Tag: Anti-Israel

EUROPE VILIFIES ISRAEL BUT FAILS TO ADDRESS DEADLY MUSLIM ANTISEMITISM

Mind-Boggling European Union Chutzpah: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 19, 2017— Israel should repulse the escalating European Union campaign of intimidation.

The Norwegian Elections, Israel, and the Jews: Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, October 19, 2017— The current prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, leader of the Conservative Party (Hoyre), and three potential coalition parties unexpectedly won Norway’s September 11 elections…

Europe Has a ‘Jewish’ Soccer Team Problem: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, Oct. 24, 2017— Seventeen-year-old Sjuul Deriet, standing outside this port city’s main soccer stadium on a rainy Sunday, vividly explains why he hates the people he calls “the Jews.”

In France, a Deadly Mix of Antisemitism, Islamism, and Family Violence: Michel Gurfinkiel, Jewish Chronicle, Oct. 19, 2017— "Burning hatred against France and against Jews, and an orgy of domestic violence."

 

On Topic Links

 

An Italian Soccer Club Struggles to Battle Anti-Semitism: Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner, Oct. 25, 2017

Europe: What do Islamic Parties Want?: Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 29, 2017

This BBC Interview Perfectly Illustrates Britain’s Left-Wing Anti-Semitism Problem: Yair Rosenberg, Tablet, Sept. 26, 2017

A UK Angel for Angela?: Francesco Sisci, Settimana News, Sept. 29, 2017

 

 

 

MIND-BOGGLING EUROPEAN UNION CHUTZPAH

David M. Weinberg

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 19, 2017

 

Israel should repulse the escalating European Union campaign of intimidation. You see, boycotts of Israeli products from Judea and Samaria no longer satisfy Brussels. Ramping-up its confrontation with Israel, the European Union has gone into the business of establishing “settlements” for the Beduin and Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, tower and stockade style.

 

This includes the wild Beduin building spurt that the EU has insolently funded in the strategic E1 quadrant between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, in entirely purposeful defiance of Israel. 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 in Area C under the Oslo Accords, which means that Israel holds exclusive civilian and military control.

 

Yet illegally established Palestinian villages and Beduin shantytowns have slowly closed the corridor between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh 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, presented last year to the Knesset’s subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, showed that 6,500 Palestinians were living in some 1,220 illegally built homes in the area, and the number undoubtedly has grown since then – thanks to the EU.

 

The imperious EU has poured perhaps €100 million 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 inspectors of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit. Then, they 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 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 graduated from passive diplomatic and financial assistance to subversive participation in the Palestinian Authority’s illegal construction ventures. The explicit EU intent is to erode Israeli control of Areas C and eastern Jerusalem while promoting Palestinian territorial continuity leading to runaway Palestinian statehood.

 

In June and August, the EU fiercely warned COGAT that Israel’s policy of demolishing illegal and unauthorized Palestinian construction is harming ties between Israel and the 28 EU member countries. According to Le Monde, eight EU member states this week took the further, unprecedented move of penning a letter to the Israeli Foreign Ministry demanding that Jerusalem reimburse (!) EU countries for the dismantling of infrastructure in the West Bank such as solar panels and mobile homes that were slated to serve innocent “local Arab schools.”

 

Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden – members of the so-called “West Bank Protection Consortium,” a body which coordinates “humanitarian assistance” to Beduin and Palestinian squatters in Area C – are now demanding that Israel pay them compensation of more than €30,000 each. Such mind-boggling chutzpah! First the EU builds illegal settlements in defiance of Israel, then it demands that Israel pay for these offenses when Israel acts against them.

 

How much more contemptuous can you get than that? The European position is that under the Geneva Convention, Israel is responsible for dealing with the everyday needs of the Palestinian population in Area C, and since it is “not doing so,” the European states are stepping in with humanitarian aid. But it’s clear to anybody with a brain that European activity in Area C is not “humanitarian assistance” but political activity that brazenly seeks to create “facts on the ground” – to strengthen the Palestinians’ hold on Area C. In doing so, the EU has thrown key cornerstones of peace diplomacy out the window.

 

“Not prejudging the outcome of negotiations,” and “direct negotiations between the parties without coercion” – are principles that no longer hold sway, at least as far as EU pampering of the Palestinians is concerned. Instead, collusion with Palestinians and defiance of Israel is in vogue. The EU superciliously ignores the fact that the Palestinian Authority has rejected Israeli offers three times (2000, 2001, and 2008) which would have given the Palestinians statehood, including possession of almost all the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem. They also fled from US secretary of state John Kerry’s talks in 2014, and have sought to grab international recognition of their “statehood” unilaterally, while demonizing and criminalizing Israel in international courts.

 

Then the Palestinians revel in useless peace confabs, like the conference that Paris convened last summer, because this diverts attention from their intransigence and heightens Israel’s diplomatic isolation without actually brokering a peace negotiation that the PA doesn’t want. But none of this bothers the EU. It’s just happy to push Israel toward essentially unilateral withdrawals – without any expectations of real moderation from the Palestinians. Obviously, Israel shouldn’t pay the EU one red cent in “compensation” for its confiscated, cheeky solar panels.

 

In-your-face EU diplomacy should be met with in-your-face Israeli diplomacy. Perhaps Israel should demand compensation from Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden for the Jews persecuted, the Jewish property confiscated, and the synagogues destroyed in their territories over the past 2,000 years. And if our government idiotically dares to settle with the EU, and shells out a single shekel, I am going to withhold paying my taxes in protest.

                                                                       

 

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THE NORWEGIAN ELECTIONS, ISRAEL, AND THE JEWS                                                 

Manfred Gerstenfeld

BESA, October 19, 2017

 

The current prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, leader of the Conservative Party (Hoyre), and three potential coalition parties unexpectedly won Norway’s September 11 elections, receiving 89 out of 170 seats. Creating a government will not be easy, however. The Christian Democrat Party, a Solberg ally that barely passed the entrance threshold of 4%, is opposed to the anti-Islam Progress Party’s continuing in government.

 

A few months ago, polls indicated that Labor and its allies would return to power. Had that in fact occurred, Labor leader Jonas Gahr Stoere would have become prime minister. In that event, Norway would likely have joined Sweden sooner or later in recognizing a Palestinian Authority government that controls part of the Palestinian territories. In 2011, Anders Breivik murdered 77 people, mainly Labor Party youngsters. Then-prime minister Jens Stoltenberg thereafter publicly proclaimed that Norway, despite this tragic event, would become an even more open democracy. In reality, dissenters who strongly opposed social-democratic rule were even more ostracized than before. (After his 2013 defeat, Stoltenberg became secretary general of NATO.)

 

As prime minister, Stoltenberg was not so much an anti-Israeli inciter himself as he was tolerant of such incitement by his party and allies. At several venues where he spoke, there were brutal verbal attacks on Israel, but he remained silent. By not confronting these attacks he condoned them. Moreover, the Stoltenberg governments were the only European ones to include the extreme left. Several ministers came from the SV party, some of the founders of which were Norwegian communists. These governments frequently applied double standards against Israel, a behavior that fits the European definition of anti-Semitic acts.

 

The Stoltenberg government proffered de facto legitimization on the Islamist Palestinian terror group Hamas on several occasions. It also called on Israel to take down the security barrier, which would, had Israel complied, have facilitated Palestinian terror attacks. In yet another example of the poor judgment of a democratic prime minister, the Stoltenberg government also organized major festivities on the occasion of the 150th birthday of the late writer Knut Hamsun, a fanatical admirer of Hitler.

 

As for Labor leader Stoere, his anti-Israelism reached an extreme point when he wrote a back-cover blurb legitimizing a book by two Norwegian Hamas supporters, Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse. Writing on the 2009 Cast Lead campaign in Øyne i Gaza (“Eyes in Gaza”), they claimed that Israel had entered the Gaza Strip in 2009 to kill women and children. Stoere has always played both sides, however. In January 2009, the most anti-Semitic riots ever to have taken place in Norway occurred in Oslo. Muslims attacked pro-Israel demonstrators with potentially lethal projectiles. Stoere visited the Oslo synagogue afterward to express his solidarity with the Jewish community.

 

A study, paid for by the government, was published in 2012 by the Norwegian Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities. The study found that 38% percent of Norwegians believe Israel acts towards the Palestinians the way the Nazis behaved towards the Jews. During Erna Solberg’s tenure as prime minister, which began in 2013, extreme anti-Israelism among organizations mainly on the Norwegian left continued apace. The large trade union LO, which is a major force behind the Labor Party, came out in favor of totally boycotting Israel. In 2014, the Christian youth organization YMCA-YWCA voted in favor of a boycott on goods and services from the territories. (The Oslo chapter rejected the boycott.)

 

It is easy to underestimate the importance of Norway because it is not a member of the EU and has only about 5 million inhabitants. Yet its huge gas and oil income has enabled it to make major donations abroad, including to Palestinian causes. Labor governments did so extensively, and the Solberg government has continued the practice. In May of this year, however, Norway asked for funds it had donated to a center for women in the West Bank village of Barak to be returned. It had become known that the center was named for Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 massacre on a highway near Tel Aviv that killed 37 Israeli civilians, many of them children, and wounded dozens.

 

A recent study by Jonas Duc Enstad of Oslo University’s Center for the Study of Extremism stated that it seems that “most anti-Semitic incidents in Norway are caused by Arabs and left-wing radicals.” As Sweden’s government is currently the main anti-Israel inciter in Europe, it is interesting to note that before the elections, Norwegian Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug, of the Progress Party, kept warning that Norway should not allow “Swedish conditions” to develop. The Financial Times wrote: “That is code for the gang warfare, shootings, car burnings and other integration problems that Sweden has endured recently in the suburbs of its three largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.” One might also recall that Malmö is considered by many experts the anti-Semitism capital of Europe.

 

Listhaug traveled to Stockholm shortly before the elections and visited the extremely violent Rinkeby suburb. She made a point of noting that there are more than 60 no-go zones in Sweden. Sweden, with its 10 million citizens, is the dominant Scandinavian country, and many Swedes look down on Norway. This unusual Norwegian criticism hit Sweden below the belt, all the more so as it is largely true. If Solberg manages to govern for four years, this may enable Israel to further improve relations with Norway and better counteract its leftwing enemies there.                        

 

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EUROPE HAS A ‘JEWISH’ SOCCER TEAM PROBLEM                                                                  

Cnaan Liphshiz

JTA, Oct. 24, 2017

 

Seventeen-year-old Sjuul Deriet, standing outside this port city’s main soccer stadium on a rainy Sunday, vividly explains why he hates the people he calls “the Jews.” “They have the money, they run the business from management positions and they think they’re better than blue-collar people like us,” said Deriet, who works at a catering business. Yes, the statement sounds like typical anti-Semitic cliches. But it has nothing to do with actual Jews, Deriet hastened to tell JTA. “I have nothing against your people. When I say I hate Jews, I just mean supporters of Ajax,” he said, referring to the Amsterdam soccer team that is an archrival of Deriet’s beloved Feyenoord Football Club of Rotterdam.

 

For the uninitiated: Fans of Ajax are often referred to as “the Jews,” likely because of the historical presence of Jews in the Dutch capital. As it happens, there are several soccer teams across Europe that are known as “Jewish” for similar reasons, including England’s Tottenham Hotspurs — they once had a strong fan base among the Jewish immigrants of North London — as well as Italy’s Roma and Germany’s Bayern Munich. Both supporters and detractors often call the clubs Jewish, leading to some complicated situations. For example, it’s not uncommon at matches for fans of these teams to wave Israeli flags or shout their adoration for “the Jews.” At the same time, however, the detractors often display acrimonious hatred of “the Jews” — an uncomfortable situation that, depending on whom you ask, is either fed by or feeding anti-Semitism’s seeming comeback in Europe.

 

“Anti-Semitism in the stadiums has allowed the hate songs to gradually seep into society at large,” Manfred Gerstenfeld, a researcher of anti-Semitism and fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, wrote in a 2011 research paper titled “Antisemitism and the Dutch Soccer Fields.” Gerstenfeld’s paper shows how the chant “Hamas, Jews to the gas” has moved in Holland from the soccer pitch to anti-Israel protests.

 

In the case of Ajax, its “Jewish” nickname dates to the 1970s. It has the Amsterdam locale, and the team has had several Jewish managers and players — notably the late Johnny Roeg and Daniël de Ridder — as Ajax archivist Wim Schoevaart told Israeli filmmaker Nirit Peled in 2012. Peled made a film,“Super Jews,” about the team’s Jewish ties. Ajax also had many Jewish fans because — ahem — “they played well and Jews like to get good quality for their money,” added Schoevaart, who died in 2013 at the age of 94. Supporters of England’s Hotspurs proudly call themselves “Yids.” Based in North London, where most of the city’s 250,000 Jews reside, the Tottenham club also earned its Jewish credentials because its three chairmen since 1982 have been Jews.

 

But nowhere is the Jewish affiliation stronger than among Ajax fans, who like the film call themselves “Super Jews.” They wave giant Israeli flags during matches, sing “Hava Nagila” in stadiums and wear Star of David pendants around their necks. “Maybe it sounds silly, but it was a uniting element that brought fans together,” veteran Ajax fan Ronald Pieldoor told Peled. “They sing about it, they wear the symbols, so it seems that it’s part of the identity of some Ajax supporters.” At the same time, however, this borrowing of Jewish symbols by non-Jews (or “Ajax Jews,” as hardcore supporters call themselves) is triggering some of the most explicit and provocative expressions of anti-Semitic speech seen on the continent.

 

On Twitter, ahead of Sunday’s match in Rotterdam — Ajax won, 4-1 — fans of the rival team widely shared a picture of two Lithuanian Jewish boys wearing yellow stars taken just before their murder by Nazi collaborators. Ridiculing their suffering, the picture was titled “Back when Amsterdam had only one star.” Jewish organizations decried the tweet as a new low point in a long list of offensive jokes and acts, including Nazi salutes in stadiums and hissing sounds, a reference to gas chambers, made by rivals when Ajax comes on the pitch. One popular anti-Ajax banner reads “Adolf, here are another 11 for you” — a reference to the team’s 11 players.

 

While similar phenomena occur with Tottenham and Roma, they are particularly loaded in the Netherlands, where Nazis and their collaborators murdered 75 percent of the country’s prewar Jewish population of 140,000 – the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. “It’s extremely hurtful,” said Ronny Naftaniel, a Dutch board member of CEJI, a Brussels-based Jewish organization promoting tolerance through education. Yet not everyone believes the chants are anti-Semitic, per se. To Pieldoor, the veteran Ajax fan, the offensive chants have nothing to do with Jews and everything to do with fans’ desire to provoke Ajax supporters.

 

Following deadly hooliganism in the 1990s, Dutch police imposed strict measures during games, including a ban on Ajax contingents attending Feyenoord home games and vice versa. “As police got better at keeping us apart, you could no longer have at it, you couldn’t throw bottles at each other, so the only recourse was verbal aggression,” Pieldoor said in the “Super Jews” documentary. Remarks that would be considered anti-Semitic in any other context are not necessarily so in soccer, he argued. Soccer clubs and stadiums in the Netherlands and beyond have banned several fans for chanting insults and praises about Jews. Several court cases for incitement to racial hatred have been opened in recent years against fans who shouted anti-Semitic slogans at soccer matches…

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

 

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IN FRANCE, A DEADLY MIX OF ANTISEMITISM,

ISLAMISM, AND FAMILY VIOLENCE

Michel Gurfinkiel

Jewish Chronicle, Oct. 19, 2017

 

"Burning hatred against France and against Jews, and an orgy of domestic violence." That was how Anne Chenevat, a major witness, described the Merah family – a divorced mother, three sons and two daughters – to the Special Criminal Court of Paris last Tuesday. Mohamed Merah, the youngest of the family's sons, killed seven people – including three Jewish children shot at point-blank range – and maimed six others in the southern French towns of Montauban and Toulouse between March 11 and March 19, 2012. He was himself killed by security forces three days later.

 

The main defendants in the present trial, which started three weeks ago, are his older brother Abdelkader Merah and his older sister Souad. The siblings are accused of inspiring the killing spree. Abdelkader was arrested in 2012; Souad fled to Algeria. Anne Chenevat, a former partner of the eldest Merah brother, Abdelghani, testified about the toxic influence of the family's Algerian-born mother, Zuleikha Aziri. "I was routinely abused and spat upon by Zuleikha for being 'a dirty French woman' and a 'dirty Jewess'." Anne Chenevat's importance as a witness stems from the fact that she was for six years the partner of Abdelghani Merah, the eldest Merah brother. According to her, Zuleikha Aziri, the Algerian-born mother, would use electric wire to beat her children. Violence between the brothers was rampant: on one occasion, Abdelkader inflicted seven stab wounds on Abdelghani.

 

Hatred for the non-Muslim French and antisemitism were held as self-evident in the family." As a result, I was routinely abused and spat upon by Zuleikha for being 'a dirty French woman' and a 'dirty Jewess'," Chenevat said. A Catholic by birth, she once admitted to the Merahs that she had a Jewish grandfather. She left Abdelghani because of his addiction to alcohol and drugs and raised their son Theodore alone. Also called also as a witness to the trial, Abdelghani concurred with his former companion about the Merahs' ethnic and religious prejudices: "We all grew up hating France and the Jews, it is a fact."

 

According to him, Abdelkader turned to radical Islam in 2006 along with Souad and frequently visited salafist mosques and madrasas in Egypt, and was the main nefarious influence on Mohamed. Theodore Chenevat, the son of Anne Chenevat and Abdelghani Merah – now a 21-year-old business and economics student – chillingly told the Court that in order to indoctrinate him into jihad, his uncle Abdelkader shared with him videos of "Islamic beheading" and attempted to have him visit mortuaries. When the counsel of Mohamed Merah's Jewish victims, Elie Korchia, asked him whether Abdelkader and Mohamed should be seen as two heads of a single terrorist beast, he answered that the fugitive older sister Souad should be counted as a third and equally dangerous head. The trial, which is expected to last until early November, continues.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

An Italian Soccer Club Struggles to Battle Anti-Semitism: Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner, Oct. 25, 2017—Lazio, a top flight Italian soccer club, is finally confronting the scourge of anti-Semitism.

Europe: What do Islamic Parties Want?: Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 29, 2017—Sweden's brand new first Islamic party, Jasin, is aiming to run for the 2018 parliamentary elections.

This BBC Interview Perfectly Illustrates Britain’s Left-Wing Anti-Semitism Problem: Yair Rosenberg, Tablet, Sept. 26, 2017 —At the moment, the British Labour party is holding its annual conference, at which members have been tackling, among other concerns, internal hate speech guidelines.

A UK Angel for Angela?: Francesco Sisci, Settimana News, Sept. 29, 2017—Like many times in the past century, German internal political events toll a bell for Great Britain and the rest of Europe, while the world looks the other way.

 

 

 

 

WITH ASSAD’S VICTORY IN REACH, IRAN PLANS “LARGE & PERMANENT MILITARY FOOTPRINT” IN SYRIA

The Coming Confrontation Between Israel and Iran: Elliott Abrams, Atlantic, Oct 15, 2017— In the United States, discussions of Iran have, for the last few years, centered mostly around the JCPOA—the nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama.

In Syrian Barrage, a Confident Message Signed by Iran and Russia: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Oct. 22, 2017— It’s not clear if the sudden barrage of rockets “bleeding” into Israel from Syria Saturday had anything to do with the presence in Damascus of Iran’s defense chief.

Hizballah's Nasrallah Escalates Threats as Syria Turns Into Iranian Base: Burak Bekdil, BESA, Oct. 10, 2017— A recent speech by Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah contained unusually aggressive statements, calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel, and claiming that a future war would lead to Israel's "demise."

Russia’s Air Defenses in Syria: More Politics than Punch: Guy Plopsky, BESA, Oct. 18, 2017— In early October 2016, Russian Defense Ministry chief spokesman Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov warned the US-led anti-ISIS coalition that “Russian air defense crews are unlikely to have time to clarify via the [de-confliction] line the exact flight path of missiles and who their carrier platforms belong to,”…

 

On Topic Links

 

Golan Heights Residents on Edge After Latest Cross-Border Exchange of Fire: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Oct. 22, 2017

As ISIS’ Role in Syria Wanes, Other Conflicts Take the Stage: Anne Barnard & Hwaida Saad, New York Times, Oct. 19, 2017

Moscow Nears ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Syria: Sami Moubayed, Asia Times, Oct. 23, 2017

Iran Steps Up Its Economic Domination in Syria: Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira, JCPA, Oct. 19, 2017

 

 

THE COMING CONFRONTATION BETWEEN ISRAEL AND IRAN

Elliott Abrams

Atlantic, Oct 15, 2017

 

In the United States, discussions of Iran have, for the last few years, centered mostly around the JCPOA—the nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama. In the Middle East, things are different. This is because, while we have been debating, Iran has been acting—and Israel has been reacting. Israel has struck sites in Syria 100 times in the last five years, bombing when it saw an Iranian effort to move high-tech materiel to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Last month Israel bombed the so-called Scientific Studies and Researchers Center in Masyaf (a city in central Syria), a military site where chemical weapons and precision bombs were said to be produced. Now, there are reports…that Iran is planning to build a military airfield near Damascus, where the IRGC (Revolutionary Guards) could build up their presence and operate. Fishman also wrote that Iran and the Assad regime are negotiating over giving Iran its own naval pier in the port of Tartus, and that Iran may actually deploy a division of soldiers in Syria.

 

Such developments would be unacceptable to Israel, and it will convey this message to Russia and to the United States. Russia’s defense minister will soon visit Israel, after which Israel’s defense minister will visit Washington. Previous Israeli efforts to get Putin to stop Iran (during Netanyahu’s four visits to Moscow in the last year) have failed, which suggests that Israel will need to do so itself, alone—unless the new Iran policy being debated inside the Trump administration leads the United States to seek ways to stop the steady expansion of Iran’s military presence and influence in the Middle East. Whether this happens remains to be seen. Whatever the debate over the JCPOA, there may well be a broader consensus in the administration that Iran’s growing military role in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere in the region must be countered.

 

Whatever the American conclusion, if Iran does indeed plan to establish a large and permanent military footprint in Syria—complete with permanent naval and air bases and a major ground force—Israel will have fateful decisions to make. Such an Iranian presence on the Mediterranean and on Israel’s border would change the military balance in the region and fundamentally change Israel’s security situation. And under the JCPOA as agreed by Obama, limits on Iran’s nuclear program begin to end in only eight years; Iran may now perfect its ICBM program; and there are no inspections of military sites where further nuclear weapons research may be underway. As Senator Tom Cotton said recently, “If Iran doesn’t have a covert nuclear program today, it would be the first time in a generation.” Israel could be a decade away from a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and bases in Syria—and could logically therefore even place nuclear weapons in Syria, just miles from Israel’s border.

 

Fishman, the dean of Israel’s military correspondents, wrote: “If the Israeli diplomatic move fails to bear fruit, we [Israel] are headed toward a conflict with the Iranians.” That conclusion, and the Iranian moves that make it a growing possibility, should be on the minds of Trump administration officials as they contemplate a new policy toward Iran’s ceaseless drive for power in the Middle East.

