Tuesday, March 28, 2017

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Remember Larry Derfner, the columnist who was fired from the Jerusalem Post for submitting an article that said that Palestinians murdering Israelis was a "right"? The JPost editor said that Derfner had written "hate speech."

Naturally, Derfner found work writing for Haaretz, the Forward and +972.

And now....for the New York Times.

Because instead of being disgraced by showing such callous disregard for innocent Israeli lives, he is celebrated.

Derfner's thesis for his NYT op-ed is just as fact-free as his justification for murdering Jews.

In this country, people have learned to accept that one war follows another, every two or three years. “An Inevitable Conflict in Gaza,” ran a headline in the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot earlier this month. “With Lebanon no longer hiding Hezbollah’s role, next war must hit civilians where it hurts, Israeli minister says,” Haaretz reported a few days later.

What hardly any Israelis will consider, though, and virtually no influential voices in the West will publicly suggest, is that Israel — not Hezbollah in Lebanon, nor Hamas in Gaza, nor the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria — is provoking the next war. Counterintuitive though it may be to Israeli and most Western minds, Israel, not its militant Islamist or brutal Syrian enemies, is the aggressor in these border wars.
His evidence? Israel attacks weapons convoys from Syria to Hezbollah - advanced weapons that are illegal under UN Security Council resolutions. This, to Derfner's mind, makes Israel the aggressor.

Derfner, who as far as I can tell has no expertise in either military or political strategy, performs his "analysis:"

Hezbollah and Syria are well and truly deterred, and if Israel were to simply let them be, they would have to be crazy to strike first. (Hezbollah tried that in 2006, killing two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, and in the war that followed Israel taught Hezbollah and all of Lebanon a very harsh, lasting lesson.) But if Israel keeps rubbing their noses in their weakness — as Mr. Netanyahu is now doing — national honor at some point will compel them to hit back with force. The “inevitable” next war will begin.
It doesn't occur to Derfner that these occasional Israeli raids pinpointing specific weapons convoys and terrorists are the deterrence, not memories of a war ten years ago.

Hezbollah and Hamas don't want to start a war directly - but they do want to push what they do as far as possible. To prepare for the next war.  What other purpose do tunnels and advanced missiles aimed at Israeli targets have?

Derfner justifies Arab aggression as natural. You see, Arabs have honor that must be protected. They have no choice but to shoot missiles and send bus bombers to Israel. Besides the mention of honor above in the context of Syria and Hezbollah, Derfner invokes it to pre-emptively justify Hamas aggression:

Lately, militant groups in Gaza other than Hamas have been firing their rockets in Israel’s direction, typically hitting nothing but open space. In return, Israel has been blasting away at Hamas military targets. Hamas has been holding its fire, but as the military affairs commentator Alex Fishman wrote in Yediot Aharonot, that calm “may be broken as soon as Israel attacks and Hamas feels that it can no longer take the humiliation, or if an Israeli strike leaves too many casualties.”
What Derfner doesn't tell the clueless New York Times readers is that Israel's retaliation for ineffective rockets is to hit empty buildings and fields. Just as in Syria, the point is to remind Hamas that they must uphold their responsibilities - that Israel can just as easily hit much more valuable targets.

It is true that there is a war every few years - 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014. Each of those wars were started by outrageous actions on the parts of Hezbolah and Hamas that no nation on Earth would tolerate - and in fact, Israel has been very reticent to respond to the vast majority of outrageous actions by those parties.

If Israel would use the argument of "national honor" to justify attacks, Derfner would rightly castigate it for being cavalier in going to war. When Arabs invoke honor to justify attacks and military buildup, though, Derfner is all love and kisses for their cultural desire to protect themselves from humiliation.

Derfner looks at everything through the lens of his anti-Israel glasses while Hezbollah and Hamas are viewed through rose-colored lenses. Sure, Israel teaches and advocates peace in private and public, while the Islamists that Derfner is defending openly advocate murdering Jews literally every day in their media, schools and public statements. But Derfner, whose entire career has been built on bashing Israel, is obligated to try to convince everyone that Israel is the aggressor and the poor Hamas and Hezbollah militants just want their honor.

