Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
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Tag: UK

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

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

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

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

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

On Topic Links

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

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

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

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

                 

THE MAD, MAD MEDITATIONS OF MONSIEUR MACRON                                        

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                                                               National Review, Nov. 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Conrad Black

National Post, Nov. 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

BESA, Nov. 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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HANUKKAH’S LEGACY IN AMERICA                            

Yoram Ettinger

Algemeiner, Nov. 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Contents

On Topic Links

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

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

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

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

PERSISTENCE OF ANTISEMITISM AROUND THE WORLD IS CLOSELY LINKED TO ANTI-ZIONISM

On Passover, We Can’t Forget Mireille Knoll, Newly Murdered Holocaust Survivor, Victim of Anti-Semitism: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Fox News, Mar. 30, 2018 — Much of our conversations during Passover should be focused on Israel’s upcoming 70th birthday – a remarkable (some say miraculous) milestone for the age-old “startup nation.” But we should not forget Mireille Knoll.

Why Did I Protest Against Corbyn? Look at His Long List of Evasions: Hadley Freeman, Guardian, Mar. 27, 2018— It was a politely furious protest.

When Human Rights Organizations Indulge in Antisemitism: Gerald Steinberg, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 20, 2018— The widespread increase in antisemitism around the world is closely linked to the demonization of Israel…

Accusing Putin of Antisemitism: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 14, 2018— A very significant portion of my life has been devoted to personally combating Russian antisemitism.

On Topic Links

MLK’s Passover Lesson: William Hamilton, Times of Israel, Apr. 5, 2018

Widespread Muslim Anti-Semitism in France: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Mar. 27, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn, Accidental Anti-Semite: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Mar. 29, 2018

Ambassador Friedman to Jerusalem Antisemitism Conference: The ‘New’ Antisemitism Worries Me More Than the Old: Benjamin Kerstein, Algemeiner, Mar. 19, 2018

 

ON PASSOVER, WE CAN’T FORGET MIREILLE KNOLL,

NEWLY MURDERED HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, VICTIM OF ANTI-SEMITISM

Rabbi Abraham Cooper

Fox News, Mar. 30, 2018

 

…Much of our conversations during Passover should be focused on Israel’s upcoming 70th birthday – a remarkable (some say miraculous) milestone for the age-old “startup nation.” But we should not forget Mireille Knoll. In 1942, just six years before Israel gained its independence, Knoll miraculously escaped the roundup and deportation of 13,000 French Jews – among them 4,000 other Jewish children from Vichy France – to the Auschwitz concentration camp in what is now Poland. Only 100 of those children survived.

After WWII, Knoll resumed her life in France and became a wife, mother and grandmother. But just last week, the 85-year-old widow was brutally stabbed 11 times and her body burned in her modest Paris apartment. Police are investigating two men in their 20s on formal charges of murder with an anti-Semitic motive. One of them was a neighbor who had known Knoll since he was a child.

The New York Times reported: “An official close to the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said that the friend had told investigators that he had heard Ms. Knoll’s neighbor say ‘God is great’ in Arabic during the killing.” French authorities were quick to admit that religious-fueled (read Islamist) hatred of Jews was the likely motivation behind Knoll’s murder. French President Emmanuel Macron, who attended Knoll’s funeral Wednesday, said her killer “assassinated an innocent and vulnerable woman because she was Jewish.”

This terrible anti-Semitic murder caps off a horrific 12-year cycle of shame in the City of Lights. It started in January 2006 when Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old telephone salesman – French-born of Moroccan-Jewish ancestry – was found naked, tortured and burned south of Paris after being kidnapped and held for three weeks. Halimi died of his injuries shortly afterwards. French police arrested a dozen members of the self-proclaimed “Gang of Barbarians” Believing that all Jews were rich, the gang made repeated extortion attempts aimed at Halimi’s modest family. In 2014, a young couple in suburban Paris – targeted because they were Jews – were assaulted, beaten and robbed in their apartment. The 19-year-old Jewish woman was gang raped. At the 2017 trial however, the judge refused to treat the crime as anti-Semitic.

And amidst the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris in 2015, along with threats against synagogues and seemingly unending hate crimes against individual Jews, came the August 2017 brutal murder in Paris of a 66-year-old retired doctor and Orthodox Jew. She was beaten to death and thrown out the window by a Muslim neighbor who was screaming “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) in Arabic. Despite witnesses’ testimonies and the protests of French Jewish leaders, authorities dismissed the murder as a mere “isolated incident” and wouldn’t acknowledge the anti-Semitic nature of the crime until President Macron recently promised to establish “clarity on the death” of another Jewish victim.

The failure of France to deal forthrightly, quickly and justly against anti-Semitic hate has enraged and scared French Jews as much as these unspeakable crimes have. It also explains why thousands see no future in their native land and have left for Israel and beyond.  A few weeks ago, along with my Simon Wiesenthal Center Paris-based colleague Dr. Shimon Samuels, I spent two fruitless days of meetings at both the French Justice Ministry and Ministry of Interior, trying to learn who ordered the sudden release of an accused terrorist implicated in the deadly bombing of Paris’ Rue Copernic Synagogue and allowed him to fly to Canada. Officials were polite enough, but clearly uncomfortable with the issue at hand. They had no answers as to failure of police and intelligence agencies to take more aggressive measures against extremist imams inciting violent anti-Semitic acts, nor could they explain why French judges basically refuse to throw the book at anti-Semitic thugs when arrests are made.

At Mireille Knoll’s funeral, President Macron was joined by thousands of people – including many interfaith leaders, and even far-right and far-left figures – who marched silently against anti-Semitism.

But silence won’t stop anti-Semitism in France. Only action and accountability will. Unless and until French Jews have equal protection under the law from the police, politicians and judges in the country once known as the cradle of democracy, 21st century anti-Semites could ultimately succeed where Hitler failed and eventually make France “Jew-free.” During the Passover Seder, as we recite the story of how the Jewish people were freed from persecution and bondage in ancient times, it’s important to remember that anti-Semitism and other equally poisonous forms of religious hatred and prejudice live on in our own time. We must all dedicate ourselves to eliminating such hatred.                     

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WHY DID I PROTEST AGAINST CORBYN?

LOOK AT HIS LONG LIST OF EVASIONS

Hadley Freeman

Guardian, Mar. 27, 2018

 

It was a politely furious protest. I’ll talk about the politeness first. I arrived a few minutes late to Parliament Square for the demonstration against … well, let’s say the somewhat cavalier attitude towards antisemitism displayed by various members of the Labour party, and specifically the most senior member of the Labour party. The square was jam-packed, and despite all the people on my social media feed who had been urgently telling me for days that Jews were hysterically conniving to bring down Jeremy Corbyn, there was a notably peaceful air to the proceedings. While speakers such as Luciana Berger tried in vain to make themselves heard, the crowd made self-mocking jokes: surely there must be a buffet at a Jewish protest? I wished I’d made some signs: “Not antisemitic? Jew must be joking!” It was that kind of protest.

But there was also palpable fury beneath the politeness. I can’t speak for why all the other people at the protest felt furious – we didn’t establish a party line on this at our last general meeting because we were too busy discussing how to control the weather, as a US politician alleged last week. But I was furious after a weekend of news stories about how Corbyn had, once again, endorsed antisemitic behaviour and failed to take responsibility for it until public opinion forced him to do so. Deja vu? Groundhog Day, more like.

Let’s run through the greatest hits: there was the time Corbyn took tea with the hate preacher Raed Salah, and called him “a very honoured citizen”, even though he’d been charged in Israel with inciting anti-Jewish racism and violence; the time he hosted representatives from Hamas and Hezbollah, even though Hamas’s charter calls for the destruction of the Jews; the times he accepted a total of £20,000 for appearing on Iran’s Press TV, a channel that regularly hosts Holocaust deniers; the time he defended the Rev Stephen Sizer, who was later banned by church authorities from social media for sharing antisemitic material blaming Israel for 9/11; that he was an active member of three Facebook groups on which deeply antisemitic posts regularly appeared; and that now he has commented on Facebook in support of an absurdly antisemitic mural.

Corbyn is frequently praised by his supporters for sticking to his guns, never wavering in his opinions, and yet when you bring up any of the above instances they wave them away as being “ages ago” and say he’s apologised since. Corbyn has always cried innocent, insisting that of course he abhors antisemitism (and-all-other-forms-of-racism). How could anyone accuse him of being soft on it? Don’t they know his mother was at the Battle of Cable Street? Yeah, well, my mother worked with Jim Henson – it doesn’t make me Big Bird.

Truly, I have never known a man to find himself alongside antisemites so often and not realise until it is publicly pointed out to him. Someone ought to make a sitcom about his misadventures with the antisemites. It could be called Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!, but with a more tutting tone than the usual triumphant one. A descending horn noise could sound whenever someone has to say it: “Have you just joined another antisemitic social media group? Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!”

I was furious after a weekend of watching his supporters – members of the public, journalists I once respected, various MPs – insist that this was all nonsense, a smear, a Zionist conspiracy designed to bring down infallible Jeremy. Quite how Jews have the wherewithal to conspire against Corbyn by cunningly making him endorse antisemites without his knowledge is never explained. So let’s get something straight: if someone has actually done something, reporting that action is not “a smear”, it’s “reporting”. And suggesting Jews always have an ulterior motive, even when reacting to antisemitism, is really not the best way to prove that you’re not antisemitic.

I’m furious with people who respond to these points by huffing that criticism of Israel, by Corbyn or anyone on the left, does not make one antisemitic, even though Israel had nothing to do with any of Corbyn’s antisemitic encounters; and I’m furious with people who imply a little antisemitism is a price worth paying to achieve Corbyn’s socialist society. I’m furious with people who spent all of last week reading Russian runes into an image of Corbyn’s hat on Newsnight, and this week insist they can’t see anything antisemitic about a blatantly antisemitic mural. Most of all, I am furious with people for insisting there is nothing to see here, when we all know that if a Tory or Ukip politician had done half of the things Corbyn has done, these same people would be insisting they be put in the stocks. The hypocrisy takes the breath away.

Finally, I’m furious with people making Corbyn seem like a passive participant in all this. Sure, we can talk about how antisemitism is “baked into” the far left, and Corbyn himself has started to push this narrative with his latest apology (his third, or possibly his fourth since Friday – I’ve lost count). He says “antisemitism has resurfaced within the Labour party”, as though it were nothing to do with him, and others refer to antisemitism as a sickness that they will now root out.

But you cannot help getting sick – you can, however, help turning a blind eye to antisemitism. Corbyn made his own choices about what he clicked online and who he had tea with. What Jewish people need is for him to take some responsibility, show some backbone and honesty, explain why he was willing to ignore antisemitism for so long, and apologise. Not for “feelings hurt”, but for endorsing racists. But I’ll be honest, I’m not holding my breath. So in the meantime, going to the protest was a balm. It was a relief to be with people who weren’t gaslighting Jews by insisting that what they were seeing in front of their eyes wasn’t true, and it was nice to see the MPs who showed up – Harriet Harman, Jess Phillips, Stella Creasy, Chuka Umunna – and know that at least some Labour politicians weren’t laughing this off as a distraction.

By the time Labour MP Wes Streeting took the stand to talk about how this ongoing scandal was “a stain” on the Labour party, and that Shami Chakrabarti’s 2016 report into antisemitism in the Labour party was a laughable “whitewash”, emotions were running high. No yarmulkes fell off any scalps, but you could see the backs of necks pinking. It was a civil protest, but a passionate one, and a deeply serious and heartfelt one. And as I left I felt myself smiling a little. But I’ll be honest – I was still furious.

Contents

   

WHEN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS INDULGE IN ANTISEMITISM

Gerald Steinberg

Jerusalem Post, Mar. 20, 2018

 

The widespread increase in antisemitism around the world is closely linked to the demonization of Israel, including long-running campaigns falsely accusing the Jewish state of “war crimes,” “apartheid,” and “ethnic cleansing.” The groups leading these efforts, including some that use the facade of human rights, often draw an odious parallel between Israeli responses to terrorism and the behavior of the Nazis in the Holocaust. Many antisemitic attacks and acts of vandalism, particularly in Europe, are inspired by these noxious campaigns.

In an effort to counter this virus, the countries and governments that make up the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted a “working definition of antisemitism” in May 2016. This document, like previous European and US State Department working definitions, lists a number of criteria generally associated with what is referred to as the “new antisemitism.” These include using double standards to single out Israel, “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” or comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. In addition, the IHRA working definition notes the use of symbols “associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.”

Among a growing number of states, these criteria have been adopted and endorsed, including by the European Parliament in an advisory (non-binding) resolution. But much of the self-styled human rights community has studiously ignored the IHRA framework. Groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Paris- based FIDH (the International Federation of Human Rights) and dozens of others that frequently stray into antisemitic territory remain outside this process. Given the power and influence of these groups, the challenge of expanding the radius of the IHRA process to include NGOs is imperative.

This is neither an easy nor a trivial task. NGOs that are closely linked to politicized church groups have been among the worst offenders, going back decades. The World Council of Churches runs a pseudo-human rights organization known as the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), which brings international activists to the West Bank through the abuse of Israeli tourist visas. These activists get an intense propaganda dose, spend three months immersed in the Palestinian narrative, and then return home to spread the same contents in their local communities and churches.

For instance, while speaking in London in 2016, one EAPPI activist blamed the perceived lack of American Evangelical support for Palestinians on the “Jewish lobby.” The WCC’s own general secretary, Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit, stated at a June 2017 event that “I heard about the occupation of my country during the five years of World War II as the story of my parents. Now I see and hear the stories of 50 years of occupation….” If the WCC, EAPPI and other such groups adopted the IHRA definition, such statements would be marked as antisemitic and considered out of bounds.

The problem is not confined to Europe. A number of Amnesty International’s advocates from its various national branches were members of a virulently antisemitic Facebook group, known as “Palestine Live.” Participants who posted articles “questioning” the Holocaust were told they “should be allowed to discuss this rather than being silenced,” even if not in this particular group. Unsurprisingly, in 2015, Amnesty-UK refused to take action to oppose rising antisemitism in the UK…

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

 

Contents

             

ACCUSING PUTIN OF ANTISEMITISM

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Mar. 14, 2018

 

A very significant portion of my life has been devoted to personally combating Russian antisemitism. I experienced firsthand the extent of hatred against Jews which was basically ingrained in most Soviet leaders and bureaucrats. I will never forget the day a leading KGB officer proudly told me that seeing Jews being strung up from the lampposts in leading Moscow streets would be the happiest day of his life. Russian antisemitism dates back centuries. It was encouraged by the Russian Orthodox Church and the tsars orchestrated pogroms to divert attention from other social issues. While the Communists initially condemned antisemitism, in practice they maintained it as a state policy.

Having witnessed and battled against these trends as a cornerstone of the campaign to free Soviet Jewry, it would be somewhat bizarre for anyone to accuse me of being soft on Russian antisemitism. But I believe the hysterical attacks on Russian President Vladimir Putin following his recent misplaced comments about interference in the US elections are outrageous and can lead to dire consequences. In a rambling interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, who was pressing him to respond to allegations of Russian interference in the US elections, Putin facetiously referred to the possibility of Russian Jews being involved. This was catapulted to front-page headlines, many of which accused Putin of outright antisemitism and even resurrecting Judeophobia, including the notorious tsarist Protocols of the Elders of Zion. These hysterical denunciations were echoed by the Anti-Defamation League, which called on US President Donald Trump to condemn Putin as an antisemite. Even the normally restrained American Jewish Committee joined in the fray. All these condemnations were based on taking Putin’s comments out of context and totally distorting them.

What was actually said? In the course of an interview insinuating that he had interfered in the US elections, Putin in exasperation turned on the interviewer and in Russian snapped: “Maybe they are not even Russians. Maybe they were Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship. Even that needs to be checked. Maybe they had dual citizenship. Or maybe a green card. Maybe it was the Americans who paid them for this work. How do you know? I don’t know.” Anyone with a semblance of intelligence would appreciate that this gibberish was simply a tactic to end the interview. The fact that Jews were mentioned in passing as a Russian nationality was purely coincidental. Had he mentioned Jews alone and sought to blame them that would be another matter. But that was not the case. There is an element of madness in the air. I am not entering into the issue of whether Putin did or did not interfere in the US elections. But he certainly did not engage in antisemitism.

The indoctrination of Jew-hatred among Russians over the past centuries cannot disappear overnight, and plenty of antisemitic paranoia remains in Russia. Which is why, even if one opposes Putin’s autocratic behavior and foreign policy, this former KGB agent must be recognized as one of the most positive forces combating Jew hatred and supporting the local Jewish community. There are various explanations for Putin’s apparent philo-Semitism. Some say he was influenced as a youngster in St. Petersburg, where he was looked after by a Jewish couple and deeply affected by a German Jewish teacher, Mina Yuditkaya, who later immigrated to Israel. (He met her on a visit in 2005 and purchased an apartment for her in Tel Aviv, in which she lived until she recently passed away.)

Putin has encouraged the Jewish renaissance in Russia, developed a warm relationship with Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazare and has many Jewish friends. He has made a distinct effort to attend Jewish functions such as the opening of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, to which he contributed $50 million of state funds and even personally donated a month’s salary. He attends Hanukka celebrations and conveys goodwill on the advent of the Jewish New Year – something utterly unprecedented from a nationalist Russian leader.

Despite his strategic involvement with the Syrians, Putin has determinedly kept the channels to Israel open. He has visited Israel on several occasions, in fact making it his first foreign visit after his election in 2012. He speaks warmly of the Jewish state, expressing pride that it contains the largest diaspora of Russian Jews. At the Western Wall, he donned a kippa – undoubtedly making his Bolshevik predecessors turn in their graves and enraging his Arab allies. Putin holds regular meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other Jewish leaders who all testify to his deep respect for Israel, especially its military and intelligence capabilities…

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

On Topic Links

MLK’s Passover Lesson: William Hamilton, Times of Israel, Apr. 5, 2018—The Kennedy administration anxiously prepared to contain the violence they expected at the 1963 march on Washington.

Widespread Muslim Anti-Semitism in France: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Mar. 27, 2018 —In most European countries no quantitative data is available on Muslim anti-Semitism.

Jeremy Corbyn, Accidental Anti-Semite: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Mar. 29, 2018 —If you take Jeremy Corbyn at his word, then the leader of Britain’s Labour Party is no anti-Semite. It’s just that, like the Wild West preacher who keeps accidentally wandering into Fannie Porter’s house of ill repute, Corbyn has an odd knack for stumbling into the arms of the Hebraically disinclined.

Ambassador Friedman to Jerusalem Antisemitism Conference: The ‘New’ Antisemitism Worries Me More Than the Old: Benjamin Kerstein, Algemeiner, Mar. 19, 2018—US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told a packed house at the opening of the 6th Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism that a “new” antisemitism, characterized by “the irrational, deceitful, and insidious vilification of Israel and its supporters under the guise of political commentary” worries him far more than the “old” antisemitism.

BALFOUR DECLARATION RECOGNIZED THE BOND OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE TO THEIR HISTORIC HOMELAND

Balfour’s Greatest of Gifts: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2017— This week Israel’s judo team was harassed and discriminated against by UAE officials when they tried to board a flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, en route to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Judo Grand Slam competition.

The 100-Year-Old Promise: Clifford D. May, Washington Times, Oct. 31, 2017— In theory, who doesn’t believe in self-determination, the idea, developed in the 19th century, that all nations have a right to sovereignty?

British Élites Regret Israel's Very Existence: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 24, 2017— The refusal of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the English Labor Party, to attend the dinner in London for the centenary of the Balfour Declaration is the confirmation of what many have always suspected…

When Britain Renewed the Promise to the Jews ‘His Majesty’s Government View with Favour the Establishment in Palestine of a National Home: Ruth R. Wisse, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2, 2017 — In the living room of our daughter’s home hangs a 4-by-6-foot Jewish flag designed by her paternal great-grandfather…

 

On Topic Links

 

The Forgotten Truth about the Balfour Declaration: Martin Kramer, Mosaic, June 5, 2017

Columbia Professor Rashid Khalidi’s Cynical Use of Antisemitism: Mara Schiffren, Algemeiner, Oct. 27, 2017

From Balfour to Nikki Haley: A Century of Christian Zionist Support for Israel: Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 1, 2017

The Historical Significance of the Balfour Declaration: Amb. Dore Gold, JCPA, October 31, 2017

                                                           

                                   

 

BALFOUR’S GREATEST OF GIFTS                                                                                     

Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2017

 

This week Israel’s judo team was harassed and discriminated against by UAE officials when they tried to board a flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, en route to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Judo Grand Slam competition. Apropos of nothing, UAE told the Israelis they would only be permitted to enter the UAE from Amman. And once they finally arrived at the competition, they were prohibited from competing under their national flag. Lowlights of the UAE’s shameful bigotry included forcing Tal Flicker to receive his gold medal under the International Judo Association’s flag with the association’s theme song, rather than Israel’s national anthem playing in the background and the sight of a Moroccan female judoka literally running away from her Israeli opponent rather than shake hands with her.

