Friday, January 20, 2017

  • Friday, January 20, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Golan, Turkish Chief of Staff Akar

YNet reports:

IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Yair Golan was in Brussels for the official opening of the Israeli office at NATO headquarters after it was decided that the two sides should have a closer working relationship. Roni Leshno Yaar, who submitted his credentials to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, is the first Israeli representative to NATO since the Jewish state was accepted as a partner to the organization (not a member).

In a joint meeting between the ambassador, Maj. Gen. Golan, and NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, the Deputy Secretary said “here in NATO, we understand that Israel shares our values, and is an active and beneficial partner for Mediterranean dialogue.”

The meeting was an impressive show of support for Israel, with Maj. Gen. Golan being the highest ranking Israeli official to meet with NATO representatives. 
 This was delayed because of Turkish opposition, but now Turkey is on board, and Golan met with the head of the Turkish Armed Forces, General Hulusi Akar.

Yet there were other military leaders that he met:
Several Arab military heads were also at the NATO meeting in Brussels, and also met with Golan on the sidelines. Arab countries represented at the meeting were Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, and others. Discussions were held on the fight against terror amongst other subjects.
 This stunning news was buried at the end of the YNet report - but the Arab media sure noticed it.

Although the specific Arab military leaders that met Golan were not named, already the Lebanese army command has vehemently denied that any of their leaders met with him.

That sound you hear is the heads of BDS leaders exploding. They can't even get Arab army chiefs to boycott Israel!

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.
  • Friday, January 20, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
We reported a few days ago about how some Syrian opposition activists went to Hebrew University to plead for help  to protect the lives of the Syrians who have been slaughtered by Assad.

While the two, Issam Zeitoun and Sirwan Kajjo, were in Jerusalem, like any tourists, they visited the Kotel and put kipot on their heads out of respect for the Jewish holy spot.

Palestinian media immediately noted how they put on the kipot, as a subtle way to discredit them in the context of how they want to "normalize" with Israel, which is the horrid crime that Arab students cursed them for as they were speaking about how to save the lives of hundreds of  thousands of Syrians.

Official Iranian and Syrian media, however, highlighted their attempt to discredit the pair by saying that Zeitoun and Kajjo were "practicing Talmudic rituals at the Wailing Wall."

The biggest crime that Palestinian media could tar the activists with was wanting to "normalize" with Israel. The biggest crime that Iran and its Syrian proxies could tar them with is associating them with Judaism.

The apologists for Iran, often citing its large Jewish community, should answer why this wonderful, tolerant state is so critical of "Talmudic rituals" that their own people engage in many times a day.

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.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

From Ian:

Is Judith Butler the New Edward Said?
Of all the non-Middle East specialists writing on the Middle East, few have been as prolific or as indecipherable as Judith Butler. More than an academic, she has become a pop culture figure. In an age of identity politics, Butler's identity as a Marxist, feminist, lesbian practitioner of critical theory who writes prolifically about gender and transgenderism have made her among the most-interviewed active college professors. But her anti-Israel advocacy has made her a star, and a possible successor to the late Edward Said, another academic whose fame rests more on tendentious scholarship and agitprop than rigorous, objective research.
With a Ph.D. in philosophy and a professorship at UC Berkeley's Comparative Literature department, Butler might have led a career as a big name academic, which is to say very well known by perhaps as much as one tenth of one percent of the American population. But as the face of academe's Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, she reaches and influences a much wider audience.
Butler's turn away from literature and language theory in favor of Middle East politics, criticism of U.S. foreign policy, and demonization of Israel came in a collection of essays titled Precarious Life (2004) in which she focused on the effects of the 9/11 attacks on America. What many people would describe as an atrocity, Butler describes as a "dislocation from first-world privilege, however temporary." Her condemnation of terrorism rings about as hollow as Kofi Annan's or Yassir Arafat's.
Not only is Butler unwilling to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah, her tepid equivocation contains more than a hint of comradery: "Understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important. That does not stop us from being critical of certain dimensions of both movements." Despite the great admiration that the Left has for Hamas and Hezbollah, neither group shares any of the Left's ideals and anyone claiming otherwise is delusional.
The UN’s Long, Shameful History on Israel
The Israeli English-language newspaper The Jerusalem Post was originally called The Palestine Post. It adopted its current name in 1950, two years after the creation of the state of Israel.
When the paper first appeared in 1932, the word “Palestinian” generally referred to those living in the British Mandate of Palestine. It was viewed by people everywhere as an appropriate word to describe the Jewish minority living in the area.
Languages change. Sometimes a word takes on a meaning that contradicts an earlier definition. Occasionally, different forms of a word reflect both meanings. Think of “awful” and “awesome” in English today. We can be filled with awe because something is terrible (awful) or wonderful (awesome).
In 1947, when “Palestine” still sounded like it might refer to a Jewish state, the United Nations voted to divide the territory into two countries: one Jewish and one Arab. The UN intended to create two independent states that would live together in peace and harmony.
One of the two halves — Israel — accepted its independence. The other side did not. On the day that Britain left and Israel declared its independence, five Arab nations invaded the whole territory, with the intent of conquering, and destroying, the Jewish half. Besides pushing the Jews into the sea, it was not clear what they wanted to do with the actual territory had they been victorious. Yet when the war was over and Israel controlled more land than the UN planned to give it, the remaining Arab territory went to Jordan and Egypt. There was no movement for an independent Palestinian Arab state.
Brandeis Hires Anti-Semitic Islamist With Al-Qaeda Links
In 2016, Brandeis University hired an anti-Semitic Islamist formerly linked to al-Qaeda to teach students about Islam.
Brandeis offered Boston-based cleric Suheil Laher a job in its Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department despite his long history of involvement with extremist causes. That history includes his leadership of a now-defunct charity that raised funds for jihadist causes in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan.
This academic year, Laher is teaching two courses at Brandeis: “Introduction to the Qu’ran” and “Muhammad: Life, Teachings, and Legacy.” Given Laher’s past, what strain of Islam is he likely to promote?
Before Brandeis, Laher was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Muslim chaplain for almost twenty years. While at MIT, he also served, from 2000, as head of a Boston-based charity named CARE International (not to be confused with the current charity of the same name). Originally named the “Al Kifah Refugee Center,” the charity was founded by Abdullah Azzam, a founding member of al-Qaeda and a mentor to Osama Bin Laden.