It is also notable that at no point does Derfner mention that Iran is who is behind everything happening in Syria and Lebanon, because he wants to ensure that Israel is perceived as the big bad aggressor and the terror groups as the victims. It is hard to do that when you remember that they are proxies for a regional superpower that pledges to destroy Israel.

Of course, the only criterion the New York Times looks for in their Middle East op-eds is that the author has something bad to say about Israel.  Supporting facts are not necessary.



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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


Times of Israel reports on her talk with Dan Senor:

Without seeming slick about it, she also offered, early in her remarks, a very potent parallel between her Indian-American Sikh upbringing and what she called Israeli culture (I’m guessing she meant Jewish) that would have endeared her to anyone in the audience who wasn’t already won over: “We’re very close knit. We love our families. We have a strong work ethic. We believe in professionalism and philanthropy and giving back,” she said. And then paused. “So that’s all the good things,” she continued, to much laughter. Then, “We’re aggressive. We’re stubborn. And we don’t back down from a fight. So it’s a…” She didn’t get to finish that sentence, so overwhelming was the roar.

Her rhetoric smacked of common sense. She’d gone to the United Nations, and found it to be an absurd place. And now she was telling the folks at AIPAC about it.

She recalled how “bizarre” it was for her, when she first set foot in the UN, to listen to delegate after delegate simply bash Israel — the more so when there are so many crises and threats to deal with in the Middle East. “I knew they said it was bad, but until you hear it, and you see it, you just can’t comprehend how ridiculous it is,” she said.

She lambasted former president Barack Obama’s beloved Iran nuclear deal, and said it was “beyond me” and “terrible” that the deal got passed.

She declared that when UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was approved in December 2016, its passage facilitated by the Obama administration’s failure to exercise a veto, “the entire country felt a kick in the gut. We had just done something that showed the United States at its weakest point ever,” she said. “Never do we not have the backs of our friends. We don’t have a greater friend than Israel. And to see that happen was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful.” Nowadays, by contrast, she went on, “everyone at the United Nations is scared to talk to me about Resolution 2334. And I wanted them to know that, Look, that happened, but it will never happen again.”

All these forthright declarations were met with delight.

So, too, some of her one-liners, delivered with restraint, but with unmistakable conviction.

On Iran: “We’re going to watch them like a hawk.”

On her approach to confronting what she thinks is unfair: “All I did was tell the truth.”

On engineering change at the UN: “I’m not there to play.”

And: “The days of Israel-bashing are over.”

And: “I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick ’em every single time.”

And most loudly applauded of all: “So for anyone that says you cannot get anything done at the UN, they need to know there’s a new sheriff in town.”




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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Marwani Mosque entrance


This story has been all over Arab and Muslim media the past couple of days, and I can't find out what the real story is.

Here's the story from the official Palestinian Wafa news agency:

 Israeli police detained four guards of the Muslim holy site, Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem after they stopped a Jewish archaeologist from stealing an ancient mosque stone.

Police first detained three guards when they attempted to block the theft of the stone and shoved the director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Omar Kiswani, when he tried to intervene on behalf of the employees.

A fourth guard was later detained for the same reason.

All four were taken into custody.

Fanatic Jews claim Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is the site of the old Jewish temples.

Muslim fear the Jewish fanatics want to destroy the mosque to build a temple on its ruins.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is under Jordanian custody and its staff, including the guards, are Jordanian government employees.
Turkey's Anadolu Agency adds:
 Israeli forces have detained seven guards of East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in the past 24 hours, a Palestinian official said on Tuesday.

“Four other guards were rounded up from their homes at dawn on Tuesday,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic sites, told Anadolu Agency.

“Three others were detained on Monday after they prevented a Jewish archaeologist from stealing an ancient stone from inside the mosque,” he said.

Al-Dibs said the archaeologist had allegedly attempted twice to steal the stone under the protection of Israeli police, triggering clashes between the guards and Israeli forces. 
Middle East Monitor identifies the supposed archaeologist as being from Israel's Antiquities Authority.

