the right of its people to defend themselves is not something they care much about.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
26 April '16..

Defending liberty around the world, especially that of the press, is an important function of Freedom House. It has done admirable service promoting democracy and pointing out the failures and injustices in a world that is still is dominated by dictatorships. But like many human rights advocacy groups it has a blind spot when it comes to the state of Israel.

Though Israel has one of the most vibrant and free press cultures in the entire world, Freedom House has downgraded its ranking in the group’s annual report on freedom of the press that will be released tomorrow from “free” to “partly free.”

How is that possible? Has Israel’s government sought to suppress criticism? Has it shut down outlets that disagreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu? Are dissenting voices no longer heard on its television or radio stations?

No, none of those things have happened. Israel, which has far more active newspapers per capita than most democracies, remains a country where critics of the government and of the country, in general, have no trouble in being heard on radio and television or in finding space in general circulation publications. Indeed, it is often far more difficult to find those who back Israel’s government or its current prime minister than it is to encounter his opponents in the media. In that respect, the Israeli press tilts even further to the left than that in the United States.

Why possible reason then can there be for downgrading Israel’s ranking? The answer is simple. The group considers “the growing impact of Israel Hayom” to be a problem. According to Freedom House, that newspaper’s “owner-subsidized business model endangered the stability of other media outlets.”

What are they talking about?

Pro-Palestinian campus activists have some ‘very smelly’ financial supporters

...SJP’s self-declared goal is to end Israel’s “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” while “promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.” That’s another way of saying destroying the Jewish state. Yet as prominent as SJP and the wider BDS movement have become, less is known about the sources of their funding.

Bret Stephens..
Wall Street Journal..
25 April '16..

The Anti-Israel Money Trail

Earlier this month, Harvard law student Husam El-Qoulaq posed a question at a public conference to Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister. “How is it that you are so smelly?” Mr. El-Qoulaq wanted to know. “It’s regarding your odor—about the odor of Tzipi Livni, very smelly.”

Harvard went out of its way to try to keep the questioner’s identity a secret, including by deleting the comment from its video of the event—a privilege, one suspects, the school would not have afforded a student asking a similar question of a black speaker. And Mr. El-Qoulaq, who is active in a Harvard affiliate of Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, later offered an anonymous apology “to anyone who felt offended.”

Yet the exchange is another reminder of the anti-Israel, and increasingly anti-Semitic, environment students now experience on American campuses. That’s the doing of several groups, including some nominally Jewish ones. But none is so prominent as SJP, which has more than 100 chapters nationwide and has been canny in pairing itself with left-wing or minority student organizations to sponsor anti-Israel events, heckle pro-Israel speakers, and agitate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions on campus.

SJP’s self-declared goal is to end Israel’s “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” while “promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.” That’s another way of saying destroying the Jewish state.

Yet as prominent as SJP and the wider BDS movement have become, less is known about the sources of their funding. That changed last week after testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Mr. Schanzer, a former Treasury Department official and terrorism-finance expert, notes in his testimony that a prominent backer of SJP and like-minded groups is an organization called American Muslims for Palestine, based in Palos Hills, Ill., and led by UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian, who also happens to be one of SJP’s founders. AMP claimed to have spent $100,000 on anti-Israel campus activities in 2014, including to SJP. An AMP conference that year at a Chicago Hyatt invited participants to “come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.”

FDD discovered that many of AMP’s leading members were previously active in some dubious former charities. The most prominent, the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation For Relief and Development, was shut down in 2001 by the federal government for providing millions in funds to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas; five Holy Land officials eventually were convicted to prison terms and two others fled the country.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Killing Jews? Actually nothing has changed, apart from the rhetoric

...The hatred emanating from the words of these affluent, "cultured" parents and their unremorseful threats against Israeli society of a future, even more dangerous, generation, speak for themselves. However, they are right about their son's generation. It is indeed dangerous, because it is steeped in unmitigated hatred, not only at home but at every turn it takes: in kindergarten, in school, on TV, in the mosques and on the streets -- in all these places, this generation is taught that killing Jews is a good thing. As their son watched one terrorist after another celebrated as a martyr of Allah, having streets and squares named after them and their families richly rewarded by the PA, this son of "cultured" parents drew the logical conclusions of what he had been taught to worship and revere all his life, and went out and killed Jews. Who -- least of all his parents -- could possibly be surprised about that?

