Time for the US to Send a Message by Cutting UN Funding: Daniel Flesch, Algemeiner, Jan. 2, 2018— Recent events at the United Nations likely indicate a new tone to deliberations at the international organization.

Trump Should Crack Down on UNRWA, Finally End Fiction of Palestinian ‘Refugees’: Richard Goldberg, New York Post, Dec. 27, 2017— As the UN General Assembly voted to reject America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, US Ambassador Nikki Haley issued a stern warning…

UNESCO Indulges Anti-Semitism: Sean Durns, JNS, Dec. 12, 2017— In October, the U.S. State Department notified the director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that America would be withdrawing from the U.N. body.

Aharon Appelfeld, Acclaimed Israeli Novelist and Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 85: New York Times, Jan. 4, 2018— Aharon Appelfeld, a prolific Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor whose works examined the lost world of European Jews and the new lives they pursued in Israel, died on Thursday. He was 85.


On Topic Links


A Crystal Ball on 2018: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 4, 2018

America Has Sometimes Stood Proudest at the UN When it has Stood Alone: Stephen Daisley, Spectator, Dec. 22, 2017

Nikki Haley Takes on World Government: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Dec. 20, 2017

Bye UNESCO: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 24, 2017




Daniel Flesch

Algemeiner, Jan. 2, 2018


Recent events at the United Nations likely indicate a new tone to deliberations at the international organization. Driven by their frenzied attempt to demonize and delegitimize Israel, many of the UN’s member states improperly injected themselves into a matter of sovereign US policy —  and, as a result, tried to humiliate the United States. As a consequence, the US should substantially cut its financial contributions to the United Nations.


On December 18, the US vetoed an Egyptian-drafted UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.” The “recent decision” was announced in President Donald Trump’s December 6 speech, in which he declared that the United States “officially recognize[s] Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” The other 14 members of the UNSC all voted in favor of the resolution. Seeking recourse after falling short at the UN’s highest body, on December 20, Yemen and Turkey — as the respective chairs of the Arab Group and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — brought the resolution before the UN’s General Assembly (GA), where no country can exercise a veto. Although GA resolutions have no enforcement mechanism, they often serve as a litmus test of world opinion. And the resulting vote was unequivocal: 128 in favor and 9 against, with 35 abstentions.


That an anti-Israel resolution passed in the General Assembly is no surprise; Abba Eban, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, once famously remarked that if Algeria introduced a resolution stating that the world was flat — and that Israel had flattened it — the resolution would pass by a vote of 164 to 13, with 26 abstentions. However, the December 20 resolution should particularly concern the US — not simply because the resolution is anti-Israel, but because it seeks to interfere with a matter of internal US policy. Where a nation decides to locate its embassy is a sovereign act, and one that is not within the purview of the United Nations. In his speech, President Trump rightly noted that every country has the right to choose its own capital. Likewise, every nation has the right to determine the location of its embassies.


The decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem was first legislated by Congress in the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. Furthermore, in June of this year, the Senate passed a resolution (90-0) recognizing that “Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel,” and called on the president to “reaffirm the Jerusalem Embassy Act … and abide by its provisions.”


Far from a reflexive, compulsive act by a non-traditional president, Trump’s decision simply affirmed what has already been American policy for more than two decades; furthermore, it’s a position that enjoys broad support from elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Understood in this context, it is clear that the General Assembly vote was not just an admonition of an American president or an effort to humiliate the US, but a provocative attempt to repudiate the sovereignty of the American people.


Moreover, the UN needlessly inserted itself despite the clear absence of direct, tangible policy consequences. As host to Israel’s parliament, Supreme Court, prime minister and most Israeli government agencies, it is understood that Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital, irrespective of final parameters of any peace agreement with the Palestinians — including the most generous Israeli peace plan in 2008, which offered eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. Trump also noted that his decision does not “reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement…that is acceptable to both sides.” In short, it does not change the facts on the ground.


The second notable development is the length to which UN member states went to pass this latest anti-Israel resolution. For comparison, the last time that the US issued its Security Council veto was in February 2011. Then, 79 states co-sponsored a draft resolution that demanded Israel cease building settlements in and around Jerusalem. The resolution failed 14-1, yet not one of the 79 cosponsors sought recourse in the General Assembly, where passage may well have carried significant consequences for Israel. For example, the EU could have increased its campaign to discriminate against, or boycott, products made in the settlements.


In 2017, however, the resolution in question concerns a decision internal to the United States, one that neither affects facts on the ground nor benefits Israel to the detriment of the Palestinians. And yet two different countries did not hesitate to bring Egypt’s resolution before the General Assembly. The obvious purpose of the GA vote was to give certain members of the international community an opportunity not only to reject Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but to effectively reprimand the United States. The fact that Egypt, which receives $1.3 billion annually in US foreign aid, first authored the resolution makes this blatant display of anti-Americanism all the more egregious. The US must act to disincentivize UN member states from future attempts to neutralize its Security Council veto, and to try to humiliate it in the General Assembly.


The US provides 22% ($4 billion) of the UN’s mandatory contributions — far exceeding the contributions from other major countries — for administrative and programs costs, as well as for peacekeeping operations. The remaining $6 billion in US support are voluntary contributions that fund organizations such as UNICEF, the World Food Program and UNRWA (whose existence likely perpetuates the Palestinian conflict).


On December 24, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley offered an initial response to the resolution: that the US will cut the UN’s 2018-19 fiscal year operating budget by $285 million. Admittedly, this reduction is intended to “increase the UN’s efficiencies while protecting [American] interests.” Though a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to discourage the UN’s recent behavior.


The US, in the world of international relations, cannot always expect an unambiguously causal relationship between financial support and policies it wants. However, when illiberal actors hijack the UN, and pursue extraordinary measures to actively interfere with internal US policies, it is time to impose a consequence: reduced funding to the United Nations.







Richard Goldberg

New York Post, Dec. 27, 2017


As the UN General Assembly voted to reject America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, US Ambassador Nikki Haley issued a stern warning: We’ll remember this the next time you come calling for more hard-earned American taxpayer dollars. Most nation-states called her bluff, leaving many to wonder what comes next. If President Trump wants to use his financial leverage at the United Nations to strike at the heart of the anti-America, anti-Israel institutional infrastructure, he should look no further than the agency responsible for Palestinian refugees: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.


By most definitions, refugees are those forced to flee their country because of persecution, war or violence. Nearly every refugee in the world is cared for by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, whose ultimate goal is repatriation, resettlement and integration. The exception? Palestinian refugees. Arab states insisted on a different definition for Palestinian-Arab refugees of the Israeli War of Independence — and a different agency to care for them. Today, millions of people are referred to as “Palestinian refugees” even though the only home they, and in many cases even their parents and grandparents, have ever known is either a refugee camp or an Arab host nation like Jordan.


Rather than use the billions of dollars of international assistance provided since 1950 to resettle and integrate Palestinian-Arab refugees — just as Israel successfully resettled and integrated Jewish refugees from the Middle East, North Africa and the Soviet Union — UNRWA’s mandate has always been to keep Palestinians as perpetual refugees. In truth, it’s not a refugee agency but a welfare agency, which keeps millions of people in a permanent state of dependency and poverty — all while feeding Palestinians an empty promise that one day they’ll settle in Israel.


Yet the United States remains the agency’s largest single-state donor. Unfortunately, every time Congress tries to expose the fiction of “the Palestinian refugee,” it runs up against a State Department fiercely protective of UNRWA and its mythology. In 2012, an amendment to the annual State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill asked the Obama administration a simple question: How many of the Palestinians currently served by UNRWA were personally displaced by the 1948 war? The point was to confirm to the world that there are only a relative handful of true Palestinian refugees still alive who may be entitled to repatriation or compensation. The rest, the descendants, are impoverished Palestinian-Arabs who will either become citizens of a future Palestinian state or be absorbed by Arab host nations.


While an official report was eventually sent to Congress, its contents were kept classified to keep the American public from knowing the truth. The Trump administration can take a giant step toward Middle East peace by declassifying that report, updating it and formally adopting a definition for Palestinian refugees that makes a clear distinction between refugees displaced by the 1948 war and their descendants.


The administration and Congress should work together to change the way America funds UNRWA, making clear to taxpayers how much money goes to refugee assistance and how much subsidizes a culture of welfare and terrorism. Future funding of the agency should be tied to a clear mission of resettlement, integration and economic self-sufficiency. A timetable and work plan should be established for UNRWA’s integration into UNHCR. Conditions should be set in the annual foreign bill, giving Haley the leverage she needs to force changes in the agency’s next biennium budget.


Nations of the world showed their true colors last week. Far too many cared more about castigating Israel than their relationship with the United States. UNRWA is a case study in the institutional bias that America helps fund at the United Nations. Shining a light on this agency and making it a centerpiece of a new reform agenda would be a victory for American taxpayers and a defeat for the international movement to castigate our closest ally in the Middle East.          





Sean Durns

JNS, Dec. 12, 2017


In October, the U.S. State Department notified the director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that America would be withdrawing from the U.N. body. The U.S. cited the need for fundamental reform, mounting arrears and “continuing anti-Israel bias” at the organization. But the problem is much deeper: UNESCO denies Israel’s very right to exist, a fact that its defenders would do well to acknowledge if they’re serious about reforming the agency.


In recent commentaries in The Hill and elsewhere, some have obfuscated UNESCO’s efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Commentators such as Dan Wagner, a special adviser to the UNESCO director-general, have minimized the organization’s troubling agenda, stating, “When it comes to Israel and some other hot-button political issues, the majority of UNESCO member nations and the U.S. have sometimes found themselves on opposite sides.” The reason? “Because UNESCO—as the U.S. insisted at its founding—is a fully democratic body that gives each member nation a single vote,” according to Wagner, “the majority truly does rule.” Yet this omits that the majority of UNESCO member nations have engaged in, or passively enabled, efforts to single out Israel. That it was done via “majority rule” hardly makes it any better, as the history of anti-Semitism regrettably illustrates.


UNESCO claims that it aims to “contribute to the building of peace,” and lists “fostering cultural diversity” and “intercultural dialogue” as some of its top objectives. But as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and others have documented, UNESCO has engaged in political warfare against Israel, seeking to delegitimize the Jewish state and erase the Jewish people’s historical connection to their ancestral homeland. For example, on April 15, 2016, UNESCO adopted a resolution that removed any Jewish historical ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem, referring to the former as the “al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif” and the latter as “al-Buraq Plaza.” The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. The existence of both structures—as verified by archaeologists—predates the founding of Islam by hundreds of years. UNESCO not only sought to strip these holy sites of their Jewish identity, but condemned Jewish visits and policing of the sites.


This politically motivated resolution is just one of many in UNESCO’s campaign against Israel. By singling out Israel for opprobrium—including during a period in which Islamists are targeting ancient sites throughout the world—UNESCO shows its bias. In October 2016, UNESCO passed another resolution that omitted mention of any Jewish connection to Jewish holy sites, referring to them only in Arabic and Muslim terms. That resolution charged Israel with being an “occupying power” in Jerusalem—a city that is not once mentioned in Islam’s Quran, but which has been central to Judaism for thousands of years.


As CAMERA Senior Analyst Ricki Hollander has noted, “This historical revisionism and attempted religious suppression is an affront to Jews and Christians alike as these sites are central to both religions.” In doing so, UNESCO blatantly takes the side of the Palestinian Arab leadership, which has sought to expunge any Jewish—and therefore important Christian—connections to Jerusalem’s holy sites. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, for example, called the Jewish history of Jerusalem a “delusional myth” in an Aug. 1, 2015, speech that was aired on the official PA TV station. By passing politicized resolutions, UNESCO serves the objectives of the PA and other entities that routinely attack the Jewish state and, in the PA’s case, routinely incite anti-Jewish violence.


Indeed, in the speech noted above, Abbas falsely claimed that Jews held designs to “rid” Jerusalem of the al-Aqsa mosque, located on the Temple Mount. As the Middle East analyst Nadav Shragai has noted, this libel has long been used by Palestinian and Arab rulers to provoke attacks against Jerusalem’s Jewish residents. True to form, Abbas’s remarks were followed shortly thereafter by the so-called “stabbing intifada” in which dozens of Israelis were attacked, and in some instances murdered, with bats, knives, rocks, vehicles and firearms, among other weapons. Worse still, in an April 2016 resolution, UNESCO blamed Israel for the terror attacks that followed Abbas’s speech. By contrast, when Palestinians have been caught—including on camera—desecrating religious holy sites like Rachel’s Tomb, Joseph’s Tomb and the Church of the Nativity, UNESCO is often silent despite its stated goal to protect culturally significant sites. In 2013, for example, more than 200 terror attacks occurred at Rachel’s Tomb, where the Jewish matriarch Rachel is believed to be buried; 119 of those attacks included the use of explosives at the sacred site.


In September 2015, four Palestinian terrorists were arrested for plotting an attack on another Jewish sacred site, Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus—the biblical city of Shechem in Samaria. They planned to set off explosives at the site, but were caught and arrested by Israeli security forces despite the fact that the men lived in areas governed by the PA, which is bound by the 1993 Oslo Accords to apprehend terrorists and prevent attacks. This failed to merit a UNESCO resolution. Simply put, UNESCO does not consider Jewish culture and heritage worthy of protection.






New York Times, Jan. 4, 2017


Aharon Appelfeld, a prolific Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor whose works examined the lost world of European Jews and the new lives they pursued in Israel, died on Thursday. He was 85. Writing in Hebrew, the Romanian-born Appelfeld penned more than 40 books and was one of Israel's most widely translated authors. Appelfeld's "Blooms of Darkness", the tale of an 11-year-old boy hidden from the Nazis by a prostitute, won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in London in 2012. Appelfeld was also awarded the State of Israel Prize for Literature in 1983 and was a Man Booker International Prize finalist in 2013. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, on Twitter, expressed sorrow "about the passing of our beloved writer".


Amos Oz, one of Israel's most prominent novelists, said on Army Radio that Appelfed shied away from graphic depictions of the Holocaust, choosing instead to describe its effect on the lives of his characters. "Appelfeld never wrote about gas chambers, never wrote about executions, about mass graves, atrocities and experiments on human beings. He wrote about survivors before and after. He wrote about people who did not know what was about to happen to them and about people who already knew everything but hardly spoke about it," Oz said on Army Radio. "He didn't want, or he was unable, to write depictions of the horrors – he said that too. They are beyond the ability of human language to express them. You have to approach them indirectly, tiptoeing from afar," said Oz, once Appelfeld's student in a kibbutz.


