Friday, January 20, 2017

From Ian:

The hateful whispers that make me want to move from London to Tel Aviv
There’s a train of thought among right-thinking people in London at the moment that Israel is culpable; that it is responsible for all the ills of the Palestinians, all the woes of the Middle East. If it weren’t for Israel, they say, the world would be a better place. If you go to a dinner party you can hear things that wouldn’t have sounded unfamiliar in 1930s Germany. They say they’re just ‘anti-Zionist’ but to be anti-Zionist is to be anti-Semitic. No one is anti- any other country. No one questions, say, Iran’s right to exist.
I’ve voted Labour in the past, but these days people in the Labour party all too often say things about Jews having big noses, or controlling the media, or somehow engineering the attack on the World Trade Center. Israel is behind Isis, they say. At demonstrations people hold up placards that say Hitler was right. Those words, exactly. Much of Labour barely raises an eyebrow.
If only those people who wish ill on Israel, on Jews, could know what it’s like to hear their hatred — to live in London and hear that Jews are the puppet-masters of the world, that Israel only helps in disaster zones to harvest organs. My father would have known. He spent time in the 1940s in Nazi concentration camps, because he was Jewish. His parents and sister were murdered for the same reason. My father would feel the same dread chill, and know — first-hand — where all this blame and hatred of Jews leads. If you think I exaggerate, then tell me; where do you think it leads? It may be only the first ugly murmur, from stupid people, but it won’t end there.
I’ve been to Tel Aviv four times in five years, and it seems to me a place of positive things: hope, investment in the future, strength and patience and humour. This is why I’m thinking of moving.
David Collier: Helpless before the hatred at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
This was my first anti-Israel university event of 2017. The start of an extremely busy time in the annual calendar. Apartheid Week, an intensive period of vicious anti-Israel activity on campus is only a month away. To highlight this intensity, this was one of only three events taking place I could have chosen. The other two were at SOAS, and Salisbury.
It was also my first event since Al -Jazeera launched a visible attack on British Jews, via an undercover operation driven from within a deeply antisemitic paradigm. As I pointed out at the time, even though sane people watched the show and saw nothing, for the antisemite, the show was the delivery of proof of Jewish conspiracy. So how would this play out on the UK campus?
The event itself was at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) campus, ‘discussing the BDS movement, its impact and importance’. Hosted by the QMUL Friends of Palestine Society, it was a Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA) event, and a bag of FOA material was handed out to all attendees.
On the panel was Ben White, Malaka Mohammed, Prof. Moshe Machover and Shamiul Joarder. The range of hate that lines up against Israel. Islamic thought, the Palestinian, the Marxist Jew, and well, the other, the British guy who attaches himself to Islamic thought and Jewish Marxists, to push a highly dubious and quintessentially hypocritical humanitarian cause.
The evening began with a short clip. I have provided just 10 seconds below, all that is needed to highlight the disgraceful distortion of history that is behind the BDS campaign:


Europe's Jihad against Israel
Resolution 2334 was as sickening a surrender to the Arab-Muslim jihad in the name of "peace," as was the surrender of UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to Adolf Hitler at Munich in September 1938.
The UN before 1967 did not refer to the West Bank and Gaza as "occupied" territories when they were "occupied" by Egypt and Jordan after the 1948-49 war, which the Arab states launched against Israel. The Arab states then were the "occupiers" of parts of Palestine west of Jordan until 1967, and rejected any notion of Jews having a historic connection with Palestine, which they claimed was an integral part of Arab lands.
From the time of the Balfour Declaration and the League's Mandate for Palestine until the UN Resolution 181 (1947), reference to Palestine meant land with historic connection to the Jewish people. It was on this basis that the Jews' (Zionist) claim to reconstitute their national home was given legal recognition by the League, which the UN, as its successor, was legally bound to protect.
From the Arab perspective of religion and politics there never was a "Palestinian" people, or nation, distinct and separate from Arabs as a people or nation. The jihad called by the Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini against Jews in Palestine after 1921 was in the name of "Arabs" and Islam, and it has so remained since. According to the Hamas charter, "the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Trust] upon all Muslim generations till the day of Resurrection."
Jerusalem, its principal city, was built by King David, a Jew, some ten centuries earlier.