 

                                                           

 

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IN SYRIAN BARRAGE, A CONFIDENT

MESSAGE SIGNED BY IRAN AND RUSSIA                                                           

Avi Issacharoff

Times of Israel, Oct. 22, 2017

 

It’s not clear if the sudden barrage of rockets “bleeding” into Israel from Syria Saturday had anything to do with the presence in Damascus of Iran’s defense chief. But given Iran’s seemingly unstoppable drive to entrench itself militarily in the region, the Syrian regime’s newfound confidence, and some other suspicious factors, it’s likely the volley was more than just an accident.

 

Though inadvertent fire has hit Israel in the past, this incident doesn’t fit that mold, and seems more like a Syrian attempt to send a message. First, there’s the timing — around 5 a.m. Most of the fighting in the Syrian civil war has taken place in the daylight hours, certainly not before the crack of dawn. Second, none of the previous inadvertent volleys consisted of five consecutive rockets. Indeed, the incident appears to be connected to the anti-aircraft fire Syria directed at Israeli jets flying a reconnaissance mission over Lebanon last week, and a more aggressive recent tone from Damascus.

 

These developments are evident of the boost in self-confidence the Syrian regime is experiencing. Just Saturday, Assad’s army captured the Christian town of Qaryatayn, which had previously been taken by Islamic State and used as a base for the terror group. Assad may feel that victory in the civil war is within his reach thanks to having Tehran by his side, along with Shiite militias from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and 8,000 well-armed Hezbollah fighters. So maybe he considers this a good time to send Israel a defiant message.

 

It doesn’t hurt that the same day, Iranian defense chief Mahmoud Bagheri signed a memorandum of understanding with his Syrian counterpart, Ali Ayyoub. According to the Syria’s state-run SANA news outlet, the memorandum is meant to deepen ties between the countries in intelligence sharing, technology and military to “improve the fight against terror.” The statement also served as a reminder of how deeply Iran is managing to entrench itself unimpeded in Syria, as the US-led coalition and Kurdish militias wrap up their campaign to drive Islamic State out of the country.

 

For now, at least, it doesn’t seem there is anybody who can stop the spread of Iran’s influence in the region. Russia may be willing to turn a blind eye to the next Israeli airstrike, but that won’t torpedo Iran’s plan for Syria, which includes a broad and lasting military presence. As for the Americans: The US is increasingly seen as unwilling to intervene, even for its allies. That was made clear by the blind eye the Trump administration turned to the retaking of Iraqi Kirkuk from the Kurdish forces it had backed. The US sold the Kurds down the river in favor of a Baghdad government backed by Shiite militias supported by Iran, if only to keep the Iraqis close to Washington.

 

In many ways, the US abandonment of Kirkuk may come to echo the aftermath of the Ghouta chemical attack of 2013, when president Barack Obama failed to enforce his red lines. Then, to Moscow, Damascus and the rest of the Middle East, the lack of action translated into the idea that the US was afraid.

 

Russia, in contrast, hasn’t hesitated to step in and protect its allies, and it is Moscow’s assistance that is most credited with bringing Assad’s regime back from the dead. In a roundabout way, Assad has Islamic State to thank for bringing Russia riding in to save him. One of the main reasons for Moscow’s intervention in the war was the fear that IS could spread, both as a military power and as an idea, to the Allawite-majority region near the coast, where Russia has strategically important assets including a naval base.

 

There’s no reason to assume that had the Syrian regime been battling the Free Syrian Army or another moderate group, the Kremlin would have been so quick to jump into action to back Assad, one of the greatest tyrants of modern history, a man responsible for the death of some half a million people — many through torture, execution, and chemical attacks. Islamic State may have been the greatest threat to the Assad regime, but it was also his greatest lifeline.         

                                                                                   

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HIZBALLAH'S NASRALLAH ESCALATES THREATS

AS SYRIA TURNS INTO IRANIAN BASE                                                        

Yaakov Lappin

IPT, Oct. 8, 2017

 

A recent speech by Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah contained unusually aggressive statements, calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel, and claiming that a future war would lead to Israel's "demise." Nasrallah said Israeli Jews should "leave and return to the countries from which they came so they are not fuel for any war that the idiotic [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government takes them to… They will have no secure place in occupied Palestine."

 

The speech echoed rhetoric recently espoused by the Iranian regime and its military officials, who said Tel Aviv would be "destroyed" if Israel made "a mistake," and that Israel would not survive for more than 25 years. "Israel should remain silent and count down the days to its death, because any minor mistake would lead to its demise as fast as lightning," said Iranian army commander Maj.-Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi.

 

These threats contain two messages. The first message is a reaffirmation of the Shi'ite axis's jihadist, ideological, long-term commitment to Israel's destruction. The second message is more immediate; it is an attempt to deter Israeli decision makers from trying to stop Iran and its proxies from taking over Syria. Iran, together with its chief agent Hizballah and several other Shi'ite militias, are helping the Assad regime complete its victory in Syria, with the assistance of Russian airpower. This is a victory made possible by the mass murder and terrorization of Syria's Sunni population, and the ensuing mass movement of refugees out of the country.

 

The upsurge in war-like rhetoric towards Israel is a signal of growing Iranian-Hizballah confidence, fuelled by their victories in Syria. Radical Shi'ite forces – armed, funded, and commanded by Iran – are moving into the vacuum left behind by ISIS. Tehran's objective is to turn Syria into another Lebanon; a heavily armed outpost from which Iran can launch attacks against Israel.

 

So far, the international community has shown no interest or willingness to stop this development from happening. Despite the latest bluster, Nasrallah made sure to issue his statements from the safety of his Lebanese bunker – an indication he still fears Israel's powerful reach. Nasrallah and his Iranian masters have good reason to remain fearful of Israel, for it is the only state that has both the capability and determination to challenge their takeover of Syria.

 

There have been a series of reported Israeli precision strikes on weapons production centers and arms smuggling attempts in Syria. One strike reportedly targeted the Assad regime's Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) weapons facility, where chemical, biological, and advanced ballistic missiles are developed and manufactured. The targeted facility may have been where Iran tried to hand over powerful weapons to Hizballah.

 

Israel is running a low profile campaign against the dangerous buildup of Hizballah's weapons arsenal. These are arms that are produced in Iran and Syria, and trafficked to Lebanon. This Israeli campaign is a thorn in the side of the Shi'ite axis. There is a wider Israeli warning here: Jerusalem has no intention of sitting on the side and watching Syria turn into an Iranian-Hizballah base.

 

Israeli leaders are issuing their own warnings, making it clear that provocations by the Shi'ite axis can lead to devastation. "The next conflict, if it erupts, will have a completely different character. Our enemies will try first to strike our population centers and civilian infrastructure. And if our red lines will be breached, the other side must know in advance that it is going to pay very heavy prices," said Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. In addition, Israel has stated it will not tolerate an approach to its border by Iranian or Hizballah forces operating in Syria.

 

Sunni states like Jordan and Saudi Arabia are equally disturbed by events in Syria. But Israel is the only regional state with the ability to stop the Iranian game plan. Only time will tell whether the world continues to turn a blind eye to the radical Shi'ite entrenchment in Syria, and leave Israel to deal with this mess by itself.

 

Meanwhile, recent comments by the head of the Mossad, Israel's overseas intelligence service, serve as a timely reminder of the fact that the Iranian nuclear program remains a threat. The nuclear program is only temporarily dormant. "Iran continues to possess a vision of having a significant nuclear capability, leading to a military nuclear ability," said Mossad chief Yossi Cohen in recent days.

 

"Iran continues to act with increasing aggression in activating military forces and operations in the Middle East, closer to our border than ever, in the Lebanese and Syrian arenas [which are] as one. Iran continues to support Hizballah, and recently, it is increasingly supporting Hamas. Iran continues to transfer advanced and precise weapons to terrorist organizations in our area," the Mossad chief said. The Mossad conducts "thousands of operations, some complex and daring, in the heart of enemy states," Cohen added.

 

This not-so-cold war between Israel and the Iranian axis looks set to continue. Lines are being drawn in Syria by both sides. Israel's lines are purely defensive, while Iran and its agents are following a belligerent, encroaching agenda, which threaten to destabilize the entire region.

 

 

Contents

RUSSIA’S AIR DEFENSES IN SYRIA: MORE POLITICS THAN PUNCH

Guy Plopsky

BESA, Oct. 18, 2017

 

In early October 2016, Russian Defense Ministry chief spokesman Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov warned the US-led anti-ISIS coalition that “Russian air defense crews are unlikely to have time to clarify via the [de-confliction] line the exact flight path of missiles and who their carrier platforms belong to,” adding that “any air or missiles strikes on territory controlled by the Syrian government will pose a clear threat to Russian military servicemen.” The warning, issued in response to an accidental US strike against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad the previous month, renewed fears that Russia may attempt to target coalition and Israeli aerial assets.

 

Since then, however, both the US and Israel have struck pro-regime targets in Syria with no blowback from the Kremlin. Why has Moscow proven reluctant to respond? Concerns about Russia restricting coalition and Israeli freedom of action over Syria intensified in late November 2015, following the downing of a Russian Su-24M strike aircraft by a Turkish F-16. Commenting on the shoot-down, Lieut.-Gen. Sergey Rudskoy threatened that Russia would destroy “every target posing a potential threat.” Shortly afterwards, Russia deployed its much feared S-400 Triumf long-range SAM system at Khmeimim Airbase near Latakia.

 

The S-400 deployment created the impression that pro-Assad forces would benefit from Russia’s new SAM umbrella. However, numerous IAF strikes against weapons shipments destined for the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group proved this assumption wrong. The strikes indicated that Moscow, despite its rhetoric, takes Jerusalem’s red lines seriously and does not wish to escalate tensions with Israel, a major regional power and key US ally. Moscow has no desire to see Israel expand its involvement in the conflict, especially given that the regional balance of power is not in Russia’s favor. A recent unanswered strike, allegedly executed by Israel, against a chemical and missile production and storage facility near Masyaf – just 13km from a new Russian S-400  site – appears to support this notion.

 

Several incidents have occurred involving Russian and Israeli military assets, including unconfirmed reports of Russian forces firing on Israeli aircraft. Yet Israeli and Russian leaders have held a number of meetings intended to, in the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “strengthen the security cooperation between us so as to avoid mishaps, misunderstandings, and unnecessary confrontations.” Furthermore, Israel and Russia established a deconfliction line in October 2015 that has helped reduce the risk of clashes.

 

Moscow’s warnings to Israel are therefore directed more towards the Syrian and Russian public than they are towards Jerusalem. Offering no threatening response to Israeli airstrikes would make the Kremlin appear weak, prompting pro-Assad factions to question Moscow’s commitment to the regime and weakening Russia’s influence. At the same time, Russia has been rebuilding Syria’s air defenses in the hope that they would deter both Israel and the coalition from further strikes. Russia’s Defense Ministry has mentioned Syrian air defenses in warnings directed at coalition forces and has pledged to “increase [their] effectiveness” following the April 7, 2017, US Navy Tomahawk cruise missile strike against al-Shayrat Air Base. Doing so could backfire for Moscow, however, given that it might prompt Israel or the US to target Syrian air defenses and possibly other regime military assets as well.

 

As for Russia’s own air defenses, Moscow has not utilized them to defend Assad’s forces and is unlikely to do so for fear of an armed confrontation with the US and its partners. Indeed, while Syrian fighters are known to have flown escort missions for Russian strike aircraft, the reverse has not occurred. Furthermore, like Israel, the US maintains a deconfliction line with Russia and has developed deconfliction agreements to avoid clashes.

 

Interestingly, a Russian TV special on Khmeimim Air Base, which aired on June 11, 2017, claimed Russia has agreed not to target coalition aircraft as long as they maintain a distance of 60 km or more from the base. The special featured Lieut.-Gen. Viktor Gumyonny, head of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ (VKS) Air and Missile Defense Troops, who asserted that coalition aircraft approaching Khmeimim are tracked by Russian air defenses (presumably by the S-400’s fire control radar) and immediately leave the area. Coalition sources have confirmed neither the validity of these claims nor the truth of whether or not coalition aircraft have flown within close proximity to Khmeimim; nevertheless, such statements highlight Moscow’s reluctance to defend regime forces.

 

On June 18, a week after the airing of the TV special, a US Navy F/A-18E downed a Syrian Su-22 strike aircraft near Raqqa, prompting Russia’s Defense Ministry to issue another warning – one that seemed to convey a shift in Russia’s policy on targeting coalition aircraft. The warning asserted that “jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets.” However, as Western analysts were quick to point out, this rather ambiguous threat, like those before it, was intended primarily to reassure Russian and pro-Assad audiences, and to deter coalition forces from further strikes against regime forces. Moreover, though Russia threatened to cut the deconfliction line with the US, the line remained open…

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

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Golan Heights Residents on Edge After Latest Cross-Border Exchange of Fire: Barney Breen-Portnoy, Algemeiner, Oct. 22, 2017—Residents of Israel’s Golan Heights region are on edge following the latest exchange of fire on the border with Syria.

As ISIS’ Role in Syria Wanes, Other Conflicts Take the Stage: Anne Barnard & Hwaida Saad, New York Times, Oct. 19, 2017— American-backed forces have barely begun to clear the land mines from Raqqa after pushing the Islamic State from the city, the de facto capital of its self-declared caliphate.

Moscow Nears ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Syria: Sami Moubayed, Asia Times, Oct. 23, 2017— By the end of this year, Syria will be free of Islamic State, apart from small pockets that will disappear with time

Iran Steps Up Its Economic Domination in Syria: Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira, JCPA, Oct. 19, 2017— With the approaching military defeat of the Islamic State, Iran is stepping up its economic involvement in Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST-ZIONIST MEDIA & BDS DEMONIZE ISRAEL BY PROMOTING “LETHAL” PALESTINIAN NARRATIVES

The Failures of Journalism in the 21st Century: Richard Landes, Augean Stables, May 15, 2016 — Towards the end of 2000, a professional failure of epic proportions took place among Western journalists.

The Accelerating Erosion of the Post-Zionist Hebrew Media: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Aug. 31, 2016 Haaretz, Israel’s oldest Hebrew daily newspaper, was established in 1918 by a group of left-leaning businessmen.

Greens Should Follow Germany's Lead And Reject Israel Boycotts: Benjamin Weinthal, Huffington Post, Sept. 20, 2016 — While Iran's regime continues to expand its nuclear facilities and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's war has caused a half million deaths, the Green parties in North America are bizarrely preoccupied with boycotting the Jewish state.

Attention Norway: Stick to Polar Bears, Disregard BDS: Judith Bergman, Israel Hayom, Sept. 2, 2016  — One of the world’s northernmost inhabited places is Longyearbyen, a small town of about 2,000 people in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

 

On Topic Links

 

Lethal, Own-Goal Journalism Creates Caliphater BDS: Definitions: Richard Landes, Augean Stables, Sept. 23, 2016

Newsweek Middle East Editor Goes on Anti-Semitic Twitter Rant: Tower, Sept. 14, 2016

California Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill into Law: Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25, 2016

Telling Our Positive Story Against BDS: Jon Haber, Algemeiner, Sept. 25, 2016

 

THE FAILURES OF JOURNALISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Richard Landes                                                              

Augean Stables, May 15, 2016

 

Towards the end of 2000, a professional failure of epic proportions took place among Western journalists. This failure began among Middle East correspondents reporting on the conflict, which broke out anew in late September 2000, between Israel and her Arab (triumphalist) neighbors. In this phase of “lethal journalism” Western reporters, almost as a pack, systematically reported Palestinian accusations against Israel – lethal narratives – as if they were eminently credible, indeed as if they actually happened, in other words as news. These reports had their desired effect in the conflict, supporting the “underdog” and “leveling the playing field,” prolonging the war, protecting the Palestinians from Israeli efforts to prevent their terror attacks, and severely damaging Israel’s global image.

 

The impact, however, went far beyond what these reporters imagined. They had an electric effect on Muslims the world over, including the West. Given overwhelming proof – the Western media reported it – of the victimization of Muslims in Palestine, many a triumphalist Muslim awoke to the siren call of Jihad. Demonstrations in the West made ample room for a newly aggressive Muslim Street, and recruiting for Jihad made great headway in the heart of the enemy. In particular, Europe’s largely unassimilated Muslim population radicalized significantly.

 

Indeed, lethal journalists, in their cognitive disorientation, didn’t realize that, in purveying Palestinian propaganda as news, they greatly amplified not Palestinian “nationalist” efforts to get their “self-determination,” but instead they mainstreamed Jihadi war propaganda that targeted their own societies as much as Israeli – all kufar to be either converted, dhimmified, or eliminated. In so acting, they engaged in an unprecedented form of war journalism, not the traditional patriotic version of lying for your own side, but own-goal war journalism, where the journalists lied for their side’s enemies.

 

Why did they do this? A close look at the lethal journalism at work against Israel reveals a striking underlying pattern: not only did it report often false accusations against Israel that incited outrage and hatred, but it did not report (or played down) often true stories about the Palestinians – their terrorism, their mistreatment of their own people, and their genocidal incitement to hatred of the Jews.

 

Here was pattern of compliance with Palestinian “Media Protocols” that essentially demanded that journalists report the conflict as a black and white morality tale: Israelis were always the aggressors and Palestinians always the victims, resisting the occupation. This obedience to the demands of Palestinian Jihadis in fact replicated itself in the broader journalistic coverage of global Jihadi efforts. In this sense, both the lethal, own-goal war journalism of the journalists reporting from the Middle East, and the disastrous misreporting on triumphalist Islam in the West, constitute what can best be described as Dhimmi journalism, that is, journalism that follows the rules of the dhimma: do not offend Muslims and attack those who do offend Muslims. Of all the things that help us understand why the West has fared so badly in countering Jihadi cogwar in the 21st century, this across the boards failure of the Western MSNM, stands at the head of the list.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Prof. Landes, a CIJR Academic Fellow, delivered the keynote address                                   

at CIJR’s Dateline Middle East Student Magazine launch, Sept. 26, 2016

           

 

Contents                                                                                                                                   

                                                                         

THE ACCELERATING EROSION OF                                                                      

THE POST-ZIONIST HEBREW MEDIA                                                                                                        

Isi Leibler                                                                                                                       

Candidly Speaking, Aug. 31, 2016

 

Haaretz, Israel’s oldest Hebrew daily newspaper, was established in 1918 by a group of left-leaning businessmen. In 1937, Salman Schocken bought the newspaper and it was edited by his son Gershom until his death in 1990.  Although its circulation was never high when compared to the tabloids Maariv and Yedioth Ahronoth, it has for many years been regarded as the most influential intellectual newspaper in Israel with its readership including leading political and economic elites. It was considered a liberal newspaper although its economic section was conservative, and it published many outstanding feature articles.

 

After Gershom died, his son Amos assumed the role of chairman, CEO and publisher. In August 2006, 25% of the shares of Haaretz were sold to the German publisher M. DuMont Schauberg, whose father was a Nazi party member and whose publishing enterprises promoted Nazi ideology. Although he passionately denies being post-Zionist, Amos imposed his radical left-wing ideology onto the newspaper which has now been transformed into a vehicle that provides much of the anti-Israeli sentiment and even anti-Semitic lies and distortions that are a boon to our adversaries.

 

It is difficult to comprehend the depths to which this once highly regarded newspaper has descended. There are still a number of level-headed commentators, such as Ari Shavit and Shlomo Avineri, and occasional “fig leaf” conservative columns contributed by Moshe Arens and Israel Harel. But the opinion section is overwhelmingly dominated by delusional anti-Zionists such as Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, who promote the idea that Israel was born in sin. Levy repeatedly reiterates that Israel is one of the world’s most brutal and tyrannical regimes in existence today and repeatedly accuses the Jewish state of being an apartheid state. Even publisher Schocken wrote a column titled “Only international pressure will end Israel apartheid.”

 

These demonic views of their own country would be more appropriate for publication in the Palestinian media than in an Israeli newspaper. Furthermore, even the reporting became as opinionated as op-ed articles, frequently totally distorting news events and placing Israel in the worst possible light. The reporting has also become selective in its news coverage, a prime example being the suppressed coverage of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s alleged corruption, in order not to create problems for the Gaza disengagement.

 

If Haaretz was restricted to an Israeli audience, its impact would be minimal as it has a small circulation and few Israelis are influenced by what it publishes. The real problem is the English language edition and its internet site, which is monitored by diplomats and reproduced by the global media. It serves to demonize and delegitimize Israel to countless internet readers throughout the world who are under the illusion that they are reading a reputable liberal Israeli newspaper. Pro-Israel Diaspora activists who would normally have protested the bias and even the anti-Semitic slant of anti-Israeli media outlets, have been confronted by editors who defended their approach on the grounds that it reflected the editorial policies of a respected daily Israeli newspaper.

 

The damage is incalculable. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that in recent years, the newspaper has caused more harm to the image of Israel than the combined efforts of our adversaries. Nothing demonstrates this more than the front-page headlines in 2009 based upon unsubstantiated evidence from the discredited Breaking the Silence group which first promoted the lie that Israeli soldiers were committing war crimes. After successive days in which Haaretz highlighted this blood libel, the IDF chief military advocate general released a report describing the accusations as “categorically false.” Instead of apologizing and expressing remorse, Haaretz responded sarcastically, suggesting that while the report showed the IDF to be “pure as snow,” implying that the accusers —fighters and commanders from some of its best combat units — were a bunch of liars and exaggerators.

 

Despite the unequivocal repudiation of these false allegations, the damage was done. The global media enthusiastically highlighted the news from the “influential” Israeli newspaper. This paved the way for subsequent allegations of Israeli war crimes, culminating in the now discredited Goldstone report, which remains a central feature of the defamation leveled against us by our adversaries. In this context, it should be mentioned that the recently appointed editor of the English edition, Noa Landau, is the life partner of Avner Gvaryahu, one of the most vocal and vicious activist leaders of Breaking the Silence.

 

Another notable example was the 2014 Haaretz Conference held in New York, where in deference to Palestinian Authority spokesman Saeb Erekat, who addressed the conference, the Israeli flag was removed from the podium. The situation has continued to deteriorate, with more readers canceling subscriptions, even including many prominent left-wing supporters who can no longer tolerate the ever increasing anti-Israel hysteria that fills the pages of the paper. Irit Linur, a liberal columnist for the weekend edition, wrote to Schocken, “I feel that the State of Israel fundamentally revolts you. … I don’t want to subscribe to a newspaper that tries in every way to make me ashamed of my Zionism, my patriotism and my intelligence — three qualities that are most precious to me.”…

 

The harshest blow came from liberal American journalist icon Jeffrey Goldberg, who is regarded as the principal media source used by U.S. President Barack Obama in relation to Israel and Jewish affairs. Goldberg erupted after two American Jewish historians published an article in Haaretz accusing the U.N. of establishing a Jewish racist state that is today an extension of Western colonialism. They proudly announced that they would never set foot in any synagogue that supported Israel. Goldberg also responded to a recent Levy op-ed titled “Yes, Israel is an evil state” – which described Israel as an entity based on “pure evil. Sadistic evil. Evil for its own sake”. He announced that he was canceling his subscription, tweeting that “when neo-Nazis are emailing me links to Haaretz op-eds declaring Israel to be evil, I’m going to take a break.” He also noted that “I can read anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli things like this on other websites. There really no need for an Israeli website like this.”…                                                                                               

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

                                                                                   

Contents                                                                       

                                                              

GREENS SHOULD FOLLOW GERMANY'S                                                                     

LEAD AND REJECT ISRAEL BOYCOTTS                                                                    

Benjamin Weinthal                                                                                                      

Huffington Post, Sept. 20, 2016

 

While Iran's regime continues to expand its nuclear facilities and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's war has caused a half million deaths, the Green parties in North America are bizarrely preoccupied with boycotting the Jewish state. The parties' counterpart in Germany is, however, a vehement opponent of the anti-Semitic boycott movement. The German Greens should serve as a model for Canadian and U.S. Greens to revise their anti-Israel positions.

