Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Tag: Anti-Israelism

INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY: “JEWS WERE MURDERED AT AUSCHWITZ, BUT ANTISEMITISM DID NOT DIE THERE”

Have We Learned the Lessons — and Causes — of the Holocaust?: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Algemeiner, Jan. 23, 2017— This coming Friday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Persistence of Anti-Semitism Shows World Has Yet to Learn Lessons of the Holocaust: Mario Silva, National Post, Jan. 26, 2017— This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

Justice for Those Who Have Endured: Yechiel Eckstein, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 2017— This January 27, nations around the world mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the most horrific evil ever perpetrated upon humanity – the near destruction of European Jewry.

Three Reasons Why a Double Standard is Imposed on Israel: Philip Carl Salzman, CIJR, Jan. 25, 2017— While nationalism of the Americans, French, and Chinese is admired or at least accepted, Jewish nationalism (Zionism) is regarded as racism by pro-Arab activists and journalists.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

The 400-year-old Foundation of the Unique US-Israel Ties: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Jan. 25, 2017

Remembering the Holocaust, Forgetting the Survivors: Yechiel Eckstein, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 25, 2017

Story of Japan’s 'Schindler' Offers Lessons for Tackling Contemporary Xenophobia: UNNewsCentre, Jan. 26, 2017

Raoul Wallenberg, Hero of Humanity: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Jan. 21, 2017

 

 

 

HAVE WE LEARNED THE LESSONS — AND CAUSES —

OF THE HOLOCAUST?

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Algemeiner, Jan. 23, 2017

 

This coming Friday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is often assumed that the Holocaust was caused by a long-lasting antisemitic infrastructure in Germany and on the European continent. According to this theory, many centuries of demonization of the Jews created an atmosphere that made it possible for the Nazis to commit genocide against the Jews.

 

Over the course of centuries, Christianity systematically demonized the Jews. This demonization began in Roman Catholic theology. A major role was played by Voltaire and other French enlightenment philosophers. They were followed by German idealists and other philosophers, as well as 19th century French socialists and Karl Marx. Many others joined this movement of hate in the late 19th and early 20th century. Even after the Holocaust, Europe’s main philosopher was the German antisemite and former Nazi, Martin Heidegger.

 

But these explanations of the Holocaust may not be so simple. In 2015, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby remarked that antisemitism is a complex and difficult subject, adding that it is still deeply embedded “in our history and culture in Western Europe.” British-Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, who recently passed away, claimed that there is a far more opaque infrastructure for the Holocaust than mentioned before. In his book, Modernity and the Holocaust, he links the great genocide to structural elements of modern society. He states that the Holocaust was a product of men educated in the most refined culture of Western society, and  thus a product of Western civilization. In Bauman’s view, the conditions for a similar event to occur are still in place.

 

As an aside, Bauman’s insights did not prevent him from making contemporary Holocaust-distorting observations. In an interview with the Polish weekly Politika, he compared the Israeli separation fence to the walls surrounding the Warsaw Ghetto.

 

The question as to whether a second Holocaust is possible was the subject of a debate in 2002. American columnist Ron Rosenbaum claimed that it was likely that, sooner or later, a nuclear weapon would be detonated by Arab fundamentalists in Tel Aviv. This led to a reaction by Leon Wieseltier, who said that the Jews had found both safety and strength after the war, and that a second Holocaust would not occur. Rosenbaum countered by claiming that Wieseltier was fleeing into denial, as there were many Hitler-like figures who were demonizing Jews in the Arab world. Furthermore, in recent decades, we have seen genocides elsewhere, the best known in Cambodia and Rwanda.

 

All this raises the question as to what the history of the Holocaust means for today. In contemporary society, there are many demonizers of Jews and in particular of Israel. This is a multilayered process. At the forefront of this movement are forces from the Muslim world. Iranian rulers have often mentioned that Israel will be wiped off the map. Others include Muslim terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as countless individuals. Their de facto allies include a broad range of demonizers of Israel who knowingly ignore genocidal and demonizing tendencies in the Arab world. Some examples of these are the UN and associated bodies, assorted NGOs, various European socialist parties, many pseudo-progressive academics, numerous trade unionists and so on.

 

All the above can only lead to one conclusion: It is incumbent upon Israel and the Jewish world to make a huge effort to map how all of this hangs together. Only once we understand the arrangement of our enemies on the battleground can we fight them effectively.

 

 

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PERSISTENCE OF ANTI-SEMITISM SHOWS

WORLD HAS YET TO LEARN LESSONS OF THE HOLOCAUST                                                           

Mario Silva

National Post, Jan. 26, 2017

                       

This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Sadly, the liberation of the camp on Jan. 27, 1945 did not put a stop to the mass killing of innocent Jewish men, women and children. Nor did it stop after the Canadian 2nd Infantry Division liberated the Westerbork concentration camp in Holland in April 1945. The Nazis continued their slaughter until the last moments of their murderous machine, which was put to an end when Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.

 

Nazism subscribed to theories of a “master race” — a racial hierarchy where superior people have a right to dominate others and purge society of so-called inferior elements. By the time the war ended, Nazi Germany and its many collaborators had exterminated one-third of the Jewish people, six million Jews. Those of us who look back at that dark period history become traumatized by the ease and speed with which the killing took place. Nowhere is this more evident (than) in Babi Yar, Ukraine, where from Sept. 29–30, 1941, over just two days, 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation.

 

Remembering these unique horrors is a key to Holocaust remembrance. In 2013, I was honoured to be the chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) during the Canadian Chairmanship. Canada’s membership in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance reflects our country’s commitment to ensuring that future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust.

 

It was with the goal of remembrance that, in 1998, then Swedish prime minister Göran Persson asked Britain’s Tony Blair and then U.S. president Bill Clinton to join him in forming an international task force on Holocaust remembrance, education and research. And on Jan. 27, 2000 in Stockholm, 46 governments — represented by heads of state, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, and ministers — unanimously adopted the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust. Today, we also mark the 17th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration.

 

The commitment of the international community to the principles of the Stockholm Declaration was the starting point for many countries to begin a public debate on their role during the Second World War and the Holocaust. What happened during the war? What did our country do? What did it not do? And what are the lessons we must learn to ensure this never happens again?

 

Today, IHRA has expanded from its three founding members to an international network of experts on the Holocaust and related issues. It has strengthened political co-operation among its 31 member countries, which work together in a consensus-based framework.

 

Member states that join IHRA commit to the principles of the Stockholm Declaration, which states that “the unprecedented character of the Holocaust will always hold universal meaning,” and that in a world “still scarred by genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils.” Member governments must pledge to strengthen efforts to promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research.

 

Knowledge about the background, purpose, and significance of the Holocaust is essential to raise public awareness and mobilize forces to push back against the prejudices and stereotypes that led to it. Hate crimes, be they based on xenophobia, anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial, are a global phenomenon. Individually and collectively we have an obligation to fight discrimination that leads to the exclusion of groups of people and spreads hatred.

 

The liberation of Auschwitz should be a powerful call against anti-Semitism, hatred, racial intolerance and prejudice. Unfortunately, genocides and other atrocities occurred before and after the Holocaust. Even after the Holocaust, one particular form of hate stands out today from among the others. Anti-Semitism is unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality. During my chairmanship, I worked hard to make sure that IHRA adopted an international definition of Holocaust denial, which by its very nature is another form of anti-Semitism.

 

The Holocaust was an unprecedented crime against humanity and a defining historical moment, one that fundamentally altered how the world views and treats acts of genocide. As such, it provides us with many important lessons that can help prevent such crimes from happening again. The challenge is to ensure that those lessons are remembered, shared and applied. In this way, the world can honour the memory of those we failed to protect.

 

 

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JUSTICE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ENDURED

Yechiel Eckstein

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 2017

 

This January 27, nations around the world mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the most horrific evil ever perpetrated upon humanity – the near destruction of European Jewry.

 

It was fitting, then, that during a special Knesset ceremony on December 20, 2016, I was honored on behalf of The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, along with eight other individuals and organizations, to receive the Beacon of Light Award from the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims. Limor Livnat, chairwoman of the foundation, said the annual awards pay tribute to those dedicated to improving the lives of survivors, honor Holocaust survivors who have excelled in their contribution to Israeli society, and recognize volunteers improving survivors’ quality of life.

 

I was humbled that The Fellowship was recognized for its longtime dedication to helping needy Holocaust survivors in Israel at a time when the entire world prepares to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust, in a global annual event the United Nations General Assembly launched in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

 

While the ceremonies and awards are important, they also serve to underscore a largely ignored humanitarian tragedy of global proportions that we as a community are not doing enough to address: Today, many of the world’s remaining 500,000 Holocaust survivors are living out their final years in poverty. Most of those who are suffering live either in Israel, across the former Soviet Union, or in greater New York City.

 

Of 189,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, 25% live below the poverty line. Among the 60,000 survivors throughout the former Soviet Union, poverty is endemic – approaching 85-90%. Even in New York City, home to another 60,000 survivors, about half live below the poverty line.

 

This is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis. But worse, it speaks of a moral failure, because those who suffered the unimaginable are suffering once again through general ignorance or neglect. And the clock is ticking for us to respond. Every day, 40 survivors die. Within a decade few who experienced the Holocaust first-hand will remain.

 

In Israel and throughout the FSU, the poorest survivors are barely subsisting on meager income, often forced to choose between eating and securing life-saving medicine. Many survivors suffer through brutal winters unable to afford heating fuel.

 

Thanks to the support of millions of Christians across the United States and elsewhere, The Fellowship has been able to provide more than $7.3 million annually in food, medicine, heating fuel, daycare and other assistance to over 18,000 survivors in Israel and more than $15m. annually in food, medical assistance, home care and winter aid to those in the FSU. In fact, we recently ramped up our partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, establishing the IFCJ Food and Medicine Lifeline to serve tens of thousands of poor elderly Jews, many of them survivors not only of the Holocaust but of Soviet oppression, in 11 countries in the FSU.

 

While we are certainly gratified to have been able to make some impact and help many survivors, we are by no means satisfied that our job is done. As a community, we cannot stand idly by as even one Holocaust survivor in Israel or anywhere else is forced to perform a cruel financial calculus regarding their most basic human needs. Our moral responsibility only begins with remembering the six million, whether it is on International Holocaust Remembrance Day or on Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day each spring. Our moral duty will only be fulfilled when those who survived the unspeakable are not forced to live in unspeakable conditions. This is about seeing to justice for those who have endured.

 

                                                           

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THREE REASONS WHY A DOUBLE STANDARD IS IMPOSED ON ISRAEL

Philip Carl Salzman                                                                 

CIJR, Jan. 25, 2017

 

While nationalism of the Americans, French, and Chinese is admired or at least accepted, Jewish nationalism (Zionism) is regarded as racism by pro-Arab activists and journalists. While Syrian President Bashar Assad declares war against his people, with deaths numbering in hundreds of thousands and displaced in the millions, next door Israel is lambasted by the foreign minister of Sweden for "extrajudicial killings," when it kills terrorists in the act of attacking Israeli citizens.

Notwithstanding the oppression of women in the Islamic Middle East, the forced marriages, mandatory seclusion, obligatory wearing of tents, honor killings, enslavement, gang rapes, and sale as sex slaves, the National Women's Studies Association boycotts Israel, the only country in the Middle East where women are free and equal.

 

What explains this double standard? The first reason is traditional Christian anti-Semitism. For 1,800 years Jews were Europe's own despised minority, blamed for murdering Jesus and then rejecting Christian salvation. This was still being preached from the Catholic pulpit fifty years ago when I arrived in Quebec. The Jews were the feeble minority that Europeans loved to hate. Any Jewish deviation from propriety was seized upon to justify their lowly status

 

However, with the establishment of Israel, Jews were no longer the feeble minority, but a robust majority of a small state, with Jewish "pushiness" becoming Israeli military victory. In Israel, the Jews no longer knew "their place" at the bottom of the European hierarchy, but were independent actors no longer dependent upon European permission.

 

Europeans have responded by being hyper-critical of their despised ex-minority, demanding things of Israel that they have never demanded of Israel's adversaries or neighbors, or even of themselves, and condemning Israel when it does not comply with their unreasonable demands.

 

The second reason for the double standard is pragmatic, not to say cynical: There are hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims, and only a few million Jews. Arabs and Muslims are spread in many strategically important locations throughout the world. Furthermore, Arabs and Muslim make up a huge commercial market for the industrial nations of Europe and beyond.

 

As to propriety and standards of behavior, European Christians never thought much of, or expected much of the people of the "South." These gentiles, pagans, and heathens would do just about anything, so there was no point measuring them against civilized standards and judging them. Deal with them pragmatically, was the strategy, as politically important and economically useful. The European rule is this: do not unnecessarily irritate the vast number of Arabs and Muslims by siding with a handful of uppity Jews; that would just be foolish. Showing you are on the side of Arabs and Muslims by condemning Israel is just smart policy.

 

The third and final reason for the double standard is the Holocaust, the European genocidal project to murder all Jews. Germany expertly designed and engineered the Holocaust, but was joined enthusiastically by many in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and collaborated with by Western European countries. Even those who did not take direct part, such as Britain, Sweden, and Switzerland, did nothing to stop the Holocaust, in spite of pleas that they do so, and some blocked their gates to Jews trying to escape their fate.

 

The shadow of the Holocaust – its blame, shame, and guilt – has hung over Europe since 1945. After 70 years, Europeans are fed up with hearing about it. Current generations were not even alive at the time. Why should they be blamed and feel guilt, they wonder, about something that they did not do, do not approve of, and would not do themselves. Yet the shadow prevails.

 

How can it be removed? Well, if it turns out that the Jews are evil – that, given the chance to be in charge as in Israel, they behave exactly like the Nazis – then the ledger is balanced. European hyper-criticism of Israel makes both Europeans and Jews oppressors and murderers, equally guilty and thus equally innocent. Extravagant denunciation of Israel, however dishonest, frees Europe of its guilt. Americans, implicated in the Holocaust only to the extent of having closed its doors to Jews trying to flee, currently favor Israel over the Palestinians, according to annual Gallup polls, by four to one, while Europeans heavily favor Palestinians. Americans do not need to escape the blame for the Holocaust, while for Europeans condemning Israel is the easiest route.

Prof. Philip Carl Salzman is a CIJR Academic Fellow

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents           

 

On Topic Links

 

The 400-year-old Foundation of the Unique US-Israel Ties: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Jan. 25, 2017

1. According to Prof. Robert Bellah, a leading sociologist from UC Berkeley, there is “civil religion” in the US: separation between religion and state, but not between religion and society.  Civil liberties are Bible-driven, reflecting more responsibility than rights.

Remembering the Holocaust, Forgetting the Survivors: Yechiel Eckstein, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 25, 2017 —This January 27, nations around the world will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the most horrific evil ever perpetrated upon humanity: the near destruction of Europe’s Jews.

Story of Japan’s 'Schindler' Offers Lessons for Tackling Contemporary Xenophobia: UNNewsCentre, Jan. 26, 2017 —During World War II, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat posted as an acting consul in Lithuania, disobeyed instructions from his own Government and issued visas for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

Raoul Wallenberg, Hero of Humanity: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Jan. 21, 2017— I write at an important moment of remembrance and reminder, of bearing witness and taking action – on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, reminding us of horrors too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened; and on the eve of the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century. From 1941 to the end of 1944, some 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, 1.1 million of them were Jews.

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BDS BIGOTRY, MASKED BEHIND “HUMAN RIGHTS” RHETORIC, IS FUELED BY ANTISEMITISM

Anti-Semitism on Campus Is Not Just Uncivil, It’s Intolerant: Tammi Rossman Benjamin, Newsweek, Sept. 28, 2016— When more than a dozen Jewish student events about Israel were violently disrupted at schools from coast to coast this year…

Anti-Semitism at My University, Hidden in Plain Sight: Benjamin Gladstone, New York Times, Oct. 1, 2016 — Last semester, a group came to Providence to speak against admitting Syrian refugees to this country.

Dear Dupes: ‘Targeted Boycotts’ Enable Boycott Boycotts: Gil Troy, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 27, 2016 — To those who signed that New York Review of Books letter “For an Economic Boycott and Political Nonrecognition of the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories”: I write with great respect and deep sorrow.

No Apologies for Being Jewish: Ruth R. Wisse, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6, 2016 — Know Before Whom You Stand.

 

On Topic Links

 

Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus (Video): Jerusalem U, Feb. 25, 2015

Website says Holocaust-Denying Professor Has Been ‘Asked to Step Down’: B’nai Brith, Sept. 28, 2016

San Francisco State Prof on MEF's Call to End Ties to Radical West Bank U: McCarthyism! Islamophobia!: Winfield Myers, Campus Watch, Sept. 16, 2016

Welcome to College – and the Thought Police: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Sept. 10, 2016

 

 

 

 

ANTI-SEMITISM ON CAMPUS IS NOT JUST UNCIVIL, IT’S INTOLERANT

Tammi Rossman Benjamin                                           

Newsweek, Sept. 28, 2016

 

When more than a dozen Jewish student events about Israel were violently disrupted at schools from coast to coast this year, including San Francisco State University, University of California Irvine and Davis, University of Maryland, Boston University, University of New Mexico, University of South Florida, University of Georgia, University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota, is it “incivility” or “intolerance”? When Jewish students who attempt to express their opposition to anti-Israel boycott resolutions are viciously mocked, vilified and heckled during student government meetings at schools such as Vassar College, Ohio University, UC Santa Barbara and University of Illinois, is it “incivility” or “intolerance”?

 

When Jewish students are shunned from participating in student government, rejected from progressive social justice activities such as pro-choice rallies, anti-rape demonstrations, Black Lives Matter events and racial justice conferences and ostracized from areas of campus life because of their “Jewish agenda” or presumed support for Israel at schools such as Stanford University, San Diego State University, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, Northwestern University, Brooklyn College and SUNY Albany—is it “incivility” or “intolerance”?

 

University leaders who respond to these incidents—and the majority do not—have generally chosen to identify the problem as one of incivility, and attempted to address it by calling on members of the campus community to foster “civil” behavior and discourse. For example, after anti-Zionist student protesters at San Francisco State University disrupted a Hillel-sponsored talk from the mayor of Jerusalem by loudly chanting, “Get the hell off our campus!” “Long live the intifada!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” for one hour, SFSU President Les Wong issued a statement in which he bemoaned “the state of civil discourse on our campus” and called for “a supportive and collegial environment in which disagreements can occur thoughtfully and respectfully.”

 

After members of an anti-Zionist student group disrupted a Brooklyn College faculty meeting by chanting slogans such as, “Zionists off campus,” CUNY Chancellor James Milliken announced that he was going to address the matter by defining best practices to foster “a climate of mutual respect and civil discourse.” While each of the incidents described above certainly contains “rude or unsociable speech or behavior,” university leaders who identify the problem as one of “incivility” rather than “intolerance” are making a critical mistake, for three reasons.

 

Incivility is defensible; intolerance is not. Anti-Zionist student groups whose members have been accused of incivility, along with the civil rights and legal organizations that support them, routinely argue that charges of “incivility” are blatant attempts to stifle political debate on campus and violate the First Amendment. But if the anti-Zionist student groups’ behavior, which itself stifles political debate and violates the First Amendment rights of Jewish students, is correctly labeled as “intolerance,” no such argument can be made. Indeed, the suppression of views and beliefs that is a direct result of intolerant behavior is the archenemy of academic freedom and undermines the core mission of the university.

 

Incivility is cool; intolerance is not. After the chancellor of UC Irvine (UCI) responded to the SJP’s disruption of a Jewish student event by issuing a statement entitled “Respecting the Lines of Civility,” an op-ed was published in the student newspaper which championed “willfully uncivil” behavior as “the only rational response to calls for civility,” and urged students to “embody critique and ‘free speech’ through acts of willfulness and rebellion.” Had the UCI Chancellor instead correctly identified the SJP’s violent disruption as “intolerance”—that is, a willful suppression of “critique and ‘free speech’” that differs from one’s own—no one would have dared to champion such repugnant behavior.

 

Incivility is victimless; intolerance is not. Rude and unsociable behavior may have a negative impact on the campus climate, but it does not inherently target particular individuals or groups for harm. Intolerance, on the other hand, necessarily involves the singling out of those with differing views, beliefs or behavior. At many schools it is anti-Zionist activity, whose core goal is the suppression and delegitimization of Zionist expression and those presumed to support Israel, that is the primary source of intolerant behavior, making Jewish students one of the most victimized minorities on campus today. 

 

For these reasons, when university administrators misidentify the harassment, intimidation, suppression of speech and ethnic discrimination of Jewish students as “incivility” rather than “intolerance,” they cannot help but fan the flames of anti-Jewish hostility on their campus. The regents of the University of California clearly understood this when they unanimously approved a landmark statement entitled “Principles Against Intolerance,” which highlighted anti-semitism and anti-semitic anti-Zionism as forms of intolerance that “have no place at the University of California.” Using the term intolerance was no accident. It was a deliberate and important distinction. It is high time for university leaders across the country to follow the UC regents’ lead. There must be zero tolerance for intolerance on our campuses.                                 

                                                           

 

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ANTI-SEMITISM AT MY UNIVERSITY, HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT                                                                

Benjamin Gladstone                                                                                                      

New York Times, Oct. 1, 2016

 

Last semester, a group came to Providence to speak against admitting Syrian refugees to this country. As the president of the Brown Coalition for Syria, I jumped into action with my peers to stage a counterdemonstration. But I quickly found myself cut out of the planning for this event: Other student groups were not willing to work with me because of my leadership roles in campus Jewish organizations.

 

That was neither the first nor the last time that I would be ostracized this way. Also last semester, anti-Zionists at Brown circulated a petition against a lecture by the transgender rights advocate Janet Mock because one of the sponsors was the Jewish campus group Hillel, even though the event was entirely unrelated to Israel or Zionism. Ms. Mock, who planned to talk about racism and transphobia, ultimately canceled. Anti-Zionist students would rather have no one speak on these issues than allow a Jewish group to participate in that conversation.

 

Of course, I still believe in the importance of accepting refugees, combating discrimination, abolishing racist law enforcement practices and other causes. Nevertheless, it’s painful that Jewish issues are shut out of these movements. Jewish rights belong in any broad movement to fight oppression. My fellow activists tend to dismiss the anti-Semitism that students like me experience regularly on campus. They don’t acknowledge the swastikas that I see carved into bathroom stalls, scrawled across walls or left on chalkboards. They don’t hear students accusing me of killing Jesus. They don’t notice professors glorifying anti-Semitic figures such as Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt or the leadership of Hezbollah, as mine have.

 

Nor do they speak against the anti-Semitism in American culture. Even as they rightfully protest hate crimes against Muslim Americans and discrimination against black people, they wrongfully dismiss attacks on Jews (who are the most frequent targets of religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States) and increasing anti-Semitism in the American political arena, as can be seen in Donald Trump’s flirtations with the “alt-right.” They don’t take issue with calls for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state.

 

Many of my fellow activists also perpetuate anti-Semitism by dismissing Jews of color, especially the Mizrahi and Sephardi majority of Israel’s Jewish population, descendants of refugees from Southwest Asia and North Africa. Ignoring the expulsion of 850,000 Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews from Arab and Muslim countries from 1948 to the early 1970s allows students to portray all Israelis as white and European and get away with making a “progressive” case for dismantling the Jewish state.