 

The discrimination that Israel’s judokas suffered is newsworthy because it’s appalling, not because it is rare. It isn’t rare. Israeli athletes and performers, professors, students and tourists in countries throughout the world are regularly discriminated against for being Israeli Jews. Concerts are picketed or canceled. Israelis are denied educational opportunities and teaching positions. Israeli brands are boycotted and Israeli shops are picketed from Montreal to Brooklyn to Johannesburg. The simple act of purchasing Israeli cucumbers has become a political statement in countries around the world.

 

And of course, there is the world of diplomacy, where the nations of the world seem to have flushed the news of Israel’s establishment 70 years ago down the memory hole. The near-consensus view of UN institutions and to a growing degree, of EU institutions, not to mention the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, is that the Jewish exile should never have ended. The Jews should have remained scattered and at the mercy of the nations of the world, forever.

 

In the face of the growing discrimination Israelis suffer and rejection Israel endures, how are we to look at the centennial of the Balfour Declaration…? One hundred years ago, on November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, foreign secretary of Great Britain, detonated a bomb whose aftershocks are still being felt in Britain and worldwide. That day, Balfour issued a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild, the leader of the British Jewish community. The letter, which quickly became known as the Balfour Declaration, effectively announced the British Empire supported an end of the Jewish people’s 1,800-year exile and its return to history, as a free nation in its homeland – the Land of Israel.

 

In Balfour’s immortal words, “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.” The Palestinian Arab leadership at the time rejected his statement. Shortly thereafter the Arabs initiated a terrorist onslaught against the Jewish community in the Land of Israel that has continued, more or less without interruption, ever since.

 

Indeed, for the Palestinians, nothing has changed. They have not moved an inch in a hundred years. PLO chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas now demands that Britain officially renounce the Balfour Declaration and apologize for having issued it as if Lord Balfour was still foreign secretary and David Lloyd George was still prime minster. Their growing chorus of supporters at the UN, throughout the Islamic world, and in Europe is similarly stuck in 1917.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t believe that the enduring Arab and international rejection of Israel’s right to exist mitigates the significance of the Balfour Declaration. Next week he will travel to London to participate in the centennial commemorations of the Balfour Declaration at the side of British Prime Minister Theresa May. May said on Wednesday that she is “proud” to commemorate the declaration. In her words, “We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the State of Israel and we certainly mark the centenary with pride.” This was certainly nice of her. But May also felt it necessary to tip her hat to the Balfour haters. So she added, “We must also be conscious of the sensitivities that some people do have about the Balfour Declaration and we recognize that there is more work to be done. We remain committed to the two-state solution in relation to Israel and the Palestinians.”

 

This bring us back to the Palestinians, and the UAE, and the protesters who will be screaming out against Balfour and David Lloyd George from one end of Britain to the other next week demanding their declaration be withdrawn and history rolled back. These people are not fringe elements. They have lots of people in positions of power in Britain who agree with them. Britain’s main opposition party is being led by an ardent Israel-basher. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced Monday that he will not be participating the Balfour centennial ceremonies. And that makes sense. It would be awkward for a man who was elected and reelected after calling Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists his “friends,” to be celebrating Britain’s role in establishing the state his friends are working to destroy.

 

Corbyn’s boycott, and his very rise to power, are clear signs that Balfour’s legacy is a mixed bag. Except that it isn’t a mixed bag. At a very deep level, Israel owes its existence to the Balfour Declaration. This is true not because the Balfour Declaration changed the way the world viewed the Jews. It manifestly did not – not in its own time, and not today. In fact it is richly ironic that the Palestinians and their supporters blame the British for the establishment of Israel. Shortly after the Balfour Declaration was issued, British authorities, particularly on the ground in the Middle East, did everything they possibly could to cancel it.

 

In 1920, British military officers asked the local Arab strongman Haj Amin al-Husseini to incite a pogrom in Jerusalem over Passover. Husseini’s thugs murdered four Jews and wounded many more. The purpose of the pogrom was to convince the British Parliament to cancel the Balfour Declaration. The plan didn’t work. Lloyd George and Balfour and their colleagues weren’t interested in abandoning their three year old declaration. Two years later the League of Nations established the British Mandate for Palestine on the basis of the Balfour Declaration. But the seeds of doubt were duly sown. Almost immediately after the League of Nations issued the Mandate, the British carved off three-quarters of the territory earmarked for the Jewish national home to create Trans-Jordan. It was largely downhill from there…

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

 

Contents

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PROMISE

Clifford D. May

Washington Times, Oct. 31, 2017

 

In theory, who doesn’t believe in self-determination, the idea, developed in the 19th century, that all nations have a right to sovereignty? By the early 20th century, President Woodrow Wilson was insisting that “National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent.” In theory, self-determination is today a fundamental principle of international law. In practice, not so much. The Middle East’s 35 million Kurds have long wanted their own nation-state. They’re not about to get one anytime soon. The government of Spain is determined to quash the movement for Catalonian independence. China prohibits even discussions of Tibet’s right to break free.

 

What brings these issues to mind now? On Nov. 2 it will be exactly 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, the British Empire’s statement in support of the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then a backwater of the soon-to-be-defeated Ottoman Empire. Britain’s promise enjoyed what historian Martin Kramer calls “buy-in” from the Allied Powers, including the U.S. and France, who fought the Central Powers, including Germany and the Ottomans, in what we retrospectively call World War I.

 

“In Palestine shall be laid the foundation of a Jewish Commonwealth,” President Wilson announced. French diplomat Jules Cambon wrote that it would be “a deed of justice and of reparation to assist, by the protection of the Allied Powers, in the renaissance of the Jewish nationality in that Land from which the people of Israel were exiled so many centuries ago.” The Zionist cause was soon endorsed by the broader international community as well. It was incorporated into the mandate for Palestine given to Britain by the League of Nations in the 1920s. Mr. Kramer notes: “Those who now cast the Balfour Declaration as an egregious case of imperial self-dealing simply don’t know its history (or prefer not to know it).”

 

Also too often forgotten or ignored is the fact that it was thanks to Britain and the other Allied Powers that Arab nation-states rose from the Ottoman ashes. Among them: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Yemen. A related anniversary: On Nov. 29, it will be 70 years since the United Nations recommended partitioning western Palestine (the east became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) into two independent states, one Arab and one Jewish. Note: In that era, both Arabs and Jews were equally “Palestinian.”

 

Jewish leaders accepted partition. Arab leaders rejected it. In May 1948, upon termination of the British mandate, those Jewish leaders declared independence and won recognition from the U.S., the Soviet Union and other U.N. members. Five Arab nations launched what became known as the First Arab-Israeli War. The Arab League’s secretary-general, Azzam Pasha, promised it would be “a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

 

But the Jews, who had nowhere else to go and the memory of the Holocaust fresh in their minds, managed to hold their ground. In February 1949 an armistice was declared. After that, Arab and Muslim nations might have granted their own Jewish communities basic rights and freedoms. They could then have made the case that the Jewish state was superfluous. Instead and vindictively, those Arab and Muslim governments more harshly persecuted their Jewish subjects, confiscating their properties and, before long, driving them out.

 

More than 800,000 Jews ended up fleeing Arab and Muslim countries. A majority were resettled in Israel where, over time, they strengthened the nation. Today, roughly half of all Israelis are descendants of Jews from the broader Middle East — Morocco to Iraq (Baghdad was close to a third Jewish as recently as 1945) to Afghanistan. Slightly fewer Palestinians, an estimated 700,000, fled Israel, many going to Arab countries that chose not to assimilate or even integrate them.

 

A third anniversary: In 1967, Egypt, Syria and Jordan waged another war intended to drive the Jews into the sea. The Israelis not only survived, they seized Gaza from Egypt, and the West Bank (earlier known as Judea and Samaria) from Jordan. Over the years since, the possibility of transforming these territories into an independent Palestinian state — the “two-state solution” — has been the basis for one peace plan after another. None has succeeded. I’d argue that the primary reason is that Palestinian leaders are still fighting wars of the past. They refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel under international law, the necessity for Israel given the durability of Jew-hatred, and the reality of Israel established and defended by “blood and iron.”

 

Throughout 2017, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have been denouncing the Balfour Declaration as a “crime,” demanding that the British renounce it and apologize for it. But British Prime Theresa May said last week that Britons are “proud of the role that we played in the creation of the State of Israel and we certainly mark the centenary with pride.” A separate British government statement asserted that the “important thing now is to look forward and establish security and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians through a lasting peace.”

 

Who doesn’t want self-determination for the Palestinians? Who doesn’t want to see Palestinians living in freedom and prosperity? That could have begun 70 years ago. It could begin tomorrow. In theory, it would require only willingness on the part of Palestinians to accept and peacefully coexist alongside the “national home for the Jewish people” envisaged by the Balfour Declaration. In practice, such a change of heart might be another hundred years away.                    

 

Contents

BRITISH ÉLITES REGRET ISRAEL'S VERY EXISTENCE

Giulio Meotti

Arutz Sheva, Oct. 24, 2017

 

The refusal of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the English Labor Party, to attend the dinner in London for the centenary of the Balfour Declaration is the confirmation of what many have always suspected (for the occasion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be in the British capital to thank the UK for that gift made in 1917 to the Jewish people). The antipathy towards Israel by Corbyn and other important Western segments of the Left goes far beyond hostility towards Israeli “settlements”, as the leaders of the Left repeat. Corbyn and his comrades would like Israel to never have been born.

 

The leader of “Momentum” is often referred as a hooligan on the Israeli issue. But Corbyn's refusal to publicly support Israel's right to exist is in fact embraced by a substantial part of the British élite. They are government officials, MPs, filmmakers, journalists, intellectuals, academics, heads of non-governmental organizations, church leaders. England has first place in Europe for the academic boycott of Israel. English universities are often no-go-zones for Israeli students. English actors, such as Emma Thompson, are often in the front row signing petitions against “Zionism”. English newpapers, such as the Times and the Independent, host the most violent cartoons against Israeli leaders. And the English queen has never visited Israel.

 

It would make us comfortable if Corbyn's rejection of the centennial of Balfour, a rejection praised by Hamas, was the decision of the crazy guevarist mind out of step with time.  But that is not the case. Indeed, intellectual corbynism is within the British mainstream, it is the expression of the “chattering classes”, those who make the public opinion in the UK. That is why Mr. Corbyn is so dangerous. Because he is not a lunatic, but an aggregator and agitator of deep anti-Israeli feelings.

 

 

Contents

WHEN BRITAIN RENEWED THE PROMISE TO THE JEWS

Ruth R. Wisse

Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2, 2017

 

In the living room of our daughter’s home hangs a 4-by-6-foot Jewish flag designed by her paternal great-grandfather, hastily sewn from blue and white material in his Montreal dry-goods store. In November 1917, on receiving news that the British government had just given its support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, Nathan Black strung the flag across his storefront and closed for the day. “Haynt iz a yontev,” he told his workers: “Today is a holiday.”

 

One hundred years ago on Nov. 2, Arthur Balfour, the British foreign secretary, sent a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild : “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

 

Known as the Balfour Declaration, it represented a diplomatic high point in the history of the Zionist movement founded by Theodor Herzl in 1897. Herzl realized that Zionism would have trouble achieving its political objective of establishing “a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law” without support from one or more of the empires laying claim to the Jewish homeland. His attempt to win that support, cut short by his death in 1904, was taken over by others, such as Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow. The latter’s role in securing the Balfour Declaration was recently brought to light by historian Martin Kramer. Other countries, including France and the U.S., were involved in the discussions over the disposition of Palestine, but the credit for this document was Britain’s. At least on that score credit is deserved.

 

The Balfour Declaration was a landmark in the political life of Britain no less than in the self-determination of the Jews. Brutally expelled from England in 1290 and formally readmitted in 1656, Jews remained the barometer of toleration in the country’s political and private life. English literature served up sinister characters like Shylock and Fagin that testify to powerful anti-Jewish prejudice. Then, in 1876, the British novelist George Eliot created the title character Daniel Deronda, an Englishman and Jew who determines to make the Jews a landed nation again, “giving them a national center, such as the English have, though they too are scattered over the face of the globe.” The threat to the Jews in Eliot’s novel comes not from violent aggressors but from Englishmen who cannot understand why Jews should remain a nation. Anticipating Zionism and the Balfour Declaration, Eliot interprets the ability of the English to accept Jewish national rights as the touchstone of their political maturity.

 

Yet Britain went back on its word. Attempting to appease Arab rulers, it rewarded Arab violence in Palestine in the 1930s by preventing Jews from entering land promised to them by the Bible and the British. While the British betrayal did not directly abet Hitler’s war against the Jews of Europe, it signaled a readiness to abandon the Jews to their fate. It certainly spurred the Arab war against Israel, which began where Germany’s war against the Jews left off. Churchill reminded Parliament in 1939 that the pledge of a Jewish homeland in Palestine had been made not only to the Jews but to the world and that its repudiation was a confession of British weakness.

 

The Jews would have returned to Zion with or without the consent of Europe. This is the people that, despite the murder of millions of potential Jewish citizens, and within Herzl’s predicted timeline of 50 years, recovered and defended its national sovereignty in the Land of Israel that had been under foreign domination for almost two millennia. But most of the Arab world rejected the very principle of coexistence and consequently spiraled into ever-escalating intramural conflicts. For Arab nations, too, acceptance of an autonomous Jewish presence, if and when it occurs, will be the gauge of their political maturity.

 

Meantime, in Britain’s Daily Mail, a “proud Jewish woman and patriotic Briton” wrote last month that “many of this country’s 270,000-strong Jewish community no longer feel we have a home here.” The immediate cause of her anguish is the emboldened anti-Semitism of the Labour Party, which traditionally included many Jews. This coalition of grievance endangers the democratic future of the country. Our family’s flag celebrated a landmark in the restoration of Zion but also another great nation’s readiness to coexist with the Jews on an equal footing. That in itself will not bring peace to the world—but world peace cannot come without it.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

The Forgotten Truth about the Balfour Declaration: Martin Kramer, Mosaic, June 5, 2017— On November 2, 1917, a century ago, Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, conveyed the following pledge in a public letter to a prominent British Zionist, Lord Walter Rothschild…

Columbia Professor Rashid Khalidi’s Cynical Use of Antisemitism: Mara Schiffren, Algemeiner, Oct. 27, 2017—We’re nearing an age of peak cynicism, when a former PLO spokesman and decades-long anti-Israel activist claims to be more concerned about antisemitism than does Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

From Balfour to Nikki Haley: A Century of Christian Zionist Support for Israel: Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 1, 2017—There were many driving factors behind Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour’s decision on November 2, 1917, to write a letter to Britain’s most illustrious Jewish citizen, Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

The Historical Significance of the Balfour Declaration: Amb. Dore Gold, JCPA, October 31, 2017—The stated purpose of the Balfour Declaration from November 2, 1917 and the circumstances under which it was published are generally known.

 

 

 

FALL OF I.S. IN IRAQ & SYRIA, AMIDST ONGOING SECTARIAN CONFLICT, STRENGTHENS SHIITE AXIS

ISIS: Some Things Cannot Be Killed Off: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, BESA, Oct. 26, 2017 — As the city of Raqqa, the capital of the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” falls to the Free Syrian Army, made up primarily of Kurdish and Syrian militias, the question is what the aftermath of ISIS will look like.

Real Threat to the West: Why Can’t Britain See It?: Melanie Phillips, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 26, 2017 — Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has been making some remarkable comments.

Israel Takes On the Shia Crescent: Joseph Klein, Frontpage, Oct. 2, 2017 — Despite Israel's repeated warnings, Barack Obama's reckless appeasement of the Iranian regime has enabled its rise as a hegemonic threat in the Middle East region as well as a threat to international peace and security.

Why There Is No Peace in the Middle East: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 14, 2017— Living as an anthropologist in a herding camp of the Yarahmadzai tribe of nomadic pastoralists in the deserts of Iranian Baluchistan clarified some of the inhibitions to peace in the Middle East.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Fall of Kirkuk: An IRGC Production: Jonathan Spyer, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 22, 2017

What Iraq’s Recent Moves Against Kurds Mean for Israel and Region: Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 26, 2017

The U.S. is on a Collision Course with Iran in the Middle East: Liz Sly, Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2017

Between the Iranian Threat and the Palestinian State Threat: Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 22, 2017

 

 

 

ISIS: SOME THINGS CANNOT BE KILLED OFF

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

BESA, Oct. 26, 2017

 

As the city of Raqqa, the capital of the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” falls to the Free Syrian Army, made up primarily of Kurdish and Syrian militias, the question is what the aftermath of ISIS will look like. The answer is threefold and involves the organization, its members, and its ideology.

 

The organization may well be routed and eradicated. The large swathe of territory it controlled will be divided among Syria, Iran, Turkey, and the Kurds, and its government institutions will become relics of the past. The attempt to reestablish the Islamic caliphate failed because the Muslim world – not only the “infidels” – despised its gruesome, seventh-century execution methods.

 

Most of the organization’s members are already elsewhere, however, and they carry a sense of righteousness in their hearts. They feel betrayed and will seek revenge against all those who attacked them. Those include the Kurds and the coalition countries; Muslims who stood by and did not help them, such as former Soviet bloc countries; and countries that helped but then abandoned them along the way, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

 

These jihadists have dispersed in many countries. They are establishing proxies in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, the Philippines, and elsewhere, with each branch adjusting its structure and activities to the environment in which it operates. Variables include the degree to which local governments effectively wield power, the degree to which the local Muslim population is supportive, and the degree to which a terrorist organizational infrastructure already exists and can be utilized. We saw a similar phenomenon after the defeat of al-Qaida in Afghanistan in late 2001, when one of its offshoots settled in Iraq and joined with the local Sunni population and the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s army to form ISIS. Beginning in April 2003, it began exploiting the weak central government in Baghdad, and in March 2011, the government in Damascus.

 

Every local proxy, however, will suffer from the same fundamental problems prevalent in any radical Islamic group. There will be disagreements within the group over Sharia law and its implementation; over ruling a territory or remaining a non-sovereign jihadist entity; the severity of punishment for offenders; the title of leader (whether he will be named caliph or not) and his authority; the group’s relations with similarly minded organizations; the status structure within the organization (Arabs versus non-Arabs, Muslims by birth versus Muslims by conversion), and more. There will also be the problem of hostility between the Islamic organization and the local population, Muslim or otherwise, over which it wants to rule. In addition, the international community’s traditionally negative view of Islamic terrorist organizations could lead to all-out war.

 

Another question is how the Islamic world will be affected by the dashed dream of a caliphate. The fall of ISIS will assuredly bolster those who oppose political Islam. On the other hand, the fall of the Sunni organization strengthens the Shiite axis. The slow crawl of Sunni leaders (Turkey and Saudi Arabia) towards Iran is one sign of the Shiite axis’s growing power at the expense of the Sunnis. (US President Donald Trump’s recent speech might slow this trend down, depending on the action the US takes.)

 

The idea of an Islamic caliphate is not dead. It is alive and well in religious scriptures, textbooks, Friday sermons, internet forums, and the hearts of many millions. In the near or distant future it will be resurrected, shake off the memory of recent events, and begin anew. There will always be people who dream of ancient glory, of the resurrection of ancestral Salafism and its forefathers – the prophet Muhammad and his cohort, who “lived an ideal and proper lifestyle and showed us the right path for any place, time and environment.”

 

What is clear is that the fight against the “heretic, permissive, hedonistic, materialistic, drugged and inebriated West” will persist through lone-wolf or small-cell terrorist attacks. Countries around the world will continue to suffer from ramming attacks, stabbings, shootings, rapes, violence against women and children, public vandalism, and other variances of jihad against all those who do not belong to the religion of Muhammad. ISIS may well disappear as an organization, but the world is likely to continue feeling the evil ideology this organization has instilled in the hearts and minds of too many Muslims.     

 

Contents

REAL THREAT TO THE WEST: WHY CAN’T BRITAIN SEE IT?

                                       Melanie Phillips

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 26, 2017

 

Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has been making some remarkable comments. In an interview with The Guardian, the recently designated heir to the Saudi throne said the desert kingdom had been “not normal” for the past 30 years. He blamed the extremist Wahhabi form of Islam, which successive leaders “didn’t know how to deal with” and which had created a problem around the world.

 

“Now is the time to get rid of it,” he said. Saudi Arabia would now revert to “what we followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions. Seventy percent of the Saudis are younger than 30. Honestly, we won’t waste 30 years of our life combating extremist thoughts. We will destroy them now and immediately.”

 

Open to all religions? Churches and synagogues in Saudi Arabia? An end to the Wahhabi extremism which has spawned jihadism across the globe? Can he be serious? We know the prince is a reformer. Aware that the oil weapon is fast disappearing as the price of crude falls, he wants to open up the economy. That means modernization. Recently, Saudi women were given the right to drive. Religious police have been reined in and deprived of their powers of arrest. Small moves maybe, but anathema to the hard-line clerics.