  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
I was just looking through some photos I took in Israel last summer of scenes I found amusing or interesting.

Here is a bunch of lottery tickets, just as shlocky as anywhere else, but many with Jewish themes (Chanukah menorah, afikoman, and of course "Mazel Tov" which literally means "Good Luck".)

Here was a graffitum in Jerusalem - "Am Yisrael Chai."

I saw a stenciled "Honor your Father and Mother" graffitum on a road divider but I cannot find that photo anywhere.

This one amused me as well: "Go to Gaza" party, naturally on Gaza Road.

Another shot of Muslim girls at the beach.

The guards at the Kotel HaKatan, guarding against Jews entering the Temple Mount.

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.
  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

On Tuesday, President Obama selected his aide Ben Rhodes for the US Holocaust Memorial Council.

Ben Rhodes wrote the section of the 2006 Iran Study Group report that advised sacrificing Israel to help convince Iran and Syria to leave Iraq alone. Later, as Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, he worked to sell the Iran deal to the public, even admitting that he falsified facts and created an “echo chamber” to make it seem that there was expert support for the administration’s policies. More recently, he justified the decision to promote an anti-Israel Security Council resolution by blaming Netanyahu. Rhodes is very close to Obama and has had an important role in policy-making as well as communications.

He is also one of the likely suspects for the anonymous administration official that called Netanyahu “a chickenshit” (other suspects include Obama himself). Israeli officials consider him one of the most anti-Israel operatives in the administration.

The Council, which is also the board of trustees of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, was created to “lead the nation in commemorating the Holocaust.” It has 55 members, and it seems unlikely that Rhodes’ joining has anything other than symbolic significance.

But what a symbol! Rhodes, who has been one of the public point men for the Obama Administration’s policy of rapprochement with the Holocaust-denying (and perhaps -aspiring) Iranian regime, will now play a role in teaching the lessons of the historical Holocaust.

So why did Obama do it? 

This appointment, following so quickly after the passage of UNSC resolution 2334, which the Israeli government says the administration “helped craft,” and the accusatory speech by John Kerry, suggests that in his last days in office, Obama is venting his spleen against Israel and especially PM Binyamin Netanyahu. One tweeter called Obama a “spite machine.”

Obama’s tactics, from the first, have been intended not only to try to objectively weaken Israel diplomatically and militarily (I don’t believe that the large amount of military aid does Israel any favors, and the conditions under which it will be given are much worse than before) but also psychologically, and to contribute to the delegitimization of the Jewish state.

But doesn’t Obama always preface his remarks about Israel by  a reference to the “unbreakable bonds” between Israel and the US, and by affirming his absolute commitment to Israel’s security? Yes, he does say these things. But what always follows is an attack on Israel on behalf of the Palestinians, in which he accuses Israel of denying them their “dignity” and “aspirations for freedom,” and yearning for a state of their own.

Obama is not a stupid man, and he is not ignorant about the attitudes of Muslims and Arabs, including Palestinian Arabs. He knows that “dignity” and “freedom” are understood by Palestinians as the return of their honor by the violent expulsion of the Jews from the land between the river and the sea, and that the only state they want is the one that Israel has. Nevertheless, he still pushes for Israeli concessions that would radically endanger the country, quickly contradicting his initial assurances of protecting Israel’s security.

He places the responsibility for the conflict on Israel’s (and Netanyahu’s) shoulders, ignoring the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate. He draws analogies between Palestinian Arabs and black Americans, something calculated to tug at the heartstrings of American liberals, but so far from reality as to fall in “big lie” territory. He dishonestly suggests that Israeli settlements are “gobbling up” larger and larger amounts of land. He uses the deliberately misleading expression “settlement construction” which suggests that new settlements are being constructed, when he means that homes are being built within existing settlements. He refers to existing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as “settlements.”

