Month: November 2018

IN EUROPE, MACRON IGNORANTLY CRITIQUES NATIONALISM, MAY NAVIGATES BREXIT, AND ANTISEMITISM RISES IN GERMANY

The Mad, Mad Meditations of Monsieur Macron: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Nov. 20, 2018— Almost everything French president Emmanuel Macron has said recently on the topic of foreign affairs, the United States, and nationalism and patriotism is silly.

It May Not Be Enough, But Theresa May Has Done Her Best: Conrad Black, National Post, Nov. 16, 2018 — The drama of the British departure from the European Union is finally coming to a climax.

Can Organized Jewry in Germany Behave “Normally?”: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, Nov. 6, 2018— Jews fulfill many functions and roles in European societies.

Hanukkah’s Legacy in America: Yoram Ettinger, Algemeiner, Nov. 29, 2018— The legacy of Hanukkah has played a major role in shaping the American ethos and state of mind, from the early Pilgrims through the Founding Fathers’ War of Independence and th+eir composition and ratification of the US Constitution, all the way until today.

On Topic Links

Chanukah and the Future of the State of Israel: Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 30, 2018

Who Are Europe’s Most Important Politicians?: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Aug. 2, 2018

The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Hiding in Her Home: Colin Moynihan, New York Times, Oct. 5, 2018

How the Jewish People Have Survived … And Why They Still Will: Tal Keinan, National Post, Sept. 25, 2018

                 

THE MAD, MAD MEDITATIONS OF MONSIEUR MACRON                                        

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                                                               National Review, Nov. 20, 2018

Almost everything French president Emmanuel Macron has said recently on the topic of foreign affairs, the United States, and nationalism and patriotism is silly. He implicitly rebukes Donald Trump for praising the idea of nationalism as a creed in which citizens of sovereign nations expect their leaders to put the interests of their fellow citizens first and those of other nations second. And while critiquing nationalism, Macron nonetheless talks and acts as though he is an insecure French chauvinist of the first order.

The French president suffers from the usual dreams of some sort of European “empire” — Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler . . . Brussels? He probably envisions a new Rome steered by French cultural elites whose wisdom, style, and sophistication would substitute for polluting tanks and bombers, and who would play Greece’s robed philosophers to Europe’s Roman legions: “It’s about Europe having to become a kind of empire, as China is. And how the U.S. is.” But aside from the fact that the immigration-wary eastern and financially strapped southern Europeans are increasingly skeptical of northern European imperial ecumenicalism, can Macron cite any “empire” in the past — Persian, Roman, Ottoman, British — that was not first and foremost “nationalist”?

Would an envisioned non-nationalist “European empire” put the interests of the United States or China on an equal plane with its own? Would it follow U.N. dictates? Does Macron object to nationalism only because other nationalists are more powerful than he is, with his own brand of nationalism (whether defined as French or Europe Unionist)? And does he therefore seek competitive clout through a nationalist, imperial European project? Would nations not be nationalist singularly, but be nationalist collectively?

Macron is abjectly ignorant of history. He references the wearied bogeyman called “nationalism” that supposedly on autopilot caused the 20 million deaths of World War I. In fact, nationalism finally saved Western civilization from aggression. Recall French resilience at Verdun, British courage in Belgium, and American confidence and national pride in sending more than 2 million doughboys to Europe to stop a German kaiser from creating a German pan-European “empire.” Bolshevist internationalist dreams of a shared European Communist collective helped to ruin Russia, as Communists signed away much of industrialized European Russia to Prussian authoritarian occupiers under the Brest-Litovsk Treaty of early 1918.

What had nearly ruined Western civilization by 1918 was not nationalism per se, but rather authoritarian militarism, as embodied by Kaiser Wilhelm’s assumptions that Germany was economically, culturally, and militarily superior to its neighbors. In its cost-benefit analysis, Berlin therefore thought it would be profitable to take by force what Germany felt it naturally deserved.

Twenty years later, the very absence of British and French nationalism — whether symbolized by the Oxford Union debate of 1933 or the reluctance of French schools in the 1930s to reference the bloody heroics at Verdun — led to appeasement and a fatal reliance on a weak and a morally neutered League of Nations, a series of unenforceable arms-limitations treaties, and “international opinion.”

The League bragged of its collective wisdom and ethical clout, but it simply allowed Hitler to systematically violate the Versailles Treaty. And it stood by as Japan began annexing swathes of Manchuria, and as Italy sent its troop ships unimpeded through the Suez Canal, en route to creating its new Italian “empire” in Abyssinia. Stopping Mussolini demanded more than British “internationalism” and collectivism. It required nationalist confidence in his majesty’s vastly superior British fleet, whose battleships and carriers could have easily blown Mussolini’s expeditionary forces out of the Mediterranean before they were able to machine-gun, gas, and bomb poorly armed Ethiopians.

What saved Europe a second time, in World War II, was a rediscovery during the Blitz that the British were singular and proud people who were capable of rallying to the nationalist spirit of Winston Churchill; they no longer relied on the failed and appeasing internationalist diplomacy of Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, and the Earl of Halifax. What later restored continental Europe was the mobilized Americans who arrived confident in their country’s values and empowered by their national economic strength and frenzied patriotic civilian efforts at home.

Macron, as is faddish today in the era of Trump, sees nationalism as a toxic corruption of patriotism. That may be understandable given that in France’s recent past, Philippe Pétain (whose World War I career, ironically, was praised by Macron) hoped for an independent, nationalist, and colonial Vichy France, in league with Nazi Germany, a state empowered by anti-Semitism, racism, and colonialism.

So Macron suffers from the psychological condition known as projection in which one’s own faults and worries are fobbed off onto others as a way of assuaging one’s insecurities and guilt. Given that race-based authoritarian fervor in 1930s France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain derived from pseudoscientific ideas of genetic superiority, and the notion that citizenship was based on race, it may be natural that Macron is defensive on the topic of European-style “nationalism.” Perhaps it’s comforting to blame Europe’s prior race-based dictatorships on a more generic “nationalism” that all countries are supposedly prone to…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

   

IT MAY NOT BE ENOUGH, BUT THERESA MAY HAS DONE HER BEST

Conrad Black

National Post, Nov. 16, 2018

The drama of the British departure from the European Union is finally coming to a climax. Theresa May has never been a compelling or even particularly convincing prime minister, but she seems to have managed the Homeric feat of getting some sort of agreement with Brussels, which her edgy and nervous cabinet has partially supported. But the defection by Jacob Rees-Mogg, head of the European Study Group, which is a good deal less scholarly and more accomplished in the political martial arts than the name or its leader’s elegant demeanour would indicate, suggests a full leadership challenge to May is imminent. I suspect that the unambiguous leavers will tank May, and would find Boris Johnson (former mayor of London and foreign secretary) and Rees-Mogg equally acceptable, and that the remainers in the governing party, the former followers of prime minister David Cameron and his chancellor, George Osborne, would find Rees-Mogg more trustworthy and less abrasive than Johnson, and that Michael Gove, who had his falling out with Johnson after the Brexit vote, will swing it to Rees-Mogg.

The problem May has had is that neither her followers nor Europe thought she was really serious about leaving. Cameron certainly was not, and assured everyone that Britain would never vote to leave. So, having promised “full-on treaty change,” he got a piffling and conditional concession on benefits to migrants from Brussels, less as I wrote at the time, than Neville Chamberlain brought back from Munich. The country revolted and Cameron and Osborne were out. With one British prime minister having gone to the wall, the Europeans had to treat the whole business more seriously, and did finally make some substantive concessions to May. If Cameron had had these, he would have won his referendum. But as always happens in such contentious issues, the blood rises on both sides, and having voted narrowly to leave, the British are not now going to be satisfied with much beyond a common market with minimal political integration — the two-tier Europe I have always advocated, in Their Lordships’ House and when I was a London newspaper chairman.

In this sort of negotiation, the side threatening to break the association can only get the terms it needs to stay in the association if the other side is sure that they are not bluffing. If, as appears the likeliest outcome, May cannot hold her party, an unambiguous leaver will take her place and will say what is acceptable to Britain, failing which, the U.K. leaves Europe on March 29 and will not pay one euro of departure penalty. Au revoir, Auf wiedersehen, Arrivederci, and Vaya con Dios.

The basic problem with the European Union is that it attempts to put the whole continent, from Portugal to Poland and from Sweden to Greece, excepting only Norway and Switzerland, in a political straitjacket. The authorities in the so-called government of the European Union in Brussels answer neither to the toothless European Parliament in Strasbourg (the only legislature in the world since the last days of the Habsburg Empire that has more translators than lawmakers), nor to the major national governments of the Union (Germany, France, the U.K., Italy and Spain). Every sane person in Europe and elsewhere who has an interest in Europe, strenuously admires the spirit of continental fraternity, reconciliation and reciprocal cultural respect that now motivates all of the EU countries. A millennium and more of conflict along cultural lines, up to the horrible hecatombs of the World Wars that began in Europe and could be resolved only by the applied force of the United States, and in the Second World War the Soviet Union as well, has ended. All the distinguished civilizations that fought in Europe, and often in their overseas adventures also, have settled into a celebration, well-earned, of what their civilizations have done for all mankind (humankind if we must).

But politically, the European Union is an infestation in the Brussels government of the EU of bearers of ancient Belgian and Dutch grievances against the great European powers for their condescension and at times outrages, and they now take too much pleasure in telling the Germans, British, French and Italians what to do. The Germans are accustomed to regimentation and as the greatest power in Europe, possess the national weight to alleviate the burden if necessary. The French and Italians are not accustomed to regarding government as anything but an irritant, often oppressive, almost always stupid, usually transitory, and not an institution that deserves any more adherence than one’s self-interest requires. The British like to obey laws, but have never had meticulous official instruction on the minutiae of their lives and will not accept it now. Even King John did not try to exercise the authority of Brussels before signing the Magna Carta in 1215.

The British will not stand for this unceasing cascade of authoritarian directives from Brussels, purporting to decree everything from the number of newspapers in a delivery-person’s hand-off to a news agent, to how to stack vegetables in supermarkets, to a one-size-fits-all condom. The entire European project stumbled at the point where it had either to remain a common market among sovereign countries, or merge altogether into one mighty confederation with one currency and central government but with devolved powers to regional or previously national governments, or the two-speed Europe described above. In failing to make that choice and straddling, it ceased to be democratic…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

   

CAN ORGANIZED JEWRY IN GERMANY BEHAVE “NORMALLY?”                                          Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld                                                 

BESA, Nov. 6, 2018

Jews fulfill many functions and roles in European societies. For many centuries they served as scapegoats for majority populations, and anti-Semitism has long been an integral part of European culture. The Jews’ symbolic role as quintessential stranger has declined since the massive influx of Arabs and Africans into Europe, as has their characterization as somehow “exotic.”

Jews are often early indicators of societal problems. Regular verbal and physical attacks on Jews by Muslims have drawn attention to several of the many problems brought into Europe by significant segments of these immigrant groups. In the wake of the Holocaust, new roles have emerged. These include the Jew as the typical victim and Jews as the benchmark of society’s morality on some issues.

The murder of Jews by a Muslim in a Paris supermarket in January 2015 made more French Jews reflect on the idea of leaving their country. Manuel Valls, who was PM of France at the time, said: “France will not be France without the Jews.” The underlying message was clear: If Jews increasingly leave France because they feel threatened, a factor legitimizing French democracy would begin to disappear.

President Emmanuel Macron has also said that the experiences of French Jews can be indicators of the country’s overall wellbeing. At the annual dinner of the CRIF, the French Jewish umbrella organization, in March 2018, he said that anti-Semitism is the “opposite of the republic” and the “dishonor of France.”

The legitimizing role Jews have been assigned with regard to societal issues is most prominent in Germany. Since the 1990s, German governments have allowed Jews from Russia to immigrate into the country even though those immigrants had no historical connection with it. That influx numbered around 200,000, which made them by far the largest group in terms of origin in German Jewry.

The symbolism of Jews living in Germany is palpable. If Jews are increasingly present in the country despite its horrendous past under the Nazi regime, one can infer that Germany has become a “normal” democracy. This has led to occasional proud declarations that Germany is the only European country with a growing Jewish population. In recent years, Germany’s organized Jewry has been shrinking; it now numbers fewer than 100,000.

Nowadays, on average, four anti-Semitic incidents are reported per day in “normal” Germany. There are strong indications that the real figure is substantially higher. Official statistics falsely attribute almost all attacks to right-wing perpetrators, a fallacy that was exposed by the country’s Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Felix Klein. He said physical attacks against Jews by Muslims are far more numerous than what is recorded. Still, distorted statistics continue to be published.

A rather insignificant recent event seemed to perturb the supposed “normalcy” of Jewish existence in Germany. About 20 Jews created a Jewish section in the right-wing populist and anti-Islam AfD party. None of these people held positions in major Jewish organizations, but the German Jewish community was nevertheless aghast. Seventeen Jewish organizations came out against the Jewish AfD group. That is tantamount to almost one Jewish organization for each of its members. The umbrella organization, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, called the AfD “racist and anti-Semitic.” That may be true for some of its leaders, but not for all of them, and certainly not for a sizable proportion of its voters.

Partly due to the overreaction of organized German Jewry, the initial meeting of the small Jewish AfD group garnered major national media interest. It might have been sufficient if the umbrella organization had issued a statement simply stating that a few individual Jews do not represent the community at large. Since the September 2017 elections, the AfD has been the third-largest party in the German parliament and thus the main opposition. It currently attracts about 15% of voters. The AfD is shunned by all the other parties, who accuse it of having racists and neo-Nazis in its midst. The AfD is presented as purely negative, creating the false impression that all the other parties are purely positive.

Yet there are signs that some Christian Democrat (CDU) politicians want to collaborate with the AfD. In Meissen, a town in the Federal State of Saxony, elections for the mayoralty took place in September 2018. In the second round, the AfD candidate withdrew in favor of the Christian Democrat, who was elected. The CDU lost heavily in the 2017 parliamentary elections, and their support in the polls has declined even further. Thus additional breaches of the boycott of the AfD can be expected in order to hold onto power in some locations. (The same pattern has already been seen with the Socialists [SPD], who have entered into coalitions with the extreme leftist party, die Linke. Die Linke has many former communists in its ranks.)

The Jewish AfD group’s initiators invited Beatrix von Storch, the deputy chair of the party’s parliamentary faction, to their opening meeting. She said that for many Jews, Muslim anti-Semitism is a big theme. She added that for those people, the AfD is a natural home. She also said the AfD is open to Muslims. If one analyzes the German reality, it is not the AfD that has created the greatest threat to the future of Jews in the country. The huge shadow over Germany was caused by the mainstream parties, the CDU and the SPD. Their joint governments let in millions of immigrants without much selection in recent decades, the majority of whom are Muslim…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

   

HANUKKAH’S LEGACY IN AMERICA                            

Yoram Ettinger

Algemeiner, Nov. 29, 2018

The legacy of Hanukkah has played a major role in shaping the American ethos and state of mind, from the early Pilgrims through the Founding Fathers’ War of Independence and their composition and ratification of the US Constitution, all the way until today.

Hanukkah sheds light on Judeo-Christian values, which have imbued the United States since the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620. On October 16, 2018, the US Postal Services issued its annual Hanukkah stamp, portraying a menorah, which commemorates the 167 BCE rebellion of the Jewish Maccabees against the powerful and oppressive Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV.

On December 8, 2017, President Trump stated, during a candle-lighting at the White House, “The miracle of Hanukkah is the miracle of Israel. … The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have endured unthinkable persecution and oppression, but no force has ever crushed [their] spirit and no evil has ever extinguished [their] faith.”

On December 14, 2016, President Obama held a candle-lighting at the White House, where he stated, “We take heart from the Maccabees’ struggle against tyranny, [that] even in our darkest moments, a stubborn flame of hope flickers and miracles are possible. … George Washington was said to have been stirred by the lights of Hanukkah after seeing a soldier with a menorah in the snows of Valley Forge.”

In December, 1993, a cinder block was hurled through a window of a Jewish family home in Billings, Montana, because the family had displayed a menorah. The response by the 80,000 residents of Billings was, “Not in our town.” The Billings Gazette published a full-page photograph of a menorah, which was photocopied by local businesses, and pasted on billboards and on windows of thousands of homes in Billings. In addition, scores of people marched on Billings’ main street, holding menorahs. And since 1994, an annual Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony has been held at the state capitol in Helena, Montana.

The West Point Military Academy displays a statue of Judah the Maccabee alongside other outstanding military leaders, such as Joshua, King David, Alexander the Great, Hector, Julius Caesar, King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon.

In 2018, the US and Israel are Western democracies that adhere to the legacy of the Maccabees, displaying allegiance to liberty and morality, while refusing to retreat in the face of threats, pressure, and seduction. Both are unwilling to sacrifice long-term realism and conviction on the altar of short-term opportunism and gratification. And they stand defiant in face of ruthless and cunning rogue regimes, which benefit from the Western tailwind of appeasement, vacillation, wishful thinking, and oversimplification.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

On Topic Links

Chanukah and the Future of the State of Israel: Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 30, 2018—History, the study of cause and effect in the annals of humankind, has been a serious challenge for honest historians.

Who Are Europe’s Most Important Politicians?: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Aug. 2, 2018—”Who is the most important European alive today?” I asked in early 2010. Dutch politician Geert Wilders, came my answer, because “he is best placed to deal with the Islamic challenge facing the continent.” I even raised the prospect of his emerging “as a world-historical figure.”

The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Hiding in Her Home: Colin Moynihan, New York Times, Oct. 5, 2018 —A search for a lost masterpiece uncovered a woman’s harrowing account of escaping deportation, and possibly death, while spying on a Nazi at close range.

How the Jewish People Have Survived … And Why They Still Will: Tal Keinan, National Post, Sept. 25, 2018—Morning had already clanked to life when we walked into town. Tractors bouncing down the gravel main street kicked up dust that churned in the day’s first hot breeze, blending with the scents of Galilean summer rosemary, cypress and lavender, a fusion that has since animated Israel in my mind. I can recall it easily, even from the distance of the United States.

PROGRESSIVE JEWS—LEADERS OF THE “ANTI-TRUMP BRIGADE”—WHITEWASH LEFT WING ANTISEMITISM

Liberal Jews are Still Turning a Blind Eye to Anti-Semitism on the Left: Karol Markowicz, New York Post, Nov. 25, 2018— Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it.

Trump, Nazis and American Jewry: Isi leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2018 — Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it.

JVL: Jewish Whitewashers of Labour Anti-Semitism: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018 — Small radical Jewish political organizations can obtain disproportional publicity in several ways.

Left-Wing Jews — A Jewish And American Tragedy.: Dennis Prager, Investor’s, Nov. 6, 2018 — It is probably impossible to overstate the damage left-wing — not liberal but left-wing — Jews are doing to Judaism, Jews and America.

On Topic Links

Netanyahu Suggests Diaspora is Drifting Away from Judaism: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2018

Morton Klein Book Review of “How Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism & Endangers Israel”: Morton A. Klein, ZOA, Aug. 17, 2018

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018

The Left May be Winning the War of Words – But Here’s How the GOP Can Win in 2020: Newt Gingrich, Fox News, Nov. 16, 2018

 

LIBERAL JEWS ARE STILL TURNING

A BLIND EYE TO ANTI-SEMITISM ON THE LEFT                                                         

Karol Markowicz                                                                                                             

New York Post, Nov. 25, 2018

 

Jew-hating has become too normal in America, and liberal Jewry often keeps mum about it. Left-of-center Jews speak out about white nationalists, but where are they on anti-Semitism when it arises from their own side?