 

Is it possible, though, to close Pandora’s jihadi box? Was Saudi Arabia ever religiously moderate? The prince says it became extreme only in response to the 1979 Iranian revolution. That is not quite true. The creed of Wahhabi Islam, which seeks to proselytize via the sword both non-Muslims and not-extreme-enough Muslims to its ferocious dogma, was imposed under the chieftain Muhammad al-Saud in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

 

After the Iranian revolution, an attempt was made to overthrow the House of Saud on the grounds that it had deviated from the true Wahhabi path. In a deal made with the clerics, the Saudi rulers not only hardened religious rules at home but poured money into spreading the jihad through mosques, madrasas and universities across the world.

 

The prince’s reformist agenda goes hand in hand with the kingdom’s tactical alliance with America in the common fight against Saudi Arabia’s arch enemy, Iran – in which it is cooperating below-the-radar with Israel, too. To the British government, with its close economic ties with Saudi Arabia, these reformist noises come as a relief, since Saudi human rights abuses continue to cause it severe embarrassment. Nevertheless, Britain is not on the same page as Saudi Arabia in trying to constrain Iran. Perversely, Britain remains intent upon a course of action that is instead empowering Iran by continuing to support the cynical and dangerous nuclear deal the UK helped US president Barack Obama broker in 2015.

 

President Donald Trump has now refused to certify Iran’s compliance with that deal, saying Iran has breached it several times by exceeding the limits it set on heavy water and centrifuge testing. More remarkably, the deal’s own terms allow Iran to make a mockery of its fundamental purpose in constraining Iran’s nuclear weapons program, for the inspection procedure takes place only at sites where Iran has agreed to allow inspection. These exclude its military sites. The deal’s proponents can claim that a robust inspection is being applied, while Iran is able to evade inspection of the sites that really matter.

 

Recently the International Atomic Energy Authority stated it could not verify that Iran is “fully implementing the agreement” by not engaging in activities that would allow it to make a nuclear explosive device. When it came to inspections, said the IAEA, “our tools are limited.” According to the Institute for Science and International Security, as of the last quarterly report released in August, the IAEA had not visited any military site in Iran since implementation of the deal.

 

In any event, the deal does not prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons, because its “sunset clause” allows it to do so in 10 or 15 years’ time – and reports suggest it has the capacity to develop them extremely quickly. Worse still, the deal allows Iran to develop ballistic missiles. Sanctions relief has enabled it to pour money into its proxy army Hezbollah, promote Hamas terrorism and spread its influence and terrorism into Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

 

Yet the British government not only helped create but still implacably supports this terrible capitulation to Iranian power. Parting company with Trump, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the nuclear deal is “a crucial agreement that neutralized Iran’s nuclear threat” which has “undoubtedly made the world a safer place.” What planet is he living on? Iran is marching toward regional hegemony. In Iraq, there are reports that its Quds Force has been coordinating with Iraqi government officials to recruit the most effective ISIS fighters and release them from Iraqi prisons. These fighters are being organized, trained, and equipped to attack US and other regional forces.

 

Despite all this, however, the threat that worries Britain most is not Iran, but the prospect of war against Iran. The fact that Iran has been waging war against the West since 1979, in the course of which it has repeatedly attacked Western targets, murdered countless civilians and been responsible for the deaths of many British and American soldiers in Iraq, is brushed aside. Unless it really does reform itself, Saudi Arabia will continue to pose a threat from its religious extremism. Nevertheless, it is an ally against the greater enemy at this time: Iran. The Iranian regime must be defeated. It is shocking that, unlike President Trump, Britain is intent on appeasing it.                                                                    

 

Contents

ISRAEL TAKES ON THE SHIA CRESCENT                                                   

Joseph Klein

Frontpage, Oct. 2, 2017

 

Despite Israel's repeated warnings, Barack Obama's reckless appeasement of the Iranian regime has enabled its rise as a hegemonic threat in the Middle East region as well as a threat to international peace and security. In 2009, Obama turned his back on millions of dissidents in the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, who were peacefully protesting the rigged election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. In 2011, Obama precipitously removed the remaining U.S. combat troops from Iraq, giving rise to ISIS’s re-emergence in Iraq from its bases in Syria. The radical Shiite Iranian regime purported to come to the “rescue” of both countries from the Sunni terrorists, turning Iraq into a virtual vassal state of the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the process. Obama's disastrous nuclear deal with Iran legitimized Iran's path to eventually becoming a nuclear-armed state, while immediately filling its coffers with billions of dollars to fund its aggression.

 

Meanwhile, Syria has become ground zero for Iran's execution of its regional ambitions, which is to establish its Shiite Crescent connecting with its allies, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This plan has included the establishment of a land route that Iranian-backed militias secured in June, beginning on Iran’s border with Iraq and running across Iraq and Syria all the way to Syria’s Mediterranean coast. This road makes Iran’s job easier in supplying arms by land, as well as by air and sea, to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and to equip Iran’s own forces fighting inside of Syria in support of Assad. This helps explain why Iran has placed so much importance on helping the Syrian regime establish control over the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border.

 

“Everything depends now on the Americans’ willingness to stop this,” said an Iraqi Kurdish official who was quoted in a New Yorker article. However, U.S.-led coalition forces apparently have done next to nothing to stop this major advance in Iran’s Shiite Crescent expansion. “Obama ran down our options in Syria so thoroughly, by the time this administration took over,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “The Iranian influence is spreading because they are so heavily involved in regime activities,” Tabler added. “It’s a new monster.”

 

Furthermore, Iran has funded and armed its terrorist proxy Hezbollah, which has sent its militia from its home base of Lebanon to fight alongside Assad's forces.  And Iran has used Syria as a transit point for shipment of sophisticated rockets to Hezbollah in Lebanon for future use against Israeli population centers. Despite the fact that Hezbollah has American blood on its hands, the U.S.-led coalition has chosen not to do anything about Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, bought and paid for by Iran.

 

While Israel chose not to take sides in Syria's civil war with military intervention of its own, it has bombed weapons storage facilities and convoys inside Syria for its own protection. Just recently, on September 7th, Israeli jets struck a Syrian weapons facility near Masyaf, which was reported to have been used for the production of chemical weapons and the storage of missiles. Israel will also do what is necessary to repel Iranian-backed forces if they edge too close to areas near the Golan Heights, shrinking the buffer between Israel and Iranian controlled territories.

 

However, such tactical measures may not be enough to thwart Iran’s larger ambitions. In light of intelligence reports that Assad may be ready to invite Iran to set up military bases in Syria, Israeli leaders have concluded that they cannot wait until the Trump administration decides to deal more forcefully with Iran's growing use of Syria as a staging area for carrying out its expansionist Shiite Crescent strategy.  “Their overriding concern in Syria is the free reign that all the major players there seem willing to afford Iran and its various proxies in the country,” wrote Jonathan Spyer in an article for Foreign Policy. As long as nobody else is addressing the concern Iran’s growing control raises in a satisfactory manner, “Israel is determined to continue addressing it on its own.”

 

At least, Israel has a more sympathetic ear in the Trump administration than it did in the Obama administration for raising its concerns about Iran’s growing threat, not only to Israel but to U.S. interests in the region and beyond. President Trump’s sharp denunciation of the Iranian regime during his address to the UN General Assembly represented a welcome departure from the Obama administration’s milquetoast approach to Iran.

 

As the U.S.-led coalition continues to drive ISIS from its bases of operation in Syria, the Trump administration has proclaimed its intention not to allow Iran to turn Syria into its own satellite, as Iran has essentially done in Iraq. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that the “so called liberation of areas by Assad’s forces and Iranian proxies could actually accelerate the cycle of violence and perpetuate conflict rather than get us to a sustainable outcome.” He claimed that the Trump administration’s “objectives are to weaken Iranian influence across the region broadly,” without discussing the means to accomplish those objectives. Whether the Trump administration follows through remains to be seen. In the meantime, Israel will have to deal with the fallout of Iran’s ambitions in Syria itself.

                                                                       

 

Contents

WHY THERE IS NO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Philip Carl Salzman

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 14, 2017

 

Living as an anthropologist in a herding camp of the Yarahmadzai tribe of nomadic pastoralists in the deserts of Iranian Baluchistan clarified some of the inhibitions to peace in the Middle East. What one sees is strong, kin-based, group loyalty defense and solidarity, and the political opposition of lineages, whether large or small. This raised the question how unity and peace could arrive in a system based on opposition.

 

Peace is not possible in the Middle East because values and goals other than peace are more important to Middle Easterners. Most important to Middle Easterners are loyalty to kin, clan, and cult, and the honour which is won by such loyalty. These are the cultural imperatives, the primary values, held and celebrated. When conflict arises and conflict-parties form based on loyal allegiance, the conflict is regarded as appropriate and proper.

 

The results of absolute commitment to kin and cult groups, and the structural opposition to all others, can be seen throughout Middle Eastern history, including contemporary events, where conflict has been rife. Turks, Arabs and Iranians have launched military campaigns to suppress Kurds. Meanwhile, Christians, Yazidis, Baha'is and Jews, among others, have been, and continue to be ethnically cleansed. Arabs and Persians, and Sunnis and Shiites, each try to gain power over the other in a competition that has been one of the main underlying factors of the Iraq-Iran war, the Saddam Hussein regime, and the current catastrophe in Syria. Turks invaded Greek Orthodox Cyprus in 1974 and have occupied it since. Multiple Muslim states have invaded the minuscule Jewish state of Israel three times, and Palestinians daily celebrate the murder of Jews.

 

Some Middle Easterners, and some in the West, prefer to attribute the problems of the Middle East to outsiders, such as Western imperialists, but it seems odd to suggest that the local inhabitants have no agency and no responsibility for their activities in this disastrous region, high not only in conflict and brutality, but low by all world standards in human development.

 

If one looks to local conditions to understand local conflicts, the first thing to understand is that Arab culture, through the ages and at the present time, has been built on the foundation of Bedouin tribal culture. Most of the population of northern Arabia at the time of the emergence of Islam was Bedouin, and during the period of rapid expansion following the adoption of Islam, the Arab Muslim army consisted of Bedouin tribal units. The Bedouin, nomadic and pastoral for the most part, were formed into tribes, which are regional defense and security groups.

 

Bedouin tribes were organized by basing groups on descent through the male line. Close relatives in conflict activated only small groups, while distant relatives in conflict activated large groups. If, for example, members of cousin groups were in conflict, no one else was involved. But if members of tribal sections were in conflict, all cousins and larger groups in a tribal section would unite in opposition to the other tribal section. So, what group a tribesmen thought himself a member of was circumstantial, depending on who was involved in a conflict.

 

Relations between descent groups were always oppositional in principle, with tribes as a whole seeing themselves in opposition to other tribes. The main structural relation between groups at the same genealogical and demographic level could be said to be balanced opposition. The strongest political norm among tribesmen was loyalty to, and active support of, one's kin group, small or large. One must always support closer kin against more distant kin. Loyalty was rewarded with honour. Not supporting your kin was dishonourable. The systemic result was often a stand-off, the threat of full scale conflict with another group of the same size and determination acting as deterrence against frivolous adventures. That there were not more conflicts than the many making up tribal history, is due to that deterrence…

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

 

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

The Fall of Kirkuk: An IRGC Production: Jonathan Spyer, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 22, 2017—Iraqi forces took Kirkuk city from the Kurds this week with hardly a shot fired. Twenty-two Kurdish fighters were killed in the sporadic and disorganized resistance, while seven Iraqi soldiers also lost their lives.

What Iraq’s Recent Moves Against Kurds Mean for Israel and Region: Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 26, 2017—On Sunday, Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi began a historic visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is meeting the king of Saudi Arabia and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The U.S. is on a Collision Course with Iran in the Middle East: Liz Sly, Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2017—President Trump’s assertive new strategy toward Iran is already colliding with the reality of Tehran’s vastly expanded influence in the Middle East as a result of the Islamic State war.

Between the Iranian Threat and the Palestinian State Threat: Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 22, 2017—The greatest threat to Israel’s existence is neither Shiite militias on the Golan border nor the Iranian nuclear threat, which are of physical and military nature.

 

 

 

ON 100TH ANNIVERSARY, BALFOUR DECLARATION & RUSSIAN REVOLUTION CONTINUE TO SHAPE MODERN HISTORY

Honouring Lord Balfour, Who Made Israel Possible: Barbara Kay, National Post, Oct. 24, 2017 — This coming November 2nd marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration…

The Enemy of My Enemy: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 24, 2017— The dramatic swing to the Right in the recent Austrian elections is likely to have widespread repercussions throughout Europe.

Why Did Russian Jews Support the Bolshevik Revolution?: Michael Stanislawski, Tablet, Oct. 24, 2017 — When the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd on Oct. 25, 1917, the vast majority of Russia’s Jews opposed that takeover.

Lenin’s Deadly Revolution: Martin Amis, New York Times, Oct. 16, 2017— It was not a good idea that somehow went wrong or withered away. It was a very bad idea from the outset, and one forced into life — or the life of the undead — with barely imaginable self-righteousness, pedantry, dynamism, and horror.

 

On Topic Links

 

Why Do American Jews Idealize Soviet Communism?: Ruth R. Wisse, Tablet, Oct. 22, 2017

The First Totalitarian: Josef Joffe, New York Times, Oct. 19, 2017

Balfour’s Greatest of Gifts: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2017

The Balfour Declaration Was More than the Promise of One Nation: Martin Kramer, Mosaic, June 28, 2017

 

HONOURING LORD BALFOUR, WHO MADE ISRAEL POSSIBLE

Barbara Kay

National Post, Oct. 24, 2017

 

This coming November 2nd marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which with its portentous words, “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…” may be the most consequential foreign-policy statement in modern history. Theodore Herzl, founder of the Zionist movement, famously said, “If you will it, it is no dream.” But without Lord James Arthur Balfour’s sympathy with Zionism, there would have been no Declaration, and more important, no British Mandate over the region of Palestine (there was then no country called Palestine). For it was the Mandate that gave the Declaration international standing, a status that cannot be legally abrogated.

 

In 1902, the British government, in which Lord Balfour served, had offered Zionist Jews land in East Africa (later Uganda) to found a national home as a response to murderous pogroms in Russia and eastern Europe. The offer was rejected, fully rousing Balfour’s curiosity about the Jewish question. I say “fully,” because Balfour had been happily immersed from childhood in Judaism’s sacred texts — the Bible, the psalms and the prophets.

 

And so, in 1906, with time on his hands after his government’s defeat, Balfour met with Israel’s future first president Chaim Weizmann, a Russian immigrant (via studies in Paris), who at the time was teaching chemistry at a Manchester university in Balfour’s constituency. This meeting was well documented in Weizmann’s memoirs. In a frequently-quoted exchange, Weizmann asked, justifying Zionists’ refusal of Uganda: “‘Mr. Balfour, supposing I were to offer you Paris instead of London, would you take it?’ He sat up, looked at me and answered: ‘But, Dr. Weizmann, we have London.’ ‘That is true,’ I said. ‘But we had Jerusalem when London was a marsh.’ He leaned back and continued to stare at me … I did not see him again till 1916.”

 

Weizmann’s insistence on the Jews’ legitimate moral claim for re-settlement in their ancient homeland was the right argument for Balfour. Balfour’s niece and biographer, Blanche Dugdale, wrote: “(Balfour) understood from that time forward that the Jewish form of patriotism would never be satisfied with anything less than Palestine. The more he thought about Zionism, the more his respect for it grew.” (When Balfour and Weizmann met again during the First World War, it was as though they had spoken days, not a decade, before. Balfour said to Weizmann, “You know, I was thinking of that conversation of ours and I believe that when the guns stop firing, you may get your Jerusalem.”)

 

Weizmann was Balfour’s first non-establishment and bullishly Zionist Jewish friend. Balfour frequently socialized with the Jewish elites of his generation, like the Rothschilds. But almost to a man, they were assimilated Reform Jews and virulently anti-Zionist. Indeed, when official negotiations with the Zionists began in 1917, high-status English Jews were incensed. The Jewish Board of Deputies, the equivalent of our Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, looked down on the Zionists from Eastern Europe as impoverished, insular and deluded. But, as Herzl noted, they at least were Jews who fully embraced their Jewish identity and “were not tortured by the idea of assimilation.”

 

One can see a contemporary parallel here in the division, especially on campus, between pro and anti-Israel Jews. Today, the battle lines are not drawn between rich vs. poor Jews, or smoothly integrated vs. unrefined immigrant Jews, and the stakes are not cultural acceptance or security. We are all accepted, we are all as secure as Jews have ever been. Today, the battle lines are ideological: progressive, anti-Zionist Jews vs. classically liberal, Israel-supportive Jews.

 

But there is one unifying theme to be found between the divided Jewish communities of 1917 and 2017. In both cases, one can see the same conceptual bright line between the two camps regarding the idea of a homeland for Jews. One thinks along social justice lines; the other along existential lines. And the two points of view cannot co-exist in harmony.

 

The social-justice school sees the Jews as one people amongst many, but one singled out for persecution and in need of a safe space, wherever that might be. In 1902, such Jews found no problem with Uganda as a solution to pogroms. Today’s social-justice Jews understand Israel’s rise to statehood as a response to the Holocaust (a view endorsed and articulated by former President Obama). They consider it was right and proper at that time for the world to recognize Jewish suffering with a safe space. Israel happened to be the obvious choice.

 

The problem with the sanctuary vision is that the national Jewish home is looked at as a gift rather than a right. What is given by others can be taken away by others. Israel’s moral legitimacy is contingent on its passing what is sometimes referred to as the Holocaust test: you Jews suffered violence, you may therefore not show violence to others, even in your own defence. The question of legitimacy is always on the progressive mind. Increasingly, Israel is perceived of as having failed that test…

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

 

Contents

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY

                                       Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 24, 2017

 

The dramatic swing to the Right in the recent Austrian elections is likely to have widespread repercussions throughout Europe. It will also oblige Israel to reconsider its current approach to far Right groups. While many readers may strongly disagree with my views, I feel that the time has come to face reality.

 

Israel is stronger today than at any time since it was founded, but the fact remains that despite a currently friendly US administration, most of the world continues to discriminate against and apply double standards to Israel. No other nation is confronted by fanatical cultures that extol evil and death and repeatedly and publicly bay for the destruction of their neighbor – to the indifference of most of the “civilized” world, which merely watches and at best remains silent.

 

In this environment, it is time for us to overcome inhibitions and intensify efforts to actively seek out alliances, with nondemocratic states or even those whose viewpoints on various issues we strongly oppose. Some would condemn such an approach as hypocritical and amoral realpolitik. Yet almost all Israelis are encouraged that our leaders have forged a positive relationship with an authoritarian Russia ruled by Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who currently displays philo-Semitic sympathies.

 

In general, Israelis are optimistic – and with good reason – about our relationship with Egypt headed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Yet antisemitism still dominates much of the state-controlled media as Egyptian society has been conditioned over the years to hate Israel and the Jews. This may change in time but the reason for the current rapprochement is primarily that we face common enemies.

 

The covert and somewhat schizophrenic new relationship with Saudi Arabia is even more bizarre. Fanatical Saudi Wahhabism is the fountainhead of Islamic terrorism and continues to promote it throughout the world. Its hatred of Israel and the Jews knows no bounds and is an integral component of the current Saudi educational curriculum, and its mullahs are notorious for calling on the faithful to murder Jews, “the descendants of apes and pigs.” Yet the emerging Iranian threat to impose regional hegemony induced the Saudi leaders to covertly cooperate with Israel. Israel has likewise been cultivating relations with India and China as well as other Asian, African and Latin American states, many of which are not even remotely democratic.

 

By and large, despite some of the problematic attitudes shared by these new allies, the clear majority of Israelis – across the political spectrum – consider these developments positive. However, the one region in which we seem to have made scant progress is Europe. The EU has in fact been pouring huge sums of money into NGOs that have actively undermined the Israeli government and shamelessly apply bias and double standards in all their dealings with Israel. For example, at a recent seminar in the European Parliament, a political group uniting leftists invited as one of its keynote speakers Leila Khaled, the notorious Palestinian terrorist who hijacked two civilian aircraft.

 

Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, some of the Baltic states and now the Czech Republic are pro-Israel and distance themselves from the EU policies. Yet these are mainly right-wing nationalist governments bitterly opposed to the flood of Muslim immigrants that Germany and the EU seek to impose upon them. Accusations have been leveled that they are supported by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers and, in some cases, that is probably true. Likewise, in Western Europe we are now also confronted with a host of right-wing populist opposition groups that are emerging in protest to the immigration. These populists are likely to grow stronger, gain influence and may alter the entire political spectrum in Europe.

 

Needless to say, no responsible Jew could contemplate any association or alliance with neo-Nazis or Holocaust deniers. But the fact that a percentage of such undesirable scum support a particular party should not disqualify that party any more so than it does the US Republican Party, which is supported by some fringe racists, or the Democratic Party, which is the political home of some vicious anti-Israel and antisemitic elements. Israel cannot simply distance itself from all of these right-wing groups and must review and weigh each case individually. It is clear that if leaders of governments include apologists for Nazis or outright Holocaust deniers, we can have no truck with them. However, the reality is that despite extremists and even antisemites supporting the emerging right-wing parties, many of these groups are overall less hostile to us than leftist governments that support the Islamists and are also becoming increasingly overtly antisemitic.