Judith Bergman..
Israel Hayom..
26 April '16..

A disturbingly clear pattern has emerged in the wake of the increase in terrorism around the world, especially in the West. Whenever there is a terrorist attack, the parents, friends and families of the perpetrators are always in "deep shock." They cannot fathom from where their terrorist offspring, who had always been so "normal and good," got their inspiration. The parents have absolutely "no idea" what could possibly have prompted the attacks.

It is conspicuous -- and pathetic -- how uniform these parents of Muslim radicals are in their frantic denial of knowledge and responsibility for raising monsters that go out and commit such atrocities. But the politically correct mainstream international press never probes deeper and lets the parents off the hook easily. After all, the international mainstream media pushes and encourages the very victimhood narratives that the parents' denials and feigned "shock" feed into in order to escape further scrutiny. It is astounding that no one in the media seriously questions these uniform denials.

Among all these stories of feigned shock and surprise, that of the parents of the Hamas terrorist who bombed the Jerusalem bus recently (wounding 20 people and killing himself) takes the prize. Not only do the parents insist they had "no idea" their son had been involved with the Hamas, they feel no remorse for his actions and astoundingly blame Israel and the Jews for his actions: "You Jews have to understand something: Abed al-Hamid did not come from a poor family; he came from an affluent one. He had his own car. A family with property and money ... a cultured household -- with manners, respect, education -- which opposes violence. You Israelis have to ask yourselves what causes a boy like ours to want to do such a thing. And I am telling you: Israel is responsible. Israel caused this generation to act this way. This generation has no future. No work. You pressure them and hurt them and create a hopeless situation for them. You are turning the young generation into what it is. The next generation, the young children, will be even more dangerous."

So while their terrorist son had everything he could wish for in material wealth and came from a "cultured household," he still had "no future" because of the Jews. What else is new?

The Abandonment of the First of the 5 W’s of Journalism at Harvard Law Record

...Why did the paper withhold El-Qoulaq’s name from the story about his antisemitic insult directed at Tzipi Livni? To promote “respectful discourse” and “recognition of the fact that Husam is a member of this community.” Apparently, holding people accountable for their public statements is not part of the Harvard Law School’s ethos. How else can we explain the efforts of both administrators and student journalists at the school to protect El-Qoulaq’s identity? Annual Tuition at Harvard Law School is almost $60,000. That’s a lot of money, but it still does not enough to protect students who attend the school from scrutiny and criticism, as The Record’s staff seems to believe.

Dexter Van Zile..
CAMERA Snapshots..
25 April '16..

The Harvard Law Record explains why it protected the identity of Husam El-Qoulaq, who hurled an anti-Semitic insult at Tzipi Livni, former Foreign Minister of Israel and current member of the Knesset. Livni appeared as a guest at the school earlier this month when El-Qoulaq insulted her.(Screenshot.)

Journalists are supposed to find out what happened and tell their readers what they have learned. Historically, there have been five questions that reporters are expected to answer, or at least try to answer, when writing about public events. The questions are:

1. Who?
2. What?
3. When?
4. Where?
5. Why?

Apparently, the student journalists at The Harvard Law Record did not get the memo.

When Husam El-Qoulaq, a student at the school insulted Tzipi Livni, former Israeli Foreign Minister and current member of the Israeli Knesset, at a public event on Thursday April 14, 2016, (he called her “smelly”), the newspaper initially concealed the El-Qoulaq’s identity.

When, on April 18, 2016, Jewish students who attended the event condemned the statement as antisemitic in a letter to The Record, they did El-Qoulaq the undeserved and unwarranted courtesy of withholding his name from their complaint.

This is their right, but The Record to assist in the effort to protect Husam El-Qoulaq’s identity is simply disgraceful and runs counter to the demands of journalism. It’s a betrayal of the publication's loyalty to the reader.