Appelfeld was a young boy when his mother was killed by the Nazis. He and his father were sent to a concentration camp in Transnistria in an area of Ukraine then under control of the German-allied Romanian forces. Aged 10 at the time, he escaped and spent three years hiding in forests in Ukraine. "I survived in the fields and forests. Sometimes I worked as a shepherd or taking care of broken-down horses," he told The New York Times in 1986. "I lived with marginal people during the war – prostitutes, horse thieves, witches, fortune tellers. They gave me my real education."


After the war, he immigrated to Israel – he learned Hebrew beforehand – and when he was 28 he discovered that his father had survived and they were reunited in Israel. "Even though I spent time on kibbutzim that tried to change me, I did not change. I remained, basically, the Jewish refugee child who survived," he said in an interview with Israel's Haaretz newspaper in 2015. American-Jewish author Philip Roth once described Appelfeld as a "displaced writer of displaced fiction, who made displacement and disorientation a subject uniquely his own". Works by Appelfeld translated into English include "Badenheim 1939" (1978), a tale set in a fictional Austrian resort on the eve of World War Two, and "The Immortal Bartfuss" (1988), a fictional portrait of a troubled survivor in Israel.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


A Crystal Ball on 2018: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 4, 2018—If you predicted one year ago that America would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Saudi Arabia would allow women to drive, and Avi Gabbay would become Labor Party leader, most people would consider you crazy.

America Has Sometimes Stood Proudest at the UN When it has Stood Alone: Stephen Daisley, Spectator, Dec. 22, 2017—Outvoted on a resolution on Israel, on the wrong side of international opinion, the United States ambassador responded with an intemperate address to the UN General Assembly.

Nikki Haley Takes on World Government: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Dec. 20, 2017—Could Nikki Haley emerge as our Joan of Arc in the struggle against the folly of world government?

Bye UNESCO: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 24, 2017—Israel will join the United States in removing itself and its funding from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It’s about time.






The Never-Ending Peace Process Farce: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2017— Unless the US is willing to bite the bullet and finally confront Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority…

The Temple Mount Riots: Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, Aug. 6, 2017— On July 14, two Israeli police officers were murdered in Jerusalem.

Three Ideas Undermining Canada, America, and the West: Philip Carl Salzman, CIJR, 2017— Far more dangerous than a handful of terrorist bombers and assassins are insidious ideas pervasive in universities and the media that undermine and weaken Canada, America, and the West generally.

We Must Leave UNESCO at Once: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, July 21, 2017 — Once again, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has rolled up its sleeves to advance its mandate…


On Topic Links


The Left's Threat to Western Civilization (Video): Dennis Prager, Youtube, Aug. 10, 2017

UNRWA Condemns the Palestinians to Refugee Status in Perpetuity: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Aug. 15, 2017

We Arabs are Damn Lucky that Jews do not Behave Like Arabs: Fred Maroun, Times of Israel, July 8, 2017

Poet Simcha Simchovitch Immortalized Those Lost in the Shoah: M.J. Stone, Globe and Mail, Aug. 22, 2017




Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2017


Unless the US is willing to bite the bullet and finally confront Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, the forthcoming mission to the region by US representatives Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to “restart the peace process” on behalf of President Donald Trump may prove to be highly counterproductive.


Abbas is coming to the end of his reign. A brutal and corrupt dictator, he is determined that his legacy be that of an embattled “freedom fighter” committed to reversal of the Nakba, his ultimate objective being the restoration of Arab hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. His means to achieve this necessitate the dismemberment of the Jewish state in stages through terrorism and international pressure.


Until now, he has basically ignored Trump’s requests and demands. Incitement and calls for “resistance” via the media and imams urging Palestinians to kill Israelis and become shahids (martyrs) have reached a record high. Abbas himself whipped up religious hysteria based on the false cry that Jews were taking over and desecrating the Aksa mosque, thus triggering the recent riots and encouraging further terrorist attacks. Children are brainwashed into regarding Jews as subhuman descendants of apes and pigs, propaganda reminiscent of and frequently replicated from Nazi sources.


The PA and its leaders continue honoring mass murders as freedom fighters, dedicating mosques, city squares, schools and other institutions in their names to commemorate their murderous acts. Despite personal demands from Trump, Abbas has vowed that he will never close the Palestine National Fund, which provides generous pensions and massive financial awards for imprisoned or killed terrorists and their families, the amounts proportionate to the success of the terrorist act. Incarcerated murderers top the list with monthly payments of NIS 11,000 (more than $3,000), which is augmented with $25,000 if they are released from jail. This year the fund has distributed $345 million, comprising half of the $693m. the PA receives in foreign aid. Thus the US and European countries have effectively been providing funds to incentivize Palestinians to murder Israelis.


The US Congress has now passed legislation to deduct an equivalent of these funds from aid provided to the Palestinians. The Europeans have taken no action, although Germany, the UK and Norway are “reviewing” the situation. Abbas has responded by vowing to maintain the payouts, which he describes as “social welfare,” and in recent weeks has even increased the payments.


His recent proclamation that security arrangements with the Israelis had been terminated was never effectively implemented. The reality is that the Abbas regime would be undermined if it annulled the security coordination whereby police constrain the enormous popular resentment by the people against the regime. While the security arrangements did reduce pressure on the IDF, the party with the most to lose if it were terminated would be the corrupt PA – which would then probably collapse or be taken over by Hamas.


Abbas has now condemned the US as being biased and unfit to act as an intermediary. The Israelis, on the other hand, appreciate that with the Trump administration in disarray, mixed messages have emerged in relation to the peace process. Trump repeatedly reaffirms that he stands by Israel, but he has yet to fulfill his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has been exceptionally forthright; the recent flow of statements from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his departmental releases, however, are highly disconcerting and ominously reminiscent of the Obama era.


Tillerson informed the Senate that the Palestinians were moving forward positively in the peace process and had undertaken to bring an end to “martyr” payments. This was promptly denied. In July, the State Department released a report commending Abbas for having “significantly” addressed incitement. The report also stated that Palestinian terrorism was prompted “by a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Temple Mount and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.” Such observations could match those issued two years ago, at the height of then-president Barack Obama’s diplomatic campaign against Israel.


This should not be interpreted as an indication that the US has abandoned Israel. It merely reflects the divisions inside the administration, which were unlikely to have emerged had Trump not been diverted by the chaos in other areas. Fortunately, Tillerson has largely been excluded from direct engagement in peace negotiations and Trump has now authorized Kushner and Greenblatt “to restart the peace process.” They will visit the region in the next few days.


To further complicate matters, both the Palestinians and Israelis are entangled in domestic turmoil. Abbas, the duplicitous rogue with the forked tongue, rules as a dictator and has created a culture of death. However, he is aged and his people realize that his time in office is limited. He has never been willing to make any meaningful concessions to Israelis, who were desperate to separate themselves from the Palestinians, and is now unlikely to make any moves in that direction. On the contrary, he has been actively strengthening relations with the Iranians and the Turks, who now support him as well as Hamas. But the people are restless and there is already jockeying among those seeking to replace him…

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




Manfred Gerstenfeld

 BESA, Aug. 6, 2017


On July 14, two Israeli police officers were murdered in Jerusalem. They were members of the Druze community, a religious and ethnic minority. The three Muslim murderers came from the town of Umm al-Fahm in the north of Israel. They had hidden their weapons on the Temple Mount, where the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is managed by the Waqf, a Muslim religious trust, stands.  The three terrorists were killed by Israeli police. The day before the killings, one of the perpetrators published a selfie in which he stands before al-Aqsa. The photo is accompanied by the text, “Tomorrow’s smile will be more beautiful, God willing.”


Israel reacted to the murders by increasing security measures through the installation of metal detectors. The alternative would have been to wait passively until the next contingent of terrorists arrived, ready to employ the proven formula of bringing in weapons and hiding them at that place of worship. The installation of metal detectors led Palestinian preachers to call upon the worshipers to pray publicly outside the mosque on the morning of Friday, July 21. Riots followed during which three Palestinians were killed and a number wounded. On the same day, a Palestinian terrorist murdered a Jewish father, seriously injured his wife, and killed their two adult children in the village of Halamish during their Shabbat meal. It is estimated that this terrorist’s family will receive more than $3000 per month from the Palestinian Authority for many years to come. These payments are co-financed by Western countries.


In the meantime, the metal detectors have been removed. Due to the riots, Israel has opted instead to install more expensive and technologically advanced tools to detect weapons from entering the holy site in the future. Despite the removal of the detectors, Palestinian riots in Jerusalem have continued.


When we examine the reactions of the actors in this saga, it becomes possible to discern recurring patterns. In the past, the PLO-dominated Palestinian Authority was able to control riots. A typical case in point was the “al-Aqsa Intifada,” which began in late September 2000. Though presented as a spontaneous response to Ariel Sharon’s Temple Mount visit, several PLO/PA officials (including Marwan Barghouthi and Minister of Communications Imad Faloudji) were to admit that the violence had been planned well in advance by Yasser Arafat. All that was required was a handy pretext to start it.


Since then, the stature in the western world of the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas has steadily increased. In 2016, many members of the European Parliament gave Abbas a standing ovation after a speech in which he made the vile anti-Semitic accusation that an Israeli rabbi had urged Israelis to poison the water of the Palestinians. Two days later, Abbas had to admit that his libel was a complete falsehood.


In contrast to his glowing image among Europeans, Abbas is seen by most Palestinians as very weak. His Fatah movement supports the riots, partly because it fears losing even more influence if it does not. He is playing a dangerous game, however. If the riots continue, Abbas may lose control over them. If it is true that he has canceled the PA’s security collaboration with Israel, he might find himself in immediate danger. If he is without the protection of the Israeli security services, it will be much easier for Hamas sympathizers to target him. Another recurrent pattern is the abuse of holy or protected places. During Israel’s military campaigns against Hamas, the terrorist group often hid weapons in mosques, universities, and schools. This included schools of the UN agency UNRWA. During the December 2008-January 2009 exchange, several Hamas leaders hid in a Gaza hospital because they knew Israel would not target it. Hamas also uses civilians as human shields.


Yet another recurrent pattern is the behavior of foreign governments and leaders. Many excuse and condone Palestinian terror, incitement, and violence. Others feel the need to step in with condemnations or recommendations. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for example, is a staunch supporter of Hamas, using any available opportunity to condemn Israel. This time, he said:  “By occupying the al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel has exceeded the boundaries.” France issued an anodyne statement mainly to create the illusion that it is still an important international player while it struggles with critical domestic issues. Still another recurrent pattern is the behavior of foreign media, which habitually turns aggressors into victims and vice versa. The media watch organization Honest Reporting Canada created a detailed list of many such distortions in the Canadian media alone during the first days of the riots.


In view of these recurrent patterns, a peace agreement is likely to be useless. The Palestinians may one day sign such an agreement, and indeed maintain quiet for a while – but they will ultimately resort once again to riots, violence, and murder, as they invariably have in the past. The Temple Mount riots created a perfect model for such a pattern. Commit a crime against Israel related to al-Aqsa. If Israel reacts with enhanced security measures, incite rioting by declaring the mosque to be in danger. Israel cannot undo the concessions it makes for “peace.” Those concessions are likely to include the removal of isolated West Bank settlements and an exchange of land in return for the larger settlement blocs. The Temple Mount riots provide tangible evidence that as matters stand now, a peace agreement is not a credible option.      





Philip Carl Salzman                                                                                                                

CIJR, 2017


Far more dangerous than a handful of terrorist bombers and assassins are insidious ideas pervasive in universities and the media that undermine and weaken Western civilization generally. Three of the most destructive of these ideas are that the ills of the world are the result of Western and especially American imperialism, that all cultures are inherently valid and equally valuable, and that any criticism of Islam is either racism or madness or both.


The idea that everything wrong with any country is the result of Western or American imperialism has been reified into an academic theory called “postcolonialism.” The point is that terrible things were done all around the world by Western colonial powers, and that any current problem can be seen as an effect of Western imperial and colonial acts. This postcolonial theory is widely held by academics in Middle East Studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, and cultural studies, as well as in the humanities.


Postcolonial theory derives in base from Marxist-Leninist theory, which argues that capitalist societies externalize exploitation and class conflict to Third World colonies outside the home country. After the Soviet Union fell, marxists in Western universities felt the need to obscure their debt to communist theory, and so re-labelled their approach with such terms as “political economy,” “political ecology,” and postcolonialism.


Postcolonialism was developed eloquently in Middle East Studies by Edward Said, a Professor of English at Columbia University, a specialist in Jane Austen. Said wrote several books about the Middle East, although he had no training in Middle East Studies or in any social science discipline. One of his books, Orientalism, became, astonishingly, the most influential book on the Middle East in the last two decades of the 20th century. Orientalism asserts, with alleged examples, that all Western ideas about the Middle East are projections of Western desires and vices, and biased distortions of imagined evils, projected onto the Middle Eastern Other in order to provide justification for attack, invasion, occupation, exploitation, and extermination of defenceless and blameless Middle Easterners. Knowing the Middle East accurately, beyond the Western bias, was impossible, according to Said, because of its diversity.


Edward Said became the great hero American Middle East Studies, feted and honoured by the Middle East Studies Association. His books, but especially Orientalism, were widely taught and references in North American universities. A student once told me that she had been taught that Said was a god. Clay feet, I thought. Said=s motivation to venture into fields beyond his competence was his identification as a Palestinian, although he had grown up in a well-to-do family in Egypt, and had lived his adulthood as a privileged professor in a distinguished American university. Said’s writing was defensive, attempting to reject and refute the negative image of the Middle East and Middle Easterners.


Said’s publications, and the postcolonialism to which he was a mighty contributor, was and is above all partisan, taking the part of the Middle East and Middle Easterners against the West. Its point is to rehabilitate the reputation and honour of the Middle East. Its strategy to allocate all ill motivation and dastardly deeds to the West, picturing Middle Easterners as hapless and blameless victims of Western imperial and colonial machinations. We cannot find any disinterested and objective research and analysis in postcolonialism; the conclusion is determined a priori: all evil comes from the West. This means that the conflict between Israel and the Arabs is entirely the fault of Israel. Any criticism of Palestinian or Arab politics or actions is disallowed, and attributed to racism or fascism. The brutal barbarism of the Islamic State is attributed to previous actions of America, Israel, and other Western intruders. If South Asians murder their daughters because they fell in love with boys from the wrong caste, it is fault of the British, who, according to postmodernists, invented the caste system, and presumably the ideas of karma and dharma as well. If there are tribal wars in Africa, it is the fault of the British, who, according to postmodernists, invented tribes. If Palestinian men beat up their wives, it is the fault of Israel. No one in the Third World, it appears, is responsible for their actions; it is always the fault of someone else. That such a view takes away the agency and humanity of people in the Third World, and ignores the understandings, beliefs, values, injunctions of their cultures, does not seem to trouble postmodern theorists.

