Rebuff the EU's Threats: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, June 3, 2016— The European Union is on the rampage.
The Left vs. Israel: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, May 30, 2016— Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary.
Edward Alexander, Jews Against Themselves: Abigail L. Rosenthal, JCPA, May 8, 2016— These remarkable essays by Edward Alexander bring intellectual precision, moral fearlessness and literary elegance to bear on a syndrome that could be called “Jewish suicidalism.”
Jerusalem Challenge: Jerusalem Post, June 2, 2016— Tens of thousands of Israelis, most of whom belong to the religious-Zionist stream of Judaism, will come together Sunday to participate in the traditional Flag Parade for Jerusalem Day.
Leftists Demand Jerusalem Day Parade Avoid Muslim Quarter: Arutz Sheva, May 15, 2016
The Jews of the American Revolution: Meir Y. Soloveichik, Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2016
Finishing the War: Frederick Taylor, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016
What Is German?: Anna Sauerbrey, New York Times, May 26, 2016
David M. Weinberg
Israel Hayom, June 3, 2016
The European Union is on the rampage. Every Monday and Thursday it has taken to shelling out threats to downgrade diplomatic and economic ties with Israel, unless Israel does this or desists from doing that. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also acting foreign minister, should rebuff the escalating European intimidation.
This week the EU hit Israel with a double whammy. First, it fiercely warned the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories that Israel's policy of demolishing illegal and unauthorized Palestinian construction is harming ties between Israel and the 28-member EU. This includes the wild Bedouin building spurt that the EU has insolently funded in the strategic E1 quadrant between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, in entirely purposeful defiance of Israel.
And today in Paris, EU foreign ministers led by France intend to promulgate "parameters" for a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which will again likely move the international markers in directions favorable to the Palestinians, while threatening Israel with deadlines for compliance. The brazen EU intervention in E1 has reached extreme heights of chutzpah.
The IDF defines the area in question a pivotal part of Israel's strategic depth, and essential to "defensible borders" for Israel. It is also Area C under the Oslo Accords, which means that Israel holds exclusive civilian and military control.
Yet illegally established Palestinian villages and Bedouin shantytowns have slowly closed the corridor between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, where a major highway runs, crawling to within several meters from it. These illegal outposts steal electricity from the highway lights and water from Israeli pipelines. Civil Administration data, recently presented to the Knesset's subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, shows that 6,500 Palestinians currently live in some 1,220 illegally built homes in the area, and that this number is growing weekly.
Enter the imperious EU. Boycotts of Israeli products no longer satisfy the bullies of Brussels. Ramping up their confrontation with Israel, they have gone into the business of establishing "settlements" for the Bedouin and Palestinians in this area, tower and stockade style. The EU has poured perhaps 100 million euros into EU-emblazoned prefabs, EU-signed roads, and water and energy installations — in E1, in Gush Etzion, near Tekoa, in the South Hebron Hills, and even in the Negev.
Under the cover of diplomatic immunity, the EU's settlement-building bosses audaciously thumb their noses at COGAT inspectors, then scream bloody murder when the IDF moves in, ever so minimally (far too meekly and infrequently, I think) to knock back a few of the most provocatively and problematically positioned EU illegal outposts. Note that every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin has promised and intended to build in the E1 quadrant as the eastern strategic anchor for Jerusalem and its critical connection to the Jordan Valley, only to be stymied by international protests.
In short, the EU's support of the Palestinians has subversively graduated from passive diplomatic and financial assistance to seditious participation in the Palestinian Authority's illegal construction ventures. The explicit intent is to erode Israeli control of Areas C and eastern Jerusalem while promoting Palestinian territorial continuity.
The EU even has extended its deep concern for Arab land rights, and outrageous interference in Israeli planning matters, to the Negev and Galilee, as detailed in the shocking 2014 book "Catch the Jew!" by German-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom. The writer captured ugly scents of ardent anti-Semitism and furious opposition to any Zionist presence in Palestine in his interviews of EU and European NGO officials who are enabling the Palestinian, Bedouin and Israeli Arab land wars against Israel. The book is required reading, in Hebrew or English. But brace yourself: It unveils a violent, wicked world of official Israel bashers.
As for today's Paris peace conference: The old cornerstones of peace diplomacy are out the window. "Not prejudging the outcome of negotiations" and "direct negotiations between the parties without coercion" are principles that no longer hold sway. Dictating impatiently to Israel is in vogue…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Washington Times, May 30, 2016
Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary. But this might be in process of change: as Muslims slowly, grudgingly, and unevenly come to accept the Jewish state as a reality, the Left is becoming increasingly vociferous and obsessive in its rejection of Israel.