Last week, Airbnb announced its decision to remove rental listings in the West Bank. But the apartment-sharing service didn’t touch listings in other disputed territories, like Russian-annexed Ukraine and Turkish-occupied North Cyprus. You would think liberal Jewish outfits would race to call out what lies behind this hypocrisy: anti-Semitism.

You’d think wrong. Anti-Defamation League boss Jonathan Greenblatt, for example, issued a tepid statement saying he was “dismayed” by the move. But he stopped short of calling out the blatant anti­Semitism. This fits a pattern with the former Obama administration official. As Seth Mandel wrote in Commentary recently, Greenblatt “sees right-wing bigotry as a crucial element of conservative ideology,” while viewing the left-wing varieties as “isolated anomalies.”

Under his leadership, the ADL opposed, on the flimsiest grounds, Mike Pompeo’s nomination as secretary of state. The ADL also joined the left’s crusade against Brett Kavanaugh, and it has repeatedly clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But the Greenblatt ADL has been far more reluctant to condemn Democratic firebrand Keith Ellison’s long record of Israel-bashing. Indeed, Greenblatt embraced Ellison in 2016, when the Minnesota congressman ran for deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Greenblatt only reversed course when “a tape surfaced of Ellison accusing Israel of controlling American foreign policy,” as Mandel noted.

But other liberal Jews go even further, by defending the haters. Consider Peter Beinart, the one-time New Republic editor. “No, BDS Is Not Anti-Semitic, And Neither Is Ilhan Omar” was the headline for a piece he wrote in the Jewish Daily Forward recently. BDS, of course, is short for boycott, divest, sanction—a movement that singles out the Jewish state for such punishment. This, despite the horrors that are routine around the world, from China to Venezuela.

Beinart writes that the “BDS movement doesn’t officially oppose the existence of a Jewish state, but some of its most prominent advocates do.” So leaders of the movement want to destroy Israel, but the movement isn’t tainted by them? Where else would this be an acceptable line of argument? If white nationalists marched for gay rights, which liberal would disregard their outsize hate and focus on the one point of agreement? It’s laughable.

As for Ilhan Omar, she’s the newly elected Minnesota congresswoman who in January will take Ellison’s seat in the House of Representatives. In 2012, she tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The notion that Jews have the world under a spell is as classic an anti-Semitic trope as one can find, yet somehow Omar finds a Jewish defender in a Jewish publication.

Then there’s Linda Sarsour. Last week the Women’s March leader called out “folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy.” This was another old Jew-hating trope: namely, that Jews secretly harbor dual loyalty to Israel. And this is just the latest in a long litany of anti-Semitic comments she’s made.

What’s even more odious is that the Sarsours of the country are called on to help heal the hatred they sow. Last year, Sarsour sat on a panel at the New School about fighting anti-Semitism. And just last week Al Sharpton, who has a history of saying heinous things about Jews in the 1990s, was on MSNBC to discuss — you guessed it — fighting anti-Semitism.

It’s like a bad joke. The guy who has referred to Jews as “interlopers” and “diamond merchants” is now the one claiming to fight Jew-hatred. Has he ever apologized? Jews forgive public figures like Ellison, Omar, Sarsour and Sharpton. But they would never encourage other targeted groups to do the same. Fighting the normalization of anti-Semitism has to begin with Jews themselves speaking out. Now would be a good time to start.

Contents

   

TRUMP, NAZIS AND AMERICAN JEWRY

Isi leibler

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2018

As the global antisemitic tsunami intensifies, most Diaspora Jews seem to have lost the plot. In the past, when an external foe emerged, Jews would put aside their differences and unite in the face of those seeking their destruction. Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews suffered from persecution, pogroms and murder, culminating in the Shoah.

Today, despite a powerful Jewish state that can provide a haven to Jews facing persecution, Diaspora Jews are utterly disunited, and many of them seem to have lost their bearings. They are laying the foundations for an unprecedented eruption of violent antisemitism.

Despite the tragedy of the brutal slaying of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh, American Jewry remains the most peaceful community in the Diaspora. And even today, despite the election of radical anti-Jewish elements – including self-hating Jews – within the Democratic Party, there are still more pro-Israel elements in Congress after the midterm elections. Those elections took place in an unprecedented atmosphere of political hysteria.

But despite predictions of defeat, it would seem that President Donald Trump was the overall winner. In virtually all midterm elections, the ruling party experiences losses. The country is divided. The larger cities lean Democrat and mid-America is overwhelmingly pro-Trump. The concept of respect for a president, which has prevailed over most of America’s history since the Civil War, no longer exists. The nation is divided down the middle with most voters being either passionate lovers or zealous haters of Trump – with Jews at the forefront of the hatred.

While the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, they lost fewer seats than the Democrats did when losing the House in the 1994 and 2010 midterms. And more importantly, they held, and perhaps widened, their majority in the Senate (where two races remain undecided). Thus, while Trump will face ongoing tensions domestically, the Democrats will have to be careful not to be seen as extreme and subsequently generate further backlash. And Trump has a virtual free hand in continuing to direct foreign policy. Even more importantly, he will strengthen conservative elements in the higher and lower courts, undoubtedly altering the liberal mentality that has dominated American courts in recent generations.

There is one bizarre aspect to this. The clear majority of Jewish Americans continued the tradition of voting Democratic and have emerged as leaders of the anti-Trump brigade. The fact that many Jews with a liberal tradition oppose Trump’s conservative policies and dislike his aggressive tone is not surprising. But what is incomprehensible is the hysterical abuse they shower on the president – and that they do so in a Jewish context. The almost lunatic attacks on a president by such a wide section of the Jewish community – including progressive rabbis, Jewish lay organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish women’s groups, which had until now avoided partisan politics – is utterly unprecedented.

The venom expressed suggests that a dybbuk – a malicious spirit – has instilled a collective madness on a major component of the American Jewish community. Jews even demanded that Trump not be present at the mourning ceremony in the Pittsburgh synagogue. Some Jewish leaders blamed him for the massacre, alleging that his aggressive political style was responsible for the actions of the lone neo-Nazi antisemite. Never mind the other shooting rampages perpetrated during previous administrations, for which no president was held responsible. Nobody blamed President Barack Obama for the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting which killed 50 people, nor the other 37 mass shootings during his tenure.

Antisemitism escalated well before Trump’s election. The media, buttressed by the ADL and other Jewish groups, have repeatedly alleged that today its new waves primarily represent white nationalist antisemitism. They include in their fake figures Internet hoaxes that were not even motivated by Jew-hatred. The facts belie this. Beyond occasional mad neo-Nazi fringes on the radical Right, the situation has remained constant. The principal sources of visceral antisemitism are still Muslim extremists, as well as the burgeoning far Left which leads the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish pack. One thing is clear: American Jews do need to employ security services at synagogues, schools and community centers as is the case today in virtually every Diaspora community around the world.

It is noteworthy that the ever-growing influence of anti-Israel and antisemitic elements seeking to radicalize the Democratic Party is rarely mentioned by the liberal press or the ADL. In the midterm elections, a number of Democratic candidates hostile to Israel and Jews won seats – some in districts with significant Jewish populations. Nor have there been serious efforts to restrain burgeoning antisemitism from pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel left-wing groups on college campuses.

There were few complaints when Obama treated Israel like a rogue state and characterized Israeli self-defense and Palestinian terrorism as being morally equivalent. And there are few complaints now, after it was recently revealed that in 2005 Obama met the head of the Nation of Islam, the radical antisemite Louis Farrakhan, for a photo op. The allegations that Trump contributed to the current polarization of society by his aggressive rhetoric may be true, but that is more than matched by the hysteria from the Democrats.

This is intensified by the dramatic revolution in social media, which – in contrast to only 20 years ago – reaches a massive audience, including extreme hate-mongers. It may well be time to review America’s credo of upholding unlimited freedom of expression. We should assess this in the context of today’s social media, which undoubtedly serves as a platform for promoting racism, violence, and above all, antisemitism.

By far, the most obscene aspect of this mudslinging is the concerted Jewish attempt to portray Trump as tolerating Nazis and being an antisemite. This lie has been reproduced so frequently in recent months by progressive rabbis and Jewish lay leaders that it has become embedded in the minds of many Democratic supporters. But this reflects the madness in the air. Trump has a daughter who converted to Judaism and is religiously observant; he has always had Jewish friends; some of his key executive officers are Jews; and following the tragedy in Pittsburgh, he made a statement condemning antisemitism that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not have expressed better…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

   

JVL: JEWISH WHITEWASHERS OF LABOUR ANTI-SEMITISM                                                  Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018

Small radical Jewish political organizations can obtain disproportional publicity in several ways. Taking strong anti-Israeli attitudes is one such tactic. Non-Jewish anti-Israelis look out for these Jews as legitimizers of their incitement. In the process radical Jews receive far more attention than they can get by themselves or merit because of their size. Another way for such Jewish organizations to get exposure beyond their weight is by helping to fend off antisemitic accusations against organizations which contain Jew-haters.

In recent years the UK Labour party has been in dire need of such a Jewish organization. A small group of Jewish leftist extremists realized the opportunity. In 2017 they created the Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). This movement should not be confused with the much older and far bigger Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The latter has been very involved in fighting antisemitism in their party.

John Lansman is a key figure among Labour leftists. He is a member of the party’s nine member National Executive and the founder of Momentum. This grouping is the main supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Yet Lansman has come out on various occasions against JVL. He is quoted as saying that the very existence of JVL is inflaming tensions between Labour and the Jewish community. One of his associates said Lansman believes that senior JVL figures claim to speak for the entire Jewish community while they in reality only reflect the views of a small faction of anti-Zionist Jews.

JVL’s techniques of whitewashing antisemitism should be analyzed. This enables one to understand how some of these methods are also used in other Western environments. After lengthy discussions this summer, the Labour party accepted the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This is the world’s most widely agreed definition of antisemitism. It has been adopted for internal use by a number of countries including the UK and Germany. Like any such text it is not perfect, yet it is much better than anything else that has been suggested until now.

The JVL’s primary mode of attacking the IHRA definition was the release of an alternative definition of antisemitism. Their text stated that comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis should not automatically be seen as antisemitic. The JVL added an obfuscating statement “whether such comparisons are antisemitic must be judged on their substantial content and the inferences that can be reasonably drawn about the motivations for making them, rather than on the likely degree of offense caused.”

One of JVL’s apparent main goals is to whitewash Corbyn’s misdemeanors. Their alternative definition of antisemitism would take some blame away from the Labour leader. In 2010, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Corbyn, held a meeting in parliament in which the Netherlands’s best known Jewish antismite, Hajo Meyer, compared Israel to the Nazis. The latter has done so frequently, even in Germany…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

Contents

   

LEFT-WING JEWS — A JEWISH AND AMERICAN TRAGEDY                                                     Dennis Prager                                                                           

Investor’s, Nov. 6, 2018

It is probably impossible to overstate the damage left-wing — not liberal but left-wing — Jews are doing to Judaism, Jews and America. Of course, the same can be said of the damage left-wing Catholics are doing to Catholicism and America, other left-wing Christians are doing to Christianity and America, and, most obviously, the damage the secular left-wing is doing. But since anti-Semitism is in the news, and given the prominence of many left-wing Jews, I will focus on them.

The damage done to Jews by left-wing Jews is not new. It began at the beginning of the left with Karl Marx, the grandson of two Orthodox rabbis (his parents had undergone pro forma conversion to Christianity). He wrote one of the most anti-Semitic tracts of the 19th century, “On the Jewish Question,” published in 1844. In it he wrote, among other things: “What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering …”; “What is his worldly God? Money …”; “Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist …”; “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

In the early 20th century, another left-wing Jew, Leon Trotsky, who, along with Lenin, led the Bolshevik Party in Russia, was a catastrophe for Jews and for humanity. In 1920, when Trotsky was head of the Red Army, Moscow’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Jacob Mazeh, asked him to use the army to protect the Jews from pogromist attacks in which tens (of) thousands of Jews were murdered. Trotsky is reported to have responded: “Why do you come to me? I am not a Jew,” to which Rabbi Mazeh answered: “That’s the tragedy. It’s the Trotskys who make revolutions, and it’s the Bronsteins who pay the price.”

That is the story of the many Jewish leftists to this day: Jewish leftists make revolutions, and all the Jews (among millions of others) pay the price. Thus, many of the leaders of the movement to economically strangle Israel — the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement — are left-wing Jews. A few years ago, I was invited to the world’s most famous debating forum, the Oxford Union, to debate the farcical question of whether Israel or Hamas is a greater obstacle to peace in the Middle East. One of my two adversaries was a Jewish former professor at Oxford. He argued that Israel was a greater threat to peace than Hamas.

Another prominent left-wing Jew, MIT professor Noam Chomsky, has devoted his life to writing and speaking against two countries: the United States and Israel. The security of the world’s only Jewish state is by far the greatest security issue for world Jewry. Yet many left-wing Jews attack Israel, support many of those who wish to destroy Israel or, at the very least, do nothing to strengthen Israel’s security. In America today, leftism has poisoned so many non-Orthodox synagogues, they differ only from the American Civil Liberties Union or the Democratic Party in their use of Hebrew liturgy.

Many non-Orthodox synagogues sat shiva — Judaism’s seven days of mourning after the death of an immediate relative — when Donald Trump was elected president. This perversion of Judaism is an example of what leftism does to every religion it infiltrates. I suspect none of those synagogues sat shiva after the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh. Why? Did the election of Donald Trump bother them more? Left-wing Jews are ethnically Jewish, but their values derive from leftism (just as the current pope is Catholic in his identity but his values derive from leftism).

The current charge that the Pittsburgh massacre was caused by President Trump is one of the greatest libels in American history. Virtually every left-wing columnist and commentator has spread this lie, most of them written by left-wing Jews such as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. One of their lies is that attacks on George Soros are anti-Semitic.

I think George Soros is a malevolent force. Am I an anti-Semite? (To answer that, let’s compare what I have done for Jews and Judaism with what any of these left-wing Jews have done.) But left-wing Jews have always done this. They attributed the execution of the Rosenbergs — who, immoral leftists that they were, passed on the secrets to the atom bomb to Stalin — to anti-Semitism. The judge in the Rosenberg case was a Jew. But to left-wing Jews, that didn’t matter. Ever since Stalin labeled Trotsky a “fascist,” leftists have always depicted their opponents as “Nazis,” “racists,” “anti-Semites,” “fascists,” “haters” and “bigots.” That is their modus operandi.

Many of these left-wing Jews base this libel about President Trump’s “role” in the context of an equally libelous claim that there has been a great rise in American anti-Semitism in the Trump era — resulting in the Pittsburgh massacre — based on an Anti-Defamation League study. The study’s mendacity is fully exposed by David E. Bernstein, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School and a Trump opponent, in two devastating reviews (one on Reason.com and one in Tablet Magazine). Read them and you will understand one of the most important things you need to know about the left: Truth is not a left-wing value. The ADL, which at one time was preoccupied with fighting anti-Semitism, is now preoccupied with fighting Donald Trump and fighting on behalf of the American left…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

Contents 

On Topic Links

Netanyahu Suggests Diaspora is Drifting Away from Judaism: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2018—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a conversation with Israeli reporters Friday suggested that the cause of Israel’s troubled relationship with Diaspora Jews was that the latter were moving away from Judaism.

Morton Klein Book Review of “How Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism & Endangers Israel”: Morton A. Klein, ZOA, Aug. 17, 2018—Neumann describes how radical Jewish leftists distorted and turned a minor phrase, “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), into a left-wing political “social justice” universalist theology that is hostile to Israel and traditional Judaism, and which sympathizes with the Jewish people’s enemies.

In Democratic Circles, Anti-Semitism is Becoming Normal: Roger Kimball, Spectator, Nov. 14, 2018 —As people scramble to explain the sudden resurgence of socialism not only on America’s college campuses but also in the corridors of political power, it is worth noting the concomitant resurgence of anti-Semitism in those redoubts.

The Left May be Winning the War of Words – But Here’s How the GOP Can Win in 2020: Newt Gingrich, Fox News, Nov. 16, 2018—One of the key lessons of last week’s midterm elections is that the left is waging – and winning – a linguistic war. The left claims and occupies more and more linguistic ground with each new fight.

 

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

On Topic Links

Airbnb Must be Taught a Hard Lesson: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2018

Will Anyone Stand up to Airbnb’s Anti-Semitic Boycott?: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 27, 2018

The Implications of Sanctions for the Iranian Oil Market: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Nov. 25, 2018

Russia’s Latest Attack on the Ukrainians is a Warning to the West: Anne Applebaum, Washington Post, Nov. 26, 2018

 

WEEKLY QUOTES 

“In the last two years, I was in Africa three times — East and West Africa…I will drop a big hint: I hope to get to Central Africa. Israel is coming back to Africa. Africa is coming back to Israel.”— Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an unprecedented visit to Israel, Chadian President Idriss Déby said he wishes to restore diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, 46 years after ties between the two countries were severed. Netanyahu, meanwhile, hinted that he intends to travel to additional Arab countries in the near future, following his surprise visit to Oman in October for the first trip to the country by an Israeli prime minister in over 20 years. (Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2018)

“The world is changing before our eyes. Crises and wars we knew are changing as well…There’s a time for war and a time for peace. Our message is global to all leaders: Chad doesn’t presume to speak for black Africa. Chad comes to renew bilateral diplomatic relations. But if Chad can be a facilitator, Chad will not hesitate.” — Chad President Idriss Déby. Benjamin Netanyahu will soon visit Chad to formally re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries. Israel and Chad have not had formal relations since the 1970’s, when the Arab-Israeli conflict drove a wedge between Israel and African countries. Déby’s historic visit was reportedly meant to lay the groundwork for establishing normalized relations with other Muslim-majority African nations including Mali, Niger, and controversially, Sudan. (I24, Nov. 27, 2018)

“The Zionist regime is clearly weaker than 10, 20 years ago. A few years ago they fought Hezbollah for 33 days and were defeated. They were defeated 2 years later in the 22-day war on Palestinian resistance; in 8-day war on oppressed people of Gaza and recently in the 2-day war.” — Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of Iran. Khamenei tweeted insults against Israel after President Hassan Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor” during his address to an annual Islamic Unity Conference. “One of the ominous results of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region,” Rouhani said, referring to Israel.  He also said that Israel is a “fake regime” set up by Western countries. Rouhani said in his address that the U.S. cultivates close ties with “regional Muslim nations” to protect Israel, referring to Saudi Arabia. He said succumbing to American pressure is “treason.” (JTA, Nov. 25, 2018)

“Iran’s regime calling Israel a ‘cancerous tumor’ is like the pot calling the kettle black. All the people of that region will be better off once both murderous regimes are terminated.” — Hussam Ayloush, a senior Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) official. Based on this tweet, one might assume Ayloush has an equal disdain for the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel. However, whereas Ayloush would like to see regime change in Iran, he has a history of describing Israel in ways that echo Iranian rhetoric calling for its destruction. He has referred to Israelis as “zionazis” and repeatedly equated the IDF with I.S. terrorists. (IPT News, Nov. 26, 2018)