He often lets it be known that he is angry, even “furious” or “enraged” at Netanyahu, especially in connection with Jewish construction, or even announcements of possible future construction (he has never said a word about illegal Arab construction). He and his surrogates have called Netanyahu names and tried to humiliate him on visits to the White House. He took or pretended to take Netanyahu’s opposition to the Iran deal as a personal insult, and arranged for members of the Congressional Black Caucus to absent themselves from Netanyahu’s speech (he himself did not attend or, he said, even watch it on TV). In 2015, he tried to intervene in Israel’s election to get Netanyahu ousted. And he lost his hair-trigger temper yet again, when Bibi made comments during the election that Obama didn’t like.

During the last Gaza mini-war in 2014, he responded to Hamas propaganda about civilian casualties with anger, demands, and even a cutoff in supplies of ammunition and an FAA ban on flights to Ben Gurion airport (just in case we forgot who is the superpower here).

He has embraced the phony “pro-Israel” J Street organization, inviting it to White House events in place of older, Zionist Jewish groups. It’s important to understand that J Street is not simply “controversial” or “dovish” – it has consistently taken anti-Israel positions on every issue, from calling for an immediate cease-fire at the beginning of the 2008-9 Gaza war through supporting the Iran deal. Its funds come mostly from anti-Israel sources (e.g., George Soros). Indeed, the J Street line about being “pro-Israel” is much like Obama’s own insistence that he is committed to  Israel’s security: a general statement that is the opposite of the real truth, which emerges from countless particular actions and policies.

Some of Obama’s actions seem to advance his geopolitical goals, while others – the “chickenshit” remark, for example – seem to be just gratuitous slaps at Netanyahu and Israel. It seems to be as important for Obama to insult or humiliate as it is to obtain concrete concessions. But in almost all cases, an initial abstract statement of support is followed by a more concrete punishment.

This technique is a common form of the emotional abuse found in dysfunctional families. The abuser pretends to care about the victims, but then harms them in various ways, such as spreading lies about them, relentlessly criticizing them, challenging their perceptions of reality (gaslighting), physically hurting them, calling them names, embarrassing them, withholding sustenance, displaying violent anger, irrationally blaming them for problems that are not their fault, and so on.

Obama’s behavior toward Israel and her Prime Minister is classic abuser behavior. The nomination of a man, Rhodes, who is known as an enemy of the state of the Jewish people, to a position in which he will (at least symbolically) have control of an important part of the identity of the Jewish people – and unfortunately, the Holocaust is such a part – is a way to humiliate us. The way he emphatically expresses support for Israel’s security in the abstract and then proposes concrete concessions that are wholly incompatible with it is a form of gaslighting. The insults to our Prime Minister followed by expressions of undying love for our country, which are in turn followed by slaps in the face like resolution 2334, and relentless criticism from the like of John Kerry – what is this if not sadistic abuse?

In two days the US will have a new President, about as different from Obama as can be imagined. There will be good things and bad things about the US-Israel relationship in the future. But one lesson can be learned from our painful experience with Obama: like the woman who finally succeeds in dumping her abusive husband, maybe we ought to insist on a little more personal space in our next relationship!

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.
From Ian:

Trump UN envoy pick slams settlements resolution as 'the ultimate low'
President- elect Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to the UN vowed Wednesday a sharp pivot in US policy at the international body, questioning its bias against Israel and its inability to address the world’s most pressing crises.
At her Senate confirmation hearing, Nikki Haley, who currently serves as South Carolina’s governor, slammed the Obama administration for allowing “mistreatment” of Israel in the halls of an organization with a long record of disproportionately targeting the Jewish state. She called a resolution that passed through the Security Council last month condemning Israel’s settlement enterprise – facilitated by a US abstention – “the ultimate low,” a “terrible mistake,” a “kick in the gut” and a message to the world that America’s commitments to its allies ring hollow.
The resolution, numbered 2334, suggested that “being an ally of the United States doesn’t mean anything,” Haley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“I will not go to New York and abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel,” Haley said. “I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States.”
UN Watch: What Nikki Haley Said About the U.N. at Her Senate Confirmation Hearing
On Need for U.S. Leadership:
I will bring a firm message to the UN that U.S. leadership is essential in the world. It is essential for the advancement of humanitarian goals, and for the advancement of America’s national interests. When America fails to lead, the world becomes a more dangerous place. And when the world becomes more dangerous, the American people become more vulnerable. At the UN, as elsewhere, the United States is the indispensable voice of freedom. It is time that we once again find that voice.
On Anti-Israel Bias:
[A]ny honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers. Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel. In the General Assembly session just completed, the UN adopted twenty resolutions against Israel and only six targeting the rest of the world’s countries combined. In the past ten years, the Human Rights Council has passed 62 resolutions condemning the reasonable actions Israel takes to defend its security. Meanwhile the world’s worst human rights abusers in Syria, Iran, and North Korea received far fewer condemnations. This cannot continue.
On UNSC Res. 2334—”I Will Never Abstain”:
It is in this context that the events of December 23 were so damaging. Last month’s passage of UN Resolution 2334 was a terrible mistake, making a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians harder to achieve. The mistake was compounded by the location in which it took place, in light of the UN’s long history of anti-Israel bias. I was the first governor in America to sign legislation combatting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, or “BDS” movement. I will not go to New York and abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel. In fact, I pledge to you this: I will never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States.
After the passage of the infamous UN resolution equating Zionism with racism in 1975, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan came to the unsettling realization that, as he put it, “if there were no General Assembly, this could never have happened.” Today, over forty years later, more and more Americans are becoming convinced by actions like the passage of Resolution 2334 that the United Nations does more harm than good. The American people see the UN’s mistreatment of Israel, its failure to prevent the North Korean nuclear threat, its waste and corruption, and they are fed up.
Nikki Haley Senate Confirmation Hearing - Israel Highlights