Even hummus has become politicized: Anti-Zionists at my school who demanded that cafeterias stop serving hummus produced by a company with Israeli ownership, also claimed that the product showed cultural appropriation even though Mizrahim and Sephardim have been eating Southwest Asian cuisine since long before the rise of organized Zionism.

 

In my experience, anti-Semites refuse to acknowledge Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews to minimize the history of oppression against Jews, and in doing so dismiss contemporary Jewish concerns. For example, non-Jewish students at Brown tell me that I cannot appreciate a history of marginalization because, as they see it, Jews have historically been a powerful group, the Holocaust being the only few years of exception. They play down the temporal and geographic scope of that history so that the oppression appears circumstantial rather than global and systemic.

 

These are serious issues, and social justice movements should be addressing them. I recognize my white, male and other privileges, and, accordingly, I listen to people of color, women and members of other marginalized groups and support them as allies. Likewise, I expect non-Jews at Brown and elsewhere to recognize our oppression to include us in efforts for change.                                                          

 

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DEAR DUPES: ‘TARGETED BOYCOTTS’ ENABLE BOYCOTT BOYCOTTS                                                       

Gil Troy                                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 27, 2016

 

To those who signed that New York Review of Books letter “For an Economic Boycott and Political Nonrecognition of the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories”: I write with great respect and deep sorrow. I know many of you, and have learned a lot from even more of you. I have no desire to polemicize, demonize or ostracize, and I hope you will take my comments as an invitation to the kind of open, substantive debate about Israel (and the Palestinians, they count too here) that rarely occurs in the Jewish community – or the academic world – the two universes most of us share.

 

I read your 196-word contribution to this complicated conflict, and was appalled by its naïveté, one-sidedness, destructiveness and unfairness – especially to Jewish and pro-Israel students. That such sophisticated thinkers, who have done so much to teach me (and many others) about politics, power, justice, history, culture, America and Judaism, could really believe your careful modifiers emphasizing that this is only a “targeted” boycott “of all goods and services from all Israeli settlements” is so preposterous it makes me doubt your sincerity. That anyone in the anti-Israel lynch mob will respect your genteel distinctions is as believable as Donald Trump when he says “believe me.” Your letter makes you enablers, dupes. To the boycott forces and the media, supporting a targeted boycott supports a boycott.

 

Moreover, as precise writers, note the second half of your sentence: “and any investments that promote the Occupation.” Follow your words’ logic, as so many of you have taught undergraduates to do. Objective readers, let alone Bash-Israel-Firsters, could consider every investment in any part of Israel an investment that promotes the occupation, because money and support are fungible.

 

Even without your legitimizing shunning every Israeli, the boycott movement, fueled as it is by an irrational hatred of Israel and Jews, is no more contained than any other gang of bigots. Your slope is slippery – and you cannot claim you haven’t seen it before against Jews and other targeted groups. Boycotts, like bigots, metastasize – first goods, then people. You start by boycotting West Bank goods, then “settlers,” then Israeli goods, then Israeli citizens, and then Jews. (And remember, most Palestinian radicals call all Israelis “settlers” and consider all of Israel occupied).

 

Similarly naïve is your refusal to denounce the anti-Semitism that follows the boycott movement like carbon monoxide follows smoke. At my own university, McGill, last year’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) debate proved, as in other universities, that BDS unleashes bullying, demonization and slander. Simon Paranski, a law student, told CTV that “within an hour of the BDS vote passing, there were posts on social media about Zionist Jew-boys and insulting people of the Jewish faith.” One tweet sneered: “Little Zionist Jewboys not happy that McGill students don’t support their genocide.” Jewish students also reported being menaced.

 

Moreover, last week, Jewish students told me that the feminist, LGBT and Black Lives Matter clubs at McGill were clear: if they wanted to be involved in those social justice movements, they had to – to hijack Peter Beinart’s wording – check their Zionism at the door…

 

You should write a second letter, paralleling the one I and over 150 McGill professors signed, saying: “We all need to affirm our commitment to fighting bigotry of all kinds, even when masked behind human rights rhetoric or even if allied with political positions we might support. We fail when our students don’t feel genuinely safe in our university – and the BDS movement has made McGill students feel unsafe, unsupported and unwelcome in their and our academic home.”

 

Your naïve letter is also counterproductive. You claim you want “to promote… negotiations.” Yet the more Israel is delegitimized, the more unreasonably Palestinians act and the less compromising Israelis feel. The more Left you are, the more you seek sweeping territorial concessions from Israel, the more ardently you should fight boycotts, Israel-bashing, anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Note, Israelis respond to love love, not tough love. When the UN in 1991 renounced its Zionism is racism resolution, and when Bill Clinton emerged as Israel’s cheerleader in chief, Oslo and other compromises followed. And when the UN passed the Zionism is racism resolution in 1975 and 26 years later resurrected that libel at Durban, waves of terrorism bolstering Palestinian rejectionism followed.

 

Finally, let’s face it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas don’t care about your words or my quibbles. But as academics and intellectuals your words count on campuses, where many of you are revered. That’s why I accuse you of being unfair to Jewish and pro-Israel students on those campuses facing boycott threats. They needed a more sophisticated, balanced, multi-dimensional letter. And they needed – and still need – a clear, eloquent, denunciation from you of the “kosher” antisemitism and anti-Zionism – perfumed by social justice talk – haunting too many campuses and spreading on the Left.

 

In that fight, the more outspokenly critical of Israel you are, the more credibility you have – although you will see that the Israel haters, like all irrational bigots, pick and choose. They will happily quote and misquote your harmful letter – ignoring any denunciations of the hatred they have unleashed on some campuses, including my own.                                 

 

Contents           

NO APOLOGIES FOR BEING JEWISH

Ruth R. Wisse

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6, 2016

 

Know Before Whom You Stand. These words, inscribed above the ark holding the Torah scrolls in many synagogues, assume added significance between Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During these Days of Awe, Jews of faith take the measure of themselves before the Almighty. The term “penitential prayers” does not begin to convey the range and intensity of the accounting that worshippers give of themselves about every aspect of their lives.

 

To lay bare one’s deeds before the ultimate Seat of Judgment is very different from the practice of individual introspection or meditation. Here each person stands within the community in a public attestation to dozens of wrongdoings. In the extensive Yom Kippur confessions, worshippers recount sins committed willfully or involuntarily, “by idle talk or by lustful behavior . . . violence or by defaming Thy Name.” All the verbs for transgression are in the first-person plural, we rather than I, making the individual an organic part of the nation. I used to marvel at how young college students, hardly past adolescence, passionately assumed moral responsibility for wrongs they had never committed.

 

Jews rightly take pride in their culture of self-accountability—before the Ultimate Judge and justly established human authorities. This culture has created and sustained a remarkably resilient people. Lamenting the excesses of the current American electoral cycle, the columnist Ira Stoll imagines how much richer the country’s politics would be if “this spirit of self-examination were exported from the Jewish religion into the rest of American culture.” If democracy requires the patient improvement of life in a community, nothing furthers that goal better than the practice of individual and collective self-scrutiny.

 

But the millennial-long history of Jewish self-restraint also stands as a warning. It is all very well to focus on overcoming your failings. Yet the search for moral perfection can also render individuals, and nations, prey to those who believe in conquest rather than self-conquest and who join in holding you accountable for their misdeeds. The same confessional posture, praiseworthy when standing before the Perfect Judge, becomes blameworthy when adopted before an enemy that has you before a rigged tribunal.

 

In the 20th century, some modern European thinkers and political leaders began singling out the Jews for their alleged racial or religious or social culpabilities. Many Jews felt obliged to answer apologetically for these supposed failings, instead of exposing the evil ideology that had chosen them for its target. Jewish Marxists, for example, blamed Jewish capitalists and bourgeoisie, even though defamation was leveled equally at Jewish professionals, artisans, journalists and paupers.

 

No sooner had the politics of Jew-blame reached its genocidal apotheosis in Europe than it was taken up in the Middle East. Rather than accepting the principle of co-existence and concentrating on improving the lives of their own subjects, Arab leaders refused Jews the right to their homeland in a war that they, the Arab leaders, had initiated. Forcing almost a million Jews from their ancient communities in Arab lands, the same leaders blamed Israel for Arab refugees whom they themselves refused to resettle.

 

This calumny is by now the basis of political coalitions not only at the United Nations and in Europe but on campuses here in the U.S. So ingrained are the assumptions of Jew-blame that newspapers will often devote more coverage to the shooting of one Palestinian Arab by an Israeli, often unintentionally or in self-defense, than to the murders of Jewish civilians by Arab and Muslim terrorists. What such belligerents do with the aim of eliminating the Jewish state, friends sometimes do in the name of holding Jews to “a higher moral standard.” And, as previously, some Jews join the blame-shifting ranks, castigating the Jewish state for engaging in self-defense rather than apology.

 

For its obsession with Israel’s putative misdeeds to the neglect of the unspeakable crimes committed by so many U.N. member states, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently declared at the General Assembly that “the U.N., begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce.” He is surely right that ending the obsession with Israel would benefit not only the enemies of the Jewish state but the entire world. The Jewish nation is owed the unconditional respect of its fellow nations and must demand of others what it expects others to demand of themselves.

 

Jews and Americans share the belief that a culture of self-accountability creates a wholesome society and a more responsible polity. But self-accountable societies can fatally internalize the resentment and violent opposition of others. For the sake of their own survival, they must always be aware of before whom—as well as before Whom—they stand.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom & Happy Thanksgiving!

No Daily Briefing Will Be Published on Monday

Contents                       

           

On Topic Links

 

Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus (Video): Jerusalem U, Feb. 25, 2015— 'Crossing the Line 2' is a new documentary that exposes the rise of anti-Semitic activity on North American university campuses. This virulent anti-Semitism is disguised as opposition to Israel's policies, but it calls for Israel's destruction and threatens Jews on campus.

Website says Holocaust-Denying Professor Has Been ‘Asked to Step Down’: B’nai Brith, Sept. 28, 2016—According to American Herald Tribune, a website run by Professor Anthony Hall, the University of Lethbridge has requested that he resign over suggestions that he has promoted Holocaust denial and other antisemitic conspiracy theories.

San Francisco State Prof on MEF's Call to End Ties to Radical West Bank U: McCarthyism! Islamophobia!: Winfield Myers, Campus Watch, Sept. 16, 2016 —Rabab Abdulhadi, the San Francisco State University professor and founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BDS) behind the odious Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between her school and terrorist-friendly An-Najah University in the West Bank, has responded to the Middle East Forum's petition calling on SFSU president Leslie Wong to end the MOU.

Welcome to College – and the Thought Police: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Sept. 10, 2016—Freshman orientation week isn’t what it used to be. These days, it’s not just about learning your way around the campus. It’s also about learning how to avoid giving unintentional offence. Not all the answers are obvious. For example, is it okay to sing along with music that uses the “n” word if you are white? No, it definitely is not! Nor is it okay for anyone to use the term “you guys” (sexist).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EUROPE, A HUB OF ANTI-ISRAEL INCITEMENT, FACES MIGRANT CRISIS & ISLAMIST EXTREMISM

A Short Review of Dutch Anti-Israel Incitement: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 1, 2016  — Next week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the Netherlands.

EU, Terror and the Transparency Bill: Ron Jontof-Hutter, Israel Hayom, Sept. 14, 2016 — On the December 7, 1970, German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt solemnly before the Warsaw ‎Ghetto in contrition.

France: The Great Wall of Calais: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 23, 2016  — Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain..

Let’s Keep Canada Canadian: John Robson, National Post, Sept. 19, 2016 — The other day, I read a European Union publication on Ireland, which I concede is a self-inflicted wound. But it threw an oddly bright light on the vexed question of how Canadian values ever became controversial.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Islamic Hatred of Modernity: John Mauldin, Maudlin Economics, Sept. 28, 2016

Germany: Beginning of the End of the Merkel Era?: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 10, 2016

Burkini Debate in France Exposes a Divide in its Jewish Community: Cnaan Liphshiz, Times of Israel, Sept. 24, 2016

Europeans Turn to Israel to Spur Lagging Economies: Breaking Israel News, Sept. 26, 2016

 

 

A SHORT REVIEW OF DUTCH ANTI-ISRAEL INCITEMENT

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                            

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 1, 2016

 

Next week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the Netherlands. A succinct summary of anti-Israel incitement there may help him and his staff to better understand how the current Dutch reality differs from the distorted positive image many people still hold, namely the one based on the much publicized story of Anne Frank and her diary.

 

The Anne Frank story has entirely overshadowed a far more important one: the total disinterest of the Dutch government in exile in London during the Second World War in the fate of its Jewish citizens under the German occupation. Three-quarters of the 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands were murdered in the German death camps in Poland. The Netherlands is now the only Western European country which has never admitted to the wartime failure of its government’s attitude toward the Jews. Even Luxembourg and Monaco have recently done so. Furthermore, though archives contained the information for decades, it has only recently been published that Dutch SS volunteers participated in mass killings of Jews in Eastern Europe.

 

Around the turn of this century, the anti-Israel attitude in many Dutch circles strengthened. The ongoing incitement against the Jewish state by many Dutch politicians – mainly extreme-left and center- left – leading media, pseudo-humanitarian NGOs and so on has greatly influenced Dutch citizens. A Eurobarometer study in 2003 asked which countries are most dangerous to world peace. Israel came in second place after Iran – 59 percent of Europeans held this opinion. Of all countries polled the Netherlands had the highest percentage at 74%. This opinion can largely be explained by the widespread Dutch incitement against Israel. A 2011 study by the University of Bielefeld in Germany found that more than 38% of the Dutch population agreed with the statement that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians.

 

The most dangerous political party to Israel nowadays is Labor, the junior partner in the current government led by liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Labor Party incites against Israel in many ways. During its first Middle East Conference in 2013, party leader Diederik Samsom singled out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the only one on which patience is running out. He placed the entire responsibility for solving the conflict on Israel. Labor, the D66 Democrats and the Christian Democrats have also promoted a parliamentary motion which may lead to sanctions against Israel.

 

Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Bert Koenders (Labor) tried to fool his Israeli counterparts by saying that while there is freedom of opinion in the Netherlands, the Dutch government is against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. He did not mention that the Dutch government subsidized the BDS-promoting Catholic development aid organization Cordaid, to the tune of half a billion euros from 2007 to 2011 and lesser amounts since. Cordaid’s support of extreme incitement against Israel goes back at least 15 years.

 

A major scandal developed in 2002 when it became known that the Ford Foundation had partly funded the anti-Israel hate-mongers of the Palestinian LAW organization which had to be disbanded due to widespread corruption. No attention was given to the fact that Cordaid had donated even more money to LAW. The current Labor Party minister of foreign trade and development cooperation, Liliane Ploumen, held top positions with Cordaid from 2001 to 2007. Other Dutch pro- BDS bodies also received large amounts of government funding. Koenders has been active in the European labeling of products from the West Bank as well.

 

The list of Jewish guests for the 2013 dinner hosted by Dutch King Willem Alexander for the visiting president Shimon Peres has never been published. The heads of the two largest Jewish communities, the Ashkenazi Orthodox and Liberals, were not invited. The head of the tiny, extreme Jewish anti-Israel group EAJG was.

 

For the first time in Dutch independent history – thus leaving aside the German occupation – a number of Jewish businessmen had to hire private bodyguards in 2014 as a result of threats. The most severe anti-Semitic incident in the Netherlands was a robbery last year (by criminals who appeared to be of Moroccan-Arab descent) of a couple of elderly Holocaust survivors in Amsterdam. The woman was a survivor of Auschwitz. The robbers called them “dirty Jews” and beat them severely. The most recent scandal is a claim in the NRC daily that the Mossad is threatening a human rights activist in the Netherlands.

 

From time to time Prime Minister Rutte visits Israel with a delegation of Dutch businessmen. He is accompanied by two Labor Party ministers who visit the Palestinian territories. Perhaps next time Prime Minister Netanyahu can invite Rutte and his ministers for a memorial meeting at the site of the terrorist attack at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem where a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in 2001. Among the 15 killed were five members of the Schijveschuurder family. Two parents and three of their children were murdered, and three others were wounded. They were children and grandchildren, respectively, of Dutch Holocaust survivors. The above are a small sample of the widespread incitement against Israel in the Netherlands. This topic can easily be extended to book format.                                                                                                      

 

Contents                                                                                                                       

                                                 

EU, TERROR AND THE TRANSPARENCY BILL                                                                             

Ron Jontof-Hutter      

Israel Hayom, Sept. 14, 2016

 

On the December 7, 1970, German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt solemnly before the Warsaw ‎Ghetto in contrition. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Israel faced annihilation, the same ‎Willy Brandt denied German landing rights to U.S. planes carrying emergency supplies to Israel. ‎Chancellor Angela Merkel occasionally says that Israel's "right to exist" is Germany's raison d'etre.‎

 

Like Brandt, Germany appears to be two-tongued when it comes to anti-Semitism. Like the ‎EU, Germany makes a distinction between anti-Semitism and objecting to Israel's policies, which on ‎paper seems to be fair. Thus, giving the Hitler salute and denying the Holocaust are illegal. On the ‎other hand, the annual Iran-sponsored Al-Quds March through downtown Berlin, calling for the ‎destruction of Israel, is legal. Berlin constantly turns a deaf ear to appeals to ban that march.‎

 

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the Iran nuclear deal — was enthusiastically supported by Germany, enabling Iran to fully develop ‎its nuclear program after a decade, while currently testing missiles marked "Death to Israel." ‎However, the same Germany decided that nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes were too risky ‎for Germans. They are to be phased out by 2022.‎ Germany maintains it has a "special relationship" with Israel while the EU ambassador to Israel ‎explained that Israel is singled out because "you are one of us."‎

 

The EU countries support various NGOs despite their being termed "nongovernmental." Germany's Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry provides funding to NGOs as part of ‎its foreign aid programs. Recently, Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor exposed the doublespeak ‎of Germany yet further. The German government annually pays 4 million euros ($4.5 million) to NGOs in Israel, ‎of which 42% goes to organizations that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and worse, like the Popular Struggle ‎Coordination Committee, which advocates violent riots in Judea and Samaria. The German Embassy in ‎Tel Aviv does not deny the funding, but blandly states that Germany does not support boycotts of ‎Israel. They donate to "organizations supporting peace."‎

 

Some of the NGOs funded by the EU are Zochrot, Grassroots Jerusalem and Baladna Arab Youth ‎Association, all of which are committed to getting Palestinian refugees and their third- and fourth-‎generation descendants to "return" even though most have never been to Israel. I have met some ‎of these "refugees," who lead comfortable middle-class lives, in Australia. They certainly do not fit ‎the image of a refugee we see on TV. In my recent satire, "The Trombone Man: Tales of a Misogynist," the story depicts one such comfortable refugee who, like his parents, has never been ‎to Israel. Despite these anomalies, the EU generously funds these organizations that are dedicated to ‎Israel's disappearance as the Jewish state.‎

 

The EU therefore supports some organizations dedicated to Israel's demise while paying lip service ‎to its "right to exist," whatever that means. The EU, led by countries such as Germany, also ‎supports labeling people and products from beyond the Green Line or "Auschwitz lines," as the late dovish Foreign Minister Abba Eban called it. Thus, while officially declining to support ‎BDS, the same EU countries fund NGOs that do — all with a straight face.‎

 

The EU, ‎committed to democracy and human rights, has been "deeply concerned" about the recent ‎transparency law passed by the Knesset, even though there is no suggestion these NGOs would be ‎banned from practising their dubious activities. The State Department termed it "chilling," despite ‎its funds being surreptitiously used to influence the outcome of Israel's last election. In the ‎meantime, Europe is reeling with regular terror attacks, for which Europeans cannot find an ‎answer — except to insultingly compare Israel to Putin's Russia and be "deeply concerned" with ‎their fellow democracy that struggles to maintain civil rights while upholding its ‎citizens' right to life.‎ Israel remains a vibrant democracy despite the underhanded tactics of the EU. As Europe grapples ‎with increasing terror, its exaggerated concern with an ally threatened daily by internal and ‎external terror is misplaced and misguided.‎

 

NGO Monitor has shown in great detail the doublespeak of the EU countries that mouth ‎unconvincing platitudes regarding Israel's "right to exist" while simultaneously funding many NGOs that ‎promote exactly the opposite.‎ At the end of the day, it should be remembered that the hidden agendas of many of these NGOs ‎have little to do with human rights, per se, but more to do with providing conditions that would ‎end the State of Israel, by stressing the Nakba, hope, resilience and the "right of return" of ‎refugees and their descendants.‎ That is why it is always worth remembering Willy Brandt 1970 and Willy Brandt 1973. It sums up ‎Europe perfectly.‎

 

 

Contents                                                                                               

                                                    

FRANCE: THE GREAT WALL OF CALAIS                                                                                          

Soeren Kern                                                                                                          

Gatestone Institute, Sept. 23, 2016

 

Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain. Dubbed "The Great Wall of Calais," the concrete barrier — one kilometer (half a mile) long and four meters (13 feet) high on both sides of the two-lane highway approaching the harbor — will pass within a few hundred meters of a sprawling shanty town known as "The Jungle."

 

The squalid camp now houses more than 10,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are trying to reach Britain. The migrants at the camp are mostly from Sudan (45%), Afghanistan (30%), Pakistan (7%), Eritrea (6%) and Syria (1%), according to a recent census conducted by aid agencies. Construction of the wall — which will cost British taxpayers £2 million (€2.3 million; $2.6 million) and is due to be completed by the end of 2016 — comes amid a surge in the number of migrants from the camp trying to reach Britain. Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by the Telegraph. This amounts to more than 10,000 so-called "lorry drops" — when illegal migrants hiding in the back of trucks jump out after reaching the UK — this year.

 

In 2015-16, more than 84,000 migrants were caught attempting illegally to enter Britain from the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk, according to Home Office figures cited by the Guardian. On just one day, December 17, 2015, around 1,000 migrants stormed the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain. Police, who used tear gas to disperse them, said the number seeking to cross the Channel in a single day was "unprecedented." Many of the migrants who are turned away move to "The Jungle" and try over and over again. Migrants at the camp have been using felled trees and gas canisters to create makeshift roadblocks to slow trucks heading for Britain. When the trucks come to a stop, migrants climb aboard to stow away as the vehicles head to Britain through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries.

 

UK-bound migrants are building up to 30 barricades a night to stop vehicles travelling through Calais, according to French officials. Teams of traffic police now spend every night trying to keep the roads around Calais clear of migrants and their debris. In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles. The Deputy Mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, has described the main route to the port as a "no-go area" between midnight and 6am.

 

In an interview with the French newspaper Liberation, Xavier Delebarre, who is in charge of France's northern road network, said the migrants have "tools, electric chainsaws that can be bought anywhere for fifteen euros." He added: "There is a strategy in their concerted attacks. They launch simultaneous assaults, and also diversions. Migrants build barricades by piling different materials on the road, including branches, as well as mattresses and trash. They set it on fire, and then put gas cylinders in the fire, which is very worrying. They create traffic jams to storm the trucks, so they can board them to try to get to England."

 

On September 5, hundreds of French truck drivers and farmers (who complain that fields around the migrant camp are full of rubbish and human excrement) blocked off the main route in and out of Calais, in an attempt to pressure the French government to close "The Jungle." The blockage brought to a standstill the route used by trucks from all over Europe to reach Calais and Britain.