Much evidence points in this direction: Polls in the Middle East find cracks in the opposition to Israel while a major American survey for the first time shows liberal Democrats to be more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. The Saudi and Egyptian governments have real security relations with Israel while a figure like (the Jewish) Bernie Sanders declares that “to the degree that [Israelis] want us to have a positive relationship, I think they're going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.”
But I should like to focus on a small illustrative example from a United Nations institution: The World Health Organization churned out report A69/B/CONF./1 on May 24 with the enticing title, “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan: Draft decision proposed by the delegation of Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab Group, and Palestine.” The three-page document calls for “a field assessment conducted by the World Health Organization,” with special focus on such topics as “incidents of delay or denial of ambulance service” and “access to adequate health services on the part of Palestinian prisoners.” Of course, the entire document singles out Israel as a denier of unimpeded access to health care.
This ranks as a special absurdity given the WHO’s hiring a consultant in next-door Syria who is connected to the very pinnacle of the Assad regime, even as it perpetrates atrocities estimated at a half million dead and 12 million displaced (out of a total pre-war population of 22 million). Conversely, both the wife and brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, whose status and wealth assures them treatment anywhere in the world, chose to be treated in Israeli hospitals, as did the sister, daughter, and grand-daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Israel’s sworn enemy.
Despite these facts, the WHO voted on May 28 to accept the proposed field assessment with the predictably lopsided outcome of 107 votes in favor, 8 votes against, 8 abstentions and 58 absences. So far, all this is tediously routine. But the composition of those voting blocs renders the decision noteworthy. Votes in favor included every state in Europe except two, Bosnia-Herzegovina (which has a half-Muslim population) and San Marino (total population: 33,000), both of which missed the vote for reasons unknown to me.
To repeat: Every other European government than those two supported a biased field assessment with its inevitable condemnation of Israel. To be specific, this included the authorities ruling in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Making this European near-unanimity the more remarkable were the many absented governments with large- to overwhelming-majority-Muslim populations: Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, and Turkmenistan.
So, Iceland (with effectively no Muslims) voted for the amendment and against Israel while Turkmenistan (which is over 90 percent Muslim) did not. Cyprus and Greece, which have critical new relations with Israel, voted against Israel while the historically hostile Libyans missed the vote. Germany, with its malignant history, voted against Israel while Tajikistan, a partner of the Iranian regime’s, was absent. Denmark, with its noble history, voted against Israel while Sudan, led by an Islamist, did not.
This unlikely pattern suggests that monolithic Muslim hostility is cracking while Europeans, who are overwhelmingly on the Left, to the point that even right-wing parties pursue watered-down left-wing policies, increasingly despise Israel. Worse, even those who do not share this attitude go along with it, even in an obscure WHO vote. Muslims, not leftists, still staff almost all the violent attacks on Israel; and Islamism, not socialism, remains the reigning anti-Zionist ideology. But these changes point to Israel’s cooling relations with the West and warming ones in its neighborhood.
Abigail L. Rosenthal
JCPA, May 8, 2016
These remarkable essays by Edward Alexander bring intellectual precision, moral fearlessness and literary elegance to bear on a syndrome that could be called “Jewish suicidalism.” That is almost the right name for it, save that the leaders of this trend – portraits delineated by Alexander – exempt themselves from the condemnations they rain down on their fellows. The motivational patterns that Alexander exposes cannot, as is sometimes claimed, reduce to self-hatred. Rather, shown in vivid detail are the workings of opportunistic self-love.
Alexander is professor of English at the University of Washington. He is the author of books that span literary, cultural and Jewish worlds. In his latest book (Transaction Publishers, 2015), Alexander’s contemporary survey is a wide one, though it does not pretend to exhaustiveness. In “Michael Lerner: Hillary Clinton’s Jewish Rasputin,” we meet the founder of the magazine Tikkun, “the omnipresent, gentile-appointed voice of the Jewish community,” but meet him at an earlier career stage, back when he incited mob violence and threatened lawsuits to intimidate his opponents.
In “Antisemitism Denial: The Berkeley School,” we meet Judith Butler who urges progressive people to fight antisemitism but thinks it “wildly improbable that somebody examining the divestment petitions signed by herself and her co-conspirators might take them (as hundreds on her own campus already had) as condoning antisemitism.” Alexander compares Butler’s puzzlement to that of Dickens, who did not know what to make of Fagin, the villainous Jew he had created in Oliver Twist. “The reason for Dickens’s puzzlement was that, in an important sense, he did indeed not ‘make’ Fagin, and therefore didn’t know what to make of him. Fagin was ready-made for Dickens by the collective folklore of Christendom, which had for centuries fixed the Jew in the role of Christ-killer, surrogate of Satan, inheritor of Judas, thief, fence, corrupter of the young—to which list of attributes Butler and her friends would now add ‘Zionist imperialist and occupier.’”