Columbia prof. says Israel advocates will 'infest' Trump administration
A pro-Palestinian professor created controversy on Thursday after commenting that under the incoming Trump administration, advocates for Israel would come to "infest" the United States government.
During an interview with Chicago public radio station WBEZ, Columbia University Professor of Modern Arab Studies Rashid Khalidi surmised that supporters of Israel would have greater influence on incoming US President Donald Trump, which would impose a new "vision" of the Middle East disproportionately favoring the Israeli government.
"So they have a vision whereby the occupied territories aren’t occupied, they have a vision whereby there is no such thing as the Palestinians, they have a vision whereby international law doesn’t exist, they have a vision whereby the United States can unilaterally cancel a decision in the United Nations," Khalidi said.
"And unfortunately, these people infest the Trump transition team, these people are going to infest our government as of January 20. And they are hand in glove with a similar group of people in the Israeli government and Israeli political life who think that whatever they think can be imposed on reality," he added.
For some in the Jewish community, "infest" possesses an antisemitic connotation that hearkens back to the Nazi era, when Jews were described as "rats" or "vermin."

  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here is Israel's backgrounder on the Negev Hiran community - because the media won't bother to report it.

Background on the Bedouin Localities of Hiran in Southern Israel

The Bedouins were a nomadic ethnic group from the Arabian Peninsula when they entered the Negev area in southern Israel during the 19th century. Over the past hundred years, the Bedouin community in Southern Israel gradually became semi-nomadic, and in the last few decades they have been living in permanent localities. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, Bedouins have formed an integral part of Israeli society.

Most of the Negev Bedouins live in planned, modern localities. A minority of Bedouins live in unrecognized locations and encampments, lacking basic infrastructure.

The status of several unrecognized Bedouin localities in the Negev is a complicated issue that has been the subject of legal proceedings for decades, and in the past few years, the government has made enormous efforts to find agreed-upon solutions that would benefit this population. The plans for the development of Bedouin villages and towns will provide the Bedouin population with basic infrastructures – including electricity, running water and sewage systems – that many currently lack, as well as access to modern education, health and employment opportunities.

The following is a short summary of the case of the unrecognized site of Hiran, which was the subject of a Supreme Court decision in May 2015.

1. Aerial Photographs:

Aerial photographs of the area show that a permanent Bedouin locality began in the area of Hiran in the mid-1980s. Before that time, there were merely a handful of structures there. Copies of these photographs, which were taken periodically (the first was taken in 1945 showing empty land), are available upon request. [I requested them, have not yet received them - EoZ)

2. Plan to settle the Bedouins of Hiran in a modern Bedouin town:

Approximately 200 persons currently reside in the unrecognized locality of Hiran, in poor conditions lacking basic infrastructure.

Israel’s Bedouin Development Authority has set aside approximately 140 plots, with an average area of 700 square meters (over 7,500 square feet) each, for the benefit of this Bedouin population, in the modern Bedouin town of Hura, which is 5 kilometers away from Hiran.

It should be noted that approximately 3,500 members of the same Bedouin tribe already live in Hura.

The location of Hiran is currently slated for the development of a new town for the general population.

3. Summary of the legal proceedings:

·         In April 2004, two claims were brought to an Israeli Magistrates’ Court regarding the relocation of the Bedouins from the area of Hiran, where a new town was being planned for members of Israel’s general population.
The Magistrates’ Court accepted the legal argument presented by representatives of the Israeli government. Accordingly, in July 2009, the Court ruled that the State of Israel had ownership rights over the land. At the same time, the Court determined that the claimants were "permitted residents" (and not “trespassers”), but that this permission could be cancelled depending on the circumstances.

·         During 2009, the claimants appealed to the District Court. In its ruling of February 2011, the District Court rejected the appeal and adopted the ruling of the Magistrates' Court.

·         In 2011, the Bedouin claimants filed a motion to appeal the aforementioned rulings to Israel’s Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court ruling dated 5 May 2015, the appeal was rejected by a majority of the Supreme Court Justices who heard the case.

4. Short summary of the reasoning of the Supreme Court's ruling (May 2015):

a.            The Supreme Court noted that the evidence demonstrates that, in the past, very few people lived in the Hiran area and that those who did lived in temporary shelters (tents).