 

Antoine Ravisse, president of the Grand Rassemblement du Calaisis, a coalition of local businesses, said the protesters wanted assurances from the French government that the roads in Calais will be made safe again. He said: "The main image of Calais today in the newspaper and on TV is very negative, all about the migrants and attacks on the highway. The first point is we want the highways safe again. It's unacceptable that today in France you can't travel without fear and without the certainty that you won't be attacked. We apologize to our British friends — our economy depends very much on the business we do with England. We apologize to all the families but some of them have experienced very bad times and dangerous times and they will agree it can't go on. We are standing here and we will wait until we hear something back from the government. We are not moving until we hear from the government."

 

David Sagnard, president of FNTR national truck drivers' federation, said: We have to do this. We have to escalate things, because for months now the situation has been getting worse and worse. Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe."…      

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

 

Contents       

LET’S KEEP CANADA CANADIAN

John Robson

National Post, Sept. 19, 2016

 

The other day, I read a European Union publication on Ireland, which I concede is a self-inflicted wound. But it threw an oddly bright light on the vexed question of how Canadian values ever became controversial.

Everybody yammers on about them. An NDP email insists that health care is “a core Canadian value.” A Department of National Defence spokesman defends his department accidentally training a Bangladeshi terrorist by saying: “The Canadian Armed Forces has exchange and training programs designed to enhance our bilateral relationships and promote Canadian values.” Yet when Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch suggested screening immigrants to make sure they share those values, the smart set got a bad case of the vapours.

 

It seems we’re meant to know that “values” are for yokels, despite originally being Nietzsche’s subversively sophisticated substitute for moral truth. Which brings me abruptly, if unexpectedly, to that smarmy EU book. When you think of Ireland,” it concedes, “leprechauns, shamrocks, and Irish music might come to mind.” But if so, they are swiftly shoved aside: “modern-day Ireland… is no longer the homogeneous society it once was.” Formerly poor and quaint, it became a “Celtic Tiger” and “people from other parts of the world flocked to Ireland, seeking jobs and economic opportunity…. The flood of new cultures and peoples… has changed the centuries-old traditional life… there are now eight times as many people in Ireland who speak Polish as … Gaelic”. Nowadays “people from all around the world add their perspectives” in “the most globalized country in the world” where “society’s relaxed pace has disappeared” and “in a recent survey of Irish people between fifteen and twenty-four… more than a third did not know the meaning of Easter.

 

In short, there’s no longer any there there, just one more suburb of the galactic metropolis full of frantic, rootless, sleep-deprived materialist pseudo-sophisticates. Which is apparently good. As the introduction had already assured readers, Europe “is a continent with many different traditions and languages, but with shared values such as democracy, freedom and social justice, cherished values well known to North Americans. Indeed, the EU motto is ‘United in Diversity.’ ”

 

Such rhetoric certainly is familiar to Canadians. Eerily so. Our shiny prime minister, a walking, talking incarnation of post-modern vacuity, says “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.” It’s odd to hear all this talk of diversity, while everything gets more and more similar. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed after denying our core identity, “There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first post-national state.” The words “post-national” are key. They are meant to say that anything good about Canada comes not from our traditions but from discarding them in favour of those famous globalized perspectives that always sound exactly like Michael Ignatieff, who called Canada a “civic experiment” and a “fiction,” while claiming a deep “attachment to the place on Earth that, if I needed one, I would call home.” But he doesn’t. He’s a “citizen of the world,” just like Justin Trudeau and his father.

 

Leitch’s proposal has proved popular with actual people, who understand, as historian Daniel Boorstin once said, that, “Planning for the future without a sense of history is like planting cut flowers.” They want immigrants to share genuine Canadian roots. But the elite is busy hacking through those very roots because, to borrow a phrase from theologian N.T. Wright, they think “trees should be entirely visible and obviously fruitful, no part of them buried in dirty soil. What’s down there in the rich soil of our home and native land? Individual liberty. Rule of law. Critical self-examination. And yes, monogamy, sprouting from a Judeo-Christian tradition now deemed in especially urgent need of uprooting and burning.

 

The EU’s book on Ireland smugly explains that, “You might be accustomed to seeing dates expressed with the abbreviations BC or AD.” But they’re going with BCE and CE because “many people now prefer to use abbreviations that people from all religions can be comfortable using.” It’s ludicrous, since CE still dates from the supposed birth of you-know-who. Would it mollify Muslims if we called him Gezuz? But it’s part of an aggressive, if shallow, effort to eliminate everything that forms part of our true heritage, especially everything religious.

 

Hence efforts in Canada to ban Trinity Western University graduates from practising law, and efforts to eliminate faith-based exemptions to non-discrimination laws at all universities. And hence Trudeau, who in odd-numbered years considers gender equality a core Canadian value, speaking cheerfully in an even-numbered year at a mosque where his female ministers are segregated, forced to cover their lascivious hair and stay silent. It’s oh so cosmopolitan. But without roots, societies, like plants, wither and die. Let’s keep Canada Canadian.

 

Contents                       

           

On Topic Links

 

The Islamic Hatred of Modernity: John Mauldin, Maudlin Economics, Sept. 28, 2016 —I have for you a very interesting and unusual piece for this week’s Outside the Box. It is not that I do not regularly send things by authors who see the world differently from me, but I rarely delve into the political and geopolitical world.

Germany: Beginning of the End of the Merkel Era?: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 10, 2016 —German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major blow on September 4 when the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged ahead of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

Burkini Debate in France Exposes a Divide in its Jewish Community: Cnaan Liphshiz, Times of Israel, Sept. 24, 2016— Like their constituents, the mainstream representatives of French Jewry are not known for passing up opportunities to express their opinion on subjects of national debate.

Europeans Turn to Israel to Spur Lagging Economies: Breaking Israel News, Sept. 26, 2016—About 60 ministers of education from a range of OECD countries gathered Sunday in Jerusalem for a three-day program to explore Israel’s culture of entrepreneurship.

 

 

ANOTHER IRAN “DEAL” CONTROVERSY, JEWISH ANTI-ZIONISTS IN ISRAEL, & A SHRINKING JEWISH POPULATION: WHAT WOULD JABOTINSKY SAY?

U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed : Jay Solomon & Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 3, 2016— The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Anti-Zionist Historians Are Wrong About Israel: Rabbi David Wolpe, Time, Aug. 2, 2016— The late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach used to say: “If I meet a person who tells me he is a Protestant, I know he is a Protestant. If I meet a person who tells me he is Catholic, I know he is Catholic. If I meet a person who tells me he is a human being, I know he is a Jew.”

It’s Time for the Jews to Proselytize: Shmuley Boteach, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 1, 2016— No matter how you look at the demographic studies, one thing is clear: the number of Jews is not increasing.

Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky: Jewish Virtual Library, 2008— Ze'ev Jabotinsky was a Zionist activist, orator, and writer who founded the Betar Movement. He was also a soldier who founded the Jewish Legion during World War I.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Mayor of Jerusalem’s Bold Response to President Obama (Video): Israel Video Network, Aug. 3, 2016

Israeli PM Netanyahu Explained the Palestinian Issue in 1978 (Video): Nathan Lichtman, PJ Media, Aug. 2, 2016

Gaza’s Head of World Vision Hired by Hamas to Infiltrate the Charity, Funnelled $9.5 Million a Year to Hamas: Ruth Eglash and Hazem Balousha, National Post, Aug. 3, 2016

The Media’s Lies and Double Standards Accelerate at Blinding Speed: Monica Crowley, Washington Times, Aug. 3, 2016

 

 

U.S. SENT CASH TO IRAN AS AMERICANS WERE FREED

Jay Solomon & Carol E. Lee

Wall Street Journal, Aug. 3, 2016

 

The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward. Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.

 

The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The settlement, which resolved claims before an international tribunal in The Hague, also coincided with the formal implementation that same weekend of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Tehran, the U.S. and other global powers the summer before. “With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17—without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.

 

Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo. “As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”

 

But U.S. officials also acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible. Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a fierce foe of the Iran nuclear deal, accused President Barack Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.” “This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans, he said. Since the cash shipment, the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard has arrested two more Iranian-Americans. Tehran has also detained dual-nationals from France, Canada and the U.K. in recent months.

 

At the time of the prisoner release, Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House portrayed it as a diplomatic breakthrough. Mr. Kerry cited the importance of “the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks.” Meanwhile, U.S. officials have said they were certain Washington was going to lose the arbitration in The Hague, where Iran was seeking more than $10 billion, and described the settlement as a bargain for taxpayers.

 

Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment. The Iranian foreign ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment. The $400 million was paid in foreign currency because any transaction with Iran in U.S. dollars is illegal under U.S. law. Sanctions also complicate Tehran’s access to global banks. “Sometimes the Iranians want cash because it’s so hard for them to access things in the international financial system,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the January cash delivery. “They know it can take months just to figure out how to wire money from one place to another.”

 

The Obama administration has refused to disclose how it paid any of the $1.7 billion, despite congressional queries, outside of saying that it wasn’t paid in dollars. Lawmakers have expressed concern that the cash would be used by Iran to fund regional allies, including the Assad regime in Syria and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization. The U.S. and United Nations believe Tehran is subsidizing the Assad regime’s war in Syria through cash and energy shipments. Iran has acknowledged providing both financial and military aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and deploying Iranian soldiers there…

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

 

                                                           

 

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ANTI-ZIONIST HISTORIANS ARE WRONG ABOUT ISRAEL                                                      

Rabbi David Wolpe                                                                                                       

Time, Aug. 2, 2016

 

The late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach used to say: “If I meet a person who tells me he is a Protestant, I know he is a Protestant. If I meet a person who tells me he is Catholic, I know he is Catholic. If I meet a person who tells me he is a human being, I know he is a Jew.”

 

Jews have a tradition, born of a combination of persecution and self-scrutiny, that sometimes makes them uncomfortable with the particularity of being part of a people. These days you can see it in people who repudiate the state that actually saved millions of Jews, the State of Israel. The latest execrable entry in this sweepstakes to flee from yourself is an article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz by two historians, Hasia Diner and Marjorie Feld, on why they have “left Zionism behind.”

 

Diner writes that it is impossible to support a state that was “Jewish and Zionist.” Where to begin? With the fact that there have been scores of Muslim states, Christians states and one Jewish state? That because Israel is a Jewish state, millions of Russian, Yemeni, Syrian, Ethiopian, Iranian, Iraqi and other Jews were saved? Where across the Middle East does this enlightened historian think LGBTQ women and men run to save themselves from the draconian laws in their homelands?

 

Feld, who said she “reeducated herself”—astonishing how a historian does not hear the ominous tones in that phrase—follows up with her own brand of clotted vitriol. She says she refuses to enter any institution that has a “We Stand with Israel” banner. Well, I cannot say that the people in my synagogue would welcome her, although they might try to “reeducate” her. Perhaps the hundreds of Iranian Jews who fled, many of them with family in Israel, who were given support and aid from Israel to enable them to escape a tyrannical regime—they might reeducate this woman who refuses to be associated with the only state that has existed on that land since Israel was destroyed 2,000 years ago. Maybe they could teach this historian a little history.

 

We do not “silence” people who differ from the consensus. There is a robust debate in American Jewry, even within the walls of my own synagogue. But it does not include people who repudiate the right of Israel to exist. I suppose you might entertain the right of people to argue France should not exist. After all some people believe that, and prove it regularly with bombs and bullets. But I suspect that none of us would readily give credence to the argument or invite it into our homes. No, you cannot argue that France, or China, or Russia or any other country in the world, no matter it’s behavior, should not exist. It is unthinkable. Only Israel is accorded the argument for ideological or literal obliteration, and now it passes in polite company as a real discussion. So two Jewish historians take to an Israeli newspaper to argue against the continuation of the Jewish State of Israel. It is hard to know whether to be more offended by their arrogance or their idiocy.            

 

 

 

Contents                                                                                                                       

                                                               

                      IT’S TIME FOR THE JEWS TO PROSELYTIZE                                                                                 

                                                 Shmuley Boteach

Jerusalem Post, Aug. 1, 2016

 

No matter how you look at the demographic studies, one thing is clear: the number of Jews is not increasing. We continue to lose Jews and potential Jews every day through intermarriage, assimilation and alienation. Birthrates are also being influenced by economic forces; as the population becomes more affluent Jews have fewer children. Even the Orthodox, who are largely seen as the sole engine for population growth, are feeling constrained by the rising cost of a Jewish education. Tuition costs are serving as a natural contraceptive in our community.

 

Today, the world’s 15 million Jews are an infinitesimal percentage of the global population of more than 3 billion (more than 7 billion—Ed.). If Judaism is to survive, we must, at a minimum, double our numbers, and the only way to do that is to have more children and reverse our policy of not welcoming and seeking Halachic (Jewish law) converts to Judaism.

 

Though it is commonly associated with Christianity, Jews did engage in proselytizing. Sue Fishkoff noted in Try it You’ll like it! Should Jews Proselytize? that “Judaism has a long history of not only welcoming, but encouraging gentiles to become Jewish. From the day Abraham picked up a flint and performed his own circumcision, thus becoming Judaism’s first convert, ancient Israelites openly spread their teachings among the nations they encountered.” Fishkoff says Jewish proselytizing was so successful, it’s estimated that by the first century C.E. fully 10 percent of the Roman Empire was Jewish, close to eight million people. Jews stopped proselytizing, she said, “because of pressure from Christian and then Muslim rulers, beginning in 407 C.E. when the Roman Empire outlawed conversion to Judaism under penalty of death.”

 

Unlike this earlier time, I am not talking about proselytizing to people who are devoted to a particular faith. We Jews do not believe that non-Jews who are in a relationship with God are upgrading their existence by becoming Jewish. But there are countless millions of people who live outside a faith framework. They want a spiritual life and I see no reason not to offer them Judaism. Of course, my main target audience are people who are born Jews but don’t know it or do not identify as Jews. We must educate them in their faith. But I believe Judaism also has a great deal to offer people with no religion, those who find that religion does not speak to them. The three great personal challenges of our time are these: an inability to stay married or sustain a loving, passionate and intimate relationship; an inability to raise inspired children; and inability to be happy.

 

Judaism is uniquely attuned to catering to these needs because our faith is focused on the richness of everyday life, unlike other religions that seek empires or worry more about the world to come than the one we live in today. Unlike every other religion in the world, we Jews don’t claim a copyright on truth. We don’t believe that by becoming a Jew you come closer to God than you would as a Christian or Muslim. We respect the Godly qualities of other faiths that lead to a righteous life. But we also believe that Jewish light can illuminate the earth. Part of that entails spreading the light of Jewish values. But part of it also entails having more Jewish converts.

 

We also need a critical mass of people who love and support Israel. The current Jewish population is simply too small. How can Diaspora Jewry pressure and influence their respective governments to support the Jewish state when the Jewish population in most countries outside the US is paltry? Will governments choose to side with 14 million Jews over half a billion Arabs? In the United States, we have for too long relied on the super-patriotism of Jews and their disproportional involvement in electoral politics. Here, too, however, the numbers are shrinking as a percentage of the American population. As the percentage of other minorities increases, the proportion of Jews decline. Today, Jews are barely 2% of the population; how long can we count on elected officials to take our concerns into consideration? How will we convince future elected bodies comprised of Hispanics and Asians and other ethnic groups that have no history of engagement with the Jewish community or Israel? As we watch terrorism spreading in Europe and contemplate what that continent will look like as Christianity continues to subside, the answer just might be teaching Judaism to non-Jews.

 

It is often said that it is hard to be a Jew, and it is true that being a Jew comes with certain obligations to oneself, to our fellow human and to the one God. Jews also carry the heavy burden of history and, even today, remain targets of individual anti-Semites, religious zealots and countries such as Iran that seek our destruction. Still, during this period of violence, unhappiness and political division, the world needs the Jewish ideals of peace and harmony.

 

I believe that it is time for Jews to reach out and share the beauty, the morality and the spirituality of Judaism with those who are seeking answers to the difficult questions of modern life and want to find secrets for staying married, inspiring our children and finding contentment and happiness. For those seeking to become Jewish, it is critical that converts go through an Orthodox conversion with a respected Orthodox Beth Din.

 

Central to an Orthodox conversion is the requirement to observe Shabbat and Jewish holidays and refrain from their desecration. What better antidote is there than Shabbat to today’s high-stress, workaholic workweek than a day of rest for contemplation and time to devote to the family? My colleague Mitchell Bard suggested that Shabbat is a way to turn high-strung east-coasters who spend all weekend talking about what they do during the week into laid-back Californians who spend all week talking about what they did during the weekend.

 

Also vital is kosher food consumption and a kosher home as well as observing the laws of family purity, which heighten erotic desire and inject an element of erotic sinfulness into a relationship. Judaism can be a light unto the nations. Why not give more people an opportunity to not only bask in that light but to join us in projecting it to the world? As the future of the Jewish people continues to grow more precarious, it is a moral imperative that we do everything we can to strengthen our community spiritually, politically and demographically. The time to spread the virtues of Judaism is now.

           

                                               

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        ZE'EV (VLADIMIR) JABOTINSKY

                                                 Jewish Virtual Library, 2008

 

Ze'ev Jabotinsky was a Zionist activist, orator, and writer who founded the Betar Movement. He was also a soldier who founded the Jewish Legion during World War I.

 

Jabotinsky (born October 18, 1880; died August 4, 1940) was born as Vladimir into a middle-class Jewish family in the Russian city of Odessa. At the age of 18, he left Odessa to study law in Italy and Switzerland, where he also served as a foreign correspondent for several well­known Russian newspapers. His reports and articles were widely read and soon became recognized as one of the brilliant exponents of Russian journalism. All his reports and articles were signed with his literary pseudonym “Altalena.”

 

Ze'ev returned to Odessa in 1901 where he worked on the editorial staff of Odesskiya Novosti, but the pogrom against the Jews of Kishinev in 1903 spurred Jabotinsky to undertake Zionist activity. Though he admitted that he "no inner contact with Judaism" and never "breathed the atmosphere of Jewish cultural tradition" during his youth, Jabotisnky took a leadership role in organizing self­defense units and fought for Jewish minority rights in Russia. He then traveled the length and breadth of Russia urging self-defense on the Jewish communities.

 

Elected as a delegate to the 6th Zionist Congress, Jabotinsky became fascinated by Zionist leader Theodor Herzl and though he voted against Herzl's "Uganda Plan" for a Jewish national home, Ze'ev was totally taken by the fervor of Zionist activists.  Over the next few years, Jabotinsky was active in spreading the Hebrew language and culture throughout Russia and soon became the foremost Zionist lecturer and journalist in the country.

 

Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Jabotinsky left for the war-front as a newspaper correspondent with the Moscow liberal daily Russkiya Vedomosti. While in Alexandria, where thousands of Jewish deportees from Palestine were concentrated, he met Joseph Trumpeldor and together they worked for the establishment of the Jewish Legion. Jabotinsky was not interested in the creation of an auxiliary unit, and, upon reaching London, took energetic steps until the final confirmation was received in August 1917 of the creation of the first Jewish Legion. Jabotinsky also served as a Lieutenant and participated in the assault of the Jordan River crossings and the conquest of E­salt in the campaign to free Eretz Israel (Palestine) from Turkish rule. During Passover in 1920, Jabotinsky stood at the head of the Haganah in Jerusalem against Arab riots and was condemned by the British Mandatory Government to 15 years hard labor. Following the public outcry against the verdict, he received amnesty and was released from Acre prison.

 

After 1921, Jabotinsky served as a member of the Zionist Executive and was one of the founders of “Keren Hayesod.” After a series of policy disagreement on the direction of the Zionist Movement, he seceded and, in 1925, established the Union of Zionists­Revisionists (Hatzohar) which called for the immediate establishment of a Jewish State.

 

In 1923, the youth movement Betar (Brith Joseph Trumpeldor) was created. The new youth movement aimed at educating its members with a military and nationalistic spirit and Jabotinsky stood at its head. During the years 1928­1929, he resided in Palestine and edited the Hebrew daily Doar Hayom while, at the same time, undertaking increased political activity. In 1929, he left the country on a lecture tour after which the British administration denied him re­entry into the country. From then onwards he lived in the Diaspora until his death.

 

In 1935, after the Zionist Executive rejected his political program and refused to clearly define that “the aim of Zionism was the establishment of a Jewish state,” Jabotinsky decided to resign from the Zionist Movement. He founded the New Zionist Organization (N.Z.O) to conduct independent political activity for free immigration and the establishment of a Jewish State.

 

In 1937, the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (I.Z.L) became the military arm of the Jabotinsky movement and he became its commander. The three bodies headed by Jabotinsky, The New Zionist Organization (N.Z.O), the Betar youth movement and the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (I.Z.L) were three extensions of the same movement. The New Zionist Organization was the political arm that maintained contacts with governments and other political factors, Betar educated the youth of the Diaspora for the liberation and building of Eretz Israel and the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (I.Z.L) was the military arm that fought against the enemies of the Zionist enterprise. These bodies cooperated in the organization of Af Al Pi illegal immigration. Within this framework, more than 40 ships sailed from European ports bringing to Eretz Israel tens of thousands of illegal immigrants.

 

Throughout this period of intense political activity, Jabotinsky continued to write poetry, novels, short stories and articles on politics, social and economic problems. From among his literary creations, The Jewish Legion, Prelude to Delilah (Samson) and The Five, served as an inspiration for Jews of the Diaspora. Jabotinsky was fluent in many languages and translated into Hebrew some of the best-known classics of world literature.

 

From 1939 to 1940, Jabotinsky was active in Britain and the United States in the hope of establishing a Jewish army to fight side by side with the Allies against Nazi Germany. On August 4, 1940, while visiting the Betar camp in New York, he suffered a massive heart­attack. In his will he requested that his remains may only be interred in Eretz Israel at the express order of the Hebrew Government of the Jewish State that shall arise. His will was fulfilled by Levi Eshkol, Israel's third Prime Minister. In 1964, Jabotinsky's remains and those of his wife Jeanne were reinterred on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents      

                                                                                                                                                                 

On Topic Links

 

The Mayor of Jerusalem’s Bold Response to President Obama (Video): Israel Video Network, Aug. 3, 2016

Israeli PM Netanyahu Explained the Palestinian Issue in 1978 (Video): Nathan Lichtman, PJ Media, Aug. 2, 2016—A young Benjamin Netanyahu explains that "Jordan is a Palestinian state." He got it as early as 1978, and he still gets it.

Gaza’s Head of World Vision Hired by Hamas to Infiltrate the Charity, Funnelled $9.5 Million a Year to Hamas: Ruth Eglash and Hazem Balousha, National Post, Aug. 3, 2016—The Gaza head of the U.S.-based humanitarian aid organization World Vision funnelled as much as $9.5 million (US$7.2 million) a year over the past 10 years to Hamas’ terror activities, Israel’s domestic security agency said Thursday.

The Media’s Lies and Double Standards Accelerate at Blinding Speed: Monica Crowley, Washington Times, Aug. 3, 2016—According to the media, not all grieving parents of fallen servicemen are created equal. Whether those parents are protected, defended and respected or ignored, dismissed and smeared depends on their political affiliation — and how useful they are to the “right” side.

 

 

 

 

TURKEY & ISRAEL RECONCILE, DESPITE TURKISH ANTISEMITISM AND SUPPORT FOR ISLAMISTS

The Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation: A Balance Sheet: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, July 6, 2016— In Israel, where last week's headlines often feel like ancient history, the cabinet's decision on the reconciliation package with Turkey faded fast.

The Turkey-Israel Agreement: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Breaking Israel News, July 6, 2016— My late father, Nahum Kuperschmidt, was a construction site metalworker, a job that was not especially complex, but required absolute honesty.