 

Last month, the Green Party of Canada became the country's first party to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) targeting Israel. BDS claims to seek concessions from Israel to advance the cause of Palestinian statehood. The movement is actually against peace because it seeks to dismantle Israel and to impose a one-state solution, rather than two states for two peoples. While Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May personally rejects BDS as polarizing, she was overridden on the issue by voting delegates at her party's annual convention.

 

It is a topsy-turvy world when a political group devoted to protecting the environment prioritizes BDS over opposing Iran's nuclear aims — which have the potential to devastate humanity and the environment — and the Assad regime — which, along with its sponsors Iran, Russia and Hezbollah — has engaged in a scorched-earth policy in Syria. Iran's Lake Urmia is drying up, Tehran is beset by major air pollution and one of its nuclear facilities — Bushehr — lies on an earthquake-prone area.

 

Yet the Canadian Greens debated only two foreign policy resolutions at their convention, and both pertained to Israel. In addition to BDS, the other unsuccessfully called on the Canada Revenue Agency to remove the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund, an organization at the forefront of protecting the natural environment in Israel for the benefit of all residents.

Across the border in the United States, Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, defended her support for BDS during an August CNN town hall discussion. Stein mirrors her Canadian counterparts in their apparent lack of concern regarding, for example, the Islamic State's genocidal acts toward Middle East Christians and Yazidis.

 

Fortunately, BDS remains controversial to many on the left in both the United States and Canada. Polling done within Canada's Green Party following the convention revealed that 44 per cent of the respondents believe that the party's anti-Israel boycott policy should be repealed entirely, while 28.1 per cent believe that it should "not [be] tied to one actor or one movement" — such as Israel. More broadly, in a statement largely ignored by the print media, the former democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders linked BDS to modern anti-Semitism. When asked if he agreed with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that BDS can be equated with anti-Semitism, Sanders told MSNBC: "I think there is some of that, absolutely."

 

The most powerful and influential Green Party is in Germany. The German Greens served as a coalition partner to the Social Democrats in the federal government from 1998 to 2005. The party is represented in state governments across the Federal Republic. In Baden-Württemberg, where a Green Party politician is the governor, party spokeswoman Eva Muszar said in June: "We Greens reject a boycott of Israel, as well as BDS. The BDS campaign aggressively calls for a boycott of Israeli goods and organizations, and is collectively directed against Jewish Israelis and uses anti-Semitic prejudices."

 

Just this month, the national teachers' union in Germany, with its nearly 281,000 members, termed BDS anti-Semitic. Moreover, the BDS campaign deceptively listed Greenpeace Germany on a petition as a supporter, prompting the NGO to demand that the BDS campaign immediately remove its name from the document. All of this may reflect the fact that Germans have a greater than usual consciousness about where boycotts of Jews lead. After all, the first phase of the Hitler movement was a nation-wide boycott of Jewish businesses. But aside from any historical sensitivities, the opposition of the Green Party — and of other left-of-centre parties in the Federal Republic — to BDS is premised on the notion that the boycott movement is discriminatory, harmful to many Palestinians employed by Israeli companies, and destructive to hopes for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

 

Another reason to be suspicious of the BDS movement is for its links to terrorism, which has been a recurring theme in the media and in policy debates. One of Austria's largest banks, BAWAG, pulled the plug on the account of the pro-BDS Austrian-Arab Culture Center (OKAZ) in June. OKAZ had sponsored a lecture with Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has been designated by Canada and the EU as a terrorist organization. Khaled helped hijack TWA Flight 840 in 1969. A year later, she participated in the hijacking of EL AL Flight 219.

 

Bret Stephens recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal of a disturbing finding: In the case of several American organizations that were designated, shut down or held civilly liable for providing material support to the terrorist organization Hamas, a significant contingent of their former leadership appears to have pivoted to leadership positions within the American BDS campaign. French and German banks have closed BDS accounts in their countries. France has the most robust anti-BDS law in Europe. France's 2003 Lellouche law has been applied to punish Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions activists for singling out Israel based on national origin…If Green parties wish to enter the mainstream, they should replicate the forward-thinking policies of the German Greens and their rejection of BDS. BDS is a dead-end street filled with potholes of terrorism and discrimination.

 

Contents           

ATTENTION NORWAY: STICK TO POLAR BEARS, DISREGARD BDS

Judith Bergman

Israel Hayom, Sept. 2, 2016  

 

One of the world’s northernmost inhabited places is Longyearbyen, a small town of about 2,000 people in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard is a place of indescribable beauty, filled with an untouched arctic wilderness that will leave you in constant awe, simply grateful to be alive to witness such staggering wonders: untouched arctic landscapes, blueish glaciers and frozen tundra, which is home to an arctic wildlife that includes polar bears. Indeed, the most dangerous neighbors a human being can come across in Svalbard are polar bears, which is why it is prohibited to venture outside Longyearbyen without a weapon. Longyearbyen’s residents come from all over the world and the place feels as far removed from any kind of international politics as you could possibly imagine.

 

Ever since my husband and I visited this place, we have spoken about going back, and my husband has even taken to reading Svalbardposten — the world’s northernmost newspaper. It was during the perusal of this usually apolitical source of news — it is not uncommon for nine out of 10 headlines to include polar bears in some form or other — that my husband jumped from his chair, pointing to the computer screen in horror. I looked at the headline, which said, “Boycott Israel!”

 

So there it was: the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement had made its way to the northernmost inhabited place on earth. The text was a letter to the editor, written last summer by a local priest, Leif Magne Helgesen, in which he was peddling the most outlandish claims, including that Israel is “a military regime” and encouraging his fellow Longyearbyen residents to boycott Israel. The priest had spent his summer vacation in a Palestinian-Arab village and had returned a full-fledged BDS warrior, ready to go against Israel, which he continued throughout his lengthy diatribe to describe as a “regime.”

 

There is something deeply ironic, tragicomically so, about a priest who does his business in the northernmost spot on earth, surrounded only by the Creator’s beauty and the occasional scare from a polar bear, isolated from the rest of the world and certainly from the issues of the Middle East, venting his antisemitic fury and rage at a country that could not possibly be further removed from him than Israel. It is also telling that this man is, of all things, a priest.

 

Unfortunately, it should not surprise us. Svalbard belongs to Norway, which according to a recent report by watchdog group NGO Monitor, has recently joined Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands in contributing funds to an organization funding NGOs that promote a boycott of Israel. According to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s website, 5 million Norwegian kroner (over $600,000) was allocated to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (HR/IHL) Secretariat in the second half of 2016. According to the NGO Monitor report, the “HR/IHL Secretariat is an intermediary that distributes funds to nongovernmental organizations … active in BDS … campaigns and other forms of demonization against Israel. It is managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm, based in Sweden.”

 

Also according to the report, “80% of the HR/IHL Secretariat’s distributions are allocated to core NGO funding. NGO Monitor research shows that out of 24 core recipients, 13 support BDS, receiving $5.78 million (more than half) out of an operating budget of $10.38 million over the course of four years. Some grantees have also promoted antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to the PFLP terrorist organization. Core group members receiving funding include BADIL, Al-Haq, Addameer and MIFTAH, all vehemently anti-Israel NGOs at the forefront of BDS campaigns.”

 

How surprising is it, then, that a Norwegian citizen, even in such a remote and apolitical place such as Longyearbyen, joins the BDS bandwagon? It is not surprising at all. Official Norway, naturally, denies all wrongdoing. This was the response of the Norwegian Embassy in Israel to the findings of NGO Monitor: “We do not find their characterizations to be representative of the work that these organizations are doing. Norway does not tolerate hate speech, efforts to delegitimize Israel, or anti-Semitism and have close dialogue with all our partners to make sure this is understood. … Norway does not provide financial support to organizations whose main goal is to promote the BDS campaign.” How lovely it would be if Norwegians could just stick to looking out for polar bears instead of pathetically attempting to meddle in Israel’s business and then not even having the backbone to admit it.

 

 

 

Contents                       

           

On Topic Links

 

Lethal, Own-Goal Journalism Creates Caliphater BDS: Definitions: Richard Landes, Augean Stables, Sept. 23, 2016—The following is a set of definitions I will be using in a talk I’m giving on Sunday. They are, I think, critical terms in understanding what has happened in the 21st century, and why we’re losing a war of the minds with triumphalist imperialist zealots. I will post the talk after I deliver it.

Newsweek Middle East Editor Goes on Anti-Semitic Twitter Rant: Tower, Sept. 14, 2016—An editor of Newsweek Middle East launched into a Twitter tirade invoking several anti-Semitic tropes late last week, including that Jews are greedy and are not descended from biblical Hebrews, and therefore have no historical connection to Israel.

California Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill into Law: Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25, 2016—California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that prevents companies that boycott or discriminate against any sovereign state, including Israel, from doing business with the state.

Telling Our Positive Story Against BDS: Jon Haber, Algemeiner, Sept. 25, 2016—Anyone involved with organized pro-Israel politics has likely gotten caught up in heated discussions over how to set a narrative and get activists to stick with it during the course of a campaign. Themes, messaging calendars and lists of talking points are several of the devices that have been proposed, and sometimes implemented, to get our side to settle on and consistently tell the same story.

 

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL, DESPITE ANTI-ZIONIST PROPAGANDA, “HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE AT THE UN”

Benjamin Netanyahu Speech at The UN General Assembly: Israeli Cool, Sept. 22, 2016— “Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, What I’m about to say is going to shock you: Israel has a bright future at the UN.

Is Berkeley’s Course on Palestine the End of History?: Ben Cohen, JNS, Sept. 21, 2016  — In his forthcoming book The New Philistines, the Wall Street Journal correspondent Sohrab Ahmari devotes a few paragraphs to a symposium on art and identity convened by the radical magazine, Artforum.

Black Lives Matter's Anti-Semitic Bedfellows: Gary C. Gambill, National Interest, Sept. 13, 2016 — With the Black Lives Matter movement's adoption of a formal manifesto charging Israel with genocide, militant anti-Zionists are threatening to sabotage yet another progressive cause.

Why is Israel Paying US Groups to Shy Away From BDS Fight?: Shmuley Boteach & Amir Ohana, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 19, 2016 — Imagine if the US government were to earmark millions of dollars for fostering democracy in the developing world…

 

On Topic Links

 

Binyamin Netanyahu Kills It At The UN General Assembly (Video): Israeli Cool, Sept. 22, 2016

Fight on Campuses, Don’t Condemn Israel’s Prime Minister: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 15, 2016

Institutionalized Antisemitism at UC Berkeley — Facts and Details: Michael Laitman, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 22, 2016

Where Does Black Lives Matter's Anti-Semitism Come From?: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 21, 2016

The Political and Social Philosophy of Ze'ev Jabotinsky: Efraim Karsh, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2001

 

 

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SPEECH AT THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 Israeli Cool, Sept. 22, 2016

 

“Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, What I’m about to say is going to shock you: Israel has a bright future at the UN.

Now I know that hearing that from me must surely come as a surprise, because year after year I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel. And the UN deserved every scathing word – for the disgrace of the General Assembly that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic State of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet. Israel – twenty; rest of the world – three.

 

And what about the joke called the UN Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the UN’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it – Israel. Israel. Israel where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside – twice – over the Supreme Court, and have served as Speaker of the Knesset and Prime Minister. And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the UN body charged with preserving world heritage. Now, this is hard to believe but UNESCO just denied the 4,000 year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, The UN, begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce. So when it comes to Israel at the UN, you’d probably think nothing will ever change, right? Well think again. You see, everything will change and a lot sooner than you think. The change will happen in this hall, because back home, your governments are rapidly changing their attitudes towards Israel. And sooner or later, that’s going to change the way you vote on Israel at the UN. More and more nations in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, more and more nations see Israel as a potent partner – a partner in fighting the terrorism of today, a partner in developing the technology of tomorrow.

 

Today Israel has diplomatic relations with over 160 countries. That’s nearly double the number that we had when I served here as Israel’s ambassador some 30 years ago. And those ties are getting broader and deeper every day. World leaders increasingly appreciate that Israel is a powerful country with one of the best intelligence services on earth. Because of our unmatched experience and proven capabilities in fighting terrorism, many of your governments seek our help in keeping your countries safe.

 

Many also seek to benefit from Israel’s ingenuity in agriculture, in health, in water, in cyber and in the fusion of big data, connectivity and artificial intelligence – that fusion that is changing our world in every way. You might consider this: Israel leads the world in recycling wastewater. We recycle about 90% of our wastewater. Now, how remarkable is that? Well, given that the next country on the list only recycles about 20% of its wastewater, Israel is a global water power. So if you have a thirsty world, and we do, there’s no better ally than Israel.

 

How about cybersecurity? That’s an issue that affects everyone. Israel accounts for one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population, yet last year we attracted some 20% of the global private investment in cybersecurity. I want you to digest that number. In cyber, Israel is punching a whopping 200 times above its weight. So Israel is also a global cyber power. If hackers are targeting your banks, your planes, your power grids and just about everything else, Israel can offer indispensable help.

 

Governments are changing their attitudes towards Israel because they know that Israel can help them protect their peoples, can help them feed them, can help them better their lives. This summer I had an unbelievable opportunity to see this change so vividly during an unforgettable visit to four African countries. This is the first visit to Africa by an Israeli prime minister in decades. Later today, I’ll be meeting with leaders from 17 African countries. We’ll discuss how Israeli technology can help them in their efforts to transform their countries. In Africa, things are changing. In China, India, Russia, Japan, attitudes towards Israel have changed as well. These powerful nations know that, despite Israel’s small size, it can make a big difference in many, many areas that are important to them.

 

But now I’m going to surprise you even more. You see, the biggest change in attitudes towards Israel is taking place elsewhere. It’s taking place in the Arab world. Our peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan continue to be anchors of stability in the volatile Middle East. But I have to tell you this: For the first time in my lifetime, many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are Iran and ISIS. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals, work together openly.

 

So Israel’s diplomatic relations are undergoing nothing less than a revolution. But in this revolution, we never forget that our most cherished alliance, our deepest friendship is with the United States of America, the most powerful and the most generous nation on earth. Our unbreakable bond with the United States of America transcends parties and politics. It reflects, above all else, the overwhelming support for Israel among the American people, support which is at record highs and for which we are deeply grateful…           

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

           

 

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IS BERKELEY’S COURSE ON PALESTINE THE END OF HISTORY?                                                             

Ben Cohen                                                                                                                      

JNS, Sept. 21, 2016

 

In his forthcoming book The New Philistines, the Wall Street Journal correspondent Sohrab Ahmari devotes a few paragraphs to a symposium on art and identity convened by the radical magazine, Artforum. “Indeed, there was never any real disagreement among the participants, and this was typical,” he writes. “These are discussions among in-the-know artists, academics and critics, who all agree about nearly everything: everyone knows that ‘neoliberalism’ is something bad; that liberal democracy is merely a more subtle form of tyranny; that Western societies are racist and sexist by design.”

 

Ahmari’s insights into radical groupthink in the art world could equally apply to other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, like literature, international relations and history. The fact that this trend exists is hardly news; the tendency of university teachers to discourage their students from engaging with conflicting or competing views by imposing a mixture of dogma, so-called “trigger warnings,” and intellectual bullying has long been established. But the situation is getting worse.

 

Case-in-point: “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” now on offer from the University of California, Berkeley. An activists’ seminar masquerading as a unit of academic study, the course was pulled last week after university authorities determined that it didn’t comply with required teaching standards. This week, it was promptly reinstated following the intervention of a group called “Palestine Legal” on behalf of the course teacher, Paul Hadweh.

 

Interestingly, the web page advertising the course specifies that it’s open to all students and that “no prior knowledge is necessary.” Judging by the themes examined in course facilitator Paul Hadweh’s course, along with the set textual readings, he might just as well have said “prior knowledge unwelcome.” In this course, students are expected to behave like blank pages upon which an uncontested, single truth is engraved – and anyone who says otherwise must, by definition, be a racist, a colonial sympathizer, or a Zionist. There are many reasons why American-Jewish groups are fretting over the course, not least its functional exclusion of students with pro-Israel sympathies. But we also need to understand that at stake here are more than Jewish sensitivities. What this course represents, above all, is an assault upon the method of studying history that has prevailed – and should still prevail – in universities in the liberal democratic world.

 

We can all agree that there are such things as facts. We know there was an American Civil War, World War I and World War II, and that there was an oil shock in the 1970s, and that Grover Cleveland was the only American president to serve two non-consecutive terms. But why these things happened have been furiously contested by historians, and it’s essential to expose students to these sharp differences – which can be based on anything from newly-uncovered archival documents to debates over ambiguities in the writings of the historical figures being studied – if they are to gain a proper grasp of history as a discipline. Not so with “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” For a start, the title tells you all need to know. The fact that 750,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees during the 1947-48 war is subject to only one interpretation: these were natives willfully and violently expelled by European Jewish settlers with a pre-existing plan of ethnic cleansing.

 

Prominent on the course reading list are the writings of an Australian academic, Patrick Wolfe, who defines “settler-colonialism” as “a zero-sum game, whereby outsiders come to a country, and seek to take it away from the people who already live there, remove them, replace them, and displace them, and take over the country, and make it their own.” In the context of Israel and the Palestinians, this framework both precludes and excludes: It precludes any discussion of Jewish indigeneity to Israel, and it excludes any consideration of the refugee question within the broader geopolitical environment of the time, by not even noting that massive and often forced transfers of population were all too common in the wake of World War II, including the expulsion of 850,000 Jews from the Arab world and the deportation of nearly two million Germans from what was then Czechoslovakia.

Even by the standards of its own propagandizing, the course is pitifully weak. Absent are the writings on “settler-colonialism” from such luminaries as the French Marxist Maxime Rodinson, the articles by the collective of Arab and Israeli communists around the journal “Khamsin,” and the book “To be an Arab in Israel,” an autobiographical account by Fouzi el Asmar (hey, if you’re going to study this stuff, you might as well be thorough, right?). Perhaps Mr. Hadweh feels it’s unfair to ask his students to read too much. Or perhaps he feels he can make his point by assigning just one book for each course component; for example, to learn about “The Character of the Zionist Settler-Colonial State,” the only text you need to consult is “Zionist Colonialism in Palestine” by Fayez Sayegh – the lazier students can probably wing it by simply remembering the title…                                                                                                                         

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

 

Contents                                               

                                           

BLACK LIVES MATTER'S ANTI-SEMITIC BEDFELLOWS                                                                       

Gary C. Gambill                                                                                                                

National Interest, Sept. 13, 2016

 

With the Black Lives Matter movement's adoption of a formal manifesto charging Israel with genocide, militant anti-Zionists are threatening to sabotage yet another progressive cause. Obsessed with spreading demonization of the Jewish state across the Western world by any means necessary and at any cost, time and again anti-Israel campaigners have fought tooth and nail to insert defamatory anti-Israel language into resolutions and bylaws of unions, NGOs, political parties and other institutions advancing unrelated progressive agendas. Time and again, this hijacking has driven more enlightened activists out of the host movement, contributing to its decline.

 

The phenomenon was first evident during the lead-up to the 1991 Gulf War, when many Jewish American peace activists encountered a threatening environment at antiwar rallies due to aggressive anti-Zionist campaigning. "I didn't feel comfortable or safe outside the Jewish contingent," said Betsy Tessler, leader of the Philadelphia chapter of the staunchly antiwar New Jewish Agenda.

 

By the time the next Gulf War came around, militant anti-Zionists had become far more organized and determined not merely to piggyback their issue onto the antiwar agenda, but to push out those who were unwilling to accept it. The antiwar movement was primarily led by two far-left coalitions, International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Violence) and United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), an uneasy partnership strained greatly by the former's promotion of anti-Zionist activists before the war even began. When Tikkun editor and leading UFPJ leader Michael Lerner openly criticized the anti-Israeli bent of the demonstrations in January 2003, ANSWER banned him from speaking at its rallies. This led to a splintering in UFPJ and an overall weakening of the antiwar movement.

 

What accounts for the willingness of 'progressive' anti-Israel campaigners to sabotage other progressive causes? Much the same thing happened to the Occupy Wall Street movement that swept through New York and other major U.S. cities in 2011. The official Twitter account of the main OWS leadership in New York briefly endorsed the so-called "Freedom Waves Flotilla" that attempted to break through the Israeli blockade of Gaza in November 2011, while Occupy Oakland had an "Intifada tent" and the official Occupy Boston web site promoted an "emergency march" on the city's Israeli consulate. Mainstream OWS organizers refused to denounce protesters who carried anti-Israeli, and often brazenly anti-Jewish, signs and banners.

 

Daniel Jonathan Sieradski, a liberal Jewish writer and activist who led a well-attended Kol Nidre prayer service across the street from the protests in Zuccotti Park on Yom Kippur, warned that the growing infusion of anti-Israel messaging into official OWS activities was leading "many Jewish supporters of OWS who do not identify as anti-Zionist" to believe "that they could no longer be associated with the movement." "Once this movement becomes explicitly anti-Israel, you'll have effectively alienated three times more people than you'll attract," he predicted. Within a few months, the movement was effectively dead.

 

A related dynamic was evident in the unraveling of Britain's Labour Party this spring, driven by the reluctance of Jeremy Corbyn and others to disavow a small minority of radical anti-Zionists within the party's ranks. Britain's Jewish community, which "once looked to Labour as its natural home," wrote leftist Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, one of the country's leading Jewish journalists, "is fast reaching the glum conclusion that Labour has become a cold house for Jews." It's difficult to find a progressive cause that hasn't been compromised in some way by the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, from the anti-globalization movement to the fight against sexual assault. "BDS destroys everything it touches," observes Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson…

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

 

 

Contents           

WHY IS ISRAEL PAYING US GROUPS TO SHY AWAY FROM BDS FIGHT?

Shmuley Boteach & Amir Ohana

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 19, 2016

 

Imagine if the US government were to earmark millions of dollars for fostering democracy in the developing world but neglect to require that the NGOs receiving the money encourage a positive view of America, or at the very least strenuously disavow ideological anti-Americanism. Congress would quickly and rightly take the administration to task for such folly. No taxpayer should be expected to fund those who hate his or her country, or even those who are ambivalent about opposing the haters.

 

It is with dismay, then, that we – an American Chabad rabbi with a 25-year history of fighting the Israel-haters on campus and a Knesset lawmaker and former Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) national security officer – have watched Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry sign off on the disbursement of $22 million for Hillel, Chabad and Olami activities on US college campuses without insisting that the groups first stop shying from confrontation with the forces of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

 

We can only hope that this was an oversight, a fiscal fumble by an Israeli cabinet that has charged a different minister with combating BDS and which is empowered to make such funding decisions without parliamentary vetting. Because otherwise the Diaspora Affairs Ministry risks being perceived as having acquiesced to the thinking that excuses Hillel, Chabad and Olami from fighting for Israel on campus, namely, a belief that Israel has become so toxic on American campuses that any public association with the Jewish state will dissuade Jewish students from joining Jewish activities.