Only in the last few years – as procedures for developing the new town moved forward – did more Bedouin families begin to live at the location in permanent housing, apparently in order to establish facts on the ground.

b.            The Israeli government gave the affected Bedouin families the chance to move to plots allocated for their use and that of their children in the town of Hura, and offered them financial compensation as well. The government gave them an additional alternative: to live in the town that is planned for Hiran, which is designated for the general population (as long as they meet the conditions set for allthose applying to live there).

The Court added that in light of the history of the issue, it was appropriate to consider granting special dispensations in the public tender and other conditions for purchasing a plot in the planned town to anyone belonging to the core of Bedouins who were the earliest settlers in the area.

5. Following the rejection of the appeal by the Supreme Court, since May 2015, the relevant Israeli authorities have initiated proceedings to develop a living area for the relevant population and to implement the approved plans. 

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.
  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The right-wing of the pro-Israel community is quite happy with most (not all) of the news stories about the impending Donald Trump presidency.

This happiness should be tempered.

This is not the time to celebrate victory. This is the time to take advantage of the opportunity of a limited amount of time to secure Israel for the next century. After all, Trump will no longer be president in eight years and two days, and very possibly sooner in four years.

His successor is unlikely to be remotely like him. More likely, given that the pendulum of American politics has been swinging higher and higher with each succeeding president since Clinton, Zionists need to plan for this coming four or eight years with the thought in mind that the next president could be a Keith Ellison-type.

This means that the focus shouldn't be only on what President Trump will do over the next few years, but on how White House decisions now can help Israel over the next century or more no matter who succeeds him.

It is a time to think strategically.

The Trump election brings many challenges. One of them is that, in a perverse way, it is a victory for the J-Street raison d'etre - it cements the split in the American Jewish community that J-Street (amd the Obama administration) has championed. The visceral hatred for Trump among liberal Jews could very easily translate into a knee-jerk opposition to all of Trump's policies, including on Israel. After all, most liberal American Jews identify more with liberalism than with Zionism (or Judaism.) While Israel is a cause that liberals can and should rally around, Trump's divisive personality could drive otherwise sympathetic Jews away from supporting Israel because of Trump. It may not be logical but Trump derangement syndrome is just as bizarre as Israel derangement syndrome.

Trump's Jewish advisors should portray Israel in terms that everyone can agree upon. Israel is a strategic asset, an island of democracy and freedom in a sea of dictatorships, a liberal and creative country that can (and wants to) help the entire world in medicine, energy and innovative ways to fight terror. The Trump team must not use Israel to stoke the divisions within American Jewry that threaten the entire community. (It isn't hard to portray Israel in a positive light to both the left and right. I've been doing it for 12 years.)

Helping the US Jewish community come back together is a strategic priority, and whatever differences that American Jews have over specific Israeli policies can be discussed rationally and with the understanding that Israelis are the ones who decide who their leaders are and if you support Israel you should support the democratic decisions of the Israeli people.

The incoming White House can also help achieve peace between Israel and the Arab world in other ways. Out of the box thinking is called for, and a President Trump loves thinking out of the box.

Here' are some Trumpian ideas that could help Israel and peace over the coming decades.

Jibril Rajoub, terror supporter, has brilliantly used sports to demonize Israel. Two can play at that game - especially with US help..

Israel is in Asia, yet it doesn't compete in Asian sports leagues - because the Arab and Muslim world refuses to play against Israel. This is a bias that has been accepted even by Israel, which has been forced to play in European leagues.

A Trump administration could push the idea that Israel is part and parcel of the Middle East, and Jews are indigenous to the region. It is outrageous that Israel cannot be treated geographically like every other nation and the Arab world's hatred is rewarded by allowing Israel to be excluded. From now on, Israel plays against other Asian teams, and any team that refuses to play is automatically expelled from all world sports bodies. (Same for any country that does not adequately protect the Israeli players who visit for matches.)

If Asian nations refuse, Israel has a much better chance of winning Asian championships, and it will represents the continent in all global sporting events, by default, while Arab and Muslim nations fume. (Iran will try to set up an alternative league. It will fail because Sunnis hate Shiites more than they hate Jews.)

 You can imagine the effect that this would have in the Arab world. It would do more to encourage peace with Israel and a thousand "peace" conferences.

It is also something that Democrats and Republicans can easily agree on.

The US can do the same with the UN, where Israel is similarly marginalized. As long as the Jewish state is not eligible for various chairs and leadership positions because of Muslim hate, the countries that object should be the ones to be kicked out of those committees - at the risk of the UN losing US funding.

Another issue that can be tackled, also from the perspective of universal human rights, is to end the Arab League's official discrimination against Palestinians, barring them from becoming citizens if they want. This can be done in tandem with a campaign to weaken and ultimately end UNRWA.

There are some 280,000 Palestinians in Saudi Arabia who cannot become citizens, and another 100,000 in the UAE. In general, Palestinians are more creative and industrious than other Arabs and their presence is an advantage to their host countries outside the areas where UNRWA is. The US can encourage the already warming relations between the Gulf states and Israel by pushing those states to offer citizenship to Palestinians in line with their laws allowing citizenship from every other Arab countries. Tens of thousands of Palestinians would eagerly apply to become citizens (just as they have when limited numbers could become citizens in Egypt and Lebanon) and the myth that Palestinians want to remain stateless would be shattered, providing a way to end the UN's myth that Palestinians do not want to integrate into other countries. The Palestinians, free to raise their families there, would energize the economies of their host countries. The US can in return provide economic incentives to Gulf nations and sponsor "under the table" cooperation with Israelis in areas where there are common interests - Iran, building a non-oil based economy, agriculture, medicine - that would eventually become an open secret.