Turkey: Victim of Its Own Enthusiasm for Jihad: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, July 7, 2016 — The government big guns in Ankara just shrugged it off when on June 5, 2015, only two days before general elections in the country, homegrown jihadist militants for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syia (ISIS, or ISIL or IS) detonated bombs, killing four people and injuring over 100, at a pro-Kurdish political rally.

The Tragedy of Modern Turkey: Asli Aydintasbas, Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2016— Last week, I was on an inbound flight to Istanbul when terrorists at Ataturk Airport blew themselves up, killing 44.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Importance of Interests in Israel-Turkey Reconciliation: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, June 20, 2015

Double Game? Even as it Battles ISIS, Turkey Gives Other Extremists Shelter: Joby Warrick, Washington Post, July 10, 2015

Will Turkey's New Diplomatic Push Reduce Its American MB Support?: Abha Shankar, IPT News, July 7, 2016

An Ottoman Return to Jerusalem?: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, July 5, 2016

 

 

 

THE TURKISH-ISRAELI RECONCILIATION: A BALANCE SHEET                                        

Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman            

BESA, July 6, 2016    

 

In Israel, where last week's headlines often feel like ancient history, the cabinet's decision on the reconciliation package with Turkey faded fast. It was replaced by anguish and anger over the murder of a Jewish 13-year-old in her bed, and the shooting attack on a family car that took the life of the father – foul deeds that have yet to be denounced by Palestinian leadership.

Still, the Turkish-Israeli reconciliation remains a bold government decision that was taken in defiance of popular sentiment. The cabinet vote, seven to three in favor, was in roughly inverse proportion to public opinion. The decision represented a conjunction of grand strategy and manipulative diplomacy; of national security and business interests; of cold calculation and identity politics; of raw power and legal finery. At the end of the day, the reconciliation leaves Israel morally bruised but strategically better off.

 

Many in Israel were outraged by the deal, in part because it did not (and indeed, could not) provide for the return of two individuals and the bodies of two soldiers held by Hamas. Others are angered by Israel’s apology and payment for the Marmara incident. The Marmara was the lead vessel in a Turkish flotilla that was seeking to breach Israel's legal blockade of the terrorist entity in Gaza in 2010. Israeli commandos raided the vessel, and nine Turkish nationals were killed in the melee. On board the ship were a large number of activists from IHH, a radical Islamist group in Turkey.

 

For the Turkish victims’ families to be paid millions in compensation – albeit ex gratia – is not easy for Israelis to accept, particularly in light of the Palmer report that stated unequivocally that Israel acted within her rights during the raid. Several of the IDF soldiers who were involved have tried to petition the courts against the payment. There is no hope, moreover, even among supporters of the deal, for a true change of mind on Erdoğan's part with regard to Israel. His hostility towards Israel is deeply ingrained, as is his sympathy towards Hamas. Our close associates of recent years, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt, all view Turkey with extreme suspicion.

 

Why agree to the deal, then? The answer lies within the realm of strategic calculation, as well as within the dynamics of the negotiations. A cost-benefit analysis should be made not in the abstract, but against the background of what had already been conceded and what has now been gained. The most painful “give” – the apology (not for the operation itself, which was legal under the law of the sea, but for "operational mistakes" during the raid) – was already made in March 2013, under heavy pressure from the Obama Administration. At the time, the principle of compensation was also agreed upon, roughly at the levels ultimately incorporated in the agreement. Three other considerations stood in the way, however, and a fourth constraint was added in 2014. But all four obstacles were overcome by mid-2016.

 

Politics: As long as Erdoğan was still fighting to impose his new model of Turkish constitutional practices, centered on an empowered presidency, Israel saw no need to lend him a helping hand. Once he had solidified his position, however, it became pointless to wait for a different political proposition in Ankara. Meanwhile, political changes in Israel secured Netanyahu against the prospect of an aggressive parliamentary campaign by the hard right to protest the decision…

 

Gaza: Again and again, in his aggressive (and occasionally anti-Semitic) style, Erdoğan promised to insist on a “third condition” besides the apology and compensation: the lifting of the “siege” on Gaza. Working in close association with Qatar, he placed himself at the service of Muslim Brotherhood offshoots across the region, including Hamas. For Israel, this was a deal breaker. Hamas cannot possibly be allowed to trade freely, or the Strip will soon be inundated with Iranian arms. Thus, a broad range of face-saving alternatives was offered to the Turkish side, designed to enable Erdoğan to retreat while claiming to advance.

 

The sides ultimately agreed to these terms: Turkey will be allowed to build a power station and other facilities in Gaza. (This is actually a prospect welcomed by Israel, since the IDF is acutely aware of the need to overcome power and water shortages there). But all relevant supplies will be unloaded at Ashdod Port, inspected, and driven in by truck through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. In effect, the Turkish government conceded Israel's point…                                                                                                                              

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

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                 

THE TURKEY-ISRAEL AGREEMENT                                                                           

Dr. Mordechai Kedar                                                                                                     

Breaking Israel News, July 6, 2016

 

My late father, Nahum Kuperschmidt, was a construction site metalworker, a job that was not especially complex, but required absolute honesty, because although no one knows exactly what a metalworker does to keep precipitation from leaking into a building, the first rains are enough to expose any careless work on his part. He taught me an ironclad rule: When dealing with decent people you don’t need a contract, but if the people you are dealing with are not decent, a contract will do you no good. Every time I have to sign a contract I check on the decency of the other party before doing so. And the same rule that works in the private sphere works in the public sphere.

 

The agreement signed by Israel and Turkey this week is meant to restore relations between the two countries to the level they were before the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010. When the Justice and Development Party headed by Recep Tayyib Erdogan won the 2002 Turkish elections and blanketed the relations between Turkey and Israel with an Islamist cloud emanating from the direction of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose modern version of political Islam’s policy was to deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state or to be the homeland of the Jewish people.   The Jews were supposed to be under Islamic subjugation as a class of “protected dhimmi” with limited rights at best.

 

Diplomatic relations with Israel were part of Erdogan’s inheritance, but he gradually chilled and downgraded them, while he warmed up to and developed relations with the Islamic entity in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Marmara was Erdogan’s contribution towards breaking the Israeli blockade on Gaza, and Israel’s success in preventing that from happening was a bitter pill for him to swallow.

 

Under the Islamic party’s rule, Turkey had to put up with, at first, a number of heretical vestiges of the secular vision of the “Attaturk” (Mustapha Kamal) regimes that ran the country from the 1920’s until the Islamists returned to power. That included several casinos that continued to operate until a few years past 2002, the sale of alcoholic beverages and beaches where the prevalent attire was light years away from Islamic norms. The flotilla crisis occurred in May 2010 and its aftermath is now in the hands of President Erdogan, who has to decide if he, the Islamist, will reestablish the relations with Israel which he himself caused to be severed. The decision is not an easy one, especially for a person whose egocentricity trumps every objective factor, so that he has to swallow his pride in order to agree to the deal.

 

Except that the past few years have left him no choice. Despite his political ambitions to live in peace with all the nations surrounding Turkey, he managed to find himself in conflict with every one of them. He is accused of providing the bridge which Jihadists crossed into Syria, destroying that country; he supported ISIS mainly by purchasing raw fuel that the group produced in Syria and Iraq; he shot down a Russian warplane in 2015 and found himself at odds with Putin; he is up to his neck in a struggle with the Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi Kurds; he is in  mess with the Iranians who strongly support  Assad, whom he hates with a passion, and he also has to sit by and watch the Iranians take over the Arab areas on the southern border of Turkey, Iraq and Syria, after their takeover of Lebanon by means of Iran’s proxy, the Hezbollah.

 

As soon as Turkey itself became a target for ISIS terror attacks, Erdogan found himself in a war with Islamic fanatics – exactly like Israel. He knows one or two things about Hamas involvement in training, arming and drilling Jihadists in the “Sinai Province of Islamic State” and it is possible that his decision to reach an agreement with Israel will cause a certain chill in his relations with Hamas. Time will tell, especially if Turkey keeps its commitment to prevent Hamas from using Turkey as a base of operations. In the agreement, Turkey agreed in principle to the continuation of Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza, and all Turkish aid to Gaza will arrive through the port of Ashdod after its contents are checked and authorized by Israel. This is a great achievement for Israel – and it is quite possible that Hamas will refuse to accept the aid under these conditions.

 

Another Israeli achievement has to do with marketing gas to Turkey by way of an undersea pipeline, and perhaps even eliciting Turkey’s help in marketing gas to Europe. This is a very important part of the agreement, considering the fact that in the past few years several Turkish politicians have expressed their belief that Turkey has rights to the gas in the deposits that Israel discovered, and there was even the possibility of Turkey initiating hostilities against Israeli gas installations in the Mediterranean. Including the gas issue in the agreement puts an end to any future Turkish claims on rights to the gas deposits.

 

The price Israel paid for the agreement with Turkey was not a minor one, nor is it an easy one to pay. In exchange for ending all Turkish claims against IDF soldiers and Israeli politicians with regard to the Marmara, Israel agreed to apologize for the killing of ten Turkish citizens during the takeover of the ship and to the payment of 20 m. dollars, not directly to the families, but to a fund to be managed by the Turkish government.

 

Israel dropped its demand to return Avera Mengistu and Hasham Alsaid as well as the remains of the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. The reason for that is simple. Israel feels that Hamas will be far from pleased by the agreement, to put it mildly, and will not be willing to do anything that might help it succeed. Instead of empowering Hamas by granting it the ability to sabotage the agreement, Israel decided to leave the humanitarian issues on a bilateral level, between Israel and Hamas. That aside, no country can mortgage its relations with another important country in order to solve and bring to an end problems involving specific persons. It is true that the two fallen IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, were sent to war by the state, and it is true that the states’ commitment to them is absolute, still – since they are, sadly, not among the living – the issue is an emotional and symbolic one for the citizens of Israel, while relations with Turkey are in the field of national, strategic, political and economic interests of the organizational aspects of the state.

 

All in all, the agreement with Turkey is a good one, balanced and of significant benefit to the important needs of the state of Israel. One wonders, naturally, what factors helped Israel reach this agreement. Turkey’s needs are a critical factor, as described above, and there are rumors to the effect that Israel was the go between in the easing of the antagonism between Russia and Turkey with respect to the Russian aircraft downed by Turkey. It is not far fetched to assume that Saudi Arabia contributed to the rapprochement between Turkey and Israel as well, and perhaps even the US added its blessing to the nascent agreement. With all that, the agreement is mainly a result of the extremely successful management of the negotiation process that brought it about…

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

                                                           

 

Contents                                                                                                                         

 

TURKEY: VICTIM OF ITS OWN ENTHUSIASM FOR JIHAD                  

Burak Bekdil                                   

                                        Gatestone Institute, July 7, 2016

 

The government big guns in Ankara just shrugged it off when on June 5, 2015, only two days before general elections in the country, homegrown jihadist militants for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syia (ISIS, or ISIL or IS) detonated bombs, killing four people and injuring over 100, at a pro-Kurdish political rally. Again, when IS, on July 20, 2015, bombed a meeting of pro-Kurdish peace activists in a small town on Turkey's Syrian border, killing 33 people and injuring over 100, the government behaved as if it had never happened. After all, a bunch of "wild boys" from the ranks of jihad — which the ruling party in Ankara not-so-secretly aspires to — were killing the common enemy: Kurds.

 

Then when IS jihadists, in October, killed over 100 people in the heart of Ankara, while targeting, once again, a public rally of pro-peace activists (including many Kurds), the Turkish government put the blame on "a cocktail of terror groups" — meaning the attack may have been a product of Islamists, far-leftist and Kurdish militants. "IS, Kurdish or far-leftist militants could have carried out the bombing," the prime minister at the time, Ahmet Davutoglu, said. It was the worst single terror attack in Turkey's history, and the Ankara government was too demure even to name the perpetrators. An indictment against 36 suspects, completed nearly nine months after the attack, identified all defendants as Islamic State members. So there was no "cocktail of terror." It was just the jihadists.

 

In the last year, there had been further jihadist acts of terror, targeting Turks and foreign tourists, but with relatively few casualties up to now. At an Istanbul airport, however, a mysterious explosion, which the authorities hastily attempted to cover up, was probably the precursor of the latest mega-attack in Istanbul. The management at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport said on Dec. 23, 2015 that: "There was an explosion at the apron and investigation regarding its cause is progressing … Flights have resumed." That unidentified explosion consisted of three or four mortars fired at a passenger plane parked at the apron. The attack killed one unfortunate cleaner.

 

The incident was quickly "disappeared" from the public memory. One person dying in a mysterious explosion was too minor for a collective Turkish memory that had grown used to casualties coming in the dozens. It was, in fact, a powerful message from the terrorists: We will target your lifeline — air traffic. Every year about 60 million travelers pass through Istanbul's main airport, Ataturk. Turkey is now building an even bigger airport that will host 150 million passengers a year. Completing the mission from December's "minor and unresolved" attack at the Sabiha Gokcen Airport, the terrorists visited Ataturk Airport on June 28, killing at least 45 and injuring hundreds of people. Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said that it was "probably" an attack by IS. Days later, the suicide bombers were identified as jihadists of Central Asian origin.

 

In a state of perpetual denial, Turkey's Islamist rulers are still too bashful to admit any linkage between political Islam and violence. Ironically, their denial exposes their country to the risk of even more Islamic terror. Worse, the political Islam they fuel in their own country is growing millions of potential jihadists at home. In November, a Pew Research Center study found that 27% of Turks (more than 20 million) did not have an unfavorable opinion of IS — compared to, say, 16% in the Palestinian territories…

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

 

 

Contents                                                                                               

                                                                         

THE TRAGEDY OF MODERN TURKEY                                                                                   

Asli Aydintasbas                                                                                                              

Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2016

 

Last week, I was on an inbound flight to Istanbul when terrorists at Ataturk Airport blew themselves up, killing 44. My plane was diverted, and upon landing in Ankara I called a friend and we had a drink. It wasn’t that I wasn’t saddened by the attack, but like most people in Turkey I’ve grown dangerously accustomed to living with violence and death.

 

Between Islamic State and Kurdish separatists, across Turkey over the past year there have been 15 bombings and suicide attacks, resulting in nearly 300 deaths. In the country’s southeast, where the collapse of peace talks last summer gave way to a Kurdish insurgency, the government claims it has killed 6,900 Kurdish militants. Military and security personnel have suffered about 600 casualties, and civilians killed in the crossfire between government forces and the Kurdish separatists have numbered a few hundred more. And there you have it: 8,000 Turkish citizens dead in one year, and a return to the 1990s-style half-free, half-oppressive national-security state. An annus horriblis in every way.

 

Amid this whole mess, how can one worry about being in an airport attacked by Islamic State when there have been similar bombings on the subway, a pedestrian street in downtown Istanbul and a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara? I now understand how people could party in one part of Beirut while fighting raged on in another. In times of chaos, you become desensitized to death. You take precautions, then go about your business. How else to live?

 

Turkey’s descent into turmoil has largely to do with the current state of the Middle East and the spillover from the Syrian war. On top of hosting 2.5 million Syrian refugees, we live with a region infested with jihadists, stricken by sectarian wars, home to al Qaeda and Islamic State. A decade ago Turkey was a model Muslim democracy on its way to membership in the European Union. Now we are facing old-fashioned authoritarianism at home and the regional fallout from the Arab Spring. The Turkish government’s decisions over the past few years have aggravated its maladies. At the outset of the Syrian war, Turkey’s ruling Islamists were so fervent about a regime change in Damascus that they turned a blind eye to the flow of jihadists into Syria. That’s how Islamic State prospered.

 

Turkey wasn’t alone in this mistake. Many European governments also watched as young men bought tickets to Istanbul and crossed into Syria early in the war. When I went to Syria in late 2012, I simply strolled across olive groves in Kilis, with no controls, no stamps. Groups of foreign fighters waited in the shade of trees to meet up with their opposition contacts. In the years that followed, Islamic State and other groups used Turkey as a safe passageway, a recruitment ground and a corridor for goods and services. At one time, it may have been forgivable to see the Assad regime as the “real problem” and the jihadists as a “future problem.” But Turkey’s blindness has persisted. Ankara kept thinking it could develop a modus vivendi with Islamic State on its borders, until it was too late.

 

Far less forgivable is Turkey’s decision last year to overhaul its Syrian policy so it could prevent Syrian Kurds from gaining strength on its southern flank. “PYD is more dangerous than ISIS,” Turkish president  Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said about the Syrian Kurdish group. This was only a few months after the Kurds put up an epic struggle to expel the Islamic State in the town of Kobani on the Turkish border. Ankara watched warily in 2015 as Kurds steamrolled through Islamic State-controlled territory on its border with the help of U.S. airstrikes. This should have been a cause for celebration. The Syrian Kurds are secular, well-organized and made up in part by volunteers from Turkey’s own Kurds. They are also affiliated with the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has been in peace talks with Ankara for years.

 

Instead, Ankara closed its borders to those towns captured by Kurds from Islamic State. Mr. Erdogan ended the peace talks at home and joined an international coalition against Islamic State, hoping to pull Washington away from its burgeoning alliance with the Kurds. Turkey continues to support a coterie of jihadists and nonjihadist opposition groups in Syria, but when it comes to Kurds—our cousins, our citizens, our neighbors—we become irrational.

 

Ankara sees the Kurdish movement as an existential threat and Islamic State as a nuisance. Its primary concern in Syria is the prevention of a contiguous Kurdish zone there, out of fear that a “Kurdish belt” in northern Syria would entice Turkey’s Kurds to call for greater autonomy. That’s no way to keep a country together, and it hurts Turkey’s long-term interests and the international fight against Islamic State. Turkey should support the idea of a Kurdish belt on its southern borders, grandfather a Kurdish zone, isolate itself from the instability in Iraq and Syria, and return to the peace talks at home. With nearly 20% of its population being Kurds, Mr. Erdogan’s anti-Kurdish policy in Syria aggravates the insurgency at home.

 

This is the tragedy of modern Turkey. Its current Islamist rulers burn with nostalgia for the Ottoman Empire. But they are the products of a timid 20th-century nation-state, narrow-minded and unable to provide lasting solutions to transnational ills. Both the Kurdish issue and the Islamic State mess are intertwined and require big thinking. The sensible solution would be to work with the Kurds to stave off Islamic State, not the other way around.

 

Contents        

                                                                                                   

On Topic Links

 

The Importance of Interests in Israel-Turkey Reconciliation: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, June 20, 2015— Israel's once-close relationship with Turkey began losing its luster in 2003, when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected prime minister. The deterioration never caused an actual rift between the countries, but it was clear that the Islamist Erdoğan, who is now Turkey's president, was leading his country toward a conflict with Israel.

Double Game? Even as it Battles ISIS, Turkey Gives Other Extremists Shelter: Joby Warrick, Washington Post, July 10, 2015—To his Turkish hosts, Rifai Ahmed Taha was a tiny, elf-like man with an oversize beard and colorful past. To U.S. officials, he was a dangerous terrorist who would be tracked and targeted — if ever he left his Turkish sanctuary.

Will Turkey's New Diplomatic Push Reduce Its American MB Support?: Abha Shankar, IPT News, July 7, 2016—Turkey is mending fences with Egypt and cutting back its support for the Muslim Brotherhood in response to the deadly terror attacks that have struck the country over the past year, The London Times reports.

An Ottoman Return to Jerusalem?: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, July 5, 2016—Following Israel’s reconciliation agreement with Turkey on June 26, 2016, attention was given to Turkey’s involvement in Gaza and how it can influence Hamas. But attention was not paid to Turkey’s deepening involvement in east Jerusalem and in the mosques on the Temple Mount, in particular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.U., LEFTISTS, & HOSTILE JEWISH CRITICS IGNORE ISRAEL’S ACHIEVEMENTS, AND A FLOURISHING, REUNIFIED JERUSALEM

Rebuff the EU's Threats: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, June 3, 2016— The European Union is on the rampage.

The Left vs. Israel: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, May 30, 2016— Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary.

Edward Alexander, Jews Against Themselves: Abigail L. Rosenthal, JCPA, May 8, 2016— These remarkable essays by Edward Alexander bring intellectual precision, moral fearlessness and literary elegance to bear on a syndrome that could be called “Jewish suicidalism.”

Jerusalem Challenge: Jerusalem Post, June 2, 2016— Tens of thousands of Israelis, most of whom belong to the religious-Zionist stream of Judaism, will come together Sunday to participate in the traditional Flag Parade for Jerusalem Day.

 

On Topic Links

 

Leftists Demand Jerusalem Day Parade Avoid Muslim Quarter: Arutz Sheva, May 15, 2016

The Jews of the American Revolution: Meir Y. Soloveichik, Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2016

Finishing the War: Frederick Taylor, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016

What Is German?: Anna Sauerbrey, New York Times, May 26, 2016

 

 

 

REBUFF THE EU'S THREATS                                                             

David M. Weinberg                                                                         

Israel Hayom, June 3, 2016

 

The European Union is on the rampage. Every Monday and Thursday it has taken to shelling out threats to downgrade diplomatic and economic ties with Israel, unless Israel does this or desists from doing that. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also acting foreign minister, should rebuff the escalating European intimidation.

 

This week the EU hit Israel with a double whammy. First, it fiercely warned the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories that Israel's policy of demolishing illegal and unauthorized Palestinian construction is harming ties between Israel and the 28-member EU. This includes the wild Bedouin building spurt that the EU has insolently funded in the strategic E1 quadrant between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim‎, in entirely purposeful defiance of Israel.

 

And today in Paris, EU foreign ministers led by France intend to promulgate "parameters" for a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which will again likely move the international markers in directions favorable to the Palestinians, while threatening Israel with deadlines for compliance. The brazen EU intervention in E1 has reached extreme heights of chutzpah.

 

The IDF defines the area in question a pivotal part of Israel's strategic depth, and essential to "defensible borders" for Israel. It is also Area C under the Oslo Accords, which means that Israel holds exclusive civilian and military control.

 

Yet illegally established Palestinian villages and Bedouin shantytowns have slowly closed the corridor between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, where a major highway runs, crawling to within several meters from it. These illegal outposts steal electricity from the highway lights and water from Israeli pipelines. Civil Administration data, recently presented to the Knesset's subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, shows that 6,500 Palestinians currently live in some 1,220 illegally built homes in the area, and that this number is growing weekly.

 

Enter the imperious EU. Boycotts of Israeli products no longer satisfy the bullies of Brussels. Ramping up their confrontation with Israel, they have gone into the business of establishing "settlements" for the Bedouin and Palestinians in this area, tower and stockade style. The EU has poured perhaps 100 million euros into EU-emblazoned prefabs, EU-signed roads, and water and energy installations — in E1, in Gush Etzion, near Tekoa, in the South Hebron Hills, and even in the Negev.

 

Under the cover of diplomatic immunity, the EU's settlement-building bosses audaciously thumb their noses at COGAT inspectors, then scream bloody murder when the IDF moves in, ever so minimally (far too meekly and infrequently, I think) to knock back a few of the most provocatively and problematically positioned EU illegal outposts. Note that every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin has promised and intended to build in the E1 quadrant as the eastern strategic anchor for Jerusalem and its critical connection to the Jordan Valley, only to be stymied by international protests.

 

In short, the EU's support of the Palestinians has subversively graduated from passive diplomatic and financial assistance to seditious participation in the Palestinian Authority's illegal construction ventures. The explicit intent is to erode Israeli control of Areas C and eastern Jerusalem while promoting Palestinian territorial continuity. 