“I always say that life without dreams is empty. As I see it, we the Palestinians have a great dream before us: To liberate Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea. This dream will remain before us and requires of us willpower. Our people’s willpower is strong. The proof of this is the thousands of prisoners and the thousands of martyrs who have fallen to realize the dream of liberating Palestine.” — The Rector of Al’Istiqlal University in Jericho Saleh Abu Osba. Palestinian children are still being taught that “Palestine” includes all of Israel. Decades after the Oslo Accords, the PA, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, still doesn’t recognize Israel’s existence. One of the PA’s popular slogans, a way of saying all of Israel is “Palestine,” is to describe it as stretching “from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” (Jewish Press, Nov. 27, 2018)

“Airbnb is not welcome in Beverly Hills as long as its policies are based on anti-Jewish double standards. We can try to inoculate others against this malady but we also must protect ourselves against its effects.” — Beverly Hills Vice Mayor John A. Mirisch. The city council of Beverly Hills, CA voted unanimously to withdraw apartment listings for the city from Airbnb after the home rental giant decided to remove some 200 ads for accommodation units located in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Mirisch said Beverly Hills is determined to fight “the disease” called “Jew hatred.” The statement emphasized that Airbnb’s decision stems from antisemitism and therefore will not be tolerated. “Airbnb’s decision to remove all listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank demonstrates hatred, prejudice, ignorance and hypocrisy…Airbnb’s actions are antithetical to the values that we hold dear in Beverly Hills … prejudice and discrimination based on religion have no place in our community, country and world,” the statement read. (Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2018)

“(Airbnb) adopts the anti-Semitic practices and narratives of the BDS movement…BDS is not a movement that is interested in promoting peace or a better future for the Palestinians, but rather in demonizing and discriminating against the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the strongest US ally in the region…The policy of Airbnb is particularly worrisome when it is understood that it is directed only at Israel. Such a policy is not applied to any other area of ​​the conflict. This is an anti-Semitic (hopefully unintentionally) practice of applying a double standard to Israel which are not applied to any other country.” — Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan. Erdan addressed US state governors, asking them to impose economic sanctions on the rental giant Airbnb and to speak against it publicly. (Jewish Press, Nov. 28, 2018)

“The Pal Authority has been holding US citizen Isaam Akel in prison for ~2 months…His suspected ‘crime’? Selling land to a Jew. Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release.” — US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Friedman called on the PA to release from custody a U.S. citizen who is suspected of selling property in East Jerusalem to Jewish Israelis. The arrest of the Palestinian-American, whom Friedman named as Issam Akel, is said to have prompted Israel to arrest the Palestinian governor of East Jerusalem, in an attempt to pressure the PA to release him. PA courts have previously sentenced Palestinians to death for selling land to Jews. Since 2005 the PA has not carried out any executions. (Times of Israel, Nov. 28, 2018)

“The United States is committed to seeing that those responsible for this attack face justice…We call upon all countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates.” — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. During four days of terror in Mumbai in 2008, Islamists belonging to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group carried out 12 coordinated attacks, murdering 166 people and wounding more than 300. Among their targets was Nariman House — the Jewish community center operated by the Chabad movement in Mumbai. Other targets included a Catholic college as well as hotels and a cinema. Six people were killed during the siege at Nariman House, including Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg and his wife Rivka, who was six months pregnant at the time. Pompeo said it was “an affront to the families of the victims that, after ten years, those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement.” (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2018)

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES 

ISRAEL REPORTEDLY EYEING TIES WITH SUDAN (Tel Aviv) — Israel is working to establish diplomatic ties with a number of central African nations, including Sudan, as Chadian leader Idriss Déby made a historic visit to the Jewish state and Prime Minister Netanyahu signaled he would soon travel to unspecified Arab states. According to a report, Israel’s diplomatic push in Africa is driven in part by a desire to ease air travel to Latin America. Flying in the airspace of traditionally hostile African countries — namely Chad and Sudan — would allow airlines to offer faster, more direct flights between Israel and the continent. (Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2018)

ISRAEL ON BRINK OF DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH BAHRAIN (Jerusalem) — Israel is reportedly in the late stages of forging diplomatic relations with the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain. Netanyahu and his ministers have visited a number of Persian Gulf states in recent weeks. Local media said Israel was already talking to Bahrain about establishing official ties. Meanwhile, Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said he had been invited to attend a conference next year in Bahrain. Bahrain shares Israel’s animosity toward Iran, and is an active member of the Sunni coalition against Iran in the Arab world. Its forces are currently fighting alongside the Saudis in the civil war in Yemen. (Breaking Israel News, Nov. 26, 2018)

CZECH PRESIDENT IN ISRAEL, TO BEGIN MOVING EMBASSY (Jerusalem) — Miloš Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic – one of the friendliest countries to Israel in Europe – arrived for a four-day state visit. Zeman will inaugurate an office in Jerusalem he said will be the precursor to moving the country’s embassy to the city. Zeman, ardently pro-Israel, said at a gala celebration in April in Prague in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary that the appointment of an honorary consul that month, followed by the establishment of the Czech cultural center in the city, were the first two steps of a three-step process that he hoped would culminate in the opening of the embassy. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2018)

SON OF BRAZIL’S PRESIDENT-ELECT TELLS KUSHNER EMBASSY WILL MOVE (Brasilia) — The question is not whether Brazil will move its embassy to Jerusalem, but when, Eduardo Bolsonaro – the son of Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro – said in Washington. Bolsonaro made this comment during a meeting in the White House with Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Jair Bolsonaro has said that he intended to transfer the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, as he promised in his campaign. So far Guatemala is the only country that followed the US move in May. Paraguay also did so, but has since moved it back to Tel Aviv. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2018)

THREE SOLDIERS WOUNDED IN CAR-RAMMING ATTACK IN WEST BANK (Jerusalem) — Three Israeli soldiers were wounded, one moderately and two lightly, in a car-ramming attack in the West Bank. The assailant was shot dead by one of the soldiers. Palestinian media named the driver as Ramzi Abu Yabbes, a former prisoner from the Deheisheh refugee camp. (Ha’aretz, Nov. 26, 2018)

IS IN SINAI SEIZES IRANIAN WEAPONS BOUND FOR HAMAS — REPORT (Cairo) — The I.S. affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai has seized a weapons shipment that included Kornet missiles, the Russian-made advanced anti-tank laser-guided weapon system. The shipment was making its way from Iran to Palestinian terror group Hamas, according to a report. A source said the shipment is the largest seized by IS and included other GPS-guided weaponry. The source said a local IS commander was refusing to cooperate with Hamas and transfer the weapons. Earlier this month, terrorists in Gaza fired a Kornet missile at an Israeli bus near the border, seriously injuring an IDF soldier. (Times of Israel, Nov. 24, 2018)

HAMAS ON HUNT FOR ‘COLLABORATORS’ AFTER ISRAELI OPERATION IN GAZA (Gaza) — Palestinian terror group Hamas is reportedly on the hunt for suspects it believes may have aided the Israeli special forces in a raid, and is specifically looking for a small van spotted in surveillance footage. The van is alleged to have been used by the Israeli forces or those who are suspected of helping them, dubbed “collaborators,” according to the report. On November 11, a group of Israeli soldiers was discovered deep in southern Gaza during an operation that went awry, resulting in a deadly clash that left one senior IDF officer and seven Palestinian fighters dead. (Times of Israel, Nov. 24, 2018)

UKRAINE IMPOSES MARTIAL LAW IN BORDER REGIONS AFTER CLASH WITH RUSSIA (Kiev) — Ukraine imposed martial law for 30 days after a naval confrontation off the Crimean Peninsula in which Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels. The U.S. blamed Russia for what it called “unlawful conduct” over Sunday’s incident in the Black Sea. The two neighbours have been locked in a tense tug-of-war since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, but the incident Sunday in which Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels directly pitted the two militaries, placing them on the verge of an open conflict. (CBC, Nov. 26, 2018)

ENTITIES MAY BE SANCTIONED FOR BUSTING IRAN SANCTIONS, U.S. ENVOY SAYS (Washington) — The American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said the US government will contemplate sanctions against French and German entities that seek to evade sanctions on Iran’s clerical regime. Grenell was responding to an article reporting “France and Germany have joined forces to rescue a European effort to create a payments channel to keep trade flowing with Iran, defying US attempts to take the air out of the plan.” The WSJ article cited senior diplomats as the sources for the French and German strategy to circumvent US sanctions. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2018)

MAN ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY ATTEMPTING TO RUN OVER JEWS NEAR L.A. SYNAGOGUE (Los Angeles) — A man has been arrested in Los Angeles after allegedly attempting to run over two Jews near a synagogue in the city on Friday night in what police are investigating as a potential hate crime. Mohamed Mohamed, 32, is being held on $55,000 bail and has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with a vehicle. Earlier this month, 33-year-old Steven Szwet was arrested over a string of incidents in the North Hollywood-Valley Glen area in which three Orthodox Jewish women had their wigs ripped from their heads in public. (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2018)

COLLEGE FACULTY VOTES TO END STUDY ABROAD IN ISRAEL (Los Angeles) — The faculty of Pitzer College in Southern California voted to suspend the school’s study abroad program at Haifa University in Israel. The faculty also voted to condemn the school’s trustees for opposing a student government resolution to divest from Israel, according to a student newspaper at the private liberal arts school in Claremont. The student senate voted last year to divest from five companies as part of the movement to boycott Israel. Recent months have seen college instructors oppose their students’ intentions to study in Israel. Two instructors at the University of Michigan refused to write letters of recommendation for students to study there. (Times of Israel, Nov. 28, 2018)

KENTUCKY BECOMES 26TH STATE TO ENACT ANTI-BDS MEASURE (Louisville) — Kentucky became the 26th state to enact an anti-BDS measure, prohibiting awarding state contractors who partake in the anti-Israel movement. “The State of Israel is an important friend and trading partner to the Commonwealth,” said Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. “We will not allow state resources to benefit entities that intentionally engage in discriminatory practices to harm the sovereignty and economic prosperity of any ally nation. Today’s executive order makes it clear that Kentucky condemns the BDS movement and that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our friend, Israel.” (JNS, Nov. 16, 2018)

WOMEN’S MARCH FOUNDER CALLS ON CURRENT LEADERSHIP TO STEP DOWN (Los Angeles) — The woman who first called for a women’s march after the election of President Trump is now calling for the group’s current leadership to step aside — slamming them as antisemitic and anti-gay rights. Teresa Shook called out Women’s March board members Mari Lynn “Bob” Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez in a Facebook post. Accusations of antisemitism were lodged against Shook’s co-organizers when Mallory was captured on video attending a Nation of Islam event in which Louis Farrakhan said “the powerful Jew is my enemy.” Board members of Women’s March Inc. — including Sarsour, Perez and Bland — initially defended Mallory. (New York Post, Nov. 20, 2018)

SAUDIS PLEDGE $50 MILLION FOR UNRWA (Riyadh) — Saudi Arabia pledged $50 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which has been hit by the withdrawal of all US funding, an official said. In August, the US State Department announced that it was ending its funding of UNRWA. The US cited both the ‘disproportionate’ burden it shouldered in funding UNRWA, as well as the UN agency’s practices. (Arutz Sheva, Nov. 28, 2018)

SAUDI WOMEN ACTIVISTS ARE BEING TORTURED AND SEXUALLY HARASSED IN PRISON: REPORTS (Riyadh) — Several imprisoned Saudi human rights activists, including women, have been subjected to sexual assault and torture by electrocution, flogging and sleep-deprivation, Amnesty International said. Most of the women activists detained in Saudi prisons are mothers or grandmothers, and have been detained without charges or access to legal representation for around six months now. Some of them were at the forefront of calls to undo laws that give men the final say on whether female relatives can marry, obtain a passport or travel. (Global, Nov. 20, 2018)

FIRECRACKER THROWN TOWARD ISRAELI JOURNALIST SPEAKING HEBREW IN BERLIN (Berlin) — A firecracker exploded near an Israeli TV journalist reporting in Hebrew in Berlin after she was harassed by several young men. The incident, which police are investigating as a possible case of antisemitism, is the latest of several antisemitic, anti-Israel attacks in the German capital in the past year. Antonia Yamin, 30, was reporting when four young men walked up to her and blocked the camera. Yamin said she and her cameraman had been speaking Hebrew, and the name of their TV program was on the microphone in Hebrew letters. Yamin told reporters that she seldom visits districts where she feels “it is not particularly safe to be recognized as an Israeli or Jew.” (Ha’aretz, Nov. 27, 2018)

PALESTINIAN ARRESTED IN ITALY FOR PLAN TO POISON PUBLIC WATER (Rome) — Italian police arrested a 38-year-old Palestinian in Macomer, Sardinia who was reportedly planning to poison the island’s drinking water. The suspect, who has a Palestinian passport and an Italian residency permit, was arrested in Macomer. Italian police were monitoring the suspect for an extended period before his arrest. Security forces requested urgent precautionary measures due to the high risk of the suspected case, and a judge authorized an operation within a few hours. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2018)

95-YEAR-OLD CHARGED AS ACCESSORY TO 36,000 DEATHS AT NAZI CAMP (Berlin) — Prosecutors in Germany reportedly charged a 95-year-old alleged former guard at a Nazi death camp with more than 36,000 counts of accessory to murder. Hans Werner H., whose last name was not publicly released, was accused of serving as a guard at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. More than 95,000 people, including 14,000 Jews, are believed to have been executed at Mauthausen. The suspect was not charged with any specific killings related to the camp’s operation. The suspect is alleged to have served as a guard, as well as having run prisoner details at a nearby quarry. (The Hill, Nov. 24, 2018)

WORLD’S LARGEST YOUTH ORGANIZATION ADOPTS OFFICIAL IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM (Geneva) — The European Youth Forum (YFG) has passed a motion condemning antisemitism and adopting the official International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of it. At a meeting of its General Assembly on November 24, YFJ delegates voted in favor of the motion, “Combating Antisemitism: Young people’s responsibility,” by an overwhelming margin. The YFJ is the largest youth organization in the world, representing 104 smaller groups, including tens of millions of young Europeans. (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2018)

ISRAEL, CYPRUS, GREECE AND ITALY AGREE ON GAS PIPELINE (Athens) — Israel has inked an agreement with Greece, Italy and Cyprus to lay an underwater pipeline that would provide a conduit for Eastern Mediterranean gas to reach the European market. The initiative, which is expected to cost over $7 billion, comes as Europe is seeking to diversify its energy needs beyond its largest suppliers: Russia, Gulf States and Iran. Work on the pipeline will reportedly begin in a few months’ time and take five years to complete. The estimated 1,350-mile-long channel will transport 706 billion cubic feet of gas per year, making it the longest and deepest underwater pipeline in the world. (Media Line, Nov. 25, 2018) 

CELINE DION COLLABORATES WITH ISRAELI BRAND (Montreal) — Singer Céline Dion has launched a gender-neutral line of apparel for children. Dubbed Celinununu, the line is a result of a partnership with children’s boutique Nununu, a Tel Aviv-based company that sells their clothing in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue. Founders Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg set out to create clothes for kids that didn’t follow traditional colors and patterns for boys and girls. Both big box and independent retailers have started stocking some gender-neutral clothing options for kids. (Magic Valley, Nov. 20, 2018) 

On Topic Links

Airbnb Must be Taught a Hard Lesson: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2018—The Israeli government and many of its supporters abroad understand that Airbnb has to be taught a hard lesson. Under pressure from heavily funded anti-Israel boycotters, the company eliminated rentals in the West Bank from its portfolio.

Will Anyone Stand up to Airbnb’s Anti-Semitic Boycott?: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 27, 2018 —Planning a group holiday in Kashmir? Airbnb is there to serve you. Likewise in Tibet, northern Cyprus and Georgia’s separatist republic of Abkhazia, all occupied or disputed territories.

The Implications of Sanctions for the Iranian Oil Market: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Nov. 25, 2018—On November 5, the Trump government imposed wide-ranging sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to bring about a change in the revolutionary regime’s radical orientation.

Russia’s Latest Attack on the Ukrainians is a Warning to the West: Anne Applebaum, Washington Post, Nov. 26, 2018—On Saturday evening, three small Ukrainian naval vessels left the Ukrainian port of Odessa and headed for the Ukrainian port of Mariupol.

IDF INVESTIGATES GAZA OPERATION WHILE JEWISH STATE PREPARES FOR NEXT CONFRONTATION

IDF Opens Probes into Gaza Special Ops Raid that Went Awry: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Nov. 27, 2018 — The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday announced it was launching two separate investigations into an operation that went awry in the Gaza Strip earlier this month…

Israel’s Next Northern War: Operational and Legal Challenges: Michael Hostage & Geoffrey Corn, Real Clear Defense, Nov. 3, 2018 — Hezbollah has threatened Israel’s northern border for decades.

Why Japan is Building its Military, Fast: David J. Bercuson, National Post, Nov. 6, 2018— With 18 diesel electric submarines, four so-called “helicopter destroyers” that look suspiciously like small aircraft carriers, 43 destroyers and destroyer escorts, 25 minesweepers and training ships, fleet oilers, submarine rescue ships and other vessels, Japan’s navy…

The INF Treaty Hamstrings the U.S. Trump is Right to Leave It.: Elbridge Colby, Washington Post, Oct. 23— The Trump administration has announced that it plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987.

On Topic Links

Israeli Air Force Holds First-Ever Combat Rescue Drill With Six Other Forces: Yaakov Lappin, JNS, Nov. 26, 2018

Looking at the Gaza Strip: From Short Term to Long Term: Kim Lavi, Udi Dekel, INSS, Nov. 20, 2018

Hezbollah Firepower Exceeds 95% of World’s Conventional Armies, Report Says: Sean Savage, JNS, Nov. 9, 2018

In the Middle East, You Win With Fear: Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom, Nov. 13, 2018

                             

IDF OPENS PROBES INTO GAZA

SPECIAL OPS RAID THAT WENT AWRY                                                                 

Judah Ari Gross                                                                                                  

Times of Israel, Nov. 27, 2018

The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday announced it was launching two separate investigations into an operation that went awry in the Gaza Strip earlier this month in which special forces soldiers were exposed by Hamas operatives, leading to a firefight in which one Israeli officer and seven Palestinian gunmen were killed. In response to the raid and the deaths of its men, the terror group launched a massive three-day attack on Israel, along with other terror groups in the Strip, firing some 500 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli cities and towns near the Gaza border and leading Israel to the brink of war.

On the night of November 11, Israeli special forces soldiers entered the Gaza Strip on an intelligence-gathering raid, the details of which remain under a strict gag order by the military censor. According to Hamas officials, the Israeli soldiers were from the Sayeret Matkal elite reconnaissance unit and entered the coastal enclave through a proper border crossing, either Israel’s Erez Crossing or Egypt’s Rafah. They were said to have been driving through Gaza in civilian vans, approximately three kilometers (two miles) from the border. Israel has not confirmed any of the claims.

During the mission, the unit was stopped and searched at a Hamas checkpoint, and were initially believed to be Palestinian criminals, according to recordings of the terror group’s radio chatter, transcripts of which were published by Hadashot news. At a certain point, the Israeli troops opened fire on the Hamas gunmen, prompting a gun battle. An Israeli lieutenant colonel — who can only be identified by the first Hebrew letter of his name, “Mem” — was killed and another officer, who went back to recover Mem’s body, was wounded. The special forces unit beat a rapid retreat from the coastal enclave, calling in airstrikes for cover and a helicopter evacuation from the elite search-and-rescue Unit 669.

