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Thursday, April 19, 2018

From Ian:

Noted Historian on Israel’s 70th Birthday: Justice Is on Jewish State’s Side
At 70 years old, the State of Israel has grown up, and might be unrecognizable to those who founded it. From a relatively barren imperial backwater, it has become a flourishing, vibrant and innovative regional leader. From a population of 500,000, it is now home to over 8 million people. From a tiny nation fighting for its life, it has become a military power. And from a socialist-dominated one-party state, it has become a thriving capitalist democracy.

Yet, a leading Israeli historian told The Algemeiner this week, in many ways Israel has not changed at all. Its core national identity as a Jewish state remains as strong as it ever was.

“Obviously Israel has changed,” said Efraim Karsh, the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a professor emeritus of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London. “First of all it has increased in a way no other Western or developed nation has grown over this period. I mean, more than tenfold. Then of course, the different kinds of populations that arrived. Essentially from predominantly European-based Jews to those who arrived from other nations — many were expelled in the Independence War and then immediately afterwards — some expelled in the ’50s, and then in the mid-’60s from North Africa, then later on you have the large Russian immigration, and then of course the Ethiopians.”

“Israel is a melting pot,” Karsh stated, “and on the whole I think it has been a success story. And I think in a way it’s remarkable, because you don’t have many societies, Western or otherwise, absorbing huge populations several times their size and doing it in such a successful way that eventually, with all the difficulties and the grievances of certain communities at certain times, it is relatively a highly equal society.
April 19, 2018 9:21 am
Netanyahu, Rivlin Reflect on Israel’s 70th Anniversary in Video Messages - In video greetings recorded in English, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin reflected on Israel’s...

“So I think in this respect, yes, Israel has changed,” he continued. “But, on the whole, not for the worse. On the contrary, you have an Israeli identity developing over the time that crystallizes all of the different sections.”

Gerald Steinberg: The Israel Basher
The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights, by Michael Sfard
AIn September 2001, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights held a major conference in Durban, South Africa, ostensibly to mark the end of the apartheid regime. But the event, and particularly an “NGO Forum” attended by 5,000 delegates, was hijacked and turned into what some participants termed an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic carnival. In the final session, the leaders of the NGO Forum announced a plan to transfer the tools used in the anti-apartheid campaign to the dismantling of Israel, declaring the nation-state of the Jewish people guilty of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes.
Since Durban, a small but generously funded army of ideologues has sought to implement this strategy, seeking to persuade governments (particularly European) and international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, to isolate and demonize Israel.

Michael Sfard is among the most energetic, passionate, and articulate warriors on this battlefield. As an Israeli fiercely opposing the policies of his own nation, he automatically gains credibility among some audiences. Over many years, he has waged war in the Israeli courts and, more important, in arenas around the world that specialize in anti-Israel campaigns.

Sfard’s weapon is international law—a nebulous, plastic, and readily manipulated commodity that has the feel and texture of real law (as practiced by lawyers and judges in individual nation-states), without the constitutional backbone.

His book The Wall and the Gate is a polemic, and there are no shades of gray or self-doubt. At no point does Sfard ponder complexities and contradictions, such as the absence of universality or reciprocity—two essential dimensions of any legitimate legal system. Thus, he glosses over the daily human-rights violations and war crimes committed by his “clients,” as he paternalistically refers to Palestinians, repeating the standard victimization myths. His references to the horrors of terror that have taken so many Israeli lives are minor and parenthetical. For example, in condemning the Israeli separation barrier that has prevented many terrorist attacks, he says, “there will come a day, maybe when the conflict is over, when Palestinians will be unable to escape the duty to reckon with some of their organizations tactics.”
Palestinian mayor sparks BDS storm by admitting he works for Israeli company
The mayor of the West Bank Christian town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, on Wednesday dropped a bombshell by admitting that he also works as a sales representative for Tnuva, the Israeli food processing cooperative specializing in milk and dairy products.

Nicola Khamis made the admission during an interview with the Palestinian Wattan TV.

The mayor’s revelation drew strong condemnations, and many satirical remarks, from a large number of Palestinians on social media.

Several Palestinians pointed out that the mayor’s revelation was a severe blow to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), which has long been spearheading a worldwide campaign to promote various forms of boycott against Israel.

“Some say that the reason behind the recent decline in your popularity is attributed to the fact that in addition to your job as mayor, you are also the representative of the Israeli company Tnuva in the [Bethlehem] area. What is your response to this claim?” Khamis was asked.

Berlin anti-Semitic belt assailant said to be Palestinian from Syria
A 19-year-old Palestinian asylum seeker from Syria turned himself in to German police Thursday after his violent anti-Semitic attack on an Arab Israeli man wearing a Jewish skullcap in Berlin caused outrage across Germany.