 

To be sure, we both admire and applaud Israel’s new efforts to support Jewish activities on American campuses. Israel is, and should be, the locus and focal point of global Jewish efforts and outreach. That Israeli taxpayers are prepared to fund the spread of Judaism and Jewish identity on American campuses is exemplary and laudable.

 

But the Jewish state is an integral part of any Jewish identity. To disseminate a Judaism that is unconnected to the land of our forefathers and the place of Jewish spiritual longing for millennia is to spread a Judaism that lacks a foundation and soul. Moreover, Jewish observance that lacks Jewish pride always dissipates and disappears. Even if the ministry succeeds in getting Jewish students to become more Sabbath- and kosher-observant, it all risks being lost if students hide their identity in the face of Jewish critics and bigots. Hence, standing up proudly for Israel is part and parcel of guaranteeing the continuity of Jewish observance. There is no Israel without Judaism and there is no Judaism that does not place Israel at the apex of Jewish spiritual longing.

 

Israel is the test of Jewish pride today. And without Jewish pride there can be no authentic, lasting Jewish observance. Yet some in Hillel, Chabad and Olami would have us believe that BDS has won the war for the hearts and minds of American Jewish students, a constituency so crucial for Israel’s future backing in the Diaspora, and all that can be hoped for is to shore up their Yiddishkeit in a setting that’s parve on support for the Jewish state. Chabad and Hillel especially are in a unique position to provide an immediate and effective challenge to the spread of BDS lies, most of which demand Israel’s withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, which all polls show would create a Hamas-controlled terrorist state. That Israel would provide funding that doesn’t demand some degree of response to this demonization of the Jewish state is disappointing, scandalous and mystifying.

 

To be sure, $22m. will buy a lot of Shabbat kugels and bagel brunches. It will be pay for many a community organizer or rabbinic intern at Hillel. It will provide necessary funding for Talmud classes at Chabad or holiday celebrations at Olami. But while these groups are to be highly commended for promoting Judaism, they are dead wrong to think the goal can be achieved by side-stepping their duty to defend Israel. Israel is at the core of the Jewish experience. Its successes reflect Jewish values. Its troubles prompt Jewish soul-searching. The BDS mobs know this, which is why they have carried aloft their few yet vociferous Jews – in hope of driving a wedge between the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

 

But of course, the self-hating Jews of BDS are just fig leafs for legions of antisemites who march for Israel’s demise not because of what it does, but because of what it is: the world’s only Jewish state. Hillel, Chabad and Olami cannot be seen as koshering this wretched masquerade by refusing to stand up to and expose BDS for what it is. The State of Israel has both the right and the duty to demand that any money it provides for Jewish causes abroad bring with it a full-throated and unapologetic endorsement of Jewish statehood in activities that – while rooted in authentic Judaism – are both pro-Israel and anti-BDS.

 

Hillel, Chabad and Olami should make this undertaking publicly to Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry before receiving one Israeli taxpayer shekel. Doing so will not just help Israel, it will also do right by American Jewish students who, seeing their campus leaders fight for what is right, will emerge as prouder and more committed Jews and supporters of the Jewish state. Chabad, Hillel and Olami all want students to more deeply embrace Jewish tradition and observance. Few things are more important. But that commitment will falter without Jewish pride, and the great test of Jewish pride today is the degree to which we stand up for, and defend, the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents                       

           

On Topic Links

 

Binyamin Netanyahu Kills It At The UN General Assembly (Video): Israeli Cool, Sept. 22, 2016

Fight on Campuses, Don’t Condemn Israel’s Prime Minister: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 15, 2016—Irrespective of one’s personal opinion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks on Palestinian “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from any future Palestinian state, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt’s scornful public condemnation is simply beyond the pale.

Institutionalized Antisemitism at UC Berkeley — Facts and Details: Michael Laitman, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 22, 2016 —Last week’s column, New course at Berkeley University: How to get rid of Israel – Cancelled, made a lot of noise. I received quite a few emails following the column, the majority of which supported the points I made in the column.

Where Does Black Lives Matter's Anti-Semitism Come From?: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 21, 2016—The recently published platform of Black Lives Matter (BLM) states that Israel is responsible for "the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people," and "Israel is an apartheid state … that sanction[s] discrimination against the Palestinian people." These statements are anti-Semitic not only because they are false and modern versions of tradition anti-Semitic blood libel, but also because BLM selectively chooses the Jewish State out of all the states in the world to demonize. What has inspired BLM to engage in this counter-factual, anti-Semitic rant? BLM has been guided to anti-Semitism by the concept of "intersectionality."

The Political and Social Philosophy of Ze'ev Jabotinsky: Efraim Karsh, Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2001—Probably no Zionist leader has been so vilified as Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky, founding father of revisionist Zionism, the antecedent of today's Likud Party, who has been denounced as an extremist, a militarist, an Arab-hater, and a "Greater Israel" expansionist dreaming of land to the east of the Jordan River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EUROPEAN UNION MAINTAINS ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS, EVEN AS ISLAMIC TERROR WAVE WASHES OVER EUROPE

Exposing The Criminal Society And The Culture of Death: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 24, 2016— We are losing the battle in the war of ideas for the simple reason that we are continuously on the defensive while those seeking our destruction actively and relentlessly demonize us. Ever since the Oslo Accords, successive Israeli governments have felt obliged to understate and even dismiss Palestinian terrorism and hatred in order to maintain domestic public support for policies that, with the benefit of hindsight, were doomed to fail.

The World We Have; The World We Want: Henry R. Nau, National Review, Aug. 15, 2016— America is walking away from the world “as it wished it to be” in 1945, a world of unprecedented peace, democracy, and prosperity. And it is embracing a world “as it is” in 2016 that is rapidly descending into violence, nationalism, and recession. In 1945, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman could only dream of the world that exists today.

Sweden: The Silence of the Jews: Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone Institute, Aug. 16, 2016— One of the most visible effects of Muslim mass immigration into Sweden is that anti-Semitism is very much on the rise in the country. Swedish Jews are being harassed and threatened, mainly in the Muslim-dense city of Malmö, where in January 2009, the friction deepened during a peaceful pro-Israel demonstration.

Willkommen? Maybe Not So Much: Christopher Caldwell, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 15, 2016— In the last days of July, German chancellor Angela Merkel rushed back to Berlin from her summer vacation to tell her countrymen how strong they were. She had done the same thing a year earlier, when Europe faced a wave of refugees from the war in Syria, joined by migrants from Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

 

On Topic Links

 

Outreach Pioneer and Longtime Jewish Press Columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis Passes Away: Jason Maoz, Jewish Press, Aug. 24, 2016

What Europe Could Learn From Israel: Judith Bergman, Algemeiner, Aug. 17, 2016

Britain Moves to Separate Radicalized Inmates From Other Prisoners: Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura, New York Times, Aug. 22, 2016

The Morning After: John Psaropoulos, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 22, 2016

 

 

EXPOSING THE CRIMINAL SOCIETY AND THE CULTURE OF DEATH

Isi Leibler

The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 24, 2016

 

We are losing the battle in the war of ideas for the simple reason that we are continuously on the defensive while those seeking our destruction actively and relentlessly demonize us. Ever since the Oslo Accords, successive Israeli governments have felt obliged to understate and even dismiss Palestinian terrorism and hatred in order to maintain domestic public support for policies that, with the benefit of hindsight, were doomed to fail. In the very early stages, Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat told his people that the ultimate goal was the end of Jewish sovereignty – and we dismissed such outbursts as empty words designed merely to placate his radical domestic opponents.

 

But as the government falsely praised our peace partner, many Israelis deluded themselves into believing that the terrorism we faced was an extremist aberration and that the Palestinians were committed to ending the conflict on the basis of a two-state solution. Likewise, most of the world accepted at face value our repeated praise of Arafat and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, as moderates and genuine peace partners. This suited the long-term Palestinian policy of destroying us in stages. They readily accepted concessions and withdrawals but without compromising one iota, and they continue to demonize us and challenge our legitimacy. But the worst aspect was our failure to highlight the poisonous brainwashing the PA had inflicted on its population. While Arab hostility to Jews prevailed even during the British Mandate period, it was not comparable to the culture of death and evil that today saturates every aspect of Palestinian life.

 

The Palestinians have stated explicitly that their state would be Judenrein and that Jews would never be permitted to live in their ancestral home even if they were willing to accept Palestinian jurisdiction. Indeed, Palestinians were brutally executed when they were deemed to have sold land to a Jew. The PA has become a criminal society and can be compared to prewar Germany, when the Nazis transformed their population into genocidal barbarians by depicting Jews as subhuman. The Palestinians depict Jews as “the offspring of apes and pigs” and call for their extermination. This is not even done subtly but with blatant statements to this effect emanating daily from religious and political leaders and accessible from vast documentary sources compiled by Palestinian Media Watch, MEMRI and others.

 

A society in which children from kindergarten are brainwashed into believing that the highest goal in Islam is to achieve martyrdom in the course of killing Jews can only be described as criminal. The demonization of Israel and manifestations of the culture of death are promoted without inhibition by the leadership, the mullahs in the mosques and the state-controlled media. They amount to direct incitement for individuals to strike out and kill Jews in concert or randomly. The “heroic” scenes of youngsters stabbing Jews, the praise by Abbas himself of martyrs “with holy blood” and the totally contrived religious frenzy over accusations of Israelis planning to destroy al-Aksa mosque, coalesce into a witch’s brew of primeval rage and hatred.

 

The PA provides generous state salaries to terrorists apprehended by Israelis, and if they are killed, their families are remunerated – from funds provided by Western countries. Religious and political leadership at all levels sanctifies terrorists as heroes and national martyrs. City squares, schools and even football clubs are named in their honor. The barbarism imbibed by the Palestinians is reflected in the street celebrations that erupt spontaneously with every murder of an Israeli. Even more nauseating are the repeated displays on TV of mothers expressing pride at their children becoming martyrs, and expressing hope that their other children will follow the example.

 

Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that Palestinian opinion polls reflect public support for terrorist attacks against Israel and opposition to a two-state solution. The Arafat/Abbas indoctrination process has radicalized successive generations into believing that the only solution to the conflict is the permanent termination of Jewish sovereignty in the area.

 

There is irrefutable evidence of the barbaric and genocidal nature of Palestinian society. Indeed, the reality is that, despite maintaining a “moderate” stance to the outside world, internally the Palestinians and ISIS are birds of a feather – although the Palestinians are probably more corrupt.

 

Alongside the turbulence in the region and the threat from Iran and ISIS, could one envisage any country agreeing to accept statehood for what will inevitably be a neighboring criminal state pledged to its destruction or a candidate for an ISIS or Iranian takeover? This would be utterly inconceivable. Yet most of the international community, including the United States, regards this as an issue of two nations arguing over real estate. Were that the case, the Palestinians would not have dismissed the offers by prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who were willing to concede up to 97 percent of the territories formerly controlled by the Jordanians.

 

Israel has been the target of repeated defamation and delegitimization yet has basically only been on the defensive, seeking to refute the lies being disseminated against it. But as Joseph Goebbels said, if one repeats a lie continuously, people begin believing it. This dictum has now been realized; many in the Western world have absorbed the distorted Palestinian narrative of Israel being an apartheid state, an occupier and a nation born in sin.

 

Ironically, the weakness of our position lies in the fact that, until recently, in order to appease our allies and “protect” Israelis from being confronted with the stark reality, we deliberately held back from telling the truth and failed to highlight the barbaric and criminal nature of our purported peace partner. Had we mounted campaigns at the outset, exposing the horrors perpetrated by our neighbors, it may not have influenced anti-Semites and the delusional Left but it would have made a significant impact on the open-minded.

 

But even now, belatedly exposing the barbarity of our neighbors should be made the top priority in our foreign relations efforts rather than the endless disputes over whether the minuscule 2% of territory comprising settlements (which are not being expanded) is justified.

 

The recent initiative by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to establish relations with independent Palestinians, aside from not having cabinet approval, is bound to fail because any Palestinian engaged in such negotiations will immediately be assassinated. Pressure must be exerted to encourage rank-and-file Palestinians that their best interests will be served when they appoint leaders who genuinely support the peace process. Alas, for the time being, that is not even on the horizon.

 

Today, we must move forward and promote a focused effort to document and expose the evil nature of Palestinian society, which will make it far more difficult and embarrassing for the Americans and Europeans to continue pressuring Israel to accept the creation of what will invariably be a criminal state – particularly in the context of the mayhem prevailing in the region and the terrorist threats now impacting the heartland of Europe.

 

 

Contents                                                                                                             

THE WORLD WE HAVE; THE WORLD WE WANT

Henry R. Nau

National Review, Aug. 15, 2016

 

America is walking away from the world “as it wished it to be” in 1945, a world of unprecedented peace, democracy, and prosperity. And it is embracing a world “as it is” in 2016 that is rapidly descending into violence, nationalism, and recession.

 

In 1945, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman could only dream of the world that exists today. They lived in a brutal and chaotic era that had descended twice in 25 years into the depravity of horrific war. They did not accept the state of affairs as it was. They helped create a better world, one that for 70 years avoided another major global war, vanquished the scourge of totalitarianism championed by the former Soviet Union, spread freedom for the first time throughout the whole of Europe and significant parts of Asia, and created a global economy that produced rapid growth and reduced inequality as defeated and developing nations steadily closed the gap in relative wealth and power with the United States.

Now, America’s leaders, including both major-party presidential candidates, dismiss the idea that we can make the world as we wish it to be. That’s utopian ideology, they say, a foreign policy that leads to military quagmires and divers us from our hard-core national interests. Obama ridiculed his predecessor for muscling freedom forward in Iraq and Afghanistan and spurned new military interventions in Ukraine and Syria. Hillary Clinton, his first secretary of state and the Democratic nominee for president, intervened in Libya but now regrets it; she has also walked back her commitments to major trade agreements. And Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, threatens to undo the pillars of the Truman/Reagan world: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the World Trade Organization. They all claim they will defend and avoid the periphery (which for Obama and Clinton appears to include Ukraine and the disputed islands in the South and East China Seas). Stop trying to make the world as you wish it to be, they say, and take care of America first, in the world as it is.

 

The siren song is tempting. But the world doesn’t get better just because we accept it as it is. It depends on what other leaders want. And other leaders are making the world the way they wish it to be. At the core, the Truman/Reagan world might be unraveling. Britain exits the European Union; Poland, Hungary, and potentially other new democracies in Europe drift towards an authoritarian Russia; and South Korea is politically at odds with Japan and economically dependent on a more nationalist China. And at the periphery, dangers threaten to invade the core. Russia, China, and ISIS do not accept the world as it is. Vladimir Putin seeks a new Europe, in which Russia exercises a veto power in the former Soviet republics (including, if he can get away with it, the Baltic states). He is created problems in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria to keep the West’s influence at bay …

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

 

Contents                                   

             

SWEDEN: THE SILENCE OF THE JEWS

Ingrid Carlqvist

Gatestone Institute, Aug. 5, 2016

 

One of the most visible effects of Muslim mass immigration into Sweden is that anti-Semitism is very much on the rise in the country. Swedish Jews are being harassed and threatened, mainly in the Muslim-dense city of Malmö, where in January 2009, the friction deepened during a peaceful pro-Israel demonstration. Demonstrators were attacked by pro-Palestinian counter demonstrators, who threw eggs and bottles at the supporters of Israel. The mayor of Malmö at the time, Ilmar Reepalu, failed to take a clear stance against the violence, and was accused of preferring the approval of the city's large Muslim population to protecting Jews. He remarked, among other things, that "of course the conflict in Gaza has spilled over into Malmö."

 

In January 2009, an Arab mob in Malmö pelted a peaceful Jewish demonstration with bottles, eggs and smoke bombs. The police pushed the Jews, who had a permit for their gathering, into an alley.

 

The situation in Malmö has twice been deemed so alarming that U.S. President Barack Obama sent Special Representatives to the city: Hanna Rosenthal visited in 2012, and Ira Forman came in 2015. "We are keeping an eye on Malmö," Forman told the media.

 

The harassment of Malmö's Jews was, for a long time, a mystery to the general public; Were neo-Nazis really walking the streets of Sweden's third largest city? Many believed that to be the case, until the local daily paper Skånska Dagbladet published a series of articles, in which the Jewish community finally pointed out the elephant in the room: Malmö's growing Muslim population …

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

 

Contents           

WILLKOMMEN? MAYBE NOT SO MUCH

Christopher Caldwell

Weekly Standard, Aug. 15, 2016

 

In the last days of July, German chancellor Angela Merkel rushed back to Berlin from her summer vacation to tell her countrymen how strong they were. She had done the same thing a year earlier, when Europe faced a wave of refugees from the war in Syria, joined by migrants from Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Back in the summer of 2015, Merkel announced that Germany could handle 800,000 of them. Migrants took it as an invitation. Over a million came. The encounter between Germany and its new Muslim population has been rocky. Last New Year’s Eve in downtown Cologne saw 1,200 sexual assaults by mostly migrant men. A Moroccan girl stabbed a policeman in Hannover in March, and in April two teenagers, Yusuf T. and Mohammed B., blew up a Sikh temple in Essen.

 

At her latest appearance, Merkel professed herself proud of last summer's invitation and told Germans they were now summoned to "a great test in mastering the flipside, the shadow side, of all the positive effects of globalization." This was the chancellor's glass-half-full way of acknowledging that various newcomers to the national household had begun to attack and kill her voters at an alarming rate. On Monday, July 18, a 17-year-old Afghan, armed with an axe and hollering Allahu Akbar!, attacked a family of travelers from Hong Kong on a train. Four days later, on Friday, a German-Iranian named Ali Sonboly ran amok in Munich with a 9mm Glock and 300 rounds of ammunition in a McDonald's full of children and a shopping mall, shooting 29 people, of whom 9 died. That Sunday, in Reutlingen in Baden-Württemberg, a 21-year-old recent Syrian arrival named Mohamed hacked to death a pregnant Polish restaurant employee. At a music festival in Ansbach that same afternoon, another Syrian refugee, 27-year-old Muhammad Daleel, became Germany's first-ever suicide bomber, killing himself and wounding 15.

 

Germans have been enjoined not to leap to conclusions about the individuals involved. The train axe man and the festival bomber claimed their attacks for ISIS. The machete man knew the woman he killed, so the incident was, news reports reassured, "not terrorism." The mall shooter was a terrorist, true, but his family had arrived from Iran in the 1990s, making it possible to describe the terrorism as "homegrown." Still, all the killers were of a migrant background, and this will do nothing to make Merkel's promotion of migration more popular. Last year's invitation to refugees was the occasion of a lot of German self-congratulation. The country is still relatively optimistic. An early August poll by the Pew Research Center asked people in various European countries how they felt about the European Union's policy on refugees. They hate it. In all of them, the number of people who disapprove is a multiple of the number of those who approve. In Greece, 94 percent are upset, 5 percent content. Germans distrust EU refugee policy by "only" a 2 ½ – 1 ratio. Merkel is lucky. Migration has fallen to a tiny fraction of what it was in 2015—just 57,000 refugees since March …

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

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On Topic Links

 

Outreach Pioneer and Longtime Jewish Press Columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis Passes Away: Jason Maoz, Jewish Press, Aug. 24, 2016—Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, pioneer in Jewish outreach, founder of the international Hineni organization, and Jewish Press columnist for more than fifty years, passed away Tuesday at the age of 80. Rebbetzin Jungreis was born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1936, where her father, HaRav Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, was chief rabbi.

What Europe Could Learn From Israel: Judith Bergman, Algemeiner, Aug. 17, 2016— If there is one thing at which Jews have traditionally excelled, it is adapting. Throughout history, Jews have managed to adapt to often overwhelmingly negative circumstances, while constantly maintaining and developing their culture. This ability to adapt occasionally gave way to an irresistible temptation among Jews to blend in with their surroundings and to stop actively practicing Judaism.

Britain Moves to Separate Radicalized Inmates From Other Prisoners: Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura, New York Times, Aug. 22, 2016— Convicts in British prisons who preach terrorism and extreme ideology to fellow inmates will be held in high-security “specialist units,” the government announced on Monday, amid efforts to crack down on Islamic radicalization in jails. The announcement reflects an emerging trend in Europe to isolate terrorism convicts and influential extremists from the rest of the prison population.

The Morning After: John Psaropoulos, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 22, 2016— George Papaconstantinou has been through hell. His reputation as the finance minister who cowrote and signed Greece’s first bailout agreement with the eurozone in the spring of 2010 cost him his cabinet post the following year and his parliament seat the year after that. He spent the next three years fighting charges that he tampered with state documents to help relatives evade taxes, which could have jailed him for life.

AS WESTERN LEADERS INCREASINGLY CONDEMN BDS, “DIVESTMENT” BECOMES NEW FACE OF CAMPUS ANTISEMITISM

The New Face of BDS: Avi Benlolo, National Post, Mar. 10, 2016— The world is finally waking up to the cancer called BDS — the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign.

Time to Draw Lines and Defend Them: Caroline Glick, Truth Revolt, Feb. 29, 2016— At a certain point you just have to know when to draw a line in the sand.

Connecticut College Anti-Semitism Continues; Some Faculty Speak Out: Noah Beck, IPT, Mar. 4, 2016 — A Connecticut College professor has told colleagues that his school has grown so hostile toward Jews that he can no longer recommend Jewish students or professors study or teach at the college.

Jewish Professor Hounded at California Riverside Campus for Holding Pro-Israel Views: Phyllis Chesler, Jewish Press, Feb. 29, 2016— Dr. Denise Dalaimo Nussbaum, Chair of the Sociology Department, distinguished author and professor, is suing the Governing Board of Mount San Jacinto Community College for 9.5 million dollars…

 

 

On Topic Links

 

An Anti-Semitism of the Left: Roger Cohen, New York Times, Mar. 7, 2016

‘Jew Haters’ Spread Fear at CUNY Colleges: Carl Campanile, New York Post, Feb. 24, 2016

Privileging Islamophobia Over Antisemitism on Campus: Corinne Blackmer, Algemeiner, Mar. 10, 2016

Methodists Restarting BDS War Against Israel: Susan Warner, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 10, 2016

 

THE NEW FACE OF BDS

Avi Benlolo

National Post, Mar. 10, 2016

 

The world is finally waking up to the cancer called BDS — the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign. I can recall countless meetings with Israeli officials who originally dismissed this insidious, anti-Semitic movement. Now they want to set up conferences and send emissaries to counter the scourge.

 

Yet the BDS campaign is no longer just the BDS campaign. Like all anti-Semitic libels and propaganda initiatives dating back over 2,000 years, it metastasized while the Jewish world was slowly catching on. It is now going through a re-brand on university campuses because of: 1) the negative and anti-Semitic connotation of the term “boycott,” with its undertones of the Final Solution; 2) political condemnation and counter-legislation targeting BDS in Canada, the United States and Europe; and 3) the need for a wider, socially acceptable umbrella to be used as a cover to promote an anti-Semitic narrative through the denunciation of Israel.