According to the army, one investigation will be conducted within Military Intelligence. The findings will be presented to the head of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. The military said an initial probe was expected to be completed within the coming weeks. In addition, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon — the former head of IDF Operations — was also charged with a wider investigation into how the army conducts such raids. Alon was instructed to lead a team to “examine and study the challenges and [make] recommendations at the level of the General Staff, of multiple army branches and of the inter-organizational cooperation between different special forces,” the army said.

The Hamas terror group is conducting its own investigation into the Israeli raid. Last week, Hamas published photographs of eight people that it says were involved in the raid. The photographs were distributed on social media along with the email address and two phone numbers of the terror group’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in order to allow people to provide information about the operation. The phone numbers stopped working later in the day.

Pictures of the two cars allegedly used by the Israeli special forces soldiers during the raid were also published. Though freely available on the internet, the photographs could not be published by Israeli media by order of the military censor. The censor approved the publication of the pixelated photograph used in this article.

In a highly irregular public statement, the censor also called on Israelis not to share any information they have about the raid, even if they think it benign. “Hamas is working now to interpret and understand the event that occurred within Gaza on November 11, and every piece of information, even if it is considered by the publisher as harmless, is liable to endanger human lives and damage the security of the state,” the censor said. Hamas officials are said to view the gun battle as a failure, because their primary goal — according to a Hadashot news report — was to capture the IDF soldiers who had placed themselves so near Hamas’s grasp.

Contents

   

ISRAEL’S NEXT NORTHERN WAR:

OPERATIONAL AND LEGAL CHALLENGES

Michael Hostage & Geoffrey Corn

Real Clear Defense, Nov. 3, 2018

Hezbollah has threatened Israel’s northern border for decades. Today, however, the nature of this threat has become dire, and the risks of escalation real, as Iran continues supplying Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon with game-changing weapons to devastate the Israeli homeland.

When the next conflict erupts between Israel and Hezbollah, its scale and intensity will bear little resemblance to those of recent memory. Hezbollah today is highly competent, adaptable and lethal. Its forces have gained invaluable battlefield experience in Syria and amassed more weaponry than 95 percent of the world’s conventional militaries, including at least 120,000 rockets and missiles. This is more than all of Europe’s NATO members combined, and ten times as many as when it last went to war with Israel in 2006.

Especially troubling is Hezbollah’s growing arsenal of powerful long-range precision missiles capable of striking targets throughout Israel. Unlike in recent conflicts, Israel’s missile defenses will be incapable of shielding the nation from such a threat. From the outset of conflict, Hezbollah will be able to sustain a launch rate of more than 3,000 missiles per day – as many as Israel faced in the entire 34-day conflict in 2006.

Despite this quantum leap in its capabilities, Hezbollah is under no illusion about its ability to inflict military defeat on Israel. It will not seek victory in the valleys of Lebanon or the skies over Israel, but in the court of public opinion. To do so, it will use combat operations to lay the groundwork for an information campaign delegitimizing Israel. Two tactics will be central to Hezbollah’s efforts: first, deliberately attacking Israeli civilian population centers to compel an aggressive response by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF); second, illegally exploiting the presence of Lebanese civilians to shield itself from IDF attack.

Hezbollah will then manipulate the inevitable casualties by relying on widespread misperceptions about the true nature of combat operations and how international law (the law of armed conflict, or LOAC) regulates such operations. It will use the inevitable images of civilian suffering in Lebanon to portray Israel’s lawful operations as immoral and illegal. By weaponizing information and the law, Hezbollah will seek to force Israel to halt its self-defense campaign before the IDF can achieve decisive victory.

This is the increasingly prevalent face of hybrid warfare, where law-abiding militaries confront non-state actors like Hezbollah who blend robust combat capabilities and unlawful tactics with sophisticated information operations. This difficult reality is highlighted in a new report by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s (JINSA) Hybrid Warfare Task Force, which examines the significant operational and legal challenges Israel will confront when it is compelled to engage Hezbollah and potentially other regional adversaries including Iran.

A key finding is that Hezbollah’s intentional emplacement of rockets, missiles and other vital military assets in villages and cities throughout Lebanon will increase risks to innocent civilians. To gain strategic advantage, Hezbollah will exploit the common – but erroneous – assumption that Israel, by virtue of attacking these sites, must be acting unlawfully, even when the unfortunate effects of these attacks are rendered unavoidable by Hezbollah’s deliberate and illegal use of human shields. This dilemma for Israel is further complicated by our expectation that the IDF will be compelled to undertake large-scale, aggressive operations to neutralize as much of Hezbollah’s rocket threat as possible before it is ever employed.

This will include ground operations deep into Lebanon. In addition to their sheer scale, the nature of such operations in towns and villages will magnify the likelihood of collateral damage and civilian casualties. This will also make it much more difficult for the IDF to utilize the extensive and often innovative measures to mitigate risks to civilians that have been commonplace during more limited operations – for example, warnings and providing civilians time to evacuate before an attack.

Despite these challenges, our task force found an IDF fully committed to compliance with the LOAC, knowing full well Hezbollah seeks to exploit this very same commitment. We worry, however, that the nature of a major combined arms operation will contribute to the operational and legal misperceptions that are so adeptly exploited by enemies like Hezbollah, resulting in false condemnation of Israel from the international public, media and many states.

How this story plays out for Israel will have reverberating effects for other professional militaries, including our own. Unless the challenges of such operations become more widely understood, with more credible assessments of legality, morality and legitimacy, others will be incentivized to replicate Hezbollah’s perverse tactics.

Ultimately, this requires a greater appreciation of the realities of combat against hybrid adversaries. It also requires a greater appreciation for how the LOAC strikes a rational balance between civilian protection and military effectiveness. Nowhere will these considerations be more apparent – and more consequential – than in Israel’s next conflict with Hezbollah.

 

Contents

   

WHY JAPAN IS BUILDING ITS MILITARY, FAST                                                                 

David J. Bercuson

National Post, Nov. 6, 2018

With 18 diesel electric submarines, four so-called “helicopter destroyers” that look suspiciously like small aircraft carriers, 43 destroyers and destroyer escorts, 25 minesweepers and training ships, fleet oilers, submarine rescue ships and other vessels, Japan’s navy — the Maritime Self-Defense Force — is the second largest in Asia and one of the largest in the world. It is also highly advanced technologically and is growing all the time. The two 27,000 ton Izumo-class helicopter destroyers, the largest in the fleet, with flat flight decks and islands on the starboard side of the vessels, are small compared to the United States Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers (approximately 100,000 tons) or Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers (65,000 tons). But if equipped with the new short-take-off-and-vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighter they will still pack a powerful punch. And Japan is considering adding more of these aircraft carriers to its fleet and advanced U.S.-style Aegis class destroyers, capable of shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles.

The irony in all of this is that Japan’s post Second World War constitution still contains a provision — Article 9 — that prohibits it from possessing any offensive military capability. In the early 1950s, Japan began to build its self-defence forces and now has a powerful navy, a modern medium-sized air force that will soon fly the F-35 along with specially built F-15s, alongside more than 300 fighter aircraft and 50,000 personnel, and a growing land army and marine sea landing capability.

Are these military assets “defensive” in nature? Partly, but aircraft carriers, high-speed destroyers, modern fighter aircraft and assault ships are surely as offensive as they are defensive. And Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made it plain that in less than two years, he intends to seek to change the Japanese constitution to drastically curtail any obligation Japan has to maintain a purely defensive capability. In other words, he will ask the Japanese people and legislature to bless what Japan has already done. That could be more problematic than people realize.

Like Germany, Japan suffered greatly in the Second World War. Virtually all its great cities were levelled either with atomic bombs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) or fire raids that were carried out by giant B-29 bombers at low altitude at night. The attacks burned the heart out of Japan’s cities. In March 1945, 100,000 people were killed in one night in a fire raid on Tokyo and many acres of the city were burned to the ground. Submarine blockades of Japan drastically curtailed food and fuel supplies. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers were killed either in the United States’ march across the Pacific or in the Russian invasion of Manchuria near the end of the war. Japan was a prostrate nation by the end of 1945 and its ancient system of government was a shambles.

The result of this terrible defeat was the rise of pacifist thinking throughout Japan. Having suffered from military defeat, few Japanese were interested any longer in military adventurism. At the same time democracy took root under the American occupation of Japan. To give but one example, although women still endure many disadvantages in Japan — as they do here also — the Americans forced the Japanese to accept women as fully equal in civil rights and political authority. Japanese industry re-grew and although Japan is no longer the second largest economy in the world — it was recently surpassed by China — it is still a highly technologically advanced economy turning out everything from advanced motor vehicles to high-quality TV sets and computers. Prime Minister Abe is a strong supporter of free trade as are most of the political hierarchy of Japan.

Why then would the Japanese people support a militarization of their country? We need look no further than the bellicose growth of Chinese nationalism and the recent moves by the Chinese to dominate the South and East China Seas in the way that the United States dominates the Caribbean. The Chinese have made no secret of their ambition with the creation of artificial islands that now host air bases, anti-aircraft missiles, and Chinese “coast guard” vessels that though mostly painted white (as coast guard vessels generally are), mount naval-style guns on their foredecks.

Japan is heavily dependent on sea transport, especially for fuel oil and natural gas, that comes from the Middle East via the Strait of Malacca and the Formosa Strait. With the U.S. under President Donald Trump adopting an increasing isolationist tone, Japan, like Australia and other nations in the region, will have to put more assets into their own defence.

Contents

   

THE INF TREATY HAMSTRINGS THE U.S. TRUMP IS RIGHT TO LEAVE IT.          Elbridge Colby                       

Washington Post, Oct. 23

The Trump administration has announced that it plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987. This treaty banned the United States and Russia from possessing any ground-launched ballistic and cruise missile systems with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (300 to 3,400 miles). The administration’s decision is sure to elicit a cacophony of criticism, but the truth is that the United States should no longer tolerate the INF status quo. The reasons basically boil down to two: Russia appears unwilling to give up the systems that violate INF (meaning INF is essentially a dead letter), and, more important, the United States no longer benefits from a ban on ground-based intermediate-range systems — but because of China, not Russia.

This is not to downplay the importance of INF. The treaty played a major role in enabling and locking in the diminution of tensions that ended the Cold War. In particular, it eliminated all of the Soviet Union’s SS-20 intermediate-range missiles, which posed a particularly pressing threat to NATO’s defenses in the 1970s and 1980s.

This was all well and to the good. But today is another day. Russia is no longer abiding by the treaty, and Moscow gives no indication of being open to coming back into compliance. The treaty has therefore become a one-way arrangement: The United States is abiding by it, but Russia is not.

This would not by itself be a compelling argument for withdrawal, because the United States does not require INF-restricted systems for effective deterrence and defense in Europe, and staying in the treaty highlights Russia’s perfidy. The United States and its NATO allies must take steps to improve their defense posture against Russia, but noncompliant systems are not necessary to do this. Since the Russian threat is more modest in scale than the Soviet one was, the United States could meet the need by investing in better penetrating strike aircraft and munitions, sea- and undersea-launched missiles, improved ground-based fires, more resilient basing, better logistics, more effective and affordable air and missile defense, and the like.

Rather, the most compelling reason for withdrawal is that the United States could materially improve the military balance against China in East Asia by developing and deploying INF-noncompliant systems. China poses a much larger and more sophisticated long-term military threat than Russia, and U.S. strike options are more constrained by the geography of the Pacific. Washington would benefit from having the ability to deploy survivable land-based ballistic and cruise missile systems to provide a larger, more diverse and resilient greater strike capability in the event of a conflict in the western Pacific.

The United States is currently complying with a treaty unilaterally and suffering for it — albeit in a different theater. It was worth spending several years trying to bring Russia back in compliance, but that course has clearly failed. Now is as good a time as any to adapt our arms-control architecture to our strategic needs. Many will argue that leaving the INF treaty is tantamount to tearing down the late-Cold War arms-control architecture, thus bringing the world to the nuclear brink. But such statements are gross exaggerations. First, INF did not need to be a disarmament treaty; most arms control treaties involve ceilings rather than bans, as well as transparency and inspections. There is nothing inherently destabilizing about INF systems. In reality, it was likely that then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev simply wanted to reduce the economic burden imposed by the Soviet military, and getting rid of INF systems was a convenient way to do that.

Second, if anyone should be calling for withdrawal, it should be the disarmament community. For those who look at arms control as a useful strategic tool but not a panacea, violations are important but not existential, because resting a nation’s security on arms control would be foolhardy in the first place. It is disarmers who argue that we should put our faith in treaties — but if there is no consequence for violating them, what hope is there for disarmament?

All that this means, however, is that there is a middle course open. Russia clearly believes it needs INF systems, and the United States could benefit from them in Asia. A revised INF that regionalized the treaty and replaced the ban with ceilings and transparency measures, as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty does with strategic systems, is therefore a natural area of potential agreement. Ending up there could make sense for all parties.

Contents

On Topic Links

Israeli Air Force Holds First-Ever Combat Rescue Drill With Six Other Forces: Yaakov Lappin, JNS, Nov. 26, 2018—In the first international drill of its kind, the Israeli Air Force hosted six foreign air forces for an helicopter combat search-and-rescue drill in November.

Looking at the Gaza Strip: From Short Term to Long Term: Kim Lavi, Udi Dekel, INSS, Nov. 20, 2018—In the most recent escalation between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the message conveyed by both parties was that they are not interested in paying the price of a war that will ultimately return them to square one.

Hezbollah Firepower Exceeds 95% of World’s Conventional Armies, Report Says: Sean Savage, JNS, Nov. 9, 2018—Israel and Hezbollah have been adversaries for decades now, dating back to the Jewish state’s involvement in the Lebanese civil war.

In the Middle East, You Win With Fear: Prof. Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom, Nov. 13, 2018—The past six months have brought us violent demonstrations along the Gaza Strip border, cross-border infiltrations, rocket fire and incendiary kites and balloons. This means that a so-called “agreement” or truce is not a viable option.

Coping With the Old, and the New, Antisemitism

For a PDF of Israfax 297 click the following link

 

 

 

 

EDITORIAL: FIDDLING ON THE ROOF:

COPING WITH THE OLD, AND THE NEW, ANTISEMITISM

Frederick Krantz

On Wednesday, 14 November, the New York Times recounts, at the end of the first act of Fiddler on the Roof at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, Md., after Russian antisemites stage a pogrom against residents of a Jewish shtetl celebrating a wedding, a man jumped up in the balcony, repeatedly yelling “Heil Hitler! Heil Trump!”.

Several theater-goers feared a mass shooting—the Pittsburgh synagogue murders, after all, occurred only a short time before. One man, “frightened and disturbed”, shrank in his seat, fearing that “this guy [may have] a gun”.  Another, noting that several audience members ran for the exits, said “I was waiting to hear a gunshot, frankly”.

Baltimore police arrested the alleged screamer, one Anthony M. Derlunis II, 58, whom they said had been drinking heavily, and who told them that he had yelled out because the scene in the play reminded him of his hatred of President Trump, a reaction borne out, he claimed, by the evidently high number of “Trump supporters” (i.e., Jews) reacting negatively to his outburst.

The frightening scene lasted about five minutes, and Mr. Derlunis was not charged by the Baltimore authorities—because, as they rather disingenuously put it, “As reprehensible as the man’s words were, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened”. Yet the NYT’s account does note that he has now been banned from entering the theater.

Of course, in the current antisemitic climate (the rate of incidents in both the U.S. and Canada, like the rate of gun possession, has been steadily increasing in recent years), the Baltimore shouter, like the Pittsburgh shooter, might well have had a gun, and used it.  These incidents involve both the extreme right and extreme left, and while traditional antisemitic motifs are present–religious bigotry against Jews as such, resentment of “Jewish money” and political “influence”, etc.—themes clearly associated with what is termed “the new antisemitism” are also at work.

Here, not so much “the Jew” as political hatred of the Jewish State, Israel, is the focus of vitriol and resentment.  Arguing that Israel is a kind of Nazi oppressor of innocent Palestinians, this “new” antisemitism can—as in “anti-Zionist” “BDS” campaigns on campuses, where Islamist and leftist elements combine–masquerade as highly “moral” and “even-handed”.

Indeed, the “new” antisemites can even claim to be highly offended when accused of being antisemites–we are “human rights activists”, they [including, sadly, some “progressive” Jewish allies] say, cleverly claiming to be not anti-Jewish but “only” anti-Israel. As if their drive to delegitimate and, hence, to finish Hitler’s work by destroying the world’s only Jewish democratic state, is not the very essence of modern genocidal antisemitism!

That Fiddler on the Roof (an oddly American phenomenon, a musical about a pogrom) could provoke a Trump-hating and potentially dangerous meshugah to shout “Heil Hitler!” in a crowded theater, is a not-so-paradoxical commentary on our current, conflicted political moment.

While we are far from facing an imminent, State-supported Kristallnacht, it is deeply concerning that, in a U.S. only two years away from the next Presidential election, the left-“progressive” and Marxisand wing of the Democratic Party cultivates some members’ no-so-genteel anti-Israelism, while in Britain an outright antisemite, Jeremy Corbyn, heads a British Labour Party which might, on the heels of a Brexit-induced election, actually come to power.

We must be alert to an increasing degree of turmoil and uncertainty: the “longest hatred”, antisemitism, ever-protean in its ability to change forms, is alive and well.  The price of Jewish freedom is eternal vigilance, the ensuring of Jewish continuity, defense of basic democratic rights and traditions, and unified support for the well-being of the state of Israel, vital center of the Jewish people.

(Prof. Frederick Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research,

and editor of its ISRAFAX journal)

 

 

 

 

 

Frederick Krantz: FIDDLING ON THE ROOF: COPING WITH THE OLD, AND THE NEW, ANTISEMITISM

On Wednesday, 14 November, the New York Times recounts, at the end of the first act of Fiddler on the Roof at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, Md., after Russian antisemites stage a pogrom against residents of a Jewish shtetl celebrating a wedding, a man jumped up in the balcony, repeatedly yelling “Heil Hitler! Heil Trump!”.

Several theater-goers feared a mass shooting—the Pittsburgh synagogue murders, after all, occurred only a short time before. One man, “frightened and disturbed”, shrank in his seat, fearing that “this guy [may have] a gun”.  Another, noting that several audience members ran for the exits, said “I was waiting to hear a gunshot, frankly”.

Baltimore police arrested the alleged screamer, one Anthony M. Derlunis II, 58, whom they said had been drinking heavily, and who told them that he had yelled out because the scene in the play reminded him of his hatred of President Trump, a reaction borne out, he claimed, by the evidently high number of “Trump supporters” (i.e., Jews) reacting negatively to his outburst.

The frightening scene lasted about five minutes, and Mr. Derlunis was not charged by the Baltimore authorities—because, as they rather disingenuously put it, “As reprehensible as the man’s words were, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened”. Yet the NYT’s account does note that he has now been banned from entering the theater.

Of course, in the current antisemitic climate (the rate of incidents in both the U.S. and Canada, like the rate of gun possession, has been steadily increasing in recent years), the Baltimore shouter, like the Pittsburgh shooter, might well have had a gun, and used it.  These incidents involve both the extreme right and extreme left, and while traditional antisemitic motifs are present–religious bigotry against Jews as such, resentment of “Jewish money” and political “influence”, etc.—themes clearly associated with what is termed “the new antisemitism” are also at work.