 

In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Front achieved 34% of the vote in the recent presidential runoff; in Italy, the Northern League has 19 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 12 in the Senate; Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom became the second largest party in the Dutch Parliament; and Alternative for Germany created an upheaval by emerging as the third largest party following the September federal election. The latest shock was in Austria where the hardright Freedom Party became the third largest party and will become a coalition partner to the winning conservative Austrian People’s Party. All these parties, except for the Dutch, at one time had fascist elements actively supporting them.

 

Although there are problematic components in the German and Austrian parties, by and large most continue to purge antisemites from their ranks, certainly more so than the British Labor Party under Jeremy Corbyn. Significantly, Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the Austrian Freedom Party, has been an enthusiastic supporter of Israel, as have most populist parties. There are of course boundaries and sometimes this is a gray area but the Holocaust is too deeply ingrained in our psyche to even contemplate an alliance with pro-Nazi politicians…

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

 

 

Contents

WHY DID RUSSIAN JEWS SUPPORT

THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION?                                                

Michael Stanislawski

Tablet, Oct. 24, 2017

 

When the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd on Oct. 25, 1917, the vast majority of Russia’s Jews opposed that takeover. Five years later, when the USSR was created at the end of a treacherously bloody civil war, the situation was reversed—not, as the Hebrew cliché has it, out of the love of Mordecai, but out of hatred of Haman.

 

It is difficult to paint a precise picture of the political views of Russian Jews at the time of the Revolution for the simple reason that we have relatively little precise information on the subject: From 1905 to 1917 the Jews voted in elections for the four parliaments (called Dumas) that were created in response to the 1905 Revolution. None of these elections were based on universal suffrage, first and foremost because women could not vote, and so we have no firm data whatsoever on the views of half of the Jewish population. Moreover, the franchise was more and more restricted as the years went by, and so the number of Jews voting for and being elected to the Duma went down, rather than up, during the 12 years of the parliaments’ existence. Twice in 1917, the Jews voted again, this time with female suffrage, but we still lack data on a very significant chunk of the Jewish population.

 

From the voting data we do have it is possible to conclude several crucial points: First, the Bolsheviks had very little support among the Jewish population, possibly the lowest amount of any of the multiple parties vying for support “on the Jewish street.” And this was despite the fact that many of the Bolsheviks’ most important leaders were Jews—though Jews who viewed their Jewishness as an incidental artifact of their birth, with no meaning for them either religiously (as they were atheists) or nationally (as they regarded themselves as internationalists). Most famously, when Leon Trotsky was asked what his nationality was, he replied “socialist.” More Jews, though hardly a great number, supported the Mensheviks, the less radically Marxist half of the Russian Social Democratic Party, headed by a Jew, Julius Martov, who opposed Lenin’s stance on violent revolution but shared the Bolsheviks’ anti-nationalist stance.  Far more Jews, though still a relatively small percentage of the population, supported the Bund—the Jewish socialist party whose stance on socialism was all but identical to the Mensheviks, but slowly adopted an idiosyncratic form of Jewish nationalism based on national cultural autonomy for the Jews of the Empire and dedication to Yiddish as the national language of the Jewish people. Thus, in toto, the Jewish population broadly rejected socialism in any guise, Jewish or not, as the solution to the problems of the Jews in Russia.

 

Far more Jews, though still a minority, supported the liberal party known as the Kadets (the acronym for the Constitutional Democrats), who were dedicated to liberal constitutionalism, universal suffrage, and equal rights for the minorities of the Empire. In its early years, the party included several prominent Jewish intellectuals and lawyers in its leadership ranks, a matter which attracted a great deal of support from the Jewish population as a whole. But in the years before the Revolution the Kadets became more and more conservative, often siding with the Octobrists, a right-wing party that supported the monarchy, and therefore lost a good deal of its appeal among Jews. A small specifically Jewish liberal party—the Folkspartei—shared the Kadets’ liberalism, to which they added support for national cultural autonomy similar to that of the Bund. They appealed to a very small sliver of the Jewish community—basically academics and other intellectuals.

 

Far more complicated to assess is the degree of support for Zionism at that time in the Russian Jewish community. To be sure, when Theodor Herzl founded the Zionist movement in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, the majority of his followers were from the Russian Empire, and the movement as a whole gained a large amount of support in Russia in the subsequent two decades. But what exactly it meant to belong to a Zionist party is far from clear: Many Jews bought the symbolic shekel which gained them a membership card, but that did not mean much in terms of their actual worldviews. And almost from the start, Russian Zionism split into a number of opposing factions: the “political Zionists,” who supported Herzl and his goal of creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine; “cultural” or “spiritual” Zionists, led by Ahad Ha’am, who opposed mass Jewish migration to Palestine and the immediate creation of a state in favor of a cultural revolution among the Jews based on a radically secular new Hebraic culture; various socialist Zionist parties which attempted to synthesize conflicting views of social-democracy and Marxism with Zionism…

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

                                                                       

Contents

LENIN’S DEADLY REVOLUTION

Martin Amis

New York Times, Oct. 16, 2017

 

It was not a good idea that somehow went wrong or withered away. It was a very bad idea from the outset, and one forced into life — or the life of the undead — with barely imaginable self-righteousness, pedantry, dynamism, and horror. The chief demerit of the Marxist program was its point-by-point defiance of human nature. Bolshevik leaders subliminally grasped the contradiction almost at once; and their rankly Procrustean answer was to leave the program untouched and change human nature. In practical terms this is what “totalitarianism” really means: On their citizens such regimes make “a total claim.”

 

The following is from “the secret archive,” published as “The Unknown Lenin” (1996), and the entry is dated March 1922: “It is precisely now and only now, when in the starving regions people are eating human flesh, and hundreds if not thousands of corpses are littering the roads, that we can (and therefore must) …” At this point the unversed reader might pause to wonder how the sentence will go forward. Something like “pursue all avenues of amelioration and relief,” perhaps?

 

But no. This is Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the leader of “a party of a new type,” who continues: “… carry out the confiscation of church valuables with the most savage and merciless energy. … Precisely at this moment we must give battle to [the clergy] in the most decisive and merciless manner and crush its resistance with such brutality that it will not forget it for decades to come. … The greater the number of representatives of the reactionary clergy and reactionary bourgeoisie we succeed in executing for this reason, the better.” Church records show that 1,962 monks, 2,691 priests and 3,447 nuns were killed in that year alone. Religion, you see, was part of human nature, so the Bolsheviks were obliged to suppress it in all its forms (including Islam and Buddhism).

 

“The Unknown Lenin: From the Secret Archive” was edited by Richard Pipes, and Pipes was responsible for what is probably the most comprehensive account of the period, namely the trilogy “Russia Under the Old Regime,” “The Russian Revolution” and “Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime, 1919-1924.” The two best single-volume studies known to me share the virtues of erudition and brio; and they very nearly share a title — “The Soviet Tragedy,” by Martin Malia, and “A People’s Tragedy,” by Orlando Figes. It was indeed a “tragedy” in the colloquial sense (“an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress”), but not at all in the literary sense, with its implicit pattern of crisis/hubris/nemesis. What is eloquent, in this case, is the word’s derivation: from the Greek tragoidia, “apparently from tragos ‘goat’ + oide ‘song.’” Song of the goat, the bleat as dirge — reminding us also that Russia was a rural society, and therefore the least eligible of the European powers for a “dictatorship of the proletariat”: There was a vast peasantry, but the proletariat was minuscule. The revolution came from above (a coup underscored by machine guns); the tragedy was experienced from below. “A People’s Tragedy,” then, is decidedly the more resonant.

 

Nowadays, of course, the “unknown” Lenin is unknown no longer — though as late as 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev was rereading the complete works of “Ilyich” (55 volumes in Russian) in search of some last-hour remedy, even as the U.S.S.R. was melting away all around him. Lenin bequeathed a fully functioning police state to Joseph Stalin ; thus the experiment, in its fulminant form, lasted from 1917 to 1953, by which time there were many millions of supernumerary deaths (and if Stalin hadn’t died in March of the latter year there would have been a second Jewish Holocaust by Christmastime). The verdict of history has at last been returned. But the jury — i.e., informed opinion in the First World — stayed out until the late 1970s. What took it so long?…

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Why Do American Jews Idealize Soviet Communism?: Ruth R. Wisse, Tablet, Oct. 22, 2017—[In] this country there was a time when virtually all intellectual vitality was derived in one way or another from the Communist Party.

The First Totalitarian: Josef Joffe, New York Times, Oct. 19, 2017—Can first-rate history read like a thriller?

Balfour’s Greatest of Gifts: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2017—This week Israel’s judo team was harassed and discriminated against by UAE officials when they tried to board a flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, en route to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Judo Grand Slam competition.

The Balfour Declaration Was More than the Promise of One Nation: Martin Kramer, Mosaic, June 28, 2017—In 1930, the British Colonial Office published a “white paper” that Zionists saw as a retreat from the Balfour Declaration.

 

 

 

 

TRUMP’S SUPPORT PROVIDES ISRAEL WITH UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

Israel Must Now Be Proactive: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2017— The fervent hope shared by most Israelis — despite the frustration of some American Jews — is that U.S. President Donald Trump will overcome his domestic political problems and strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance.

Words and Silence Matter: Trump vs. Obama: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, June 1, 2017 — U.S President Donald Trump’s public statements during his visit to Israel are of importance irrespective of what he said in private to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority’s Mohammed Abbas.

To Die for Estonia?: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, June 1, 2017 — So what if, in his speech last week to NATO, President Trump didn’t explicitly reaffirm the provision that an attack on one is an attack on all?

The Flaws of "Oslo" Are the Same as the Flaws of Oslo: Neil Rogachevsky, Mosaic, May 17, 2017 — Nearly a quarter-century has passed since Yitzḥak Rabin and Yasir Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Limits of Israeli Power: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2017

Merkel Throws Trump in the Briar Patch: David P. Goldman, PJ Media, May 30, 2017

Time for Honesty About London: We Are Losing the Fight Against Radical Islam: Pete Hoekstra, Fox News, June 5, 2017

The Identity Crisis Fueling European Muslim Radicalization: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, June 7, 2017

 

 

 

ISRAEL MUST NOW BE PROACTIVE

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2017

 

The fervent hope shared by most Israelis — despite the frustration of some American Jews — is that U.S. President Donald Trump will overcome his domestic political problems and strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance. Trump’s visit to the Middle East region consolidated our status. We are in a remarkably good position. After years of relentless bias and harassment from the international community, led by our purported ally, the United States, we are now blessed with an American president who publicly expresses his love and support for, and alliance with, the Jewish state.

 

Those who dismiss as mere posturing Trump’s presence at the Western Wall, his very sensitive remarks at Yad Vashem and his warm and supportive speech at the Israel Museum simply fail to appreciate the profound political implication of his remarks. To that must be added his call on the Sunni states to confront Iranian terror and combat extremism, explicitly including anti-Semitism, within their ranks. Not to mention the revolutionary U.S. campaign to confront the anti-Israel obsession at the U.N. All of this represents a significant reversal of the tide in our favor.

 

In this context, one should also consider the dramatic success of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in developing economic and diplomatic links with Russia, India, China, Japan, and now Africa. To this can be added the incredible, almost overt relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states. One must be blind not to appreciate that these significant improvements in our international status have largely been achieved as a combined result of the deft diplomacy of Netanyahu and the new Trump administration policy.

 

In fact, today, we have an extraordinary, unique window of opportunity. But it requires us to take the initiative and display our willingness to cooperate with Trump’s peace initiatives on condition that our security is not compromised. Netanyahu must show leadership and initiate steps and not merely respond to pressures. He should be prepared to implement a temporary freeze on construction in areas outside the settlement blocs that will always remain part of Israel. He should undertake to continue to strive toward enhancing the quality of life in the autonomous Palestinian areas and offer additional humanitarian assistance.

 

But this offer can only be made in the context of reciprocity. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must cease the incitement and end the disgraceful encouragement of killers, including the PA’s rewarding of their families with huge pensions amounting to over 300 million dollars annually for their crimes. He must also recognize Israel as a Jewish state and cease demanding the “right of return” to Israel of Arab refugees and their descendants which would amount to the dissolution of the Jewish state. A solution to dealing with Hamas will also need to be considered.

 

Until this happens, Israel cannot be expected to negotiate borders or even contemplate a Palestinian state. Despite his assurances about supporting peace, there is little likelihood of the duplicitous Abbas agreeing to any of these basic prerequisites. Should that be the case, we should call for an end to the phony peace process and, in conjunction with the U.S. and possibly even the Saudis, seek to create a working relationship with those living under Palestinian autonomy — if necessary, bypassing the current leadership. This will not eliminate terror but our security will be vastly enhanced if we have the support of the Americans.

 

Our main objective must be to promote the truth and cease providing cover for terrorist leaders who speak to the West with forked tongues endorsing peace, yet continue to incite their followers. If we can do this in tandem with the Americans, in due course we may resolve other issues, such as the formal annexation of the settlement blocs, recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and ensuring that Trump honors his undertaking to help the IDF retain its qualitative edge despite the arms buildup provided to the Saudis.

 

All of this is dependent on Trump not being persuaded like his predecessors that the easiest way to retain stability is to maintain a fake peace process, perpetuating the deplorable lie that this conflict is a struggle by two peoples over real estate. The cause of the conflict is the intransigence of the Palestinian leaders and their brainwashed citizens whose objective is not a two-state solution, but a single Palestinian state from the river to the sea. To minimize the likelihood of this happening, Netanyahu must act now and demonstrate his willingness to explore any opportunity for peace…

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

                                                           

 

Contents                

WORDS AND SILENCE MATTER: TRUMP VS. OBAMA

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, June 1, 2017

 

U.S President Donald Trump’s public statements during his visit to Israel are of importance irrespective of what he said in private to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority’s Mohammed Abbas. This is even more the case because of the damage a variety of statements — and lack of them — by his predecessor Barack Obama and the previous U.S administration have caused Israel.

 

There is much criticism in the U.S of President Trump and his unpredictability. It comes mainly from those who wanted and expected his opponent Hillary Clinton to win the election. The attacks on the current president however do not diminish the importance of his words in Israel. The current President’s  statements are all the more important as — contrary to the case with his predecessor — one “gets what one sees” with Trump.

 

Obama’s distorted, overly positive view of the Muslim world was already apparent early in his presidency. In his first trip abroad in 2009 he travelled to the non-democratic state of Egypt where he was received by President Husni Mubarak. The 2008 report of Freedom House ranked Egypt as a non-free country with a rating of 5.5 on a scale from 1 as best to 7 as worst. The report stated: “Egypt received a downward trend arrow due to its suppression of journalists’ freedom of expression, repression of opposition groups, and the passage of constitutional amendments that hinder the judiciary’s ability to balance against executive excess.”

 

On that trip Obama intentionally bypassed U.S ally Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. The American president did not berate the undemocratic character of the Egyptian regime. Instead in his 2009 Cairo speech Obama apologized for Western “colonialism.” His sympathy did not help U.S. ally Mubarak during the Arab spring, when Obama stabbed him in the back and pressured him to make concessions. Obama hypocritically argued that his criticism of Netanyahu gave him credibility when defending the Jewish state in the world arena. But the Obama administration also regularly criticized Israel for "settlement building" as well as other issues and this stands in sharp contrast to Obama’s avoidance of linking terrorist acts to Islam. Nor did he mention the wide support for undemocratic behavior in the Muslim world.

 

Obama admitted that he refrained from using the words “Islamic terror” in describing Middle East extremism. The Obama administration referred to terror attacks by Muslims as “lone wolf attacks” and refused to use the term “radical Islam.” The terms “Islam” and “jihad,” “Islamic extremism,” radical Islamic terrorism,” and “radical Islam” were banned from US Security documents.

 

The U.S has for a long time been Israel’s main ally. If a U.S administration is repeatedly so critical of Israel while remaining silent about the criminal behavior of its enemies, this can be interpreted as a signal to other countries. It has a negative multiplier effect. The Europeans were most probably encouraged by Obama’s biased attitude to go beyond just criticizing Israel. Their labelling of goods from the territories while not doing the same for other similar areas in the world is an example. When Trump had already been elected as President, Obama let Israel down in yet another signal of encouragement to its enemies. The U.S abstained on Security Council resolution 2334 demanding an end to Israeli settlements. Trump had asked him to veto the resolution.

 

One would have expected international media to analyze these matters in some detail after the Trump Middle East visit. If one checks Google on this subject many reports focus on a comparison of the notes the two presidents wrote at Yad Vashem. This marginal subject became the first significant topic in a lengthy article in the Washington Post. It was titled “The huge contrast between Obama’s and Trump’s visits to Israel’s Holocaust memorial.”

 

Trump did not mention the two state ‘solution’ in his speeches. Why should a U.S president preclude the outcome of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations? Or promise the creation of a second Palestinian state in addition to Jordan? Under Palestinian Authority leadership this state would be another corrupt Arab entity with substantial chances of failing. Yet another logical reason not to mention the two state ‘solution’ is that the PA does not control the Gaza Strip. Nor did Trump mention "settlements." There was no reason to do so. The central topic in Trump’s speeches in the Middle East focused on the fight against terror. It is worth noting that Trump did mention to the Palestinians that they should stop glorifying terrorist murderers of civilians, which sometimes also include Americans.

 

During his visit to Europe Trump continued to set the record straight. He reprimanded NATO leaders in Brussels, saying that 23 out of 28 did not meet their financial commitments to the organization. He said: “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.” This was a euphemism for saying that they are parasites relying on the U.S. The EU and several European states have been arrogantly telling Israel for many years how it should run its internal affairs. The idea that EU leaders are being told to own up to their commitments is considered unpleasant by many European leaders. From an Israeli viewpoint it is very positive that Trump told them off on their failures.

 

After Trump’s visit many European leaders may be nostalgic for Obama, who was partly responsible for letting the Middle East chaos develop and the diminishment of U.S standing in the world. Yet as Alan Dershowitz said about his fellow Harvard law graduate Barack Obama: He will be remembered as “one of the worst presidents in the foreign policy arena,’ who created a ‘terrible conflict’ for people who share other tenets of his ideology.”                              

 

Contents   

                       

TO DIE FOR ESTONIA?

Charles Krauthammer

Washington Post, June 1, 2017

 

So what if, in his speech last week to NATO, President Trump didn’t explicitly reaffirm the provision that an attack on one is an attack on all? What’s the big deal? Didn’t he affirm a general commitment to NATO during his visit? Hadn’t he earlier sent his vice president and secretaries of state and defense to pledge allegiance to Article 5? And anyway, who believes that the United States would really go to war with Russia — and risk nuclear annihilation — over Estonia?

 

Ah, but that’s precisely the point. It is because deterrence is so delicate, so problematic, so literally unbelievable that it is not to be trifled with. And why for an American president to gratuitously undermine what little credibility deterrence already has, by ostentatiously refusing to recommit to Article 5, is so shocking. Deterrence is inherently a barely believable bluff. Even at the height of the Cold War, when highly resolute presidents, such as Eisenhower and Kennedy, threatened Russia with “massive retaliation” (i.e., all-out nuclear war), would we really have sacrificed New York for Berlin? No one knew for sure. Not Eisenhower, not Kennedy, not Khrushchev, not anyone. Yet that very uncertainty was enough to stay the hand of any aggressor and keep the peace of the world for 70 years, the longest period without war between the Great Powers in modern history.

 

Deterrence does not depend on 100 percent certainty that the other guy will go to war if you cross a red line. Given the stakes, merely a chance of that happening can be enough. For 70 years, it was enough. Leaders therefore do everything they can to bolster it. Install tripwires, for example. During the Cold War, we stationed troops in Germany to face the massive tank armies of Soviet Russia. Today we have 28,000 troops in South Korea, 12,000 near the demilitarized zone. Why? Not to repel invasion. They couldn’t. They’re not strong enough. To put it very coldly, they’re there to die. They’re a deliberate message to the enemy that if you invade our ally, you will have to kill a lot of Americans first. Which will galvanize us into full-scale war against you.

 

Tripwires are risky, dangerous and cynical. Yet we resort to them because parchment promises are problematic and tripwires imply automaticity. We do what we can to strengthen deterrence. Rhetorically as well. Which is why presidents from Truman on have regularly and powerfully reaffirmed our deterrent pledge to NATO. Until Trump. His omission was all the more damaging because of his personal history. This is a man chronically disdainful of NATO. He campaigned on its obsolescence. His inaugural address denounced American allies as cunning parasites living off American wealth and generosity. One of Trump’s top outside advisers, Newt Gingrich, says that “Estonia is in the suburbs of St. Petersburg,” as if Russian designs on the Baltic states are not at all unreasonable.

 

Moreover, Trump devoted much of his Brussels speech, the highlight of his first presidential trip to NATO, to berating the allies for not paying their fair share. Nothing particularly wrong with that, or new — half a century ago Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield was so offended by NATO free riding that he called for major reductions of U.S. troops in Europe. That’s an American perennial. But if you’re going to berate, at least reassure as well. Especially given rising Russian threats and aggression. Especially given that Trump’s speech was teed up precisely for such reassurance. An administration official had spread the word that he would use the speech to endorse Article 5. And it was delivered at a ceremony honoring the first and only invocation of Article 5 — ironically enough, by the allies in support of America after 9/11. And yet Trump deliberately, defiantly refused to simply say it: America will always honor its commitment under Article 5.