It’s a decision that makes a mockery of The Harvard Law Record’s credibility as a journalistic enterprise. Rather than do their job and inform their readers who said what to whom, the staffers at the newspaper withheld this information from their readers. And when students identified El-Qoulaq in the comments section of the article, they deleted these comments. (Eventually, Noah Pollak confirmed El-Qoulaq’s identity and posted it on Twitter.)

The Record’s effort to conceal El-Qoulaq’s identity is disgraceful.

El-Qoulaq offered his antisemitic insult in front of dozens of students at a public event, which was being videotaped. Even more bizarrely, Harvard Law School deleted the section of the video that recorded Husam El-Qoulaq insulting Livni.

Peace won’t be possible until Palestinians find a way to cure themselves of this illness

...there will not be peace so long as the Palestinians educate their children to hate and think slaughtering Jews is their national sport. The sight of a 12-year-old girl being given a parade on her return home after attempting to commit murder tells us everything that we need to know about how sick Palestinian society has become. Peace won’t be possible until Palestinians find a way to cure themselves of this illness.

AP Photo/ Nasser Shiyoukhi
Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
25 April '16..

Palestinians have a new idol in their pantheon of heroes and heroines. Her name is Dima al-Wawi and she is 12 years old. But unlike the paths to distinction in other societies for children, al-Wawi isn’t a math or science whiz or a great athlete. Instead, she’s guilty of attempted murder.

The girl was released on Sunday after serving 4 and-a-half months in jail where she was housed with other youngsters. Upon returning to her home village of Halhoul near the city of Hebron, she was greeted as a conquering heroine as both the Fatah Party that runs the Palestinian Authority and Hamas competed to shower her with praise. But rather than contemplate the depravity of a society that indoctrinates a little girl to think of murder and the very real possibility that she might be killed in the attempt as a praiseworthy activity, the coverage of al-Wawi’s release centers mostly on outrage that she was imprisoned and the notion that her crime somehow symbolizes the “frustration” of Palestinians about Israeli policies or the existence of settlements. And that, in a nutshell, is not only everything that is wrong with the culture of Palestinian politics but also what’s wrong with much of what passes for coverage of the Middle East in the international press.

The facts of the case are fairly straightforward. Al-Wawi approached an Israeli settlement entrance while concealing a knife under her school uniform. After her release, she said her intention was to stab and kill the security guard on duty there. But suspecting that she was up to no good, the guard stopped her and ordered her to surrender her weapon. She was caught on an amateur video at the time immediately confessing her purpose. She was arrested and tried under military law and then released early.

But the focus on the release is on the fact that if she were an Israeli she would have been tried under Israeli law and would not be liable to prison because of her age. That sounds like terrible but the problem with that criticism is that the international community doesn’t want the Jewish state to apply its law to the West Bank. There is also the fact that if Palestinian Authority or Jordanian law were applied to the case, treatment would not have been more lenient.

But the issue here isn’t which juvenile court system and set of laws were at the disposal of the authorities. It’s why a 12-year-old girl would think killing the only Jew within her reach and perhaps dying herself in the process would be something that her peers and her society would applaud?

The answer is that in the educational and cultural environment created by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, the girl was entirely correct. Those who murder or try to murder random Jews are treated as heroes and martyrs and praised by the highest officials as well as public opinion. Lest we think that this is a purely political protest or a function of anger about settlements, it is useful to read the girl’s comments. Upon her release she spouted no talking points about settlements or a desire for a Palestinian state. All she was interested in was martyrdom and the superstar status such a crime would give her among her peers and the people in her village. That makes it clear that rather that what is being drummed into her head and those of other Palestinian children is a doctrine that is based in religion and religious hatred of Jews and Israel, not a dispute about borders or frustration with the lack of progress toward peace.

Israeli aid to Ecuador ignored while PLO engages in "earthquake washing"

...Are the Palestinian Arabs engaging in "earthquake washing" to try to make themselves look good while they continue to cheer murderers of Jews back home?

Elder of Ziyon..
26 April '16..

When Israel sends teams of people and equipment to aid victims of natural disasters around the world, it is derided by haters as merely trying to distract the world from Israeli crimes.

The bigoted logic is that since the Jewish state is inherently evil, than anything good it does is also evil.