Here, not so much “the Jew” as political hatred of the Jewish State, Israel, is the focus of vitriol and resentment.  Arguing that Israel is a kind of Nazi oppressor of innocent Palestinians, this “new” antisemitism can—as in “anti-Zionist” “BDS” campaigns on campuses, where Islamist and leftist elements combine–masquerade as highly “moral” and “even-handed”.

Indeed, the “new” antisemites can even claim to be highly offended when accused of being antisemites–we are “human rights activists”, they [including, sadly, some “progressive” Jewish allies] say, cleverly claiming to be not anti-Jewish but “only” anti-Israel. As if their drive to delegitimate and, hence, to finish Hitler’s work by destroying the world’s only Jewish democratic state, is not the very essence of modern genocidal antisemitism!

That Fiddler on the Roof (an oddly American phenomenon, a musical about a pogrom) could provoke a Trump-hating and potentially dangerous meshugah to shout “Heil Hitler!” in a crowded theater, is a not-so-paradoxical commentary on our current, conflicted political moment.

While we are far from facing an imminent, State-supported Kristallnacht, it is deeply concerning that, in a U.S. only two years away from the next Presidential election, the left-“progressive” and Marxisand wing of the Democratic Party cultivates some members’ no-so-genteel anti-Israelism, while in Britain an outright antisemite, Jeremy Corbyn, heads a British Labour Party which might, on the heels of a Brexit-induced election, actually come to power.

We must be alert to an increasing degree of turmoil and uncertainty: the “longest hatred”, antisemitism, ever-protean in its ability to change forms, is alive and well.  The price of Jewish freedom is eternal vigilance, the ensuring of Jewish continuity, defense of basic democratic rights and traditions, and unified support for the well-being of the state of Israel, vital center of the Jewish people.

(Prof. Frederick Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research,

and editor of its ISRAFAX journal,)

 

TRUMP TAKES TOUGH STAND ON IRAN WHILE FOLLOWING REALPOLITIK WITH SAUDIS

Trump Doesn’t Know History, but He Knows Iran: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Nov. 13, 2018 — Donald Trump got just about the welcome he should have expected when he showed up to take part in the commemorations of the centennial of the end of World War I this past weekend.

The Implications of Sanctions for the Iranian Oil Market: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Nov. 25, 2018— On November 5, the Trump government imposed wide-ranging sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to bring about a change in the revolutionary regime’s radical orientation.

How Trump Could — and Should — Get Tough on the Saudis: Elliott Abrams, New York Post, Nov. 22, 2018— As a card-carrying neoconservative, I am usually a critic of realpolitik.

The Midterm was a Huge Win for Trump’s Mideast Policy: Dr. Aviel Sheyin-Stevens, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018— Donald Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally; whereas, Democrats and their media acolytes, along with Never Trump Republicans, take him literally but not seriously.

On Topic Links

Trump’s Iran Sanctions Could Work: Micha’el Tanchum, Foreign Policy, Nov. 20, 2018

Trump’s Clever Policies Against Iran: Media Line, Nov. 18, 2018

Khashoggi’s Revenge: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 24, 2018

Donald Trump’s High-Wire Act on the Global Stage: Derek Burney, Globe & Mail, Oct. 25, 2018

 

TRUMP DOESN’T KNOW HISTORY, BUT HE KNOWS IRAN                                                Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                             

JNS, Nov. 13, 2018

Donald Trump got just about the welcome he should have expected when he showed up to take part in the commemorations of the centennial of the end of World War I this past weekend. The international media excoriated him for skipping one of the memorial services due to bad weather (he attended another such service the following day, despite the rain) and then was subjected to a stern lecture by his host, French President Emmanuel Macron, during another one of the ceremonies.

Trump is being portrayed as unequal to the high-minded leaders of France and Germany, whose current close relations underscore the importance of learning the lessons of history. But while the president seemed out of step with the spirit of the 1918 centennial, on the key challenge currently facing the international community, it is his European critics who are ignoring history and acting selfishly.

There was little doubt who or what Macron was talking about when he spoke of the dangers of “nationalism,” drawing a stark contrast between those who view themselves as “nationalists” and those who view themselves as “patriots.” Speaking at the Arc de Triomphe, Macron told the assembled leaders of Europe: “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying: ‘Our interest first. Who cares about the others?’”

While Macron’s distinction between nationalism and patriotism is sheer sophistry, it was a message that went over very well for those who fear for the future. His critics think Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and lack of enthusiasm for the NATO alliance, as well as his much publicized interest in better relations with Russia, are tearing apart the post-World War II order that has kept the peace in Europe. Trump’s critics — Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel being the most prominent of them — believe that his emphasis on nationalism is encouraging right-wing governments in Eastern Europe to follow his lead and think less about what’s good for the continent as a whole and more about what’s in it for them.

Set in the context of the effort to recall how unbridled nationalism helped set in motion the catastrophe of the war that tore Europe apart from 1914 to 1918, it sounds like a searing indictment of the president. In that way, Trump’s own condemnation of those who value globalism or pay little attention to the impact of the global economy on local interests is viewed as not merely a narrow and chauvinistic approach to the world, but also a willingness to ignore threats to democracy that can only be met by collective action. Indeed, the whole point of NATO was to ensure that a third European war would not follow the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, as well as to defend small nations against the predatory ambitions of the Soviet Union and its reboot under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But Russia isn’t the only threat the West faces, and that’s why the Franco-German love-fest at Trump’s expense isn’t quite as principled as the president’s critics claim it to be. Leaving aside the natural resentment many in Europe feel about the high-handed and undemocratic way that the European Union thwarts the efforts of individual nations to decide their own fates, Macron’s sermon is actually deeply hypocritical. Far from exemplifying the principle that the West must think about what is good for all, France and Germany are actually doing the opposite when it comes to Iran.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal horrified Macron and Merkel. They are particularly angry about America’s re-imposition of sanctions on the Tehran regime and the Trump administration’s efforts to force the Europeans to go along with his decision. The Europeans see this as the worst example of policies that undermine the Western alliance. But in fact it’s the Europeans who are behaving selfishly.

Trump understands that the Iran deal must be renegotiated because the pact that President Barack Obama proclaimed as solving the nuclear threat is fatally flawed. The deal not only enriched and empowered the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, but its sunset clause ensures that Iran will eventually get a bomb anyway. Rather than joining with him to act to correct this problem and restrain Iranian adventurism — including a mass slaughter in Syria, a bloody war in Yemen, and a standing threat to the security of Sunni Arab nations and Israel — the Europeans prefer to keep doing business with Tehran.

And rather than submit to American leadership on an issue that threatens not merely the Middle East but a European continent that would be in range of Iranian missiles, Macron and Merkel have been exploring options that would allow them to separate entirely from the US economy. They are bluffing about that. But their insistence on vetoing any Western stand against Iran is a dangerous form of appeasement that gives the lie to their claims of learning the lessons of history.

Europe’s wars were caused by the indifference of democracies to the need to stop aggressors before they posed a mortal threat to the world. The greatest tragedies of the 20th century happened because the appeasers — and those who just wanted to make a profit by dealing with rogue regimes — had their way until it was too late to avert catastrophe.

Trump may not be much of a student of history, but he appears to know that much. That’s why he’s right about Iran, and why Macron and Merkel are wrong. All the lectures about nationalism won’t change the fact that on Iran, it is they who are acting in their nation’s selfish interest and Trump who is speaking for the good of the international community. One hundred years after the end of the Great War, that’s a history lesson that can’t be erased by the applause France and Germany are getting from Trump’s critics.

Contents

   

THE IMPLICATIONS OF SANCTIONS FOR THE IRANIAN OIL MARKET

Dr. Doron Itzchakov

BESA, Nov. 25, 2018

On November 5, the Trump government imposed wide-ranging sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to bring about a change in the revolutionary regime’s radical orientation. This round of sanctions places severe restrictions on a wide range of corporations, financial and commercial entities, organizations, and private individuals both in Iran and abroad. The focus of the sanctions is the Iranian energy market, with an emphasis on oil exports, which is the country’s main source of income. The assumption is that constraining Iran’s oil revenues will significantly harm its economic stability and thus force it to change course and return to the negotiating table, this time under new conditions.

On November 2, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration’s purpose was to deprive the regime of the revenues with which it spreads death and destruction around the world. However, this goal is inconsistent with the decision to grant temporary exemptions to eight countries, including China and India – Iran’s two biggest oil consumers. The eight countries that have been temporarily exempted are Italy, Turkey, Greece, Taiwan, China, India, South Korea, and Japan. This decision reflects a desire to avoid a shake-up in world oil prices and a pragmatic approach that allows room for maneuver for countries that are not ready or able to immediately stop their purchases of Iranian oil. The decision also reflects the administration’s “carrot and stick” approach, which it employs to maintain balance in the international arena and to obtain the cooperation of weightier countries such as China, India, and Turkey.

A day before the sanctions were imposed, the Islamic Republic marked the 39th anniversary of the takeover of the American embassy in Tehran. During the demonstrations, which were punctuated by chants of hatred against the US and Israel, the government attempted to convey that Iran will be able to withstand the sanctions. Notwithstanding that show of belligerence, it is perfectly clear that the establishment grasps the ramifications of the sanctions for the Iranian economy, indicators of which have been visible ever since Trump announced the departure of the US from the nuclear agreement. Moreover, the economic turmoil caused by the sanctions imposed on Iran during the Obama administration is still engraved in the Iranian collective memory, though at that time, its oil exports did not fall below 1 million barrels per day.

At the time of writing, Iranian oil exports are estimated at 1.6 million barrels per day, but in the 10 months since the beginning of the year (January-October), the daily average was about 2 million barrels. This is due to export volumes of 2.1 to 2.6 million barrels per day between February and July of this year. Bloomberg data on the world oil market show that in 2017, Iran ranked sixth in the world, with an income of about $40 billion. If Iran’s decision-makers can manage to maintain an average export of 1.2 million barrels per day, they will be able to cope with the threat to the sector. Therefore, the decision to allow the eight countries, particularly China and India, to continue to purchase Iranian oil for the time being is a boon to the Iranian side.

The Americans’ “stick and carrot” policy of imposing sanctions but granting a temporary exemption to eight Iranian customers is being interpreted by Tehran as a sign of weakness and a victory for its own foreign policy. While Trump succeeded at bringing the ruler of North Korea to the negotiating table, the Iranian arena is different. The leadership in Tehran hopes that Trump will not win another term, and is willing to tighten the country’s belt until the next US elections. It should also be remembered that in effect, the revolutionary regime has been under American sanctions since the time of its inception; hence its perception that it can overcome the burden of sanctions.

China, the world’s largest oil consumer, is a key element in the Iranian regime’s ability to withstand sanctions. According to OPEC, China’s crude oil consumption will reach 13 million barrels per day by the end of 2019. Beijing purchases the largest share of the Iranian oil market, making it a vitally important ally. Moreover, Beijing and Tehran have joint ventures in many fields, including commercial, security, and geopolitical areas.

The inclusion of China and India, which collectively account for about 65% of Iranian oil exports, on Washington’s list of exemptions is inconsistent with Mike Pompeo’s statement that Washington’s goal is to paralyze Iranian oil exports. In September, the volume of aggregate purchases by China and India stood at about 1.05 million barrels a day out of a total of 1.6 million. It appears, therefore, that despite the decline in the volume of Iranian oil exports, the volume of exports has not yet fallen to the critical level of fewer than 800,000 barrels a day since the date of publication of the resolution on the return of sanctions.

As part of Iran’s bid to preserve its oil revenues, a wide range of purchase proposals, ranging from barter transactions to cash-based payments, have been proposed to circumvent the limitations on the banking system. Tehran recently announced that it was going to sell a million barrels of oil on the energy exchange in an effort to open the oil market to private investors. Of the million barrels, 280,000 were sold. While that result did not meet Tehran’s expectations, it will maintain the trend even at the cost of a significant reduction in oil prices…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]   

Contents

   

HOW TRUMP COULD — AND SHOULD — GET TOUGH ON THE SAUDIS           

Elliott Abrams

New York Post, Nov. 22, 2018

As a card-carrying neoconservative, I am usually a critic of realpolitik. But in judging the Trump administration’s response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, I find myself thinking that more realpolitik would lead to better policy. Here’s what I mean. The president has made two statements, both of which refuse to break with Saudi Arabia or its crown prince: his formal White House statement and his comments to reporters. Both constitute a kind of realpolitik.

The formal statement begins this way: “The world is a very dangerous place!” In both statements, the president notes the advantages that accrue to the United States from our relationship with the Saudis, principally the arms sales to the kingdom, its investments in the United States, its help in keeping oil prices down and its assistance against terrorism and against Iran more generally.

As to Iran, the president said: “We also need a counterbalance. And Israel needs help also. If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a terrible mistake.” The problem with this analysis is not that it is wrong, but that it posits only two options: abandoning Saudi Arabia or embracing it. A tougher realpolitik approach would promote a third option: Use this moment to push the Saudis to do some things we think they need to do.

Some examples: Patch up their dispute with Canada. More important, patch up their dispute with Qatar and get the Gulf Cooperation Council working again. Rationalize their own government by appointing empowered ministers, instead of having the crown prince in charge of all domestic, economic, defense and foreign-policy aspects of their government. And take some steps on human rights. The president was asked about the last point: “Are you basically telling us, Mr. President, that human rights are too expensive?” Trump replied “No, I’m not saying that at all.” But there is no evidence the United States is pressing the Saudis on that issue.

Now compare the putative master of realpolitik, Richard Nixon. After the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989, Nixon — then a private citizen — wrote to the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Nixon took a tough-minded pose, writing, “I have always believed that a nation’s policy must not be affected by soft-headed friendship, but only by hard-headed reality.” He reaffirmed his belief that US-China relations were of “great benefit to both our countries strategically.” And he had “hard-headed” advice for Deng: “It is imperative that steps be taken now to return China to its rightful place as a civilized member of the world community. It would be a tragedy if China continues to be seen as a repressive throwback to a dark age of the past.”

What steps? Release the physicist and dissident Fang Lizhi. Second, “provide amnesty for those who demonstrated peacefully . . . particularly students.” Third, take some steps providing reassurance about the future of Hong Kong. Two months later, in June 1990, Fang Lizhi and his family were allowed to leave China, and a group of dissidents was released. Perhaps Nixon’s advice, couched not as humanitarian pressure but cold political realism, had an effect.

That is what seems to me missing from recent administration policy on Saudi Arabia. Nixon did not presume that the choices were all or nothing, to embrace China or to break with it. Similarly, if the Trump administration view is that we should not break with Saudi Arabia (a view I share), then the next step is not to embrace Saudi Arabia but rather do what Nixon did: Specify to the Saudis what they need to do so that they will not be seen as “a repressive throwback to a dark age of the past.”

Send the Saudi foreign minister to fix things with Canada. Figure out a way to release the blogger Raif Badawi and the Saudi women’s-rights protesters who appear to have been badly abused since their arrests. Reunite the Gulf Cooperation Council. In his public statements, the president did not do that. Neither did Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his remarks. Realpolitik policy is missing: how we will use this moment to press the Saudis to do some things we need them to do, in our national interest.

The exception is Trump’s approach to Yemen. Since the Khashoggi killing, the Trump administration has taken a far tougher public stance demanding steps aimed at ending the war there, and it has stopped US aerial refueling of Saudi jets. Now, neither the president nor the secretary is obliged to lay out American demands in public. We must hope the Trump administration is trying in private to exact a price for the public support it is giving the US–Saudi relationship.

Contents

   

THE MIDTERM WAS A HUGE WIN FOR TRUMP’S MIDEAST POLICY                            

Dr. Aviel Sheyin-Stevens                                     

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 18, 2018

Donald Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally; whereas, Democrats and their media acolytes, along with Never Trump Republicans, take him literally but not seriously. Before the midterm election, Trump intimated he could win the election and outperform previous presidents who generally lost seats in their first midterm election; however, he also acknowledged that Democrats may win the House. Now, many claim he lost the election. Although the Democratic Party won the House, Trump won the election.

What President Trump achieved by his net gain of Senate seats in the midterm was unprecedented for a Republican. He has also essentially eliminated the Never Trump section of the Republican Party. Since the beginning of his administration, Never Trump Republicans refused to accept his leadership of their party and therefore use every opportunity to undermine him. He has also essentially eliminated the Never Trump section of the Republican Party. The late Senator John McCain blocked Trump’s efforts to repeal Obamacare with his dramatic late-night Senate vote in 2017. McCain’s dramatic, decisive vote against Republicans’ effort to repeal Obamacare was widely perceived as motivated by personal revenge against Trump, because Trump succeeded where he failed. McCain had been in favor of repealing Obamacare, until Trump was elected and wanted it repealed.

Senator Bob Corker, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, undermined Trump’s foreign policies and cast aspersions on the president’s judgment. His actions subverted the credibility of Trump’s foreign policy strategies and empowered Democrats and others to delegitimize Trump’s leadership. In contrast; however, Corker worked heartily with Barack Obama. Corker assisted in securing Obama’s catastrophic Iran nuclear deal. Corker agreed not to treat the deal as a treaty that would have required the support of two thirds of the Senate for ratification, and passed a special law for it that upturned the US Constitution. Rather than requiring a two-thirds majority for ratification, the law required two thirds of the Senate to disapprove the deal to prevent its implementation.

Before the midterm election, Never Trump Senators held the balance of power in the Senate, but not anymore. They would mostly be replaced by pro-Trump people, like Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee who is replacing Corker. Many months ahead of the midterm election, Republican voters kept telling pollsters that the number one issue facing the country was immigration. Meanwhile, they considered tax reform as one of the least pressing issues. Nevertheless, House Republicans surrendered on Trump’s immigration plans to push Paul Ryan’s ‘Tax Reform 2.0’ plan.

House Republicans who spurned running for reelection also contributed to the Democratic takeover of the House. Generally, House incumbents have little trouble holding onto their seats. Since 1964, their reelection rates have consistently been over 80% and often in the high 90s. In this midterm, 39 incumbent Never-Trump House Republicans, many in leadership positions including House Speaker Paul Ryan, chose to retire. Rhe departure of key Never Trump Republicans from the House could make the Republican minority caucus to be more unified than they were as the majority. Thus, they could act more capably as a minority than they were as a fractured majority. Approaching the 2020 election, the Republican Party would be far more coherent ideologically and unified behind Trump’s leadership than it has been for the past two years.

As for the Democrats, fanatically anti-Israel, pro-Hamas candidates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib won their House races when they ran in safe districts. However, anti-Israel Scott Wallace and Leslie Cockburn who ran in Republican-leaning districts in Pennsylvania and Virginia, respectively, lost their races, whereas moderate Democrats won races in Republican leaning states…

 [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]               

 

Contents

On Topic Links

Trump’s Iran Sanctions Could Work: Micha’el Tanchum, Foreign Policy, Nov. 20, 2018—Those who doubt that U.S. President Donald Trump’s Iran sanctions will hit their target should reconsider. It is true that their immediate impact on Iran’s oil export revenues will likely be minimal.

Trump’s Clever Policies Against Iran: Media Line, Nov. 18, 2018—On the morning of November 5, renewed US sanctions against Iran kicked in and Tehran’s hope for a last-minute miracle that would save it from economic meltdown vanished.

Khashoggi’s Revenge: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 24, 2018—According to Reuters, a group consisting of members of the Saudi royal family plans to replace the son of reigning King Salman, Mohammad, with his uncle, the king’s brother, 76 year old Ahmed bin Abed Al-Aziz.