IMEMC tells the story differently, claiming that the Israeli police tried "confiscating some of its ancient stones to send them to an Israeli archeologist." instead of the archaeologist being there and trying to steal a single stone under Israeli protection.

Needless to say, all of these sources have very big credibility problems in their past reporting.

The inconsistencies in the stories multiply in Arabic. Assabeel and other sites say that the IAI employee tried to "storm" the underground Marwani mosque "to steal ancient stones." The Marwani mosque was built illegally in the area that is known as Solomon's Stables and tons of the debris from that huge excavation are what volunteers continue to sift through to find Jewish artifacts from the Temple periods.

My guess is that the Waqf made up the story of the "ancient stone" that was to be "stolen." Archaeologists prefer that artifacts stay in the exact spot that they were found when they want to do research. Something else happened where the Muslim guards got into a fight with the Israeli police, and it is unclear if any IAI official was there to begin with, but it seems more likely that the only thing the IAI would have wanted to take were photos.






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Monday, March 27, 2017

From Ian:

The 100 year betrayal of Israel by the West - Canada Free Press
Obama Era
Because of the pressure put on Israel by the US to create a Palestinian state, PM Sharon thought he had to initiate solutions before he was forced to do what the west wanted. Thus he proposed the Disengagement Plan. Bush gave him a letter in 2004 in support which committed the US to certain things including US support for the retention of the settlement blocs and a solution based on Res 242 rather than the API. It also committed the US to not allow any other Plan to be imposed. This letter was carefully drafted as it was considered to be binding on the US. One of the first things Pres Obama did after his inauguration was to disavow this letter so he would be free to impose terms on Israel if not a full plan. I would say that was a major betrayal.
Pres Obama betrayed Israel in many ways during his presidency including forcing Israel to institute a settlement freeze and to support a two-state solution which she wasn’t legally obligated to do. Rather than leave all final status issues to be negotiated directly as had been agreed upon, he attempted to influence the parameters of an agreement by insisting on a division of Jerusalem and the ‘67 lines as the borders. His parting shot was to refrain from casting his veto to UN Res 2334 which thoroughly attacked the settlements and demanded a permanent freeze. If that weren’t bad enough, it went on to apply these demands to communities in Jerusalem east of the ceasefire lines.
The Iran Deal requires special mention as a betrayal of major proportions.
The driving force behind all these betrayals is the desire on the part of the West to appease the Arabs due to their 300 million population, their oil and gas exports and to their one billion co-religionists. It matters not, what the facts, history, agreements, values, guarantees are.
It remains to be seen whether Pres. Trump will put an end to this 100 year betrayal.

Melanie Phillips charts her journey from ‘Miss Guardianista’ to ‘neoconservative Jeremiah’
Growing up in West London a distance away from the city’s thriving Jewish communities, Melanie Phillips did not have a particularity deep relationship with Israel. The veteran journalist describes her childhood family as “three times a year Jews” based on the frequency of their synagogue visits.
Israel “didn’t figure large in our lives at all. It was not really talked about. It was there, we approved of it but we never went there,” Phillips told the audience in Jerusalem’s Beit Shmuel Hall on Sunday night.
“Israel was fine for other Jews. Other Jews needed it, that was great and we supported that, and we cared about its fate and its future — at a distance. But it wasn’t for Jews like us because we were absolutely fine because we lived in Britain,” said Phillips.
Now sharing her time between Israel and her native UK, the veteran journalist has undoubtedly changed her views both on the necessity of the Jewish state and on the future of the Jewish community in Britain.
In conversation with fellow UK journalist Matthew Kalman in the latest in an ongoing series of events sponsored by The Times of Israel, Phillips described how Israel had played a key role in her journey from long-time liberal correspondent and columnist at the left-leaning Guardian newspaper to assuming the mantle of an ultra-conservative heavyweight frequenting the pages of the Daily Mail and the Spectator.
Phillips said it was the 1982 Lebanon War which first burst the bubble of her “seventh heaven” on the Guardian’s high-brow editorial team.
Rebel Media's Faith Goldy in the Israel Today Studio (h/t Yoel)


  • Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Jerusalem Post last month:
The German state of Thuringia announced on Friday it will remove a school book with an antisemitic illustration depicting a video game character – alongside the words “Rothschild Bank” – consuming Europe.