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




WE MUST LEAVE UNESCO AT ONCE                                                  

Paul Merkley

                      Bayview Review, July 21, 2017


Once again, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has rolled up its sleeves to advance its mandate – “to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.”


To accomplish this, it has cast out the Bible of the Jews and the Christians as a source of truth for anybody on earth. And, in the same act, it has declared invalid, every other source that contains information that anyone might think can be historically proved, and has put in their place fantasies about the glorious prehistoric past of Islam – fantasies that take us back to about twenty-five centuries before Muhammad existed. Once again there has been no hint of complaint from any person or institution whose credibility stands upon either the authority of science or the authority of Scripture.


A few months ago, UNESCO piled yet another Resolution on top of the long sequence of Resolutions condemning the State of Israel for its oppression of the “Palestinian people”– the aboriginal inhabitants of what people like to call the Holy Land. (See my essay, UNESCO CASTS OUT CHRISTIANITY,” www.thebayviewreview.com, November 22, 2016.) This purpose it accomplished by its reference to the sites upon and around the Temple Mount exclusively by their Muslim names. This has the intended effect of erasing memory of the Temple and of any belonging of Israel and the Jews – defining Jerusalem as exclusively “Palestinian” and the State of Israel’s presence as that of an illegal occupier. Israelis claim that such a declaration obviously takes away all legitimacy from Israel; furthermore, it legitimizes terrorist acts against the illegal Jewish state and it anathematises all of Israel’s self-defensive activity. And so Israel holds UNSCO responsible for murderous attacks that have taken place recently against the Jewish people in Jerusalem.


At the same time, these UNESCO declarations cast out the Old Testament and New Testament texts which amply describe the presence of the Jewish People and of their Temple – not incidentally   leaving Christianity as a religion based on falsehood and undeserving of belief.  In place of all the evidence of Jewish presence in Jerusalem (archeological and literary, including the testimony of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible) they have put in place simple assertion that the entire region was the habitat of “the Palestinian people”– the exclusive aboriginal denizens of the Holy Land.


To accomplish these and similar victories, the Muslim bloc depends on two circumstances: the first is the willingness of a majority of the United Nations to line up, on no notice at all, in support of anything that serves to denigrate Israel and the Jews; the second is the unwillingness of leaders of all nations having Christian majorities to appear friendly towards Christian faith. The Muslim claim to historical primacy in the lands described in our Bible is strictly and merely a theological assertion, utterly incompatible with the historical record, but designed to fill the ideological vacuum left as Western intellectuals cast theology out of consideration. Among the few intellectuals in our part of the world who thinks this is worth challenging is Guy Milliere, a Professor at the University of Paris, who notes:


“Although Europe claims to respect human rights and the rights of peoples, it has been a party to violating the most essential right of the Jewish people: the recognition of its existence for more than 3,000 years, and the anchoring of this existence to its sacred monuments. Worse, Europe does so in the name of a people fictitiously invented less than 50 years ago. No serious scholar can find any trace of a “Palestinian people” before the 1960s. Europe has apparently been all too happy to accept lies”…

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


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


The Left's Threat to Western Civilization (Video): Dennis Prager, Youtube, Aug. 10, 2017—Dennis Prager speaking about the Left's threat to Western Civilization at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Aug. 3rd evening honoring Dr. Robert Shillman in Newport Coast, California.

UNRWA Condemns the Palestinians to Refugee Status in Perpetuity: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Aug. 15, 2017—In all the various frameworks envisioned by the international community for reaching a peaceful settlement in the Middle East generally, and between Israel and the Palestinians in particular, the issue of refugees has been perhaps one of the most central and complex.

We Arabs are Damn Lucky that Jews do not Behave Like Arabs: Fred Maroun, Times of Israel, July 8, 2017—When I see Arab hatred directed at Israel, such as the Palestinian Authority’s repeated attempts through UNESCO to deny Jewish history in Jerusalem, I shake my head in disbelief. The hypocrisy is astounding.

Poet Simcha Simchovitch Immortalized Those Lost in the Shoah: M.J. Stone, Globe and Mail, Aug. 22, 2017—After the Nazis murdered his family, it was poetry that freed Simcha (Sam) Simchovitch from darkness and reaffirmed his faith. Although his work echoes Dante’s Divine Comedy, chronicling a descent into the inferno and subsequent rise back into the light, Mr. Simchovitch’s verse was not a fantastical depiction of hell’s deepest circles, but instead offered real-life observations of the diabolical Nazi nightmare that robbed him of everything he cherished.







The United Nations Should Ditch its Anti-Israel Bias: Peter Rough, The Hill, June 20, 2017 — This week marks six months since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which classifies Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 line, including in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, as illegal.

UN Chief Stuck in the Middle: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, June 14, 2017 — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is a man very much in the middle.

The World Must Finally Awaken to the UN Refugee Agency's Failures in the Palestinian Territories: Asaf Romirowsky Alexander Joffe, New York Daily News, June 12, 2017 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke from the Government of Israel's longstanding policy and stated that UNRWA, the internationally funded UN body dedicated to providing health, education, welfare and legal services to Palestinian “refugees,” should be shut down.

A Letter to the World from Jerusalem: Eliezer Ben Yisrael, Summer, 1969— I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe.


On Topic Links


UN: Israel to Blame for Palestinian Men Beating Their Wives: Hillel Neuer, Times of Israel, June 13, 2017

New Palestinian Attempt at UNESCO to Claim Hebron and the Patriarch’s Tomb as a Palestinian Site: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, June 19, 2017

Legal Expert Slams Hypocrisy of UN’s “Unprecedented” Israel Blacklist: The Tower, June 20, 2017

The United Nations is Losing Staggering Sums to Corruption, Mismanagement and Bad Decision-Making: Geoffrey Clarfield, National Post, June 15, 2017



THE UNITED NATIONS SHOULD DITCH ITS ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS                                                                           

Peter Rough                                                                                                        

The Hill, June 20, 2017


This week marks six months since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which classifies Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 line, including in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, as illegal. Visiting Jerusalem last month, the distance between the pronouncements of Turtle Bay and the realities of the Old City appeared as stark as ever. For starters, everyone knows that Israel will absorb the major settlement blocs near the ’67 line as part of any peace agreement. And no Israel government will ever surrender its access to Jerusalem.


Alas, the United Nations has long been a hub of anti-Israeli activity, in part because it views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a colonial legacy pitting the powerful against the powerless. By pursing a one-sided agenda, the U.N. hopes to strengthen the weaker party in the service of justice. However, by issuing rulings on sensitive issues without first preparing the ground for peace, this approach only polarizes the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. Just as bad, it damages the U.N.’s credibility with Israelis. Instead, the U.N. should switch tracks by focusing on the most important prerequisite for peace: cultivating trust.


Israel is a flourishing democracy that sees peace as crucial to maintaining its long-term Jewish identity. In meetings with Israelis of all stripes last month, their anguish at the plight of the Palestinians was palpable to me. Ever since the Second Intifada discredited the Israeli peace camp, however, Israelis have recoiled at major concessions that might imperil their security. If anything, the lesson Israelis have drawn from such initiatives as the withdrawal from Gaza is that the preconditions for a Palestinian state are a long way off. Put simply, the experiences of the past two decades have robbed Israelis of the trust needed to take a risk for peace. The result is that Israeli voters have repeatedly rewarded cautious leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on pace to challenge David Ben-Gurion as the longest serving prime minister in Israeli history.


The U.N. should focus on achieving a breakthrough by fostering the conditions needed for genuine peace. Unfortunately, at present the message for peace is not competitive with the call to violence among Palestinians. This has led the Palestinian leadership to spin a cocoon of anti-Israeli rhetoric from which it has been unable to escape. In 2000, for example, Yasir Arafat reportedly declined Ehud Barak’s generous offer of a Palestinian state by saying that he did not intend to drink tea with assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. If Palestinian leaders are serious about peace, they will need to prepare their people to accept a peace deal. At the very least, the U.N. should press the Palestinians to revamp their educational curriculum. Israelis can only be expected to take risks for peace if they are confident in their own security, which, in turn, depends on Palestinians developing healthier perceptions of Israel.


Ironically, U.N. Resolution 2334 comes fifty years after the Six Days War, the generating events of which included the withdrawal of U.N. forces from the Sinai in the face of an Egyptian military buildup. Then, as now, Israel concluded that the U.N. is no substitute for self-reliance. Even so, Israelis remain keenly aware of their status as a small power whose dispute with the Palestinians is bound up in larger regional politics.


For five decades, the U.S.-Israeli strategic relationship has been a bedrock of both Israel’s security strategy and U.S. power projection into the region. Israelis, therefore, interpreted the U.S. abstention on U.N. Resolution 2334 as a particularly stinging parting shot from the Obama administration as it left power. To Israel’s relief, the Trump administration has reversed course, tightly embracing Israel while forging an agreement to limit settlement construction to existing built-up areas. Moreover, the Trump administration is leveraging flourishing contacts between Israel and its Sunni Arab neighbors, which is sure to have a salutary effect on the peace process. This so-called “outside-in” effect envisions improved ties between Israelis and Arabs slingshotting Israel into improved relations with the Palestinians. If executed cautiously and deliberately while pushing for Palestinian reform, such an approach holds promise for contributing to regional stability.


The past two decades since Oslo have shown the futility of negotiating a quick resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the face of terrorism, Israelis have built walls and domes to defend themselves while waiting for Palestinian society to reform itself. The U.N. should dedicate itself to assisting Palestinians with that task, rather than issuing anti-Israeli screeds that work against the Trump administration’s search for peace.







                             Herb Keinon

                           Jerusalem Post, June 14, 2017


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is a man very much in the middle. On the one hand, there is a new wind blowing out of Washington demanding the United Nations alter its systemic discrimination against Israel and anti-Israel bias that permeates so much of the organization.


US ambassador Nikki Haley is leading the high-profile charge on this matter, and there have been threats in Washington to withhold funds if the situation is not changed. Israel has decided to withhold $8 million of the $47m. it gives each year to the organization as membership dues and for funding peacekeeping forces and – even though this is an insignificant part of the UN’s budget, the move was noted in the UN’s Turtle Bay neighborhood – not necessarily because Israel’s move will cause significant damage, but out of concern that it may be a harbinger of what the US might do if the situation does not change.


But on the other side the Palestinians, the Arab countries and some Europeans are arrayed, pushing equally hard in the opposite direction, pressuring Guterres not to change the UN’s attitude toward Israel; not to alter the situation; to go along; and not revamp what has been operative practice inside the organization for years.


These countervailing pressures have put Guterres on a seesaw – one day condemning a UN-sponsored center for women in the West Bank named after a notorious Palestinian female terrorist, and on another day issuing a statement obliquely criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for calling for the dismantling of UNRWA, following the discovery of a Hamas tunnel underneath two of the organization’s schools in Gaza. Guterres, his spokesman said late Monday, “is concerned about recent public criticism of UNRWA and the integrity of its operations.” The secretary- general, the spokesman said, “wishes to express his support for UNRWA and his admiration for the role it plays in delivering essential services and protecting the rights of millions of Palestine refugees across the Middle East.”


Netanyahu said on Sunday that UNRWA perpetuates, rather than solves, the Palestinian refugee problem, and called on Haley to work toward the organization’s dismantling. Reaction in Jerusalem to Guterres’s comments about UNRWA were muted, with neither the Prime Minister’s Office nor the Foreign Ministry initiating a response. The reason is simple: Israel is appreciative of Guterres’s efforts to fight against the anti-Israel bias at the UN and understands the strong counter-pressures he is under. Jerusalem believes that the new secretary-general – in office since January 1 – is more receptive than his predecessors to listening to Israeli complaints and protests about biased reports and prejudicial treatment.


Both Ban Ki-moon, Guterres’s immediate predecessor, and Kofi Annan – who was the secretary-general two terms ago – spoke of strains of anti-Israel bias and discriminatory treatment toward the Jewish state at the end of their tenures. Guterres is different in that he has discussed it at the very beginning of his. What Israel is uncertain about, however, is whether the former Portuguese prime minister really believes it or is simply concerned about the Americans. Whatever the case, he has changed wordings in some reports and refused to sign others that bash Israel.


Almost every week, one UN body or the other issues a report that – whether it deals with women’s rights, children’s’ rights, or heritage sites – includes wording and language slamming Israel. These reports are fed from the Palestinian narrative and, in turn, feed that narrative, then often forming the basis of other UN decisions. And around and around it goes. Jerusalem realizes this is a difficult dynamic to change all at once and has been impressed by Guterres’s willingness to take some steps in that direction.


For instance, it used to be that UN Human Rights Commission reports dealing with Israel would be sent to the secretary-general for his signature. The UNHRC no longer sends those reports, however, knowing that he won’t sign them. In addition, Guteres has, over the last six months, made some cosmetic changes to language in some reports – not necessarily everything Israel asked for – but also seen as a sign of taking Israel’s concerns seriously. And he certainly is willing to let his opinion against an anti-Israel bias in the organization be known.


The question, however, is whether he has the persistence and determination to continue this fight over the long haul, something that will put him at odds and in conflict with many of his organization’s member-states. The answer to that question may be bound up with whether the Trump administration itself is willing to fight this battle over time, putting it at odds with many UN countries. As of now, Jerusalem – while optimistic – does not have a categorical answer to either of those questions.






Asaf Romirowsky Alexander Joffe

New York Daily News, June 12, 2017


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke from the Government of Israel's longstanding policy and stated that UNRWA, the internationally funded UN body dedicated to providing health, education, welfare and legal services to Palestinian “refugees,” should be shut down. This dramatic shift is long overdue in a region where refugee populations have grown enormously but where Palestinians continue to receive overdue attention.


Netanyahu's statement, made to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley during her visit to Israel last week, came shortly after the discovery of yet another terror tunnel underneath a UNRWA-run school in Gaza. He followed up with a statement to his cabinet that "the existence of UNRWA — and unfortunately its work from time to time — perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem rather than solve it. Therefore, the time has come to dismantle UNRWA and merge its components with the [UN] High Commissioner for Refugees." Though Israeli politicians have argued for changing policy toward UNRWA, Netanyahu appears to have finally done so.