Last week, for the first time as far as I can tell, the PLO sent a team of doctors to a disaster area, in Ecuador.

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Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weaponizing children: Here's one way it's done in Jerusalem - by Arnold Roth

...Aliyan's son was a killer, and the father - at a ceremony for elementary school children honoring him - speaks of his life as an idea that will never die. Idea? Of course: the Jabel Mukaber school's Facebook page praises the terrorists and their families, and thanks the families for their visit. The idea is clear.

A practical illustration of how the weaponization
of children is 
done: Jabel Mukaber school yard,
March 2016, as children are taught 
to pay homage
 to two dead jihadists, one who murdered 3 Jews and

one who was stopped in time [From the Facebook
page of the Jabel Mukaber school

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
24 April '16..

In understanding what happened about two weeks ago in an elementary school in an Arab neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, it will help to know that an incredible proportion of Palestinian Arabs profess to be opposed to terrorism while at the same time saying (as we pointed out in "03-Nov-15: What do they mean when the Palestinian Arabs say they oppose terror?") that massacres of innocent civilians, and especially of Jews, aren't even terrorist acts to begin with.

Keep the mental gymnastics in mind as we take a look at what happened there about a month ago - but has only just now been reported.

The Jabel Mukaber elementary school [Facebook] is located in a part of Jerusalem that has that same name, immediately adjacent to the flourishing neighborhood of East Talpiot/Armon Hanatziv.

For centuries, this was part of Turkey's Ottoman Empire holdings. It fell within the British Mandate from the early twenties until 1948. The name Armon Hanatziv is Hebrew for Governor's Palace, where the reference is to the head of the British occupation which took power after the Turks were defeated in World War One and chased away. Then it fell under Jordanian military occupation from 1948, when Jordanian forces invaded the infant state of Israel. The Jordanians ruled until June 1967 when the Jordanian monarch's military was repelled after launching another unsuccessful shot at conquering the Jewish state, Israel has been in charge since 1967.

The Jabel Mukaber school, for Arab children between kindergarten and grade 9, is funded, according to Ynet, by what it terms "Islamic officials". On the school's Facebook site, a series of photographs posted March 22 and March 24, 2016 [here and here - but we think both were removed within an hour of our uploading this post] mark a ceremonial visit to the school and its children by various family members of two young men, Baha Aliyan and Mohammed Ali.

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Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.

An irresolvable dilemma, staggering stupidity and concessions too perilous to make

By accepting the principle of two-states, successive Israeli leaders have impaled the nation on the horns of an irresolvable dilemma.

Martin Sherman..
Into the Fray..
21 April '16..

We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. – Albert Einstein

One does not have to be an Einstein to grasp that Israel cannot solve the problems created by the endeavor to establish a Palestinian state by continuing the endeavor to establish such a state.

Futile and self-obstructive

Sadly, what should be a simple self-evident truth seems to have eluded Israeli political leaders – who for almost a quarter century have impaled the nation on the horns of an irresolvable dilemma. For by ostensibly accepting the principle of a two-state resolution of the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs, they have, in effect, committed the nation to a policy whose implementation requires concessions too perilous for any responsible government to make.

On the one hand, this necessarily makes Israel appear disingenuous and duplicitous, since it cannot take the actions required to facilitate its alleged political goals. On the other, because of its commitment to Palestinian statehood, Israel must limit its use of military force to levels that cannot eradicate the threat to its civilian population, for fear of eliminating any prospect of negotiations with some as yet unidentified Palestinian interlocutor with whom agreement might be reached.

Little could highlight the futility of the starkly self-obstructive approach, adopted by successive Israeli governments, than three items that made the news this week.

The first was the announcement of the discovery of an underground attack tunnel, extending from somewhere inside the terrorist enclave of Gaza into Israeli sovereign territory.

The second was the report that, having rid itself of the “costly” upkeep of the settlements in Gaza, Israel is about to invest a gazillion shekels in a super-sophisticated barrier, designed to detect any additional tunnels that Gaza-based terrorists might have burrowed or are about to burrow.

The third was an interview with Construction Minister Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, formerly head of Southern Command, in which he reiterated his support for the construction of a port off the Gaza coast that he expressed several weeks before.