A Thuringian Education Ministry representative told the MDR Thüringen news outlet that “like in many other federal states,” Thuringia will remove the book, and called criticism of the book “justified.”

The cartoon shows a video Pacman figure devouring Europe, with the Jewish banking family named next to the cartoon.

The schoolbook has been in circulation since 2012. The Thuringian Education Ministry representative declined to comment on the number of books in use in Thuringia’s educational system published by Klett-Verlag.
As far as I can tell, the actual illustration from the book hasn't been published in any English-language outlet. So here it is:



The artist behind this is named David Dees, an ultra-right wing American with fairly poor Photoshop skills who has made lots of antisemitic artwork, especially for some conspiracy rag called Sheeple:








(h/t Irene)




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By Petra Marquardt-Bigman

When the news broke late last week that convicted terrorist and US immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh had decided to accept a plea bargain that requires her to leave the US while allowing her to avoid prison, no one needed to rally the “usual suspects”: anti-Israel activists at Ali Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada and the Orwellian-named Jewish Voice for Peace were quick to reaffirm their support for Odeh by eagerly amplifying the odious statement put out by the “Rasmea Defense Committee.” But these notorious fringe voices were soon joined by Noura Erakat, an assistant professor at George Mason University, “where she teaches in the legal studies, international studies, and human rights/social justice studies concentrations.” Erakat also seems to have some credibility with the US mainstream media; she has e.g. appeared on CNN and PBS and has voiced her views on terrorism in the New York Times, as EoZ highlighted in a critical post last year.

Arguably, Erakat now clarified her views on terrorism when she took to Twitter and described Odeh as “[o]ur sister, our beloved leader;” she also re-tweeted a claim that Odeh was the victim of a “political expulsion;” eventually,  Erakat followed up with a lengthy piece at Jezebel, professing her “mad love and respect” for the convicted terrorist and immigration fraudster.




The title of Erakat’s piece, “When You Come for Rasmea Odeh, You Come For All of Us,” implies of course that all left-thinking people should now feel “we are all Rasmea Odeh.” Perhaps Jezebel readers don’t mind this sweeping declaration of solidarity with a person who joined a terrorist organization and was convicted for her participation in a deadly bombing attack on a supermarket. After all, the bombed supermarket was in Jerusalem and the casualties – two students killed and nine people wounded – were Israeli Jews. But while most Americans will never have heard of Rasmea Odeh, many would probably be alarmed to know that a former member of a group that “pioneered aircraft hijackings” and that is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Australia, and the European Union, is so enthusiastically championed by a Palestinian American professor who teaches at a well-respected US university.

Of course, Erakat pretends that Rasmea Odeh is just an innocent victim of Israel’s brutality, forced after weeks of monstrous torture to confess to a crime she didn’t commit. Yet, Erakat is apparently aware that a thorough documentation showing that Odeh was convicted in a fair trial has been available at Legal Insurrection for more than two years – but naturally, she thinks it’s enough to denounce the site as just one of the “right-wing rags” that none of her readers would ever even look at.

Perhaps Professor Erakat will one day write a learned book on how to tell right-wing facts from left-wing facts, but in the meantime, the fact of the matter remains that it’s pretty easy to show how utterly hollow the claims of Odeh and her fans are. Particularly easy to refute is the claim that she only confessed after enduring “45 days” of heinous torture: Odeh was arrested by Israeli security forces on February 28, 1969; three days later, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported:

“Jerusalem police said today that they had confessions from three suspects directly involved in planting bombs that wrecked the Supersol supermarket in West Jerusalem on Feb. 21, killing two Hebrew University students and injuring nine other persons. […] Police said the bombs were planted by two girls who received the explosives from a third saboteur. They were concealed in shopping bags. The crime has been reconstructed with the aid of the suspects, according to police.”

Moreover, as Erakat should know, Palestinians tend to be very proud of any terror attacks they committed – and sure enough, one of Odeh’s accomplices has repeatedly boasted about her own and Odeh’s role in the deadly bomb attack. You can watch Aisha Odeh doing just that here and here – and both interviews were meant to glorify what Rasmea and Aisha Odeh accomplished. (Incidentally, they are apparently not relatives).