 

The EU even has extended its deep concern for Arab land rights, and outrageous interference in Israeli planning matters, to the Negev and Galilee, as detailed in the shocking 2014 book "Catch the Jew!" by German-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom. The writer captured ugly scents of ardent anti-Semitism and furious opposition to any Zionist presence in Palestine in his interviews of EU and European NGO officials who are enabling the Palestinian, Bedouin and Israeli Arab land wars against Israel. The book is required reading, in Hebrew or English. But brace yourself: It unveils a violent, wicked world of official Israel bashers.

 

As for today's Paris peace conference: The old cornerstones of peace diplomacy are out the window. "Not prejudging the outcome of negotiations" and "direct negotiations between the parties without coercion" are principles that no longer hold sway. Dictating impatiently to Israel is in vogue…

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

 

Contents                                                                                                                                        

THE LEFT VS. ISRAEL                                                                                              

Daniel Pipes                                                                                               

Washington Times, May 30, 2016

 

Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary. But this might be in process of change: as Muslims slowly, grudgingly, and unevenly come to accept the Jewish state as a reality, the Left is becoming increasingly vociferous and obsessive in its rejection of Israel.

 

Much evidence points in this direction: Polls in the Middle East find cracks in the opposition to Israel while a major American survey for the first time shows liberal Democrats to be more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. The Saudi and Egyptian governments have real security relations with Israel while a figure like (the Jewish) Bernie Sanders declares that “to the degree that [Israelis] want us to have a positive relationship, I think they're going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.”

 

But I should like to focus on a small illustrative example from a United Nations institution: The World Health Organization churned out report A69/B/CONF./1 on May 24 with the enticing title, “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan: Draft decision proposed by the delegation of Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab Group, and Palestine.” The three-page document calls for “a field assessment conducted by the World Health Organization,” with special focus on such topics as “incidents of delay or denial of ambulance service” and “access to adequate health services on the part of Palestinian prisoners.” Of course, the entire document singles out Israel as a denier of unimpeded access to health care.

 

This ranks as a special absurdity given the WHO’s hiring a consultant in next-door Syria who is connected to the very pinnacle of the Assad regime, even as it perpetrates atrocities estimated at a half million dead and 12 million displaced (out of a total pre-war population of 22 million). Conversely, both the wife and brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, whose status and wealth assures them treatment anywhere in the world, chose to be treated in Israeli hospitals, as did the sister, daughter, and grand-daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Israel’s sworn enemy.

 

Despite these facts, the WHO voted on May 28 to accept the proposed field assessment with the predictably lopsided outcome of 107 votes in favor, 8 votes against, 8 abstentions and 58 absences. So far, all this is tediously routine. But the composition of those voting blocs renders the decision noteworthy. Votes in favor included every state in Europe except two, Bosnia-Herzegovina (which has a half-Muslim population) and San Marino (total population: 33,000), both of which missed the vote for reasons unknown to me.

 

To repeat: Every other European government than those two supported a biased field assessment with its inevitable condemnation of Israel. To be specific, this included the authorities ruling in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Making this European near-unanimity the more remarkable were the many absented governments with large- to overwhelming-majority-Muslim populations: Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, and Turkmenistan.

 

So, Iceland (with effectively no Muslims) voted for the amendment and against Israel while Turkmenistan (which is over 90 percent Muslim) did not. Cyprus and Greece, which have critical new relations with Israel, voted against Israel while the historically hostile Libyans missed the vote. Germany, with its malignant history, voted against Israel while Tajikistan, a partner of the Iranian regime’s, was absent. Denmark, with its noble history, voted against Israel while Sudan, led by an Islamist, did not.

 

This unlikely pattern suggests that monolithic Muslim hostility is cracking while Europeans, who are overwhelmingly on the Left, to the point that even right-wing parties pursue watered-down left-wing policies, increasingly despise Israel. Worse, even those who do not share this attitude go along with it, even in an obscure WHO vote. Muslims, not leftists, still staff almost all the violent attacks on Israel; and Islamism, not socialism, remains the reigning anti-Zionist ideology. But these changes point to Israel’s cooling relations with the West and warming ones in its neighborhood.                              

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                            

EDWARD ALEXANDER, JEWS AGAINST THEMSELVES                                                                               

Abigail L. Rosenthal                                                                                                         

JCPA, May 8, 2016

 

These remarkable essays by Edward Alexander bring intellectual precision, moral fearlessness and literary elegance to bear on a syndrome that could be called “Jewish suicidalism.” That is almost the right name for it, save that the leaders of this trend – portraits delineated by Alexander – exempt themselves from the condemnations they rain down on their fellows. The motivational patterns that Alexander exposes cannot, as is sometimes claimed, reduce to self-hatred. Rather, shown in vivid detail are the workings of opportunistic self-love.

 

Alexander is professor of English at the University of Washington. He is the author of books that span literary, cultural and Jewish worlds. In his latest book (Transaction Publishers, 2015), Alexander’s contemporary survey is a wide one, though it does not pretend to exhaustiveness. In “Michael Lerner: Hillary Clinton’s Jewish Rasputin,” we meet the founder of the magazine Tikkun, “the omnipresent, gentile-appointed voice of the Jewish community,” but meet him at an earlier career stage, back when he incited mob violence and threatened lawsuits to intimidate his opponents.

 

In “Antisemitism Denial: The Berkeley School,” we meet Judith Butler who urges progressive people to fight antisemitism but thinks it “wildly improbable that somebody examining the divestment petitions signed by herself and her co-conspirators might take them (as hundreds on her own campus already had) as condoning antisemitism.” Alexander compares Butler’s puzzlement to that of Dickens, who did not know what to make of Fagin, the villainous Jew he had created in Oliver Twist. “The reason for Dickens’s puzzlement was that, in an important sense, he did indeed not ‘make’ Fagin, and therefore didn’t know what to make of him. Fagin was ready-made for Dickens by the collective folklore of Christendom, which had for centuries fixed the Jew in the role of Christ-killer, surrogate of Satan, inheritor of Judas, thief, fence, corrupter of the young—to which list of attributes Butler and her friends would now add ‘Zionist imperialist and occupier.’”

 

The type described in Jews Against Themselves is not new. Drawing on recent research into this phenomenon, by Sander Gilman, Ruth Wisse and others, Alexander traces the genre historically to its medieval prototypes. Throughout the era of triumphalist Christianity, there were Jewish informers – my term not his – who converted to the dominant religion. Innocent themselves, they deflected attacks onto other, also innocent Jews, thereby becoming actually guilty, this time of towering betrayals.

 

Pope Gregory IX, who ordered the Talmud publicly burned in Paris and Rome, was acting on the seemingly expert, vilifying “explications” of Talmud presented to him in 1239 by Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert and member of the Dominican Order. A few years later, Pablo Christiani made his coming out as a Christian credible and deadly by orchestrating the celebrated public “disputations” (really show trials) of 1263, in which Nachmanides was forced to defend Judaism against Christiani’s accusations, under intellectually disabling rules of engagement. So also, it may have been another convert, Johannes (Josef) Pffefferkorn, who gave Martin Luther the inspiration and precedent for his destructive campaigns against the Jews of Germany. Luther justified his lootings and burnings in The Jews and Their Lies, which ended up a favorite on Hitler’s bookshelf.

 

In “Disraeli and Marx: Stammgenosse?” (tr. of the same stock), Alexander tracks the type into the political arenas of the nineteenth century, where these tortured but vastly influential figures carried on their relations of public repudiation (more damaging and venomous in the case of Marx) with their Jewish forebears.

 

This is background, because the Jewish informer is not just an historical curiosity. Unfortunately, he is still with us and going strong. What is novel about him in his current guise is that he no longer disavows his Jewish identity. On the contrary. The new anti-Jewish Jew embraces his Jewishness. One might wish it were otherwise but, for good or ill, we will not find him among the converts – not to the Christianity of popes or Protestants, not to Voltaire’s religion of reason, not to Marxism nor to Disraeli’s Church of England.

 

Like his predecessors, the new informer still attacks the innocent Jewish actor on the stage of history – in the present case Israel – hoping thereby to deflect attacks from himself. But, in so doing, he claims to be more authentically Jewish than those retrograde fellow Jews who somehow fail to follow him in his tireless efforts to delegitimize and thus destroy the only Jewish state.

 

The new informers have their own stylistic habits. They are great moralizers. Of course, as Aristotle knew long ago, the problem of moral evaluation is not to find a principle. It’s to discern what principle is the remedy for the precise situation in view. Thus, patience is a fine virtue, but not the one called for in a fire. Moral questions call for discernment. Alexander is constantly finding the anti-Jewish Jew to be at least morally imprecise, but more often tastelessly obtuse. For example, in “Why Jews Must Behave Better Than Anyone Else,” Alexander looks at Jewish pundits such as Anthony Lewis and Milton Viorst, who openly proclaim that they judge Israel by standards “higher” than the ones they apply to its enemies or to any other state. “From its birth” Lewis writes, “Israel asked to be judged as a light among nations.” No, Alexander points out, it asked no such thing. The intent of Zionist founders was to have a Jewish state that could enter into the normal conditions enjoyed by other nations.

 

Thomas Friedman, another advocate for expectations targeting Israel alone, justifies the unfairness by imputing to journalists an ‘’identification with the dreams of Biblical Israel and mythic Jerusalem [that] runs so deep that when Israel lives up to its prophetic expectations, it is their success too.’” Not true, Alexander points out. Christians, who may include journalists, have inherited a two-thousand year old propensity to view Jews in a light so harsh and unflattering as to be notably mythical, with a correlative habit of thinking that Jews should not be allowed to defend themselves. As to the “prophetic” pretensions of Israel’s critics, whether Jewish or other, when they wield the double standard: the prophets gave a message from God to the people of the Covenant. Journalists are not God.

 

In “The Moral Failure of American-Jewish Intellectuals,” Alexander compares the silence of these intellectuals while the Holocaust was going on to their similar deafness to the significance of reborn Israel. “Like protagonists in a great tragedy, the Jewish people had imposed a pattern of meaning upon otherwise incomprehensible suffering. … Having averted their eyes from the destruction of European Jewry, the ‘first-rank’ Jewish intellectuals now looked away from one of the most impressive assertions of the will to live that a martyred people has ever made.”…

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

Contents

                                                               

JERUSALEM CHALLENGE                                                                                                          

Jerusalem Post, June 2, 2016

 

Tens of thousands of Israelis, most of whom belong to the religious-Zionist stream of Judaism, will come together Sunday to participate in the traditional Flag Parade for Jerusalem Day. The mood will be festive, with singing and flag waving. But this year an additional element will be added to the celebrations: the importance of seeking peaceful coexistence.

Organizers of the Flag Parade have agreed to a police request to change the schedule of the march through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem out of respect for Muslim sensitivities. The idea is to avoid clashes in the Muslim Quarter between flag-waving religious Jews and crowds of Muslims on their way to pray on the Temple Mount. In a sense, the arrangement that enables peaceful coexistence of celebratory religious Jews alongside Muslim worshipers is a microcosm of the unique societal, cultural and religious tensions so characteristic to the city.

 

On one hand, it is difficult to be indifferent to a rebuilt Jerusalem. Even Jews not inclined to seeing in contemporary events manifestations of Providence cannot help but admit that Jerusalem’s resurgence is amazing. Forty-nine years after the city was united, Jerusalem has become a bustling metropolis that is bigger today – both in population and in square meters of built-up area – than ever before in history. As writer Cynthia Ozick has noted, Jerusalem is a “phoenix city” with a “history of histories.” Like the Phoenix, Jerusalem has burned and been reborn from its own ashes over the millennia. But no previous rebirth can quite compare to the present one. Assyrians, Babylonians, Seleucids and Romans have come and gone. Muslims and Christians – each with their own ideas about Jerusalem’s meaning – have killed each other for the right to rule the city.

 

All along Jews never stopped praying for a rebuilt Jerusalem. Unshackled from oppressive Jordanian rule over its eastern half, Jerusalem could thrive and develop. And it has. The city’s population has grown to 870,000 as of the end of 2015, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics for Jerusalem Day, which makes it the largest city in the country. The light rail has transformed the city, as have the satellite neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev, Givat Ze’ev, Har Homa and Gilo. Just wander the streets around Mamilla and Ben-Yehuda and witness the diversity. Jews and non- Jews both locals and tourists rub shoulders, a Babel of languages can be heard.

 

On the other hand, Jerusalem faces myriad challenges. Perhaps the most formidable is the integration of Arab residents, who make up 37 percent of the capital’s population. Jerusalem Arabs who spoke to The Jerusalem Post’s Opinion Page Editor Seth Frantzman this week complained of unfair treatment when it comes to municipal services, infrastructure such as water and roads, and housing. A proportion of east Jerusalem’s children live under the poverty line. There is a shortage of classrooms in Arab schools. No large housing project has been completed for the growing Arab population.

 

The construction of the security barrier cut off tens of thousands of residents of Arab neighborhoods from the rest of Jerusalem. Though they live within the municipal boundaries, they do not receive basic municipal services such as garbage collection and sewage and water services. Law enforcement is lax because police dare not venture into these areas.  The difficulty of integrating Jerusalem’s Arab population is exacerbated by the political conflict. Only around 1.5 percent of Arab residents vote in municipal elections even though they have a right to, because doing so would be seen as legitimization of Israel. But as a result, Arabs have no representative in the city council who can advance their interests.

 

For nearly two millennia Jews prayed to return to Zion, which was often conceived of not principally as a physical place but as an ideal, a symbol of Jewish spirituality and of hope for peace in a more perfect era. We have not achieved peace. But the physical resurgence of Zion in under way. On Jerusalem Day we should feel thankful for living in a generation that has witnessed a rebuilt Jerusalem. But we must not lose sight of the many challenges presented by Yerushalayim shel mata – the earthly, material Jerusalem of brick and mortar and human beings.                 

                                                             

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents           

 

On Topic Links

 

Leftists Demand Jerusalem Day Parade Avoid Muslim Quarter: Arutz Sheva, May 15, 2016—Left-wing NGOs "Tag Meir” (Light Tag) and “Ir Amim" (City of Nations) turned to the Israel Police Jerusalem District demanding to stop this year's traditional Jerusalem Day “Rikudgalim” (Flag Dance or March of Flags) from marching through the streets of the Muslim Quarter in the Old City.

The Jews of the American Revolution: Meir Y. Soloveichik, Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2016—New Yorkers strolling through Chinatown in downtown Manhattan last Sunday might have noticed an unusual flurry of activity: Jewish men and women, a rabbi in a clerical gown, and a color guard gathering in graveyard tucked away behind a wrought-iron fence. Members of the New York synagogue Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, were visiting their historic cemetery at Chatham Square.

Finishing the War: Frederick Taylor, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016—Between 1618 and 1648, millions of civilians died from violence, famine and pestilence as armies ranged across Central Europe in a savage conflict about power and religion. When the treaty was signed that ended the Thirty Years’ War, one famous clause granted perpetua oblivio et amnestia (eternal forgetting and forgiving) to all the forces involved. It represented mutual recognition that each side had committed equally unspeakable acts.

What Is German?: Anna Sauerbrey, New York Times, May 26, 2016—In Germany, a big question is back on the table: What is German — and how German do you have to be to belong to Germany? With the arrival in 2015 of 1.1 million refugees and migrants, it’s an important issue. But rather than having a reasoned debate, the extremists have already taken control. For a disturbing number of Germans, the answer is culture, including religion.

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

E.U., LEFTISTS, & HOSTILE JEWISH CRITICS IGNORE ISRAEL’S ACHIEVEMENTS, AND A FLOURISHING, REUNIFIED JERUSALEM

Rebuff the EU's Threats: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, June 3, 2016— The European Union is on the rampage.

The Left vs. Israel: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, May 30, 2016— Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary.

Edward Alexander, Jews Against Themselves: Abigail L. Rosenthal, JCPA, May 8, 2016— These remarkable essays by Edward Alexander bring intellectual precision, moral fearlessness and literary elegance to bear on a syndrome that could be called “Jewish suicidalism.”

Jerusalem Challenge: Jerusalem Post, June 2, 2016— Tens of thousands of Israelis, most of whom belong to the religious-Zionist stream of Judaism, will come together Sunday to participate in the traditional Flag Parade for Jerusalem Day.

 

On Topic Links

 

Leftists Demand Jerusalem Day Parade Avoid Muslim Quarter: Arutz Sheva, May 15, 2016

The Jews of the American Revolution: Meir Y. Soloveichik, Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2016

Finishing the War: Frederick Taylor, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016

What Is German?: Anna Sauerbrey, New York Times, May 26, 2016

 

 

 

REBUFF THE EU'S THREATS                                                             

David M. Weinberg                                                                         

Israel Hayom, June 3, 2016

 

The European Union is on the rampage. Every Monday and Thursday it has taken to shelling out threats to downgrade diplomatic and economic ties with Israel, unless Israel does this or desists from doing that. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also acting foreign minister, should rebuff the escalating European intimidation.

 

This week the EU hit Israel with a double whammy. First, it fiercely warned the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories that Israel's policy of demolishing illegal and unauthorized Palestinian construction is harming ties between Israel and the 28-member EU. This includes the wild Bedouin building spurt that the EU has insolently funded in the strategic E1 quadrant between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim‎, in entirely purposeful defiance of Israel.

 

And today in Paris, EU foreign ministers led by France intend to promulgate "parameters" for a solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which will again likely move the international markers in directions favorable to the Palestinians, while threatening Israel with deadlines for compliance. The brazen EU intervention in E1 has reached extreme heights of chutzpah.

 

The IDF defines the area in question a pivotal part of Israel's strategic depth, and essential to "defensible borders" for Israel. It is also Area C under the Oslo Accords, which means that Israel holds exclusive civilian and military control.

 

Yet illegally established Palestinian villages and Bedouin shantytowns have slowly closed the corridor between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, where a major highway runs, crawling to within several meters from it. These illegal outposts steal electricity from the highway lights and water from Israeli pipelines. Civil Administration data, recently presented to the Knesset's subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, shows that 6,500 Palestinians currently live in some 1,220 illegally built homes in the area, and that this number is growing weekly.

 

Enter the imperious EU. Boycotts of Israeli products no longer satisfy the bullies of Brussels. Ramping up their confrontation with Israel, they have gone into the business of establishing "settlements" for the Bedouin and Palestinians in this area, tower and stockade style. The EU has poured perhaps 100 million euros into EU-emblazoned prefabs, EU-signed roads, and water and energy installations — in E1, in Gush Etzion, near Tekoa, in the South Hebron Hills, and even in the Negev.

 

Under the cover of diplomatic immunity, the EU's settlement-building bosses audaciously thumb their noses at COGAT inspectors, then scream bloody murder when the IDF moves in, ever so minimally (far too meekly and infrequently, I think) to knock back a few of the most provocatively and problematically positioned EU illegal outposts. Note that every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin has promised and intended to build in the E1 quadrant as the eastern strategic anchor for Jerusalem and its critical connection to the Jordan Valley, only to be stymied by international protests.

 

In short, the EU's support of the Palestinians has subversively graduated from passive diplomatic and financial assistance to seditious participation in the Palestinian Authority's illegal construction ventures. The explicit intent is to erode Israeli control of Areas C and eastern Jerusalem while promoting Palestinian territorial continuity. 

 

The EU even has extended its deep concern for Arab land rights, and outrageous interference in Israeli planning matters, to the Negev and Galilee, as detailed in the shocking 2014 book "Catch the Jew!" by German-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom. The writer captured ugly scents of ardent anti-Semitism and furious opposition to any Zionist presence in Palestine in his interviews of EU and European NGO officials who are enabling the Palestinian, Bedouin and Israeli Arab land wars against Israel. The book is required reading, in Hebrew or English. But brace yourself: It unveils a violent, wicked world of official Israel bashers.

 

As for today's Paris peace conference: The old cornerstones of peace diplomacy are out the window. "Not prejudging the outcome of negotiations" and "direct negotiations between the parties without coercion" are principles that no longer hold sway. Dictating impatiently to Israel is in vogue…

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

 

Contents                                                                                                                                        

THE LEFT VS. ISRAEL                                                                                              

Daniel Pipes                                                                                               

Washington Times, May 30, 2016

 

Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary. But this might be in process of change: as Muslims slowly, grudgingly, and unevenly come to accept the Jewish state as a reality, the Left is becoming increasingly vociferous and obsessive in its rejection of Israel.

 

Much evidence points in this direction: Polls in the Middle East find cracks in the opposition to Israel while a major American survey for the first time shows liberal Democrats to be more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. The Saudi and Egyptian governments have real security relations with Israel while a figure like (the Jewish) Bernie Sanders declares that “to the degree that [Israelis] want us to have a positive relationship, I think they're going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.”

 

But I should like to focus on a small illustrative example from a United Nations institution: The World Health Organization churned out report A69/B/CONF./1 on May 24 with the enticing title, “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan: Draft decision proposed by the delegation of Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab Group, and Palestine.” The three-page document calls for “a field assessment conducted by the World Health Organization,” with special focus on such topics as “incidents of delay or denial of ambulance service” and “access to adequate health services on the part of Palestinian prisoners.” Of course, the entire document singles out Israel as a denier of unimpeded access to health care.

 

This ranks as a special absurdity given the WHO’s hiring a consultant in next-door Syria who is connected to the very pinnacle of the Assad regime, even as it perpetrates atrocities estimated at a half million dead and 12 million displaced (out of a total pre-war population of 22 million). Conversely, both the wife and brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, whose status and wealth assures them treatment anywhere in the world, chose to be treated in Israeli hospitals, as did the sister, daughter, and grand-daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Israel’s sworn enemy.

 

Despite these facts, the WHO voted on May 28 to accept the proposed field assessment with the predictably lopsided outcome of 107 votes in favor, 8 votes against, 8 abstentions and 58 absences. So far, all this is tediously routine. But the composition of those voting blocs renders the decision noteworthy. Votes in favor included every state in Europe except two, Bosnia-Herzegovina (which has a half-Muslim population) and San Marino (total population: 33,000), both of which missed the vote for reasons unknown to me.

 

To repeat: Every other European government than those two supported a biased field assessment with its inevitable condemnation of Israel. To be specific, this included the authorities ruling in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Making this European near-unanimity the more remarkable were the many absented governments with large- to overwhelming-majority-Muslim populations: Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, and Turkmenistan.

 

So, Iceland (with effectively no Muslims) voted for the amendment and against Israel while Turkmenistan (which is over 90 percent Muslim) did not. Cyprus and Greece, which have critical new relations with Israel, voted against Israel while the historically hostile Libyans missed the vote. Germany, with its malignant history, voted against Israel while Tajikistan, a partner of the Iranian regime’s, was absent. Denmark, with its noble history, voted against Israel while Sudan, led by an Islamist, did not.

 

This unlikely pattern suggests that monolithic Muslim hostility is cracking while Europeans, who are overwhelmingly on the Left, to the point that even right-wing parties pursue watered-down left-wing policies, increasingly despise Israel. Worse, even those who do not share this attitude go along with it, even in an obscure WHO vote. Muslims, not leftists, still staff almost all the violent attacks on Israel; and Islamism, not socialism, remains the reigning anti-Zionist ideology. But these changes point to Israel’s cooling relations with the West and warming ones in its neighborhood.                              

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                            

EDWARD ALEXANDER, JEWS AGAINST THEMSELVES                                                                               

Abigail L. Rosenthal                                                                                                         

JCPA, May 8, 2016

 

These remarkable essays by Edward Alexander bring intellectual precision, moral fearlessness and literary elegance to bear on a syndrome that could be called “Jewish suicidalism.” That is almost the right name for it, save that the leaders of this trend – portraits delineated by Alexander – exempt themselves from the condemnations they rain down on their fellows. The motivational patterns that Alexander exposes cannot, as is sometimes claimed, reduce to self-hatred. Rather, shown in vivid detail are the workings of opportunistic self-love.