For decades, Israeli officials have claimed that without UNRWA providing for the needs of the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Israel would be held responsible. This is a burden Israel preferred not to bear, despite UNRWA's well-documented cooptation by terrorist elements from Hamas and other groups. The position produced a perversity in which Israel itself reinforced the very organization whose role includes perpetuating a core tenet in the Palestinian national narrative, the absolute centrality of refugees to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the demand that Israel accept repatriation of their descendants through a "right of return." It does so through its educational curricula for Palestinians and in representations in international forums.


Understanding the way that UNRWA helps perpetuate the Palestinian refugee problem reveals an entrenched and dysfunctional bureaucracy, accustomed to almost 70 years of international welfare-including over $370 million from the US in 2016. It also sheds light on the subversive dynamic between UNRWA and the Palestinian leadership; the existence of UNRWA allows the Palestinian Authority to continue shirking core responsibilities towards its citizens.


At its root, UNRWA effectively argues that — regardless of the reality — all Palestinians are refugees and victims of an Israeli "occupation." The organization has financial and political interests in maintaining this fiction: As long as the Palestinians are refugees, UNRWA is in business. Success is measured by the contributions it receives and prerogatives it assumes. As a case in point, UNRWA released a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War stating, "The occupation remains a key obstacle to the realization of a just and lasting solution for the seven-decade-long plight of Palestine refugees, and it continues to be one of the most salient aspects of a historical injustice that has cast a shadow over their lives since 1948."


Israel's historic position and ongoing U.S. funding have created a situation that has promoted Palestinian rejectionism, and which does not advance the cause of peace, or U.S. interests in the Middle East. UNRWA learned long ago to wave the bloody shirt, proclaim its formal neutrality and act as unofficial Palestinian spokesman. But with hundreds of thousands of real refugees flooding over the Middle East and Europe, UNRWA's claims, along with those of Palestinian refugees kept in camps by Arab states, ring more and more hollow. If the State of Israel has finally begun to see UNRWA as part of the problem rather than a permanent band-aid, there may be a real chance to remove one problem that has long ensured that conflict will never end.




Eliezer Ben Yisrael

Summer, 1969


I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am a Jerusalemite like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of my people. I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you, or even persuade you. I owe you nothing. You did not build this city; you did not live in it; you did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we will let you take it away.


There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London, and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves – a humane moral code.


Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple rather than surrender, and when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, their right arms wither.


For two painfilled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we prayed daily to return to this city. Three times a day we petitioned the Almighty: “Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land; return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and dwell in it as Thou promised.” On every Yom Kippur and Passover, we fervently voice the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem. Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the final unspeakable horror, the holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it) – all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel.


Do you think that you can break us now after all we have been through? Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions? We have been to Hell and back a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?


I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens, after we agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job. British officers, Arab gunners, and American made cannons. And then the savage sacking of the Old City; the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school; the desecration of Jewish cemeteries; the sale by a ghoulish government of tombstones for building materials, for poultry runs, army camps – even latrines. And you never said a word.


You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges they had made after the war – a war they waged, incidentally, against the decision of the UN. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls.


Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift "to save the gallant Berliners". But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital – but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart of Jerusalem. And when that same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City again, did any of you do anything? The only time you came to life was when the city was at last reunited. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of "justice" and need for the "Christian" quality of turning the other cheek.


The truth is – and you know it deep inside your gut – you would prefer the city to be destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age old prejudices seep out of every word. If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better reexamine your catechisms. After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness until we accept your savior.


For the first time since the year 70 there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put a torch to the Temple, everyone has equal rights. (You prefer to have some more equal than others.) We loathe the sword – but it was you who forced us to take it up. We crave peace – but we are not going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us to. We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We are redeeming the pledge made by our forefathers: Jerusalem is being rebuilt. "Next year" and the year after, and after, and after, until the end of time – "in Jerusalem!"


No Daily Briefing Will Be Published Friday, June 23—Ed.



On Topic Links


UN: Israel to Blame for Palestinian Men Beating Their Wives: Hillel Neuer, Times of Israel, June 13, 2017—The chair of today’s UN Human Rights Council debate, council vice-president Amr Ahmed Ramadan of Egypt, broke with parliamentary protocol and refused to me after I challenged a new report that blames Israel for when Palestinian men commit violence against women, and after I asked why Islamic preachers of wife-beating were ignored.

New Palestinian Attempt at UNESCO to Claim Hebron and the Patriarch’s Tomb as a Palestinian Site: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, June 19, 2017—The town of Hebron, situated in the biblical region of Judea, is the site of the oldest Jewish community in the world, and since Bible times has been considered the second holiest city in Judaism after Jerusalem. The Canaanite city was founded around 1720 BCE, and the ancient Canaanite and Israelite city was situated at Tel Romeida.

Legal Expert Slams Hypocrisy of UN’s “Unprecedented” Israel Blacklist: The Tower, June 20, 2017—Northwestern University Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich presented the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday with a report documenting business dealings in occupied territories around the world, underscoring the hypocrisy behind the council’s decision to compile a blacklist only of companies operating in the West Bank.

The United Nations is Losing Staggering Sums to Corruption, Mismanagement and Bad Decision-Making: Geoffrey Clarfield, National Post, June 15, 2017—Let me take you on a short UN safari around the world, beginning and ending in Washington, D.C., to see just how effectively the United Nations spends our tax dollars.







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





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.






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.]






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.                                             




                                                        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!



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 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





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.]






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





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.]




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.




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.



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




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.    





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.]                





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.                                                 




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!



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.”


















UNESCO Has Cast Out Christianity: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Oct. 31, 2016 — The official website of UNESCO…

Hungary Opens Office for Persecuted Christians: Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage, Oct. 14, 2016 — The nation of Hungary recently did something that is as unprecedented as it is commonsensical and humanitarian: it “has become the first government to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe.” 

Securing a Future for Religious Minorities in the Middle East: Ben Cohen, JNS, Oct. 7, 2016 — You have to wonder if the barbarians fighting under the flag of the Islamic State still believe that 72 virgins will be waiting for them in paradise once they become "martyrs."

The Palestinians’ War on the Balfour Declaration: Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 2016 — Encouraged and empowered by the recent UNESCO resolution that rejects Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall…


On Topic Links


Why was Pope Francis AWOL at UNESCO vote?: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Jewish Journal, Nov. 1, 2016

Embattled Christians Push for Homeland in Middle East: Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, Sept. 13, 2016

US Must Support Safe Haven for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East: Mario Bramnick, JNS, Oct. 17, 2016

A Rabbi's Warning to U.S. Christians: Rabbi Daniel Lapin, CERC, 2007



Paul Merkley

                                      Bayview Review, Oct. 31, 2016


The official website of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) explains that the body “was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.”


Over the last few days, serving in the cause of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity, UNESCO has ground out several resolutions condemning Israel for “aggressions” throughout Jerusalem and for “illegal measures” against the freedom of worship of Muslims. In the latest of these declarations, the sites upon and around the  Temple mount are referred only by their Muslim names – which has the intended effect of erasing memory of the Temple and of any belonging of Israel and the Jews.


While the attention of most of the world was on the mindless subversion of the right of Jews to belong in Jerusalem, few have noticed that these declarations – not incidentally, but frontally — eradicate the grounds for acceptance of the Gospel.

The hope of the gang of dictators and Muslim absolutist that run UNESCO is that they have damaged Israel by damaging Judaism.  However that may be, there can be no doubt that their greater mandate is to cast Christianity out into utter darkness – by decree of the Parliament of Nations.


As expected, the historic churches of the Western world … have so far ignored these resolutions altogether – on the assumption that they are intended to weaken the Jews, who, after all, have this coming. The only writers I have discovered who have noticed the larger threat that it presents to Christian are Jews. These are Shimon Koffler Fogel (National Post, October 19, 2016,) and Jonathan S. Tobin (Commentary, Oct. 2016.) What does this tell us about the theological alertness of Christian theologians?


Fogel notes: “The Christian Gospels explicitly record how Jesus, a practising Jew, preached in synagogues and visited the Temple in Jerusalem. To deny the presence of a Jewish Temple, a matter confirmed by independent scholarship, is to tell Christians that their Bible — and their understanding of the life of Jesus — is based on false history…From the heart of one brother to another, I urge my Christian friends: don’t be silent when those motivated by the politics of hate attempt to erase your Bible and our shared heritage.”…


In the immediate wake of World War, there went up a great sigh of surge of relief. Civilization had been rescued from barbarism, all the deep-thinkers said; democracy had passed its ultimate test. A spasm of idealism took hold among the intellectuals. Most of the world was still well outside the sphere of democracy and liberalism, but all would soon be inducted into a global fraternity of democracies. Champions of imperialism fell silent. Within two years, the British colonies of India and Pakistan were released to form independent nations –to be followed before long by all the other peoples that had made up the British, the French, the Italian and the Dutch empires.  The universal hope was that our civilization would set the example for the great community of self-governing community of free nations — ribs out of the side of European civilization…


The founding of the United Nations in 1945 was the earliest fruit of the new age of universal cooperation. But in fact over the next several years, every major issue that came before the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly immediately occasioned bitter confrontation between the two Super Powers — the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. The only exception was the decision to Partition the Palestine Mandate. A vote of two-thirds was required:  33 voted in favor 13 against. All 11 of the Muslim states were among those who voted against. Britain abstained – not her finest hour.


This action could not have happened except at this moment when the level of idealism was high in Western politics, following the overthrow of the Axis powers. This would not happen again until the Soviet Union itself collapsed in 1990. But there was a large and ugly worm in this apple: all Arab nations and all Muslim nations opposed the Partition decision on theological grounds. Any lands once ruled by Muslims, they screamed, can never be yielded to non-Muslims.  In the case of Palestine, this general dictum was fortified by the circumstance that the world was asking Muslims to yield to Jews!


The Jewish people accepted and supported the Partition – which called for the creation of an Arab (not “a Palestinian” state.) The entire Arab world, abetted by the entire Muslim world, refused—and resorted to the God of War. The decision of the Jewish people in 1947 to comply with the UN decision with regard to Partition of Palestine and the refusal of the Muslim world to do the same has brought us today to Israel’s condemnation and the triumph of the non-compliant states. Because of the total solidarity in action of all Muslim nations within the UN and the consistent collaboration with them of that minority of the others who see advantage in trading favours with the UN’s largest bloc, UNESCO has become a patient partisan of Islam.


A similar sad history belongs to UNESCO, founded in 1945.  A shiny product of this mood of liberal optimism, it was intended as a device for accomplishing civilization, as understood by Western people, of putting scientific discovery at service of mankind to achieve global peace and good will among men. Muslim contempt for historical fact has become absolute during the last half-century or so. Back when the British ruled over Muslims and Jews within the Mandate that it held from the League of Nations, the Supreme Moslem Council published “A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif, wherein we read: “The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”


But somewhere along the way Muslims everywhere have lost the little interest that they ever had in historical fact. The current head of the Supreme Moslem Council, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, now proclaims:  “The Al-Buraq Wall [Western Wall] and its plaza are a Muslim religious property, and the Israeli government’s decisions do not affect it…The Al-Buraq Wall is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Jews have no relation to it. (Al Ayam, Nov. 22, 1997) In the same spirit this imam calls for erasure of the myth of the Holocaust: “Six million Jews dead? No way, they were much fewer. Let’s stop with this fairytale exploited by Israel to capture international solidarity…” (Interview in La Republica, March 24, 2000, translated by MEMRI)…                        


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



HUNGARY OPENS OFFICE FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS                                                     

Raymond Ibrahim                                                                                                          

Frontpage, Oct. 14, 2016


The nation of Hungary recently did something that is as unprecedented as it is commonsensical and humanitarian: it “has become the first government to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe.” Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources, explained: “Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed [for] religious reasons, four of them are Christians.  In 81 countries around the world, Christians are persecuted, and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.” “Followers of radical religious ideologies” is of course code for Muslims—they who are responsible for the overwhelming majority of Christian persecution in the world.


This move comes “after Hungary’s right-wing prime minister, Victor Orban, drew criticism in the EU by saying Europe should focus on helping Christians before helping millions of Muslims coming into Europe.” 

Orban explained: “If we really want to help, we should help where the real problem is.… We should first help the Christian people before Islamic people.” But do Western governments “really want to help” those suffering true persecution?  For if they did, not only would taking in “Christian people before Islamic people” be the most humane thing to do; it would also benefit Western nations as well.


Consider some facts: Unlike Muslims, Christian minorities are being singled out and persecuted simply because of their despised religious identity.  From a humanitarian point of view, then—and humanitarianism is the reason being cited for accepting millions of refugees—Christian refugees should receive greater priority over Muslim migrants.  Even before the Islamic State was formed, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims—Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, Muslim regimes, and Muslim terrorists, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian)—and for the same reason: they are infidel number one.  (See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate and contempt for Christians.)


Conversely, Muslim refugees—as opposed to the many ISIS and other jihadi sympathizers posing as “refugees”—are not fleeing religious persecution (most Muslim migrants are, like ISIS, Sunnis), but chaos created by the violent and supremacist teachings of their own religion.  Hence why when large numbers of Muslims enter Western nations—in Germany, Sweden, France, the UK—tension, crimes, rapes, and terrorism soar.    And hence why Hungarian minister Balog also said: “Our interest not only lies in the Middle East but in forms of discrimination and persecution of Christians all over the world.  It is therefore to be expected that we will keep a vigilant eye on the more subtle forms of persecutions within European borders.”


Indeed, what more is needed than the fact that so-called Muslim “refugees” are throwing Christians overboard during their boat voyages across the Mediterranean to Europe?  Or that Muslim majority refugee centers in Europe are essentially microcosms of Muslim majority nations: there, Christian minorities continue to be persecuted.


Most recently a report found that 88% of the 231 Christian refugees interviewed in Germany have suffered religiously motivated persecution in the form of insults, death threats, and sexual assaults. Some were pressured to convert to Islam.  “I really didn’t know that after coming to Germany I would be harassed because of my faith in the very same way as back in Iran,” one Christian refugee said.  “These are not isolated cases. I don’t know of any refugee shelter from Garmisch to Hamburg where we have not found such cases,” said a German authority. Is persecuting religious minorities the behavior of people who are in need of a sympathetic welcome by Europeans and Americans? Or is this behavior yet another reminder that it is non-Muslims from the Middle East who are truly in need of sanctuary?


Western nations should further accept Christian refugees because Western foreign policies are directly responsible for exacerbating their persecution.  Christians did not flee from Bashar Assad’s Syria, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Muamar Gaddafi’s Libya.  Their systematic persecution—to the point of genocide—began only after the U.S. and other European nations interfered in those nations under the pretext of “democracy.”  All they did is unleash the jihadi forces that the dictators had long kept suppressed. Now the Islamic State is deeply embedded in all three nations, enslaving, raping, and slaughtering countless Christian “infidels” and other minorities.