 

It’s not that, had Trump said the magic words, everyone would have 100 percent confidence we would strike back if Russia were to infiltrate little green men into Estonia, as it did in Crimea. But Trump’s refusal to utter those words does lower whatever probability Vladimir Putin might attach to America responding with any seriousness to Russian aggression against a NATO ally. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday (without mentioning his name) that after Trump’s visit it is clear that Europe can no longer rely on others. It’s not that yesterday Europe could fully rely — and today it cannot rely at all. It’s simply that the American deterrent has been weakened. And deterrence weakened is an invitation to instability, miscalculation, provocation and worse.                                                

 

Contents                                                                                                                                   

THE FLAWS OF "OSLO" ARE THE SAME AS THE FLAWS OF OSLO

Neil Rogachevsky

Mosaic, May 17, 2017

 

Nearly a quarter-century has passed since Yitzḥak Rabin and Yasir Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn. The agreement signed on September 13, 1993 established the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the official representative body of the Palestinian people and permitted its chairman, Yasir Arafat, to return to the West Bank after his extended isolation in Tunisia. Committing Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a final-status agreement, the so-called Oslo Accords opened the era of the peace process.

 

It is worth recalling the buoyant atmosphere that characterized not only that particular moment on the South Lawn but, more generally, the period in world history in which it occurred. Most dramatically, the cold war with the Soviet Union had ended in a triumph for the United States and its form of liberal democracy. If this was not quite the “end of history,” as a major public-policy essay had conjectured, the fall of the mighty Soviet empire raised similarly exuberant expectations for other arenas of conflict. Why, after all, couldn’t Israelis and Palestinians make peace?

 

To some, all the elements were in place. The Palestinians, it was averred, were willing to come to the table, and Israel was open, forward-looking, and “hopeful.” Its Labor-party leadership—not only the war hero Rabin but also Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak—had set aside any remaining illusions of permanent occupation. Having marginalized the “territorial maximalists,” Israelis were prepared to make the painful compromises for peace—a dynamic that President Bill Clinton, a friend of Israel, could help push along.

 

As even ardent supporters of the ensuing peace process will admit, things did not—to put it mildly—go according to plan, and the final-status agreement never came about. Today, notwithstanding Donald Trump’s (quite possibly fleeting) enthusiasm for the project, even the beginning of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority seems highly unlikely. The optimism that greeted the apparent breakthrough of 1993, however understandable in light of the cultural atmosphere of the time, in retrospect seems downright delusional. Yet many Westerners, Jewish and gentile alike, still look back at the Oslo years as a kind of golden age, one that shines only the brighter in contrast to the allegedly dark present.

 

Was Oslo a golden age? Those inclined to that belief now have the gift of a cleverly constructed drama that supports, and flatters, their view. Written by the New York playwright J.T. Rogers, Oslo tells the backstory of the Norwegian-brokered talks between informal envoys of the Israeli foreign ministry and the PLO over a ten-month period in 1992-93. Nearly three hours long, the play is heavy on dialogue and mostly lacking in the bells and whistles of many major New York productions. Nevertheless, by any non-Hamilton standard the play has been a hit, having moved from its debut last year at a small off-Broadway venue to the much bigger Lincoln Center Theater. On the evening I saw it, the crowd, more Upper West Side than Upper Midwest, gave the performers a rapturous standing ovation.

 

One might attribute this fervor at least in part to our own, highly fractious times, in which political, not to say partisan, drama is ripe for a comeback. But Oslo, which has been nominated for a 2017 Tony Award, is also an effective piece of indoctrination, mirroring, to a subtle but powerful degree, the dominant political mentality that helped produce the disastrous Oslo Accords themselves. Aside from the iconic Rabin-Arafat handshake, the whole story of the Oslo negotiations is not especially well known, and Rogers deserves credit for telling it with relative fidelity. The events are seen from the perspective of three Norwegian diplomats: Terje Rød-Larsen and his wife Mona Juul, and Jan Egeland. Thanks to a shared zeal, whose motive is never examined, the three navigate all manner of obstacles in order to bring Israelis and Palestinians together in secret negotiations at a country house south of Oslo, where the play is largely set.

 

Indeed, the play quite artfully stresses the single most astonishing fact about the Oslo talks: not only were they secret, but, on the Israeli side, they were at first completely unauthorized. At the time, Israelis were forbidden by law from having direct contact with PLO officials. It was Yossi Beilin, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, who unilaterally decided that flouting the law was justified by the end he sought. In December 1992, Beilin asked Yair Hirschfeld, a University of Haifa economist, to meet in London with the PLO’s finance minister, Ahmed Qurei, also known as Abu Ala. In January and early February, at further meetings in Norway, Hirschfeld and another economist, Ron Pundak, began drafting with the PLO team a document offering an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho, the establishment of an autonomous Palestinian administration in the West Bank, and direct negotiations regarding a final-status accord.

 

Prodded along by the committed and good-humored Norwegians, the play shows us, the participants found their mutual mistrust and hatred giving way to grudging respect and then a kind of friendship. The other side was humanized, which in turn led to recognition of its grievances and rights—grievances and rights that the Palestinian side, particularly, is portrayed in the play as having been more justified in holding on to. Eventually, higher-level Israelis—Uri Savir of the foreign ministry and Joel Singer, a lawyer and confidant of Prime Minister Rabin—replaced the economists in an effort to hammer out a final draft according to which, in exchange for the aforementioned concessions, the PLO would renounce violence and recognize the state of Israel…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

The Limits of Israeli Power: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2017 —On Thursday, US President Donald Trump bowed to the foreign policy establishment and betrayed his voters. He signed a presidential waiver postponing the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for yet another six months.

Merkel Throws Trump in the Briar Patch: David P. Goldman, PJ Media, May 30, 2017—Donald Trump and Angela Merkel now agree about the main issues in U.S.-German relations. “The times in which we could rely fully on others — they are a way past us,” Merkel told a beer-tent rally of her political party. “We Europeans really have to take our fate into our own hands.”

Time for Honesty About London: We Are Losing the Fight Against Radical Islam: Pete Hoekstra, Fox News, June 5, 2017—London, Manchester, Paris, Nice, Brussels, Kabul, Baghdad, the global carnage continues.

The Identity Crisis Fueling European Muslim Radicalization: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, June 7, 2017—When tanks entered the streets of Istanbul and Ankara last summer in an attempt to overthrow the Turkish government, people swarmed the streets to fight them off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK VOTERS GO TO POLLS AMID INCREASING ISLAMIST TERRORISM

London Attacks Followed by Same Old Stale Arguments: Jonah Goldberg, National Review, June 7, 2017 — The saddest part about the recent terrorist attacks in the U.K. — aside from the actual horror for the victims and their families, of course — was that there was so little new to say about it.

England’s Islamic Domino Effect: Ron Jager, Arutz Sheva, June 5, 2017 — The current wave of Islamic terror in Manchester and in London only reinforces the general feeling that the excessive political correctness of recent years by the Obama Presidency, by the British Labor party, and the European media has fostered and festered breeding grounds for Islamic terrorists in the heart of England.

A Very British Radical: Ross Douthat, New York Times, June 7, 2017 — The next Donald Trump — the next populist insurgent, the next outsider riding a wave of anti-establishment discontent, the next dangerous extremist with a chance to grab the reins of state — was supposed to be Marine Le Pen.

The British Election: Will Voters Opt for Intolerance and Xenophobia?: Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, June 3, 2017 — On June 8, British voters will head to the polls, three years early.

 

On Topic Links

 

UK Elections: Anti-Semitism and the Labour Party 2017: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, June 6, 2017

Terrorism Shouldn’t Interrupt Election Campaigns — At Least as a General Rule: Colby Cosh, National Post, June 5, 2017

Are Jihadists Taking Over Europe?: Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, June 7, 2017

War on Terror vs. Justification of Terror: Ben-Dror Yemini, Ynet, June 7, 2017

 

 

LONDON ATTACKS FOLLOWED BY SAME OLD STALE ARGUMENTS

Jonah Goldberg

National Review, June 7, 2017

 

The saddest part about the recent terrorist attacks in the U.K. — aside from the actual horror for the victims and their families, of course — was that there was so little new to say about it. But that didn’t stop anyone. Everyone backed into their usual rhetorical corners, filling in the blanks on the familiar post-terror conversation like it was a game of Mad Libs, only none of the answers were particularly funny.

 

I, for one, could easily recycle one of umpteen columns on how the Left’s response is wrong and why we have to shed our dysfunctional aversion to speaking plainly about the nature of the threat and what is required to fight it. Or I could note that President’s Trump’s response to the attack was less than helpful. But to what end? Who hasn’t heard the arguments a thousand times already? Watching cable news and surveying the algae blooms of “hot takes” on Twitter, it’s hard to imagine anything will dramatically change. We are growing numb to the problem as it becomes part of the background noise of daily life. One of the attackers in London was even featured in a 2016 TV documentary titled The Jihadi Next Door.

 

Contrast the reactions to the London attacks and to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord. A writer for The Nation spoke for many when he assured readers that “this is murder” and a “crime against humanity.” No sane liberal condoned the terrorist attacks, but the condemnations seemed rote, while passion was reserved for admonishing those who made too big a deal of them or flirted with “Islamophobia.”

 

In 2014, Jeremy Corbyn, who has a remote but possible chance of being the next British prime minister, argued that supporting the Islamic State is just another “political point of view” and that the government shouldn’t put up “legal obstacles” to Islamic State fighters trying to return to England. This perspective hasn’t cost him much with his admirers on the left, but I have to wonder what the reaction would be if he described climate-change “denial” as just another political point of view.

 

But there I go, falling into the familiar trap of scoring ideological points rather than dealing with the larger truth. And what truth is that? Simply that we are in a rut when it comes to terrorism. The Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester did generate more than the usual passion because lots of pundits and policymakers, never mind television viewers, have teenage daughters they could imagine attending an event like that. But did you hear about the bombing of a popular ice-cream parlor in Baghdad last week? Families taking their kids there for a post-fast treat were blown to bits by the Islamic State. A day later in Afghanistan, the Islamic State blew up a tanker truck in the diplomatic quarter of Kabul. That got some attention because of the brazenness of the attack, the death toll among Westerners, and because the explosion was really big.

 

But even these attacks will be forgotten, absorbed into the gray maw of “the way things are.” Don’t believe me? Do you remember the Paris terrorist attack that took place a month before the Manchester bombing? How about the Stockholm truck attack two weeks before that? The Saint Petersburg bombing four days prior? The Westminster Bridge attack in London in March? The machete attack at the Louvre in February? What about the horrible Christmas Market attack in Berlin? The assaults at Ohio State University; Hamburg, Germany; and Normandy, France? I think people still remember the truck attack that killed nearly 80 people in Nice last year.

 

Next week will be the first anniversary of the Orlando nightclub shooting. Many people will say, “Wow, has it been a year already?” I suspect we’ll stay in this rut reading from stale scripts for a good while. The hopeful scenario, I suppose, is that Islamic terrorism will eventually be ground down, after years or decades of attrition. Those who kept reminding us that more Americans die in bathtubs than from terrorism will consider this result a sort of vindication. The alternative is that a dedicated group of attention-seeking murderers will react to the blasé navel-gazing and self-absorption of the West by doing something so horrible that we will be shocked out of our torpor.

 

                                                           

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ENGLAND’S ISLAMIC DOMINO EFFECT

Ron Jager

Arutz Sheva, June 5, 2017

 

The current wave of Islamic terror in Manchester and in London only reinforces the general feeling that the excessive political correctness of recent years by the Obama Presidency, by the British Labor party, and the European media has fostered and festered breeding grounds for Islamic terrorists in the heart of England. London’s current Mayor Sadiq Khan, a practicing Muslim, could have a significant impact on the minds and hearts of many of England’s young Muslims, should he decide to express what should have been said years ago to Muslims living in England and throughout the Western world by the very Muslims that have enjoyed the privileges and benefits of living and prospering in a Western nation.

 

In response to this week’s Islamic terror attack in the heart of London, Mayor Khan should have taken the initiative using himself as a role model of what it means to be a Muslim in a Western nation. Mayor Sadiq Kahn is a practicing Muslim and regularly attends the Al-Muzzammil Mosque in Tooting. He has two daughters both raised in the Islamic faith. Khan could have forcibly reinforced the idea that practicing Muslims such as himself are modern citizens who happen to worship Allah, yet do not belong to any kind of belief in the preeminence of Sharia Law which clearly is based on the belief that Sharia Law must be imposed on others, Islamic terror being the logical extension of this imposition.

 

Mayor Kahn could state that the former would not pose a threat to England or the Western lifestyle while the latter would be a “mortal threat.”  The danger facing England and other Western nations from the Islamic wave sweeping the Middle East and beyond arises not from the fact that people practicing the Islamic religion are Muslim, but rather from the degree to which they adhere to the totalitarian, supremacist Islamic doctrine of Sharia.

 

However, you don’t have to go back very far in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s past to find links with some obviously questionable characters. Some of these associations date back to his time as a human rights lawyer — trying to get England to lift its ban on the American Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has described Jews as ‘blood-suckers’ and called Hitler ‘a very great man’, and speaking at the same conference as Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, a member of the now proscribed Islamist organization that trained the 7/7 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan.

 

In 2004, Sadiq Khan appeared on a platform with five Islamic extremists at a conference in London organized by Al-Aqsa, a group that has published works by the notorious Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. In, the same year, Khan was the chair of the Muslim Council of Britain’s legal affairs committee and was involved in defending the Muslim scholar Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. So who is this Muslim scholar so vigorously defended by Sadiq Khan? Among other things, he’s the author of a book called The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam in which he justifies wife beating and discusses whether homosexuals should be killed. Most notoriously, he condones ‘martyrdom operations’, i.e. suicide bombings, against Israeli civilians, which he describes as ‘God’s justice’: ‘Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do.’

 

In spite of holding these views, Qaradawi was not an ‘extremist’ in Sadiq Khan’s eyes. In 2006, by which time Sadiq Kahn had been elected to Parliament, Khan was one of the signatories of a letter to the Guardian that blamed terrorist incidents, such as 7/7, on British foreign policy, particularly Britain’s support for Israel. ‘It is our view that current British government policy risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the UK and abroad,’ Khan can align himself with the call for tougher counterterrorism measures suggested by the British PM and be the first to demand that England must not pretend that things can remain the same. Khan can abandon the politically correct rhetoric about Islam and the legitimacy of terror to advance political goals. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, can be that agent of change that modern Islam so clearly needs.

 

                                                                       

Contents   

                       

A VERY BRITISH RADICAL

Ross Douthat

New York Times, June 7, 2017

 

The next Donald Trump — the next populist insurgent, the next outsider riding a wave of anti-establishment discontent, the next dangerous extremist with a chance to grab the reins of state — was supposed to be Marine Le Pen. In the Western press and Western capitals, there was a summons to the barricade when Le Pen reached the French presidential runoff. The liberal order was in the balance, the whiff of fascism was in the air, the entire French political system was expected to do its duty and keep her out of power. All this even though Le Pen never came within 16 points of her rival, Emmanuel Macron, in any poll between the first round and the runoff, and ultimately lost by nearly 33.

 

Now, though, in the imminent British election called by an overconfident Theresa May, a different sort of Trumpian figure is closer to victory than anyone expected. This is Jeremy Corbyn, the radical backbencher turned Labour leader, whose campaign was supposed to be a joke but now finds itself, like Trump’s before it, just a “normal-sized polling error” away from a truly shocking upset. Yet at this prospect the Western establishment seems more bemused than actively alarmed. Le Pen was cast as the madwoman in the attic, poised to set fire to the mansion. But outside Britain’s right-wing newspapers, Corbyn is portrayed more as the balmy uncle in the conservatory, puttering around with tulips and murmuring about the class struggle. Nobody exactly thinks he would be a good prime minister, but there isn’t a palpable fear that his election would be an emergency for liberal democracy.

 

In a way this is a good thing, since Corbyn probably isn’t a threat to the liberal order, and in this Trump-crazed moment we could use a little less hyperventilating about politics. (Also, he’ll probably still lose.) But neither was Le Pen necessarily such a threat, and yet the fascism-in-France freak-out happened anyway. So for the sake of evening the scales, let’s dwell for a moment on what Corbyn’s farther left has in common with her farther right.

 

First there is the matter of anti-Semitism. Le Pen’s party was an heir to anti-Dreyfusard tendencies and included enough Holocaust-minimizers that one was briefly chosen as the party’s acting leader. If you are troubled by this, good, you should be. But then you should also be troubled by the Corbyn-era Labour Party’s tendency to find itself explaining why its members, activists and sometimes politicians are merely anti-Zionist and not actually anti-Semitic, even as their critiques of Israel or global finance blur into old-fashioned anti-Semitic cliché. Especially since the intersection of left-wing anti-Zionism and Islamist Jew-baiting is probably a more substantial threat to Jewish security in Western Europe than what remains of right-wing anti-Semitism.

 

Second there is the matter of historical and ideological associations. Le Pen aspired to be Gaullist, but her party retained a Petainist taint, a connection to fascism and a tendency to minimize its crimes, plus the inevitable far-right links to Putin and his nationalist international. But Corbyn’s inner circle has a similar minimizing tendency where the crimes of Stalinism are concerned, plus the equally inevitable far-left affinity for Latin American authoritarianism. If the specter of long-ago Vichy lurked behind Le Penism, the specter of present-day Venezuela lurks not that far in the background of Corbynism.

 

Third there is the matter of terrorism and political violence. Le Pen, through her father and his allies, had an ancestral connection to the far-right violence of the Algerian war-era pieds noirs. But those paramilitary operations are rather more historically distant than Corbyn’s fellow-traveling with the Irish Republican Army at the height of its bombing campaigns, or his habit (for which he recently offered regrets) of offering comradeship to Hezbollah and Hamas. In the wake of the recent Manchester horror and London attack, the Labour leader has been hitting May from the tough-on-terror right for not adequately funding the police. All’s fair in love and the last week of a campaign, but still it’s a little audacious, since Corbyn clearly has an old revolutionary’s soft spot for a certain kind of terrorist.

 

Now, one can concede all this and still cobble together a case that Le Pen would have been more dangerous to existing European institutions than Corbyn. She’s a French chauvinist; he’s a lefty internationalist. She wanted France out of the European Union; Britain has already taken that leap (and a Prime Minister Corbyn would probably make Brexit somewhat softer). She traded in clash-of-civilizations rhetoric about Islamic immigration; he’s fluent in the pieties of multiculturalism.

 

But some of this amounts to saying that it’s O.K. to elect an extremist with anti-Semitic and authoritarian and even terrorist connections if he or she just takes the official European Union line on immigration and monetary policy. Meanwhile Corbyn’s habits of mind on defense policy — think Chomsky with a dash of Trump — could threaten as much destabilization for NATO as Le Pen threatened for the Continent’s monetary union.  Again, I don’t think it would be a better world if Corbyn were being met with Le Pen-level fear and loathing. The entire populist phenomenon, left and right, is happening because our establishment is in need of serious unsettlement, and that can’t happen unless movements and ideas with extreme or disreputable associations are allowed into the conversation.

 

Her own very-establishment stumbles and weaknesses notwithstanding, May’s attempt to reimagine conservative politics along more populist, “Red Tory” lines strikes me as a healthier response to the moment than Corbyn’s unreconstructed socialism. But after so much centrist failure, I can understand the urge to give the old socialist a chance. Nonetheless — in allowing the extremes in, we should not be blind to where their worst tendencies can lead. No such blindness is likely where the right’s populists are concerned, since the entire media-intellectual-academic complex of the West has its fascist radar set to “high.”

 

Where the far left is concerned, though, a haze of elite sentimentality can still settle over ideological impulses that killed people and wrecked countries on an extraordinary scale. So with Corbyn closer to power than Le Pen ever got, spare a thought for the far left’s actual 20th-century record, and remember that when history’s arc bends away from liberalism and consensus, sometimes there’s a commissar waiting at the end of it.

 

           

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                                      THE BRITISH ELECTION:

WILL VOTERS OPT FOR INTOLERANCE AND XENOPHOBIA?

Alan M. Dershowitz

Gatestone Institute, June 3, 2017

 

On June 8, British voters will head to the polls, three years early. When Prime Minister Theresa May called last month for a snap election, the assumption was that she would win easily and increase her parliamentary majority. Recent numbers, however, show the gap closing between May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

 

Corbyn – who was given 200:1 odds of when he ran for the party leadership in 2015 – is doing surprisingly well again. This is despite the fact that Labour has been under fire for anti-Semitism in its ranks, and Corbyn himself has been accused of anti-Jewish bigotry. Corbyn denies having a problem with Jews, claiming that he is merely anti-Israel. Even if it were possible to hate Israel without being anti-Semitic – and I am not sure that it is – Corbyn's words and deeds demonstrate that he often uses virulent anti-Zionism as a cover for his soft anti-Semitism.