What the fate of a pre-teen Arab girl says about the grip terror has on her society

...The question needs to be asked: where is UNICEF? Or Save the Children, or Terre des Hommes, or the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement or even the dishonorable Amnesty International (on whom we have not yet entirely given up hope)? Or the other well-funded, high-profile public interest organizations that purport to care for the welfare of children but that take so little interest in the unfolding tragedy of the children of the Palestinian Arabs and the terror-obsessed jihadists cheating them of their future?

Dima Al-Wawi: Tried and failed to kill Jews
and now doomed to life 
as a jihadist
 role-model [
Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
24 April'16..

Many hundreds, maybe more, of news reports and Tweets today celebrate the release today of a twelve year-old girl, arrested and imprisoned by the Israeli authorities to a term of four and a half months.

When she was arrested on February 9, 2016, all the news reports we saw agreed [for instance Al Araby and Times of Israel] that the child was 16. That was shocking enough for us to include her in a post here on our blog ["09-Feb-16: The unthinkable things Palestinian Arab society wants for and from its children"] in which numerous other children of about that age had been intercepted trying to murder Jews.

This girl child is free again today. The relevant authorities here in Israel agreed to shorten her sentence by six weeks for reasons no one is talking about.

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Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sorry to tell you, but…. - by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

The peace movements turned Israel's image into that of a weak and soft defeatist country, the exact opposite of the kind of country that achieves peace in the Middle East

Dr. Mordechai Kedar..
22 April '16..

My dear friends, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.

I am sorry to tell you that the terror attacks we from which we suffer today and yesterday, a week ago, a month, a year and a decade and century ago, are all part of the same war, the same struggle, the same Jihad waged against us by our neighbors for over a century. Sometimes it is a full scale war with tanks, noise, flames, planes and ships and sometimes it is a war on a slow burner known as "terror" with explosions, stabbings and shots. Each of these is Jihad in Arabic, each is aimed at Jews just for being Jewish.

I regret to remind you of the fact that this war began way before the establishment of the Jewish state declared in 1948. The riots and massacres of 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39 et al, were not due to a Jewish state or what our enemies call the "occupation" of 1948, and certainly not because of the 1967 "occupation". The bloody and cruel massacre of the Jews of Hevron in 1929 was carried out against Jews who were not part of the Zionist movement, quite the contrary. The Palestine Liberation Movement (Fatah) was founded, may I remind you, in 1959 and The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, years before the 1967 "occupation" that was a result of Israel winning the Six Day War.

I hate to point out to you that the shouts we heard, mainly in the 1948 War of Independence, were "Itbach al Yahud" – "Butcher the Jews" – and not the "Israelis" or the "Zionists," because their problem is with the Jews who refuse to be dependent on the mercy of Islam, refuse to live as dhimmi, protected ones, the way Islam mandates for Jews and Christians. In the Arab world, children still sing (in Arabic): "Palestine is our country and the Jews are our dogs." The dog, in Islamic tradition, is an unclean animal. Sharia law stipulates that if a Muslim is praying and a dog, pig, woman, Jew or Christian walks in front of him, his prayers are worthless and he must begin the entire ritual once again.

It is not pleasant to tell you this, but Israel's enemies' most popular chant is (in Arabic) – "Kyber, Khyber O Jews, Mohammed's army will yet return." Khyber is an oasis in the Arabian Peninsula that was populated by Jews until Mohammed slaughtered them in 626 C.E. The chant commemorates that event and threatens a repeat performance. The Jews, according to the Koran (Sura 5, verse 82) are the most hostile enemies of the Moslems. Verse 60 states that Allah's curse and fury upon them turned them into monkeys and pigs. Since when do monkeys and pigs have the right to a state? Since when are they entitled to sovereignty?

Despite what you think, peace with Egypt was achieved only after Sadat realized that despite Arab efforts to destroy Israel in the 1948 War of Independence, the 1956 Sinai Campaign, the 1967 Six Day War, 1970 War of Attrition, and even the 1973 Yom Kippur War that took Israel by surprise, the Jewish state managed to push back all the Arab armies and bring the war to their territory. That is why Sadat understood that Israel is not conquerable and that there is no choice other than making peace, even if this peace is temporary and based on the precedent of the 628 C.E. Hudabiya Peace in which Mohammed gave a 10 year hiatus to the infidels of Mecca, but broke it at the end of two years when they fell asleep on the watch.