Surely if the West is responsible for unleashing the full-blown jihad on Christians, the least it can do is put Christians on the top of its refugee list—that is, if it “really cares” about helping?  In fact, it’s the opposite: report after report has shown that in Western nations persecuted Christians are “at the bottom of the heap” of refugees to be granted asylum.  Despite the U.S. government’s acknowledgement that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians in Syria, the Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslims, but only 28 Christians—even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria’s population; in other words, to be on the same ratio with Muslims, at least 500 Christians should’ve been granted asylum, not 28.


There are even some benefits in taking in Mideast Christians instead of Muslims.  Christians are easily assimilated in Western countries, due to the shared Christian heritage.  Muslims follow a completely different blueprint, Islamic law, or Sharia—which condemns and calls for constant war (jihad) against all non-Muslims, and advocates any number of distinctly anti-Western practices (female subjugation and sex slavery, death for blasphemers and apostates, etc.).   Hence it’s no surprise that many Muslim asylum seekers are anti-Western at heart—or, as the German police union chief recently said, Muslim migrants “despise our country and laugh at our justice.”…

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





IN THE MIDDLE EAST                                                                 

Ben Cohen                                                          

JNS, Oct. 7, 2016


You have to wonder if the barbarians fighting under the flag of the Islamic State still believe that 72 virgins will be waiting for them in paradise once they become "martyrs." I say this not because the leaders and foot soldiers of ISIS have suddenly woken up to the possibility that this belief is based, according to several scholars, on a mistranslation of the relevant verse of the Qu'ran; that would be expecting too much of them. I say this because they have already had a taste of that paradise here on earth, as a result of their campaign of genocide against the Yazidi religious minority in Iraq and Syria. One aspect of this horrific slaughter has been the kidnapping of thousands of Yazidi women and girls to serve as sexual slaves to these savages.


A recent report from the U.N. Human Rights Council – a body that spends most of its time condemning Israel for alleged human rights violations – sheds some light on both the scale and the nature of the genocide, which was ignored by the international community for far too long. The campaign against the Yazidis was launched by ISIS over two years ago, in Aug. 2014, when its forces began an assault upon the Yazidi villages in Sinjar, a district in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh. At least 5,000 Yazidis have been killed during the genocide, while 3,200 women and children remain in ISIS captivity. About 70,000, estimated to make up 15 percent of the overall Yazidi population, are reported to have fled Iraq.


The stories related by the U.N. report will be depressingly familiar to anyone who has studied genocide over the last century. Men and boys are either executed or forcibly converted, while women and girls exist solely for the use and pleasure of ISIS terrorists. The manner of the persecution is gruesome. "After we were captured, ISIS forced us to watch them beheading some of our Yazidi men," said one 16-year-old girl. "They made the men kneel in a line in the street, with their hands tied behind their backs. The ISIS fighters took knives and cut their throats."


Despite this reign of terror, the Yazidis have not been destroyed as a distinctive group. Before the ISIS attacks began, around 700,000 Yazidis are said to have lived in Iraq, the largest single concentration of the religion's followers. Kurdish in terms of their ethnicity, the Yazidi faith is described by scholars as syncretic, which means it combines elements of other religions, including Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Based on that, it's worth noting that ISIS isn't the only Islamist group that regards the Yazidis as infidels. The theology of more mainstream Islamist groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, assigns them a similar status.


Presently, the main focus for the Yazidis is the rescue of their women and girls from the clutches of ISIS. Often this is done through ransom payments, involving middlemen who collect huge sums from their families – one recently reunited family paid a total of $34,000 for their two daughters – which are then paid to ISIS. After their release, both girls said they didn't expect that they would see each other again, describing their captors as "dirty and abusive," who subjected them to regular beatings. What this illustrates is the need for greater physical security for the Yazidis, as well as for other religious minorities in the region, if and when ISIS is defeated. Without that concrete measure, continued religious and ethnic conflict in the Middle East will target vulnerable minorities first and foremost…

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




THE PALESTINIANS’ WAR ON THE BALFOUR DECLARATION                                                

Ruthie Blum                                                                                             

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 30, 2016


Encouraged and empowered by the recent UNESCO resolution that rejects Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the Palestinian Authority is boasting about plans to hold a series of global events throughout the coming year to decry the establishment of the State of Israel. The purpose of the campaign, described by the Qudsnet News Agency as “massive,” is to “make the international community, and especially Britain, confront their historical responsibilities and call on them to atone for this major crime committed, and raise the issue of the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people.”


The “major crime” in question is the November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, sent by the UK foreign secretary to Jewish community leader Walter Rothschild, to be delivered to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors 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,” it stated.


Though this was well before the term “Palestinians” – or people calling themselves “Palestinians” – even existed – distorting history is part and parcel of their effort to delegitimize Israel in any and every way possible. The UNESCO vote is but one tiny example of this practice, which is gaining momentum with the help of Western leftists. Another is the incessant cacophony about Israeli settlements constituting an “obstacle to peace.” Ironically, the very fact that all PA factions make no bones about considering the Jewish state a catastrophe worthy of annual mourning – and deserving of the slaughter of innocent Jews – does not serve to dissuade proponents of a two-state solution from their claim that new apartments in the West Bank are unnecessarily provocative.


On the contrary, though PA President Mahmoud Abbas said clearly that no Jews would be welcome in PA-controlled territory under any circumstances, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called attention to this blatant antisemitism, it was he who was mercilessly berated far and wide, especially by the White House and State Department. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief “peace” negotiator, took the opportunity, as he always does, to use US criticism of Israel as a way to prove that the Jewish state was born and lives in sin. In a Washington Post op-ed last Tuesday, Erekat did this in the context of the Balfour Declaration, which he called the “symbolic beginning of the denial of our rights.” Chastising the world for not taking significant steps to end the travesty of Israel’s existence, he spewed customary lies about how the Jewish state came into being.

“The Palestinian people were violently dispossessed from their homes and exiled from their homeland in 1948, endured the occupation in 1967, only to be forced into the historic compromise recognizing the 1967 border as the borders of the state of Palestine,” he wrote, conveniently omitting the true story of Israel’s War of Independence and the Six Day War 19 years later – the assault of surrounding Arab armies on a tiny fledgling country that spent much of its time trying to come to an arrangement with those bent on its annihilation.


Erekat’s piece was in keeping with Abbas’ announcement in July that the PA was going to file a lawsuit against Britain for the Balfour Declaration. This was conveyed in July by PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki to the Arab League Summit in Mauritania, which Abbas was unable to attend due to the death of his brother. In spite of the fact that Omar Abbas had been treated for cancer at a Tel Aviv hospital – along with the family members of many top figures in Fatah and Hamas – the PA leader was going ahead with his litigation against the UK over the 100-year-old document, “after which hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived from Europe and other places in Palestine at the expense of our people.” With such a blatant admission of its actual position on Jewish statehood – going so far as to wage war on the Balfour Declaration – the PA should be treated with the disdain and derision it deserves.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!


On Topic Links


Why was Pope Francis AWOL at UNESCO vote?: Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein, Jewish Journal, Nov. 1, 2016—The actions of the Arab-led coalition that pushed through the UNESCO resolution on the Temple Mount were despicable but expected. The silence of the Catholic Church was cowardly, unpredictable, and disappointing.

Embattled Christians Push for Homeland in Middle East: Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, Sept. 13, 2016—Christians driven from their ancestral homelands and persecuted by Islamist terrorists are pressing for an autonomous region of their own if the dust of Middle East violence ever settles.

US Must Support Safe Haven for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East: Mario Bramnick, JNS, Oct. 17, 2016 —Great suffering is occurring in Iraq and Syria. The region is ravaged by terror. Millions have been forced from their homes. Christians and other ethno-religious minorities have suffered genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS). The shutting down of U.S. military operations in Iraq created political instability that left a power vacuum filled by terror groups bent on destroying Western civilization. ISIS has forced millions of Iraqis and Syrians from their homes destabilizing the surrounding nations and exporting the problems of the Middle East to Europe.

A Rabbi's Warning to U.S. Christians: Rabbi Daniel Lapin, CERC, 2007—During the 1930s, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the English people and their government to see that Hitler meant to end their way of life. The British ignored Churchill, which gave Hitler nearly 10 years to build up his military forces. It wasn't until Hitler actually drew blood that the British realized they had a war on their hands. It turned out to be a far longer and more destructive war than it needed to be had Churchill's early warning been heeded.






UNESCO Votes: No Connection Between Temple Mount and Judaism: Jerusalem Post, Oct. 13, 2016 — In a 24-6 vote, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a resolution that denies Jewish ties to its most holy religious sites: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Is the Tide Turning for Israel?: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Oct. 13, 2016 — The headline out of Geneva is as familiar as it is depressing and disgraceful.

Same Old, Same Old . . .: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Oct. 14, 2016— Every time the Clinton campaign hits a rough patch…

The Paradox of Sukkot: Finding Joy in Uncertainty: Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Algemeiner, Oct. 14, 2016 — When contemplating the festival of Sukkot, we are confronted with a remarkable paradox.


On Topic Links


Sukkot For Our Time: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Oct. 14, 2016

Palestinians Suffer Defeat at UNESCO, Losing France, EU, India, Africa: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Oct. 14, 2016

After Elections, Will Obama Betray Israel at UN?: Breaking Israel News, Oct. 14, 2016

At the U.N., Only Israel Is an ‘Occupying Power’: Eugene Kontorovich & Penny Grunseid, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 13, 2016




Jerusalem Post, Oct. 13, 2016


In a 24-6 vote, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Thursday gave preliminary approval to a resolution that denies Jewish ties to its most holy religious sites: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the vote stating: “The theater of the absurd continues at the UN.” “Today UNESCO adopted its second decision this year denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site for more than 3,000 years,” he said. “What’s next? A UNESCO decision denying the connection between peanut butter and jelly? Batman and Robin? Rock ‘n’ roll?”


Twenty-six nations abstained from the vote and two were absent. The six countries that voted in support of Israel were the United States, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and Estonia. A senior US administration official chastised the vote taken by UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board and told The Jerusalem Post that the US “will not hesitate to use our vote at the current board meeting to oppose these resolutions.”


The Palestinian Authority, however, welcomed the results. The official spokesman of the Palestinian Presidency Nabil Abu Rudeinah said on Thursday evening that the continued international decisions against the occupation and its policy including that of UNESCO regarding Jerusalem and the al-Aksa Mosque form a clear message from the international community that it does not agree with the policies that protect the occupation and contribute to the creation of chaos and instability.


In 2015, the Palestinians, who have been recognized by UNESCO as a member state since 2011, began a drive to change the language with which that international body refers to the Temple Mount area, known to Muslims the Al-Haram Al Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). Initially they tried and failed to have it declared a solely Muslim site. Since then, they have submitted resolutions on Jerusalem at every possible UNESCO meeting, that uses only the Muslims terms for the Temple Mount area and its adjacent Western Wall.


UNESCO’s Executive Board passed such a resolution last April and its 21-member World Heritage Committee had been poised to do so again in July in Istanbul. That vote was delayed until October 24-26, when the failed Turkish coup, cut the meeting short. Since then a sentence has been inserted into the text that mentions that Jerusalem and its Old City walls are holy to all three religions; Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The Western Wall is mentioned twice in quotes. Otherwise it was referenced in the text by its Muslim name of the Buraq Plaza.


Thursday’s vote was taken by UNESCO’s 58-member Program and External Relations Commission in advance of its ratification next Monday or Tuesday by the UNESCO Executive Board, which is made up of the same member states. UNESCO outgoing director-general Irina Bokova has spoken against such resolutions, but ultimately the matter lies in the hands of the member states.


In the aftermath of Thursday’s UNESCO vote, both Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen and outgoing Foreign Ministry director- general Dore Gold focused on the changes in the voting roster since the executive board last approved such a resolution in Paris in April. Shama-Hacohen and the Foreign Ministry had worked hard in advance of the vote to lobby member states to stand with Israel. Gold, who resigned his position on Thursday effective immediately, said that the UNESCO vote was a “going away present.”


Ten countries which voted for the resolution the last time it came before UNESCO for a vote, abstained this time around, Gold said. What that means, he said, is that more countries voted for Israel or abstained, than voted against Israel. The 10 countries which switched their vote from last time were France, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, Argentina, India, Sri Lanka, Togo, Guinea and Ghana. Gold signed documents over the summer with Guinean officials formally reestablishing diplomatic ties. He also noted the significance of India and Argentina switching their votes and not voting against Israel, as they have traditionally done.

“What this indicates is that things are shifting for Israel,” Gold said. “You are not going to get a total re-definition about how states are going to vote in the UN system in a matter of a few months, but a new trend is clear, which I hope Israel can build upon in the months and years ahead.” Gold noted that none of the European countries voted for the resolution.


Asked how getting four European countries to abstain can be considered a victory, inasmuch as the resolution detaches any Jewish connection from Jerusalem, Gold said the drafters of the resolution included a sentence saying that the city is important to all three monotheistic faiths. Those countries that abstained – rather than vote against it – could point to that wording as not erasing completely Jewish ties to the capital. “We appreciate the shift of 10 countries in the direction of abstaining,” he said. Gold added that this is not a binding UNESCO resolution, and that UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova said that since there was no consensus around the resolution, she will not implement it.


The PA’s Foreign Ministry said, “We regret that few countries succumbed to the PR bullying orchestrated by Israel, which shifted the focus from Israel's illegal and colonial actions in occupied East Jerusalem to issues irrelevant to the content and objectives of the resolutions, which aims to put an end to Israel's dangerous and illegal actions against holy sites in Jerusalem and Palestinian rights, including the right to worship. “Palestine will continue to defend the rights of our people through all available legal and diplomatic avenues, including UN organizations. Our peaceful agenda will not be derailed by propaganda, nor will our tolerance and adherence to international law be altered by fallacies and cynical spin,” the PA Foreign Ministry said.

Netanyahu suggested that the Bible aside, UNESCO members should visit the Arch of Titus in Rome. “On it one can see what the Romans brought back to Rome after they destroyed and looted the Second Temple on the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago.


There, engraved on the Arch of Titus, is the seven-branched menorah that is the symbol of the Jewish People, and I remind you, is also the symbol of the Jewish state today,” he said. “Soon, UNESCO will say that the Emperor Titus engaged in Zionist propaganda,” Netanyahu said. “To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. By this absurd decision, UNESCO has lost what little legitimacy it had left,” Netanyahu added…


The votes broke out in this way. Those who supported the motion included Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam.