 

The new brand name for BDS is “Divestment.” This latest incarnation is billed at Toronto’s York University as #YUDivest. It is a strategy that aims to bring together student groups and faculty alike under a singular declaration against the financing of arms manufacturers. On the surface, almost everyone would agree that a university should not be investing in military equipment.  And yet, the organization behind the #YUDivest campaign at York is called “Students against Israeli Apartheid” (SAIA). It’s is a group that promotes harmful propaganda against Israel. Indeed, the only democracy in the Middle East that safeguards minority rights, gay rights, women’s rights, Palestinian rights and freedom for all, is the only country maligned by SAIA and slandered as an “apartheid state.”

 

While most student groups and faculty had difficulty aligning with the BDS movement, they now find vindication under the #YUDivest umbrella, which masquerades as an anti-military coalition. Its true raison d’être, however, is the condemnation of Israel under the SAIA mandate — a mission that finds a receptive audience in the toxic, anti-Semitic environment on the York campus. The campaign struck gold when it received the endorsement of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) executive and Stewards Council. YUFA, however, adamantly denies the endorsement of #YUDivest has anything to do with BDS. That’s a disingenuous sentiment, considering SAIA acknowledges it is the group that initiated the #YUDivest campaign in the first place.

 

The change from BDS to Divestment is spreading widely. Over 125 University of Toronto faculty members have announced their support for the Graduate Student Union’s Divestment campaign, while students at the University of Illinois in Chicago, who have an active Divestment campaign, are less shy about admitting this is all about Israel. In fact, the map of Israel features prominently in their logo — as their target country.

 

The Divestment movement, couched in the language of human rights, is in reality a malicious campaign that targets and singles out the Jewish community as a collective, demonizes Israel and Israelis, applies unfair double standards to Israel at the exclusion of other nations in the Middle East and rejects the legitimacy of Israel as the only Jewish state in the world, thereby inciting an abhorrent resurgence of anti-Semitism.

 

It is deeply troubling to see this phenomenon of hate coming from an ideologically inspired group of students. It is contemptible to learn it is supported by university professors. History has shown us that not even campuses, and faculty, are immune from the forces of hatred and discrimination. All of this speaks to the critical question: is there a cure for anti-Semitism in academia?                               

 

                                                                                    Contents

      TIME TO DRAW LINES AND DEFEND THEM

Caroline Glick     

Truth Revolt, Feb. 29, 2016

                       

At a certain point you just have to know when to draw a line in the sand. Sloan and Guy Rachmuth, Jewish parents in Durham, North Carolina, reached that point in 2014 when they opted to walk away from their local Jewish day school and home school their two children. The Rachmuths pulled their children out of the Lerner School when they concluded the school would not abide by its commitment to assist “all students in developing a positive Jewish identity and pride in their Jewish heritage.”

 

As committed Zionists, the Rachmuths were dismayed to see that far from fulfilling its commitment, the Lerner school was cultivating a learning environment that questioned the legitimacy of the Jewish national liberation movement and of the State of Israel. Perhaps the turning point was when the school took down all the maps of Israel from the classroom walls. Perhaps it was when their five-year-old son came home and asked them why the map of Israel hurt some people’s feelings.

 

Perhaps it was when they discovered that the school had employed a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activist as a Hebrew teacher. Perhaps it was when they discovered that the school’s development director and former president of the board was an anti-Israel activist whose group, Jews for a Just Peace, had joined forces with the anti-Semitic and rabidly anti-Israel BDS groups Students for Justice in Palestine and the Palestinian Solidarity Movement. Perhaps it was when the school refused to back Israel during Operation Protective Edge during the summer of 2014.

 

Or perhaps the Rachmuths felt obliged to draw their line and walk away when they got the sense that the school rejected not only their Zionism, but vigorously opposed their right to defend their values. According to Andrew Passin’s two-part report on the Rachmuth family’s ordeal published by JNS, in internal memos, the current school board president Tal Wittle referred to Sloan Rachmuth’s repeated complaints about the school’s diffident position on Israel, and the dominant role BDS supporters played at the school as “bigotry.”

 

If the Lerner school had simply let the Rachmuths walk away, the story would have been relegated to the shadows. Instead, it became a matter of importance for the American Jewish community and for Israel because the school decided to punish the Rachmuth’s for their decision. Last fall the Lerner school sued the couple for breach of contract for their refusal to pay $20,000 in tuition for the 2014-2015 school year, despite the fact that their children did not go to school that year. School officials told Passin that it was “a business decision” to sue the family.

 

Maybe monetary considerations played a role, but Passin quoted an internal email from Wittle to school principal Allison Oakes making clear that “business” was only one consideration. “Part of me,” Wittle wrote, “wants to say [to the Rachmuths] fine, keep your money because our school doesn’t need such bigotry anywhere near it. But, one, that sends the message that they are in the right, and two, we run a business.” In other words, the school decided that it needed to sue the Rachmuths in order to punish them for rejecting the school’s values.

 

And that isn’t the end of it. Passin reported that community members are so angry at the Rachmuths that some are calling for the Durham Jewish community to boycott their business. That is, “A family withdrawing from a school in protest of those who support the boycott against Israel [is now being threatened with] being boycotted by those who support the school.” Passin was assured by Oakes that while she had heard the same talk, the community would never really carry out the threat, although she is maintaining the lawsuit.

 

It’s hard to know the precise moment that unapologetic Zionism became controversial or even, as the president of the board of the Lerner School would have it, a form of bigotry, for a significant portion of American Jews. But there can be no doubt that it happened. Last month a group of alumni from Oberlin College tried to oppose the rabid anti-Israel and anti-Semitic atmosphere on their alma mater’s campus. They organized a closed Facebook page and sent an open letter to the college’s president demanding action to protect Jewish students.

 

Among the many incidents that upset the alumni were the student cooperative association’s decision to expel the kosher food co-op. Another low point was when anti-Israel activists planted 2,133 flags in the center of campus to symbolize the Palestinians killed during Operation Protective Edge. They planted the flags on Rosh Hashana. Rather than thank the alumni for acting to protect them, last week three Jewish student leaders published an op-ed in the Cleveland Jewish News condemning the alumni for failure to take a “nuanced” view of the Palestinian conflict with Israel. The students wrote that they believed that the alumnis’ call for an end to BDS on campus needed to include “a call to end settlement expansion and other obstacles to lasting peace and a two-state solution.”

 

“We all agreed,” the Jewish student leaders wrote, “that working to end the occupation and achieve a two-state resolution is vital for the future of a Jewish and democratic Israel.” In other words, you can’t be for Israel without embracing J Street’s moral equivalence – at best – between Hamas, a terrorist group which aspires to murder all Jews, and law abiding Israeli citizens who live in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria…

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

 

Contents

     CONNECTICUT COLLEGE ANTI-SEMITISM CONTINUES;

   SOME FACULTY SPEAK OUT

Noah Beck          

                    IPT, Mar. 4, 2016

 

A Connecticut College professor has told colleagues that his school has grown so hostile toward Jews that he can no longer recommend Jewish students or professors study or teach at the college. "In my opinion, this harassment of Jews on campus in the name of fighting for social justice should end; immediately," wrote Spencer J. Pack, an economics professor, in a faculty-wide email.

 

His comments were triggered by the smear campaign that pro-Palestinian students successfully waged against a pro-Israel professor, resulting in his indefinite leave from campus, and a more recent push to malign Birthright (a program enabling student travel to Israel) by plastering the campus with posters. The posters reportedly intimidated Jewish or pro-Israel students and faculty, while attempting to poison the minds of uninformed students and faculty with vicious falsehoods about Israel. The posters were put up by Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP), whose faculty adviser, Eileen Kane, runs the school's Global Islamic Studies program.

 

Kane's Global Islamic Studies program also invited Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi to speak at Connecticut College on April 12. Kanazi, who is scheduled to give a "poetry performance," is on the organizing committee of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and listed among its endorsers. His strategy has been to connect anti-Israel politics with popular urban struggles.

 

Making matters worse, Jasbir K. Puar also was invited to speak at Connecticut College. At a Feb. 3 talk at Vassar College, Puar unleashed a torrent of vicious anti-Israel lies and blood libels, including outrageous accusations about Israel harvesting Palestinian organs and conducting scientific experiments in "stunting" the growth of Palestinian bodies. Her Connecticut College appearance was scrapped, but Kane has ignored repeated questions about the invitation.

 

Hatred of Israel and overall hostility towards Jews at Vassar has been amply detailed. More generally, campus hate against Israel and Jews has become an increasingly frequent and widespread problem thanks to the "Boycott, Divest, Sanction" (BDS) movement. Even Palestinians who aren't sufficiently critical of Israel are targeted by BDS. Bassem Eid, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, was directly threatened by anti-Israel protesters while lecturing at the University of Chicago on Feb. 18. More recently, the New York Post reported on the hateful harassment of Jews at four City University of New York campuses.

 

Connecticut College seems to be moving in the same direction. Last spring, Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin was libeled and silenced in a campaign led by Students for Justice in Palestine activist Lamiya Khandaker. That campaign included condemnation of Pessin by scores of Connecticut College departments and affiliates, including the Global Islamic Studies program. The administration nevertheless gave Khandaker the "Scholar Activist Award." Then came the Birthright smear last December, the Puar invitation, and the scheduled talk by anti-Israel activist Kanazi, sponsored by the Islamic studies program.

 

These developments reinforce the perception that Connecticut College is hostile to pro-Israel voices. Meanwhile, discussion of the Pessin affair continues as questions mount over the role and nature of the school's Islamic studies program. In a Jan. 26 email to fellow faculty members, Manuel Lizarralde, a professor of anthropology and botany, called the Pessin affair a "train wreck" and expressed regret at previously staying silent. "Why did we not have the Andrew defending his views?…We acted like vigilantes and found the perfect scapegoat," he wrote.

 

In a Feb. 4, faculty-wide response to Lizarralde, Pack accused the Islamic studies program of organizing students to join the anti-Pessin campaign and then sponsoring "a new group on campus that [posted the anti-Birthright and anti-Israel] posters." That's when he called on the harassment to stop and indicated that he couldn't recommend Jews join the Connecticut College community. In response, Pack received some private support but wrote that "many, (perhaps most?), of the faculty…are quite upset with me."

 

Kane responded to Pack's email on Feb. 9, denying that CSSP is anti-Israel. But CSSP's posters smear the Birthright program with the label "settler colonialism," effectively demonizing any student participant in that program, and spread the blatant lie that that there are "seven million Palestinian refugees today." Even the pro-Palestinian United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) claims that there are only five million Palestinian refugees, and that total is grossly inflated because UNRWA defines the term "refugee" to include all subsequent generations of the original refugee – a definition unique to Palestinians among all other global refugee groups…

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

 

Contents

          JEWISH PROFESSOR HOUNDED AT CALIFORNIA RIVERSIDE

   CAMPUS FOR HOLDING PRO-ISRAEL VIEWS

Phyllis Chesler                                           

   Jewish Press, Feb. 29, 2016

 

Dr. Denise Dalaimo Nussbaum, Chair of the Sociology Department, distinguished author and professor, is suing the Governing Board of Mount San Jacinto Community College for 9.5 million dollars for “assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gender discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, violation of constitutional and statutory rights of free speech and political activities, retaliation, tortious interference with law enforcement investigation, and breach of fiduciary duty.”

 

I think she should sue for more—far more—since this long-time tenured professor now faces a potentially dangerous and hostile work environment. Her crime? She is a Zionist and proud of it. More importantly, she is a great believer in objective truth. This is currently out of fashion on so many American campuses when the subject of Israel, Palestine, and Islam are discussed. Dr. Nussbaum is also a feminist—and this figures in this story as well. Her love of truth, love of Zion, and love of freedom for women and minorities are anathema to those who have attacked her.

 

What is going on? Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel Brownshirts are growing more and more aggressive on North American campuses. They support “hate speech” and “blood libels” but in the name of “free speech.” They claim “academic freedom” to do so. But they behave in absolutely uncivilized ways. They glare, stare, yell, march, chant, intimidate and bully, even as they conduct intense internet and campus-wide smear campaigns. They interrupt, challenge, and walk out on outside speakers who hold “false” ideas. If a faculty member shares such ideas, the Brownshirts create a hostile, even a dangerous work environment—all the while accusing their (usually) single opponent of having done so.

 

Such Brownshirts (students, faculty, administrators), are both actively and passively involved in destroying, one by one, all those who hold “false” ideas. They advance on—or refuse to stop such an advance on—the “politically incorrect” professor like a swarm of killer bees. For years, I have called this phenomenon Gaza on the Pacific or Gaza on the Hudson. Otherwise good people fear them and do not want to get involved. I have been writing about this danger for fifteen years now; as I feared, matters have worsened. Senior, competent, beloved professors are being forced to flee for their lives by mobs of vicious haters, often led by one or two Islamists who are always, always “pro-Palestine” and “anti-Zionist.”

 

For example, in 2002, a riot took place at Concordia University in Montreal. Dear friends were bruised, knocked down and beaten bloody. This is hardly constitutes a free exchange of ideas. Also in 2002, at San Francisco State, students had to walk a hostile gauntlet attacking Israel and Jews. Posters read: Zionism=Racism and Jews=Nazis. At one point, Jewish students had to be escorted by campus police away from a hostile, near-rioting mob.

 

In 2003, I experienced one of the earliest near-riots in academia in America when I told the truth about Islam and Israel at a free-standing conference that had rented space at Barnard. I had to be hustled out for my safety. I wrote about that experience in these pages. In 2009, at York University, another pro-Palestine/anti-Israel riot took place. Nora Gold fictionalizes this in her award winning novel Fields Of Exile. Her heroine is badly wounded in just such a riot—because she is known as being pro-Israel.

 

In 2011, while Charles Small was not physically assaulted, he was psychologically and verbally assaulted by those who forced him out of Yale, actually who punished him, for daring to tell the truth about contemporary Jew-hatred in both the Islamic world and in the West. In 2015, Philosophy Professor Andrew Pessin had to take a medical leave of absence due to the swarm of vicious propaganda that circulated against him on campus as well as the death threats—all because he was known to be pro-Israel. This campaign was led by a pro-Palestinian religious Muslim female student.

 

Early this year, Dr. Nussbaum, became the next, known victim of a similar four-month campaign in which she was bullied, harassed, shunned, shamed, turned on by her colleagues, betrayed by her own administration—and physically assaulted by a more junior faculty member. Unbelievably, infuriatingly, her administration is now paying for her attacker’s lawyers.

 

How and why did this happen? Observing due process, Dr. Nussbaum persuasively objected to the lecture invitation extended to a known non-academic Israel-hater, Miko Peled, an Israeli Jew. She went through channels. Most of the involved faculty agreed with her. But two, perhaps only three faculty members who wanted Peled to speak bypassed all appropriate channels and used their own faculty “turf” to pay him $2,500. Peled’s March 23rd speech consisted of a series of inflammatory, ahistorical, out-of-context Blood Libels. Dr. Nussbaum herself did a content analysis of it.

 

In Miko Peled’s speech on March 23, 2015, he made more than a dozen references to “Israeli occupation” and “Israeli occupiers;” 19 references to “ethnic cleansing (of) Palestinian refugees”; depicted Israelis as “racists” nine times and as “oppressors” 17 times. Peled compared Israel to “South African Apartheid” five times; and portrayed Hamas as “resistance fighters” nine times—but called Israelis “terrorists” three times. Peled “demonized” Israel constantly, referred to Jewish “conspiracies” resorted to “double standards” as a way of “deligitimizing” Israel. He did not mention the Holocaust or the historical fate of Jews in Muslim countries…

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

 

 

On Topic

 

An Anti-Semitism of the Left: Roger Cohen, New York Times, Mar. 7, 2016— Last month, a co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, quit in protest at what he described as rampant anti-Semitism among members. A “large proportion” of the club “and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he said in a statement.

‘Jew Haters’ Spread Fear at CUNY Colleges: Carl Campanile, New York Post, Feb. 24, 2016 —Jewish students at four City University of New York campuses are being harassed and intimidated by a pro-Palestinian student group, and the university isn’t doing enough to protect them, according to a leading advocacy group.

Privileging Islamophobia Over Antisemitism on Campus: Corinne Blackmer, Algemeiner, Mar. 10, 2016—Southern Connecticut State University, where I teach, has gone to great lengths to accommodate Muslims — and reject the slightest manifestations of Islamophobia — while acting complacently toward egregious antisemitism and hate crimes. Concurrently, widely publicized events at Vassar and Oberlin Colleges reveal that displays of antisemitism typically cause uproar within the Jewish community but near silence by others, who even go so far as to defend hateful expression as freedom of speech.

Methodists Restarting BDS War Against Israel: Susan Warner, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 10, 2016—On May 10, 2016, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) will gather at the Oregon Convention Center, hosting thousands of Methodist leaders, delegates and visitors. This leading policy-making event meets once every four years to revise church law and adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. The conference also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs. This year, four new proposals in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are being prepared for consideration of the general assembly during the 10-day event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS DRIVEN BY HATRED OF ISRAELIS & INCITEMENT, NOT DESPAIR

More Lies from Abbas about the "Intifada": Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 17, 2015 — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas now wants us to believe that the Palestinian "youths," who are sent out to murder Jewish soldiers and civilians, are acting out of "despair."

The Price of Unjustifiable Murder: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Dec. 15, 2015 — There are tipping points in history in which trends that were once thought permanent prove to be temporary.

A Portrait of the Terrorist as a Young Man, or Woman: Simona Weinglass, Times of Israel, Dec. 6, 2015— Ever since the current wave of stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks began two and a half months ago, commentators have expressed perplexity at the seeming pointlessness of it all.

The Hamas 'Legacy': Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash, Israel Hayom, Dec. 15, 2015— Hamas released another propaganda video this week, in honor of the anniversary of the terrorist group's establishment.

 

On Topic Links

 

'Jerusalem Ramming Terrorist was a Hamas Member': Israel Hayom, Dec. 15, 2015

On its Anniversary, Hamas Vows to 'Keep its Weapon Directed at the Israeli Occupation Only': Coral Braun, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 15, 2015

Hamas and the Islamic State: Growing Cooperation in the Sinai: Ehud Yaari, Washington Institute, Dec. 15, 2015

The Facebook Intifada: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 6, 2015  

 

 

MORE LIES FROM ABBAS ABOUT THE "INTIFADA"                                                                  

Bassam Tawil

           Gatestone Institute, Dec. 17, 2015

 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas now wants us to believe that the Palestinian "youths," who are sent out to murder Jewish soldiers and civilians, are acting out of "despair." He wants us to believe that these "youths" decided to murder Jews because their dream of a two-state solution has not been realized. Abbas is also trying to convince us that these "youths" are upset about Israeli checkpoints, construction in settlements, and visits by Jews to the Noble Sanctuary (Temple Mount).

 

These latest statements by President Abbas show that he is either completely disconnected from reality, or else thinks that everyone will believe whatever he tells them. His claim — that the Palestinian assailants who carry out stabbing and car ramming attacks against Israelis, are frustrated because the two-state solution has not yet been realized — is, frankly, an insult. We still have never encountered one case — ever — where a terrorist complained about the absence of a two-state solution. Also, contrary to Abbas's claim, none of the terrorists has ever complained about settlements or checkpoints. In fact, these "youths" that Abbas is talking about are mostly affiliated with Hamas, and do not believe in any two-state solution. Like Hamas, these terrorists want to see Israel wiped off the map.

 

Abbas's "youths," who, since the beginning of October, have murdered 22 Israelis and wounded dozens of others, set out on their missions because their leaders have been telling them that the Jews are planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. These "youths" are driven by hatred, not by 'despair," as Abbas has been claiming. His allegation that the "youths" are "lone wolves" acting on their own initiative is also not true. What is true is that both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have publicly admitted that some of the terrorists were members of these two Islamist groups.

 

Take, for example, the most recent case, of 21-year-old Abdel Muhsen Hassouneh, the east Jerusalem terrorist who rammed his car into a group of Israelis at a bus stop earlier this week. He wounded 14 people, including an 18-month-old infant who remains in hospital in critical condition. Shortly after the attack, Hamas announced that this terrorist was one of its group.

 

Similarly, Islamic Jihad also endorsed some of the terrorists who carried out the recent attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank — again exploding the claim that the "youths" were acting on their own. On October 3, Islamic Jihad took credit for a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City, in which two Israeli men were killed. The group announced that the terrorist, Muhannad al-Halabi, was an active member of Islamic Jihad. A review of the Facebook accounts of most of the terrorists shows that their main intent was to murder as many Jews as possible in order to become "martyrs." Their goal was to impose a reign of terror and intimidation on Jews to force them to leave Israel.

 

Abbas is well aware that the "youths" are not complaining about the "occupation" of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. The "occupation" these "youths" have a problem with is the one that began with the creation of Israel in 1948. As recently as last month, official Palestinian Authority TV was stating this, adding that Israel would cease to exist: "The occupation must know… [Haifa, Jaffa, Acre, Nazareth] – all of this land belongs to us… and will return to us." Jewish visits to the Noble Sanctuary, or Temple Mount, are merely an excuse being used to proceed with the plan to eliminate Israel. The Al-Aqsa Mosque has not been destroyed or desecrated by Jews. The terrorists nevertheless continue to launch attacks against Israelis under the pretext that Jews are seeking to destroy Islamic holy sites.

 

The person who bears much of the responsibility for these attacks is Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. His ongoing lies and inflammatory, anti-Israeli rhetoric have contributed significantly to the poisoning of the hearts and minds of many of these "youths." It was Abbas who told his people, a few days before the current wave of terrorism erupted, that he would not allow Jews to "contaminate with their filthy feet our holy sites." It was also Abbas who announced that, "Every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood."

 

The Palestinians, unfortunately, have already seen this movie. In September 2000, Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority lied to their people about Ariel Sharon's visit to the Noble Sanctuary. Then, Arafat and the PA told Palestinians that Sharon and the Jews were planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. As a result of this incitement, Palestinians took to the streets and we found ourselves in the midst of something called the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which lasted from 2000 until 2005, and consisted of a wave of suicide bombings and various terror attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians. This intifada was supposedly meant to prevent the Jews from "destroying" the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Palestinians knew — they saw — that Sharon and the Jews had not destroyed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, yet that did not prevent them from waging a massive campaign of terrorism against Israel. The Al-Aqsa Mosque stands, as always, unharmed in its place.

 

Today, history seems to be repeating itself, as a new generation of Palestinians has once again been deceived into believing that the Jews are plotting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinian youths were not driven by "despair," and they are not driven by "despair" now. They are driven by hatred and bigotry towards Israel and Jews. The generation of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, like the "youths" of today, believed that suicide bombings and drive-by shootings would ultimately lead to the destruction of Israel.