Similarly, the US can give Egypt economic incentives to allow its Palestinians to become citizens (and to allow some Syrian Palestinians to integrate into Egypt as well.)  For Jordan, the US can phase out its UNRWA contributions and offer it to Jordan to get the Palestinians who are already citizens to move out of camps and into proper communities. (And also to encourage Jordan to integrate the Palestinians from Gaza who have been there for nearly 50 years.) Lebanon could be pressured to naturalize its Palestinian citizens as well, although there would be fierce opposition - if Lebanon is treated like the apartheid state it is, with entertainers boycotting it because of its discriminatory laws against Palestinians, then things could change.

In tandem, the US should also push for a unified, UNCHR definition of "refugee" that covers only real refugees and takes out the Palestinian loophole that justifies keeping them stateless forever.

No real liberal could oppose such plans, and it would do more to help both Palestinian Arabs and Israel move to a new era. If Palestinians don't want to become citizens of their host countries, they of course don't have to, but to bar the many Palestinians who do want to become naturalized is a massive violation of human rights that could be fixed by a Donald Trump.

These are just a couple of ideas, but the point is that if they are implemented correctly, they cannot easily be rolled back. There are probably many others that could help Israel's position, based on simple fairness and equality that everyone can agree on.

Now is not the time to sit back and expect things to be great for Israel from now on. Now is the time to be smart and make the great things happen.

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.
  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah is frustrated that its campaign to stop the US from moving its embassy to Jerusalem is not hitting any chord with its own people, let alone the Arab world outside some official pronouncements that Abbas himself prompted Arab leaders to make.

Donald Trump himself reiterated his intention to move the embassy.

Although I cannot find it now, the Fatah Facebook page yesterday called on people to come to an anti-embassy rally in Ramallah.

I can find no news stories about any such demonstration occurring.

The next idea that a panicked Fatah is promoting is to create a "committee" against the move and start a social media campaign.

Here is their English version of the campaign:

The hashtags are #لا_لنقل_السفارة #القدس عاصمة #فلسطين الابدي : 
In English, #Don't_transfer_Embassy #Jerusalem #Palestine eternal capital

Even though the hashtag campaign started 24 hours ago, only two people retweeted it and it received only one "Like." That is astoundingly bad, indicating that the "committee" itself has no members.

Moreover, the graphic that Fatah chose reveals its true colors. Their version of Jerusalem includes only Christians and Muslims, no Jews - indicating how they view a future capital. And the use of the fist in the colors of the Palestinian flag shows that their concept of Jerusalem is tied to violence, not peace. 

The exact opposite of what they tell credulous Western reporters and diplomats.

It will be interesting to see their next attempt to up the ante. Because so far this is an issue that the Arab street simply doesn't care about.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Jordanian businessman Talal Abu Ghazaleh said that there was an “easy solution” to the Palestinian problem: “Let every Palestinian return to Palestine and every Jew return to his own country.” Abu Ghazaleh said that he decided not to return to his home in Jaffa, because MEMRI - which was monitoring “all our broadcasts, including this one right now” - “consider my statements to be antisemitic because I want to cleanse Palestine of the Jews.” Abu Ghazaleh made these comments during a BBC Arabic TV interview on January 9. The MEMRI video Abu Ghazaleh refers to can be watched here:

Interviewer: "Have you been back to Jaffa? Have you gone to see your home...?"

Talal Abu Ghazaleh: "No, I haven't. Do you want me to tell you why on air?"

Interviewer: "Why not?"

Talal Abu Ghazaleh: "I need courage for this. I was interviewed on Abu Dhabi TV on economic matters. At the end of the interview, the TV host decided to ask me about the solution to the Palestinian problem. She asked: 'Is this a vicious circle with no solution?' I said that the solution is easy. 'What is it?' she asked. I said: 'Just like the Jews believe in the Right of Return, we Palestinians believe in the Right of Return. Let every Palestinian return to Palestine and every Jew return to his own country.' The first to leave should be the Israeli foreign minister at this time, Lieberman, whose job is secure. I'm prepared to secure jobs for them all, and to run an international plan to transfer them. They won't need to worry about passports or visas, because they all have dual citizenships – Israeli citizenship and citizenship of his country of origin.

"Israel has this organization called MEMRI, which monitors all the broadcasts, including this one right now. Its job is to determine whether something that was said is antisemitic. They consider my statements to be antisemitic, because I want to cleanse Palestine of the Jews."

Interviewer: "So that's why you didn't return to Jaffa."

Talal Abu Ghazaleh: "Therefore, I am a wanted man, an antisemite, in their view."
You can't make this up.