Nations that abstained from the vote were: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, Cote de’Ivoire, El Salvador, Spain, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, Paraguay, South Korea, St. Kits and Nevis, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Ukraine.


Absent countries included Serbia and Turkmenistan; Those who opposed the resolution were: the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany and Estonia voted against the motion.





IS THE TIDE TURNING FOR ISRAEL?                                                                                             

Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                                        

Commentary, Oct. 13, 2016


The headline out of Geneva is as familiar as it is depressing and disgraceful. UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization—voted again today to claim that Judaism and the Jewish people have no ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The vote, just the latest example of the UN’s anti-Semitic bias is a brazen attempt to deny history aimed at promoting the delegitimization of Israel. But the Palestinians and their supporters who sponsored this pathetic show shouldn’t be celebrating. The vote at the UN agency went against Israel but, for the first time, more nations abstained than supported the vicious assault on truth. While the mere fact that UNESCO is being used in this fashion illustrates its moral bankruptcy, the decline in support for the Palestinians’ big lies shows that their campaign against the Jewish state is actually losing ground.


The vote at the UNESCO council was lopsided, with 24 nations supporting the resolution denying Jewish ties to the holiest sites in Judaism and supporting efforts to force Jews out of their capital and only six (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia) opposed. But this time, a total of 26 countries abstained. Among the abstainers were France, Sweden, Slovenia, India, Argentina, and Togo, which had all previously announced their support for the smear. In all, ten nations that had voted for a similar resolution in the past abstained this time. Not a single European nation backed the Palestinians on this, the key symbolic plank in their effort to isolate the Jewish state and deny it legitimacy.


The shift to a majority opposing or abstaining on the Palestinian’s Jerusalem resolution reflects the growing success of Israeli diplomacy throughout the world. Efforts to isolate Israel in the Third World are finding increasing resistance in both Africa and Asia as many nations are realizing that supporting the Palestinians’ outrageous claims serves no purpose other than to make peace even less likely. Others are seeking closer ties to Israel—both openly and sometimes covertly—because they appreciate what the Jewish state has to offer in terms of security cooperation at a time when the threat from Islamist terror looms larger around the globe. They are also reading the signals from some of the most vicious enemies of Israel, such as Saudi Arabia, which have recently demonstrated that they fear Iran and look to the Jewish state as a potential ally. Though all continue to pay lip service to the Palestinian cause, backing their obsessive and pointless war against Israel does no one much good–least of all the Palestinian people, who continue to labor under the misrule of both Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.


But while Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel’s diplomats should be forgiven for expressing some satisfaction at the lower than expected vote total for this act of historical denial, the resolution’s passage is still a matter of deep concern. The manipulation of UNESCO by the Israel-haters is a warning to the world that the Palestinian goal isn’t really a fair-minded two-state resolution, which peace process advocates say is the only possible way to resolve the conflict. The Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic offensive on Jerusalem is a companion piece to their effort to gin up public opinion against Israel by promoting canards about Israel’s supposed plans to harm the Temple Mount mosques. That incitement has fueled the latest round of terrorist murders called the “stabbing intifada.” The point of this hate isn’t to build support for the independent Palestinian state they claim to want but rather to make clear their intent to deny Jewish rights and history and ultimately force Jews out of Jerusalem, if not the rest of the country.


The Palestinians may content themselves with resolutions that encourage them to believe they may achieve their goal of ridding Jerusalem of its Jewish majority. But this effort demonstrates that Palestinian opposition to coexistence and anti-Semitic incitement is a far bigger obstacle to peace than anything Israel has done. As the lower vote total at UNESCO shows, their problem is not just that Israel refuses to disappear. It is that much of the rest of the world is also beginning to understand their true goal.                     





SAME OLD, SAME OLD . . .                                                                                                         

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                            

National Review, Oct. 14, 2016


Every time the Clinton campaign hits a rough patch — the Clinton Foundation disclosures, the State Department e-mail scandals, Hillary’s health crisis, the “deplorables” smear, the WikiLeaks releases — it lets off an IED, from the staged theatrics of the Khans and the Venezuela beauty queen to the Access Hollywood tape and the groper accusations.

Clinton, Inc. assumes, so far consistently correctly, that the toady media will obsess with Trump’s frothing and screaming about being hit. That defense will eat up about three to four days of the campaign calendar, and likely cost him a three- to four-point dip in the polls. After the IED goes off, a wounded Trump recalibrates and inches up more slowly than after the last explosion — only to step on another land mine and blow himself up all over again.


Of course, Trump should not take the bait, and should instead offer, if the charges are indeed false, a two-minute denial followed by a ten-second simple “I am not a perfect person and am sorry for some things in my past,” and then focus on Hillary’s dismal public record while publishing a new version of something like a Contract with America — ten or so initiatives he would promise to get into law during his first 100 days of office. But that is like training your cattle-dog Queensland Healers not to bite ankles, while somehow being resigned to the fact that they can’t help themselves from such inbred snapping.


Somehow Trump, the supposedly astute businessman, cannot envision that inside the Clinton campaign there are shelves and shelves of stacked Trump IEDs, an inventory all primed with the media and fused to go off the minute Hillary hits another crisis.


Clinton’s greatest fear — the logical conclusion from the WikiLeaks trove thus far — is that the campaign will hinge on the dismal economy, record debt, a war against police, Islamic terrorism, newly emboldened enemies abroad, illegal immigration, the Obamacare disaster, and her past ineptitude in office. With less than a month left, her campaign is now reduced to the easy enough gift narrative of Trump as pervert and creep, followed by three to four days of furious Trump denials — and then on to the next exploding land mine.


It would be as redundant to say Trump’s past vulgarity and detour rants (what the media calls “temperament”) made him uniquely a plodding target as it is banal to drag up again old Heraclitus (“character is fate”). But, in fact, it is a little more complicated than that. Is an imploding Target Trump all that new? George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 largely because of a late IED about a DUI that went off five days before the election. John Kerry and the media almost blew Bush up in 2004 with a forged National Guard document. John McCain in 2008 was reduced to a senile plutocrat and alleged adulterer. Romney in 2012 was an unimpeachable candidate, but then we learned that he had hazed in prep school, was a financial vulture who picked over the carcasses of the defenseless poor, tortured dogs, slandered nearly half the non-income-tax-paying electorate, had a callous “binder” of women, and was married to an equestrian wife with an elevator in their home.     




Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Algemeiner, Oct. 14, 2016


When contemplating the festival of Sukkot, we are confronted with a remarkable paradox. As is well known, the Sukkah visualizes our life span in the world. For what is a Sukkah? It is a frail structure in which we need to dwell for seven days. Many commentators remind us that these seven days represent man’s average life span, which is about 70 years. This was well stated by King David when he wrote, “The span of his years are seventy and with strength eighty years.” (Tehilim 90:10)


Indeed, under favorable circumstances, we may prolong our stay in this world into our eighth day; this is symbolized by Shemini Chag Atzereth, (a separate festival immediately following the seven days of Sukkot). Nevertheless, it’s a wonder how frail our life is — not only short, but also unreliable. As long as we live under favorable and healthy circumstances, life is a pleasant experience, and just like the Sukkah, it seems to protect us and make us safe. But once life gives us serious problems or turns against us, we realize how unstable our lives really are. Like the Sukkah, it is far less reliable than we had imagined.


Perplexing, however, is the fact that the festival of Sukkot is seen as the highlight of joy and happiness. Speaking specifically about Sukkot, the Torah states: “And you shall be happy on your festival” (Devarim 16-14). This means that we should experience the most exalted form of happiness at a time when we have to dwell in a structure that is far from secure. In fact, Jewish law makes it utmost clear that the Sukkah must be built in such a way that it is not able to stand up against a strong wind, that its roof must be leaking when it starts to rain and that it must contain more shadow than sunlight. These conditions should make us feel distressed, because the Sukkah seems to represent the vulnerability of man. So why command us to be joyful precisely at the time when we are confronted with all that can go wrong in life?


Here another question comes to mind. Since the Sukkah teaches us about life’s handicaps, we would expect that Jewish law would also require the interior of the Sukkah to reflect a similar message. As such, the Sukkah should be empty of all comfort. It should just contain some broken chairs, an old table and some meager cutlery with which to eat one’s dry bread.


Yet Jewish law holds a great surprise. It requires that the Sukkah’s interior should reflect a most optimistic lifestyle. Its frail walls should be decorated with beautiful art, paintings and other decorations. The leaking roof, made from leaves or reeds, should be made to look attractive by hanging colorful fruits down from it. One is required to bring one’s best furniture into the Sukkah, to put a carpet on the ground, have nice curtains hanging in front of its windows, etc. One should eat from the most beautiful plates and use one’s best cutlery. Meals should be more elaborate, including delicacies. Singing should accompany those meals. All this seems to reflect a feeling that this world is a most pleasant place made for our enjoyment and recreation.


So why sit in a frail hut? The message could not be clearer: however much the outside walls and the leaking roof reveal man’s vulnerability and uncertainty, inside these walls one needs to make one’s life as attractive as possible and enjoy its great benefits and blessings. This should not be lost on us. Instead of becoming depressed and losing faith in life after the great tragedies that befall us, we should continue to approach life with the optimistic note that is conveyed to us by the beautiful interior of the Sukkah. True, the ongoing guerrilla attacks on Jews in the land of Israel and the collapse of the Twin Towers in the heart of the US prove how vulnerable modern man really is and how shaken the outer walls of his “Sukkah” are. But this should not hold us back from enjoying life as much as possible. To be happy when all is well is of no great significance. But to be fully aware of the dangers that surround us and simultaneously continue our lives with “song and harp” is what makes humans great and proud.


We should therefore discourage people from speculating about “the end of days” or reading kabbalistic and other sources informing us that the messianic days are very close and that the wars preceding his coming are imminent. There is no way of knowing. Just as in the days of Shabbatai Zvi, such speculations, however tempting, could cause a great backlash and do a lot of harm. Instead we should stay planted with our feet on the ground, and make sure we live up to our moral and religious obligations.


All of our tragedies should encourage people to be more united and to show more sensitivity to each other’s needs. They should encourage Jew and gentile to build strong family ties and create, just as in the case of the Sukkah, strong and pleasant homes. They should inspire people to go to synagogue and church and create strong communities, because these are some of the decorations in our lifelong Sukkah. The walls of our world may be shaking, but let us not forget that we have an obligation to decorate the interior.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters Shabbat Shalom!

No Daily Briefing Will Be Published on Monday




On Topic Links



Sukkot For Our Time: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Oct. 14, 2016—Of all the festivals, Sukkot is surely the one that speaks most powerfully to our time. King Solomon’s Kohelet, which we read on Sukkot, could almost have been written in the twenty first century. Here is the ultimate success, the man who has it all, and yet who, surveying the totality of his life, can only say, in effect, “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless.”

Palestinians Suffer Defeat at UNESCO, Losing France, EU, India, Africa: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Oct. 14, 2016—Despite the outrageous denial of Jerusalem’s historic Jewish and Christian ties implied by the Palestinian-drafted Islamist resolution adopted today by UNESCO’s executive board—detailed here by UN Watch—the fact is that the Palestinians suffered a significant defeat in the international arena.

After Elections, Will Obama Betray Israel at UN?: Breaking Israel News, Oct. 14, 2016—WikiLeaks recently exposed an email written by former White House official Stuart Eisenstadt that discussed the Obama administration’s deteriorating relationship with Israel and warned, “There is a distinct possibility that the Administration may seek a new U.N. Security Council resolution embodying the two-state, with [pre-] 1967 lines and agreed land swaps, and some vague statements about Jerusalem.”

At the U.N., Only Israel Is an ‘Occupying Power’: Eugene Kontorovich & Penny Grunseid, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 13, 2016—The United Nations began its annual session this week, and Israel will be prominent on the agenda. Many fear the Security Council may consider a resolution setting definite territorial parameters, and a deadline, for the creation of a Palestinian state.






The United Nations Has Lost It: Yair Lapid, Times of Israel, June 20, 2016— The United Nations has lost it. When it comes to Israel the UN has lost credibility, lost common sense, and more than anything lost its most important asset – its integrity.  

Reform or Regression? Ten Years of the UN Human Rights Council: Hillel C. Neuer, UNWatch, May 17, 2016— Testimony of Hillel C. Neuer, Executive Director, United Nations Watch as Delivered Washington, DC May 17, 2016.”

Guess Which Country the U.N. Decries Now: Janice Halpern, Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2016— The World Health Organization seems to have its hands full. With the Rio Olympics only two months away, the Zika virus has become an international public-health emergency.

UNESCO Resolution Disfigures Jewish, and Western, History: Mordechai Ben-Dat, CJN, May 24, 2016— One would think, rather reasonably, that an organization whose mission is “to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information” would care about conveying truth.


On Topic Links


Israel Named Head of UN Body for First Time: Itamar Eichner, Ynet, June 13, 2016

Israel’s UN Envoy Empowers Students to ‘Fight and Win’ Against BDS: Shalle' McDonald, JNS, May 26, 2016

Why is the UN Human Rights Council Not Concerned About Slavery?: Michael Curtis, American Thinker, June 3, 2016  

World in Chaos, Israel Gets Singular Focus at UN Rights Body: New York Times, June 13, 2016




Yair Lapid

Times of Israel, June 20, 2016


The United Nations has lost it. When it comes to Israel the UN has lost credibility, lost common sense, and more than anything lost its most important asset – its integrity. At the end of March, I stood in Geneva, with hundreds of protesters, wrapped in Israeli flags. We stood beneath the Broken Chair Monument which stands opposite the United Nations Human Rights Council. Inside, in the elegant hall, there was a debate, another debate, about Israel.


The UN Human Rights Council’s treatment of Israel strayed from the boundaries of legitimate criticism long ago. In the past decade the council has voted for 61 resolutions condemning human rights abuses across the world and 67 resolutions which condemned Israel. Let me repeat that — The council has condemned Israel, a democratic country which upholds international law, more times than the rest of the world combined.


Israel is the only country on earth which warrants its own agenda item in the UN Human Rights Council. Agenda item 7 dictates that every time the council meets there will be a ‘discussion of the human rights situation in Israel’. This discussion happens irrespective of whether or not there have been reports of human rights violations. It happens without a factual examination of the complaints lodged by Palestinians, usually allies or members of the various terror organizations that are sworn to destroy Israel. For the United Nations, this just doesn’t matter.