From Ian:

Stephen Pollard: Unravelling the real story behind UN vote
Usually, an Israeli Ambassador would make clear any reservations and the Conservative Friends of Israel would weigh in with its own view. But almost the entire Westminster village had disappeared for Christmas. Lord Polak, CFI honorary president, was in Florida and Mark Regev, the Israeli Ambassador, was out of the country on holiday. A series of juniors were in charge. None appeared to grasp the storm about to break.
When the resolution passed and the Jewish community realised what the government had done, however, there was apoplexy in Downing Street. A source told me: “Number 10 took its eye off the ball. They screwed up badly.”
My Whitehall contacts were adamant at the time that this was a change of policy and that Number 10 had been kept fully in the loop. That week, the JC’s front page story emphasised Number 10’s role. This only added to the anger with FCO officials.
The damage of 2334 was already done. But there was a determination — not least from Nick Timothy, Mrs May’s joint chief of staff — to show this was not indicative of a new policy. Number 10 decided it would take the first opportunity to unravel the UN mess.
The opportunity presented itself almost immediately. Five days after the UN vote, John Kerry launched a withering attack on the Israeli government in a speech at the State Department. But if that was unprecedented, so was the response from Number 10 — a direct and unambiguous dismissal of Mr Kerry’s speech.
In Final Press Conference, Obama Slaps Israel. As Always.
Syria is on fire. South Sudan is unraveling. Russia is invading Eastern European states. But guess what President Obama decided to focus on in his last press conference as leader of the free world? Yup, Israel, the one and only Jewish State in the world. And by now we know that whenever Obama talks Israel it’s never a good thing.
In a parting shot to Israel on Wednesday, Obama questioned went so far as to question the viability of the Zionist project itself.
"I don't see how this issue gets resolved in a way that maintains Israel as both Jewish and a democracy if there are not two states," he croaked.
Obama’s comments come just a few weeks after he directed UN Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain from an egregiously anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution which labeled the Old City in Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Jewish Quarter illegally-occupied territory.
Not only did Obama refuse to concede any territory to his critics, but he ardently defended his administration’s decision to stab Israel in the waning days of his presidency.
"The goal of the UN resolution was to say the growth of the settlements will increasingly make a two-state solution impossible," he argued at the White House press conference. "It was important for us to send a signal, a wakeup call that this moment may be passing."
Obama knows full well, however, that the anti-Israel venom circulating across the Oval Office will soon be replaced by something else. On Friday, President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office and take hold of the levers of power. He has already signaled a staunchly pro-Israel stance, appointing an advocate as ambassador to Israel who believes that the US embassy in Tel Aviv should be moved to Jerusalem.
Enterprising Builder Thrilled About US Embassy Move to Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1995, states that Jerusalem should remain a united city, that it should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel and that the U.S. Embassy should be moved there from Tel Aviv.
Every U.S. President has signed the waiver contained in the law which extends by an additional six months the time by which the embassy must be moved.
President Trump and several insiders close to him, including David M. Friedman, the man nominated to become the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel, has stated that under this president the embassy will be moved to Jerusalem.
It is unclear where, exactly, the Obama administration considered Israel’s capital to be – there were no public declarations that Tel Aviv was considered Israel’s capital. And, of course, President Obama and his State Department made it clear in the recent past that not only did they not consider Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, they did not even consider Jerusalem to be part of Israel.
An enterprising Jerusalem builder has made his glee public about the stated policy of the incoming U.S. administration.

  • Friday, January 20, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
This photo was tweeted by Israel's Channel 10 journalist Roy Sharon.


It shows the graduation ceremony of IDF intelligence officers that occurred Thursday. Two of the graduates, new officers, are religious women who are exempt from wearing uniforms because they are pregnant.

This is, Sharon notes, an appropriate integration of people in the IDF.

Haaretz noted in 2015 that the IDF is recruiting religious women, who are exempt from serving int he army and usually choose to perform national service instead. Hundreds are volunteering to join the army anyway. Military intelligence is one major focus for the recruitment efforts.




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  • 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!




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  • 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.



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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.






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  • 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!




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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. 






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  • 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.




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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