 

Alexander is professor of English at the University of Washington. He is the author of books that span literary, cultural and Jewish worlds. In his latest book (Transaction Publishers, 2015), Alexander’s contemporary survey is a wide one, though it does not pretend to exhaustiveness. In “Michael Lerner: Hillary Clinton’s Jewish Rasputin,” we meet the founder of the magazine Tikkun, “the omnipresent, gentile-appointed voice of the Jewish community,” but meet him at an earlier career stage, back when he incited mob violence and threatened lawsuits to intimidate his opponents.

 

In “Antisemitism Denial: The Berkeley School,” we meet Judith Butler who urges progressive people to fight antisemitism but thinks it “wildly improbable that somebody examining the divestment petitions signed by herself and her co-conspirators might take them (as hundreds on her own campus already had) as condoning antisemitism.” Alexander compares Butler’s puzzlement to that of Dickens, who did not know what to make of Fagin, the villainous Jew he had created in Oliver Twist. “The reason for Dickens’s puzzlement was that, in an important sense, he did indeed not ‘make’ Fagin, and therefore didn’t know what to make of him. Fagin was ready-made for Dickens by the collective folklore of Christendom, which had for centuries fixed the Jew in the role of Christ-killer, surrogate of Satan, inheritor of Judas, thief, fence, corrupter of the young—to which list of attributes Butler and her friends would now add ‘Zionist imperialist and occupier.’”

 

The type described in Jews Against Themselves is not new. Drawing on recent research into this phenomenon, by Sander Gilman, Ruth Wisse and others, Alexander traces the genre historically to its medieval prototypes. Throughout the era of triumphalist Christianity, there were Jewish informers – my term not his – who converted to the dominant religion. Innocent themselves, they deflected attacks onto other, also innocent Jews, thereby becoming actually guilty, this time of towering betrayals.

 

Pope Gregory IX, who ordered the Talmud publicly burned in Paris and Rome, was acting on the seemingly expert, vilifying “explications” of Talmud presented to him in 1239 by Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert and member of the Dominican Order. A few years later, Pablo Christiani made his coming out as a Christian credible and deadly by orchestrating the celebrated public “disputations” (really show trials) of 1263, in which Nachmanides was forced to defend Judaism against Christiani’s accusations, under intellectually disabling rules of engagement. So also, it may have been another convert, Johannes (Josef) Pffefferkorn, who gave Martin Luther the inspiration and precedent for his destructive campaigns against the Jews of Germany. Luther justified his lootings and burnings in The Jews and Their Lies, which ended up a favorite on Hitler’s bookshelf.

 

In “Disraeli and Marx: Stammgenosse?” (tr. of the same stock), Alexander tracks the type into the political arenas of the nineteenth century, where these tortured but vastly influential figures carried on their relations of public repudiation (more damaging and venomous in the case of Marx) with their Jewish forebears.

 

This is background, because the Jewish informer is not just an historical curiosity. Unfortunately, he is still with us and going strong. What is novel about him in his current guise is that he no longer disavows his Jewish identity. On the contrary. The new anti-Jewish Jew embraces his Jewishness. One might wish it were otherwise but, for good or ill, we will not find him among the converts – not to the Christianity of popes or Protestants, not to Voltaire’s religion of reason, not to Marxism nor to Disraeli’s Church of England.

 

Like his predecessors, the new informer still attacks the innocent Jewish actor on the stage of history – in the present case Israel – hoping thereby to deflect attacks from himself. But, in so doing, he claims to be more authentically Jewish than those retrograde fellow Jews who somehow fail to follow him in his tireless efforts to delegitimize and thus destroy the only Jewish state.

 

The new informers have their own stylistic habits. They are great moralizers. Of course, as Aristotle knew long ago, the problem of moral evaluation is not to find a principle. It’s to discern what principle is the remedy for the precise situation in view. Thus, patience is a fine virtue, but not the one called for in a fire. Moral questions call for discernment. Alexander is constantly finding the anti-Jewish Jew to be at least morally imprecise, but more often tastelessly obtuse. For example, in “Why Jews Must Behave Better Than Anyone Else,” Alexander looks at Jewish pundits such as Anthony Lewis and Milton Viorst, who openly proclaim that they judge Israel by standards “higher” than the ones they apply to its enemies or to any other state. “From its birth” Lewis writes, “Israel asked to be judged as a light among nations.” No, Alexander points out, it asked no such thing. The intent of Zionist founders was to have a Jewish state that could enter into the normal conditions enjoyed by other nations.

 

Thomas Friedman, another advocate for expectations targeting Israel alone, justifies the unfairness by imputing to journalists an ‘’identification with the dreams of Biblical Israel and mythic Jerusalem [that] runs so deep that when Israel lives up to its prophetic expectations, it is their success too.’” Not true, Alexander points out. Christians, who may include journalists, have inherited a two-thousand year old propensity to view Jews in a light so harsh and unflattering as to be notably mythical, with a correlative habit of thinking that Jews should not be allowed to defend themselves. As to the “prophetic” pretensions of Israel’s critics, whether Jewish or other, when they wield the double standard: the prophets gave a message from God to the people of the Covenant. Journalists are not God.

 

In “The Moral Failure of American-Jewish Intellectuals,” Alexander compares the silence of these intellectuals while the Holocaust was going on to their similar deafness to the significance of reborn Israel. “Like protagonists in a great tragedy, the Jewish people had imposed a pattern of meaning upon otherwise incomprehensible suffering. … Having averted their eyes from the destruction of European Jewry, the ‘first-rank’ Jewish intellectuals now looked away from one of the most impressive assertions of the will to live that a martyred people has ever made.”…

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

Contents

                                                               

JERUSALEM CHALLENGE                                                                                                          

Jerusalem Post, June 2, 2016

 

Tens of thousands of Israelis, most of whom belong to the religious-Zionist stream of Judaism, will come together Sunday to participate in the traditional Flag Parade for Jerusalem Day. The mood will be festive, with singing and flag waving. But this year an additional element will be added to the celebrations: the importance of seeking peaceful coexistence.

Organizers of the Flag Parade have agreed to a police request to change the schedule of the march through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem out of respect for Muslim sensitivities. The idea is to avoid clashes in the Muslim Quarter between flag-waving religious Jews and crowds of Muslims on their way to pray on the Temple Mount. In a sense, the arrangement that enables peaceful coexistence of celebratory religious Jews alongside Muslim worshipers is a microcosm of the unique societal, cultural and religious tensions so characteristic to the city.

 

On one hand, it is difficult to be indifferent to a rebuilt Jerusalem. Even Jews not inclined to seeing in contemporary events manifestations of Providence cannot help but admit that Jerusalem’s resurgence is amazing. Forty-nine years after the city was united, Jerusalem has become a bustling metropolis that is bigger today – both in population and in square meters of built-up area – than ever before in history. As writer Cynthia Ozick has noted, Jerusalem is a “phoenix city” with a “history of histories.” Like the Phoenix, Jerusalem has burned and been reborn from its own ashes over the millennia. But no previous rebirth can quite compare to the present one. Assyrians, Babylonians, Seleucids and Romans have come and gone. Muslims and Christians – each with their own ideas about Jerusalem’s meaning – have killed each other for the right to rule the city.

 

All along Jews never stopped praying for a rebuilt Jerusalem. Unshackled from oppressive Jordanian rule over its eastern half, Jerusalem could thrive and develop. And it has. The city’s population has grown to 870,000 as of the end of 2015, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics for Jerusalem Day, which makes it the largest city in the country. The light rail has transformed the city, as have the satellite neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev, Givat Ze’ev, Har Homa and Gilo. Just wander the streets around Mamilla and Ben-Yehuda and witness the diversity. Jews and non- Jews both locals and tourists rub shoulders, a Babel of languages can be heard.

 

On the other hand, Jerusalem faces myriad challenges. Perhaps the most formidable is the integration of Arab residents, who make up 37 percent of the capital’s population. Jerusalem Arabs who spoke to The Jerusalem Post’s Opinion Page Editor Seth Frantzman this week complained of unfair treatment when it comes to municipal services, infrastructure such as water and roads, and housing. A proportion of east Jerusalem’s children live under the poverty line. There is a shortage of classrooms in Arab schools. No large housing project has been completed for the growing Arab population.

 

The construction of the security barrier cut off tens of thousands of residents of Arab neighborhoods from the rest of Jerusalem. Though they live within the municipal boundaries, they do not receive basic municipal services such as garbage collection and sewage and water services. Law enforcement is lax because police dare not venture into these areas.  The difficulty of integrating Jerusalem’s Arab population is exacerbated by the political conflict. Only around 1.5 percent of Arab residents vote in municipal elections even though they have a right to, because doing so would be seen as legitimization of Israel. But as a result, Arabs have no representative in the city council who can advance their interests.

 

For nearly two millennia Jews prayed to return to Zion, which was often conceived of not principally as a physical place but as an ideal, a symbol of Jewish spirituality and of hope for peace in a more perfect era. We have not achieved peace. But the physical resurgence of Zion in under way. On Jerusalem Day we should feel thankful for living in a generation that has witnessed a rebuilt Jerusalem. But we must not lose sight of the many challenges presented by Yerushalayim shel mata – the earthly, material Jerusalem of brick and mortar and human beings.                 

                                                             

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents           

 

On Topic Links

 

Leftists Demand Jerusalem Day Parade Avoid Muslim Quarter: Arutz Sheva, May 15, 2016—Left-wing NGOs "Tag Meir” (Light Tag) and “Ir Amim" (City of Nations) turned to the Israel Police Jerusalem District demanding to stop this year's traditional Jerusalem Day “Rikudgalim” (Flag Dance or March of Flags) from marching through the streets of the Muslim Quarter in the Old City.

The Jews of the American Revolution: Meir Y. Soloveichik, Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2016—New Yorkers strolling through Chinatown in downtown Manhattan last Sunday might have noticed an unusual flurry of activity: Jewish men and women, a rabbi in a clerical gown, and a color guard gathering in graveyard tucked away behind a wrought-iron fence. Members of the New York synagogue Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in North America, were visiting their historic cemetery at Chatham Square.

Finishing the War: Frederick Taylor, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016—Between 1618 and 1648, millions of civilians died from violence, famine and pestilence as armies ranged across Central Europe in a savage conflict about power and religion. When the treaty was signed that ended the Thirty Years’ War, one famous clause granted perpetua oblivio et amnestia (eternal forgetting and forgiving) to all the forces involved. It represented mutual recognition that each side had committed equally unspeakable acts.

What Is German?: Anna Sauerbrey, New York Times, May 26, 2016—In Germany, a big question is back on the table: What is German — and how German do you have to be to belong to Germany? With the arrival in 2015 of 1.1 million refugees and migrants, it’s an important issue. But rather than having a reasoned debate, the extremists have already taken control. For a disturbing number of Germans, the answer is culture, including religion.

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

BDS, IAW & JVP LEAD GLOBAL MOVEMENT TO DELEGITIMIZE & MARGINALIZE JEWISH STATE

BDS Equals Economic Warfare: Asaf Romirowsky & Nicole Brackman, Jerusalem Post, May 8, 2016— At the core of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS ) is economic warfare meant to delegitimize and marginalize Israel.

BDS Spreads Anti-Semitism Across U.S. Campuses: Noah Beck, IPT, May 12, 2016— Anti-Semitic incidents seem to spring up each week on college campuses throughout the United States.

A Jewish Voice for Peace? No — Just Another Hate Group: Ziva Dahl, Algemeiner, May 16, 2016— Who is the group called A Jewish Voice for Peace and why does it hide its funders from the public?

Colombia Unbecoming: Hate Week Comes to Latin America: Gregory J. Lobo, ISGAP, May 13, 2016— What is known in English as Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) has made it to Colombia in the form of the Semana contra el Apartheid Israelí.

 

On Topic Links

 

Methodist Church Meeting Votes Down BDS Resolutions: Tamar Pileggi, Times of Israel, May 17, 2016

Anti-Israel Students at Connecticut College ‘Occupy’ Office of School President in Protest Over Investigation of Mock Eviction Notices: Lea Spyer, Algemeiner, May 16, 2016

Using the Language of War Makes Battling BDS Clearer: Jon Haber, Algemeiener, May 15, 2016

 

BDS EQUALS ECONOMIC WARFARE                                     

Asaf Romirowsky & Nicole Brackman                                    

Jerusalem Post, May 8, 2016       

                        

At the core of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is economic warfare meant to delegitimize and marginalize Israel. But the fatal fallacy of the movement is rooted in the fact that its proponents are hurting the very constituency they claim to represent. Daniel Birnbaum is the CEO of SodaStream, one of Israel’s greatest commercial start-up successes. The company (made famous in a 2014 Super Bowl advertisement featuring actress Scarlett Johansson) was a pioneer in economic inclusion, establishing a factory in the West Bank and employing both Palestinian and Jewish workers (among them a high proportion of women).

 

Due to the ongoing violence in Syria, SodaStream also went out of its way to offer employment to Syrian refugees – one of the only Middle Eastern companies to do so. Providing an avenue to job security in skilled labor is a fundamental tenet of refugee rehabilitation policy. Israel has been at the forefront of successful refugee resettlement and absorption since the state’s inception, with the integration of close to one million Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands.

 

As Birnbaum underscored in a press release, “As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I refuse to stand by and observe this human tragedy unfold right across the border in Syria… just as we have always done our best to help our Palestinian brothers and sisters in the West Bank, the time has come for local business and municipal leaders to address the Syrian humanitarian crisis and take the initiative to help those in need. We cannot expect our politicians to bear the entire burden of providing aid for the refugees.”

 

But in October, 2015, nearly 500 of the company’s Palestinian workers lost their jobs. The reason wasn’t because the company no longer wanted to employ them. It was due – at least in part – to the efforts of the BDS movement to mount enough international pressure to close the facility. Though the company denied it was a factor, the tactic worked; many of the workers were thrust into unemployment. Notwithstanding that, SodaStream offered 1,000 positions to Syrian refugees at the company’s new facility in Rahat.

 

The BDS movement uses economic pressure to attempt to strong-arm the Israeli government into complying with its agenda. Its effects are wide-ranging, from political activism on college campuses to commercial guerrilla tactics like covertly placing stickers on grocery products to draw attention to their Israeli origins.

 

Much of the time, its claims are laden with anti-Semitic overtones and rely on emotional appeal rather than hard data. Such tactics have far-reaching – and very counterproductive – consequences, for example, the unwillingness of the French directorate-general for international security of intelligence to accept technology offered by an Israeli security company that “could have helped counter-terror agents track suspects in real time,” undermining the chance to avert the recent deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and Belgium.

 

Despite its aspirations, in fact BDS has had little economic impact on Israel. According to Forbes, “The impact of BDS is more psychological than real so far and has had no discernible impact on Israeli trade or the broader economy… that said, the sanctions do run the risk of hurting the Palestinian economy, which is much smaller and poorer than that of Israel.”

 

Israel’s centrality to US regional and global policy has not gone unnoticed; US Congress sought to cement Israel’s economic and trade ties to the US with a bipartisan bill – the US-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act – designed to counter the BDS movement and strengthen the two nations’ relationship. The bill “leverages ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective US trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel. It also establishes a clear US policy in opposition to state-led BDS, which is detrimental to global trade, regional peace and stability.”

 

The extremism that the BDS movement advocates highlights the group’s refusal to come to terms with the State of Israel, its recidivism and its ignorance in evaluating the landscape of greater Middle East politics. When Syrian refugees are being offered jobs in Israel at an Israeli company it is clear how removed the BDS reality is from that of the Middle East.

 

                                                                       

Contents

BDS SPREADS ANTI-SEMITISM ACROSS U.S. CAMPUSES

Noah Beck

IPT, May 12, 2016

 

Anti-Semitic incidents seem to spring up each week on college campuses throughout the United States. According to a study, "The strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus" is the presence of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The greater the BDS activity, especially involving faculty members, the more likely anti-Semitic episodes become, said the study issued last month by the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, and combating anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses.

 

One recent example occurred on April 15, when the City University of New York Doctoral Students' Council passed a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel, 42-19. Weeks earlier, a CUNY professor and BDS advocate claimed that the killing of Palestinians in Gaza "reflects Jewish values." On CUNY campuses, the New York Observer reports, Jewish students were harassed, with "Jews out of CUNY" uttered in at least one instance, and a professor who wears a yarmulke was called a "Zionist pig."

 

On April 21, two-thirds of a union representing about 2,000 graduate students at New York University voted to approve a motion to support a BDS resolution against Israel. The motion also urges the union and its affiliate, the United Auto Workers, to divest from Israeli companies. The resolution asks NYU to close its program at Tel Aviv University, claiming the program violates NYU's non-discrimination policy. About a month earlier, NYU's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), one of the main organizing forces behind the nationwide BDS campaign, hosted Israeli academic Ilan Pappé, described by Benny Morris as "one of the world's sloppiest historians."

 

As reported by AMCHA: "Pappé blamed Jews, perceived historically as evil, for antisemitism stating, 'The [Jewish] Israelis…are responsible for bringing antisemitism back.' He denied Jews self-determination and demonized Israel stating, 'evil Zionism will come to an end – all immoral regimes do' as well as suggested rich Jews should leave Israel as a process of 'decolonization.' He further demonized Israel throughout accusing Israel of carrying out 'ethnic cleansing' multiple times. Pappé delegitimized Israel consistently referring to Israel as a 'settler colonialist project,' …[and] promoted BDS."

 

The Jewish Law Students Association at Harvard University and Harvard Hillel co-sponsored an event April 14 on "The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict & the U.S." During the question and answer session, Husam el-Qoulaq, an HLS student and head of SJP at the school, insulted  Israeli Knesset Member Tzipi Livni by asking, "How is it that you are so smelly?… A question about the odor of Ms. Tzipi Livni, she's very smelly, and I was just wondering." The student's question resurrected the anti-Semitic stereotype of a "smelly/dirty Jew." Incredibly, some "progressive" HLS Jewish students later defended el-Qoulaq.

 

As BDS campaigns spread on campuses, anti-Semitic expression increasingly follows – from swastika-filled vandalism at UC Davis and Purdue University to student "debates" at Stanford University that implicitly dignify classical anti-Semitic tropes about Jews controlling the media and economy…According to AMCHA, 2016 already has seen 171 anti-Semitic/BDS incidents as of April 21. At this rate, 2016 will see a 36 percent increase in incidents over last year.

 

Faculty members have become increasingly active in BDS efforts and smears. During a talk at Vassar College in February, Rutgers professor Jasbir Puar accused Israel of harvesting Palestinian organs and conducting scientific experiments in "stunting" the growth of Palestinian bodies. Last month, 40 Columbia University professors signed a BDS petition. More recently, one pro-BDS professor even tried to link campus rape to Israel. As Rochester Institute of Technology lecturer A.J. Caschetta notes, "at a time when much of academe is jumping on the BDS bandwagon, there is little risk to academics who join the movement, whereas opposition to majority leftist positions often leads to a perilous path."

 

Indeed, academics who buck this trend may be endangering their careers. At Connecticut College, one of the few professors who defended Andrew Pessin, who hasn't been in his classroom for the past year after a hate-filled campaign miscast his comments about Hamas as a smear on all Palestinians, says his stance cost him a promotion. Manuel Lizarralde, associate professor in Ethnobotany, wrote in a faculty-wide email Jan. 26 that the college "acted like vigilantes and found the perfect scapegoat," in Pessin.

 

Within days, Lizarralde said, he was called in by the administration for a scolding. Noting that he was recently denied promotion, Lizarralde suggested in a recent email that this was payback for his support of Pessin. Connecticut College has "a sense of racism since we are Latinos, Jews and advocate for social injustice…[and we] are being punished [for such activism]."

 

Responding to the negative media coverage generated by the Pessin case, Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron published an email to the faculty March 28, in which she championed "the right of all its members to express their views freely and openly." She failed to explain how that principle applied to Pessin, who was hounded off campus for expressing his views, only to see them twisted and turned against him. She said that the school should promote "reasoned and informed debate about the most complex issues of our time," but Pessin's absence leaves the school with no pro-Israel voice. When asked about the contradictions between her email and the Pessin affair, she declined to comment.

 

Meanwhile, outrage against Connecticut College continues to build, with a petition to investigate the Pessin affair and revoke the school's accreditation now exceeding 1,500 signatures. Just as the character assassination targeting the only pro-Israel voice at Connecticut College appeared as a total surprise, BDS campaigns to influence student government votes across the country pop up with minimal notice, just weeks before the vote, giving the opposition little time to organize. That strategy helped secure SJP a BDS victory at the University of Chicago undergraduate student government in March.  It failed to persuade the university's administration, though.

 

Who is funding BDS? Analyst Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently told members of Congress that former employees of Hamas-linked charities now work for the Illinois-based organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which is "arguably the leading BDS organization in the US, a key sponsor of the anti-Israel campus network known as Students for Justice in Palestine." Schanzer noted that AMP provides money, speakers, training and even "apartheid walls" to SJP campus activists. More surprising, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has given anti-Israel BDS organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center.

 

On campus after campus, the BDS movement has proven itself to be well organized and determined to poison the minds of impressionable students against Israel. It will take an equally concerted and sustained effort to oppose BDS in academia.      

                                                                       

 

Contents

A JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE? NO — JUST ANOTHER HATE GROUP

Ziva Dahl                                                                      

Algemeiner, May 16, 2016

 

Who is the group called A Jewish Voice for Peace and why does it hide its funders from the public? Don’t be fooled by the name. JVP is an organization of extremists masquerading as Jewish advocates seeking a just peace for all people in the Middle East. Using the language of human rights and claiming to be acting in accordance with Jewish values, JVP demonizes, defames and delegitimizes Israel, labeling it an “occupier,”“apartheid” and “racist,” while embracing the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) which would result in the destruction of the only Jewish homeland in the world.

 

With 9,000 dues-paying members and 60 chapters, JVP’s stated mission is to dilute support for Israel in order to end the Israeli “occupation” of the “West Bank,” Gaza and East Jerusalem, to resolve the Palestinian refugee problem and bring peace to the Middle East.  JVP attempts to convince Jews that opposition to Israel is consistent with Jewish values, professing, “We work to build Jewish communities that reflect the understanding that being Jewish and Judaism are not synonymous with Zionism or support for Israel.”

 

But JVP’s mission statement is a smokescreen, the old “bait and switch” – to lure volunteers by feigning devotion to Jewish values, human rights and social justice and then to propagandize them into warriors in the global anti-Israel war of words as lethal as a war fought with bullets and bombs. The only thing this “voice for peace” wants is the delegitimization of Israel.  In its “Nakba Fact Sheet,” JVP characterizes the founding of Israel as a “catastrophe” and blames Israel exclusively for creating Palestinian refugees, ignoring the roles played by five attacking Arab armies and local Arab leaders advising them to leave.

 

During the deadly, random Palestinian knifings of innocent Israeli civilians in 2015, JVP posted a Facebook statement referring to the attacks as “Palestinian popular resistance,” and praising “a new generation of Palestinians…rising up en-masse against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.” JVP uses the Palestinian Authority’s false argument of the threat to the Jerusalem Al-Aqsa mosque to validate murder.