Together with me, under the Broken Chair, stood some of the victims: An impressive young man whose father, an Israeli peace activist, was murdered by a suicide bomber on a Jerusalem bus. A woman who went for a hike with a friend and her Labrador and was attacked by Palestinian terrorists. They stabbed her friend to death, stabbed her dozens of times and then stabbed her dog as well. “I don’t know why” she said to me quietly, “but most people are more shocked that they killed the dog than my friend.”


After the demonstration, they went to speak before the council. They received a cold reception. While they bore witness to the loss of their loved ones, the delegates ate, intentionally spoke loudly, and walked in and out. No one said a word about Israel defending women’s rights and gay rights. No one said a word about Israel’s Arab citizens, sitting in its parliament and on its Supreme Court. In short, no one said a word about Israel being a thriving democracy embodying as its way of life everything the UN exists to promote.


Israel’s enemies, on the other hand, hang gay people from telephone poles, believe women are the property of their husbands and obviously don’t believe in institutions like the United Nations. A few months after the embarrassing meeting in Geneva, the World Health Organization, another organ of the UN, held its annual meeting. As expected, the meeting dealt with questions of mortality, life expectancy, spread of disease and the need for vaccines. But the assembly also included one weird exception: It included a harsh condemnation of only one country, Israel.


The resolution condemned what it termed the “Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights.” There was no explanation how this might be relevant to health issues. Two hundred meters from the Israeli Golan, in Syria, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are being massacred and that wasn’t mentioned even once. In fact, the only connection between the Israeli Golan and health issues is that for the past few years Israel has quietly rescued hundreds of Syrian children who were injured in the fighting and treated them in our hospitals.


The resolution also contained a series of false “facts” based on disgraceful Palestinian propaganda in a report presented to the WHO. For example the report argues that “Israel injects Palestinians with viruses which cause cancer.” This is a monstrous accusation which wouldn’t be out of place in Der Sturmer, and yet it was published without a shred of proof.


The report was also decorated with photographs meant to enhance the drama. One, which was captioned “Taken during the Israeli war on Gaza 2014,” is an image of a simulated attack on Tehran which appeared on a popular blog a few years ago. The mountains surrounding the Iranian capital were removed using Photoshop to increase credibility. Another photograph is captioned, “The devastation caused by the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014.” It was actually taken in Beirut in early 2000s. All this, in an official United Nations report.


If you’re still not convinced that something twisted and irrational is happening you can visit the United Nations headquarters in New York. There you will find a permanent exhibition which deals with the Palestinian refugee problem. If you look carefully at the statistics, you’ll notice something strange: In 1948, during Israel’s War of Independence, around seven hundred thousand Palestinians fled or were exiled. Each one is an individual tragedy but it’s worth remembering that Israel wasn’t the aggressor in that war…


[To Read The Full Article, Click the Following Link–ED]



Hillel C. Neuer

UNWatch, May 17, 2016


Testimony of Hillel C. Neuer, Executive Director, United Nations Watch as Delivered Washington, DC May 17, 2016


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We meet on the 70th anniversary of the UN Commission on Human Rights, whose creators gathered this week, in May 1946, one year after the Nazi atrocities. Eleanor Roosevelt became the founding Chair, and René Cassin, the eminent legal philosopher, the Vice-Chair. The founders had a dream: to reaffirm the principle of human dignity, and to guarantee fundamental freedoms for all.


Over time, however, dictatorships hijacked the Commission—even electing the murderous regime of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi as Chair; 1946, Eleanor Roosevelt; 2003, Colonel Qaddafi. Two years later, UN Secretary-General Annan called for scrapping the commission, identifying its politicization, selectivity, and credibility deficit—all of which “cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole.”


By contrast, the UN promised that the new body would elect members committed to human rights, and address the world’s most severe abuses. Ten years later, we ask: Is the new body living up to the UN’s promise of reform, and to the original dream, from 70 years ago, of Eleanor Roosevelt?


Let us consider the Council’s record in responding to gross violations. Thanks to the U.S., an important inquiry was created on North Korea. Yet over fifty sessions, only a tiny minority of countries have been condemned — less than what even the discredited old Commission accomplished.


To the vast majority of abusers, the Council grants impunity. In China, 1.3 billion people are denied freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion. Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo languishes in prison. Tibetans are trampled and tortured. The Council’s response? Not one resolution, special session, or commission of inquiry. No protection for one-fifth of the world’s population. On the contrary, in violation of the criteria guaranteed in the Council’s 2006 charter, China was elected as a member.


In Russia, dissidents are harassed, arrested, even assassinated. Vladimir Putin’s regime has sparked deadly wars, invading Ukraine and swallowing Crimea. The Council’s response? Silence. Over ten years, the Council never attempted to pass a single resolution condemning Russia—when even the discredited commission managed to adopt two. Nor did the Council create a single special session, monitor or inquiry. On the contrary: Russia, too, was elected a member.


In Saudi Arabia, women are subjugated, Christians are arrested for practicing their religion, democracy blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a thousand lashes, and beheadings are at an all time high. The Council’s response? Silence. A recent attempt to investigate Saudi Arabia’s carpet bombing of Yemeni civilians was quashed. On the contrary: Saudi Arabia, too, was elected a member. And faced with compelling reports of torture in Algeria, forced child labor in Congo, attacks on dissidents in Cuba, abuse of foreign workers in Qatar, incommunicado detentions in the United Arab Emirates, the imprisonment of Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma and other democracy leaders in Venezuela, and arbitrary arrests in Vietnam, what has the Council done, over its ten years, to protect these victims?


Absolutely nothing. On the contrary: the UN elected every single one of these abusers as a Council member. With 62% of the current membership failing the basic standards of a free society, the Council’s democracy credentials are, in 2016, the lowest in history.


Let us consider the Council’s new Universal Periodic Review, which purports to examine every country. While the U.S. uses it to apply real scrutiny, the vast majority abuse it to praise each other. I was there when China praised Saudi Arabia for respecting religious freedom, and when the next day Saudi Arabia praised China for respecting minority rights. That’s why our detailed study, available at unwatch.org, is entitled Mutual Praise Society.


Let us consider where the Council is active. Despite the promise of ending selectivity, the Council’s pathological obsession with demonizing Israelis, and denying their human rights, has never been worse. Since its creation, the Council has adopted 67 resolutions condemning Israel—and only 61 on the rest of the world combined. The texts on Israel are uniquely suffused with the suppression of any countervailing facts that might provide balance.


Its commissions of inquiry like the Goldstone Report, which excoriated Israel while exonerating Hamas, initiated a new era whereby a terrorist group has come to rely on the Council as an effective international tool to achieve its deadly goals. Hamas is incentivized by the UN to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians while placing its own civilian population in harm’s way.


And just now, the Council instituted a UN black-list of Israeli companies, to have the UN implement the anti-Israeli BDS campaign—boycott, divestment and sanctions—and to strangle the economic life of Israeli citizens…[To Read The Full Article, Click the Following Link–ED]


Hillel Neuer is a former Editor of CIJR’s Dateline Middle East student magazine.




Janice Halpern,

Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2016


The World Health Organization seems to have its hands full. With the Rio Olympics only two months away, the Zika virus has become an international public-health emergency. Ebola’s embers still glow in West Africa, and yellow fever besieges Angola.


Yet the WHO found time at its annual meeting in May to tackle what it must consider a particularly pressing item: Israel, specifically conditions in “the occupied Palestinian territory” and “the occupied Syrian Golan.” A resolution, reported by the Geneva-based UN Watch, proposed that a field assessment be conducted to investigate. It passed 107-8, with eight abstentions.


The resolution, sponsored by the Palestinian delegation and the Arab bloc, was the only country-specific one considered. The WHO’s session neglected to address the bombing of Syrian hospitals by Syrian and Russian warplanes. It skipped the humanitarian disaster in Yemen, where the Saudi-led bombings and blockade have left millions without food and water.


Israel, like any country, makes mistakes. Its actions should be scrutinized, but it shouldn’t be held to an arbitrary, higher standard. Far from being outraged, the WHO should laud the Jewish state for its treatment of Syrians in the Golan. Israeli hospitals have stepped up to provide medical treatment to more than 3,000 refugees from the brutal civil war.


This typifies the Jewish state’s humanity. Palestinians regularly go to Israeli hospitals for treatment. Two years ago, the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh underwent emergency treatment in a Tel Aviv facility shortly after Hamas-Israel fighting ended.


Health outcomes in the West Bank and Gaza might surprise many readers. Take life expectancy at birth, a classic benchmark. In 2014, the figure for these territories was 73, according to the World Bank. Compare that with Libya (72), Iraq (69), Egypt (71) and Jordan (74).


The WHO’s constitution talks of fostering the “highest possible levels of health” by eradicating disease, standardizing diagnostic procedures and even preventing accidental injuries. Taking sides on long-simmering geopolitical issues exceeds its mandate. In singling out Israel, the WHO chooses politics over progress and undermines its own credibility.


Yet the WHO has gone this route before. In 2009, an executive-board resolution called out Israel for its actions during hostilities with Hamas. But the document failed to hold Hamas accountable for launching thousands of rockets at Israel, which had triggered the conflict.


This kind of selective attention to facts is wearily familiar to longtime observers of the U.N. In April, its cultural body, Unesco, adopted a resolution condemning Israel’s actions on and around Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and nearby Western Wall. Moreover, it ignored the Jews’ historical ties to their most sacred sites, while detailing their religious significance for Muslims.


The few countries that opposed the recent WHO resolution—including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea—deserve applause. It is troubling, however, that France, Germany and the United Kingdom voted “yes”—especially since the last two voted against the Unesco resolution in April.


As a physician, I know the value of the World Health Organization. As a Jew, I also know the danger of being targeted unfairly. The WHO ought to return to its constitutional mission, which is too important to be sidetracked by politics.                                              




Mordechai Ben-Dat

CJN, May 24, 2016


One would think, rather reasonably, that an organization whose mission is “to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information” would care about conveying truth. Normally, one would think that.


But if you did, you would be wrong. At least insofar as UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is concerned. The words of its mission statement, reproduced above, have been rendered meaningless. They are no longer a statement of high purpose, but rather a cloaking slogan. They cleverly hide sinister motives and malign behaviour. 


No other conclusion makes sense in light of the resolution UNESCO’s executive board adopted last month that stripped the Temple Mount in Jerusalem of any historical, theological or cultural connection to the Jewish People.


The resolution was a hodge-podge of condemnations against the Jewish state, which is referred to throughout the document as “the occupying power.” UNESCO’s executive board condemned the Jewish presence and activities on the Temple Mount, in Hebron and at the tomb of Rachel, all of which are identified only by their Arabic names. The resolution also mentions Gaza.

As Alan Baker, Israel’s former ambassador to Canada, wrote in a sharp rebuke of the resolution, UNESCO “pointedly and deliberately denies, ignores, and seeks to delete from history, any historic, cultural and religious link between the Jewish People, the Jewish religion and Jerusalem, including specifically its holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the Machpela Cave in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem.


“It ignores and denies the age-old indigenous Jewish historic linkage of the area to Judaism, Jewish history and religion and ignores the existence of the remnants of Jewish holy sites and the fact that this area is universally recognized by all as ‘Temple Mount,’ attesting to the fact that this was indeed the site of the Jewish Temples, and as such the cradle of all Jewish existence and history.”


In his commemoration of Yom Hashoah v’Hagvurah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out the true essence of the travesty perpetrated by the UNESCO executive board.


“Pay attention to what is happening here. A global organization responsible for preserving history is offhandedly rewriting a basic fact of human history. This is willful ignorance. Even worse, it is an addiction to a lie and its dissemination around the world until it is accepted as fact. This is precisely how Jew haters have acted throughout the ages.”


But, of course, this was the aim of the countries – Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan – that put forward the resolution. Their intention is to place on the record of international institutions that are considered credible by most people worldwide a falsified history of the Jewish People, a history bereft of a Jewish presence in ancient Israel and an ancient Israel bereft of its Judaism.


However, to deny the presence of Judaism in ancient Israel is also to deny the presence of Christianity there. If there is no Jewish history in Jerusalem, there is no Christian history. Period.


By altering Jewish history, the supporters of this UNESCO resolution are altering, indeed disfiguring, western history, too. This may not bother the Muslim-majority countries who were among the 33 states that approved the resolution.  But it should have bothered France, Russia, Spain and Sweden, who also voted for the resolution. In so doing, they effectively repudiated their own heritage, their own historical, theological and cultural origins. But at what cost to them?


The six countries that opposed the resolution – the United States, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – understand that the hatred directed at the Jewish state ultimately rebounds against them, too.




On Topic Links


Israel Named Head of UN Body for First Time: Itamar Eichner, Ynet, June 13, 2016—After months of behind-the-scenes diplomatic struggles, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon was elected to head the UN Legal Committee (officially named the Sixth Committee) on Monday. The committee deals with sensitive topics including fighting global terrorism.

Israel’s UN Envoy Empowers Students to ‘Fight and Win’ Against BDS: Shalle' McDonald, JNS, May 26, 2016—The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel might be garnering the most headlines when it comes to college campuses and the business world, but representatives from the Israeli government and advocacy organizations are taking the battle against BDS to the United Nations.

Why is the UN Human Rights Council Not Concerned About Slavery?: Michael Curtis, American Thinker, June 3, 2016—Commentators may debate whether the United Nations Human Rights Council is or is the world’s most ludicrous international organization, but all will agree it is the most misnamed. Human rights, with one exception, is foreign territory to it.

World in Chaos, Israel Gets Singular Focus at UN Rights Body: New York Times, June 13, 2016—Wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Enforced disappearances, torture and extremist attacks infringe on human rights worldwide.




Claudia Rosett

National Review, March 14, 2012

When the member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization voted last October to confer membership on the Palestinian Authority, they knew their decision would trigger the withdrawal of U.S. funding, which in dues alone accounted for more than $78 million per year, or 22 percent of UNESCO’s core budget. Current American law requires the U.S. to pull funding from any U.N.-affiliated organization that tries to confer statehood on the Palestinians before they have qualified for it through negotiations with Israel. UNESCO did it anyway, the assembled delegates clapping and cheering as they voted. The tally was 107 to 14, with 52 abstaining.

Since then, UNESCO’s Bulgarian director general, Irina Bokova, has been campaigning—not to undo UNESCO’s admission of “Palestine,” but to persuade U.S. authorities to resume forking out money to UNESCO. Bokova’s efforts have included two trips to Washington these past four months, including a U.S. tour which started in Washington [two weeks ago]. UNESCO’s website [recently] feature[d] press releases with headlines such as “UNESCO Director General Presses Washington to Restore US Funding,” over a photo of Bokova meeting in December with a U.S. congressman.