Donald Trump’s High-Wire Act on the Global Stage: Derek Burney, Globe & Mail, Oct. 25, 2018—U.S. President Donald Trump is taking Teddy Roosevelt’s maxim – “Speak softly and carry a big stick” – and putting it into a higher gear. He talks loudly while brandishing a heavy stick on the world stage.

ISRAËL, NOUVELLE PUISSANCE SUNNITE?

ISRAËL ET LES PAYS ARABES DU GOLFE :

UNE RÉVOLUTION DIPLOMATIQUE

Le Point, 11 nov., 2018

Il aura fallu attendre un mois pour obtenir une réponse officielle israélienne. Vendredi 2 novembre dernier, soit un mois jour pour jour après l’assassinat de Jamal Khashoggi, Benjamin Netanyahu a enfin réagi à l’effroyable meurtre du journaliste saoudien qui a ému le monde entier. « Ce qui s’est passé au consulat à Istanbul est horrible et il faut dûment s’en occuper », a déclaré le Premier ministre israélien lors d’une conférence de presse en Bulgarie. Et d’ajouter : « Cependant (…), il est très important pour la stabilité du monde, pour la région et pour le monde que l’Arabie saoudite reste stable. Je pense qu’il faut trouver un moyen d’atteindre ces deux objectifs, car le plus grand problème est l’Iran. »

Le message est clair. Benjamin Netanyahu ne souhaite pas que le prince héritier d’Arabie saoudite Mohammed ben Salmane, dit MBS, soupçonné d’avoir commandité l’assassinat, soit poussé vers la sortie. À en croire le Washington Post , le journal auquel collaborait Jamal Khashoggi, le Premier ministre israélien aurait transmis le message auprès de l’administration Trump, en compagnie du président égyptien Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, arguant que MBS est pour lui un partenaire stratégique au Moyen-Orient.

Cet épisode douloureux traduit l’inexorable rapprochement au cours de ces dernières années entre Israël et l’Arabie saoudite, unis dans leur lutte contre la République islamique d’Iran. « Ces dernières années, à cause de la menace iranienne, il y a une convergence claire des intérêts entre nos pays pour affronter ce défi. Car l’ennemi qui menace la région, ces pays, ainsi qu’Israël, c’est l’Iran », confirmait au Point, il y a moins d’un mois, Aliza Bin-Noun, ambassadrice d’Israël en France, non sans ajouter : « Il est nécessaire de rappeler qu’il n’y a pas de relation diplomatique entre Israël et les pays du Golfe. »

Mais la nouveauté est que ces derniers ne se cachent plus pour l’afficher. Fait rare, les propos de Benjamin Netanyahu sur Jamal Khashoggi ont été salués par le royaume Bahreïn, voisin et allié de Riyad, qu’il soutient corps et âme dans cette affaire. « En dépit des différends existants, la position du Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu est claire en ce qui concerne l’importance de la stabilité de la région et le rôle du royaume saoudien dans le maintien de cette stabilité », a tweeté le ministre bahreïnien des Affaires étrangères, Khaled ben Ahmed Al-Khalifa.

Si le meurtre effroyable du journaliste saoudien et l’indignation internationale qu’il a suscitée ont paru embarrasser les dirigeants israéliens, voyant l’un des maillons de l’axe anti-iranien Washington-Tel-Aviv-Riyad-Abu Dhabi mis à l’épreuve, ils réalisent depuis un mois une formidable opération de communication illustrant à merveille leur rapprochement avec les pays arabes du Golfe. « Une visite spéciale à Oman, un moment historique », a tweeté le 26 octobre Benjamin Netanyahu, avec une photo le montrant arrivant, en compagnie de sa femme Sara, au palais du sultan Qabus d’Oman, première visite à ce niveau depuis vingt-deux ans, avant que le sultanat ne ferme la représentation commerciale israélienne dans son pays après le déclenchement de la seconde intifada en 2000.

Au sein de la délégation israélienne étaient présents le directeur du Mossad Yossi Cohen, le conseiller à la sécurité nationale Meir Ben-Shabbat, ainsi que Yuval Rotem, le directeur général du ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères (qui n’a pas de ministre dans ce gouvernement, NDLR). Cette « importante visite démontre une entente profonde et une coopération grandissante entre Israël et des partenaires régionaux », s’est d’ailleurs félicité ce dernier sur Twitter. Ce coup médiatico-diplomatique a été rendu public vendredi après-midi, au retour de la délégation israélienne d’Oman. Et a sonné le début d’un week-end de rêve pour la diplomatie israélienne.

Au même moment, la ministre israélienne de la Culture et des Sports se trouvait à Abu Dhabi, capitale des Émirats arabes unis, pour accompagner l’équipe nationale de judo, qui participait pour la première fois au Grand Chelem d’Abu Dhabi sous les couleurs d’Israël (elle portait auparavant des kimonos « neutres », NDLR). Vêtue d’une abaya rouge et portant un voile blanc, Miri Regev en a profité dimanche pour visiter la splendide mosquée Cheikh Zayed. C’est la « première visite d’un ministre israélien » aux Émirats arabes unis, s’est réjouie Miri Regev en postant la photo sur sa page Facebook. Et, le soir même, la ministre n’a pas pu retenir ses larmes lorsqu’a retenti l’hymne national israélien lors de la remise de la médaille d’or au judoka israélien Sagi Muki, dans la catégorie des moins de 81 kilos. Une première dans un pays arabe du Golfe.

Depuis, le tabou israélien dans le Golfe semble s’être brisé. Et les visites d’officiels de l’État hébreu en pays arabes se multiplient. Le 30 octobre, le ministre israélien des Communications, Ayoub Kara, membre de la communauté druze (et du Likoud, NDLR), a participé à Dubaï à une conférence internationale sur les télécommunications, à l’invitation de son homologue émirien, durant laquelle il a plaidé, en arabe, pour « la paix et la sécurité, accompagnées de progrès économiques et scientifiques ». Cette semaine, le ministre israélien des Transports Israël Katz doit se rendre à Oman pour participer à une conférence internationale sur les transports, où il doit notamment promouvoir la liaison ferroviaire entre Haïfa et le Golfe.

Jusqu’ici, l’État d’Israël n’est officiellement reconnu que par l’Égypte, avec laquelle il a signé un traité de paix en 1979, et la Jordanie, depuis 1994. Pour les autres pays, notamment ceux du Golfe, toute reconnaissance de l’État hébreu était jusqu’ici soumise à un règlement préalable du conflit israélo-palestinien. En 2002, l’Arabie saoudite a soumis une initiative selon laquelle les États arabes se disaient prêts à nouer des relations diplomatiques avec Israël en échange d’un État palestinien dans les frontières de 1967 (donc sans les colonies israéliennes en Cisjordanie et le Golan occupé, NDLR).

Or, avec le renforcement de l’Iran (chiite) dans la région, en Irak, en Syrie, au Yémen et au Liban, qui inquiète autant l’État hébreu que les monarchies sunnites, les priorités semblent avoir changé. Ainsi, à l’occasion d’une conférence sur la sécurité fin octobre à Bahreïn, le ministre omanais des Affaires étrangères, Youssef ben Alaoui ben Abdallah, a estimé qu’il était « peut-être temps pour Israël d’être traité de la même manière et d’avoir les mêmes obligations que les autres nations » du Moyen-Orient. Reste à savoir si ces pays arabes seront capables de convaincre leur opinion publique de la légitimité de ce revirement diplomatique, alors qu’ils la mobilisent depuis des décennies contre l’État hébreu pour mieux justifier leur gouvernance autoritaire.

Et l’État palestinien  ?

Pour Israël, ce rapprochement avec le Golfe est une véritable aubaine lui permettant de sortir de son isolement régional, de renforcer son front contre l’Iran et de repousser d’autant plus tout hypothétique État palestinien. « Nous avons toujours cru que nous ouvririons les portes de la paix avec le monde arabe au sens large si nous résolvions le problème palestinien », a d’ailleurs admis Benjamin Netanyahu le 1er novembre dernier, la veille de la révélation de sa visite à Oman. Mais il est « peut-être plus vrai que, si vous vous ouvrez au monde arabe et que vous normalisez vos relations avec eux, cela finira par ouvrir la porte à la réconciliation et à la paix avec les Palestiniens ».

Un avis qu’est loin de partager Mohammed Chtayyeh, membre du comité central du Fatah, le parti du président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas. Réagissant à la rencontre historique entre Benjamin Netanyahu et le sultan Qabus d’Oman, ce haut responsable palestinien a déploré dans un communiqué le rapprochement opéré par Israël et les pays arabes du Golfe. Et de souligner : « C’est le début de la normalisation publique et la fin de l’initiative de paix arabe. »

 

 

BAHREÏN, PREMIER PAYS DU GOLFE À PRENDRE POSITION EN FAVEUR D’ISRAËL

Courrier international, 5 nov., 2018

Sur son compte Twitter, le ministre bahreïni des Affaires étrangères a déclaré qu’Israël avait “le droit de se défendre” contre l’Iran. Si le rapprochement entre l’État hébreu et les pétromonarchies du Golfe est un secret de polichinelle, jamais un haut responsable de ces pays n’avait encore aussi ouvertement pris position.

“Tant que l’Iran perturbe le statu quo dans la région et considère qu’il peut attaquer à sa guise les autres pays avec ses troupes et ses missiles, tout pays de la région, y compris Israël, a le droit de se défendre en détruisant les sources du danger.” C’est ce qu’écrit le ministre des Affaires étrangères de Bahreïn, le prince Khaled ben Ahmed AL Khalifa, sur son compte Twitter.

C’est la première fois qu’un haut responsable des pays arabes du Golfe fait une déclaration aussi favorable à Israël. D’autant plus étonnant que cette information se trouve à la une du quotidien bahreïni Akhbar Al-Khalij, un des journaux les plus lus de la petite monarchie pétrolière.

“La même aversion pour la République islamique d’Iran”

“Bahreïn a brisé un tabou”, estime ainsi le journal libanais L’Orient-le Jour, soulignant que cette déclaration a été faite quelques heures après “les frappes israéliennes contre des positions iraniennes en Syrie, qui auraient abouti à la destruction de 70 cibles militaires iraniennes”.

“Le message est clair”, poursuit le journal : Israël et les pays du Golfe “partagent la même aversion pour la République islamique d’Iran”. Cette déclaration est “une rupture” selon le consultant Michael Horowitz, cité par le journal :

Il y a un rapprochement entre les États du Golfe et Israël, mais il se fait de manière discrète et non officielle. […] Les propos du ministre bahreïni tranchent par rapport aux non-déclarations des autres pays.”

Pour l’Arabie Saoudite, qui est de loin le pays le plus puissant de la péninsule, “le coût politique d’un rapprochement avec Israël serait extrêmement élevé, puisqu’il pourrait éroder le prestige saoudien dans l’opinion publique des pays arabes, et renforcer le monopole iranien de la ‘résistance’ à Israël.”

Pour le journal, “l’initiative bahreïnie peut être interprétée comme un ballon d’essai”. En effet, Manama “n’a probablement pas pu faire une telle sortie sans consulter préalablement l’Arabie Saoudite”. 

 

EMIRATS: MIRI REGEV, PREMIÈRE PERSONNALITÉ ISRAÉLIENNE INVITÉE À LA MOSQUÉE SHEIKH ZAYED

I24, 29 oct., 2018

La ministre israélienne de la Culture et des Sports, Miri Regev, a été invitée lundi pour une visite officielle à la mosquée Sheikh Zayed, la plus grande des Émirats arabes unis et la neuvième au rang mondial.

C’est l’endroit le plus important de l’émirat auquel sont invités les dirigeants du monde entier se rendant à Abou Dhabi.

Miri Regev est la première personnalité israélienne à avoir signé le livre d’or de la mosquée, dans lequel elle a inscrit, en hébreu, un message d’espoir et de conciliation entre les nations, a rapporté son ministère.

“Il y a un message de fraternité et de paix dans cette mosquée”, a-t-elle confié lors de sa visite, vêtue d’un habit traditionnel.

“Je souhaite qu’Abou Dhabi ouvre la voie vers la paix pour tous”, a-t-elle ajouté.

Dimanche, l’hymne d’Israël a été entonné pour la première fois lors de la remise de la médaille d’or remportée par le judoka israélien Sagi Muki au Grand Chelem d’Abou Dhabi.

Sagi Muki a battu le Belge Matthias Casse dans la catégorie des moins de 81 kg.

Trois autres athlètes israéliens ont remporté une médaille de bronze samedi lors de la même compétition, tous autorisés à participer sous les couleurs de l’Etat hébreu pour la toute première fois.

Gili Cohen, Baruch Shmailov et Timna Nelson Levy se sont placés troisième dans leurs catégories de poids respectives.

Le déplacement de la ministre israélienne aux Emirats arabes unis était également une première tandis que que Jérusalem et Abu Dhabi n’entretiennent pas de relations diplomatiques.

Au mois de juillet, la Fédération Internationale de Judo (FIJ) avait déclaré qu’elle suspendait deux tournois organisés aux Emirats Arabes Unis et en Tunisie, ces deux pays refusant de garantir que les sportifs israéliens puissent y concourir avec leur hymne et drapeau.

Début septembre, la FIJ avait annulé la suspension après que les Israéliens avaient été autorisés à concourir sous leurs couleurs par les autorités émiraties.

 

A OMAN, ISRAËL PRÉSENTE SON PROJET FERROVIAIRE LA “VOIE DE LA PAIX RÉGIONALE”

Le Point, 7 nov., 2018

Le ministre israélien des Transports a présenté mercredi à Mascate un projet de ligne ferroviaire reliant, à travers son pays, la Méditerranée aux pays du Golfe, nouvelle illustration de l’offensive de charme israélienne en direction des pays arabes.

L’intervention de Yisrael Katz lors d’une conférence de l’Union internationale des transports routiers (IRU), ouverte mardi à Oman, s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’offensive de charme israélienne en direction des pays arabes. Israël n’entretient des relations diplomatiques qu’avec deux pays arabes, l’Egypte et la Jordanie avec lesquels il a signé des traités de paix.

La ligne ferroviaire, appelée la “voie de la paix régionale”, partirait de Haïfa, le plus important port israélien, passerait par la Jordanie, puis emprunterait des lignes existantes vers le Golfe, selon le ministre.

“Logique” et allant “au-delà des différends idéologiques et politiques”, a dit mercredi M. Katz à propos de ce projet. Selon lui, cette initiative “se base sur deux idées: Israël (serait) un pont et la Jordanie un hub régional de transport”.

Il a ajouté que ce projet “soutenu par l’administration américaine” serait profitable à l’Arabie saoudite, à ses voisins du Golfe ainsi qu’à l’économie palestinienne.

“Il permettra de créer, dans la région, une route commerciale supplémentaire plus courte, plus rapide et moins coûteuse qui profiterait aux économies de la Jordanie, des Palestiniens — qui y seront connectés aussi –, (à celles) d’Israël, de l’Arabie saoudite, des pays du Golfe et de l’Irak à l’avenir”, a affirmé M. Katz selon une retranscription de ses propos transmis à l’AFP par son cabinet.

Le déplacement de M. Katz intervient moins de deux semaines après celui du Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu, reçu à Oman par le sultan Qabous, une première depuis plus de vingt ans.

  1. Netanyahu ne cesse de proclamer que les nouvelles réalités régionales, à commencer selon lui par l’expansion de l’influence iranienne, créent une convergence d’intérêts avec les pays arabes.

Les pays arabes ont historiquement fait du règlement de la question palestinienne la condition d’une normalisation avec Israël. Mais M. Netanyahu et des membres de l’administration Trump défendent une approche inversée dans laquelle ce serait une normalisation avec les pays arabes qui favoriserait la paix avec les Palestiniens.

L’administration Trump, proche alliée du gouvernement Netanyahu, oeuvre ainsi à un rapprochement entre Israël et l’Arabie saoudite, en même temps qu’elle dit préparer une initiative de paix entre Israéliens et Palestiniens.

 

Actualité 

 

MOSHE LION CONFIRMÉ COMME MAIRE DE JÉRUSALEM

Times of Israel, 14 nov., 2018

Le dépouillement des votes des soldats, des prisonniers et des patients des hôpitaux de l’armée israélienne pour le second tour des élections municipales à Jérusalem a été compilé, confirmant que Moshe Lion sera le prochain maire de la capitale.

Au lendemain du second tour, Moshe Lion, 57 ans, soutenu notamment par le Shas, parti ultra-orthodoxe dirigé par le ministre de l’Intérieur Aryeh Deri, l’avait emporté avec 51,54 % face à son adversaire Ofer Berkovitch, candidat non religieux qui a récolté 48,46 % des suffrages.

Mais il manquait quelque 9 000 bulletins de vote qui n’avaient pas encore été comptabilisés. Et les résultats annoncés par le ministère de l’Intérieur avaient donné 6 528 voix d’avance à Moshe Lion, laissant peu d’espoirs au camp du laïc Ofer Berkovitch.

Les deux hommes siégeaient déjà au sein du conseil municipal de la ville la plus peuplée d’Israël.

Moshe Lion, expert-comptable, a été brièvement directeur général du bureau du Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu en 1997, succédant à Avigdor Liberman, chef du parti ultra-nationaliste Yisrael Beytenu, un des soutiens de M. Lion durant la campagne électorale pour la mairie de Jérusalem.

Moshe Lion a également reçu le soutien du Likud, le parti de M. Netanyahu mais pas de ce dernier, qui a refusé de s’exprimer sur son choix au second tour, après la défaite au premier tour de son candidat, Zeev Elkin, le ministre l’Environnement chargé des affaires de Jérusalem.

Lors de la campagne, Deri, qui était chargé de l’organisation des élections en tant que ministre de l’Intérieur, a proclamé que la campagne de l’adversaire de Moshe Lion était inspirée par « Satan ».

« Tous nos rabbins soutiennent (Moshe Lion) contre un candidat non religieux qui veut continuer à séculariser Jérusalem, notre Ville sainte », avait déclaré Aryeh Deri.

Après l’annonce des résultats partiels mercredi, Lion a affirmé vouloir travailler à consolider l’unité.

« J’ai l’intention d’être le maire de tous les habitants de Jérusalem, qui qu’ils soient. Ceux qui ont voté pour moi et ceux qui ne l’ont pas fait », a-t-il proclamé.

Berkovitch, à l’avant-garde de la population laïque de la ville avec son parti Hitorerut [réveil], avait refusé d’accepter sa défaite, accusant son adversaire de fraude. « Notre équipe juridique examine les résultats », avait-il dit.

Les ultra-orthodoxes constituent plus d’un tiers de la population de Jérusalem et exercent une grande influence dans la politique de la ville qui a déjà été administrée par un maire ultra-orthodoxe dans le passé.

Le maire est élu séparément des membres du conseil municipal et doit ensuite composer avec les différents partis politiques qui occupent les 31 sièges de conseillers municipaux.

 

CÉLINE DION S’ASSOCIE AVEC UNE MARQUE DE MODE ISRAÉLIENNE

I24, Nov. 14, 2018

Céline Dion, vedette internationale, et Iris Adler et Tali Milchberg, designers et cofondateurs de la marque internationale pour enfants nununu, présentent aujourd’hui une nouvelle marque : Célinununu.