Police said the suspect they had already identified from the footage and witness statements had presented himself with a lawyer and would face a judge to be held on assault charges.

Bild daily identified him as a Palestinian from Syria named Knaan S. who was registered at a refugee home in Brandenburg state outside Berlin but was most recently living “out of a suitcase” in the capital.

The victim, initially thought to be Jewish, told German television on Wednesday night that he wasn’t, but wanted to find out whether it was safe to walk in the street dressed as a Jew. He said he wore the skullcap as an experiment because he didn’t believe a friend who told him it’s too dangerous to wear one in public in Germany.

“I am not Jewish, I am an Israeli and I grew up in Israel in an Arab family,” Adam Armush, 21, told broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “It was an experience for me to wear the skullcap and go out into the street yesterday.”

He said he filmed the attack on him and a second man as evidence “for the police and for the German people and even the world to see how terrible it is these days as a Jew to go through Berlin streets.”
In first, European Parliament condemns Hamas for terror, use of human shields
The European Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution that denounces Hamas as a terrorist group that uses human shields, calls for Israel’s destruction and “seems to aim at escalating tensions” at the Gaza-Israel border.

The motion also calls for the release of Israeli citizens and the bodies of fallen soldiers held by the Palestinian terror group in the coastal enclave.

The carefully calibrated text, which was the result of intense negotiations between the parliament’s various factions but was eventually jointly submitted by all major political groups, also backs calls for probes into Israel’s use of live ammunition to fend off protesters at the border and calls on Israel to exercise restraint.

It passed with 524 “yes” votes, 30 “no” votes, and 92 abstentions.

Pro-Israel advocacy groups welcomed the resolution, stressing the unusual fact that a European Union body found strong words of condemnation not only for Israel but also for Hamas.

Idit Rosenzweig-Abu, spokesperson of Israel’s mission to the EU, said “the resolution adopted today is far from being pro-Israeli, however we are satisfied that unprecedented anti-Israeli clauses were cut out of the resolution and, most importantly, we are happy to hear a strong, clear call for the immediate release of the Israeli citizens and the return of the bodies of our soldiers held in Gaza.”
The Men Who Didn’t Disarm Syria—But Said They Did
On April 7, Syrian government forces, backed by Russia and Iran, used chemical weapons to attack the population of Douma, a rebel-held town in the hotly contested province of Eastern Ghouta. Dozens of men, women, and children were killed, and many more were made grievously ill.

I spent a few hours after the attack rereading the ludicrous coverage that greeted President Obama’s announcement in 2013 that, rather than take military action, he had entered into an agreement with the Russians to remove and destroy Assad’s chemical stockpiles. The Obama administration knew at the time that the deal would leave Assad plenty of armaments, but officials were happy nevertheless to make statements that left the public with a different and mistaken impression. These statements were often lawyerly, sophistic, and deceptive, using weasel-phrases like “declared chemical weapons.” They assumed that the everyday voter would not recognize that the word “declared” signified a loophole Assad could drive a tank through.

What followed was a dress rehearsal for the Iran nuclear deal of 2015: The agreement was bad and not subject to congressional oversight or approval, the media happily retailed the Obama administration’s message, and now that we are dealing with the fallout in lives and lost credibility from a bad deal deceptively marketed to the public, no member of the Obama-media echo chamber wants to be reminded of his colossal misjudgment and credulity.

Let’s remind them.
UN security team in Douma targeted by gunfire while working with chemical inspectors
A United Nations security team working with international chemical weapons inspectors has been targeted by gunfire and a small explosion in the Syrian town of Douma.

According to the director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the team had been deployed to the location of the alleged chemical attack when they were targeted.

Speaking at an emergency session of the OPCW at its headquarters in The Hague, Ahmet Uzumcu said the team had deployed to Douma to carry out a security assessment of the area ahead of the inspectors' visit.

The Syrian government had told the team that they could not accompany them because a ceasefire agreement prevented them from entering the area.

Russian military police are understood to have escorted the UN team to Douma but at the first of two areas visited they were confronted by a large crowd and decided to move on.
Belgium companies sold deadly chemicals to Assad in violation of sanctions
Antwerp’s Criminal Court has opened cases against three Flemish companies for the alleged violations of EU sanctions relating to the sale of illegal chemicals to the Syrian regime, according to a Wednesday report from the Belgium news weekly Knack.

The magazine reported that the Belgian companies – AAE Chemie, Danmar Logistics, and the shut-down Anex Customs – exported the chemicals to the Syrian regime, which included isopropanol, a chemical that can be used in the manufacturing of sarin nerve gas. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime used sarin gas in a massive chemical attack on civilians in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in 2013, resulting in the deaths of 1,4000 people. According to Knack and the website Syrian Archive, “Belgian companies exported 96 tonnes of isopropanol, a sarin precursor, to Syria between 2014 and 2016.”