(h/t Josh K)

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From Ian:

'This Man Is a Spite Machine'; Obama Blasted on Social Media for Appointment of Ben Rhodes to Holocaust Memorial Council
Outgoing President Barack Obama’s choice on Tuesday of top aide Ben Rhodes to serve on the US Holocaust Memorial Council drew a slew of online ire over Rhodes’ controversial record on Israel-related issues.
Rhodes — whose role as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications will come to an end on Friday with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump — was a leading advocate of the Iran nuclear deal and a vocal critic of Israeli settlement policies.
“So Ben Rhodes, who is a veritable enemy of Israel, Obama appoints to Holocaust Memorial Council,” American Spectator Managing Editor Melissa Mackenzie tweeted. “The man is a spite machine.”
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tweeted, “No joke: Obama names aide who bragged of whitewashing Iran’s Holocaust-denying regime to Holocaust memorial council.”
Appointing Ben Rhodes to Holocaust Memorial Council is massive Obama middle finger of triumph
Who is Ben Rhodes?
He’s the Obama communications operative who admitted to deceiving the American public and manipulating the media in support of the Iran Nuclear Deal. (He also ran the Benghazi disinformation campaign.)
David Gerstman wrote a devastating takedown of the deal and Rhode’s deception last May, Grand Deception: How Obama and Ben Rhodes Lied Us Into the Iran nuke deal. Read the whole thing.
Part of Rhodes deception was to create the media narrative, and a media echo chamber, pushing the claim that negotiations were a byproduct of the rise of a moderate faction in Iran. It was a lie meant to suggest that the Iranians were moving away from their genocidal desire to destroy Israel and thus an agreement which legitimized and legalized Iran’s nuclear program was not a worry.
In fact, we know that the nuke deal puts Iran on a certain path to be in a position to produce and deliver a nuclear weapon down the road, and that’s assuming Iran honors the deal. And that supposed rising moderate Iranian government is nowhere to be found. Flush with cash and renewed international business connections, the Mullahs are as violent as ever and increasingly throwing their military weight around in the region.
For Obama to appoint the man who deceived us into putting 6 million Israeli Jews in danger on the Holocaust Memorial Council is a big FU by Obama to critics of the Iran nuke deal.
Eugene Kontorovich (PODCAST): Scholars On Israel And The United Nations
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on the U.S. decision to abstain from a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements has triggered intense debate on the future of U.S. policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We discuss President Obama’s legacy on Israel and Palestine and U.S. policy going forward with Eugene Kontorovich, professor of law at Northwestern University and contributor to the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy blog, and Rashid Khalidi, professor of Arab studies at Columbia University and author of numerous books on the Middle East, including Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.

For weeks now, those who care about Israel have been worried about what the Paris summit would portend. We were told that in Paris, impossible parameters for "peace" would be foisted upon us complete with Auschwitz borders. We were told that after Paris, Israel would be well and truly a pariah state, in complete isolation from the West. Finally, we were told that what was decided in Paris would embolden the terrorists, the knowledge of which woke up that sick feeling in the bellies of all Israelis, the flickering fear  and the panic sowing visions of knives and blood and fire.
In the end, however, Paris was a big, fat, zero. It wussed out, a giant anticlimax. We wondered why we worried, lost sleep, and experienced all that fear.
It was a lot like Y2K.
But the media must still report what happened (even if not very much happened) and of course, since all the mainstream media wants to do these days is bash Trump, that figured largely in how the Paris summit was reported. The Wall Street Journal, in particular, took the Trump thread and ran with it.
Top diplomats from world powers gathered in Paris to affirm their stance on peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, days before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office threatening to upend the international consensus behind addressing the long-running conflict.
Some 75 governments and international organizations used Sunday’s meeting to send a message to Mr. Trump that the only viable solution to the conflict is the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Yeah. 'Cause that's worked so well until now.
Noting that a new administration was poised to take power in Washington, French President François Hollande said that decades of talks to create a Palestinian state can’t be “improvised or overturned.”
Wait. So because this is the way you did it for decades with the result that it didn't work, we have to keep doing it without changing a single thing? See Einstein's theory of insanity.
“This solution is the only one possible for peace and security,” Mr. Hollande said during the meeting.
But the Arabs reject this solution. And if they reject this solution, it can't be implemented. Also, just because you say it's the only solution, does not make it true. Even if you say it very firmly in front of a whole bunch of people, the representatives of 75 countries.
The conference marks another flashpoint over Israel between the international community and Mr. Trump, who has forcefully backed the Israeli government since winning the election. Mr. Trump’s team objected to the conference in talks with French diplomats ahead of the meeting, a French official involved in the discussions said.
“They made it clear that they did not think it was a good idea,” the official said. The Trump transition team couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Could it be that Trump thinks the Wall Street Journal is a "pile of garbage" reporting fake news and therefore refused to comment? (Heh heh.)
Mr. Trump’s moves on Middle East policy have threatened to upset the delicate balance that the U.S., Israel’s most important ally, has striven to preserve between Israel and the Palestinians. He has pledged to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a step seen by Palestinians as backing Israel’s claim on the contested city as its exclusive capital.

DING DING DING. Media bias. This is supposed to be a straight news piece, not an opinion piece. Yet right here authors Matthew Dalton and Rory Jones reveal their blatant anti-Trump bias with phrases such as "Trump's moves," "threatened," and "upset the delicate balance."