 

Although it accuses the American Jewish establishment of stifling dissent and McCarthyite actions, JVP itself has a history of attempting to shut down debate. It disrupted the Taglit Birthright reunion, joined with other anti-Jewish groups to disrupt a New York city council meeting discussing a Holocaust commemoration and participated in campaigns to “shut down AIPAC” and “skip the speech” — Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress. Brandeis University Prof. Ilan Troen explains, “If you’ve ever dealt with the JVP, they themselves are a semi-terrorist group, promoting the disruption of free speech and the inability of others to conduct public discourse.”

 

In response to the January 2015 Paris terror attacks, JVP merely expressed concern about Islamophobia, saying, “Muslims are at greatly heightened risk…in the context of pervasive, systemic and long-standing anti-Islam bigotry.”  This “Jewish Voice for Peace,” despite its stated opposition to bigotry, never acknowledged that the murder of shoppers at the kosher market was an anti-Jewish act.

 

The Anti-Defamation League describes JVP as one of the 10 worst anti-Israel organizations in America: “While JVP’s activists try to portray themselves as Jewish critics of Israel, their ideology is nothing but a complete rejection of Israel.” In February 2015,  JVP acknowledged that they fully endorse and promote the global BDS campaign, joining other radical leftist groups in advocating for “ending the occupation of all Arab lands” — not just the territory captured in 1967 — and the “right of return” of millions of Arabs to Israel. BDS proponents acknowledge that their efforts will ultimately result in the dismantling of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state.  Omar Barghouti, a BDS founder, stated in 2011, “BDS National Committee … sees JVP as an important ally in the U.S.”  Barghouti admits, “Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself.”

 

JVP partners with American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) which, according to recent congressional testimony, has at least seven individuals on its staff or working with it “who worked for or on behalf of organizations previously shut down or held civilly liable in the United States for providing financial support to Hamas.” In 2013, JVP supported an AMP campaign to post signs demonizing Israel as apartheid and in 2015 it joined AMP’s “No US Tax Dollars for Israel” rally in Washington, DC.

JVP has raised money for the International Solidarity Movement, linked to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. ISM members have hidden terrorists from the Israeli military, provided funding to Hamas and participated in the Hamas propaganda effort in Gaza in 2014. JVP publicly associates with organizations having ties to US-designated terrorist groups and yet won’t disclose its funders. Why? According to IRS 990s and audited financial statements, JVP reported 2014 total contributions/grants of$1,407,148. Since its founding in 1996, significant growth in funding has allowed JVP to become a player in the Israel delegitimization campaign…

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

 

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COLOMBIA UNBECOMING: HATE WEEK                                                                      

COMES TO LATIN AMERICA                                                                      

Gregory J. Lobo                                                                              

ISGAP, May 13, 2016

 

What is known in English as Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) has made it to Colombia in the form of the Semana contra el Apartheid Israelí. The “week” consisted of a 4 hour session on April, Friday 22, at a public university in Bogotá, featuring Palestinian, South African, Brazilian and Colombian speakers, and a 4 hour cultural event the next day, featuring music and poetry. In continental terms, it was preceded by the launch of a BDS campaign in Chile at the Universidad de Chile, which included five days of sessions and meetings (April 11-15).

 

I learned about the event in Colombia from one the country’s leading dailies, El Espectador (The Spectator), in which on Saturday, April 23, 2016, there appeared a brief interview with Kwara Kekana, a young BDS activist from South Africa, who was visiting Colombia to participate in the event. No doubt having a Black activist from the country that actually invented and implemented real, historical apartheid (an Afrikaans term meaning “separateness”) gives the impossibly self-righteous Israeli “Apartheid” Week the appearance of a moral ballast that obviates the need for even a minimal skepticism regarding its outlandish accusations directed at Israel.

 

In the interview, Kekana opines that there are similarities between what is happening in Israel today and what used to happen in South Africa before 1994. This is, of course, the reductive logic employed by BDS and IAW to short-circuit critical thought and reflection, and win adherents. Everyone’s against apartheid—or should be, right? But what’s that got to do with Israel, a genuine multicultual country where Arabs and Jews live together—sharing buses, universities, restaurants, seats in an elected government, positions in a judicial system, etc.—not apart?

 

Indeed, the editors of the newspaper were clear that Kekana was expressing “her vision” of the conflict. They had the good sense to use scare quotes in their headline—“apartheid israelí”—and in the questions they put to Kekana they demonstrated commendable journalistic integrity, at times. In one of them, they even prompted her to reflect on the “grandes diferencias” (major differences) between the two conflicts. The prompt, however—as might be expected—was ignored by the activist interviewee.

 

On the other hand, Colombia Informa, an avowedly non-neutral news agency dedicated to “making visible the struggles for a just and egalitarian society,” pre-reported on the event—billing it as one which would familiarize people with “the situation of segregation that the Palestinian people suffer.” It also reported that the Colombian Jewish community wrote a letter of protest to the Dean of the venue for the event, a public university in Bogotá. This letter prompted at least one further letter to the Dean, from the Boston chapter of the so-called Jewish Voice for Peace (a small but notorious anti-Israel organization, widely known as a hate group), supporting Colombia’s IAW.

 

Revealingly (if unsurprisingly), the Colombian Communist Party, the third oldest political party in Colombia, supported the initiative—said by the CCP to be part of a series of acts “rejecting the disgusting practice of apartheid by Israel against Palestine.” With friends like this, it should be clear that IAW/BDS has as much future as Communism in Latin America (or elsewhere)…                                                                

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents           

 

On Topic Links

 

Methodist Church Meeting Votes Down BDS Resolutions: Tamar Pileggi, Times of Israel, May 17, 2016—The United Methodist Church has rejected several resolutions calling for the 12-million-member Protestant church to divest from companies engaging in business with Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

Anti-Israel Students at Connecticut College ‘Occupy’ Office of School President in Protest Over Investigation of Mock Eviction Notices: Lea Spyer, Algemeiner, May 16, 2016— A group of anti-Israel students at Connecticut College is “occupying” the office of the school’s president in protest over an investigation into mock eviction notices they posted across campus accusing the Jewish state of a series of crimes.

How New York Can Help Stop Europe’s Rampaging Israel Boycotters: Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky, New York Post, May 10, 2016— In America, the odious boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel remains largely confined to university humanities departments, leaving Europe as the main battleground in the economic war on Israel. And now a bill in the New York Legislature may be the key to blunting financial and political damage to Israel in Europe.

Using the Language of War Makes Battling BDS Clearer: Jon Haber, Algemeiener, May 15, 2016 — Complex and contradictory language surrounds our conversations regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and how to stop it. “Delegitimization,” “antisemitism,” “hypocrisy” and “misguided” are all words used repeatedly by BDS critics, just as “human rights,” “international law” and “free speech” are phrases we can count on hearing from proponents of boycott and divestment activity.

 

                    

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

BDS & THE “NEW” ANTISEMITISM: “AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE OF RADICAL ISLAM & THE POLITICAL LEFT”

The Scourge of Anti-Semitic Jews: Barbara Kay, National Post, Apr. 13, 2016— A poster from the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, made the rounds on U.S. campuses recently.

Anti-Zionism Is The New Anti-Semitism, Says Britain's Ex-Chief Rabbi: Jonathan Sacks, Newsweek, Apr. 3, 2016— On March 27, speaking to the Sunday Times, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams expressed his concern at rising levels of anti-Semitism on British university campuses.

Anglo Jewry Confronts Labour Anti-Semitic Surge: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 13, 2016—Ten years ago, I was accused of pandering to hysteria when I praised Melanie Phillips’ groundbreaking book, Londonistan, detailing the alarming growth of anti-Semitism in the UK and predicting further deterioration unless the British government drastically altered its approach.

Reciting Kaddish After my Father's Death, I Found my Place in the Universe: Terry Friedman Wine, Globe & Mail, Apr. 6, 2016— I am a mourner. A stranger in a strange land, with a blurry map and a tattered phrase book.

 

On Topic Links

 

Does My Family Own a Painting Looted by Nazis?: Eve M. Khan, New York Times, Apr. 5, 2015

The BDS Movement: On The Inside: Lee Kaplan, Israel Behind the News, Apr. 14, 2016

Bernie Sanders, a Strong Promoter of Extreme Anti-Semites: Manfred Gerstanfeld, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 15, 2016

The Politicization of the English Language: Victor Davis Hanson, Jewish World Review, Apr. 7, 2016

 

 

              THE SCOURGE OF ANTI-SEMITIC JEWS

Barbara Kay

National Post, Apr. 13, 2016

 

A poster from the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, made the rounds on U.S. campuses recently. It reads: “White man: are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy? Join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at the Daily Stormer.” If I had seen that poster in my youth, it would have felt like a punch to the gut. Objectively, I should still be sickened. But the world has changed a lot since I was young and naively swaddled in the belief that anti-Semitism had finally been vanquished.

 

It’s back and it’s back with a vengeance. Hitler only wanted to rid Europe of its Jews. When he died, his dream died, too. The new genocidal dreams are global and today’s would-be Hitlers are plentiful. When one dies, 100 more are recruited. This time around, a sizable number of our Jewish intelligentsia think the way that hate is framed in modern times — as Israel cleansing, rather than racial cleansing — is kind of cool. And it is my youthful naiveté that has been vanquished.

 

So my reaction to the poster had a surprising 2016 vibe to it: nostalgia. I liked the poster’s quaint transparency. Wow, a guy who hates Jews blows right past all the Israel “apartheid” and “colonization” nonsense and just cuts to the chase like in the old days. It’s refreshing in a way.

 

Mostly I appreciate that he’s not a Jewish intellectual pitching his hatred of other Jews as moral superiority. I appreciate that he doesn’t consider himself the reincarnation of the prophet Amos calling for justice to roll down like a mighty stream — for Palestinians, that is, not for his own people. That white supremacist holds terrible views, but at least he’s not disguising his anti-Semitism as righteous indignation on behalf of “the wretched of the Earth.” Like, for example, Michael Neumann.

 

Neumann is a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., who claims that Jews bear a special responsibility to speak out against Israel. In a 2003 blog post, he wrote: “(My aim is to) help the Palestinians (and) I am not interested in the truth, or justice, or understanding, or anything else, except so far as it serves that purpose.… If an effective strategy means that some truths about the Jews don’t come to light, I don’t care. If an effective strategy means encouraging reasonable anti-Semitism, or reasonable hostility to Jews, I also don’t care. If it means encouraging vicious racist anti-Semitism, or the destruction of the state of Israel, I still don’t care.”

 

Or like Nitzan Tal. Tal’s Hebrew University sociology department MA thesis was entitled Controlled Occupation: The Lack of Military Rape in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. The abstract of the paper states that “the absence of directed military rape constitutes an alternative way of realizing the same political goals (usually achieved by directed military rape).” In other words, Israel’s military not raping Palestinian women is an act of racism. As the young people say on Twitter: I.Can’t.Even…

 

Malevolent Jews like Neuman and Tal form a disproportionate wedge of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) pie. They certainly do not represent the traditional strain of vigorous debate that used to characterize Jewish life. No, the vitriol, the irrationality, the delirium of anti-Zionist loathing spewing from this bloc of Jewish progressive academics seems to me to be something — well, not exactly new, but more ferocious, more structured and better funded than at any other time in Jewish history. Most importantly, these single-minded activists have unprecedented access as authority figures to masses of vulnerable minds in an environment virtually cleansed of pro-Israel voices at the tenured level.

 

One can be critical of Israel without being an enemy to Israel, that goes without saying. I myself have written a number of critical columns on the Haredim situation in Israel. But anti-Zionist Jews who actively support the BDS movement are, ipso facto, enemies of the Jewish people. Aimed at Israeli universities, BDS is itself a form of scholarly apartheid. Since attachment to the Jewish homeland is the linchpin of Jewish identity, the only logical explanation for the tenacity of the BDS movement’s attempts to wrest the land in which Jews are the indigenous people from their own people’s grasp, is that they believe that Jews are inherently evil and, unlike every other ethnically indigenous people, undeserving of a homeland.

 

In the 12th century, the great Jewish scholar Maimonides defined a Jewish apostate, in part, as: “One who separates himself from the community … shows himself indifferent when (his people) are in distress … and goes his own way, as if he were one of the gentiles and did not belong to the Jewish people.” If only Jews against Jews did in fact go their own way — attacking Israel as unhyphenated Canadians — I would respect their choice. Where the canker gnaws is their appropriation of Jewish tropes of human rights to ingratiate themselves with our enemies, bellowing “not in my name” and lending a bogus Jewish “kashrut” stamp to Palestinian activists.

 

From my perspective, Jews who align themselves as Jews with Islamists in general, and Palestinian Islamists in particular, have succumbed to a cultural disorder. I call this disorder “pathological altruism,” the extreme end of liberalism where Robert Frost’s definition of a liberal as “someone too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel” turns into a sickness. And this sickness is not just prevalent at the margins. We recently saw pathological altruist and viciously anti-Zionist Max Blumenthal honoured with a podium by PEN Canada. I interviewed the group’s program director, who believes that Blumenthal is mainstream. It is a mistake to accord these pathological altruists dignity as social-justice warriors, or even over-enthusiastic progressives, because when we do that, when we treat them only, say, as Jews promoting a message with which we disagree, we are conferring normalcy and legitimacy on cultural fifth columns. Sorry, but that’s not tolerance; that’s cultural suicide…

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

                                                                       

 

Contents

ANTI-ZIONISM IS THE NEW ANTI-SEMITISM,

SAYS BRITAIN'S EX-CHIEF RABBI   

Jonathan Sacks

Newsweek, Apr. 3, 2016

 

On March 27, speaking to the Sunday Times, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams expressed his concern at rising levels of anti-Semitism on British university campuses. There are, he said, “worrying echoes” of Germany in the 1930s. Two days later, in The Times, Chris Bryant, the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and a senior member of the British Labour party, warned that the political left was increasingly questioning the right of the state of Israel to exist, a view he called a “not too subtle form of anti-Semitism.” Across Europe, Jews are leaving. A survey in 2013 by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights showed that almost a third of Europe’s Jews have considered emigrating because of anti-Semitism, with numbers as high as 46 percent in France and 48 percent in Hungary.

 

Nor is this a problem in Europe alone. A 2015 survey of North American Jewish college students by Brandeis University found that three-quarters of respondents had been exposed to anti-Semitic rhetoric. One third had reported incidents of harassment because they were Jewish. Much of the intimidation on campus is stirred by “Israel Apartheid” weeks and the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel. These have become what Easter was in the Middle Ages, a time for attacks against Jews. Something is clearly happening, but what? Many on the left argue that they are being wrongly accused. They are not against Jews, they say, only opposed to the policies of the state of Israel. Here one must state the obvious. Criticism of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic. Nor is the BDS movement inherently anti-Semitic. Many of its supporters have a genuine concern for human rights. It is, though, a front for the new anti-Semitism, an unholy alliance of radical Islamism and the political left.

 

What then is anti-Semitism? It is not a coherent set of beliefs but a set of contradictions. Before the Holocaust, Jews were hated because they were poor and because they were rich; because they were communists and because they were capitalists; because they kept to themselves and because they infiltrated everywhere; because they clung tenaciously to ancient religious beliefs and because they were rootless cosmopolitans who believed nothing. Anti-semitism is a virus that survives by mutating. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the 19th and 20th centuries they were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nation state, Israel. Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism.

 

The legitimization has also changed. Throughout history, when people have sought to justify anti-Semitism, they have done so by recourse to the highest source of authority available within the culture. In the Middle Ages, it was religion. In post-Enlightenment Europe it was science. Today it is human rights. It is why Israel—the only fully functioning democracy in the Middle East with a free press and independent judiciary—is regularly accused of the five crimes against human rights: racism, apartheid, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide. This is the blood libel of our time.

 

Anti-Semitism is a classic example of what anthropologist René Girard sees as the primal form of human violence: scapegoating. When bad things happen to a group, its members can ask two different questions: “What did we do wrong?” or “Who did this to us?” The entire fate of the group will depend on which it chooses. If it asks, “What did we do wrong?” it has begun the self-criticism essential to a free society. If it asks, “Who did this to us?” it has defined itself as a victim. It will then seek a scapegoat to blame for all its problems. Classically this has been the Jews.

 

Today the argument goes like this. After the Holocaust, every right-thinking human being must be opposed to Nazism. Palestinians are the new Jews. The Jews are the new Nazis. Israel is the new crime against humanity. Therefore every right thinking person must be opposed to the state of Israel, and since every Jew is a Zionist, we must oppose the Jews. This argument is wholly wrong. It was Jews not Israelis who were murdered in terrorist attacks in Toulouse, Paris, Brussels and Copenhagen. Anti-Semitism is a form of cognitive failure. It reduces complex problems to simplicities. It divides the world into black and white, seeing all the fault on one side and all the victimhood on the other. It singles out one group among a hundred offenders for the blame. It silences dissent and never engages in self-criticism. The argument is always the same. We are innocent; they are guilty. It follows that if we—Christians, members of the Aryan race or Muslims—are to be free, they, the Jews, or the state of Israel must be destroyed. That is how the great crimes begin.

 

Jews have been hated because they were different. They were the most conspicuous non-Christian minority in pre-World War Christian Europe. Today they are the most conspicuous non-Muslim presence in an Islamic Middle East. Anti-Semitism has always been about the inability of a group to make space for difference. No group that adopts it will ever create a free society. The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews. In a world awash with hate across religious divides, people of all faiths and none must stand together, not just to defeat anti-Semitism but to ensure the rights of religious minorities are defended everywhere. History will judge us by how we deal with this challenge. We must not fail.

 

Contents

 

                     ANGLO JEWRY CONFRONTS LABOUR ANTI-SEMITIC SURGE

                                                              Isi Leibler

                                                    Jerusalem Post, Apr. 13, 2016

 

Ten years ago, I was accused of pandering to hysteria when I praised Melanie Phillips’ groundbreaking book, Londonistan, detailing the alarming growth of anti-Semitism in the UK and predicting further deterioration unless the British government drastically altered its approach. Many British Jews, especially those living in Jewish enclaves, were in denial, simply unwilling to face reality. Their attitude is brilliantly portrayed in Howard Jacobson’s 2010 Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Finkler Question, which satirically portrays a British Jew desperately seeking to become socially acceptable.

 

The Anglo Jewish establishment has frequently been referred to as “trembling Israelites.” They were “shtadlanim” (court Jews) who, to quote a former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, crafted a policy based on “Why must one shout when a whisper can be heard?” Their overriding concern was to avoid rocking the boat by minimizing public protest wherever possible. Those who assailed Phillips as an extremist 10 years ago today would concede that her analysis has been absolutely vindicated, and alas, her predictions of intensifying anti-Semitism were understated.

 

Who then would have dreamed that the alternate government in the UK – the Labour Party – would not only be riddled with anti-Semites, but would elect a leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who praises Hamas; maintains that Hamas and Hezbollah are committed to peace; calls for a boycott of Israel; accepts Islamic demonization of Israel; and associates with Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, whom he defends as “far from a dangerous man”; and endorses Raed Salah, who employed the medieval blood libel to justify Palestinian terrorism? It should therefore not be surprising that Corbyn refuses to purge the increasingly vocal anti-Semites from his party, despite widespread media exposure and repeated pleas from distraught members.

 

Jews are also shocked with the extension of this hatred which has penetrated leading universities, including Oxford. The depiction by Alex Chalmers, former head of the Oxford University Labour Club, of the anti-Semitism he encountered and the support of Hamas that obliged him to resign, is chilling. The Sunday Times disclosed that during the TV coverage of funerals for those murdered in the Paris kosher supermarket, the members mocked the Jewish victims, sang songs about rockets over Tel Aviv and related to Auschwitz as a “cash cow” for Jews. Not surprisingly, many Jewish students feel intimidated. To retain their social standing, a number choose to endorse the anti-Zionist chic. Others recuse themselves. Some argue that Jewish student bodies should not even engage in Israel advocacy and should restrict themselves to religious, cultural and social activities. Although Jews living in predominately Jewish areas are less affected, there has been an exponential growth of public anti-Semitic incidents, including acts of violence. Today in Britain there is open chatter that the creation of Israel was a mistake and there are intensifying calls to end the “apartheid Jewish state.”

 

These events have shattered the myth that anti-Semitism in the UK is restricted to Muslims and fringe indigenous elements. The BBC is not controlled by Islamists but its extreme bias and double standards have molded public opinion toward the demonization of Israel. Much of the anti-Israelism that initially emanated from Trotskyite elements has now become intrinsic to the DNA of many left-wingers. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is primarily promoted by indigenous leftist activists. Indeed, in some respects the situation is worse than the 1930s, when at least liberal and left-wing groups defended the Jews. Admittedly, the current prime minister, David Cameron, is a friend of Israel and the Jewish people, but opinion polls indicate that half the population considers Israel a rogue state. In a democracy, such trends ultimately impact on policy.

 

The current communal leadership is responding courageously, in contrast to its predecessors. Last year, the Board of Deputies elected as its 47th president Jonathan Arkush, a traditional Jew and a passionate Zionist, who dismissed the “court Jew” policy of relying almost exclusively on “silent diplomacy.” He was, from the outset, respectfully outspoken in his condemnation of Labour Party leader Corbyn’s failure to confront anti-Jewish bigotry in his party. Indeed, Arkush could well serve as a role model for many American Jewish leaders who in the past made a point of ridiculing British leaders for their timidity, but have been singularly silent in relation to President Barack Obama’s outbursts against Israel. Arkush stated: “If Labour is to be credible in exorcising its anti-Semitic demons, its leader must first clearly demonstrate that these relationships are problematic.”…                                                                                                                    

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

 

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RECITING KADDISH AFTER MY FATHER'S DEATH,                                                                          

I FOUND MY PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE                                                                                      

Terry Friedman Wine                                                                                                            

Globe & Mail, Apr. 6, 2016

 

 

I am a mourner. A stranger in a strange land, with a blurry map and a tattered phrase book. When my father passed away, early on a quiet, sunny June day, I suddenly became a Mourner. A new persona, a darkened mirror image of The Daughter. Judaism has been here before, of course. In the past few months, I have learned more about the rules, regulations and customs than I ever knew, or wanted to. And yet there is safety in having a guidebook, annotated over hundreds of years by wise and learned observers.

 

These ancient rules and regulations serve as boundaries to surround me – and I have come to realize that these structures are there to support, not oppress me. When I falter, I have them to lean on. When I stumble, I notice that someone before me has left crumbs and clues, though I can’t always decipher or even recognize them at first. My father, a Holocaust survivor, insisted that his children have a Jewish education in this New World so far removed from the shtetl. I am so grateful to my parents for this gift of identity and to the teachers who imparted to me the million details. Their commitment has continued to provide me with signposts at the beautiful lookout points and discreet illumination through the dark places.

 

My father was blessed in those final hours to wind down like a grandfather clock, his rhythm slowing into peace. In those first moments and hours, our family went through all those practical motions one must go through, the prescribed physical steps giving us handles with which to carry the overwhelming grief. Devastated, on automatic pilot, we put one foot in front of the other by stepping on the footmarks set out for us, watching for the next one, not raising our eyes. It was hearing myself recite the Mourners’ Kaddish at the cemetery that broke my days-long trance. Suddenly I became aware of, and understood, my place in the universe. The Daughter. The Mourner. The Keeper of My Father’s Presence.

 

The shiva period of focused support acknowledged my incapability of living in the world I had been part of until yesterday and sheltered me from it. For seven days, prayer services came to us; kind friends and capable family members ensured that meals showed up and were set out, served and cleared. People dropped in, hugged, shared stories. My mother, brother and I existed in a survival-mode cocoon, separately, together. And after a symbolic walk out of the house, into the community, we officially began to ease back into life.