So much for Rasmea Odeh’s “innocence”…

Of course, it can’t be ruled out that Noura Erakat would insist that Aisha Odeh and the programs that glorified her and Rasmea Odeh must be dismissed as part of some vast conspiracy orchestrated by “right-wing rags.” But “right-wing rags” really face a tough challenge: they can hardly hope to discredit the left more effectively than Erakat has done by asserting that being on the left means embracing a convicted terrorist who not only joined a group that pioneered airplane hijackings, but who also participated in the deadly bombing of a supermarket and then lied about it all to get US citizenship.

Given Erakat’s views on Odeh, it is hardly surprising that she is also an ardent admirer of Richard Falk, an antisemitic 9/11 truther whose support for the terror group Hamas has even upset the Palestinian Authority. But Professor Erakat is “honored” to call Falk “a friend” and she’s “so inspired, when not intimated, floored” by how much Falk gives the world…



Thanks to a tip I received on Twitter, it is also clear that as far as Erakat is concerned, Palestinian terrorism – no matter how gruesome – will never diminish her support for the Palestinian “cause”. An article in The Daily Californian from early April 2002 tells us that at a raucous “pro-Palestinian” rally,

“UC Berkeley senior Noura Erakat, praised the Palestinian people on being ‘steadfast in their refusal to leave’ Palestine, and drew wild cheers from the mostly pro-Palestinian crowd when she accused Israel of ‘racist, apartheid practices.’”

This statement from Erakat came at the height of the so-called Al-Aqsa Intifada that Palestinians initiated after they had been offered a state comprising all of Gaza and at least 90% of the West Bank at Camp David in July 2000. Here is just a partial list of some of the major Palestinian terror attacks in the three months preceding the “pro-Palestinian” rally in Berkeley:

In the Bat Mitzvah massacre on January 17, 2002, 6 people were killed and 33 were wounded at a Bat Mitzvah celebration in Hadera.

In the Jaffa Street bombing on January 27, 2002, Wafa Idris, “a 28-year-old female Palestinian suicide bomber, blew herself up in the center of Jerusalem, killing one person and injuring about 100 others.”

In the Karnei Shomron Mall suicide bombing on February 16, 2002, 3 teenagers were killed and 27 people were wounded.

In the Yeshivat Beit Yisrael massacre in downtown Jerusalem on March 2, 2002, 11 Israelis – including “two infants, three children and two teenagers” – were killed and over 50 people were injured by a suicide bomber who “detonated the bomb full of shrapnel alongside a group of women with their baby strollers, waiting for the services in a nearby synagogue to conclude.”

In the Café Moment bombing on March 9, 2002, 11 Israelis were killed and 54 wounded by a Palestinian suicide bomber targeting a popular café in Jerusalem.

In the King George Street bombing on March 21, 2002 in Jerusalem, 3 Israelis were killed – including a woman pregnant with twins – and more than 40 people were wounded by a suicide bomber.

In the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya on March 27, 2002, 30 people were killed and 140 were injured when a suicide bomber targeted a Passover seder.

In the Kiryat HaYovel supermarket bombing on March 29, 2002, “a 16-year-old Palestinian female suicide bomber blew herself up at the entrance of the main supermarket in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat HaYovel, killing three people and injuring 28.”

In the Matza restaurant suicide bombing on March 31, 2002, 16 Israelis were killed and over 40 were wounded.

Since Noura Erakat wholeheartedly cheered the Palestinian “cause” in April 2002, it’s perhaps not surprising that she is openly embracing a convicted Palestinian terrorist some 15 years later. But given that Rasmea Odeh was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at the time when the terror group “pioneered” the hijacking of airplanes, we should also recall that the Berkeley rally at which Noura Erekat “drew wild cheers” took place just half a year after the September 11 attacks on the US. While we can’t know if PFLP members like Rasmea Odeh felt particular pride that their organization had provided something of a precedent for the 9/11 attacks, we do know for certain that Palestinians in general were ardent admirers of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden: according to reliable polls first published in 2003, “72 percent of Palestinians voiced support for bin Laden;” and even almost a decade later, a poll conducted shortly before the demise of bin Laden showed that a solid third of Palestinians continued to have “confidence in the terrorist leader to do the right thing in world affairs.”