The type described in Jews Against Themselves is not new. Drawing on recent research into this phenomenon, by Sander Gilman, Ruth Wisse and others, Alexander traces the genre historically to its medieval prototypes. Throughout the era of triumphalist Christianity, there were Jewish informers – my term not his – who converted to the dominant religion. Innocent themselves, they deflected attacks onto other, also innocent Jews, thereby becoming actually guilty, this time of towering betrayals.
Pope Gregory IX, who ordered the Talmud publicly burned in Paris and Rome, was acting on the seemingly expert, vilifying “explications” of Talmud presented to him in 1239 by Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert and member of the Dominican Order. A few years later, Pablo Christiani made his coming out as a Christian credible and deadly by orchestrating the celebrated public “disputations” (really show trials) of 1263, in which Nachmanides was forced to defend Judaism against Christiani’s accusations, under intellectually disabling rules of engagement. So also, it may have been another convert, Johannes (Josef) Pffefferkorn, who gave Martin Luther the inspiration and precedent for his destructive campaigns against the Jews of Germany. Luther justified his lootings and burnings in The Jews and Their Lies, which ended up a favorite on Hitler’s bookshelf.
In “Disraeli and Marx: Stammgenosse?” (tr. of the same stock), Alexander tracks the type into the political arenas of the nineteenth century, where these tortured but vastly influential figures carried on their relations of public repudiation (more damaging and venomous in the case of Marx) with their Jewish forebears.
This is background, because the Jewish informer is not just an historical curiosity. Unfortunately, he is still with us and going strong. What is novel about him in his current guise is that he no longer disavows his Jewish identity. On the contrary. The new anti-Jewish Jew embraces his Jewishness. One might wish it were otherwise but, for good or ill, we will not find him among the converts – not to the Christianity of popes or Protestants, not to Voltaire’s religion of reason, not to Marxism nor to Disraeli’s Church of England.
Like his predecessors, the new informer still attacks the innocent Jewish actor on the stage of history – in the present case Israel – hoping thereby to deflect attacks from himself. But, in so doing, he claims to be more authentically Jewish than those retrograde fellow Jews who somehow fail to follow him in his tireless efforts to delegitimize and thus destroy the only Jewish state.
The new informers have their own stylistic habits. They are great moralizers. Of course, as Aristotle knew long ago, the problem of moral evaluation is not to find a principle. It’s to discern what principle is the remedy for the precise situation in view. Thus, patience is a fine virtue, but not the one called for in a fire. Moral questions call for discernment. Alexander is constantly finding the anti-Jewish Jew to be at least morally imprecise, but more often tastelessly obtuse. For example, in “Why Jews Must Behave Better Than Anyone Else,” Alexander looks at Jewish pundits such as Anthony Lewis and Milton Viorst, who openly proclaim that they judge Israel by standards “higher” than the ones they apply to its enemies or to any other state. “From its birth” Lewis writes, “Israel asked to be judged as a light among nations.” No, Alexander points out, it asked no such thing. The intent of Zionist founders was to have a Jewish state that could enter into the normal conditions enjoyed by other nations.
Thomas Friedman, another advocate for expectations targeting Israel alone, justifies the unfairness by imputing to journalists an ‘’identification with the dreams of Biblical Israel and mythic Jerusalem [that] runs so deep that when Israel lives up to its prophetic expectations, it is their success too.’” Not true, Alexander points out. Christians, who may include journalists, have inherited a two-thousand year old propensity to view Jews in a light so harsh and unflattering as to be notably mythical, with a correlative habit of thinking that Jews should not be allowed to defend themselves. As to the “prophetic” pretensions of Israel’s critics, whether Jewish or other, when they wield the double standard: the prophets gave a message from God to the people of the Covenant. Journalists are not God.
In “The Moral Failure of American-Jewish Intellectuals,” Alexander compares the silence of these intellectuals while the Holocaust was going on to their similar deafness to the significance of reborn Israel. “Like protagonists in a great tragedy, the Jewish people had imposed a pattern of meaning upon otherwise incomprehensible suffering. … Having averted their eyes from the destruction of European Jewry, the ‘first-rank’ Jewish intellectuals now looked away from one of the most impressive assertions of the will to live that a martyred people has ever made.”…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Jerusalem Post, June 2, 2016
Tens of thousands of Israelis, most of whom belong to the religious-Zionist stream of Judaism, will come together Sunday to participate in the traditional Flag Parade for Jerusalem Day. The mood will be festive, with singing and flag waving. But this year an additional element will be added to the celebrations: the importance of seeking peaceful coexistence.