 

I vowed to continue reciting Kaddish for the year I am officially in mourning. It wasn’t really a decision, but rather an instinct. It’s one of those clear points on that blurry map and I clung to it for dear life. Every single day I have found a minyan, a quorum – a symbolic and de facto community that supports me in my declaration that this year, this is who I am, and this is where I belong. Every day, my world pauses for half an hour while I duck into services. I have recited Kaddish in synagogues of differing denominations, in other cities, in our local park with the synagogue baseball team. Saying Kaddish is not traditionally an obligation for women and while there is no prohibition from doing so, it is not customary. I have been met with curiosity, vague dismay, encouragement, admiration.

 

Most surprising to me is my own determination. Inherently shy, I have found my backbone, or perhaps that unbreakable bond to my beloved father. In order to say Kaddish, one needs a quorum of 10, and there have been days where this was in peril. One regular at my usual synagogue once spoke of being in a restaurant, and noticing a man peer in and scan the crowd. “He’s looking for a minyan,” my friend understood, and got up to participate. “How did you know?” his son asked when he returned. “There’s a look,” he said. “You just know.” I have shown up to a synagogue, late for daily service but just as a (stranger’s) wedding was about to take place; to a local ballpark; to a Sabbath afternoon in New Jersey; to a jiu-jitsu class in the shul basement. “Please,” I’ve asked. “We need a 10th.” I’ve never been disappointed. I have that look.

 

This year, as per Jewish law, I do not attend parties. Well-meaning friends and relatives have tried to make exceptions for me, thinking that they are being helpful when they suggest loopholes through which I could participate. A common one is “your Dad wouldn’t want you to be left out. He’d want you to be happy.” Of course he would, more than anything in the world. But this is not about being happy. It’s about being protected. My joy in your happiness is sincere, but not all-encompassing. There is a dark hollow within me, and I don’t want to neglect it, ignore it or bring it to your celebration. I want to give it the respect it deserves. I don’t want to share it. Yes, I will miss out on some fine times, but I will never again have this unique opportunity to contemplate all I have lost, to discern what I will always have, where that leaves me, who I am and where do I go from here. When I stand up, every day, and recite those timeless words “Yitgadal v’yitkadash,” I am not only asserting my place in the community. I’m holding Dad’s.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

Contents

On Topic

 

 

Does My Family Own a Painting Looted by Nazis?: Eve M. Khan, New York Times, Apr. 5, 2015—For decades, it hung near the dining room inside a family home: a genre painting by a Dutch old master depicting an old man and his wife weighing and counting their gold coins. Judged a genuine work by Jan Steen and dated to the 1660s, it was once valued at $400,000.

The BDS Movement: On The Inside: Lee Kaplan, Israel Behind the News, Apr. 14, 2016—The term BDS refers to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conducted against the state of Israel, and also a way to attack the Jewish people both in Israel and worldwide. Partially funded by the PLO, the BDS movement grew out of the Arab League boycott of Israel begun in 1950 after Israel’s War of Independence.

Bernie Sanders, a Strong Promoter of Extreme Anti-Semites: Manfred Gerstanfeld, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 15, 2016—In 2014 the Anti-Defamation League undertook a study of anti-Semitism in a hundred states and entities. The leading ten, each with at least 80% of the population holding anti-Semitic views, all come from the Arab and Muslim world. The 'West Bank' and Gaza, headed the list with 93%.

The Politicization of the English Language: Victor Davis Hanson, Jewish World Review, Apr. 7, 2016— Last week, French President Francois Hollande met President Obama in Washington to discuss joint strategies for stopping the sort of radical Islamic terrorists who have killed dozens of innocents in Brussels, Paris and San Bernardino in recent months.

 

 

 

 

 

                        

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

IRAN, BENEFITING FROM SANCTIONS RELIEF AND NEW BUSINESS DEALS, CONTINUES TO DEFY ISRAEL & THE WEST

Obama Just Made Iran’s Brutal Regime Stronger: Amir Taheri, New York Post, Jan. 24, 2016 — “Evident victory!” This is how Iranian President Hassan Rouhani describes the diplomatic swindle, known as the “Iran nuclear deal.”

Israel Sees Short and Long-term Repercussions in Iranian Sanctions Relief: Yaakov Lappin, IPT, Jan. 25, 2016— Away from the vociferous disputes that continue to rage around the Iranian nuclear deal, the Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate and General Staff have been engaged in detached analysis of the short and long-term effects, and they have come away with three central conclusions.

Cartoons as a Symbol of Defiance: Hillel Newman, Times of Israel, Feb. 1, 2016 — The director of the cartoon and caricature House in Tehran, Massoud Tabatabai, announced … that Iran will once again hold an international cartoon contest that scoffs at the Holocaust.

Italian-Iranian Hall of Mirrors: Roger Cohen, New York Times, Feb. 1, 2016— Italy’s decision to cover up the nudes at the Capitoline Museum in deference to the sensibilities of the visiting Glasgow-educated Iranian president has been widely interpreted as final proof of the capitulation of Western civilization to theocratic Islam.

 

On Topic Links

 

In-Fighting in Iran: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2016

The Iranian Penetration of Iraqi Kurdistan: Lazar Berman, JCPA, Jan. 21, 2016

‘The Iran-Iraq War,’ by Pierre Razoux: New York Times, Dec. 29, 2016

North Korea Did It Again: Dr. Alon Levkowitz, BESA, Feb. 2, 2016

                  

OBAMA JUST MADE IRAN’S BRUTAL REGIME STRONGER

Amir Taheri

                                                      New York Post, Jan. 24, 2016 

 

“Evident victory!” This is how Iranian President Hassan Rouhani describes the diplomatic swindle, known as the “Iran nuclear deal.” The Koranic term (in Arabic Fatah al-Mobin) refers to one of Prophet Mohammed’s successful guerrilla raids on a Meccan caravan in the early days of Islam. Rouhani claims the “deal” represents “the greatest diplomatic victory in Islamic history.” Leaving aside the hyperbole, a fixture of the mullahs’ rhetorical arsenal, Rouhani has reason to crow.

 

If not quite moribund as some analysts claim, the Islamic Republic had been in a rough patch for years. For more than a year, the government was unable to pay some of the 5.2 million public sector employees, notably teachers, petrochemical workers and students on bursaries, triggering numerous strikes. Deprived of urgently needed investment, the Iranian oil industry was pushed to the edge with its biggest oil fields, notably Bibi Hakimeh and Maroun, producing less than half their capacity.

 

Between 2012 and 2015, Iran lost 25% of its share in the global oil market. Sanctions and lack of investment also meant that large chunks of Iranian industry, dependent on imported parts, went under. In 2015 Iran lost an average of 1,000 jobs a day.

 

Last month, the nation’s currency, the rial, fell to an all-time record low while negative economic growth was forecast for the third consecutive year. Having increased the military budget by 21%, Rouhani was forced to delay presentation of his new budget for the Iranian New Year starting March 21. Against that background that Obama rode to the rescue by pushing through a “deal” designed to ease pressure on Iran in exchange for nothing but verbal promises from Tehran. Here is some of what Obama did:

 

Dropped demands that Iran reshape its nuclear program to make sure it can never acquire a military dimension. As head of Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Ali Akbar Salehi has said: “Our nuclear project remains intact. The ‘deal’ does not prevent us from doing what we were doing.”

 

He suspended a raft of sanctions and pressured the European Union and the United Nations to do the same.    He injected a badly needed $1.7 billion into Iranian economy by releasing assets frozen under President Jimmy Carter and kept as possible compensation for Americans held hostage at different times. The cash enabled Rouhani to start paying some unpaid salaries in Iran while financing Hezbollah branches and helping the Assad regime in Syria.

 

Obama released another tranche of $30 billion, enabling Rouhani to present his new budget with a reduced deficit at 14% while increasing the military-security budget yet again, by 4.2%. Banking sanctions were set aside to let Iran import 19,000 tons of American rice to meet shortages on the eve of Iranian New Year when consumption reaches its peak. Obama’s lovefest with the mullahs helped mollify the Khomeinist regime’s image as a sponsor of international terror and a diplomatic pariah.

 

What is the rationale behind Obama’s dogged determination to help the mullahs out of the ditch they have dug? Some cite Obama’s alleged belief that the US has been an “imperialist power,” bullying weaker nations and must make amends. Others suggest a tactic to strengthen “moderates” within the Iranian regime who, if assured that the US does into seek regime change might lead the nation towards a change of behavior.

 

Whatever the reasons, what Obama has done could best described as appeasement-plus. In classical appeasement you promise an adversary not to oppose some of his moves, for example the annexation of Czechoslovakia, but you do not offer him actual financial or diplomatic support.

 

Obama has gone beyond that. In addition to saving Iran from running out of money, on the diplomatic front he has endorsed Tehran’s scenario for Syria, is campaigning to help Iran choose the next Lebanese president, and has given the mullahs an open field in Afghanistan and Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry talks of Iran as “the regional power,” to the chagrin of Washington’s Middle East allies.

 

What if the “deal” actually weakens the “moderates” that Obama wants to support, supposing they do exist? Obama’s imaginary “moderates” are not in good shape. The Council of Guardians that decides who could run for election next month has disqualified 99% of the so-called “moderate” wannabes, ensuring the emergence of a new Islamic parliament and Assembly of Experts dominated by radicals as never before. Meanwhile, the annual “End of America” festival, Feb. 1 to 10, is to be held with greater pomp.

 

With more resources at its disposal, Tehran is intensifying its “exporting the revolution” campaign. Last week it announced the creation of a new Hezbollah branch in Turkey and, for the first time, made the existence of a branch in Iraq public. Tajikistan was also publicly added to the markets where Khomeinist revolution should be exported. There are no “moderates” in Tehran, and the Islamic Republic cannot be reformed out of its nature. For the remainder of Obama’s term least, expect a more aggressive Islamic Republic. Did the mullahs deceive Obama? No, this was all his idea.

 

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ISRAEL SEES SHORT AND LONG-TERM REPERCUSSIONS

IN IRANIAN SANCTIONS RELIEF                       

Yaakov Lappin

IPT, Jan. 25, 2016

 

Away from the vociferous disputes that continue to rage around the Iranian nuclear deal, the Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate and General Staff have been engaged in detached analysis of the short and long-term effects, and they have come away with three central conclusions. Details of their assessments, though shared with defense reporters over recent months, were publicly presented for the first last week by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot during a conference in Tel Aviv, organized by the Institute for National Security Studies.

 

The most immediate consequence of the nuclear deal will be felt in the realm of expanding Iranian regional influence, and the looming increase in the trafficking of weapons and funds to terror organizations, made possible by sanctions relief. Iran now sends Hizballah between $800 million to $1 billion every year, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) assessments. There is every reason to expect Hizballah's funding to significantly increase in the next two years, as Iran stands to earn many billions of dollars in oil and gas sales, and receives access to $100 billion in previously frozen assets.

 

Iran sends Hamas in the Gaza Strip tens of millions of dollars per year, instructs it on how to mass produce rockets, and tries to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Iran's budget for Hamas will grow, too. Additionally, the Iranian military industry, already considered to be an advanced stage of development by Israel, will receive much more investment, allowing Iran to design and produce more accurate missiles, rockets, drones, and other types of weaponry that it can then traffic to its regional proxies through its Revolutionary Guard-Quds Force (IRGC) networks, or point at Israel directly from Iranian missile bases.

 

IRGC-Quds Force activities in Syria, where Iran oversees and participates in battles to save its ally, the Assad regime (Iran has lost between 300 to 400 of its security forces in Syria's battles), and seeks to convert its presence on the Syrian Golan into terrorist bases against Israel, can also be expected to be expand. "The assessment is that as the economic situation in Iran improves, bigger assets will be diverted [to these things]," Eisenkot said Jan. 18.

 

Regarding the Iranian nuclear program itself, the military divides its view between the short and long-term. Since the end of 2005, Iran topped the list of strategic threats to Israel due to its military nuclear program. With Iran inching toward nuclear breakout capabilities, the IDF had to be ready to respond to any potential imminent developments. The nuclear deal changes that situation, at least for the next five years. Although Israel will make every effort to monitor and scrutinize Iran's activities, the expectation within the defense establishment is that the risk of an imminent Iranian breakout to the bomb has substantially decreased for the next few years.

 

The thinking in Israel's military establishment is that the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has not forfeited his ambition to build nuclear weapons. Far from it. He has, however, taken a tactical 'pause' to achieve sanctions relief and assure the future of his regime. After the five-year mark passes, the next decade carries increased risks of Iran secretly developing nuclear weapons.

 

Alternatively, Iran can wait out the agreement's sunset clause, and reactivate its nuclear program in 10 to 15 years, after it has amassed far greater regional influence, military capabilities, wealth, and international legitimacy. This is one reason why Eisenkot has said that whoever is in his position a decade from now will face significantly more complex challenges. Iran then will be a significantly more formidable enemy than it is today.

 

In the meantime, Iran will continue its proxy war against Israel, and Hizballah armed with over 100,000 surface to surface rockets and missiles, will work with Iran to make some of those projectiles accurate, satellite-guided threats, which it can try to direct against strategic sites in Israel. Israel, for its part, is developing an advanced multi-layer rocket and missile defense system to counter this…

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

 

 

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CARTOONS AS A SYMBOL OF DEFIANCE

Hillel Newman                                                              

Times of Israel, Feb. 1, 2016

 

The director of the cartoon and caricature House in Tehran, Massoud Tabatabai, announced … that Iran will once again hold an international cartoon contest that scoffs at the Holocaust. This contest offers an extra special cherry in the creation of a new category primarily designed to deride the Prime Minister of Israel. It is scheduled to take place in June 2016, with the assistance and support of the municipality of Tehran. The contest carries significant cash prizes, with the promise of a special prize of $50,000, a first place prize of $12,000, second place of $8,000, and third place prize of $5,000. It would seem that due to the promised relief of sanctions — the result of the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) — Iran expects its coffers to fill. So the powers that be have found something “useful” to do with their excess cash flow.

 

This is not the first time they are holding such a contest. They held such a contest in April 2015, and according to the site managing the contest, more than 300 people from approximately 50 countries submitted entries. Illuminating the contest’s date of the first of April, the submission date then, the director of the caricature house explained, “As the first of April is the day of lies, it is appropriate to hold a caricature contest ridiculing the Holocaust, which is one of the biggest lies.” Thus, this contest is not just for fun, but purposely carries political and ideological undertones. Holocaust denial and the ridiculing of Israel’s Prime Minister are part and parcel of the political and ideological connotations.

 

Iran knows very well how cartoons can be used for political messages. Ms. Atena Farghadani, an Iranian citizen, was sentenced in May 2015 to 12 years in prison. Evidence against her included satirical cartoons she had drawn, depicting Iranian officials with disdain. She has been termed a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International. Recently, according to news reports, she was charged with illegitimate sexual relations and forced to undergo a “virginity and pregnancy test,” because she shook hands with her attorney. Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program was quoted stating: “It is shocking that on top of imposing a ludicrous charge on Atena Farghadani for the ‘crime’ of shaking hands with her lawyer, the Iranian authorities have forced her to undergo a virginity and pregnancy test.”

 

This case highlights the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime. It sponsors cartoons against the Holocaust on the one hand, yet arrests Iranian citizens for oppositionist cartoons on the other. It also highlights how seriously the Iranian authorities take satirical cartoons: seriously enough to impose 12 years in prison. Clearly, significant differences should be noted between the two issues. Atena’s cartoons were a private initiative of an oppositionist, protesting horrendous acts by the Iranian regime. The Holocaust caricature contest is governmental, institutional, international, and in clear violation of international accords. It is also an offense to the innocent victims of the Holocaust.

 

Iran’s intolerance for oppositionist cartoons calls into question the Iranian leaders’ attempts to excuse themselves with false claims of not understanding the significance of convening this detestable contest. This issue is not, and should not be, an Israeli or Jewish issue. This act of insolence should awaken the negotiators of the P5+1 and the leaders of the tolerant world to the true character of the Iranian regime. It is just one additional act of defiance among many.

 

Over the past few months, Iran has been ballooning different types of defiant acts, testing the waters, to see the reaction of the international community. So far, things have gone well for them. The international community has locked itself into a position of extreme weakness, in fear that reacting to these acts of defiance would uproot the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) that they have toiled so long to achieve.

 

In October, Iran provocatively launched a ballistic missile test, the second that year, which was determined to violate the UN sanctions. The Iranians continue to smuggle arms and support proxy terror groups, in violation of Security Council resolutions. They continue to execute juvenile offenders, in violation of the International Convention for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). They continue to detain American dual nationals on what observers denounce as trumped up espionage charges. They continue their subversive activity unabated. In the nuclear context, as Michael Singh and Simond de Galbert report in their Wall Street Journal article of December 14, 2015: “Iran has refused to take either of the two steps that could provide real assurance that it has forsaken its desire for nuclear weapons: abandoning uranium enrichment altogether and providing a full disclosure of past nuclear activities.”

 

Inaction in the face of Iranian violations and misbehavior will only lead to further insolence, defiance and audacity. It will also lead to further erosion of the integrity and credibility of the international community. It will eat at the essence of the deterrence threat, and pave the way for increased disrespect of international norms and UN sanctions. Meaningful responses to Iranian provocations are needed. Let us start by tackling the moral issue of the Holocaust cartoon contest, which is just a symbol of Iranian deep rooted disregard for our values.                                                                                                                                          

 

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ITALIAN-IRANIAN HALL OF MIRRORS                                                                       

Roger Cohen                                                                                    

New York Times, Feb. 1, 2016

 

Italy’s decision to cover up the nudes at the Capitoline Museum in deference to the sensibilities of the visiting Glasgow-educated Iranian president has been widely interpreted as final proof of the capitulation of Western civilization to theocratic Islam. It was, Hisham Melhem, a columnist for Al Arabiya English, suggested, a “brazen act of self-emasculation and obeisance.”

 

If Italy, inheritor of the glories of the Roman Empire, boxes up some of its finest works of art just in case the eye of President Hassan Rouhani should fall on the plum-like breast of a marble goddess, then nobody should be surprised if Islamic fanatics (Sunni, not Shiite, but still) choose to destroy the glorious Greco-Roman legacy at Palmyra. Or so the reasoning goes.

 

As a consequence of Boxgate, Italy has suffered ridicule. Nothing is worse than ridicule. Here it is merited. Not so much, I would argue, for Italy’s clumsy attempt at courtesy, for courtesy is important and has become an undervalued virtue. Reading the fall of the West into the concealment of a nude is going too far. Mistakes happen. No, the ridicule is merited because the decision to hide the works of art was, it seems, made by nobody. In Rome, the buck stops nowhere. The Capitoline Venus just boxed herself up one night because she was bored and took a few deities along with her.

 

The Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, did not know. The foreign minister did not know. The culture minister called the decision “incomprehensible.” They were, they insist (perhaps too much), as surprised as anyone to find all those white cubes — none, incidentally, provided by the prestigious White Cube gallery in London.

 

One account has it that a woman named Ilva Sapora who works at Palazzo Chigi, where Renzi’s office is located, made the decision after visiting the Capitoline with Iranian Embassy officials. “Nonsense,” Jas Gawronski, a former Italian member of the European Parliament, told me. The notion that a midlevel Chigi official in charge of ceremonial matters could have made the decision does seem far-fetched. Gawronski believes it is more likely to have been officials at the Farnesina, home to the Foreign Ministry.

 

One thing can be safely said: Nobody will ever know. I was a correspondent in Rome for some years in the 1980s. Periodically there would be developments in terrorist cases — the Piazza Fontana bombing of 1969 or the Brescia bombing of 1974. Trials, verdicts, appeals followed one another. Facts grew murkier, not clearer. It would take decades to arrive at convictions that did not resolve doubts. Italy has never had much time for the notion that justice delayed is justice denied.

 

Renzi has wanted to break with this Italy of murky secrets, modernize it, bring stable government and install accountability. He’s made significant changes in electoral and labor law. But he has a problem. At the same time as the Boxgate scandal was unfolding he was telling my colleague Jim Yardley in an interview, “I’m the leader of a great country.”

 

A great country doesn’t have statues that box themselves up all by themselves. Truth in Italy is elastic. A much-conquered country learned the wisdom of ambiguous expression, as for that matter did much-conquered Persia. The Italians say, “Se non è vero, è ben trovato” — roughly, if it’s not true it ought to be.

If art is the truth, we should not charge the people for the truth. If art is not the truth, is it just a lie? The very moment art is…

 

At bottom, this story is one of an Iranian-Italian hall of mirrors with a pot of gold sitting in the middle of the hall valued at about $18 billion in new trade deals. The Iranians insist nobody asked for those masterpieces of Classical humanism to be hidden: another case of nobody’s decision. Iran, too, distrusts clarity. It is a nation whose conventions include the charming ceremonial insincerity known as “taarof” and “tagieh,” which amounts to the sacrifice of truth to higher religious imperative.

 

Speaking of truth denial, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has again questioned the existence of the Holocaust. He chose to do so in a video uploaded to his website on Holocaust Remembrance Day. There is to be another “Holocaust Cartoon and Caricature Contest” in June. Needless to say this Holocaust denial is odious, the regime at its worst. It is also a sign of desperation among the hard-liners determined to block Rouhani’s opening to the world. They reckon Holocaust denial will derail any détente. The buzzword of the hard-liners is “nufuz,” or infiltration by the West. Iranians are being warned to guard against it in this month’s parliamentary elections.

 

You can hide a few statues in the Capitoline Museum, but you can’t hide the deep rifts between an Iranian society overwhelmingly in favor of opening to the West and a theocratic regime determined to ensure the nuclear deal does not lead to wider cooperation with the United States and Europe. Far from finding itself in a state of capitulation, the West exerts a very powerful cultural magnetism, evident in the rabid desperation of its opponents.

On Topic

 

In-Fighting in Iran: Neville Teller, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2016— Iran’s élite are at loggerheads. Situation normal, one might say, except that the in-fighting is becoming more vicious by the day, exacerbated by the forthcoming elections. As Iran prepares for the vote, scheduled for February 26, the power struggle between the hardliners on the one hand, and the moderates and reformists – the pro-Rouhanis – on the other, is intensifying.

The Iranian Penetration of Iraqi Kurdistan: Lazar Berman, JCPA, Jan. 21, 2016 —Iran’s influence grows across the Middle East. Its armed proxies, and often Iranian soldiers themselves, advance Tehran’s interests in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Iran’s activities in those countries have caught the attention of states in the region and beyond, and rival Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia continue to ramp up their diplomatic and rhetorical campaigns to counter Tehran’s ambitions.

‘The Iran-Iraq War,’ by Pierre Razoux: New York Times, Dec. 29, 2016—The war between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Ruhollah Khomeini’s Iran ended 27 years ago, before most of today’s Iraqis and Iranians were alive. Many of today’s Americans were pretty young then, too — certainly too young to remember the glee with which United States policy makers watched the war, an eight-year storm of steel that killed as many as a million people and exhausted two unsavory regimes.

North Korea Did It Again: Dr. Alon Levkowitz, BESA, Feb. 2, 2016—On January 6, 2016, North Korea held its fourth nuclear test, proclaiming it as Pyongyang's first hydrogen (H) bomb. Intelligence communities and scientists in South Korea and the US have raised doubts concerning North Korea's capabilities to develop and test the H-bomb. By doing so, South Korea and the US question Pyongyang's credibility and in turn, minimize the importance of the fourth nuclear test.