The authors' bias is based on Trump's perceived but as yet untried policy toward Israel. But actually, it is the Paris summit and not anything Trump said or did that threatened the delicate balance. That would be the "delicate balance" between war and peace in Israel on any given day.

The Arabs, we know, were watching and waiting for their cue from Paris to terrorize Israeli civilians. The more concessions made toward the Arab narrative, the greater the censure of Israel in Paris, the more likely it would be that the Arabs would respond by unleashing terror against Israeli civilians. That was the very real existential threat we were feeling in our bellies these past few weeks. Obama's final present to Israel.

And by the way, Jerusalem is not "contested." It belongs to Israel exclusively and Israel has made it clear that it will not negotiate it away. Israel is a sovereign nation and has decided that Jerusalem is her capital, and this is her (exclusive) right.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French foreign minister, on Sunday called Mr. Trump’s remarks a provocation. “A question as sensitive as Jerusalem can only be addressed in the framework of negotiations between the parties,” Mr. Ayrault told reporters after the conference.
Sorry. No. The French foreign minister does not get to decide how the "question" of Jerusalem will be addressed. Jerusalem belongs to Israel. Forever. Europe does not get to kill 6 million Jews and then tell us that our holy city is held over as some kind of "question." There is no question. There never was. Jerusalem is ours. Forever.
Mr. Trump’s pick to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel, his personal lawyer David Friedman, has further fueled international concern. Mr. Friedman is known for his hard-line, pro-Israel views and has provided financial backing to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are a key stumbling block in the talks.
Why does anyone call Judea and Samaria the "West Bank?" You can't see the Jordan River from anywhere in Judea and Samaria. The only body of water you can see glimpses of, and then only very rarely, on the clearest of days, is the Dead Sea. If you want to pay lip service to the lie that Israel stole its own indigenous territory from Jordan then don't talk about giving the land to a third party: one that is neither Jordan nor Israel.

The authors speak of Israeli settlements as a "key stumbling block in the talks." This is a lie. Homes are not a stumbling block to talks. Arabs and their terror are a stumbling block to talks. They refuse to sit and talk and negotiate. They refuse to stop attacking Israelis.

The stalemate on peace has nothing to do with settlements and nothing to do with homes. This is just the authors editorializing and exposing their bias anew. They're repeating themselves. Repeating the same old platitudes.

So let me spell it out for them: It's not the settlements, Stupid. It's that the Arabs don't want to wheel and deal or negotiate on any level with the Jews whatsoever. It's that Arabs don't want to talk to Jews. The Arabs don't want to recognize Israel. The Arabs don't want the Jews to have even a single inch of Israel. They want all the land, all to themselves, and they want it Judenrein.

In short, it is the Arabs that are the key stumbling block to talks. Not homes, for crying out loud. Arabs. Arabs and Arab terror.

Late last year, Mr. Trump slammed the Obama administration’s decision not to veto a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Western diplomats worry that without peace talks under way, tensions between the two sides remain at risk of exploding into full-blown conflict. A truck attack earlier this month by a Palestinian killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, breaking a period of relative calm.

Now here's a quizzical statement. The authors tell us that it's the lack of peace talks that caused the truck ramming in Jerusalem. That's another big whopper of a lie. Actually, Israelis are quite convinced it was UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that ignited the terror in Jerusalem, emboldening the terrorists into thinking that the West is on their side.

Why not? Resolution 2334 says that it is illegal for Jews to be in Jerusalem!

That's all the license a terrorist needed to kill Jews in Jerusalem and that is what that terrorist did on that no-good, tragic, awful day, thanks to all those horrible people who clapped as Resolution 2334 was passed. Four dead Israeli youths can thank Obama's abstention for their deaths, with that abstention breaking the long-standing pact between the U.S. and Israel, and killing those soldiers as surely as bullets shot from a gun.

The international summit comes as support for the two-state solution is waning domestically in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Here is the truest statement in the entire piece. One that belies the conclusions of the authors as well as those attending the summit. Neither Arabs nor Jewish Israelis believe in the two-state solution. The Arabs don't want it, so the two-state solution doesn't work as the basis for talks. The Jews have no way to give this solution to the Arabs without sacrificing their security, so they don't want it either. We saw and see, what happened with giving them Gaza.

Besides, the Arabs already have Jordan. They have Gaza. They have 22 other states in the region which could absorb them in two shakes of a lamb's tail with some economic pressure applied judiciously by the worthless UN. In any of those Arab states, the Arabs of Israel might speak their own language, be among their coreligionists, and feel culturally right at home.

But Israel? It's the only Jewish State there is. And it's all we've got. It's tiny.

Moreover, Europe, you have NO RIGHT to cut up our land and give it to others. You have no right to decide the future of Jerusalem. You killed 6 million of us. But we are done satisfying your evil whims. Done.

“This conference is among the last twitches of yesterday’s world,” Mr. Netanyahu said on Sunday after the weekly cabinet meeting. “Tomorrow’s world will be different and it is very near.”

A-frickin' men.

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