Organizers of the Flag Parade have agreed to a police request to change the schedule of the march through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem out of respect for Muslim sensitivities. The idea is to avoid clashes in the Muslim Quarter between flag-waving religious Jews and crowds of Muslims on their way to pray on the Temple Mount. In a sense, the arrangement that enables peaceful coexistence of celebratory religious Jews alongside Muslim worshipers is a microcosm of the unique societal, cultural and religious tensions so characteristic to the city.
On one hand, it is difficult to be indifferent to a rebuilt Jerusalem. Even Jews not inclined to seeing in contemporary events manifestations of Providence cannot help but admit that Jerusalem’s resurgence is amazing. Forty-nine years after the city was united, Jerusalem has become a bustling metropolis that is bigger today – both in population and in square meters of built-up area – than ever before in history. As writer Cynthia Ozick has noted, Jerusalem is a “phoenix city” with a “history of histories.” Like the Phoenix, Jerusalem has burned and been reborn from its own ashes over the millennia. But no previous rebirth can quite compare to the present one. Assyrians, Babylonians, Seleucids and Romans have come and gone. Muslims and Christians – each with their own ideas about Jerusalem’s meaning – have killed each other for the right to rule the city.
All along Jews never stopped praying for a rebuilt Jerusalem. Unshackled from oppressive Jordanian rule over its eastern half, Jerusalem could thrive and develop. And it has. The city’s population has grown to 870,000 as of the end of 2015, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics for Jerusalem Day, which makes it the largest city in the country. The light rail has transformed the city, as have the satellite neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev, Givat Ze’ev, Har Homa and Gilo. Just wander the streets around Mamilla and Ben-Yehuda and witness the diversity. Jews and non- Jews both locals and tourists rub shoulders, a Babel of languages can be heard.
On the other hand, Jerusalem faces myriad challenges. Perhaps the most formidable is the integration of Arab residents, who make up 37 percent of the capital’s population. Jerusalem Arabs who spoke to The Jerusalem Post’s Opinion Page Editor Seth Frantzman this week complained of unfair treatment when it comes to municipal services, infrastructure such as water and roads, and housing. A proportion of east Jerusalem’s children live under the poverty line. There is a shortage of classrooms in Arab schools. No large housing project has been completed for the growing Arab population.
The construction of the security barrier cut off tens of thousands of residents of Arab neighborhoods from the rest of Jerusalem. Though they live within the municipal boundaries, they do not receive basic municipal services such as garbage collection and sewage and water services. Law enforcement is lax because police dare not venture into these areas. The difficulty of integrating Jerusalem’s Arab population is exacerbated by the political conflict. Only around 1.5 percent of Arab residents vote in municipal elections even though they have a right to, because doing so would be seen as legitimization of Israel. But as a result, Arabs have no representative in the city council who can advance their interests.
For nearly two millennia Jews prayed to return to Zion, which was often conceived of not principally as a physical place but as an ideal, a symbol of Jewish spirituality and of hope for peace in a more perfect era. We have not achieved peace. But the physical resurgence of Zion in under way. On Jerusalem Day we should feel thankful for living in a generation that has witnessed a rebuilt Jerusalem. But we must not lose sight of the many challenges presented by Yerushalayim shel mata – the earthly, material Jerusalem of brick and mortar and human beings.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Leftists Demand Jerusalem Day Parade Avoid Muslim Quarter: Arutz Sheva, May 15, 2016—Left-wing NGOs "Tag Meir” (Light Tag) and “Ir Amim" (City of Nations) turned to the Israel Police Jerusalem District demanding to stop this year's traditional Jerusalem Day “Rikudgalim” (Flag Dance or March of Flags) from marching through the streets of the Muslim Quarter in the Old City.
The Jews of the American Revolution: Meir Y. Soloveichik, Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2016—New Yorkers strolling through Chinatown in downtown Manhattan last Sunday might have noticed an unusual flurry of activity: Jewish men and women, a rabbi in a clerical gown, and a color guard gathering in graveyard tucked away behind a wrought-iron fence. Members of the New York synagogue Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, were visiting their historic cemetery at Chatham Square.
Finishing the War: Frederick Taylor, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016—Between 1618 and 1648, millions of civilians died from violence, famine and pestilence as armies ranged across Central Europe in a savage conflict about power and religion. When the treaty was signed that ended the Thirty Years’ War, one famous clause granted perpetua oblivio et amnestia (eternal forgetting and forgiving) to all the forces involved. It represented mutual recognition that each side had committed equally unspeakable acts.
What Is German?: Anna Sauerbrey, New York Times, May 26, 2016—In Germany, a big question is back on the table: What is German — and how German do you have to be to belong to Germany? With the arrival in 2015 of 1.1 million refugees and migrants, it’s an important issue. But rather than having a reasoned debate, the extremists have already taken control. For a disturbing number of Germans, the answer is culture, including religion.