Cameras, Temple Mount and Palestinians. When in Doubt, Try Intimidation - by Khaled Abu Toameh

...We are seeing an old movie. Once again, the Palestinians have strong-armed their way to disaster. Their incessant intimidation fails to achieve a truly worthy goal: a better life under a non-dictatorial regime. Once again, the Palestinians have prevailed -- and in their win, they lose yet again.

Palestinian Arab young men with masks, inside
Al-Aqsa Mosque (some wearing shoes), stockpile
rocks to use for throwing at Jews who visit
the Temple Mount, September 27, 2015.
Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
22 April '16..

Succumbing to Palestinian intimidation, Jordan has dropped its plan to install surveillance cameras at the Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), or Temple Mount.

The cancellation of the plan is seen as a severe blow not only to Jordan, but also to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who, in October 2015, brokered the agreement to install the cameras at the site.

Kerry announced then that Jordan and Israel had agreed to round-the-clock video surveillance, with the goal of reducing tensions at the Temple Mount.

Since then, however, the Palestinians, who have unleashed a wave of violent attacks on Israel in a purported response to Israeli "provocations" at the Temple Mount, have been campaigning against the plan to install the security cameras there. This week, it turned out that this campaign of intimidation was not in vain.

The Palestinians argue that the cameras would be used by Israel to identify and arrest Muslim worshippers who protest against visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. What they seem to have forgotten is that these "protesters" regularly harass Jewish groups and individuals touring the Temple Mount. The "protesters" are known as murabitoun (the Steadfast) and their main mission is to stop Jews from touring the Temple Mount. Some are affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA), while others are on the payroll of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

How Kerry will respond to this spit in the face remains to be seen. Not a sound was heard from him throughout the months of the Palestinian campaign to scuttle the plan.

With the U.S. deafeningly quiet on the subject, the Jordanians were left alone to deal with the Palestinian intimidation.

How to Answer an Israel Boycott - by Jonathan Tobin

...The chief merit of the suit is that the violation of the ASA’s charter cannot be reasonably denied. Boycott advocates claim that the fact that the United States supports Israel brings activism against the Jewish state under the rubric of American studies but this is rubbish. Whatever one may think about Israel, waging an economic war against it or discriminating against its institutions and citizens in no way advances the purposes of scholarly work on specifically American topics. The only way for this to be conceivably possible is for the group to have transformed itself from one dedicated to scholarship into a political organization.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
22 April '16..

Friends of Israel have watched with alarm as the BDS — boycott, sanction, divest — movement has sought a beachhead in this country on college campuses. The BDSers have failed with most academic institutions rejecting calls to divest from companies that do business with Israel. But just as insidious are the efforts to exploit scholarly associations in order to try and ban contacts with Israeli schools and scholars. The first great success they had was with the American Studies Association, which voted to boycott Israel in 2013. Since then others, such as the National Women’s Studies Association, have followed in their footsteps. These boycotts have been roundly condemned as both discriminatory and unhelpful to the cause of peace by reputable scholars and university presidents. But that’s left those who consider these attempts to exploit any influence these groups possess to aid in a war that aims at the destruction of the Jewish state frustrated at their inability to stop a determined minority of Israel-haters from hijacking organizations whose purpose has nothing to do with the politics of the Middle East.

But it turns out there is something that can be done about it. With the help of some enterprising legal minds, a number of prominent members of the American Studies Association are suing the ASA and the leaders behind the boycott of Israel in federal court. On the surface, that sounds like a nuisance suit that might be a waste of the court system’s time. But a closer look at the effort shows that this legal attack on the BDS movement is on solid ground.

Legal scholars Eugene Kontorovich and Steven Davidoff Solomon laid out the rationale for the suit in an article in the Wall Street Journal back in December.