 

We are now witnessing the same scenario. Although the Al-Aqsa Mosque has neither been desecrated nor destroyed, the stabbings and car attacks continue almost on a daily basis. Would you like to know why? Because there is a new generation of Palestinians who believes that this from of terrorism will bring them closer to achieving their goal of destroying Israel. President Abbas knows that he is lying when he talks about the "despair" of Palestinians because of checkpoints and settlements. The terrorists from east Jerusalem held Israeli-issued ID cards which gave them the right to travel around freely and work in Israel…

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

 

                                                                       

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THE PRICE OF UNJUSTIFIABLE MURDER

Jonathan S. Tobin

Commentary, Dec. 15, 2015

 

There are tipping points in history in which trends that were once thought permanent prove to be temporary. Sometimes we don’t even notice when such events occur because we are too caught up in the immediate concerns of the day. Such a moment may be happening now to the Palestinians. Not only do they seem to be unaware of it, but they may be under the mistaken impression that nothing can or will change. They should understand that if they continue to practice in discriminate terror, they may ultimately pay a price, even if mass murder is something their leaders tell them is not only justifiable but think is a smart tactic.

 

“Justified” happens to be the word that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas used on Monday when he addressed a United Nations-sponsored event. Abbas’s narrative about the conflict with Israel didn’t merely include the usual disingenuous litany about how settlements and Israeli intransigence have victimized the Palestinian people. Abbas isn’t content merely to lie about his own refusal to make peace or the independence and control of territory he eschewed simply because he can’t bring himself to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.

 

Abbas has now reached the point where his pose as a champion of peace that earned him the praise of President Obama has become such a burden that he can’t manage to keep it up even part of the time. That his latest bout of incitement came only hours after a Palestinian rammed his car into a crowded bus stop, injuring 14 people including a 15-month-old baby, showed that he long ago stopped caring about trying to cultivate the Israeli left or center that would happily accept a two-state solution.

 

It needs to be remembered that in the infancy of international terrorism as we know it now, the Palestinians had a difficult time being heard. The problem was that their national movement and its leader, Yasir Arafat, was so thoroughly associated with the most brutal forms of terrorism that few in civilized societies were prepared to listen to their case against Israel. In the decades since Arafat’s followers slaughtered Jews at the Olympics and made plane hijacking fashionable, that has changed. That was largely due to the ability of both Arafat and his successor, Abbas, to play a double game in which they pretended to accept the concept of peace with Israel while speaking to Western and Israeli audiences while simultaneously signaling Palestinians that the long war to eradicate the Zionist entity was just getting started. It was that deception that allowed the Oslo Accords to be signed and celebrated as the beginning of a new era of peace in the Middle East. So successful was this piece of stagecraft that it survived the collapse of Oslo when Arafat turned down the first Israeli offer of statehood and answered it with a terrorist war of attrition.

 

Arafat lost all credibility as a peacemaker, but his replacement quickly earned the confidence of a credulous Bush administration, as well as other supporters of the peace process. Abbas looked the part of a responsible leader in his suit. That was a good image adjustment for a people that had been led by a man who couldn’t bear to take off his faux battle fatigues even for a peace ceremony. Though he had the consistent support of the Obama administration as it tilted the diplomatic playing field in his direction in its quest for “daylight” between Washington and Jerusalem, that wasn’t enough to entice Abbas to recognize a Jewish state or negotiate seriously. Despite his antipathy for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his ardent support for a Palestinians state, President Obama has clearly given up on the peace process even if Secretary of State John Kerry still harbors messianic hopes about cutting the Gordian knot.

 

It’s one thing to have exhausted your friends; it’s quite another to throw away all of your questionable international credibility. That’s what Abbas has done in the last few months as he first fomented a new surge of violence with lies about mythical Israeli plots against the Temple Mount mosques. Since then he’s doubled down on his slurs about preventing “stinking Jewish feet” from polluting Jerusalem’s holy places and treated those Palestinians that attempt to murder random Jews they see on the street as “martyrs” or victims of Jewish persecution and part of a “popular peaceful uprising.” At the UN ceremony, he continued in this vein saying that Arabs that seek to butcher Jews are engaging in “justified” behavior because of the stalled peace process or the canards he’s floated about the Temple Mount.

 

Though the Obama administration hasn’t specifically condemned Abbas’s incitement, as they should, they’ve grown tired of justifying him. The more inflammatory rhetoric Abbas uses, the less likely it is that Obama would risk his remaining political capital on another confrontation with Israel or by abandoning it at the UN since he knows it will never be enough to get Abbas to make peace. The question now is whether the Palestinians’ European enablers will start to wise up, too. Abbas doesn’t seem too worried about that prospect because many European governments have already moved toward delegitimizing Israel and accepting selective boycotts of its goods…

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

 

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A PORTRAIT OF THE TERRORIST AS A YOUNG MAN, OR WOMAN                                                 

Simona Weinglass

           Times of Israel, Dec. 6, 2015

 

Ever since the current wave of stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks began two and a half months ago, commentators have expressed perplexity at the seeming pointlessness of it all. Young people, many of them teenagers, set out to stab random Israelis, frequently losing their lives in the process. Are these stabbers lone wolves? Acting out of desperation? Incited by Facebook? What are they hoping to achieve?

 

Likud MK Anat Berko thinks she knows. Berko, who joined the Knesset this past March after two decades as a criminologist specializing in suicide terrorists, is sui generis. Her politics are aligned with those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but during her years of counterterrorism research she became the closest Israeli confidante of many Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails. “People have often asked me why terrorists are willing to talk to me,” she wrote in her 2012 book “The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers.”

 

“I tell them that if you know how to create the right atmosphere, you can’t get them to stop talking…The security prisoners waited to speak to me the same way they waited for visits from friends and family. I became part of the jail scenery, and they felt they received something from our conversations because they were for research purposes and not interrogations.” So great were her listening skills that prisoners would talk to her for hours, hug her, cry and even give her their babies to hold…

 

First of all, says Berko, unlike suicide bombers, the current attackers “don’t necessarily think they won’t get out alive. They think they might not get out alive. It’s not the same.” Berko says the attackers are committing these acts for the sake of “glory,” both on social media and in Palestinian society, and like all teenagers, they compete over who can be the biggest hero. The terrorists do not think death is the end, but fully believe they will enter paradise, “where they will meet 72 virgins, drink until they’re intoxicated and have lots of sex.”

 

Indeed, in the meetings with prisoners described in the book, some go into great detail about what paradise is like. “All the would-be shaheeds [martyrs] I spoke to described paradise in similar terms,” Berko wrote in the book. “As far as they were concerned, beyond meeting Allah, the prophet Muhammad, and other shaheeds, paradise was a place for the pleasures of the flesh. There were eternal virgins with transparent white skin, and there were no physiological needs. There was food, rivers of honey and alcohol. [One prisoner] added it would be a place where sexually inexperienced adolescents met virgins.”

 

As for what female attackers can hope to get in paradise, it is often as basic as the right to marry for love. One prisoner, who tried but failed to carry out a suicide bombing, told Berko, “In paradise I will be like a queen and sit in my kingdom and marry anyone I want to. I want someone who is handsome [giggling], and Allah will receive me.”

 

Berko says many young Palestinians live in communities with a tremendous amount of social pressure, prohibitions and shame. In paradise, they can experience all the things that are forbidden in real life. “A few years ago I met a 15-year-old boy who had tried to be a suicide bomber. He told me that he is a virgin and had believed his first sexual experience would be in paradise. They hate the West but are dying to live like in the West, in both sense of the word ‘dying.’”

 

Many of the terrorists Berko interviewed did not come from poor families, but did suffer from violence at home. For instance, a woman she interviewed who had tried to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint related: “My brother is twenty-five; he rapes me and doesn’t want me to tell anyone. I’m twenty-three. My father died four years ago. I told my mother and uncle about my brother, and my uncle hit me and said my brother hadn’t raped me. My brother said he hadn’t done anything. I asked them to take me to a doctor. I went to the Palestinian police and a policeman said, ‘I can help you, but your brother is a friend of mine.’ He wanted to have sex with me, and he said, ‘Your brother won’t know.’”

 

Indeed, says Berko, there is a normalization of violence in Palestinian society, with children’s television praising martyrs while Al-Qaeda and Islamic State have upped the ante for brutality among would-be terrorists. “When a kid watches videos and doesn’t shrink from seeing blood or watching a person dying, you understand the effect.”

 

Another reason, Berko believes, this wave of violence is happening now is that “Palestinians see waves of refugees to Europe and they think who will deal with refugees from 70 years ago when there are refugees from a recent war in the Middle East?” Beyond that, says Berko, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is 80 and Hamas is hoping to seize the power vacuum by opening another front with Israel.

 

“I don’t accept the idea that these are lone wolves. This wave of terror is directed from above. The incitement is insane. It’s on TV, satellite broadcasts, in mosques, on the street and in schools, including East Jerusalem, in schools that we actually pay for. It’s so bad that it’s a surprise that not everyone is a terrorist. If you look at the website of the Palestinian Authority, they speak of all of Palestine, pre-1948, not just pre-1967.”

 

As for how to stop the current wave of terrorism, Berko says, “We have to think out of the box, not just do regular things but conduct a more sophisticated war that understands the enemy.” For instance, she says, “we have to make the attack not worthwhile from the point of view of the terrorist and their family, so families start controlling their young people. The family should pay a price. It doesn’t have to be with house demolitions, it can be with other punishments like fines.”                

                                                                       

 

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 THE HAMAS 'LEGACY'

            Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash

                                            Israel Hayom, Dec. 15, 2015

 

Hamas released another propaganda video this week, in honor of the anniversary of the terrorist group's establishment. The video, which is supposed to help popularize the group among Palestinians, is shot in the style of Islamic State videos: Footage of weapons, combat units, terrorist attacks, rockets being launched and the killing and kidnapping of IDF soldiers. This show of force and hatred is, ironically, more proof of the reality with which Israel deals. A terrorist organization that systematically built for itself a terrorist state over the course of several years.

 

Terrorism is no longer a faraway reality for Americans and Europeans, who sit comfortably and securely watching the chaos on a screen as it takes place way off in Asia or Africa. And Hamas is not a terrorist organization that, once in a while, carries out attacks in the West, rather it is one that shares a border with us and carries out attacks against us over and over again. If not for geographic limitations, it would have attacked around the world, just like the Islamic State group.

 

Hamas declared that it has carried out more than 80 suicide attacks against Israel and fired more than 15,000 rockets its way. All of this with the explicit intent to murder as many Israeli civilians as possible. Summer after summer, year after year, and notably so since Israel ended its "occupation" of Gaza. And there is no international coalition calling to eradicate Hamas. Even its classification as a terrorist organization is not iron-clad among European Union institutions. Israeli airstrikes and responses are framed as "war crimes." Above all, we are subject to repeated calls to hold negotiations with Hamas. At the same time, the disengagement from Gaza led world leaders to pressure Israel to do the same in Judea and Samaria — which will cause irreversible damage that could end not only with another Hamas regime, but even with Islamic State members on the outskirts of the Jordan Valley.

 

Moreover, even as frustration builds due to growing global hypocrisy — or, perhaps, ignorance — we cannot forget that this monster conquered Gaza via democratic elections, which were forced on Israel by the United States after the disengagement. The latter insisted upon "free" and democratic elections in Gaza, despite the warnings from Israeli officials and even from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' emissaries. They were deluded in their belief that it was possible to tame the terrorists. If only we gave them a population, a state and bureaucracy, they would become moderates. And more than anything, "they will have something to lose." This lesson was certainly not learned by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

 

With 10 years of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, there is no civilian side to the story. It is a militant organization that does nothing for its citizens — no schools, no universities, no employment and no health care. Each of these services has suffered dramatically since the disengagement. Hamas is prepared to lose everything as long it can continue with terrorism. So when countries around the world voice anger over the blockade on Gaza and call for the Palestinians to be freed from the occupation, we must remind them that the only occupation Gazans are under is that of the Hamas terrorists that they voted into power.

 

On Topic

 

'Jerusalem Ramming Terrorist was a Hamas Member': Israel Hayom, Dec. 15, 2015—Hamas claimed on Tuesday that a terrorist who rammed his car and ran over a crowd of Israelis at a bus station in Jerusalem on Monday was an active member of their organization.

On its Anniversary, Hamas Vows to 'Keep its Weapon Directed at the Israeli Occupation Only': Coral Braun, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 15, 2015 —On Monday, tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to march in celebration of Hamas' 28th anniversary, chanting slogans of support and waving their hands in the air with green-washed-banners and Palestinian flags.

Hamas and the Islamic State: Growing Cooperation in the Sinai: Ehud Yaari, Washington Institute, Dec. 15, 2015 —In recent months, Hamas has been increasing its clandestine military cooperation with the Islamic State's so-called "Sinai Province." This cooperation culminated in a prolonged secret visit to Gaza this month by IS Sinai's military chief Shadi al-Menai, who held talks with his counterparts in Hamas's military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (IDQB). Menai has been at the top of Egypt's most wanted list since an attempt to kill him failed in May 2014.

The Facebook Intifada: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 6, 2015—Riding on a Jerusalem bus one day in mid-October, Richard Lakin, a 76-year-old American-born Israeli, was attacked by Palestinian terrorists. They shot him and stabbed him many times. He was a victim of the scattered, almost random violence that now afflicts Israel. His death was also one of the first fatalities that could be clearly connected to social media, which has become a 21st-century tool used for fomenting anarchy and insurrection.

 

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

AN ANTI-ZIONIST ACADEMIC, WWII HEROES & SCANDALS, AND A REVIEW OF THE ALEPPO CODEX

Steven Salaita's 'Honorable' Anti-Semitism: Asaf Romirowsky, Middle East Forum, Nov. 14, 2015 — Steven Salaita, whose anti-Zionist/Semitic tweets and uncivil rants cost him a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), used a recent appearance in Philadelphia to portray himself as a victim of the Zionist lobby.

105-Year-Old WWII Hero Honored at KKL Italy Event in Rome: Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2015 — On November 29th, 2015, KKL Italy held a special event attended by 250 members of the Rome Jewish community, including community leader Emanuel Segre Amar.

‘HMT Dunera,’ the Scandal and the Salvation: Stephen Gabriel Rosenberg, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2015— On Hanukka in December 1940, the Australian public was finally told the whole awful story of the HMT Dunera, the British troopship (HMT stands for Hired Military Transport) in which several hundred enemy aliens, mainly German Jewish refugees, had been deported to their country from Great Britain.

The Aleppo Codex in Israel: Perry J. Greenbaum, Book Review, Dec. 7, 2015— The Aleppo Codex, known as the keter (כֶּתֶר) or crown in Hebrew, is considered by scholars to be as accurate a copy of the Hebrew Bible as there can be…

 

On Topic Links

 

The Oldest Video Footage of Jerusalem You Will Ever See: Israel Video Network, Dec. 12, 2015

Amazon Under Fire for Allowing Sale of Nazi Paraphernalia: Rosa Marchitelli, CBC, Dec. 14, 2015

AJC Critical of New Vatican Document on Catholic-Jewish Relations: Jewish Press, Dec. 10, 2015

Pope Francis, ‘Suffering Fuels Terror’? Look at the Jews: Gheula Canarutto Nemni, Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2015  

 

 

 

STEVEN SALAITA'S 'HONORABLE' ANTI-SEMITISM                                                                  

Asaf Romirowsky

           Middle East Forum, Nov. 14, 2015

 

Steven Salaita, whose anti-Zionist/Semitic tweets and uncivil rants cost him a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), used a recent appearance in Philadelphia to portray himself as a victim of the Zionist lobby. The lecture was co-sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace, which the Anti-Defamation League calls "the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group" in the U.S.

 

An audience of about forty attended the rambling lecture at the Wooden Shoe, a dingy, dirty anarchist bookstore that sported pro-Boycott/Divestment/Sanction (BDS) and other far left propaganda, including a poster of the brutal Marxist killer Che Guevara. Salaita's claim to fame rests on UIUC's 2014 decision not to install him as a professor of Native American studies. He and UIUC announced a settlement on November 12 that awards him $600,000 and legal costs; he will not seek or accept employment at the university.

 

Despite his ostensible field of specialty, the bulk of Salaita's work consists of attacks on Israel, often under the guise of comparative history. It will surprise no one familiar with Salaita's ideas that his most cited work, The Holy Land in Transit, which offers a "comparative analysis" of Native Americans and Palestinians, portrays American colonists, ancient Hebrews, and modern Israelis as brutal colonial settlers who engaged in genocide.

 

Now ensconced as the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut (AUB) for the 2015/16 academic year, Salaita told his Philadelphia fans that he is someone "who just got fired" because academe is not really about "true" academic freedom. Were this not the case, he could not have fallen prey to the "Zionist lobby." He proceeded to mock and mispronounce the names of pro-Israel philanthropists Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson. To great applause, he described as "kickassery" the efforts of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Faculty for Palestine, and other pro-BDS groups who publicly defended him and lauded Jewish Voice for Peace for their PR work on his behalf.

 

Settling into what is clearly a well-worn routine, Salaita claimed that while he won't be the last victim of the lobby, because "the Zionists have lost the argument in the public sphere – it's done," he and his groupies can win the hearts and minds of the American public. He said that his case represented the point at which all oppressed groups could unite and proclaim, "F— this! We have been put down long enough and we are not going to be afraid to utter the words Palestine."

 

Moreover, he asserted that "academic Freedom never fulfilled its inherent promise" because it doesn't allow for individuals like himself to express their views. Institutions pressured by Zionists are criminalizing his views, which he claims—against all evidence—are "scholarly" and "objective."

 

The enthusiastic audience hung on every hackneyed cliché Salaita fed them, especially his repeated attacks against Zionists, whose actions he deemed so indefensible that they must resort to the purely defensive tactic of deflection. He added, mendaciously and mockingly, "You will never find a group of people who love China and Tibet more than the Zionists." He is obsessed with Jews, and his phraseology revolves around "Zionists" as connoting an anti-Semitic trope and not merely Israel, whose legality as a nation state he persistently downplays and questions.

 

Salaita's alleged martyrdom is the subject of his newest book, Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom. Yet his repeated insistence that academic freedom does not apply to "pro-Palestinian" voices is simply absurd. Both overt hostility to Israel and anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism have for years dominated the field of Middle East studies, a fact illustrated by the standing ovation Salaita received at the 2014 annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), which also voted to affirm the right of individuals and organizations—including MESA—to support BDS resolutions.

 

Salaita's meteoric rise as a left-wing cause célèbre rests precisely on his vitriolic views, grounded as they are in anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering rather than rigorous, objective scholarship. No one has a "right" to tenure, nor to freedom from the consequences of his behavior. When professors who substitute agitprop and rank propaganda for scholarship are seen for the charlatans they are rather than the principled victims they pretend to be, academe can start down the long road to reclaiming its integrity.

 

Asaf Romirowsky is a CIJR Academic Fellow

           

                                                                       

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                                           105-YEAR-OLD WWII HERO HONORED AT KKL ITALY EVENT IN ROME

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2015

 

On November 29th, 2015, KKL Italy held a special event attended by 250 members of the Rome Jewish community, including community leader Emanuel Segre Amar. The guest of honor was Georges Loinger, a French Jew who has attained the remarkable age of 105 and who kept his listeners riveted with the tale of his extraordinary life.  Georges Loinger's life history is bound up with the story of the establishment of the State of Israel.

 

Mr. Loinger was born in Strasbourg in 1910. During the Second World War he was captured by the Nazis, but managed to make his escape and return to France, where he joined the French Resistance movement. Working together with his cousin, the renowned pantomime artist Marcel Marceau, he saved around one thousand Jewish children from the Nazis.

 

After the war he was recruited by the Mossad for Aliya Bet operations (clandestine immigration into Mandatory Palestine in defiance of the British White Paper restricting Jewish immigration) and was involved in the operation of the Exodus. Later Ben Gurion appointed him to be the first director of Zim Shipping Lines in France, a position he retained until his retirement.

 

President of KKL-JNF Italy Rafi Sasson opened the event by welcoming Georges Loinger and the other guests, and drew their attention to the fact that this particular date (November 29th) had been chosen especially to mark the 68th anniversary of the UN resolution for the founding of a Jewish state.

 

Those present listened attentively to the fascinating and moving story that Georges Loinger had to tell. He also spoke of the current situation in Europe – and in France especially – and remarked optimistically that after everything he had seen throughout his long life, he was not unduly concerned by the latest wave of terrorism, as he was sure that this, too, would pass. When asked the secret of his perpetual youthfulness, he explained that he spends forty-five minutes every day performing special exercises that engage all his muscles. The event was attended by Gal Shaham, CEO of Zim Italy, who congratulated Georges and presented him with a gift on behalf of the company’s board of directors.

 

The day after this memorable event the staff of KKL Italy accompanied Georges Loinger on a visit to the Jewish school in Rome, together with his youngest son, Daniel Loinger, who is himself eighty-five years old. Georges spoke to fifty senior students at the school who were thrilled with this remarkable opportunity to hear him recount his experiences first hand. The youngsters posed a great many questions, to which Georges responded very patiently.

 

                                                                       

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‘HMT DUNERA,’ THE SCANDAL AND THE SALVATION                                                    

Stephen Gabriel Rosenberg

           Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2015

 

On Hanukka in December 1940, the Australian public was finally told the whole awful story of the HMT Dunera, the British troopship (HMT stands for Hired Military Transport) in which several hundred enemy aliens, mainly German Jewish refugees, had been deported to their country from Great Britain.

 

England in 1940 was in the grip of a great panic over the possibility of an invasion by Nazi Germany, whose troops were just across the English Channel, only 35 km. from Dover. In England, European and German foreigners were all seen by Britain as potential spies and agents provocateurs, who would join with the enemy if and when the Nazis invaded. As a result the British government ordered all adult German subjects to be rounded up and interned, even though the majority were German Jewish refugees who had recently escaped from Nazi Germany and who were implacable enemies of the Nazis.

 

The majority were sent to the Isle of Man, offshore from the mainland to the west of Liverpool, where they could do little harm, but heavy suspicion fell on those men of military age, from 18 to 65, who were seen as highly dangerous. They were sent further afield, all the way to Australia; in its nervous panic Great Britain thought them to be a real threat. It was thought that if they stayed in England they might form a fifth column if and when the Germans invaded. In its panic, the British government had even ordered the removal or obliteration of all direction signs and placenames that might have helped any German invaders.

 

Those deported to Australia had to be kept under surveillance for the journey, and the British navy was able to supply a suitable troopship, the HMS Dunera. It was a secure military vessel and had originally been designed and equipped for 1,600 troops, but now was to be filled with 2,542 refugees, besides the crew and the army warders, so everyone was cramped and hugely uncomfortable. Of the internees, over 70 percent were Jewish refugees who had managed to escape from the Nazis and had come to England via Holland and Belgium well before the outbreak of the war.

 

On board the ship, the internees were all very badly treated by their British army warders, who were under the command of Lieutenant John O’Neill, who did nothing to reduce the brutality of his men. They had all been led to consider the internees to be Nazi spies and, as the army warders searched them, they stole their watches and rings, any loose money, change and notes, as well as other valuables and precious items. They also searched and looted their personal luggage, and threw much of it overboard, to the consternation of the internees who were left with hardly anything except the dirty and skimpy clothes they were standing in.

 

Later, when the internees had been imprisoned in Australia, they were able to normalize their lives to some extent and they published a weekly magazine, which often contained their favorite song, one that they had sung regularly on board the ship, to a tune they had learned from their British warders: “My luggage went into the ocean, My luggage went into the sea, My luggage was thrown in the ocean, Oh, bring back my luggage to me!” When the internees arrived in Australia, the government kept their arrival secret and immediately sent them all off to a prison camp at Hay, a place in New South Wales. It was 750 km. west of Sydney in a treeless and arid grazing area that was both hot, rainless and above all, completely inhospitable. The internees suffered from the horrible climate and the abundance of stinging flies that had suddenly found new bodies to feed on. The internees had little or no opportunity to escape and anyway there was nothing nearby to escape to. Like the British, the Australians also considered the internees to be potential dangerous enemies.