In this context it is utterly fascinating to see that Erakat opened her lengthy piece in Jezebel actually with a quote from a recent speech by Rasmea Odeh, starting with a reference to the 9/11 attacks on the US – and it’s all too obvious that Odeh couldn’t care less how most Americans felt in the wake of the attacks, because when she talks about “target[ing] our people,” the people she refers to are whatever people feel targeted by “Israeli and U.S. policies”:

“‘In the US, we are living in a time that is worse than the few years after the September 11th attacks,’ said Rasmea Odeh to nearly 1,000 people gathered at the Chicago Teachers Union Hall to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8. ‘Israeli and U.S. policies make it easy to target our people,’ she continued, ‘but Palestinians are resisting these attacks in Palestine, and here in the U.S., we are all resisting Trump’s attacks on immigrants, Black people, Arabs and Muslims, and others.’ The audience responded with a standing ovation.”

I’d say that the audience responded a bit like turkeys cheering Thanksgiving. But in any case, we should probably all be happy for Odeh, who won’t have to live much longer in the US at this terrible time “that is worse than the few years after the September 11th attacks.”





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From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Britain's pro-Israel pivot
The passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on December 23 was a low point in Israel’s relations, not just with the US, but also with Britain.
The UK was said to have played a key role in drafting and passing the resolution that describes Israel’s settlements in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem as “illegal” and “an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.”
At the time, the Jewish Chronicle quoted an unnamed British political source who claimed the UK’s “yes” vote was part of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s new strategy toward Israel, according to which the Jewish state’s friends have to take a stand against settlements for Israel’s own good.
What seemed to be a continuation of this hardline policy against Israel was Britain’s backing of a French-hosted Middle East conference that took place on January 15 that was seen by Israel as an attempt to force upon it a territorial arrangement with the Palestinians.
But, it has emerged since that Britain’s December vote in the UN Security Council was not an accurate reflection of British policy toward Israel.
Since Resolution 2334, May’s government has made a concerted effort to demonstrate to Israel and the world that it will be adopting a more pro-Israel stance.
Ron Prosor: Why the UK had to crack down on the UN’s anti-Israel hypocrisy, duplicity and dishonesty
Israel’s former UN Ambassador Ron Prosor dismantles the UN Human Rights Council
The UK’s statement on Friday, calling out the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for its “disproportionate focus on Israel” was an uncharacteristically forceful and public statement of truth on the issue.
It slammed “Agenda Item 7”, the structural, institutionalised mechanism singling out Israel at the Council.
Human rights in every other country are debated under “Agenda Item 4”; only Israel has an entire agenda item of its own. The result, noted Britain’s Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, is that of 135 country-specific resolutions adopted by the Council, 68 have targeted Israel.
This partly explains why in the past decade, although more than 300,000 civilians have been killed in Sudan, 55,000 children killed in Syria and more than 3,000 people executed in Iran, Israel has received more condemnation than those countries combined.
The UK did vote for two of the five resolutions against Israel and abstained on two more, which is not ideal. But whether prompted by the FCO or by Downing Street, it decided there must be limits to the Council’s hypocrisy, duplicity and dishonesty.

U.S. Diplomat Accuses UN of Bias Against Israel
The Trump administration is strongly condemning what it calls a systemic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, arguing Friday that U.N. monitoring of West Bank settlement activity allowed by the Obama administration is the latest example.
Michele Sison, the No. 2 U.S. diplomat at the United Nations, spoke against what the United States says is the unfair singling out of Israel during a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on Friday. There and elsewhere, the Trump administration is arguing that the United Nations has allowed valuable time and attention to be hijacked for bashing Israel.
Sison spoke during the session to hear the first U.N. report issued under a resolution condemning settlements that the Obama administration allowed to take effect in December. In a pointed and highly unusual critique of Israeli actions, the United States had abstained, allowing the resolution to pass, instead of vetoing it as U.S. envoys have done in the past.
The change in U.S. administrations, and the shift in positions on Israeli settlements flavored the discussion Friday.
“It is clear from what the U.S. representative said today that the U.S. administration is continuing to develop its thinking on some of the points of detail” about settlements and a peace negotiation, British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters.