 

For example, in a speech last year, he said that Jews are "no more responsible" for the actions of Israel than Muslims are for those of ISIS. In 2009, he announced: "It will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. I also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well."

 

The company that Corbyn keeps, too, suggests that at best he gives a free pass to bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism within the ranks of his own party, and at worst, he espouses them. He has shared speaking platforms and led rallies with some of the most infamous Jew-haters. He has attended meetings hosted by 9/11 conspiracy theorist Paul Eisen, author of a blog titled: "My Life as a Holocaust Denier." He has been associated with Sheikh Raed Salah – leader of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, a blood libel perpetuator convicted for incitement to violence and racism – whom he referred to as a "very honoured citizen" whose "voice must be heard." Corbyn was also a paid contributor for Press TV, Iran's tightly controlled media apparatus, whose production is directly overseen by anti-Semitic Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

 

One of the biggest criticisms of the "Corbynization" of British politics has been the mainstreaming of traditional anti-Semitism. The country's chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has called the problem within the Labour party "severe." Consider the late Gerald Kaufman, a Labour veteran and close political associate of Corbyn's who touted conspiracy theories about Jews throughout his political career. When speaking at a pro-Palestinian event, Kaufman said: "Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party – as in the general election in May – support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives." While Corbyn condemned this remark, he refused to yield to widespread demands for disciplinary action against Kaufman. This is in keeping with what a key former adviser to Corbyn, Harry Fletcher, wrote: "I'd suggest to him [Jeremy] about how he might build bridges with the Jewish community and none of it ever happened."

 

Let's be clear: I do not believe that Corbyn's rise in the polls is due to his hatred of Jews and Israel, but rather in spite of it. May called for elections and then refused to debate her opponents. She is running a lacklustre campaign somewhat reminiscent of U.S. Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton's last year. For his part, Corbyn is a populist, like U.S. President Donald Trump. Although politically polar opposites, they have much in common, such as a penchant for shooting from the hip and unpredictability.

 

Furthermore, many British voters are unaware of Corbyn's anti-Semitic associations. Others know, but don't care. Those on the hard-Left, such as union activists and academics, include knee-jerk opponents of the nation state of the Jewish people and supporters of academic and cultural boycotts of Israel. Many of these favor trade and engagement with such egregious human-rights violators as Iran, Cuba, China, Russia, Belarus and Venezuela. Singling out Israel – the Middle East's only democracy, with one of the world's best human-rights records, rule of law and concern for enemy civilians — for boycotts itself is a form of anti-Semitism.

 

Corbyn himself has called for boycotts of the Jewish state. He has advocated for an arms embargo, citing Israel's supposed "breach" of the human-rights clause of the EU-Israel trade agreement. He also led the call to boycott Israel's national soccer team in the European Championship in Wales. (Ironically, Israel only plays in this league because it was expelled from the Asian Football Confederation due to the Arab League's boycott.) Corbyn, as well, has been a vocal supporter of the so-called Palestinian "right of return," something that would lead to an Arab majority and Jewish minority within Israel, and render the two-state solution completely obsolete.

 

Whether anti-Semitism is the cause or effect of the Labour party's problem is not important. What is relevant is that Corbyn not only has not stemmed the tide, but has played a big part in perpetuating it. British voters now have the opportunity to choose where they will go as a nation. Will they opt to move away from stability, rationality and tolerance toward simple mindedness and xenophobia? I sincerely hope not. Bernie Sanders has already made his choice. He is campaigning for Corbyn despite his record on anti-Semitism. Sanders will have to explain why a Jew is helping to elect a bigot with the views Corbyn holds about the Jewish people and their nation state.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

UK Elections: Anti-Semitism and the Labour Party 2017: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, June 6, 2017—n 2016 the UK’s Jewish defense organization, Community Security Trust, recorded 1,309 anti-Semitic incidents, the highest total ever and an increase of 36% from 2015. In 2014 there was the previous highest total recorded with 1182 incidents.

Terrorism Shouldn’t Interrupt Election Campaigns — At Least as a General Rule: Colby Cosh, National Post, June 5, 2017— History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce: so said Marx. He was making a joke about the second Emperor Napoleon, and it is still the first thing everybody remembers about the man; it is thus one of the greatest bon mots in the history of journalism. And it is, incidentally, the only law of history devised by Marx that actually works.

Are Jihadists Taking Over Europe?: Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, June 7, 2017— "Germany is quietly building a European army under its command," according to some in the media. Apparently German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after her clash with U.S. President Donald Trump, would like to invest, along with France, in a European army.

War on Terror vs. Justification of Terror: Ben-Dror Yemini, Ynet, June 7, 2017 — The finest experts are struggling with the following question: What makes them terrorists? There is no answer. Among the perpetrators of terror attacks in Europe there are people who became radical in mosques, people who became radical in prisons and those who became radical following online propaganda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EUROPE, DESPITE ONGOING ISLAMIST TERRORISM, VILIFIES DEMOCRATIC ISRAEL

Carnage, Memory and Manchester: Bret Stephens, New York Times, May 25, 2017 — To witness a suicide bombing up close is to understand, at its etymological root, the meaning of the word “carnage.”

France: Macron, President of the Elites and Islamists: Guy Millière, Gatestone Institute, May 26, 2017— Emmanuel Macron — whose victory in the French presidential election on May 7, 2017 was declared decisive — was presented as a centrist, a newcomer in politics with strong ties to the business world, and a man who could bring a new impetus to a stagnant country.

Crooked Europe: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, May 8, 2017 — What do dictatorships such as Iran, China, Qatar, Sudan have in common with one of the most advanced democracies in the world, Sweden?

Words Matter: Robert Lantos, National Post, May 25, 2017 — Simon Wiesenthal was a man of action.

 

On Topic Links

 

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 22, 2017

French Jews Certainly Wanted Macron Over Le Pen, but Friction May Lie Ahead:  Cnaan Liphshiz, Times Of Israel, May 9, 2017

The Drumbeat Against Jewish Ritual in Europe Sounds Once More: Ben Cohen, JNS, May 12, 2017

An Auschwitz Magician’s Greatest Trick: Holding the Horrors at Bay: Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, May 6, 2017

 

 

 

CARNAGE, MEMORY AND MANCHESTER

Bret Stephens

New York Times, May 25, 2017

 

To witness a suicide bombing up close is to understand, at its etymological root, the meaning of the word “carnage.” A bomb packed with nails, ball bearings and metal scraps — the sort that Salman Abedi detonated in Manchester on Monday night — doesn’t just kill. It shreds. Human beings are turned, instantly, into scraps of bone, organ and flesh. The smell of explosives mingles horribly with that of charred skin, burned metal, melted plastic and enormous quantities of blood. Cafes, buses, markets and concert halls become abattoirs, public and obscene. The bomber dies, too. The act turns the perpetrator into somebody’s martyr while denying his victims the possibility of justice. Mockery from beyond the grave thus compounds the nihilism of the act: “I got you; you can never get me.”

 

Thirteen years ago, on Azza Street in Jerusalem, I saw a man’s body on a blown-up bus swaying back and forth, as if reciting a final prayer. He was one of 11 victims that day, in a bombing that took place a block from where I lived. It’s a sight that’s never left me. I offer this description to make the point that our intellectual understanding of terrorism will be stunted if we lack a visceral understanding of it. The standard definition of terrorism — “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims” — anesthetizes reality.

 

Reality, in Manchester, is Saffie Rose Roussos, gone at the age of 8. It is Marcin and Angelika Klis, a Polish couple killed while waiting for their two children, now orphans, to emerge from the Ariana Grande concert. Nineteen others are also gone, along with over 60 wounded and hundreds bereft. Any discussion of the bombing that subsumes these realities in the stock pieties of politicians (“Our hearts are broken but our resolve has never been stronger,” said Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader), or the analysis of “terrorism experts,” obscures our vision and loses the plot.

 

What won’t lose the plot? To start: Terrorism is not, in the manner of Carl Von Clausewitz’s definition of war, a continuation of politics by other means. More often than not, it is the negation of politics — by any means. Also: Any analysis of the Islamic State’s motives and strategy, however tactically intriguing, has limited utility. Its murder sprees are incidentally instrumental but fundamentally self-justifying. It kills to kill.

This being so: The Islamic State and other jihadist groups do not require pretexts for violence. The core jihadist objection to the West concerns our values, not our policies. The brave journalists at Charlie Hebdo weren’t murdered for advocating neoconservative positions. Closing the United States prison at Guantánamo, whatever else might be said for it, will not mollify the next Abedi.

 

Further: Let’s stop calling terrorists “thugs and killers,” as Barack Obama used to do. Let’s not call them “losers,” either, as Donald Trump did this week. Suicide bombing involves a form of immortality seeking that has religion deep in its roots. Only some sort of God could summon, and justify, such promiscuous savagery.

Moreover: Elaborate semantic evasions of the word “Islamic” fool nobody and help nothing. To note that Hamas, Al Qaeda or Islamic State are, by their own emphatic declarations, Islamist enterprises shouldn’t be politically controversial. Communism could not have been defeated without an ideological struggle that picked away at its moral assumptions. The struggle against Islamism isn’t so different.

 

That said: The death cults driven by millenarian impulses are a universal phenomenon, perniciously present within the Islamist fold today but not culturally or historically unique to it. The black banners that are emblems of terror in this century are merely the continuation of the red banners that defined terror in the previous one.

 

For your reading list: Skip the jihadist propaganda. Turn instead to Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Agent,” published in 1907. “They depend on life … whereas I depend on death, which knows no restraint and cannot be attacked.” An anarchist professor who goes about with a bomb in his pocket utters those words, but they are what Hamas leaders say as well. Love does not conquer hate: If it did, the only casualty in Manchester would have been Abedi himself. To seek to overcome terrorism by pledging, as Obama did in 2013, to move on from it, mainly succeeds in tempting its return. The Islamic State, it still bears repeating, was once somebody’s J.V. team.

 

What conquers hate is the only defensible form of hate: hatred of evil. Without such hatred, the Manchester Arena becomes just another site of random but predictable outrage, along with the Bataclan theater, the Pulse nightclub, the Zaventem airport, the promenade in Nice, the school in Peshawar, the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv. It goes down the memory hole, and makes a mockery of our collective promise to never forget. I wish I’d never seen what I saw that morning in Jerusalem, but there is no such thing as unseeing. The carnage inflicted on Manchester can still serve a purpose if we try not to avert our gaze too soon.

 

 

Contents                   

 

FRANCE: MACRON, PRESIDENT OF THE ELITES AND ISLAMISTS

Guy Millière

Gatestone Institute, May 26, 2017

 

Emmanuel Macron — whose victory in the French presidential election on May 7, 2017 was declared decisive — was presented as a centrist, a newcomer in politics with strong ties to the business world, and a man who could bring a new impetus to a stagnant country. The reality, however, is quite different. His victory was actually not "decisive". Although he received a high percentage of the votes cast (66%), the number of voters who cast a blank ballot or decided to abstain was the highest ever in a French presidential election.

 

Although his opponent, Marine Le Pen, tried to dissociate herself from the anti-Semitism of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, she was treated as a walking horror by almost all politicians and journalists during the entire campaign. That she nevertheless drew 34% of the votes was a sign of the depth of the anger and frustration that has been engulfing the French people. More than half of those who chose Macron were apparently voting against Marine Le Pen, rather than for Macron. Macron, who won by default, suffers from a deep lack of legitimacy. He was elected because he was the last man standing, and because the moderate right's candidate, François Fillon, was sabotaged by a demolition operation carried out by the media and by a political use of justice. Significantly, the legal prosecution of Fillon stopped immediately after he was defeated.

 

Macron is not a centrist: he was discreetly supported throughout the campaign by most of the Socialist Party's leaders and by the outgoing Socialist President, François Hollande. The day after the election, during a V-E Day ceremony, Hollande could not hide his joy. A few days later, on May 14, when he handed the office of the president over to Macron, Hollande said that what was happening was not an "alternative" but a "continuity". All Macron's team-members were socialists or leftists. Macron's leading political strategist, Ismael Emelien, had worked for the campaign that led to the election of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

 

Macron's entire program is socialist. Proposals for additional public expenditures abound. "Climate change" is defined as "the key issue for the future of the world". The proposed changes to the Labor Code and the tax system are largely cosmetic and seem intended more to give an illusion of change than to bring about real change. While Macron does not reject a market economy, he thinks that it must be placed at the service of "social justice", and that the government's role is to "guide", to "protect", "to help" — not to guarantee freedom to choose. Significantly, the economists who participated in the elaboration of Macron's program are those who had drawn up Hollande's economic program in 2012.

 

Even if he is young, Macron is not a newcomer to politics and does not embody renewal. He not only worked with Hollande for five years, but those who shaped his political ascent have long careers behind them: Jacques Attali was President François Mitterand's adviser in the 1980s ; Alain Minc worked with all French Presidents since Valery Giscard d'Estaing was elected in 1974, and Jean-Pierre Jouyet was the cabinet director for Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in the late 1990s. Just after the election, three documentaries were broadcast on French television explaining in detail how Macron's campaign was organized. Macron is the pure product of what analysts described as the "French nomenklatura" — an arrogant élite, composed of senior officials, political power-holders and the businessmen working in close collaboration with them.

 

Macron can only be described as close to the business world if one understands how things work in France. The French economy is a mixed system where it is almost impossible to succeed financially without having close relations with political leaders who can grant favors and subsidies, and either authorize, prohibit or facilitate contracts or hinder them. During the years he spent at Hollande's side, Macron helped various French businessmen. They thanked him by massively contributing to his campaign. It would be surprising if they do not expect a "return on investment". The operation that allowed Macron's election could be described in business language as a takeover. Almost all French private media outlets belong to those who supported Macron and were part of the takeover.

 

Macron is not supposed to bring any new impetus to business, but to ensure and consolidate the power of those who placed him where he is. Their goal is to create a large, single, center-left, technocratic political party that will crush the old political parties and that will be installed in a position of hegemony. The party's slogan, "En Marche!" ("On the Move!"), was established to go forward in that direction; the old political parties have been almost destroyed. The official Socialist Party is dying. The main center-right party, The Republicans, is in disarray. One of its leaders, Edouard Philippe, was appointed Macron's Prime Minister. Another, Bruno Le Maire, is now Finance and Economy minister: he will have to apply quite a different policy from those defined by his original party. The rightist National Front and the radical left will be treated as receptacles of anger: everything will be done so that they stay marginalized.

 

Another goal is to entrust ever more power to the technocratic unaccountable, untransparent and undemocratic institutions of the European Union: it is a goal Emmanuel Macron never stopped emphasizing. On May 7, as soon as the election result was known, the leaders of the European Union showed their enthusiasm. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, spoke of "a signal of hope for Europe". On May 15, immediately after the inauguration, Macron went to Berlin, met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said that he hoped for a rapid "strengthening of the Union". Macron says he wants the creation of an EU Ministry of Finance, whose decisions would have binding force for all member states.

 

A deliberate side-effect of Macron's policies will be population change. Like many European leaders, Emmanuel Macron seems convinced that the remedy for the demographic deficit and the aging of ethnic European populations is more immigration. On September 6, 2015, he stated that "immigration is an opportunity for all of us". On February 12, 2017, he said, "I will propose to the Algerian government the creation of a Franco-Algerian Bureau of Youth, to encourage mobility between the two shores of the Mediterranean". A few weeks later, he declared that "the duty of Europe is to offer asylum to all those who seek its protection" and that "France must take its fair share of refugees"…

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

 

                                                                       

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CROOKED EUROPE

Giulio Meotti

Arutz Sheva, May 8, 2017

 

What do dictatorships such as Iran, China, Qatar, Sudan have in common with one of the most advanced democracies in the world, Sweden? A vote at Unesco which last Monday canceled the Jewish roots of Jerusalem, accusing Israel of being “the occupying power” in its own capital and holy city (“fake history” as Benjamin Netanyahu responded). That's what. Stockholm, in fact, was the only European country to vote in favor of the resolution of the UN agency for "culture" and science alongside the Arab-Islamic regimes on the day celebrating the independence of the Jewish State (my country, Italy, finally voted against the resolution, while France abstained).

 

The Israeli government summoned Swedish Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser to condemn his government's “hypocrisy” (a few hours before the vote, Nesser had posted a video on Facebook wishing a happy Independence Day to the Israelis). But Sweden did better during that same week; it was not only able to vote alongside hateful Islamist regimes which want to destroy Israel, like Iran. At the UN Commission on Women's Rights the Swedes were masters of duplicity. This commission has just been admitted to membership, for a period of four years, a regime where women may not drive, where they may not move out of the house without their husbands and that is 134th out of 145 countries according to the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Rating:

 

Saudi Arabia, or as Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud said, “an ISIS who made it”. Ryadh managed to enter the UN commission that should defend women's rights through the betrayal of some European countries, including – probably – Sweden (Sweden has refused to confirm whether it voted in favor). Same silence from England and Ireland. “Sweden has voted for the Saudis, 90% sure”, said Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch, while Wikileaks has offered $10,000 to anyone who would reveal the Stockholm vote.

 

There is certainty about a known European country that voted in favor of the Saudis: Belgium. Prime Minister Charles Michel issued an “apology” for the decision. But it was not a “mistake”. The Brussels' delegation was explicitly asked to vote in favor of the Saudis and to even let the Saudis know it, as the leaks outlined these days revealed. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynder said the delegation sought to “inform the various candidates, including Saudi Arabia” about its support, despite the vote being secret. A year ago, the English government of David Cameron gave the green light for the Saudi entry into another commission, the one for Human Rights, located in Geneva.

 

There is nothing that petroleum dollars can not buy, even the famous Swedish foreign policy in the name of “feminism,” tolerance and human rights. Belgium is a great Saudi ally in Europe since 1974, when King Baldovino offered the Saudi House to them, in exchange for important energy supplies, the Pavillon du Cinquantenaire with a lease of 99 years. Two hundred meters from the headquarters of the European Union stands what is known as the Great Mosque through which the Saudis became the de facto Islamic authority of Belgium. 40 years later, the keepers of Mecca continue to collect their bills, at the cost of the shameful betraying of the best of European values.                                             

 

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                                                        WORDS MATTER

  

Robert Lantos

National Post, May 25, 2017

 

Simon Wiesenthal was a man of action. Not content to let complacent governments deal with the butchers of the Holocaust, he hunted them and forced them to face justice. In so doing, he announced to the world that from now on, there is a high price to pay for harming Jews.

 

With his help, the Mossad captured the mass murderer Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. I was then attending school in neighbouring Uruguay, where Israel’s covert operation caused massive outrage. It was a tense time to be the only Jew in my school. But I felt proud. For the first time in two thousand years, the world understood that if you mess with us, there are consequences. That Jews can — and will — deal with those who intend to harm them. That Jews are no longer at the mercy of their tormentors. That Jews fight back.

 

I was born in Hungary, where Jew hatred has a long and blood-drenched history. A country whose Jews took comfort in being the most assimilated in Europe. They were convinced that their social status and achievements made them untouchable. Yet, the majority of the Jewish population was massacred in a matter of weeks. We must learn from the lessons of history, so that our children and their children never face the horrors that my parents witnessed. Today, Jews face two wars. The permanent armed struggle in defence of Israel, a battle that Israel can never afford to lose. And the war of words, throughout the diaspora — and right here in Canada.

 

Words matter. They are powerful weapons. Words can legitimize the criminal and vilify the just. Words can provide the fuel for hate and the alibi for persecution and violence. Libelous fabrications, like “Israel Apartheid” and “Zionist aggression,” are the pretext for the BDS movement, whose stated objective is the destruction of the Jewish State. Their false narrative has hijacked progressive hearts and minds and become gospel in politically correct circles. It feeds the new wave of Jew hatred sweeping across Europe, where, in many countries, synagogues and Jewish institutions can now only function under military protection. The false narrative thrives on our own campuses, where we must expose its lies and confront it with the most powerful weapon at our disposal, namely, the truth. Because as we know, and as Barbara Kay has written, “what ends in law, often begins in academia.”

 

Since its inception, the UN Human Rights Council has adopted 135 country-specific resolutions. Of those, 68 condemn Israel. The following is a list of some of the enlightened democracies that are current or past members of the UN Human Rights Commission: Sudan, Congo, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Russia. It is with these champions of human rights that today’s left aligns itself: authoritarian regimes, which persecute the LGBTQ community, are intolerant of women’s rights, of freedom of the press and of freedom of expression.

 

The so-called progressives who denounce Israel are unfazed by the jailing of dissenters in Iran, oblivious to the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, blind to the incarceration and torture of gay men in Qatar, accepting of widespread female genital mutilation and unperturbed by the persecution of Christians in several Islamic countries. Their single fixation is on the Jewish state, a country whose laws treat all citizens equally, regardless of gender or religion and guarantee them education, healthcare and civil liberties. A country where freedom of expression is sacred. It is time to stop kidding ourselves and to call all those with such selective social conscience the anti-Semites we all know they are. Hitler and the Nazis were vanquished but Jew hatred was not. It has found renewed vigour in an unholy partnership between the jihadists and the proverbial useful idiots, who hide under the progressive mantle.