 

They kept them imprisoned under harsh conditions, and at first kept their internment and location a secret from the public, for fear of causing alarm and panic. The internees gradually made a somewhat civilized life for themselves, organized talks, lectures and seminars; many were scholars and professors, and they applied from time to time to be allowed to emigrate to the United States and other more friendly countries. This was not unwelcome to the Australians, who were keen to reduce their numbers, and many internees eventually found their way to countries in South America, countries that were not unwilling to take them. Many who went were in the end able to apply from there for a visa to the US, the “Goldene Medina” that most of them saw as the true land of promise and the one to which they wished to emigrate.

 

The refugees retained unpleasant memories of their original deportation by troopship to Australia, on which they had been scandalously treated by the British army warders – but there was one positive and amazing thing to be thankful for, of which they only became aware much later.

 

The Dunera had been followed by a Nazi submarine, of which the crew were not aware. The U-boat was eager and ready to torpedo what it thought was a warship carrying many British soldiers. But the U-boat crew soon became aware of the considerable amount of debris that had been thrown off the boat by the warders, and picked up some of it to inspect it.

 

When they saw that it contained much in the way of German letters and literature, they concluded that the military boat was not carrying troops to Australia but rather German POWs, and the U-boat commander decided to spare the ship. Thus the boat, the lives of its crew, the warders and the internees were all saved thanks to the harsh and scandalous treatment that had been meted out to the internees by the British army warders.

                                                           

Contents

                                   

   

THE ALEPPO CODEX IN ISRAEL                                                                  

Perry J. Greenbaum

                                 Book Review, Dec. 7, 2015

 

Book Review: The Aleppo Codex, by Matti Friedman (Algonquin Books, 2013)

 

The Aleppo Codex, known as the keter (כֶּתֶר) or crown in Hebrew, is considered by scholars to be as accurate a copy of the Hebrew Bible as there can be, a bound book of approximately 500 pages that dates to the tenth century, and which was safely and securely housed in Aleppo, Syria, for six centuries before being transferred to Israel in late 1957. Tradition and modern scholarship says that Maimonides studied and used the codex in the 12th century to publish the Mishneh Torah (Hebrew: מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה), a code of Jewish religious law. His praise of it forever established its reputation and made it more valuable and venerable.

 

It is housed in the Israel Museum (at the “Shrine of the Book”), in Jerusalem, but access to it is controlled by the Ben-Zvi Institute, founded by Israel’s second president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. He is an important figure in this story, as are a few others, including Asher Baghdadi, sexton of the great synagogue at Aleppo; Moshe Tawil, the chief rabbi of Aleppo who decided to send the codex to Israel; Murad Faham, the Aleppo cheese merchant who smuggled the codex to Israel; Shlomo Moussaieff, a jewelry tycoon and buyer of ancient artifacts and manuscripts; and Meir Benayahu, an aide to Ben-Zvi and the institute's first director.

 

Two months after its arrival in Israel, in February 1958, the codex was at the centre of legal proceedings, where the Aleppo Jews sued the government of Israel for the rights of ownership; the court was the Jerusalem Rabbinic Court. Matti Friedman writes: “The hearings were held before three rabbis, instead of judges, but otherwise followed the recognizable formula of a trial” (116). After a long trial, the Aleppo Jews had to concede defeat and there was, in 1962, “an out-of court settlement” (137). The trusteeship agreement, Friedman writes, “gave the community theoretical part ownership of the manuscript, while effectively ensuring that it would remain in the hands of the state and would never leave Ben-Zvi’s institute” (137-8).

 

With this agreement, the Aleppo Jews lost control of a book that they had held for centuries, but did so unwillingly. How and why this book was transferred to Israel has everything to do with events that happened shortly after November 29, 1947, when the United Nations made a historic vote. Friedman explains the story in a succinct paragraph in an article (“The Continuing Mysteries of the Aleppo Codex;” June 30, 2014) for Tablet:

 

    In 1947, in a riot that followed the United Nations vote on the partition of Palestine, the codex disappeared, surfacing 10 years later in mysterious circumstances in the new state of Israel. The codex is currently held in the Israel Museum, in the same building as the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is controlled not by the museum, however, but by a prestigious academic body, the Ben-Zvi Institute, founded by Israel’s second president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. Somewhere along the way in the mid-20th century, 200 priceless pages—around 40 percent of the total—went missing. These include the most important pages: the Torah, or Five Books of Moses.

 

These form the heart of the Torah, the Hebrew Bible. What remains of the original codex is what Friedman refers to as a “mutilated codex” (143). It begins with the impending death of Moses found in the Torah’s last book, Deuteronomy, and where Moses, forbidden by G-d to enter the land, gives a farewell address to the People of Israel, which includes both blessings and curses (chapter 28). The mutilated codex does not contain the blessings, but gives warnings of what will happen to the nation of Israel should it deviate from the right path (“derech”) of G-d’s commandments:

 

    It continues with a list of curses:

 

        Cursed shall be the issue of your womb and the produce of your soil, the calving of your herd and the lambing of your flock. Cursed shall be in your comings, and cursed shall you be in your goings.

 

        The Lord will let loose against your calamity, panic and frustration in all the enterprises you undertake, so that you shall soon be utterly wiped out because of your evildoing in forsaking me.

 

One can read into this as much (or as little) as one wishes, but it is hard to deny the power of the words and how these relate to what happened to the codex. That these words are now the first words of the mutilated codex says much, perhaps too much.

 

The Aleppo Codex is part a story of historical preservation and continuity, interwoven with the re-birthing of the state of Israel; it is also a moral lesson of greed and monetary remuneration and how the two can come together when something of great value is placed in front of you. It is also a fine detective story on what might have happened to the 200 missing pages. There are possible answers, evidence pointing in a particular direction (270-71), but nothing proven, nothing conclusive. Powerful and influential political and religious figures have built a wall of silence, thus preventing the facts from leaking out (266-70) .

 

Today, there are two versions of the event (“the missing 200 pages“): the first and official version (posted on the Israel Museum site) is that the 200 pages were burned during the Aleppo riots in 1947 and that the codex was delivered to the Israeli government incomplete; the second version, which the author suggests is the more likely story, is that the book was delivered intact, except for a few pages, and that the missing pages were in fact later sold to a dealer or to many dealers who seek to buy such ancient artifacts and manuscripts. The book is as much about the murky (and sometimes deadly) world of the buying and selling of ancient artifacts as it is about the ethical ideas of why the public ownership of such documents is sacred.

 

Faith and obsession, words that can be used to describe religious feelings, can also be used to describe non-religious feelings, or secular emotion, as well. These are human emotions, human values. To possess something rare, which no one else has, is something that some people not only feel is important and necessary, but is something that they receive some pleasure in doing. Even if in the doing it is not particularly ethical or, broadly speaking, not in the public interest. In such cases, it is not too far-fetched to talk about a breach of public trust.

 

Such thoughts or ideas do not seem to take much prominence—if at all—in the minds and consciousness of such individuals when such decisions are made. The Aleppo Codex contains an inscription, Friedman writes (9), saying:

 

    Blessed be he who preserves it

    and cursed be he who steals it

    and cursed be he who sells it

    and cursed be he who pawns it.

    It might not be sold and it may not be defiled forever,

 

Until recently, this admonition was taken seriously.

 

 

CIJR Wishes all our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

 

On Topic

 

The Oldest Video Footage of Jerusalem You Will Ever See: Israel Video Network, Dec. 12, 2015—This video is a segment of the full 70 minute documentary “Jewish Life in Palestine”, filmed by Noah Sokolovsky of the East Odessa Company in 1913 to be shown at the 11th Zionist Congress.

Amazon Under Fire for Allowing Sale of Nazi Paraphernalia: Rosa Marchitelli, CBC, Dec. 14, 2015 — Nazi flags, Hitler Youth knives, and running shoes with swastikas on them are just some of the items for sale on Amazon's U.S. and Canadian websites that have a long-time customer calling for a boycott of North America's largest online retailer.

AJC Critical of New Vatican Document on Catholic-Jewish Relations: Jewish Press, Dec. 10, 2015 —Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs, was disappointed at the Vatican’s failure to recognize the value of the Land of Israel to the Jews, even as it was attempting to heal very old wounds between the two religions.

Pope Francis, ‘Suffering Fuels Terror’? Look at the Jews: Gheula Canarutto Nemni, Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2015 —Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs, was disappointed at the Vatican’s failure to recognize the value of the Land of Israel to the Jews, even as it was attempting to heal very old wounds between the two religions.

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

THE TROUBLE WITH TEHRAN: IRAN, EMBOLDENED BY NUCLEAR “DEAL,” CONTINUES DRIVE FOR REGIONAL HEGEMONY

Israeli Defense Minister: Don't Be Fooled by Iran's 'Charm Offensive': Moshe Ya'alon, Defense News, Dec. 13, 2015 — Sixty-seven years have passed since the founding of the State of Israel, 67 years of continuous security and diplomatic challenges stemming from a vehement opposition to our very existence by our neighboring Arab states and their supporting organizations.

What About Iran's "JCPOA"?: Lawrence A. Franklin, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 15, 2015— Iran is cheating already — or is it? What is Iran Up To?: Robert Swift, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2015 — It sounds like a Persian fairy tale in which a Janus-like leader smiles and glowers at once, depending on the angle of viewing.

Obama's Middle East Delusions: Efraim Karsh, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2016, 2015— As the only person to have won the Nobel Peace Prize on the basis of sheer hope rather than actual achievement, Barack Hussein Obama could be expected to do everything within his power to vindicate this unprecedented show of trust.

 

On Topic Links

 

UN Watchdog Closes Probe into Iran Nukes, Drawing Israeli Ire: Times of Israel, Dec. 15, 2015

What it Means for Iran to be Welcomed Back into the International Community: Andrew Hammond, National Post, Dec. 7, 2015

Iran Taking Over Latin America: Joseph Humire, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2015

The Mideast War on Media: Kevin Sullivan, Real Clear World, Dec. 8, 2015  

 

 

ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER:

                     DON'T BE FOOLED BY IRAN'S 'CHARM OFFENSIVE'                                                                  

                     Moshe Ya'alon    

                                Defense News, Dec. 13, 2015

 

Sixty-seven years have passed since the founding of the State of Israel, 67 years of continuous security and diplomatic challenges stemming from a vehement opposition to our very existence by our neighboring Arab states and their supporting organizations. In the past, the flagbearers of this opposition fueled the conflict with nationalistic pan-Arab ideology (Nasserism, Ba'athism, pan-Arabism). Their use of conventional armed forces to attack Israel was defeated time and again, as the Israel Defense Forces increasingly gained a substantial military advantage based on advanced technology and professional abilities. This, in turn, led the Arabs to focus on achieving non-conventional capabilities — challenging Israel with rockets, missiles, guerilla warfare and terror.

 

As the star of pan-Arabism/Arab nationalism faded, radical Islam (both Shia and Sunni) rose in its place. This new ideology is driving the current wave of terror that aims to harm Israel and its citizens, in various ways — within Israel, along its borders and across seas. This wave of terror, be it sponsored by Palestinian Islamic organizations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad or sponsored by regional/international radical forces like Hezbollah and Global Jihad (Daesh and al-Qaida), has turned Israel into the front line of the free world in the battle against this murderous terror that aims to kill as many infidels as possible — which is how they view citizens of democratic, free countries.

 

The battle against radical Islamic terror will be the greatest challenge facing the family of nations, under the leadership of the United States, in the coming years. Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East, is an inseparable part of this family of nations and will push for greater cooperation, in both intelligence and operational capacities, among the free world's countries. If the terrorists and their operators will not be stopped at their points of origin, where they are indoctrinated with murderous ideology and receive vigorous training, they will reach the capitals of every nation in the free world where they will brutally murder citizens, exporting their reign of terror. This is what happened in Paris and what can easily happen in other global cities…

 

This is a war over our core values and our way of life. This is a war of cultures. On one side is a culture that values death and destruction and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children — a culture that conducts cruel suppression of ancient Christian communities, stages public hangings of homosexuals and holds a complete disregard for women's basic rights. On the opposing side, there is our culture — that of the Western world that places highest value on freedom and equality for all, regardless of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation.

 

The driving force behind this opposing, evil culture is Iran. To clarify, the nuclear agreement signed with Iran will not reduce the threat of this regime on the entire free world. On the contrary. The merciless Iranian regime, who typifies Israel as the "Little Satan" and threatens to obliterate it from the map, holds equal discontent toward the United States, termed the "Great Satan." As Iran gains power in the post-agreement era, Israel is faced with an additional substantial challenge.

 

Iran is the chief instigator of terror and instability in the Middle East, employing Hezbollah, the Quds Forces of the Revolutionary Guards and its support of a variety of terror organizations to this end. However, one would be mistaken to think this is the extent of Iran's evil aspirations and activities. Currently, Iran operates dormant and active terror cells throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Far East. Its proxies are busy planning vicious attacks, collecting intelligence on Western targets and stockpiling arms in various hideaways scattered throughout global capitals.

 

The agreement with Iran and the lifting of sanctions enable Iran to continue to sponsor, train, arm and operate terror organizations in the Middle East and across the world. Thanks to this agreement, Iran is able to do so without the heavy weight of the sanctions — while it continues to aspire toward nuclear capabilities, even if they remain 10 to 15 years in the future. This is a huge danger to the Western world and an immediate challenge during the coming year. It is essential to say, in the most clear-cut manner, that Iran is completely and utterly on the dark side. Not only that, but they sit at the helm of the forces of evil. We should not be fooled by their deceitful charm offensive. Iran remains a huge threat on the Western world and the security of its citizens.

 

The coming year, especially, and the years to follow, are crucial for Israel and the Israel Defense Forces. We continue to build and strengthen our defenses while keeping an open eye on the dramatic changes transpiring throughout the Middle East. The IDF in the coming years will be a very different force, compared with that of 20, 30 and 40 years ago. It will be, and I may say it already is, a force that combines tremendous firepower coupled with the ability to mobilize and operate elite forces on land, in the air, at sea, and even underground. The IDF also employs super advanced war machinery that can suddenly strike at any point in the Middle East, supported by highly sophisticated cyber and intelligence capabilities.

 

Our closest ally and greatest friend, the United States, is providing essential support — both quantitatively and qualitatively — to this reshaping of the IDF. The unusually close relationship between the defense establishments, militaries and intelligence corps of the United States and Israel serve as the cornerstone of our national security.                                            

 

Contents

  

WHAT ABOUT IRAN'S "JCPOA"?                                                                 

Lawrence A. Franklin

                                Gatestone Institute, Dec. 15, 2015

 

Iran is cheating already — or is it? Iran has not signed anything, so presumably it cannot be cheating on something it never agreed to – as predicted on these pages half a year ago. The self-appointed P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), elected by no one but themselves, should be embarrassed to find that they have made a deal with no one but themselves. The lavishly touted and lavishly dangerous "Iran Deal" not only paves the way for Iran to have nuclear weapons, as it was planning, anyway; it also rewards Iran's repeated violations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty — which it did sign — with up to $150 billion. With a punishment like that, we should all start violating commitments.

 

Iran's recent missile tests have been undermining the rationale of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the P5+1 signed with itself. If Iran is concerned that its missile tests might have violated multiple UN Resolutions, a paltry detail such as that clearly has not bothered anyone before, so why should it bother anyone now? The media's emphasis on the JCPOA has sadly neglected any in-depth coverage of Iran's own comprehensive plan of action, which seems to consist of developing nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and related systems to deliver them.

 

While Western diplomats were congratulating themselves on their JCPOA arrangement, Iran sent a "slap-in-the-face" signal to the Free World by launching an Emad ["Pillar"] ballistic missile on October 10. On December 8, State Department spokesperson John Kirby indirectly acknowledged the launch of a second ballistic missile, fired on November 21. Kirby was quick to point out that test was not a violation of the JCPOA.

 

The launches are violations, however, of UN Security Council Resolution #2231, which bans ballistic missile tests by Iran. Although these tests do not defy the letter of the JCPOA, they do defy the spirit of it. Even though the initial missile test was denounced by the U.S. and allied UN representatives, no action has so far been taken against Iran. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, did condemn the October test and probably will also condemn the second test. But if this is outrage, that may be the extent of it.

 

What seems clear is that Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), which controls the ballistic missile program, is attempting to goad the West into additional punitive action against the Islamic Republic. Such response would serve to strengthen the hardline opposition to the JCPOA in Iran. Further, if the United States does nothing but issue condemnatory rhetoric, it will be interpreted by the regime as additional confirmation that the U.S. desires a nuclear agreement at virtually any cost.

 

The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), after its investigation into the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of Iran's past nuclear weapons development activities, was forced, thanks to Tehran's lack of cooperation and transparency to deliver an inconclusive initial report on December 2 The Iranian regime's officials, such as Deputy Foreign Minister Sayed Abbas Araghchi, have demanded the immediate lifting of the 12 UN Resolutions against Iran when the IAEA Board of Governors votes on the final PMD report on December 15.

 

The IAEA cannot therefore confirm with certainty that Iran does not already possess a nuclear bomb, or whether or not Tehran is presumably still pursuing one. The IAEA Board of Governors is, nevertheless, not expected to challenge Tehran's assertion that it ceased any such activities more than a decade ago.

 

Iran currently has several types of ballistic missiles in varying stages of development. The range of these missiles extends from the regional to the intercontinental — with a version of one missile capable of reaching the continental United States. The most touted operational system is the Shahab ("Meteor") program, with several follow-on versions. The Shahab system has benefited by seemingly close cooperation with North Korea's ballistic missile program, Russian nuclear weapons engineers who were unemployed after the Soviet Union imploded, and China's direct and indirect technical assistance.

 

The principal threat to regional states, particularly to Israel, is that one does not know what one does not know — in this instance, the stage of Iran's nuclear weapons programs. Action by the U.S. Congress to inquire why the public disclosure of Iranian ballistic missile tests is being disseminated in dribs and drabs is long overdue, especially as America's technical intelligence collection methods provide immediate and certain knowledge of such tests.

 

Although the U.S. also cannot be certain of Iran's intentions, it would be advisable to assume that Iran means what it says: "Death to America" and "Death to Israel." If one assumes that these statements, made by a regime that stones women to death, are not mere propaganda, but ideological commitments, the time to demonstrate the Free World's resolve by way of strategic military exercises on Iran's borders is long overdue.                                                           

 

Contents                       

                      WHAT IS IRAN UP TO?

Robert Swift

                     Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2015

 

It sounds like a Persian fairy tale in which a Janus-like leader smiles and glowers at once, depending on the angle of viewing. This is the world inhabited by Iran observers since the signing of The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14, 2015. The deal, signed between Iran and six world powers, exists to prevent Iran from obtaining weapons-grade nuclear material at least for the next 15 years On the one hand, Iranian leaders are smiling on the America that facilitated the agreement, whereby the West has lifted crippling economic sanctions that paralyzed the economy of the Islamic Republic.

 

On the other hand, Iranian leaders are engaged in vituperative ad hominem attacks against the United Sates and have intensified their efforts at a cyber war against Washington institutions. Tehran always shows two sides, affirms Ali Ansari, a professor of Iranian Studies at St. Andrews University in Scotland. One side: President Rouhani’s moderate approach, where the country appears open to negotiations. The other side: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s “more contentious” rhetoric.

 

The question is, he added, “Which one is the real face?” Late last month, Khamenei took to Iranian national television to accuse the United States—“the enemy”—of “setting up a network within a nation and inside a country mainly through the two means: money and sexual attractions, to change ideals, beliefs and consequently the lifestyle.” This was, he expounded, in comments subsequently posted on his website, the manner in which the US was influencing hearts and minds in Iraq, and thus fueling the Islamic State (ISIS.)

 

Also last month, the Obama administration announced that it was the target of a concerted cyberattack launched by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran, and that email and social-media accounts of senior officials had been hacked. The emails and social media accounts of employees of the US Office of Iranian Affairs and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs were compromised, and, according to a White House source speaking with The Wall Street Journal, journalists and academics were also among those targeted.

 

The IRGC has engaged in cyberwarfare against US agencies before, but the frequency has increased significantly since the arrest of Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi in late October, and the confiscation of his computer. The power struggle between Rouhani, Iran’s elected president, and Khamenei, the Supreme Leader elected and supervised by the Assembly of Experts, has intensified since the adoption of the nuclear deal, resulting, some observers say, in a crackdown against pro-Western writers.

 

The JCPOA also seems to have emboldened Iran to act on the international stage. Yoel Guzansky, a research fellow with the Institute for National Security Studies, told The Media Line that agreement has bolstered Iran’s non-nuclear foreign policy agenda in the Middle East, without regard for American interests. “The agreement gave Iran more confidence,” he said, while at the same time “feeling less vulnerable, more immune to criticism.”

 

“On the opposite side, the West is less capable of criticizing Iran on its behavior because Iran is seen to be reaching for the nuclear agreement.” The JCPOA obliges Iran to reduce its stockpiles of nuclear material and the number of functional centrifuges it possesses. These represent the basic building blocks of the nuclear program Iran always claimed had a solely civilian purpose, which the West believed was aimed at paving the path towards nuclear weapons. In exchange for the curtailment of this plan, the governments negotiating on behalf of the West – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany, known as the P5+1 nations – lifted economic sanctions.

 

Analysts as august as the former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, believe Iran’s proxy actors in the region will benefit from increased cash flow in the months following adoption of the JCPOA. In his last visit to Israel before retiring three months ago, Dempsey said he anticipated the Iranians would, “invest in their surrogates; I think they will invest in additional military capability.” Speaking to Israeli government officials, who vehemently opposed the adoption of the pact, Dempsey added it was his expectation that, “sanctions relief, which results in more economic power and more purchasing power for the Iranian regime… it's not all going to flow into the economy to improve the lot of the average Iranian citizen.”

 

While not brazenly attacking US interests in the chaotic Syrian war theater, Iran’s policy is undermining American positions. “The fact that Shi’ite militias, Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran are attacking the moderate opposition forces, and less ISIS, this is direct interference with US interests,” Yoel Guzansky pointed out. While JCPOA were ongoing, National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers told a House Intelligence Committee hearing in September, the number of Iranian cyber-attacks against the US fell. As of November, however, there has been a surge of attacks, including direct attacks on the State Department website via social media platforms. “One of the pluses with this tactic is the possibility of denial – Iran doesn’t have to dirty its hands,” Guzansky said.

 

Contents

                                       

 

 OBAMA'S MIDDLE EAST DELUSIONS                                                                  

 Efraim Karsh

                                 Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2016

 

As the only person to have won the Nobel Peace Prize on the basis of sheer hope rather than actual achievement, Barack Hussein Obama could be expected to do everything within his power to vindicate this unprecedented show of trust. Instead he has presided over a clueless foreign policy that has not only exacerbated ongoing regional conflicts but made the world a far more dangerous place. Nowhere has this phenomenon been more starkly demonstrated than in the Middle East where the Nobel laureate has abetted Tehran's drive for regional hegemony and brought the regime within a stone's throw of nuclear weapons; driven Iraq and Libya to the verge of disintegration; expedited the surge of Islamist terrorism; exacerbated the Syrian civil war and its attendant refugee problem; made the intractable Palestinian-Israeli conflict almost irresolvable; and plunged Washington's regional influence and prestige to unprecedented depths, paving the road in grand style to Russia's resurgence.