Avec cette nouvelle marque, Céline Dion et nununu veulent libérer les enfants des rôles traditionnellement prédestinés aux filles et aux garçons et développent une collection leur permettant de porter ce qu’ils souhaitent, sans associer de sexe au vêtement.

Celinununu croit que la mode pour enfants détermine des rôles dès le plus jeune âge en utilisant toujours des modèles récurrents. La nouvelle marque pour enfants veut libérer filles et garçons de ces rôles, et leur laisser découvrir qui ils sont en faisant preuve de créativité et de flexibilité. Celinununu veut donner confiance aux enfants et leur montrer que tout est possible, tant pour les filles que les garçons.

La première collection de Celinununu comporte 70 articles dans les tailles de 0 à 14 ans. Des pièces de collection unisexes aux formes indémodables, un dictionnaire débordant de symboles et une palette de coloris minimaliste.

Céline Dion et nununu sont convaincues que leur collaboration peut mettre fin aux stéréotypes prescrits dans la mode pour les enfants, et que ces derniers ont le droit de grandir et de devenir qui ils sont vraiment.

La marque de mode internationale a intuitivement choisi de rompre avec les règles présentes dans le monde de la mode pour les enfants et a été vite cataloguée comme la marque bad-ass parmi les marques pour enfants.

Ces dernières années, elle a initié la tendance des collections unisexes simplistes et est rapidement devenue l’exemple par excellence d’un monde de bleu et de rose dans une mode pour enfants qui ne fait pas de différences entre les filles et les garçons.

Nous vous souhaitons Shabbat Shalom!

UNIVERSITIES, ALREADY HOSTILE TO JEWISH STUDENTS, INHIBIT INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH

For Culture Warrior David Horowitz, Deplatforming is No Deterrent: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 13, 2018 — An opinion columnist nowadays could take campus disruptions or deplatformings of conservative speakers as his or her sole weekly topic and never run out of material.

Recommendation Letter Flap Illustrates Increasingly Hostile Campus Climate for Israel Supporters: Ariel Behar, IPT News, Nov. 5, 2018— After he criticized Hamas in a 2014 Facebook post, Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin was forced into a sabbatical due to threats and faculty ostracism.

‘Our Struggle Is My Struggle’: The Dangers of Grievance Studies: Ben Cohen, JNS, Oct. 14, 2018— The world of academia has been riveted by the full account of an elaborate hoax that resulted in several high-profile academic journals publishing articles based on ludicrous notions and fake field research, but couched in the language of social justice and identity politics.

Sympathizing with Minorities: Philip Carl Salzman, Frontier Centre, Nov. 9, 2018— When one of my friends and colleagues accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant.

On Topic Links

Sarah Lawrence Prof Pens Op-Ed About Lack of Intellectual Diversity, Social Justice Warriors Want Him Driven Off Campus: Mike LaChance, Legal Insurrection, Nov. 3, 2018

The University of Michigan Has a Big Problem: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Algemeiner, Oct. 16, 2018

Ivory Tower Bigots: David Mikics, Tablet, Oct. 16, 2018

Did 1968 Win the Culture War?: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Nov. 22, 2018

                   

FOR CULTURE WARRIOR DAVID HOROWITZ,

DEPLATFORMING IS NO DETERRENT                                                                                      

Barbara Kay                                                                                                                               

National Post, Nov. 13, 2018

An opinion columnist nowadays could take campus disruptions or deplatformings of conservative speakers as his or her sole weekly topic and never run out of material. The latest example comes to us out of New Hampshire’s elite Dartmouth College (tuition US$75,000 a year), where formidable conservative polemicist David Horowitz — soon to celebrate his 80th birthday — was recently invited to speak for Dartmouth’s College Republicans and Students Supporting Israel association.

Things went exactly as any informed person might expect — badly. Leaflets circulating prior to the event accused Horowitz of being a “racist, sexist and ignorant bigot.” During his presentation, the Dartmouth Socialists reportedly played loud porn videos, displaying banners with slogans like “ICE is the Gestapo” and talking over Horowitz. What Horowitz had to say was lost to all but the most distraction-resistant students. Beforehand, a gender studies professor had tweeted, “Islamophobe and anti-intellectual David Horowitz is speaking today … He is a hater of the first order.”

“Anti-intellectual?” That struck me as especially mindless, as she clearly has never read a word Horowitz has written. Horowitz’s publication bibliography runs to 50 pages, much of it a deeply informed, scholarly unpacking of the radical left’s American odyssey. As for his 1997 opus, Radical Son, George Gilder called it “the first great autobiography of his generation.” Other critics rank it at the same level for style and substance as Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. The rest of what the professor tweeted is also a lie. Horowitz has a 50-year history of civil-rights activism. Horowitz only hates Marxism, including the cultural Marxism of identity politics, so he never assigns collective guilt to individuals. (Ironically, he has both a black and a transgender grandchild.)

Needless to say, Dartmouth did not subsidize this visit. According to an open letter he published on Nov. 9 to Dartmouth president Philip Hanlon, Horowitz had to underwrite all the costs for his appearance, even though a previous Dartmouth talk “by notorious anti-Semite and terrorist supporter Linda Sarsour” had been subsidized, including a reported $10,000 honorarium, by Dartmouth’s “Office of Pluralism and Leadership” (a title Horowitz describes as “Orwellian”).

The chances that Dartmouth’s administration will feel remorse or change its policies in response to Horowitz’s eloquent indictment of its double standards are approximately nil. He surely knows that. This is not Horowitz’s first experience of campus disruption — or his 10th — or the first time he has publicly denounced a university administration. It is remarkable, given his lack of success in changing the campus culture (indeed, it has gotten much worse since he started campaigning for intellectual diversity on campus decades ago) that Horowitz’s righteous indignation remains as robust as ever.

Horowitz is particularly loathed by the left because, as a former radical of influence — Ramparts, the voice of antiwar protest that he edited at Berkeley in the late 1960s and early ’70s had a circulation of 250,000 — who later defected rightwards, he is well schooled in leftist hypocrisy and, in the parlance, “knows where the bodies are buried” (in the case of the Black Panthers, this is almost literally the case).

On the other hand, the consistently high-octane rhetoric he brings to bear on the Marxist delusion tends to make even those conservatives who agree with his principles leery of close association with him. In a 2002 interview, former Commentary magazine editor Norman Podhoretz — no slouch himself in combating toxic leftism — said of Horowitz, “Some conservatives think he goes too far, and my guess is that some also believe his relentless campaign against the left focuses too much on the ‘pure’ form of it that has become less influential than its adulterated versions travelling under the name of liberalism.”

I have followed Horowitz’s writings for many years and reviewed most of the books in his nine-volume series, The Black Book of the American Left, including the latest and last volume. (My review of it will soon appear in the Dorchester Review.) In it I write, “Horowitz is not what the estimable Heterodox Academy would consider a clubbable colleague. But in the light of what is happening on campuses today — indeed, in the light of what is being passed into Canadian law today — will history judge him an ‘extremist?’ ”

My own pessimism regarding freedom of speech in the academy, which I see diminishing every day with no end in sight, combined with the overwhelming evidence Horowitz brings to bear, on a case-by-case basis, against the left’s betrayal of democratic ideals, inclines me to believe that Horowitz will be vindicated.

One day, The Black Book of the American Left (if extant copies haven’t been burned, and all digital traces expunged) will be required reading for those who seek to understand how the decline and fall of individual rights and America’s precious First Amendment came to pass.

Contents

   

RECOMMENDATION LETTER FLAP ILLUSTRATES INCREASINGLY HOSTILE CAMPUS CLIMATE FOR ISRAEL SUPPORTERS

Ariel Behar

IPT News, Nov. 5, 2018

After he criticized Hamas in a 2014 Facebook post, Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin was forced into a sabbatical due to threats and faculty ostracism. On the same campus, however, rabidly anti-Israel speakers were invited, including one who pushed the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Israel harvested Palestinians’ organs and engaged in medical experimentation. One of Pessin’s colleagues later said he couldn’t recommend Connecticut College to Jewish students because of “the harassment of Jews on campus in the name of fighting for social justice.”

It was part of a rising tide of anti-Semitic episodes on American university campuses. The University of Michigan drew unwanted attention last month when a professor reneged on a previous commitment to write a letter of recommendation for a student hoping to study abroad. What changed? The Jewish student wanted to study in Israel and the professor, John Cheney-Lippold, supports an academic boycott of the Jewish state as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Meanwhile, pro-Israel speakers routinely are shouted down and Jewish students report feeling intimidated. The following examples all took place last month: University of Minnesota protesters shouted “f***ing Zionists,” “no more death, no more lies, Israel out of Palestine,” and “you’re a bunch of war criminals,” outside a pro-Israel event with IDF soldiers. The founder of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) filmed the protesters as attendees filed in; When the University of Houston Hillel sponsored an event featuring Israeli Druze and Christian reservists, fliers were defaced with messages like “Blood is on your hands, Israel kills children, pregnant woman, medical volunteers,” and “Complicit in genocide of Palestinians.”; Pro-Israel leaflets at a University of Missouri bus stop were torn down and defaced with the slogan “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” a call for Israel’s elimination.

Anti-Semitic incidents on U.S. college campuses increased 59 percent last year, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) study found. “There is a heightened sense of fear for students to label themselves as ‘pro-Israel,'” University of Michigan student, Talia Katz, a senior studying public policy, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Israel has become an increasingly polarizing issue and in effect, she said, “the fear of being outwardly pro-Israel stems from a fear of being accused of supporting Trump, racism, Islamophobia, and other social views vehemently disavowed by the student body and faculty.”

Cheney-Lippold’s actions are “counter to our values and expectations as an institution,” a University of Michigan statement said. The university “has consistently opposed” boycotting Israel, a spokesman told the Chronicle of Higher Education. He won’t get a raise this year and the university froze his sabbatical eligibility. “I think it’s wildly inappropriate for a professor to let his political views get in the way of his relationships and responsibilities to students,” Katz told the IPT.

Cheney-Lippold said he “firmly stand[s] by my decision, as I stand against all injustice and inequality. I hope others stand with me in protesting a government that has created a legal system that favors Jewish citizens’ right to self-determination over Palestinians.'” Not long after, a Michigan graduate student instructor invoked BDS in refusing a student’s letter of recommendation request.

“My action attests to my ongoing engagement with the theory and practice of social justice pedagogy as well as my concern for the injustices suffered by Palestinians,” Lucy Peterson wrote in an op-ed in the campus newspaper. “In my classroom, I try to make as much space as possible for intellectual and political disagreement and for the voices of marginalized students.”

The university once again took heat when a speaker at a required lecture compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolph Hitler. It is important to note that comparing Israel or Israeli policy to Hitler and Nazi Germany meets the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

Katz detailed the many anti-Semitic tropes that have been seen on campus, such as a cartoon depicting Jews as pigs with bags of money. “However, when other speakers come to campus who are perceived to be racist, sexist, or offensive to other minority identities, the University blasts out e-mails to the student body, offering emotional support, providing mental health resources, and detailing their disagreements with the controversial speakers,” calling it a double standard.

To add insult to injury, Michigan’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (CMENAS) hosted a teach-in about what motivates artists and musicians to join the BDS movement last Monday. The BDS movement is seen as anti-Semitic because it sets a double-standard and holds the only Jewish state accountable for perceived injustices. Many of its supporters also advocate the end of Israel’s existence. Furthermore, the BDS movement has contributed to the plight of Palestinians, the very cause it seeks to support…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

   

‘OUR STRUGGLE IS MY STRUGGLE’:

THE DANGERS OF GRIEVANCE STUDIES                                                          

Ben Cohen                                               

JNS, Oct. 14, 2018

The world of academia has been riveted by the full account of an elaborate hoax that resulted in several high-profile academic journals publishing articles based on ludicrous notions and fake field research, but couched in the language of social justice and identity politics.

The hoax was the brainchild of three academics — editor and writer Helen Pluckrose, mathematician James Lindsay, and philosopher Peter Boghossian — none of whom are likely to receive “A” list university posts now that they have performed this valuable service. Over a period of about a year, the three of them concocted 20 hoax papers relating to themes like identity, sexuality, body shape, and the significance of “intersectional” struggles. By the time they called a halt to the project, seven of these hoaxes had been published in various academic journals, essentially confirming their initial suspicion that, as long as it is in the proper political packaging, there are plenty of journal editors out there receptive to any old garbage.

One paper about “rape culture” in dog parks in Portland, Oregon received a special citation from the journal that published it. Another paper, on how “masculinist and Western bias” in the science of astronomy “can best be corrected by including feminist, queer, and indigenous astrology,” was enthusiastically received by academic reviewers with a request for only minor revisions. Most spectacularly, the feminist social-work journal Affilia published a hoax paper titled “Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism” that was composed of passages lifted from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf with, in the words of the three hoaxers, “fashionable buzzwords switched in.”

Many academics have protested that the hoax project was unethical because its methodology hinged upon dishonest dealings with the editors and peer reviewers of the journals where these papers were published. There is some merit to that argument, but more importantly, we can learn a great deal about human behavior from these types of underhand experiments. When the controversial American social psychologists Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo carried out their respective studies of obedience more than 50 years ago — in Milgram’s case by setting up unknowing subjects to believe that they were inflicting electric shocks on others at the behest of an “authority figure,” in Zimbardo’s by placing student volunteers in “guard” and “inmate” roles in a laboratory “prison” — these were similarly denounced as unethical. But they also demonstrated that willfully engaging in state-sanctioned brutality is something that all human beings are vulnerable to, even when doing so violates the values and standards taught to them all their lives.

The focus of this present hoax was not, of course, as dramatic as the exploration of human cruelty. Its framework of inquiry was restricted to academic journals only. And its purpose was to establish whether what the authors call “grievance studies” — the collection of disciplines spanning gender, race, and culture that are served by the journals in question — is “corrupting academic research.” Their short answer is “yes.”

At stake here is more than the irresponsible use of facts by academics or the ideological assumptions behind much research in social science. Ultimately, we are dealing with what the hoaxers rightly identify as a crisis in epistemology — the venerable branch of philosophy concerned with what we know and how we know it, ranging from simple observations (“it’s raining”) to more complex judgments (“you did the right thing”). The scientific standards and rationalist principles that underlie the exploration of what constitutes truth are being assailed by what the hoaxers call “the identitarian madness coming out of the academic and activist left.” Madness it may be, but at the same time, it has become a useful tool for scholars who “bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview.”

Increasingly, students are taught that the veracity of a particular claim cannot be separated from the identity of the person making it — and that suggesting otherwise is a surrender to patriarchy and racism. Central to this approach as well — as my colleague Jonathan S. Tobin recently pointed out in a different context focusing on environmental activists — is the abandonment of the skepticism that is so essential to the scientific method. Ideological conviction and an in-built bias towards some human identities over others, rather than testing and observation, has become the standard by which we ascertain what is true, and therefore what is false as well.

While the three hoaxers don’t claim that the entire university system has been consumed by identity politics and its dubious methods of attaining the truth, the problem is evidently significant enough for us laypeople to worry about it. From a Jewish philosophical perspective, there is no serious quarrel with the scientific method; Maimonides wrote that “knowledge of the Divine cannot be attained except through knowledge of the natural sciences.”

But far more practically, we shouldn’t shy away from saying that the academic study of the Nazi Holocaust — particularly as carried out in Israel by Yad Vashem and other institutions — provides us with a model to examine human suffering that is far more rigorous than anything purveyed by the identitarians. Because if this darkly amusing hoax has taught us anything, it’s that the study of grievances is too important to be left to the practitioners of grievance studies.

Contents

   

SYMPATHIZING WITH MINORITIES

Philip Carl Salzman                                  

Frontier Centre, Nov. 9, 2018

When one of my friends and colleagues accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant. How dare he? After all, I am myself a member of a much maligned and prejudicially treated minority ethnic group, with which I identify strongly. Not only that, both of my children are “visible minorities,” as we like to say here in Canada: my son was adopted from Thailand; my daughter was adopted from China. In our current cultural moment, to be unsympathetic to minorities implies the worst sins we can imagine: oppression of the vulnerable, racism, male supremacism, heteronormality, and Islamophobia. Who but the most egocentric, ethnocentric cynic, or the most self-serving, callous exploiter, or the most fearful, insecure weakling, could be unsympathetic to minorities?

Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I agree that I am unsympathetic to minorities. The reason is that I object to dealing with people in terms of their allocation to gross, demographic census categories. Are we to think of individuals only or primarily in terms of whether they a member of one or another racial, gender, ethnic, sexual, or religious category? This is a form of reductionism that “disappears” the individual human being into a few general features, implies if not asserts that this is the most important things about them, advises treating them according to their categories, and succeeds in dividing our society into opposing and conflicting regiments.

Many people, these days, take the view that some categories of people are more important than others, just like the animals in Animal Farm, where all are equal, but some are more equal than others. For example, if you say “black lives matter,” you are on the side of the angels; but if you say “all lives matter,” you are an evil emissary of white supremacy and its leader, Satan. If you say “the future is female,” you are lauded and being foresightful and simpatico; but if you say we should be concerned about men’s rights, you are a sexist chauvinist “mansplaining,” and should be silent or be silenced. If you say, “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest), you are just expressing the “religion of peace”; if you oppose the importation of sharia law and insist on the separation of church and state, you are an Islamophobe and racist fascist.

The key to sorting out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys is identifying victim categories: members of victim categories, or, better, multiple victim categories, are to be favoured, while anyone who is not a member of a victim category, is a member of an oppressor category who should be disfavoured. Through the magic of “intersectionality” we can discover who are the worthy victims; the more victimhood categories someone can claim, the more worthy they are: non-white, female, minority race (except Asians), minority religion (except Jews), gay, bisexual, transsexual, transvestite, etc. etc., handicapped, poor, homeless, mentally ill, etc. The complementary side of the equation is the oppressors and exploiters: whites, males, Western European ethnicity, heterosexuals, Christians and Jews.

You may wonder where all of this oppressor-victim categorization comes from. It is drawn in the first instance from Marxism, which posits class conflict between the exploited proletariat and oppressing bourgeoisie as the dynamic that will destroy capitalism and establish socialism. That was not popular in North America, where most people see themselves as middle class. But sociologists who came to define their field as “the study of inequality” extended class conflict to other, non-economic classes: genders, races, ethnicities, sexual subgroups, religions, etc. The sociologists added that the oppression and victimization was “structural,” with individuals’ intentions unimportant…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents

On Topic Links

Sarah Lawrence Prof Pens Op-Ed About Lack of Intellectual Diversity, Social Justice Warriors Want Him Driven Off Campus: Mike LaChance, Legal Insurrection, Nov. 3, 2018—Professor Samuel Abrams is a conservative-leaning tenured professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College. He is active in Heterodox Academy, a group of almost 2000 academics devoted to intellectual diversity on campus.

The University of Michigan Has a Big Problem: Kenneth H. Ryesky, Algemeiner, Oct. 16, 2018 —News from Michigan tends to reach me here in Israel given my personal and professional ties to the state. Having taught at Queens College CUNY and at Yeshiva University, and as a lawyer whose undergraduate major and MBA concentration were in Organizations & Management, I now critique the situation at the University of Michigan from a legal and managerial perspective.

Ivory Tower Bigots: David Mikics, Tablet, Oct. 16, 2018 —Anti-Zionism is a form of racism like any other: The erasing of a nation’s experience, the denial of their right to speak.