 

In a sermon in Montreal, at the Al-Andalous Islamic Center, Imam Sayed al-Ghitawi included the following supplications: “Oh Allah, destroy the cursed Jews.”//“Oh Allah, show us the black day you inflict on them.”//

“Oh Allah, make their children orphans and their women widows.” This sermon was delivered in 2014, but it was not until it recently surfaced online, that the Al-Andalous Islamic Center distanced itself from it. I do not propose to paint all Muslims with this imam’s brush. I assume he does not speak for mainstream Islam. My point is that there has been no outcry in the halls of power in Ottawa. The story barely made the news. Parliament is not about to introduce a law criminalizing Jew hatred.

 

Which brings us to our campuses, where Jewish students are harassed and intimidated if they state pro-Israeli views. At McGill, my alma mater, the Daily, on whose editorial board I once served, now refuses to publish any opinion piece that “promote a Zionist worldview.” Three months ago, Igor Sadikov, a member of the Student Society of McGill University’s legislative council, urged one and all to “punch a Zionist today.” He subsequently resigned from the council, but he remains a McGill student in good standing.

 

On the other hand, shortly thereafter, Andrew Potter, the former director of McGill’s Institute for the Study of Canada, was unceremoniously dumped from this position for writing a critical piece about Quebec society. The same administration that took instant and drastic action against a director for voicing peaceful social criticism is content to allow someone who incites violence against Jews to roam on its campus. These back-to-back events crystallize the new double standard in academia: zero tolerance for any offence, however slight, whether perceived or real, against any community or any people — except for the Jews.

 

Many on the left have come to believe that in order to burnish their progressive credentials, they must distance themselves from Israel. The real travesty is that they link arms with those who enslave women, those who torture and jail dissenters, those who censor freedom of expression, those who persecute members of other religions and those who incite the genocide of the Jewish state. The most important lesson of the Holocaust is that it must never again happen. That if your enemies threaten to kill you, you should take them seriously. Simon Wiesenthal understood this lesson and acted upon it.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents

On Topic Links

 

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 22, 2017—April 1. The British Home office stripped Sufiyan Mustafa, 22, of his UK passport after he traveled to Syria to fight with jihadists. Mustafa is the youngest son of the cleric Abu Hamza, who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after being convicted of terrorism charges. Mustafa complained that he is now stateless and stranded in Syria.

French Jews Certainly Wanted Macron Over Le Pen, but Friction May Lie Ahead:  Cnaan Liphshiz, Times Of Israel, May 9, 2017— French Jews may have voted en masse for Emmanuel Macron in the final round of France’s presidential elections, but that doesn’t make him their dream president.

The Drumbeat Against Jewish Ritual in Europe Sounds Once More: Ben Cohen, JNS, May 12, 2017—This past week, Jewish ritual observance came under attack in both Belgium and Norway. While there is nothing suggesting that the respective moves against shechita (kosher slaughter) in Belgium and brit milah (Jewish circumcision) in Norway were coordinated, both speak to an ingrained tendency in Europe that dismisses these core requirements for Jews as no more and no less than cruelty of a particularly Jewish sort.

An Auschwitz Magician’s Greatest Trick: Holding the Horrors at Bay: Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, May 6, 2017—“All right, pick a card,” Werner Reich said, fanning out a worn deck of cards in his Long Island home to demonstrate a trick he’d learned in an unlikely place: on the top of a bare wooden bunk in the concentration camp barracks at Auschwitz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUMP & U.S POLICY TOWARDS ISRAEL, JEWS IN FRANCE VOTE FOR MACRON

Trump and the Israelization of American Politics: Dr. Alex Joffe, BESA, Apr. 24, 2017— It is now routine to compare Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are unabashed “nationalists” (albeit of different sorts), both bluster and bully their opponents, and both share a dire outlook on the global situation. A closer look, of course, reveals them to have very little in common, except perhaps for their shared interest in living well.

The White House Never Really Fully Supported Israel — Till Trump Arrived: Lawrence Solomon, National Post, May. 8, 2017— Barack Obama was arguably the most hostile U.S. president that Israel ever faced; at best, he was indifferent to Israel’s welfare. But Obama was hardly alone in treating Israel as dispensable. Every previous president, without exception, adopted policies that put Israel’s very existence at risk.

The Trump Doctrine: President’s Emerging Foreign Affairs Philosophy Appears Surprisingly Traditional: Tom Blackwell, National Post, Apr. 21, 2017 — Donald Trump was not going to take it any more from Kim Jong-Un. With dictator Kim’s North Korea poised to carry out another nuclear or missile test earlier this month, the U.S. president responded aggressively.

French Jews, Relieved by Le Pen Election Defeat, Still Cautious About Future: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May. 7, 2017 — After President Bashar al-Assad of Syria once again attacked his own citizens with poison gas, the civilized world recoiled in horror at images of children writhing in pain and suffocating to death. French Jews breathed a sigh of relief as far right candidate Marine Le Pen was roundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday — but experts warned that the community still faces tough decisions over its long-term future.

 

On Topic Links

 

Debate Between Fmr. Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin and Prof. Alan Dershowitz [WATCH]: ILTV Israel Daily, May 4, 2017

At White House Meeting with Trump, Palestinian Leader Signals Abandonment of Unilateral Statehood Recognition Strategy: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May 3, 2017

What Do Trump’s First 100 Days Mean for Israel?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Apr. 30, 2017

Why Everything You Think You Know About Foreign Policy Is Wrong: Lee Smith, Tablet, May 1, 2017

Marine Le Pen Defeated But France's Far Right is Far From Finished: Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 7, 2017

 

 

 

TRUMP AND THE ISRAELIZATION OF AMERICAN POLITICS  

Dr. Alex Joffe                         

BESA, Apr. 24, 2017

 

It is now routine to compare Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are unabashed “nationalists” (albeit of different sorts), both bluster and bully their opponents, and both share a dire outlook on the global situation. A closer look, of course, reveals them to have very little in common, except perhaps for their shared interest in living well. Where Trump is the scion of a hard-driving New York real estate mogul, Netanyahu is the scion of an intellectual dedicated to the Zionist cause. Trump never served in the military and came to politics late; Netanyahu was a decorated soldier effectively involved in politics from birth.

 

These comparisons are interesting, if unrevealing. But a critical element Trump and Netanyahu do share is that their opponents are weak and scattered. In each country, a position of strength provides ample room to execute policies, but it results in lopsided politics. Authoritarian temptations loom while opposition politics eschew cooperation in favor of “resistance” and radicalism. The chaotic state of Israeli politics, not merely on the left but across the political spectrum, is a harbinger of what awaits America.

 

The weaknesses of the American Democratic and Israeli Labor parties are largely self-inflicted. Trump and Netanyahu are products of the deterioration of politics in both countries, not the causes. No one forced either party over the decades to move further and further left or to haughtily represent itself as the sole bastion of morality, even as each came to represent perverse alliances between the privileged and the aggrieved, at the expense of the middle and lower classes. And no one forced either party to run candidates like Hillary Clinton, uniquely corrupt and brittle, or Itzhak Herzog, weak and vacillating. In turn, electorates are under no obligation to settle for such candidates.

 

But here the common political style of Trump and Netanyahu also comes into play. They are bullying and dismissive of their critics and rivals and indulgent of allies; reliant on shadowy personal associates; addicted to deals and gambits; and both willing and able to go over the heads of experts and the media to speak directly to the voters in blunt and often fear-mongering terms, using rhetoric that appeals to the electorates’ lesser angels. Each is regularly (and absurdly) accused of being “fascist”; at worst, they are merely populists with occasional demagogic flourishes that provide useful cover for policies that range, for the most part, from the pragmatic to the timid. And each has the confounding ability to put aside the bluster on occasion and speak in measured, thoughtful tones. All this has helped keep the Israeli opposition fractured, and it may do so in the US as well.

 

Netanyahu has been prime minister for almost eight years, at the head of a coalition that has crept ever rightward. During that time, the opposition has repeatedly splintered. The leading figures of the Israeli opposition – Herzog, Shelly Yachimovich, Ami Ayalon, and others – are fractious, uncharismatic, and unlikely to catalyze the electorate. The opposition is united only by shared antipathy toward Netanyahu, scarcely a platform for a successful campaign or productive coalition-building.

 

The situation in the US is no more reassuring. The national Democratic Party has moved dramatically to the left, thanks to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and at the same time evaporated on the national and local levels. The root of the problem is that the party has devolved into an umbrella primarily representing public employees, finance/media/entertainment/technology conglomerates, and an assortment of minorities, from Latinos and blacks to ever-smaller demographics like the transgendered. The Democratic platform is open borders, anti-anti-Islamism, support for every conceivable type of non-military spending, and, of course, absolute and total opposition to Trump. Compromise is anathema. Worse yet, violent “resistance” in word and deed is increasingly valorized by opposition leaders.

 

In both countries, the media has long segmented itself into right and left, the latter becoming more shrill the further it is from power – witness the transformation of The New York Times into Haaretz. Impartiality in media, and increasingly politics, is regarded as quaintly antiquated, dereliction of duty, or criminal complicity. Again, neither Trump nor Netanyahu is a fascist, but their persistently labeling as such by their opponents erodes the meaning of the word. Crying wolf lowers democracy’s defenses. So, too, do repeated cries to “save democracy” from democratically elected leaders.

 

In short, opposition politics in both countries have, largely through their own devices and with a push from elected leaders, devolved into enraged and inarticulate defenses of the statist status quo. Deprived of the power they feel is their due, they continue to move steadily left. The Democratic National Committee has now elected as its head Tom Perez, former Justice Department official and Labor Secretary and a key player in Obama’s racial partitioning agenda. His deputy, Keith Ellison, is Muslim and a borderline socialist, an appointment designed to further the party’s identity politics and ideological direction…

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

 

 

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THE WHITE HOUSE NEVER REALLY FULLY SUPPORTED ISRAEL — TILL TRUMP ARRIVED

Lawrence Solomon

National Post, May 8, 2017

 

Barack Obama was arguably the most hostile U.S. president that Israel ever faced; at best, he was indifferent to Israel’s welfare. But Obama was hardly alone in treating Israel as dispensable. Every previous president, without exception, adopted policies that put Israel’s very existence at risk.

 

Trump, who will break with precedent by visiting Israel — rather than Canada or Mexico — during his first international trip as president, has to date done nothing to tie Israel’s hands against its existential threats. To the contrary, Trump’s foreign policy aligns well with Israel’s.

 

Most U.S. presidents saw Israel as an impediment to furthering U.S. interests. In the early decades of Israel’s existence, during the Cold War era following the Second World War, the U.S. was intent on wooing the Arab states, both to prevent the spread of communism and to keep Middle East oil at the disposal of the West. Israel — a tiny country with no oil and an insignificant military — was an obstacle to U.S. diplomacy, all the more so since the U.S. public was unstintingly pro-Israel.

 

Harry Truman is often given credit for voting at the United Nations in favour of the creation of Israel as a state. Yet that vote was given grudgingly, and only after repeated efforts by his administration to foil Israel’s creation.

 

Convinced that an Israeli state of a few hundred thousand civilians could not withstand an invasion by the professional armies of the Arab states on Israel’s borders, Truman in 1948 demanded that the would-be Israelis place themselves under UN Trusteeship, rather than declare independence. To make the case to the Israelis that they would be wiped out in the event of an Arab invasion, Truman’s secretary of State, George Marshall, threatened Israel with an arms embargo, to leave the Jews defenceless against the British-armed Arabs. For good measure, the Americans also threatened UN sanctions against the Israelis, and argued that a second Holocaust would result if they didn’t follow America’s advice.

 

Israel nevertheless declared independence and — although Truman made good on his threat of an arms embargo, even forbidding gifts of arms by private American citizens — its rag-tag army defeated the combined forces of the six invading nations. Truman again turned the screws on Israel, viewing its actions as dangerous to peace, demanding that it give up West Jerusalem and not encourage a mass immigration of Jews into Israel, which would only lead to more Arab upset.

 

Truman’s successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was also hostile to Israel, staying silent when Egypt blockaded shipping to Israel — a violation of its 1949 armistice agreement with Israel and of international law — and threatening Israel with expulsion from the UN after it defeated Egypt in the 1956 Suez War, despite his acknowledgement that the war had been caused by Egypt’s “grave and repeated provocations.”

 

Contrary to the popular view that Israel has been militarily dependent on the U.S., the U.S. was more foe than friend for decades. While the U.S. bestowed Israel’s enemies with military aid through a Marshall-type plan for the Middle East, it maintained its arms embargo against Israel into the 1960s, refusing to sell Israel even defensive weapons. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson refused to sell Israel any planes, tanks or other offensive weapons, as did Nixon early in his first administration. Nixon changed the arms policy only after Israel — at Nixon’s behest — proved useful in 1970 in deterring an invasion of Jordan and possibly Saudi Arabia by Soviet-backed Syrian forces. The U.S. needed the Israeli military at that time because its own forces were tied up in the Vietnam War.

 

In every Arab-Israeli war, the Arab states were the aggressors, yet in every war the Israelis not only fought against the Arabs on the battlefield, they also fought against the U.S. diplomatically. The U.S. invariably pressured Israel, generally successfully, to stop its military advances and to give up war gains.

 

President Ronald Reagan opposed Israel’s 1981 decision to destroy Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear reactor and punished Israel after it succeeded by embargoing delivery of American F-16 fighters. President George H.W. Bush insisted that Israel not retaliate against Iraq when Saddam Hussein launched 39 Scud missiles into Israel. President George W. Bush opposed Israel’s decision to destroy Syria’s nuclear reactor, which Israel did anyway, and he successfully opposed an Israeli military strike on Iran, as did Obama.

 

The current president promises to be different. Like all his recent predecessors, Trump provides Israel with generous military aid, but unlike others, he doesn’t see America’s alliance with Israel as a mixed blessing. Trump unambiguously sees Israel as an asset in the war on terror, unconditionally backing it without walking on eggs for fear of offending Arab sensibilities. He has had Israel’s back from Day One of his presidency, something that can’t be claimed for any other president.

 

Lawrence Solomon is an Academic Fellow for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research

 

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THE TRUMP DOCTRINE: PRESIDENT’S EMERGING FOREIGN AFFAIRS PHILOSOPHY APPEARS SURPRISINGLY TRADITIONAL

Tom Blackwell

National Post, Apr. 21, 2017

 

Donald Trump was not going to take it any more from Kim Jong-Un. With dictator Kim’s North Korea poised to carry out another nuclear or missile test earlier this month, the U.S. president responded aggressively. A naval group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was being redirected toward the Korean peninsula, he said, a potent flexing of military muscle in the face of a volatile enemy. The only catch, media reports later made clear, was where that carrier force actually went. For days, it in fact steamed in the opposite direction, toward a pre-arranged exercise with the Australian navy.

 

Whether the wandering armada’s geographic ambiguity stemmed from a communications glitch or a deliberate feint to rattle the North Koreans, some saw it as a reflection of the new president’s foreign policy generally. Despite no-nonsense assertions on the campaign trail, his international forays so far have included surprises, flip-flops and contradictions. If at this early stage in the administration there is such thing as a Trump Doctrine, it has been difficult to make out.

 

And yet, some experts — even some who were harshly critical of the president during the campaign — are beginning to glimpse consistent themes, even positive ones, emerging from the noise of Trump’s first months in office. If Trump’s election rhetoric was all about blowing up the foreign-policy orthodoxy — ripping apart free-trade deals, questioning NATO and other alliances, giving up the role of world’s policeman — his presidential actions and personnel appointments, they say, have had a decidedly more conventional flavour.

 

“Since the inauguration it seems there has been something of a mainstreaming of his foreign policy,” said Matthew Kroenig, a professor at Georgetown University and advisor in both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. “I’m more optimistic than I think many in Washington are … In many ways a number of things Trump has done already, including the Syria (missile) strikes, are an improvement over his predecessor.” Peter Feaver was among a group of Republican foreign-policy experts who issued a scathing open letter during the campaign, predicting Trump “would be the most reckless president in American history.” But today the Duke University political scientist, a special advisor in George W. Bush’s national security council, isn’t so sure the president is, in fact, delivering recklessness.

 

Each foreign-policy decision Trump has made since his inauguration has actually moved him further away from the campaign rhetoric that so worried those experts, he maintains. Trump began with his controversial ban on travel from some Muslim countries — now tied up in court and barely mentioned — but moved on to say he no longer believed NATO was “obsolete,” reassure European and Asian allies and take a more measured stance on trade with China, Feaver noted.

 

Having to confront actual events may be reshaping Trump’s nascent foreign-affairs philosophy. “Every president discovers that campaign rhetoric and campaign promises look differently in the light of day than they did in the middle of the campaign,” Feaver said. “No president gets to impose his or her vision of the world onto reality. You have to deal with reality as it exists.”

 

The idea of a president’s foreign policy being guided by a unified theme is generally traced back to the Monroe Doctrine, James Monroe’s 1823 manifesto opposing European colonialism in the Americas. Much later, George W. Bush’s doctrine — forged in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — was seen as giving a green light to preventive wars against countries that might attack the States. The Barack Obama doctrine was less well-defined, though generally described as favouring negotiation and diplomacy over unilateral action and confrontation.

 

As for Trump’s grand strategy, some reports have suggested confusion about it even inside the White House. Just three days before the missile strike against Syria, Mike Dubke, the president’s communications director, told staff that Trump lacked a coherent foreign policy, according to sources cited by Politico. “There is no Trump doctrine,” Politico quoted Dubke as saying. Sean Spicer, the president’s press secretary, quickly tried to correct the record, insisting last week the approach remained “America first,” as touted on the election trail…

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

 

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FRENCH JEWS, RELIEVED BY LE PEN ELECTION DEFEAT, STILL CAUTIOUS ABOUT FUTURE

Ben Cohen

Algemeiner, May. 7, 2017

 

French Jews breathed a sigh of relief as far right candidate Marine Le Pen was roundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday — but experts warned that the community still faces tough decisions over its long-term future.

 

Projections after the polls closed showed Macron with a comfortable 65 percent of the vote. However, the new French president will be acutely aware that a full 25 percent of voters abstained on the second ballot. As a whole, the election was dominated by extremist challenges, from Le Pen’s National Front on the right and Jean-Luc Melenchon — who won almost 20% of the first-round vote — on the communist-dominated far left.

 

Macron’s victory on Sunday brought some temporary respite to French Jews, experts told The Algemeiner. “French Jews are very positive about the result, they didn’t want Le Pen to win, so they are happy with that,” said Dr. Dov Maimon, the head of the Europe Desk at the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in Jerusalem. “Maybe 5 or 10% voted for her, but 90% percent were against her with good reason.”

 

Michel Gurfinkiel, a leading French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rosseau Institute in Paris, agreed that the majority of Jews will be pleased by Le Pen’s defeat. “But a majority will still be concerned about their future,” he said. Francis Kalifat, president of the French Jewish representative organization CRIF, tweeted his congratulations at Macron. “It all starts now,” Kalifat declared.

 

While the immediate threats that would have been posed by a National Front victory have abated — among them a prohibition on the wearing of kippot in public places, measures against Jewish ritual slaughter, and a ban on dual nationality that would have harshly impacted French Jews in Israel — the general pessimism about the community’s long-term future remains. “Macron is a supporter of multiculturalism, which in this case means more power for the Muslim community,” Maimon observed. “70 percent of French Muslims say they don’t like Jews.”

 

A 2014 poll conducted by CRIF found that over 70 percent of French Muslims believed that Jews “had too much power” over the nation’s media and financial system. Gurfinkiel said that while Macron had made several statements to reassure the Jewish community in the run-up to the election, many Jews remain nervous about some of his key political allies. Among them is the secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! political movement, veteran socialist politician Richard Ferrand. As well as having donated 2,000 Euros to a Palestinian solidarity group in 2016, Ferrand is said to be a supporter of the BDS movement targeting Israel. Macron, for his part, has voiced firm opposition towards the BDS campaign.

 

Gurfinkiel said that similar concerns had emerged around former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, another Macron ally and a frequent critic of Israel. “The big question mark is over whether he will keep these people around,” Gurfinkiel said. Uncertainty among French Jews is not likely to dissipate over the next four weeks, as Macron begins campaigning for a working majority in next month’s parliamentary elections. Gurfinkiel said there was a possibility that the National Front would dissolve into a new party with wider appeal, meaning that Le Pen could end up “as the leader not just of the populist right, but of the entire conservative right in France.”

 

The coming weeks will see some clarification of the major political questions, said Gurfinkiel. “Is everybody going to flock around Macron? Is the hard left going to try and make it by itself against the National Front and Macron? Is the conservative right able to undergo some kind of resurrection?” he asked. Maimon emphasized that the deeper dilemmas faced by French Jews would not be resolved by a single election. As well as antisemitism and the preservation of Jewish identity, he said, French Jews were worried about the economy, a decline in prosperity and, most of all, the education of the younger generation.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Debate Between Fmr. Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin and Prof. Alan Dershowitz [WATCH]: ILTV Israel Daily, May 4, 2017— Former Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin debates Professor Alan Dershowitz on the merits of the ‘Two-State Solution.’ Feiglin argues that annexation of Judea and Samaria presents the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, whereas Dershowitz disagrees and views any such move as an “invitation to conflict.”