To this I can add the news that to supplement Bokova’s forays to the U.S., Paris-based UNESCO is now quietly planning to open an office in Washington, sometime in the next few months. Were the aim simply to represent UNESCO to the U.S., there would be no need for this. UNESCO already has a liaison office at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York. But this new office, in Washington, will be positioned to maximize access to U.S. policymakers, especially Congress. UNESCO’s current plan is that this office will be run by a former congressional aide, George Papagiannis, who has been working since 2007 for UNESCO.…

A whiff of this plan turned up in a set of “Talking Points” that Papagiannis dispatched recently to various UNESCO advocates in the U.S., and that I obtained. In his talking points, Papagiannis lauds various UNESCO programs, such as literacy training in Iraq and Afghanistan, that he says will suffer unless the U.S. resumes bankrolling the organization. (There is no mention that UNESCO wastes millions, according to its own auditors, or that UNESCO could preserve its better programs by scrapping its worst.) At the bottom of these talking points, Papagiannis’s name and U.S. and French mobile-phone numbers appear, along with the label “UNESCO Washington Office.…”

While UNESCO’s mission is to promote culture, it seems the main aim of this office will be to promote UNESCO itself, with a special focus on the U.S. capital, where, Papagiannis says, there is a failure to fully appreciate UNESCO.… Does that mean he will be lobbying U.S. authorities to restore funding to UNESCO? “I am not lobbying,” Papagiannis [told me]. “I am raising awareness about the organization.…”

[Papagiannis] is now in the U.S., accompanying Bokova.… According to UNESCO’s website, her agenda includes meetings with the media, private-sector companies, charitable foundations, and “government officials.” This isn’t the first U.S. trip on which Bokova has availed herself of the talents of a former U.S. congressional staffer.… On her previous trip to Washington this past December, Bokova was squired to meetings with lawmakers by the current U.S. ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion. Killion is a veteran of the Hill, where he helped pave the way for America’s 2003 return to UNESCO, after President Ronald Reagan pulled the U.S. out in 1984.…

President Obama appointed Killion in 2009 as the U.S. envoy to UNESCO.… [He] is an impassioned advocate of “active engagement” with UNESCO, arguing that this is the way to influence the organization for the better. But on his watch as ambassador, there’s been little U.S. influence on display. One reason may be that Killion keeps hinting that no matter what UNESCO does, the Obama administration will seek ways to keep American money flowing.…

The Obama administration has since greatly expanded on Killion’s kow-tow to UNESCO. In February, President Obama submitted a 2013 State Department budget that lists $78.9 million for UNESCO, despite the legal ban on funding for the organization. In a footnote comes the explanation: “The Department of State intends to work with Congress to seek legislation that would provide authority to waive restrictions on paying the U.S. assessed contributions to UNESCO.…”

Meanwhile, over at UNESCO…[its] 58-member executive board, which includes Syria, voted to keep Syria’s bloody regime on UNESCO’s human-rights committee. UNESCO’s board also approved a long-debated $3 million science prize sponsored by dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, with the concession that it will be named not for Obiang himself, but for the country he has been tyrannizing for the past 33 years, Equatorial Guinea.…

When the Palestinian flag was raised in December at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen wisely warned that “asserting the existence of a Palestinian state does not make it so. It only makes real peace harder to achieve.” She added: “The only thing deterring more UN bodies from following in UNESCO’s reckless, anti-peace footsteps is the credible threat of a U.S. funding cutoff, as U.S. law requires. Money talks at the UN.”

Here’s a suggestion. Last April, UNESCO’s auditors reported that with better management, “UNESCO can make substantial savings of up to $3.1 million annually in Headquarters travel costs.…” Clearly UNESCO could achieve yet more savings by cutting back on excursions to Washington by Director-General Bokova and her retinue…[enabling them] to concentrate on cleaning up UNESCO, rather than trying to meddle with the laws of the United States.

Mike Fegelman

National Post, March 12, 2012

As another telling example of how the UN has lost its moral compass, on March 9, just one day after International Women’s Day marked the achievement and continued challenges of women, the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women passed exactly one country-specific resolution—condemning Israel for the supposed intolerable living conditions of Palestinian women.

No action was taken against Iran, where girls are stoned to death for allegedly committing adultery, or Syria, where women are indiscriminately tortured, raped, and murdered by the Assad regime. The plight of Saudi Arabian women who are treated as chattel under monarchy-sanctioned gender apartheid was altogether ignored. The United Nations only censured Israel, one of the world’s most progressive defenders of women’s rights, for exclusive and unwarranted opprobrium.

The resolution decried that the “Israeli occupation” in territories, including east Jerusalem, is the main obstacle for the advancement of Palestinian woman. Not a peep from the UN about the internal Palestinian conditions that stymie female self-determination. Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Proser, rightly proclaimed that the resolution “brings levels of absurdity and cynicism to new heights.…”

In a region where the terms “Middle East” and “women’s rights” are contradictory and not complimentary, Israel stands out as a beacon for the rights of women, not its serial abuser. It’s no wonder that when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly this past September, he referred to the UN as “a house of many lies” and a “theatre of the absurd.” A place where “Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined” and where Israel is “not only cast as the villain, but where real villains are cast in leading roles.”

To support his argument, Netanyahu pointed out how Libya chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights under Gaddafi’s ruthless and tyrannical rein. He referred to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq which headed the UN committee on disarmament and how the UN described the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest accessible site as “occupied Palestinian territory”.…

In order to foster fundamental freedoms and human rights, we need world bodies like the United Nations and our mainstream media to focus their attention on the plight of these women, and not just simply vilify and scapegoat Israel. In doing so, our policy makers can make informed decisions that promote the personal freedoms and professional opportunities of women in the region.

(Mike Fegelman is Executive Director of Honest Reporting Canada.)

Omri Ceren

Contentions, March 14, 2012

Much has been written about the impotence and uselessness of the United Nations and its various Middle East missions. Peacekeeping operations like those in Lebanon fail to keep any sort of peace, while refugee organizations like those in the Gaza Strip fail to resolve refugee crises. But one thing has to be admitted: when they step up to help Israel’s enemies in times of war, they do so enthusiastically and even comprehensively. Because modern wars are fought both in the media and on the battlefield, UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) officials make a point of assisting Hamas in both arenas.

The documentation on how UNRWA tried to manipulate the media during Israel’s 2009 Operation Cast Lead is extensive but probably the most surreal example came when UNRWA Commissioner Karen Abu Zayd hastily called a video press conference to blame Israel for the war. Claiming that “it was obvious that Hamas was trying” to observe a truce and that “only one rocket…went out on Friday [before the operation],” she accused Israel of violating an “informal 48-hour lull.” The degree to which Abu Zayd just flat fabricated that story can’t be overemphasized. Suffice to say that not only had Hamas been firing rockets at Israel for months, but on that very Friday morning they had fired 25 shells. That’s a lot more than the 1 Abu Zayd counted, but global media outlets duly parroted her propaganda anyway.

In addition to helping Hamas in the media war, UNRWA also tried to shift the tempo of actual warfighting. On January 6, IDF troops hit a Hamas team that was firing rockets at Israeli civilians from outside an UNRWA school in the Jabalya refugee camp. Hamas had been launching rockets from the UNRWA school grounds since at least 2007, but UNRWA officials took the opportunity to accuse Israel of firing into the building and killing civilians inside. The idea was to create a Gaza version of “Qana,” the Lebanon II incident in which IAF planes targeting a Hezbollah rocket cell accidentally hit the apartment building the cell was using for cover, killing 28 of the human shields inside. The resulting international pressure forced Israel into a 48-hour ceasefire, allowing Hezbollah to regroup and allowing journalists to blame Israel anew when fighting resumed. UNRWA tried to do the same thing with the Jabalya school, mobilizing international calls for a ceasefire just as Hamas had become “desperate for a lull in the fighting.”

But Israel never hit the school. UNRWA just pretended it had. Called to account for their blatant fabrication, UNRWA officials blamed the demonstrable falsehood on—no joke—“a clerical error.…”

UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness just got called out for being a “terrorist stooge” after he contended that Israel’s recent anti-Hamas operation is “sick sick sick.” Gunness is unapologetic about his personal affection for Hamas partisans…so it makes sense that he would lash out against Israel, even though the rockets falling on UNRWA schools right now are Hamas-launched Qassams that fall short.

It makes less sense for the United States to continue paying the salary of a guy who suggests that Israel is killing Palestinians for sport, but multilateralism is magic that way. At times like this I like to muse over the recent question presented by the Forward, once one of America’s great ethnic news outlets and now a shoddy proponent of neutrality about BDS: why must American Jews persist in their unfair “misconceptions” about all the good work UNRWA does?


Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2012

It was no bolt from the blue that the grotesquely misnamed UN Human Rights Council played host last week (albeit somewhat indirectly) to a Hamas representative, Gazan “parliamentarian” Ismail al-Ashqar. Although for technical reasons he couldn’t address the UNHRC’s official 19th session in Geneva last week, he did participate in one of the NGO forums ancillary to it.

This event, organized by the Ma’arij Foundation for Peace and Development, was conducted at the UN’s Geneva facility, parallel to the UNHRC session and publicized on UNHRC’s website.

Had Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not slammed this travesty, it’s doubtful much attention would have been paid the creeping legitimization of Hamas in the Swiss-based subsidiary of the UN General Assembly. Not that this should surprise anyone with even rudimentary familiarity with the Council.

Pro forma, it was born only in 2006, but in actual fact it started out as the much-discredited UN Human Rights Commission. Former UN chief Kofi Annan took the extraordinary step of abolishing it because of unabashed politicization that mostly manifested itself in its fixated demonization of Israel—singled out for censure on any occasion and under any pretext.

The unlamented commission was replaced by the council amid promises for sincere introspection, contrition and most of all cleaning up of the commission’s admittedly shameful record.

Nonetheless, the commission’s preposterous patterns reasserted themselves in full from the get-go. The council consistently discerns nothing more urgent to occupy itself with than Israel’s alleged human rights abuses. The council is the commission’s carbon copy, with one exception. The commission held a single yearly session. The council treats us to multiple annual extravaganzas.

The majority of its 47 seats are Third World, which not only guarantees massive anti-Israel bias but makes mockery of human rights.… Among the council’s members are such stalwart champions of civil liberties as Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, Malaysia, Qatar and Cuba.

Little wonder that the Americans expressed profound displeasure with the current UNHRC agenda. Theirs is no trifling rebuke, however, precisely because it comes from the Obama administration that pointedly reversed a Bush administration decision not to seek a seat on the council due to its loss of credibility, obsessive preoccupation with Israel and failure to confront the world’s real serial rights abusers.

US Ambassador to the UNHRC Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe noted the council’s Agenda Item 7, under which, at every session, Israel’s human rights record is seemingly scrutinized. No other country has an agenda item reserved for it. The US “continues to be deeply troubled by this council’s biased and disproportionate focus on Israel, as exemplified by this standing agenda item,” Donahoe told the council recently, during a daylong debate on five UNHRC resolutions on Israel.

This is the same council that commissioned the Goldstone Report and which followed it up by scathingly condemning Israel for the Mavi Marmara incident.

The UNHRC is the last organization that should be relied upon to take into account the fact that the Hamas Charter rejects “so-called peaceful solutions.… There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad.” Hamas’s charter also calls for Israel’s obliteration because “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.…”

Jews, the Hamas charter charges, “instigated WWI and WWII,” and Jews later “inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary.” This should particularly interest the UNHRC, which needs ask itself how it can abide a xenophobic terrorist organization, which, while branding the UN as a Jewish scam, exploits it to pillory the Jewish state.

Ron Prosor

Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2012

‘War is the unfolding of miscalculations.” So noted historian Barbara Tuchman decades ago, yet this principle continues to fall on deaf ears in the international community. As terrorism in the Gaza Strip increases, threatening to set off instability across the region, the continued roar of rockets into Israel should keep world leaders up at night. But most remain mute and missing in action.

Their choice to stand idle is a grave miscalculation. The consequences…could be tragic.

This month, a targeted strike by the Israel Defense Forces canceled the travel plans of arch-terrorist Zuhair al-Qaisi as he headed from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula. His itinerary included much more than snorkeling in the Red Sea. He aimed to launch another mass murder of innocent Israelis from the Sinai—and undermine the foundation of regional stability by driving a wedge between Israel and Egypt.

In the five days that followed, terrorists in Gaza stepped up their attacks on Israeli cities to 60 rockets per day (up from a years-long average of “only” two to four a day). As these terrorists sought to maximize civilian deaths, Israel worked to minimize them, with a precise and targeted offensive and defensive response. Israel’s new “Iron Dome” antimissile system intercepted more than 50 rockets over major cities, preventing more than 50 potential tragedies. Israel’s Air Force hit Palestinian rocket squads with minimal civilian casualties, even though they had been intentionally using neighborhoods and schools as launching pads.

The situation in Israel’s south remains as stable as a house of cards. Rockets continue to fly in from Gaza. Despite its spectacular performance, the Iron Dome is still only 90% effective at its best, whereas the terrorists in Gaza remain 100% determined to kill Israeli civilians. The clock is ticking until the next major escalation.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets fall on your head, you have a right to defend yourself.… Time and time again, Israel has warned the world that Gaza is a disaster waiting to happen. Yet, over the past decade, the ratio of rocket attacks to words of condemnation from the United Nations Security Council is 12,000 to zero.…

With the Middle East locked in a struggle for a democratic future, a significant escalation in Gaza would tip the scales toward the fundamentalists. From Marrakech to Manama, it would provide cannon fodder for radical clerics and politicians to promote their hateful ideology. The Arab world would be forced to drop its focus on the atrocities of the Assad regime, giving the region’s most cynical eye doctor the opportunity once and for all to blind his people’s vision for freedom.

Iran understands this well. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are loading Bashar al-Assad’s tanks, funding his government, and training his troops—all while funneling weapons to Hamas and other terrorist proxies in Gaza. Today, a conflict in Gaza would answer all the prayers of Iran’s leaders, distracting the world as they take their final steps toward nuclear capability. For the Iranian regime, every dead Israeli or Palestinian provides an opportunity to install another centrifuge.

The terrorists in Gaza do not pose a threat only to the citizens of southern Israel. Each rocket is armed with a warhead capable of causing a political earthquake that would extend well beyond Israel’s borders. Our message to the international community is clear: Your silence is pounding the drums of war.

(Ron Prosor is Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.)