In passing the boycott resolution, the ASA violated the terms of its corporate charter, which just happened to be approved by Congress when it was founded and the District of Columbia Non-Profit Corporation Act that requires an organization to operate only within the provisions of its charter. Promoting a campaign to stigmatize Israelis and to deny them access to U.S. institutions is not only an act of despicable prejudice. It has nothing to do with the ASA’s purpose of promoting scholarship about American studies and therefore changes the very nature of the group.

According to Jerome Marcus, lead counsel for the plaintiffs:

This case stands for the simple proposition that nonprofit corporations must pursue the lawful purposes for which they are established, for which they receive nonprofit status, and for which they raise charitable contributions.

By stepping beyond the purposes for which it was founded in order to become a vehicle for political advocacy, the ASA violated that charter, which is not only filed with the IRS in order to maintain its non-profit status but is, in legal terms, a contract with its members. Moreover, the method by which the ASA leaders managed to pass the resolution also violated the rules stated in that same charter.

Can this effort succeed in brushing back the ASA as well as setting a precedent that may serve to deter other groups from being hijacked in this manner? While there is no way of knowing in advance how the federal courts will decide, the prospects for the suit are better than you might think.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Obama, Netanyahu, and Selective Outrage - by Elliott Abrams

What’s sauce for the goose, as the saying goes, is sauce for the gander. Perhaps this kind of foreign leader’s intervention is a bad idea and has little positive impact, and Netanyahu should have stayed home. Perhaps, and if so, Obama should have stayed home too.

Elliott Abrams..
Pressure Points..
23 April '16..

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last year about the Iran nuclear deal was viewed by President Obama as an outrageous intervention in what should have been an Americans-only internal decision.

It was true, of course, that Obama did not have the votes in Congress for his deal, which is why he did not submit it as a treaty. And it was true, of course, that Israel’s fate, its security, perhaps its existence, was in its prime minister’s eyes at risk in the nuclear deal.

With that background in mind it has been quite something to see Mr. Obama insert himself into the decision of the British people on whether to leave the EU. Not only did he offer an opinion, as Netanyahu did, and not only did he fly to the UK to offer that opinion, as Bibi flew to Washington, but he did something Netanyahu did not do: he threatened the UK. Proponents of “Brexit” argue that the UK can after leaving the EU negotiate free trade agreements with the EU and US, so that British trade is not harmed. While in London Obama said the UK would go “to the back of the queue” and was anyway too small for a free trade agreement with the US.

The latter point is silly; we have a free trade agreement with Oman. The “queue” point is an empty threat– both because Obama is leaving office soon and will not be in charge of that queue, and because it is blindingly obvious that such an agreement would be in the interest of the United States and we would seek one quickly.

Root causes and red herrings - by Martin Sherman

...It is time to acknowledge the unpalatable fact that the enmity of Arabs towards the Jews and the Jewish state is: Not about borders but about existence. Not about what the Jewish people do but about what the Jewish people are. Not about the Jewish state's policies but about the Jewish state per se. And not about Jewish military "occupation" of Arab land but about Jewish political existence on any land. Israel must internalize these truths and undertake a policy to convey them with conviction and vigor to the world. Otherwise Israel may well be "liberated."

Martin Sherman..
Israel Hayom..
22 April '16..

More than two years before any Israeli presence in what are now the "occupied territories," Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser issued a public message: "We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand, we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood" (March 8, 1965).

This chilling declaration of genocidal intent by the leader of the largest Arab nation was not an isolated aberration.

Quite the contrary, it was typical of a pervasive Judeo-phobic frenzy that prevailed throughout the Arab world, well before the notions of "occupation" and "settlements" -- the current buzzwords for rallying anti-Israeli sentiment -- had any practical significance, or even conceptual relevance.

On May 18, 1967, following the withdrawal of the U.N. peacekeeping forces in Sinai, in compliance with Egyptian demands, the Cairo-based radio station Voice of the Arabs blared: "As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. ... The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence."

Two days later, Gen. Hafez Assad, father of current President Bashar Assad and then-Syria's defense minister and later president, boasted: "Our forces are now entirely ready. ... The time has come to enter a battle of annihilation."

On May 27, Nasser reiterated his murderous goal: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight."