 

Consider Tehran's quest for nuclear weapons, perhaps the foremost threat to Middle Eastern stability, if not to world peace, in the foreseeable future. In a sharp break from the Bush administration's attempts to coerce the mullahs to desist from this relentless drive, which culminated in five U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing a string of escalating economic sanctions, Obama opted for the road of "engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect" with the presumptuous aim of mending the 30-year-long U.S.-Iranian breach and reintegrating the Islamist regime in Tehran into the international system…

 

In his first major presidential interview, given to the al-Arabiya TV network a week after inauguration, Obama promised that if the mullahs agreed "to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us." Two months later, in a videotaped greeting on the occasion of the Iranian new year, he reassured them of his commitment "to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us," claiming that reciprocating this "new beginning" would win Tehran substantial international gains and "demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization." He amplified this claim in his celebrated June 2009 Cairo address to the Muslim world going out of his way to empathize with Iran's supposed nuclear sensibilities.

 

Rather than win him the mullahs' goodwill and admiration, Obama's appeasing demeanor cast him as weak and indecisive, and this image was further reinforced by his knee jerk response to their brutal suppression of popular protest over the rigging of the June 2009 Iranian presidential elections. That the U.S. president—who had made a point in his inaugural address to dismiss "those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent" as being "on the wrong side of history" and who lectured Muslim regimes throughout the world of the need to rule "through consent, not coercion"—remained conspicuously aloof in the face of the flagrant violation of these very principles did not pass unnoticed. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded Washington's apology for its supposed meddling in the elections while Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i, ridiculed Obama for privately courting Tehran while censuring it in public. "The U.S. president said that we were waiting for the day when people would take to the streets," he stated in a Friday sermon. "At the same time, they write letters saying that they want to have ties and that they respect the Islamic Republic. Which are we to believe?"

 

Khamene'i was not the only one baffled by Obama's real intentions. In a secret memorandum to top White House officials on January 4, 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that "the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran's steady progress toward nuclear capability." He was particularly alarmed by the absence of an effective strategy to prevent Tehran from amassing all the major parts of a nuclear bomb—fuel, designs and detonators—while stopping just short of assembling a fully operational weapon, thus remaining within the bounds of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) while becoming a "virtual" nuclear power. "If their policy is to go to the threshold but not assemble a nuclear weapon, how do you tell that they have not assembled?" he cautioned in a nationwide television interview. "I don't actually know how you would verify that."

 

Apparently unperturbed by this danger, in 2011, Obama passed a secret message to Khamene'i (via Oman's Sultan Qaboos) expressing readiness for nuclear talks based on a U.S. recognition of a nuclear Iran. As Tehran was unimpressed, the president was forced to authorize harsh sanctions at the end of the year. But he did so with the utmost reluctance under heavy congressional pressure and with the Damocles sword of a preventive Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities hovering over his head…

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

 

 

On Topic

 

UN Watchdog Closes Probe into Iran Nukes, Drawing Israeli Ire: Times of Israel, Dec. 15, 2015—The UN atomic watchdog’s board Tuesday closed a long-running probe into Iran’s past efforts to develop nuclear weapons, removing an important obstacle to implementing July’s landmark deal with big powers, diplomats said.

What it Means for Iran to be Welcomed Back into the International Community: Andrew Hammond, National Post, Dec. 7, 2015—Following the landmark nuclear deal between world powers — including China, Russia and the United States — in July, Iran has been asserting itself significantly more forcefully on the international stage, after decades of international estrangement.

Iran Taking Over Latin America: Joseph Humire, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 16, 2015—During the last couple months, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been playing a political tug of war over Latin America. On November 10, 2015, Iran's deputy foreign minister held a private meeting with ambassadors from nine Latin American countries to reaffirm the Islamic Republic's desire to "enhance and deepen ties" with the region.

The Mideast War on Media: Kevin Sullivan, Real Clear World, Dec. 8, 2015—Last Thursday marked Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian's 500th day in an Iranian jail cell. Arrested and imprisoned by government security forces on July 22, 2014, Rezaian was convicted and sentenced to prison last month on dubious charges of espionage by a revolutionary court in Tehran.

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

THE WEST MOURNS VICTIMS OF TERRORISM— AS LONG AS THEY AREN’T ISRAELI

How Serious is France About the War against Muslim Terror?: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 16, 2015 — Many tough words have been used by President François Hollande and other French leaders after the terrible massacres in Paris on November 13.

The West Can Win a Battle of Ideas … Assuming it Has Any: National Post, Nov. 18, 2015 — The French government has promised a “pitiless” response to the terrorist attacks on Paris.

Blind Europe Scapegoats Israel for Paris, Cancels out Israeli Victims: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 23, 2015 — When jihadists killed civilians in Paris, Europe called it "terrorism".

Netanyahu Nails It: The Enemy is ‘Medievalism’: Jonah Goldberg, New York Post, Nov. 13, 2015— Americans could learn a thing or two from Bibi Netanyahu.

 

On Topic Links

 

Things the French Can Do That Israelis Cannot: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2015

As U.S. Escalates Air War on ISIS, Allies Slip Away: Eric Schmitt & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Nov. 7, 2015  

Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks: Patrick Healy, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015

ISIL’s Aims and Appeals: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 20, 2015

                                                                             

 

HOW SERIOUS IS FRANCE ABOUT THE WAR AGAINST MUSLIM TERROR?                                                         

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 16, 2015  

 

Many tough words have been used by President François Hollande and other French leaders after the terrible massacres in Paris on November 13. "Even if France is wounded, she will rise," Hollande said. "Even if we are in grief, nothing will destroy her.” He also called the massacres an “act of war.” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said “we are at war.” The government has also called a state of emergency which it now wants to extend for three months.

 

The French government gives the impression that it is going to undertake a huge program to fight the Islamic State. French planes have already bombed the Syrian city Raqqa, the de facto capital of the organization. As an aside one might mention here that a summer 2014 poll found that 16% of the French population viewed ISIS favorably at that time.

 

France or indeed any other country going to war, has to assess the battlefield. In a post-modern society this is radically different from classic warfare, as it is not limited to a geographically defined area. The battlefield includes a disparate collection of many individuals with seditious intentions. Radical Muslim ideology is widespread in France and elsewhere in Western Europe. The Islamic State variant is just one among several others. Some of the terrorists came from the Molenbeek quarter, a radical Muslim hotbed in Brussels. The Belgian government has admitted that it has lost control over the area. France has temporarily closed its borders.  However, instituting permanent border controls is a prerequisite in any effective fight against radicalized Muslims. Such a measure will inevitably undermine the Schengen open borders agreement, one of the major achievements of the EU.

 

France’s leaders have given no indication, in what we have heard from them thus far, that the country intends to deal with the entire battlefield. On the contrary, after the January 2015 murders of the Charlie Hebdo journalists and the Jews in the Hyper Cacher supermarket, Hollande nonsensically claimed that when a Muslim with intent to murder shouts “Allahu Akbar” as a battle cry it has nothing to do with Islam

 

Hollande stated: “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.” He thus nonsensically claimed that when a Muslim with intent to murder shouts “Allahu Akbar” as a battle cry it has nothing to do with Islam. Valls spoke more truthfully when he commented on the minority ghettoes at the time. He said that there is a “territorial, social, and ethnic apartheid” separating these neighborhoods from the rest of France.

 

These attacks pose a problem far greater than that faced in January this year, as the target is clearly no longer limited to journalist and Jews. The whole of France — and by extension Europe – its population and culture, is under attack. Problems in the French Muslim community have multiple aspects, as for instance pointed in a study by Gilles Kepel. It is probable that only a small percentage of the anti-democrats among the Muslims in France currently harbor terrorist intentions. However, many more are susceptible to radicalization, and therefore must be seen as potential terrorists. Convincing a few more French Muslim leaders to condemn the murders is not going to help much. The real postmodern war against violent and other antidemocratic Muslims requires a master plan that goes far beyond interim measures such as the closure of radical mosques.

 

This means reclaiming the lost territories in French cities and society, a move tantamount to the elimination of defined urban areas currently ruled, to all intents and purposes, by Sharia law, where French law has been marginalized. It would mean the end of “no go zones” where the police can only enter in large numbers on an ‘ad hoc’ basis.

 

To state explicitly that government control would have to be restored in self-contained Muslim enclaves would verge on the sacrilegious for a socialist politician in France. This is not the result of a conspiracy of silence on the part of the French government and politically correct media. Such avoidance has its origins in something more insidious: a sanitization of public expression encouraged by the establishment’s main actors, both social and political. The absence of any clear mention of problems specifically related to the French Muslim population and to Islam, allows for the fallacious belief that such problems are not major. 

 

In order to fight the war it has declared against terrorism, the government has to define the battlefield. This requires statements which, within the French context, would be extreme. They boil down to: ‘In order to effectively fight the Islamic State, we have to reassess systematically what is wrong in French society, with a strong emphasis on its Muslim component. We are going to deal with these problems come what may, and however long it takes, in a systematic way. We know that if we don’t do so we are asking for even more trouble.’ 

 

In France there are important forces which are not part of the establishment, which may have been propelled forward by the massacres. The main one is Marine le Pen’s right wing National Front party. Its leaders have no problem in pointing out their very different and sometimes racist views of what is wrong in French Muslim society.

 

It may still be too early to see a further popular swing toward the party in the upcoming regional elections at the beginning of December. But even shortly before the massacre, Le Pen was leading in the polls for the first round of the 2017 presidential election, ahead of the Republicans’ Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande was behind in third place, and according to the polls, would not make it to the second round. This is an additional incentive for him to take matters far more seriously in the current crisis than he has done so far.

 

By observing whether the battlefield has been correctly addressed, as time passes political observers will be able to judge the extent to which the French government is serious about dealing with and preventing terrorism. As far as Israel is concerned: if France acts as it should do for its own security, then it should be more difficult for its government to come up with further disturbing posturing in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and condemnations of Israeli actions against terrorists.

 

If France does not act, Israel can only emphasize that France’s policies have led to a far greater Muslim-perpetrated massacre in Paris, than has ever occurred in Israel. If Hollande is serious, the French intelligence services would do well to come to the only democratic country in the Middle East for more sophisticated advice. Israel has successfully developed detailed intelligence methods over the years to avoid such massacres, dealing with a constant threat of many willing Palestinian and to a lesser extent local Muslim perpetrators.                                                           

 

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THE WEST CAN WIN A BATTLE OF IDEAS … ASSUMING IT HAS ANY                                                          

National Post, Nov. 18, 2015

 

The French government has promised a “pitiless” response to the terrorist attacks on Paris. And it has dropped a few dozen bombs and kicked down some doors. But this crisis requires more than theatre. It requires genuine resolution, which must begin above the neck before radiating down through the spine. To be fair, French President François Hollande seems to be trying to assemble an international coalition to go after ISIL on the ground, despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s no-boots pledge. But the issue is the West’s overall willingness to defend itself military and intellectually. And here the indications are troubling.

 

Among Hollande’s announcements after the Paris attacks was freezing the decline in French military personnel temporarily. If that’s his idea of mobilization for total war, he’s not serious. Nor was he in announcing this spring that instead of sliding to 1.2 per cent of GDP, French military spending would hover briefly around 1.4 per cent, well below NATO’s two per cent pledge. If you add pensions, the number rises to 1.8 per cent. What kind of defence department sees almost a quarter of its spending go to pensions? Answer: the military in a welfare state. Which is also the answer to an even more problematic question: how can any country bring in enormous numbers of culturally hostile immigrants to “reverse” its economic and demographic decline, then leave them to fester resentfully on handouts in squalid suburbs?

 

The French police are now carrying out hundreds of raids on known “militants.” But if they knew about them, and arrests worked, why not act before the slaughter? The raids may impress law-abiding citizens, but they basically pointlessly disrupt the lives of people who already had nothing better to do than sit around despising the infidel society that shelters and subsidizes them, while occasionally plotting mayhem.

 

The search for perpetrators of the Paris attacks has included the radical Muslim Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, an infamous incubator of terror within easy reach of glittering cafes and EU headquarters. The Belgian prime minister just sighed, “There is almost always a link with Molenbeek. That’s a gigantic problem, of course.” So is sophisticated resignation in the face of known facts, including the long-standing funding of radical Wahabi mosques in Molenbeek by our Saudi “allies,” who forbid construction of churches in their country.

 

We are not suggesting banning radical speech or sermons. Open societies win the battle of ideas … but only if they engage in it. And it is not enough to know what we are fighting against. We must know what we are fighting for. A real response would certainly include rearming militarily instead of clutching Uncle Sam’s pant-leg. France has carried out some 200 air strikes against ISIL since September 2014, barely one every two days. And its task force, centred on the currently operational aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, consists of some three dozen planes. That’s not an air force, it’s a few squadrons. And it’s not a war, it’s a public relations exercise.

 

The United States, by contrast, has carried out nearly 6,400 air strikes in its half-hearted, unfocused intervention. And after Paris, it went after hundreds of trucks carrying ISIL oil inside Syria, something the French, or Canadians, literally could not do. The United States is the only Western nation to maintain a real military, though small by historical standards. It is also, not by coincidence, the only Western country to retain robust pride in its heritage and a birthrate that does not spell demographic decline.

 

America has its problems, to be sure. One currently occupies the White House. President Obama famously sneered at American exceptionalism, saying it was just like everyone else’s. But it’s not. America is the land of the free. So what is France? Its intellectuals and politicians may take perverse pride in their cultural differences from “Anglo-Saxons.” But France is part of the West, an inheritor of the Roman tradition of the rule of law and the Christian notion of individual dignity that, historically, produced open societies.

 

It cannot survive as merely a collection of hedonists who sip wine in cafes, listen to rock music and welcome tourists to the Eiffel Tower. It must be a vital, vigorous part of the West, seeking immigrants who share Western values. Where is the “fraternité” of Muslim immigrants who, we are assured, mostly reject terrorism but have for some reason made their grubby neighbourhoods no-go areas for kuffar police and firefighters?

 

We do not accept respected historian Niall Ferguson’s vision of the last days of Rome in the streets of Paris. ISIL is considerably less competent or vigorous than the barbarians who overwhelmed Rome and the West has deep reserves of strength. But defeating the jihadi cause is going to take a lot more than self-indulgent Facebook images, soppy songs and tricoloured lights, political bluster and a few dozen well-publicized air raids.

 

ISIL’s ideas are repugnant. But they are simple, giving them great appeal to people who are repugnant and simple. And even a bad idea can defeat no idea. To win this long war, the West needs spines connected to brains, a strong military defending a strong sense of self. We are not there yet by any means.                                                                 

                                                                       

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BLIND EUROPE SCAPEGOATS ISRAEL FOR PARIS,                                        

CANCELS OUT ISRAELI VICTIMS                                                                                            

Giulio Meotti         

                                                                       

Arutz Sheva, Nov. 23, 2015  

 

When jihadists killed civilians in Paris, Europe called it "terrorism". When jihadists kill Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv, as occurred last Thursday and Sunday, Europe calls it "militancy" and cancels out the Israeli victims of terror. If America eliminates Osama bin Laden it is "justice" announced on TV; if Israel kills Sheik Ahmed Yassin it becomes "retaliation" to be ashamed of. But we are past these heinous double standards, we are in the middle of what the Israeli deputy foreign minister, MK Tzipi Hotovely, called "blood libels."

 

It is the same illness that struck different parts of the free world in the Thirties. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is obviously not the reason for the wave of massacres perpetrated by Islamic State; those that attacked French in the heart of Paris, or killed Christians or Yazidis, did not do it because of the Palestinians. Yet we cannot count the ministers in Europe and Nobel Prize winners who immediately connected the French massacres to the "Israeli-Palestinian" question, not by equating Palestinian Arab terror with worldwide Arab terror, but by throwing some responsibility on the Jews.

 

"We are not guilty of the terrorism that strikes us, more than the people of Paris are guilty for the attacks that they suffered," said the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Therefore, of course, we reject this accusation. But now we are facing something new: not only we are blamed for the terrorism we suffer. Now we come to the absurd that we are even blamed for the terrorism directed at the French."

 

Interviewed by SVT2 on the terrorist attack in Paris, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, said that "to counter radicalization we must go back to the situation in the Middle East, where the Palestinians see that there is no future for them and must accept desperation and resort to violence. " The same words were used by Jan Marinjissen, secretary of the Socialist Party in the Netherlands, who on radio NPO said that "their (ISIS, ed) behavior is related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Former Foreign Minister of Iceland, Jon Hannibalsson, asked not only to pray for the French victims of the attacks, but also for the Palestinians. "Yes, we pray for Paris, but we also pray for the Palestinians killed in the Occupied Territories". Former British Minister John Prescott wrote in the Daily Mirror: "We need to find a lasting peace throughout the Middle East. We can not let the plague of bad feelings and bad blood in Israel and in the Palestinian territories continue. The best tribute to those who died in Paris, is not to send troops and drones in Syria. And 'to channel the anger for a lasting peaceful solution in this area'. "

 

The former president of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize, Martii Ahtisaari, said: "Europe must pay attention to the reasons for radicalization. Advancing the peace process in the Middle East is of fundamental importance. The issue of Israel and Palestine must be resolved." The same by the former Foreign Minister of Ireland, Dermot Ahern, who has so perspicaciously explained the origins of ISIS: "It comes from the destabilization of the entire region because of the Israeli-Palestinian issue." Former US President and Nobel Peace Prize Jimmy Carter, also said at the Jon Stewart Show: "One of the sources is the Palestinian problem."

 

It is the same illness that struck different parts of the free world in the Thirties. Blaming the Jews whenever something bad happens is an old habit. These leaders of the European Union, including two Nobel Prize for Peace laureates, were looking for an excuse to offer to the terrorists who massacred 130 people in Paris. Again, at the expense of Israel and Jews.

 

Last week, a beautiful young Jew, Ezra Josh Schwartz, was killed in Gush Etzion by the same enemies of civilization as in Paris. But nobody in Europe lit candles for him. A noble Jew. Already forgotten by the shameless and blind Europe.                                                              

 

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NETANYAHU NAILS IT: THE ENEMY IS ‘MEDIEVALISM’                                       

Jonah Goldberg

 

New York Post, Nov. 13, 2015

 

Americans could learn a thing or two from Bibi Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister was in Washington this week to receive the American Enterprise Institute’s Irving Kristol Award. He made some controversial remarks — at least controversial at AEI, where I am a fellow, and where the freedom agenda is alive and well — about the need to be realistic about what’s going on in the Middle East. Sometimes, he said, brutal dictators are better than the real-world alternatives: even more brutal Islamist movements hell-bent (or, if you prefer, paradise-bent) to conquer the world.

 

 

Less controversial but more intriguing was his description of the turmoil in the Middle East. “The core of the conflicts in the Middle East is the battle between modernity and early primitive medievalism,” Netanyahu explained. Everyone understood what he meant, of course. The Islamic State believes the Muslim world took a wrong turn more than a thousand years ago.

 

The Taliban, the Wahhabis, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other Islamists share this same worldview to one extent or another. Not every Islamist believes in crucifying Christians or throwing acid in the face of little girls going to school. But they all reject modernity, pluralism, secularism, democracy and, in many cases, even science. “Medievalism” isn’t a perfect word, but it’s a better word than “terrorism” or “Islamism.”

 

President George W. Bush settled on “the war on terror” to describe our fight with Islamic terrorists. But there are problems with using “terrorism” as a euphemism for Islamic radicals. I’ll give you three. First, terrorism is a tactic. If North Korea launches a nuclear missile at the United States, we will not declare war against intercontinental ballistic missiles. We will declare war against North Korea.

 

Second, in a war, tactics are secondary. Let’s imagine the Islamic State kept growing and became a major military power. If it replaced typical terror tactics with tanks, ships and armies but continued to make war against the US and our allies, that wouldn’t change the fact that we’d still need to destroy our enemy.

 

Last, there are many terrorist groups that are not Islamic at all. The self-described “Real IRA” is certainly a terrorist outfit, and I have no problem with it being crushed, but it is not a strategic threat to the United States. This is why many conservatives prefer terms like “jihadism” or “radical Islam” — for the simple reason that it’s more accurate. Conceptual clarity is essential to national security strategy.

 

Still, one can understand why Bush didn’t want to declare war on Islamism or jihadism. Put simply, such labels create a propaganda problem because they make it easier for the radicals to claim we are at war with Islam itself. There are more than a billion Muslims in the world, and while far too many are sympathetic to the jihadists, there are still hundreds of millions who reject terrorism. It doesn’t help us with our Muslim allies when we sound like we’re at war with their faith.

 

Israel certainly can’t afford to sound like it’s at war with Islam, not when it needs to work with Muslim countries like Egypt and Jordan. Hence the term “medievalism.” While not perfect, the term is far more clarifying and accurate than “terrorism.” It also helps to illuminate why the left is so wrongheaded in its knee-jerk tendency to condemn criticism of Islamic radicalism as intolerant.

 

At the core of progressive ideology is the Whiggish idea that modernity is preferable to the customs of the past. As a conservative, I think progressives often go too far in applying and misapplying this thinking. But they’re right on the big picture. Modernity — by which I mean tolerance, pluralism, equality, democracy — is preferable to absolutism.

 

In February the UN issued a report chronicling how the Islamic State was burying alive, beheading and crucifying children. The next day, President Obama went on a tear about how we in the West shouldn’t get on our “high horse” about it because Christians did terrible things a thousand years ago.

 

I’d still rather live under medieval Christians than under the Islamic State, but that’s beside the point. The reason Obama’s statement was so morally obtuse is that he was comparing medieval Christians from a millennium ago to monsters who proudly videotape their crimes in the here and now. If we can’t get on our high horses about that, what use is there in having high horses at all?

                                               

On Topic

 

Things the French Can Do That Israelis Cannot: Elder of Ziyon, Algemeiner, Nov. 16, 2015—On Friday night, French President Francois Hollande said, “To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”

As U.S. Escalates Air War on ISIS, Allies Slip Away: Eric Schmitt & Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, Nov. 7, 2015—As the United States prepares to intensify airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, the Arab allies who with great fanfare sent warplanes on the initial missions there a year ago have largely vanished from the campaign.

Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks: Patrick Healy, New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015—Visions of two Americas emerged from the 2016 presidential field on Saturday, at the Democratic debate and at Republican campaign events, as the candidates sought to project leadership after the Paris attacks and maneuver for political advantage in a rare moment when national security held voters’ attention.

ISIL’s Aims and Appeals: Robert Fulford, National Post, Nov. 20, 2015—The outrage that traumatized Paris last weekend, and sent a shiver of foreboding across the planet, has altered the place of radical Islam in our mental map of the world. The president of France, François Hollande, said his country will make “pitiless” war against ISIL — and France sent off warplanes to prove it. That’s a humanly angry response but most of us are still trying to absorb the new global reality that ISIL now forces us to live within.