If you scour through the comment section of any pro-Israeli blog, you’ll invariably run into accusations that those of us writing and doing anything on behalf of the Jewish state (or lambasting BDS and other anti-Israel propaganda activities) are paid agents of the Mossad, Netenyahu, AIPAC or the latest fantasized cabal of super-wealthy Jewish fat-cats.   

I’ve always assumed these accusations were just simple-minded attempts by the BDS brigade to portray their enemies as vast, powerful and wealthy in order to assuage the egos of those who have seen their argument smashed and their campaigns defeated time and time again.  After all, if this blog were a corporation filing taxes, those forms would - at best - indicate two- to three-figure annual losses (with tip-jar donations eaten up by design and production of works like this, or the pine-appley Polynesian cocktails I prefer to sip while writing).

But last week’s arrest of Omar Barghouti for tax evasion flagged the fact that there are some people in the BDS game (both pro- and anti-) making a decent enough profit off the gig to earn some attention from Internal Revenue. 

Most of the commentary on the scandal has understandably focused on the rank hypocrisy of Barghouti himself who travels the globe calling for the economic ruin of the nation he has and continues to benefit from, whether through subsidized tuition at an Israeli university or security services ensuring that the planes he takes from Ben Gurion to various Israel-bashing gigs don’t blow up in the sky.

While that reaction is warranted, I’m more intrigued by the sources of money the dear leader of the global BDS “movement” has managed to squirrel away and the hubris required to assume he could just sock his earnings into bank accounts on the West Bank or United States and never be called to account for not declaring what he’s actually earned on his national tax forms.

The only specific number mentioned in news reports is $700,000 Barghouti deposited in West Bank accounts earned from his business installing ATMs in Palestinian-controlled territories.  At first glance, this number seems pretty high.  But upon second glance, that amounts to a mere $70,000 per year (given that this $700K total represents a decade worth of earnings).  A third glance, however, requires us to think how much one has to earn annually in order to sock away $70,000 out of that total in a rainy day fund.

Stories did not identify how much Barghouti makes in speakers fees and book royalties, although they did indicate that this is the money he’s kept in US banks (i.e., in banks held in the country he seems to despise only slightly less than he loathes Israel).  I have read that the speaker/writer supposedly donates his fees to “the cause,” which I suppose might be true (even if so much of everything else Barghouti spouts is a lie).  If that’s the case, however, what’s sitting in those US bank accounts?  Chanukah gelt?

Comparisons with Al Capone (who was finally put away for tax evasion, rather than his more violent crimes) were rife on the Net.  But I don’t recall the US Treasury Department letting Capone out on bail to travel the world denouncing the US.  Apparently, Israeli tax authorities are a bit more lenient in this regard, providing Omar leave to go abroad and give even more speeches proving Palestinians like himself live in the equivalent of the Warsaw Ghetto (before going out to dinner and relaxing in a comfortable hotel).

As I’ve said in the past, I begrudge no one who has found a way to get someone else to foot the bills (and even pay honorariums) at events in interesting and exotic locales.  And if Omar has managed to build a business flogging his book at speaking events, more power to him.  But if you want to keep such a scam going, there are a few business details worth staying on top of.  Paying your taxes is one of them.

A narrative is already emerging that the dread Israeli empire has found yet another way to suppress those stifled still voices of the BDS movement, turning their Mandelaesque leader into one more martyr to free speech who, for some reason, never stops talking (and never stops being given opportunities to be paid to talk).

To which I say “posh.”  But if the BDS “movement” wants to stake its reputation on an ATM salesman/tax cheat who remains unwilling to give up the privileges of the Israeli society he is dedicated to destroying, then I wish them a happy third decade of watching Israel go from strength to strength as their own project continues to burn.