Four days before the outbreak of war, on June 1, Iraqi President Abdul Rahman Ali -- later assassinated by Saddam Hussein -- threatened: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. ... Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off the map."

The mood on the Jordanian front and among the Palestinians, together with their Arab "patrons," was strikingly similar.

On Nov. 18, 1965, Nasser remarked: "Our aim is the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel."

Jordan's King Hussein, apparently impressed by this bluster, entered into a military pact with Egypt on May 30, 1967, despite bitter acrimony between Nasser and himself. He declared: "All of the Arab armies now surround Israel. The UAR [Egypt], Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Algeria, Sudan and Kuwait. ... There is no difference between one Arab people and another, no difference between one Arab army and another."

At the time, the entire West Bank and Gaza, territories now claimed for the establishment of a Palestinian state, were under Arab control. Nasser ruled Gaza, Hussein the West Bank. Yet neither undertook the slightest initiative to initiate any self-governing Palestinian entity in these territories.

Friday, April 22, 2016

What Happened to Israel’s Liberals? - by Jonathan Tobin

...Rather than being hateful to Arabs, Herzog just wants his party to stop acting as if the Israeli people haven’t been paying attention to the Palestinians. Once the natural party of government, they are now marginalized because they hitched their wagon to a peace process that was based on false hopes and a lack of realism about what Palestinians want....Biden can, if he likes, wait for the views of a far-left member of Zionist Union who opposes Herzog, like Stav Shaffir, to prevail in Israel. But until the Palestinians embrace peace and reject terror, there’s a better chance that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will endorse Trump.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
21 April '16..

The other night during a speech to the left-wing J Street lobby, Vice President Biden lamented the fact that the Israeli people don’t agree with the Obama administration. From the moment they took office, President Obama and his team have been very clear about their disdain for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud Party. But to their dismay, Netanyahu has won the last three elections and is regarded, despite being personally unpopular, as the only conceivable candidate to lead the country during the coalition negotiations that, in the Israeli system, are part of the postscript to each vote. To the applause of the J Street crowd, Biden said that he looked forward to the day when the views of a Knesset member who happens to be on the left-wing of Israel’s Zionist Union/Labour left-wing opposition party would once again prevail in the Knesset.

Biden shouldn’t hold his breath. Labour hasn’t won an election since 1999. For those who are counting, that’s seven losses in a row. But Isaac Herzog, the party’s current leader, can count. That’s why he’s been doing his best to try and re-position the party that now goes under the name Zionist Union (as part of its merger with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s short-lived party) as part of the country’s political center rather than part of the left.

As I noted back in January, Herzog bowed to reality and stated publicly that a two-state solution — a stand that has been synonymous with the leading party in what used to be called the peace camp — was impossible to achieve in the foreseeable future. Though Herzog has plenty of criticisms to make of Netanyahu and wants to implement some limited unilateral measures on the West Bank to make the situation more livable that aren’t too different from the prime minister’s proposals, he also understood that Israel has no partner for peace among the Palestinians. Even Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, the man that Obama has lauded as a champion of peace, won’t recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Nor will Abbas condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis even when, as happened during Biden’s recent visit, a shooting rampage resulted in the death of a non-Jewish American tourist who was a U.S. Army veteran.

But, with his party still lagging in third place in the polls behind the centrist Yesh Atid Party led by Yair Lapid as well as the still dominant Likud, Herzog has gone even further. At a meeting with Labour activists, he told them they were losing ground to Yesh Atid specifically because Lapid had positioned them to their right on national security while seeking to take a more populist stance on economic issues. If Labour wanted to ever win another election, it was going to have to stop giving the Israeli public the impression that they were primarily “Arab lovers” rather than one that knew how to act as a “ruling party” that could act in defense of the nation’s interests against Palestinians that still seek the Jewish state’s elimination.

Predictably that rather frank yet completely truthful evaluation of Labour’s problems has given the Israeli arbiters of liberal ideology conniption fits. Since the speech, Haaretz, which bills itself as the New York Times of Israel but whose politics are actually more analogous to an American left-wing rag like Mother Jones rather than the liberal mainstream media flagship, has been comparing Herzog to Donald Trump and blasting him as promoting hate.