Did 1968 Win the Culture War?: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Nov. 22, 2018—Fifty years ago this year, the ’60s revolution sought to overturn American customs, traditions, ideology, and politics. The ’60s radicals eventually grew older, cut their hair, and joined the establishment. Most thought their revolution had fizzled out in the early 1970s without much effect, as Americans returned to “normal.”

NORTH AFRICAN ISLAMIST “ENCLAVES OF TERROR” EMERGING AFTER FAILED “ARAB SPRING”

A Bloodbath for Christians, No Response from Egypt: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 11, 2018— On November 2, heavily armed Islamic terrorists ambushed and massacred Christians returning home after visiting the ancient St. Samuel Monastery in Minya, Egypt.

Libya in Chaos: Where To?: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar and Col. (res.) Dr. Dan Gottlieb, BESA, Sept. 30, 2018— On August 15, 2018, Tripoli’s Appeals Court sentenced 45 convicts to death by firing squad for opening fire on August 21, 2011 on residents abandoning Tripoli while it was falling into the hands of anti-government insurgents.

Tunisian Ennahda’s ‘Secret Apparatus’ Draws Comparisons to Brotherhood Origins: Hany Ghoraba, IPT News, Nov. 9, 2018— A lawsuit accusing Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement of plotting the assassination of two political opponents poses the most serious challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group since its 1981 inception.

The Open Secret of Israeli-Moroccan Business is Growing: Sebastian Shehadi, Middle East Eye, Nov. 5, 2018— “Secret” Israeli-Moroccan business is increasingly visible, despite the North African country sharing no official relations with Israel and growing calls in Morocco against “economic normalisation”.

On Topic Links

Egyptian Sentenced to Death in Killing of Christian Doctor: New York Times, Nov. 17, 2018

Turkey Stabilizing Libya? Think Again.: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 22, 2018

Why Do Terrorist Organizations Use Women As Suicide Bombers?: Nikita Malik, Forbes, Nov. 2, 2018

The Jews of the North Africa under Muslim Rule: Ruthie Blum, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2018

 

A BLOODBATH FOR CHRISTIANS, NO RESPONSE FROM EGYPT                                    Raymond Ibrahim                                                                                                                             

Gatestone Institute, Nov. 11, 2018

On November 2, heavily armed Islamic terrorists ambushed and massacred Christians returning home after visiting the ancient St. Samuel Monastery in Minya, Egypt. Seven pilgrims — including a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy — were shot to death. More than 20 were left injured with bullet wounds or shards of broken glass from the buses’ windows. “I pray for the victims, pilgrims killed just because they were Christian,” said Pope Francis after the attack. Pictures posted on social media reveal “bodies soaked in blood and distorted faces of men and women.” In one video posted, a man can be heard crying, “The gunshot got you in the head, my boy!” and repeating, “What a loss!”

After the first and largest bus had passed the ambush point, the terrorists emerged in black 4x4s and opened fire with automatic weapons on the second bus; six pilgrims were injured, including a small child. Fortunately, the bus driver managed to escape and speed away, at which point the terrorists fired on the third and smallest bus as it approached. After the driver was killed, they surrounded the stalled minibus and opened fire on all sides. The bus carried 20 people — 14 adults and six children — all from one extended family who had visited the monastery to baptize two of the children.

The terrorists first opened the hatchback and looked to see who was still alive. They then shot all the men in the head and all the women and children in the ankles or legs. One of the female survivors who was shot in the legs recalls, in a video, only that an explosion of gunfire suddenly opened on all sides of their bus; by the time she could register what was happening, she saw pieces of her brother-in-law’s brain splattered on her lap.

Another woman, after realizing that her husband and daughter had been killed, begged the jihadis to kill her, too. They said, “No, you stay and suffer over your husband and daughter.” Then they shot her in the ankles so she could not move away. In a separate report, another survivor said the terrorists told her, “We will kill the men and children and leave you to live the rest of your lives in misery.” Virtually all of the survivors have “had a nervous breakdown of what they have seen and they are in the hospital.”

Coptic Bishop Anba Makarios of Minya confirmed that “The pilgrims were killed in such a savage and sadistic way, as if they were enemy combatants, when they were just simple Christians come to get a blessing from a monastery.” Reactions among Egypt’s Christians echoed those from earlier incidents. “Oh God, these children were students in my school!” wept one local teacher. “I can’t imagine they are dead now!”

The day after the attack, the Egyptian government created more questions than answers. It announced that it had killed 19 terrorists believed to be complicit in the November 2 attack. As one report noted: “With the suspects now dead, it is impossible to confirm whether they were indeed involved in Friday’s attack. Fear continues to permeate the Christian community in Egypt.” Another report stated that government photos of the purported slain terrorists “appear staged in a manner which mirrors past examples of Egyptian security forces executing suspected terrorists.”

The attack was a virtual duplicate of another that occurred on May 26, 2017. Islamist gunmen ambushed buses full of Christians returning from the same monastery. Twenty-eight Christians — ten of whom were children, including two girls, aged two and four — were massacred. According to accounts based on eyewitness testimonies, the terrorists had ordered the passengers to exit the bus in groups: “… as each pilgrim came off the bus they were asked to renounce their Christian faith and profess belief in Islam, but all of them — even the children — refused. Each was killed in cold blood with a gunshot to the head or the throat.”

Discussing the recent massacre with Bishop Makarios, a television interviewer said, “this is a duplicate of the same event and same place that happened a year and five months ago — how can this be? What does it mean?” Makarios replied, “Honestly, those best positioned to answer this question are the state authorities…. I add my voice to yours and ask the same questions.” “That the same attack occurred in the same place only means that, despite all the talk, protecting Egypt’s Christian minority is not on the government’s agenda,” Magdi Khalil, Egyptian political analyst and editor of the Egyptian weekly Watani International, told Gatestone by phone.

Despite Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s many conciliatory and brotherly words to the nation’s Christian minorities, they have suffered more under his rule than any Egyptian leader of the modern era, partially because ISIS arose during his term. In December 2017, a gunman killed 10 worshippers inside a church in Helwan. One year earlier, 29 Christians were killed during twin attacks on churches. On Palm Sunday in April 2017, a suicide bombing of two churches killed nearly 50 people and injured more than a hundred.

While it may be understandable that Sisi cannot eliminate terrorism entirely, there is evidence that the government itself participates in the persecution of Egypt’s Christians. According to the World Watch List (2018), Egyptian “officials at any level from local to national” are “strongly responsible” for the “oppression” of Egypt’s Christians. “Government officials,” the report adds, “also act as drivers of persecution through their failure to vindicate the rights of Christians and also through their discriminatory acts which violate the fundamental rights of Christians.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

Contents   

LIBYA IN CHAOS: WHERE TO?

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar and Col. (res.) Dr. Dan Gottlieb

BESA, Sept. 30, 2018

On August 15, 2018, Tripoli’s Appeals Court sentenced 45 convicts to death by firing squad for opening fire on August 21, 2011 on residents abandoning Tripoli while it was falling into the hands of anti-government insurgents. The 45 are all ex-members of Muammar Qaddafi’s security forces.

On the same day, August 15, 2018, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Mahmoud Werfalli, a senior commander in the Libya National Army (LNA). According to the indictment, Werfalli “appears to be directly responsible for the killing of, in total, 33 persons in Benghazi or surrounding areas, between on or before 3 June 2016 and on or around 17 July 2017, either by personally killing them or by ordering their execution.” Armed groups have been executing civilians in Libya with almost complete impunity ever since the toppling of Qaddafi’s government in 2011.

As of 2018, after the demise of ISIS in Libya due to its defeats at both Sirte and Benghazi (an unknown number of currently inactive ex-ISIS fighters remain in Bani Walid and south of Sirte), the country remains divided between two governments: 1) the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which is backed by the UN and headed by Fayez Sirraj; and 2) the Benghazi government, which is based on Libya’s national army, headed by General Khalifa Haftar, and backed by some Arab governments (Egypt, the UAE).

Oil plays a dominant role in the competition between the two rival governments. The UN and its affiliate in Libya, UNSMIL (UN Support Mission in Libya), arranged for Libya’s oil to be re-exported through the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation, oil exports being the main pillar of Libya’s exports. In the last year of Qaddafi’s government, 1.6 million barrels of oil per day were exported. Oil exports were heavily slashed due to the conflict in Libya, but by the end of 2017, they had regained a level of 1.2 million barrels per day.

But through an understanding between the Haftar government and the UAE, 850,000 barrels per day are exported directly by the Benghazi government through UAE companies based in the Benghazi part of the country. (In 2017, the UN accused the UAE of supplying military equipment to Haftar’s forces in violation of an international arms embargo.) In June 2018, the Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil fields were seized by Haftar’s forces and their production taken away from the national oil company of Tripoli. As a consequence, oil exports from the ports of Zweitina and Harija were stopped.

An attempt in July 2018, supported by the UN, to reconcile the two rival governments failed over Haftar’s demand that he remain chief commander of the united army. The conflict continues. The consequences of all this are detrimental to the chances of finding any reconciliation between the two governments in Libya. The state is divided, and there are no prospects of a solution in the foreseeable future.

The chaotic situation enables the emergence of enclaves of terror, inspired by the ideology of ISIS and al-Qaeda. The world should make sure that Libya does not turn into another pre-2001 Afghanistan-like state on the doorstep of Europe. Since there is almost no power on the ground in Libya with which the EU can come to an agreement to stop the influx of illegal migrants from the sub-Saharan states through Libya to Europe, this migration route will probably continue to be a gateway for many more thousands of Africans into Europe. The consequences for the EU are complex and difficult.

The question that Europe, the US, Canada, and the UN should deal with is this: in what situation will the world intervene in Libya once again to contain the domestic chaos before it spills out to other parts of the world? The sooner this question is answered, the better.

Contents

   

TUNISIAN ENNAHDA’S ‘SECRET APPARATUS’

DRAWS COMPARISONS TO BROTHERHOOD ORIGINS                                                               Hany Ghoraba

IPT News, Nov. 9, 2018

A lawsuit accusing Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement of plotting the assassination of two political opponents poses the most serious challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group since its 1981 inception. Mohamed Brahmi and Chokri Belaid were killed in separate 2013 shootings involving the same gun. Both men opposed the Ennahda Movement, which was in power at the time. Investigators blamed a jihadist cell and identified a 30-year-old French weapons smuggler as one of the killers. Subsequent investigations by attorneys for the dead men uncovered a massive amount of evidence which was presented to the Tunisian prosecutors. They opened a formal investigation into Ennahda’s secret apparatus on Oct. 10. The attorneys gave the same evidence to a Tunisian military court, which deals with terrorism and national security. The lawsuit alleges the murder plots were hatched by Ennahda’s secret security apparatus, which the attorneys claim was created by the Egyptian Brotherhood.

Described as an Arab Spring success, Tunisia has made social and economic reforms that collide with Islamist desires represented by the Ennahda Movement. In September, Tunisia’s secular incumbent President Beji Caid Essebsi dissolved an alliance with Ennahda .

The attorneys who brought the suit provided Tunisian authorities with evidence implicating Ennahda in the assassinations, said attorney Ridha Raddaoui. That includes a document titled “Motorcycle Fighting skills,” which was found in Interior Ministry archives. It details the training methods for assassinations using motorcycles, which were used in Brahmi’s and Belaid’s murders.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood introduced this type of training in the 1940s as part of its own “Secret Apparatus.” According to the Brotherhood literature, it was formed to execute military operations and train Egyptian citizens militarily to defend against foreign invasions. However, it wasn’t long before it was turned into a political tool of assassinations and terrorism. The assassinations targeted high profile Egyptian officials, including Prime Minister Mahmoud Al Noqrashy Pasha in 1948.

Interior Ministry documents show that Ennahda set up a similar apparatus based on a Muslim Brotherhood proposal, Raddaoui told a press conference. One document released as part of the lawsuit includes communication between Mustafa Khadr, chief of Ennahda’s secret apparatus, and the Brotherhood in Egypt. The contents of those conversations have not been released. Two unnamed Egyptian MB officials came to Tunisia posing as agricultural experts to help Ennahda set up the apparatus, Raddaoui said. He also accused Khadr of planting two Tunisian spies inside the American embassy in Tunisia.

Ennahda’s spy network allegedly wiretapped civilians, celebrities and key political and judicial figures, tape recordings released by Tunisian lawyer and radio presenter Dalia Ben Mbarek indicate. In one tape, Khadr is heard claiming that the head of the Tunis court is in working to serve the Ennahda apparatus’ agenda. Khadr, the alleged leader of Ennahda’s secret apparatus, is a former Tunisian officer who was dishonorably discharged from the army. He is serving eight years in prison for hiding evidence and documents related to the murders of Brahmi and Belaid . The lawsuit alleges that Khadr has direct ties to Ennahda founder Rachid Ghannouchi and Nourerddine Bhiri, who was justice minister from 2011-2013.

Tunisian MP Mongi Al Rahoui, who is part of the group that filed the lawsuit, also accused Khadr of having ties to al-Hakim, the alleged assassin. Al-Hakim confessed in a 2016 interview with ISIS’s magazine Dabiq to killing Brahmi. He said he had hoped the killing would “facilitate the brothers’ movements and so that we would be able to bring in weapons and liberate our brothers from prisons,” and had targeted Brahmi because he worked for the “apostate” government. Al-Hakim was killed in a November 2016 U.S. airstrike targeting ISIS in Syria. “Ennahda has connections to known terrorists including Abu Ayyad al-Tunsi, Boubaker al-Hakim and Samy al-Awadi,” Al Rahoui said.

A separate lawsuit, filed in June, claims that between 2011-14, the Ennahda-dominated government helped facilitate travel to Syria for jihadists hoping to fight with ISIS. More than 6,000 ISIS terrorists came from Tunisia, constituting the largest number of fighters from a single nationality. “We presented the documents [showing Ennahda’s secret apparatus] to all Tunisian journalists, researchers and even Tunisian Intelligence” to prove their authenticity, said Salah Al Dawodi, one of the lawyers involved in the lawsuit. They include archived messages, audio and video recordings and other intercepted communication involving Ennahda officials. That evidence has been presented to Tunisian courts, he said.

“The Tunisian Ennahda Movement is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Egyptian MP Mohamed Abu Hamed, “and therefore adopts all the same mechanisms, strategies and ideologies adopted by the mother group. That including the establishment of a secret armed apparatus or a military wing.” This was created to hurt Ennahda’s foes ” through assassinations and violence,” Abu Hamed said. He fears a sharp escalation in violence if the military court rules against Ennahda, comparing it to the violent Muslim Brotherhood reaction after it was forced from power in 2013.

“Al-Ennahda is now cornered and all the political players demand that it should be prosecuted for its crimes in Tunisia,” said Tunisian Salvation Front leader Monder Guerfach, who is circulating a petition in the country calling for Ennahda to be banned. The Ennahda movement’s fate is in the hands of Tunisian the military court.

Contents

   

THE OPEN SECRET OF ISRAELI-MOROCCAN BUSINESS IS GROWING         

Sebastian Shehadi                                              

Middle East Eye, Nov. 5, 2018

“Secret” Israeli-Moroccan business is increasingly visible, despite the North African country sharing no official relations with Israel and growing calls in Morocco against “economic normalisation”. Recent statistical discrepancies are a good start. Although Morocco’s official trade data has never made mention of Israel whatsoever, Israeli records shows $37m worth of commerce with Morocco in 2017, according to data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) this year.

This means that, out of Israel’s 22 African trading partners, Morocco is among the four top nations from which it imports, and ninth in terms of exports, according to CBS. However, with $149m worth of trade between 2014 and 2017, this partnership is not new.

More unusual is Israel’s first overt foreign investment into the Arab world, with Israeli agricultural technology giant Netafim setting up a $2.9m subsidiary in Morocco last year, thereby creating 17 jobs, according to fDi Markets, a Financial Times data service that has monitored crossborder greenfield investment worldwide since 2003. Greenfield investment is when a company builds its operations in a foreign country from the ground up. This development may fit into broader regional trends. Arab-Israeli relations are improving, for one, due to a growing alliance against Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Oman is a good example of these warming relations.

Netafim’s investment is the most visible example of the longstanding and “clandestine” economic ties between Israel and Morocco, two countries that have shared historically warm ties compared to other Arab-Israeli relations. However, public opposition in Morocco against normalisation with Israel keeps these ties under wraps.

For example, in 2016, government ministers denied any trade or investment links with Israel. Mohamed Abbou, then the head of foreign trade at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy, told parliament: “Morocco has no commercial relations with this entity [Israel] . . . and is keen to fight the entry of all Israeli goods to Morocco.” “The government has never granted any license for anyone to import dates or any other Israeli products,” he added. This is despite the fact that Israel’s Netafim has operated in Morocco since at least 1994 through an affiliate, Regafim. Today, under its own name, its Moroccan Facebook page currently has more than 26,000 likes.

Founded on an Israeli kibbutz in 1965, Netafim is the global leader in drip-irrigation systems, a technology that it pioneered. According to its website, it has 4,300 employees and provides equipment and services to customers in more than 110 countries. In February, the company sold 80 percent of its shares to Mexichem, a Mexican petrochemicals group, for $1.5bn. Kibbutz Hatzerim retains 20 percent and Netafim remains headquartered in Israel.

“The opening of the new subsidiary [in Morocco] is part of growth in the market and our desire to improve the quality of our service and our assistance to our customers and partners in Morocco,” Shavit Dahan, Netafim’s director for North and West Africa, told the French-Israeli Chamber of Commerce. The company declined further requests to comment on its investment in Morocco.

The unabashed visibility of Netafim’s investment is unusual since most Israeli-Moroccan trade appears to be conducted secretly. “However, [economic relations] are often hard to [prove] as trade and investment deals are either kept quiet or routed through intermediaries,” said Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, an expert on Moroccan-Israeli relations at Tel Aviv University.

The French-Israeli Chamber of Commerce noted last year that “many Moroccan and Israeli companies are resorting to increasingly complex commercial channels… The Israeli media regularly reports the signing of trade agreements, financial transactions or co-operation programmes with government authorities or the private sector… The most visible Israeli-Moroccan experience is that of Netafim”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

Contents

On Topic Links

Egyptian Sentenced to Death in Killing of Christian Doctor: New York Times, Nov. 17, 2018—An Egyptian man accused of supporting the Islamic State was sentenced to death on Saturday in the fatal stabbing of an 82-year-old Christian doctor in Cairo.

Turkey Stabilizing Libya? Think Again.: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 22, 2018—Turkey was miffed. A Turkish delegation, including Vice President Fuat Oktay, stormed out of a recent two-day international conference in Palermo, Italy, held to deal with the crisis in Libya, on the grounds that it was not included in an unofficial meeting.

Why Do Terrorist Organizations Use Women As Suicide Bombers?: Nikita Malik, Forbes, Nov. 2, 2018—The news earlier this week that a woman in Tunis blew herself up in front of a shopping center came as a shock to many. This is the first attack in the Tunisian capital since 2015. While the attack has yet to be claimed, instability in bordering Libya remains a concern, as do claims by authorities that Islamic State and Al Qaeda continue to recruit extremists in Tunisia.

The Jews of the North Africa under Muslim Rule: Ruthie Blum, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 14, 2018—Exile in the Maghreb, co-authored by the great historian David G. Littman and Paul B. Fenton, is an ambitious tome contradicting the myth of how breezy it was for Jews to live in their homelands in the Middle East and North Africa when they came under Muslim rule.