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  • Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Israel Hayom:

Trump 'seriously considering' moving US Embassy to Jerusalem, Pence says
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday revived talk of the possibility of the United States moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying President Donald Trump is seriously considering the matter.

"After decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Pence told the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee at its annual policy conference in Washington.
There is no doubt that the talk from this administration about Israel is far, far warmer than anything we had ever heard from the Obama White House.

But Pence's statement about the embassy is literally meaningless. "Thinking about it" may be more than any previous administration did but in the end it is the same effect as long as the embassy remains in a place that is not Israel's capital.

After a clear-cut campaign promise from someone who says that he keeps his promises, this isn't exactly a strong message from the administration.

The important question is whether Trump will sign the waiver for Congress' demand that the embassy be moved - the waiver that every president has signed every six months since the Jerusalem  Embassy Act in 1995.

June 1 will be the test as to whether Trump is serious about doing the right thing. Until then, it is all talk.






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  • Monday, March 27, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


From  the EU-BAM webpage:
The European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point – code name EUBAM Rafah – was launched on 24 November 2005, to monitor the operations of the border crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, after Israel and the Palestinian Authority concluded an Agreement on Movement and Access on 15 November 2005. The Council of the European Union welcomed the Agreement and approved that the EU should undertake the third-party role proposed.

The operational phase of the mission began on 30 November 2005. The Rafah Crossing Point was last opened with the presence of EUBAM monitors on 9 June 2007. ... [when Hamas took over Gaza - EoZ.] Since then, the mission has remained on standby, awaiting a political solution and ready to re-engage at very short notice.
For nearly ten years, the members of the EUBAM have been doing, literally, nothing. There is nothing on the horizon to indicate that the PA will take over control of the Rafah crossings from Hamas. Egypt is more frightened of Gazans and Gaza weapons going to Egypt than Israel is of smuggled weapons into Gaza from Egypt since Egypt cracked down on smuggling.

Yet every year their mandate is extended:
The Council ...extended the mandate of EU BAM Rafah until 30 June 2017....The mission maintains readiness to redeploy to the Rafah crossing point once the political and security situation allows. Natalina Cea has been Head of Mission since 1 July 2015. The mission's budget for the period between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017 amounts to € 1.54 million.
 €1.54 million every year to keep people on call for something that will never happen! The mission has existed for nearly 12 years, of which 10 have been doing exactly nothing.

Yet they still hire new Heads of Mission.  They create useless seminars. They get together every few years with other EU officials.

This isn't the only useless EU organization on permanent assignment in the PA. The EU police mission for the Palestinian Territories spend over €10 million a year in order to help the PA learn how to run a functioning criminal justice system since 2006. And as far as I can tell from Palestinian media, there are extraordinarily few cases that actually make it to Palestinian court, after over 10 years of EU mentoring and oversight.

But in both these cases, the EU doesn't want to admit that it was throwing money away, so it continues to throw good money after bad and pretending that it is making a difference. Unless someone starts asking why the EU auditors aren't looking for results from these missions, they will continue to waste money - and incidentally continue to infantilize the Palestinians by telling them that 25 years after Oslo, they still don't know how to build their own institutions by themselves.





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Sunday, March 26, 2017

  • Sunday, March 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Felesteen, a cartoon warning Israelis what will happen since Israel is blamed for the assassination of a major Hamas figure on Saturday:



This is hardly the first time the map of "Palestine" was made into a weapon by Palestinian Arab graphics designers and cartoonists.

This was published by Fatah in 2012:


This went around social media during the "knife intifada":



Once again proving that the entire point of "Palestine" is not to create a new nation but to destroy one.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)




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  • Sunday, March 26, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week, EoZ columnist Forest Rain wrote a great article entitled "Unapologetic Zionist Feminist."

Commenter Ruth asked for someone to make a T-Shirt with that message.

Here it is:








My old CafePress store disappeared and I didn't have time to make this one look nice, but if you want a T-shirt with this logo, you can get it here.

For the next couple of days you may get a significant discount if you use the code BLOOM25 at checkout.

If you want the logo on a mug or magnet or something besides a T-shirt or tank top or hoodie, let me know.



We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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