At White House Meeting with Trump, Palestinian Leader Signals Abandonment of Unilateral Statehood Recognition Strategy: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, May 3, 2017—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered a strong signal on Wednesday that he would abandon the strategy he pursued in recent years seeking unilateral statehood recognition at international fora in place of peace talks with Israel.

What Do Trump’s First 100 Days Mean for Israel?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Apr. 30, 2017 —With the completion of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, a time period often seen as formative for new presidents, the media is taking a close look at what the unconventional leader has accomplished, the tone he has set for his next four years, and the campaign promises he has kept or neglected.

Why Everything You Think You Know About Foreign Policy Is Wrong: Lee Smith, Tablet, May 1, 2017—Politico recently reported that in 2016 the Obama administration freed seven Iranian-born prisoners against the advice of the Department of Justice, which considered them threats to American national security. Obama also forced the DOJ to drop charges against another 14 Iranians involved in criminal activities associated with nuclear proliferation, weapons smuggling, etc.

Marine Le Pen Defeated But France's Far Right is Far From Finished: Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 7, 2017—Le Pen might have been squarely beaten in the presidential runoff by the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron – as voters from the right and left joined forces to block her – but she was still projected to have won up to 11m votes. Le Pen immediately vowed that she would radically overhaul and reinvent her political movement, leaving open the possibility the Front National could be renamed. This was a staggering, historic high for the anti-European, anti-immigration party that during the campaign was slammed by political opponents as racist, xenophobic, antisemitic and anti-Muslim despite Le Pen’s public relations efforts to detoxify its image in recent years.

UPCOMING FRENCH & UK ELECTIONS: IMMIGRATION AND EU KEY ISSUES

 

France and the Benefits of a Little Dictatorship: Andrew Roberts, New York Times, Apr. 28, 2017 — He was only in his 30s when he came to power, defeating a sinister ultraright group that threatened to wreck France.

France's Muslims in the Runoff Election: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 28, 2017 — The first round in the French elections held on Sunday, April 23rd, resulted in the selection of two front-runners, Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both of whom are a far cry from representing routine politics.

The British Elections, Jews and Israel: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2017— Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, immigration problems and the National Health Service are key issues in the upcoming British general elections on June 8.

Despite UNESCO’s Bias, Jews Won’t Abandon Our Holy Sites: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Algemeiner, May 4, 2017— Forget fake news. UNESCO is promoting an entire fake universe.

 

On Topic Links

 

The European Crisis: Ross Douthat, New York Times, May 3, 2017

Europe: More Migrants Coming: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 5, 2017

The France of My Youth: Ari Afilalo, Times of Israel, May 5, 2017

UNESCO’s Latest Resolution on Jerusalem: Much of the Same: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, May 3, 2017

 

 

FRANCE AND THE BENEFITS OF A LITTLE DICTATORSHIP    

Andrew Roberts                      

New York Times, Apr. 28, 2017

 

He was only in his 30s when he came to power, defeating a sinister ultraright group that threatened to wreck France. Well read and intelligent, he had had the finest education France offered and made the best of it. He had high ambitions for the unity of Continental Europe and France’s foremost place in it, and looked upon a newly isolated Britain with scarcely concealed irritation bordering on contempt. He contemplated military action in Syria. He especially wanted to bring the tens of thousands of French exiles home from London to contribute once again to the life of the country, and promised nothing less than a popular revolution designed to “unblock France.”

 

Both Emmanuel Macron and Napoleon Bonaparte fit this description perfectly, assuming that Mr. Macron beats Marine Le Pen of the National Front in the final round of the French elections on May 7, rather as Napoleon crushed the Bourbon royalists in the decade after their attempted coup in 1795. Even Ms. Le Pen’s attack on her opponent as someone who does not love France echoes the Bourbons’ portrayal of Napoleon as a Corsican outsider. Mr. Macron, whose En Marche! (Onward!) movement adopts a military metaphor so beloved by Napoleon, does not seem to mind the comparisons that are already being made.

 

Of course the “democratic revolution” that Mr. Macron says he hopes will elect him is far removed from the military coup that propelled Napoleon to power in November 1799 and kept him there until 1815. But like Napoleon, Mr. Macron, who calls himself a pragmatic centrist, says he will transcend the left-right partisanship that has so bedeviled French politics over recent decades. Napoleon succeeded in “unblocking” France, with educational, legal, financial, religious and commercial reforms, many of which still exist. The Legion of Honor, Bank of France, Council of State, education system and much of Parisian architecture are Napoleonic constructs that testify to his genius 200 years later. Mr. Macron promises a similar boldness: “I do not propose to reform France; I propose to transform it at its deepest level,” he told this paper. But can his “democratic revolution” create any such enduring monuments?

 

Mr. Macron was born in Amiens, the city where Napoleon sent his brother Joseph to negotiate peace between Britain and France in 1802. The treaty signed there lasted barely a year before hostilities broke out again, partly over the issue of the free-trading relationship with Europe that Napoleon would not allow Britain to enjoy, fearing its effect on French industry. The post-Brexit negotiations in which Mr. Macron will most likely play such an important part have long historical shadows. By the collapse of the Peace of Amiens in 1803, Napoleon had lured back from London almost all the French exiles who had fled during the revolution, in larger numbers than the tax exiles who fled the 75 percent top tax rate of President François Hollande, under whom Mr. Macron served as economics minister from 2014 to 2016.

 

The panic around the rise of the National Front, which has brought Mr. Macron to the brink of victory, can partly be blamed on Charles de Gaulle. He institutionalized the extensive powers of the French presidency in 1958, with more than a nod to Napoleon’s dictatorship. Strong central government was thought to have worked for France and was visibly lacking in the Second, Third and Fourth Republics thereafter.

 

De Gaulle also continued Napoleon’s system of voting in successive rounds, winnowing the number of contenders. De Gaulle assumed that this would ensure two centrist candidates of the left and right always got into the final round. But the eruption of Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002 and now his daughter Marine has exploded that complacent assumption, aided by the exposure of the sheer greed and graft of the center-right candidate François Fillon, who could otherwise have made it to the runoff in Ms. Le Pen’s place. How the shade of the general, the greatest Frenchman since Napoleon, must be regretting his calculations.

 

The toxicity of modern French politics would hardly have surprised Napoleon, who survived almost as many assassination attempts as de Gaulle. But even today’s viciousness is as nothing if Mr. Macron does not win on May 7. A neo-fascist victory could well lead to an uprising in the suburban banlieues, which would recall the “événements” of 1848, 1871 and 1968, when protests turned to bloodshed.

 

If he does win, Mr. Macron will inherit a sclerotic, underproducing, overtaxed, absurdly bureaucratic, highly partisan country with a huge security problem. Napoleon was able to cut through all of those same problems by manipulating public opinion through a controlled press, muscling through votes in a largely appointed Parliament and simply imposing diktats once he became emperor of France in 1804. He could do this because he differentiated between a “popular revolution” led dictatorially by him and a “democratic revolution” dependent upon free and fair elections. As a genuine democrat rather than simply posing as one, Mr. Macron will have no such luxury.    

 

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FRANCE'S MUSLIMS IN THE RUNOFF ELECTION

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Arutz Sheva, Apr. 28, 2017

 

The first round in the French elections held on Sunday, April 23rd, resulted in the selection of two front-runners, Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both of whom are a far cry from representing routine politics. Le Pen succeeded in reaching the runoff election mainly due to her anti-immigration agenda – that is, her anti-Muslim immigrant agenda. Most of the Muslim immigrants arrive in France from North Africa: Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco and a great many Frenchmen fear that their country is being conquered by another culture. They believe that only someone like Le Pen can save France from the flood of migrants coming in from outside the country and possibly from the high natural growth rate of those already inside it.

 

Le Pen's running in the second round of elections to take place on Sunday, May 7th, immediately leads to the question of whether she has a chance of being chosen to lead France. The standard response is that her chances are slight, because all the political powers-that-be, right and left, will join forces against her, along with all Muslims who have the right to vote and who make up about 10% of eligible voters – because of the undisguised hatred for Muslims and Islam she and her supporters represent. This article will attempt to delineate the trends that characterize Muslims in France, a picture that is much more complex than it seems to be at first glance. The immigrants to France hailing from Islamic regimes are not made of one cloth. They are divided into various subgroups whose interests are not identical and whose attitudes to Marine Le Pen are a function of those interests.

 

First of all, Christians, mainly from Lebanon, account for a significant number of the immigrants from Arab countries. They usually are opposed to Muslim immigration, because either their forefathers or they themselves left their Arab birthplaces in order to escape the persecution the Muslims meted out to Christians there. Examples that spring to mind are the Copts in Egypt and the Assyrians of Iraq and Syria. Le Pen's second-in-line in the National Front party comes from a family of Lebanese immigrants and speaks openly against Muslim immigration. Le Pen resigned from her position as party head so as to free time for her presidential campaign and in order to become "everyone's president," making him the new party head – and making it probable that many Christian immigrants will vote for Le Pen.

 

Secondly, when it comes to status, one can say that the Muslim immigrants to France are roughly divided into "newcomers" and "old-timers." The old-timers, most of whom are citizens by now, came in the 70s and 80s of the previous century, while the newcomers came after the year 2000.  If Le Pen wins, she cannot legally expel the longtime immigrants or send them back home.  In contrast, the number of recent immigrants without French citizenship is much higher, and they could possibly be "persuaded" to leave, as Le Pen would like to do if she is elected. Tensions run high between the "old-timers" and the "newcomers" for several reasons: The longtime immigrants are financially secure, some are in business, and among them are those who take advantage of the "newcomers," paying them low wages, giving them cash so as to avoid paying for social benefits, working them long hours under substandard conditions.

 

Many of the longtime immigrants have adopted French culture, eat whatever is put on their plates and drink whatever is poured into their wine glasses. The newcomers are closer to Islamic tradition, are less prone to fit into the culture and surrounding society and are seen as a cultural threat to the old-timers.  That is why not a small number of the longtime immigrants will cast their vote for Le Pen, hoping she will be able to stop the immigration of more newcomers.

 

Third, since most of the Muslim immigrants to France are from the North African countries of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, many of them see France as "their" country – and they are opposed to immigration from other Arab countries such as Iraq and Syria, or from non-Arab Islamic countries such as Mali, Chad, Afghanistan and Turkey. The tension can be sensed in the air and is a cause of friction between the different groups. For example, in 2015, when the large wave of migrants arrived in Europe, most went to Germany and Sweden, with only a small minority reaching France.  Algerians living in France had openly expressed their opposition to the entry of Muslims from Syria and other countries, saying that "France belongs to the Algerians" and that they would "take care" of any other Arab or Muslim arriving in France. The immigrant masses "got the message" and went on to Germany and Sweden.

 

Today, the immigrants from North Africa who have the right to vote can stop the Arab and Muslim immigration from other regions – and chances are that a good many of them will support Le Pen so that she can keep the immigrants from other areas out of "their" France. Le Pen's plan to leave the European Union also garners approval in the eyes of many immigrants who fear the open borders will lead to migrants who came to other EU countries moving to France now that conditions have worsened in Germany and Sweden. This is seen as a possible threat to the employment of longtime immigrants and to the status they have attained after living in France for a long period.

 

It is quite possible that the anti-Jewish sentiments expressed by Le Pen have made her more attractive to Muslim voters. Recently, she denied the part played by the French in the Holocaust, when French police hunted down Jews and sent them to their deaths by train. Even Israel's President Reuven Rivlin spoke out against her. And if official Israel opposes Le Pen, her value automatically goes up in the eyes of many Muslims. The points raised here lead to two conclusions: 1. The Arab and Muslim communities in France are not uniformly opposed to Marine Le Pen, and 2. Some of the Arab and Muslim immigrants who have the right to vote will cast their ballots for her.

 

If, G-d forbid and Heaven forfend, there is a terrorist attack in France perpetrated by some Muslim terrorist close to the day the runoff election is to take place, many of the people who would have normally stayed at home will make sure to go to the polls to vote for Le Pen. They see Le Pen as the only one who can do something to save France from the devastating terror that has immigrated to their homeland in such strength.

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

 

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THE BRITISH ELECTIONS, JEWS AND ISRAEL

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                           

Jerusalem Post, May 2, 2017

 

Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, immigration problems and the National Health Service are key issues in the upcoming British general elections on June 8. Of these it seems that only immigration has aspects of specific importance to Jews. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has said that sustainable net immigration is in the tens of thousands, an estimate far lower than the present figure. Such a policy will affect the current mainly non-selective immigration from Muslim countries, where majorities or significant percentages of the population are antisemites.

 

From a logical point of view Israel and the Jews shouldn’t be issues at all in the election. Yet when antisemitism is concerned rationality often evaporates. Early in the campaign the Liberal Democrats suspended Ashuk Ahmed. This candidate in a Luton constituency was found to have made extreme antisemitic remarks in the past. For more than a year there has been a huge debate on antisemitism in the Labor Party. Each time it seems to be subdued it reemerges. Currently the main issue concerns former London mayor Ken Livingstone who continues to link Nazism and Zionism.

 

The 270,000 Jews in the UK account for about 0.4% of the overall British population. Thus the Jewish vote can influence the election outcome only in a few constituencies. The MPs in these areas are likely to run again. They are pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Unless major swings happen most will be reelected. The reelection of Jewish MPs is a different issue. In the past 12 months, some Jewish Labor MPs have been bombarded with large volumes of extreme hate mail. Luciana Berger has received thousands, among them some threatening her with rape or murder. All this in response to her criticism of the Labor Party’s refusal to condemn antisemitism. Another Jewish MP, Ruth Smeeth, received 25,000 abusive messages. Documents have revealed that the left-wing Momentum group has tried to recruit “radical” Muslims in order to de-select Jewish Labor MP Louise Ellman.

 

Due to the short timespan leading up to the election, Labor has decided that all current MPs can stand again if they wish. Thus local party de-selection efforts cannot play any role. Polls predict that Labor will lose tens of seats. These may include not only those of several Jewish MPs, but also those of a number of Labor MP friends of Israel. In the previous parliament one Labor Jewish MP, Gerald Kaufmann, was generally the most extreme anti-Israel hate monger. He died in February. If antisemitism is used specifically against Jewish candidates some experts expect that this may help them to be elected as they will be seen as victims.

 

Another interesting issue from a Jewish point of view is what is going to happen in constituencies with large Muslim populations. The number of Muslims in the UK now exceeds three million. In the 2015 elections the think tank Henry Jackson Society stated that the Muslim vote could potentially decide the outcome in a quarter of the constituencies. Some candidates may use anti-Israel arguments and support for the recognition of Palestine in the campaign even if this was not a major feature of the previous election. On the other hand, Muslims can also quietly let candidates know what is expected of them. Where there is a large Muslim population, candidates are likely to say what these voters wish to hear.

 

The Board of Deputies, the umbrella organization of British Jewry, has recently updated its Jewish Manifesto. This document presents the issues which government and parliamentarians are asked to understand and lists the causes it wants them to champion. “Ten commitments” summarize this 44-page document. The first commitment requested in the Jewish Manifesto is to oppose “extremism and hate crime, including antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate.” One should remark here that the UK is the only country which has adopted a definition of antisemitism for domestic use, that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. No accepted definition exists for Islamophobia. That term is often abused to include any criticism of Muslims and Islam including mentioning the problematic behavior and attitudes of substantial parts of Muslim populations.

 

The second point in the commitments is to “promote good relations, understanding and cooperation between all of the UK communities." One should mention here that last year the Campaign against Antisemitism published a document on this and concluded that “on every single count, British Muslims were more likely by far than the general British population to hold deeply antisemitic views.” Another commitment concerns the defense of the right to a Jewish way of life, including kosher meat, religious clothing, circumcision and flexible working to accommodate Shabbat and holiday observance. Additional commitments include supporting efforts to remember and understand the Holocaust, advocate for a permanent and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, promote uniting communities and resisting boycotts that divide communities, affirming the importance of faith, supporting the culture of religiously and culturally sensitive youth and social care services, promote a just and sustainable future, and celebrate and support Jewish heritage and cultural institutions. It remains to be seen whether the Jewish Manifesto will be used and publicized by candidates. In any case having such a document could also be helpful to Jews in other countries.                                                 

 

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DESPITE UNESCO’S BIAS, JEWS WON’T ABANDON OUR HOLY SITES                                                

Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein                                                                              

Algemeiner, May 4, 2017

 

Forget fake news. UNESCO is promoting an entire fake universe. Like so many other UN agencies with an anti-Israel majority, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regularly votes to deny some aspect of Israel’s legitimacy. Their diplomatic machinations serve as the backbone of much of the Muslim world’s refusal to recognize the Jewish people’s historic links to Israel — our Holy Land. To legitimate UNESCO’s denial of the past — and today’s reality of a Jewish state with more than 8 million citizens —  history itself must be re-written, and holy sites must be rebranded. That’s where the Orwellian double-speak of the agency whose raison d’etre is supposed to be the protection of history and culture comes into play.

 

UNESCO’s new resolution, timed to coincide with Israel’s 69th Independence Day on May 2, rejected Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, including modern West Jerusalem. The resolution passed with 22 nations supporting it, 10 opposing it, and 23 countries abstaining (three were absent). In the resolution’s text, Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs — where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rivka, Jacob and Leah are buried — have been repackaged as Muslim mosques.

 

To her credit, Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General, has been a consistent critic of this charade. “To deny, conceal, or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” she insisted last year. But Ms. Bokova’s term will soon expire, and Israel’s opponents could soon have a firmer grip on the UN agency. What is particularly galling about the latest incident is the role that Germany reportedly played in enabling its fellow EU members to support the resolution. If the German Foreign Minister or any other European diplomat thinks that this cynical maneuver — which further fuels the dreams of an Arab alternate universe — will change the minds of Jews in Israel or around the world, they are dead wrong.

 

Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people. Centuries ago, long before anyone heard of Mohammed, Jews understood the importance of the city that King David built and made his capital. They built two temples there, which became focal points for their religion and their peoplehood. The Jewish people preserved the centrality of Jerusalem to their religion throughout the ages, even when it lay in ruins. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand fail me,” spoke the prophet. In their unparalleled, 2,000-year exile before returning home to Israel, the Jewish people never left Jerusalem. A small group remained in the Holy Land throughout the ages, and the rest — scattered literally around the world — were united by the shared prayers offered three times a day for the return to Zion. Jews survived the Crusades, Torquemada, Chmielnicki and Hitler without ever diluting their passion for Jerusalem.

 

The Jewish people will not abide by the morally bankrupt regime at UNESCO, and they won’t forget what happened when Arabs were custodians of Jerusalem’s Old City, which was seized during the 1948 War of Independence. During that time, synagogues in the Old City were razed. Tombstones became latrines. And Jews were barred from visiting holy sites. Christians took note of the mindset of the conquerors and reacted with horror at the thought that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher could become the next Palmyra. Indeed, anyone concerned with the protection of the educational, scientific and cultural treasures of others, should look at Israel’s record. It may be the only country in the Middle East in recent years where the Christian population has consistently increased. The Jerusalem municipality gives out free Christmas trees to its Christian citizens each year. When different Christian sects come to blows occasionally over the administration of their holy sites, it is the Israeli police whom they call to restore peace.

 

Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is the only guarantee that all of the city’s holy places will be preserved for everyone. Reality and mutual respect, not fantasy, are the first building blocks of trust and treaties. It is a toss-up as to who has done more damage with the latest UNESCO fiasco — Arab regimes that continue to deny that the Jewish people have risen from the ashes, or dapper European diplomats who think that they can still denigrate cowering Jews. Take note Berlin and Brussels. Those days are over.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

The European Crisis: Ross Douthat, New York Times, May 3, 2017—In my Sunday column I raised the possibility that a vote for Marine Le Pen in next weekend’s French presidential runoff might be more defensible than was a vote for Donald Trump in 2016. The internet did not agree, and perhaps neither did Le Pen herself, since she rewarded my controversial foray by immediately getting mired in a plagiarism scandal.

Europe: More Migrants Coming: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, May 5, 2017 —The European Union has called on its member states to lift border controls — introduced at the height of the migration crisis in September 2015 — within the next six months. The return to open borders, which would allow for passport-free travel across the EU, comes at a time when the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean continues to rise, and when Turkish authorities increasingly have been threatening to renege on a border deal that has lessened the flow of migrants from Turkey to Europe.

The France of My Youth: Ari Afilalo, Times of Israel, May 5, 2017—The France of my youth is burning. The six police officers who were firebombed by homegrown thugs at the May 1 (Labor Day) demonstrations are its latest casualties. And Marine Le Pen and her purveyors of hatred, whom we thought had been muted forever after World War II, are trying to seize the moment to destroy it.

UNESCO’s Latest Resolution on Jerusalem: Much of the Same: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, May 3, 2017—On May 2, 2017, the 58 member Executive Board of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – an organization ostensibly devoted to science, education, and culture, adopted a resolution entitled “Occupied Palestine.”