The joint media report said: “UN Comtrade statistics show that Belgium was the only EU member state that continued to export [iso]propanol to Syria since EU sanctions were imposed in 2013.”

The report also showed that Belgium had sold deadly chemicals to Lebanon. The criminal trial in Antwerp involving the companies is slated for May 15.

Belgium’s customs authorities filed the criminal case against the companies. The French wire service APA reported that the Belgian Finance Ministry said the criminal case involved “making false customs declaration, as the companies had not listed isopropanol on the shipping documents.” Isopropanol can also be used for paint products.
Kurdish commander claims German jihadist tied to 9/11 attacks caught in Syria
A Syrian-born German national accused of helping to plan the September 11, 2001 attacks has been detained by Kurdish forces in Syria, a senior Kurdish commander told AFP Wednesday.

“Mohammed Haydar Zammar has been arrested by Kurdish security forces in northern Syria and is now being interrogated,” the top official said, without providing further details.

Zammar, who is in his mid-fifties, has been accused of recruiting some of the September 11 hijackers to al-Qaeda.

He was detained in Morocco in December 2001 in an operation involving CIA agents, and was handed over to the Syrian authorities two weeks later.

A Syrian court sentenced Zammar to 12 years in prison in 2007 for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge that at the time could have resulted in the death penalty.

But conflict broke out in Syria four years later, and many hardline Islamist prisoners were released from jail or broke free and went on to join jihadist groups fighting in the war.
Pro-Assad Regime Organization Paid Ohio Dem Dennis Kucinich $20,000
An organization that supports Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad paid former Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich $20,000 to speak to its organization last year.

The payment came out as part of the Democrat's financial disclosures since he is running for governor of Ohio. Originally, Kucinich did not list the source of the payments and referred to them as speaking fees without specifying who they came from, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The three speaking fees came to a total of $33,000.

The $20,000 payment came from the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, in El Cerrito, California. The speech was at the European Centre for the Study of Extremism in Cambridge, England. Kucinich's travel costs were also handled.

Kucinich has been to Syria several times before and has met Assad. The gubernatorial candidate is against most military actions the U.S. could be involved in and repeatedly attempted to impeach former President George W. Bush for the invasion of Iraq.

Kucinich is in an uphill battle to claim the Democratic nomination for governor. Former CFPB head Richard Cordray is the favorite to lock down the Democratic nomination.
They Don’t Even Care That People are Watching
The only people pretending Jewish Voice for Labour, Free Speech on Israel or Jews For Justice for Palestinians (who all share the same members and officers) are really a part of the Jewish community are Corbyn and his acolytes.

It won’t wash. The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council have refused to sit down at the same table as them. Why on earth were they invited by Corbyn to sit down at a round table on antisemitism in the first place if they don’t believe there is any?

Read the words of Alan Maddison in the final comment;
We cant just sit back and let these smears rob us of a GE victory for the sake of all our most vulnerable, including msny BAME and Muslim voters.

We surely have to plan going onto the attack. Those MPs inferring AS abuse from Labour members need to present their complaints and proof to Formby now. If they can’t then they should be sanctioned if not expelled for bringing the Party and its leader into disrepute.

He has watched MPs lineup to read out the antisemitic filth they have been subjected to and then makes out as if they don’t have any proof. Labour Against Antisemitism claim to have made thousands of complaints against Labour members and still he pretends that there’s no proof and it’s all just a smear.

These are the people Corbyn is pushing forward as representatives of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom.
Yesterday Guido revealed Labour’s new parliamentary candidate in South Thanet Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt runs a ‘think tank’ which defended Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker and questioned the “Zionist sympathies” of Jewish MPs. Well, the think tank’s website – registered by Gordon-Nesbitt – has now been taken offline, and its Twitter account which sent the offending tweets has been deleted.
Levin Rips Politico After Foreign Affairs Correspondent Speaks at J Street Conference: ‘This Goes On All the Time’
Conservative radio host Mark Levin ripped into Politico Tuesday following a Washington Free Beacon report on one of its correspondents speaking at a conference put on by J Street, an anti-Israel organization.

The Free Beacon‘s Brent Scher reported:
>Politico foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi spoke on Sunday at a conference put on by J Street, a far-left anti-Israel group currently waging an aggressive campaign against the confirmation of the Trump administration's secretary of state nominee Mike Pompeo.

Toosi was part of a panel discussion titled, "The Erosion of Diplomacy Under the Trump Administration." She was joined on stage by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.), a J Street-backedcongressman who has been critical of the administration's Israel policy, and Thomas Countryman, a former State Department official let go by the current administration who quickly emerged as a Trump critic.

J Street is actively campaigning against the confirmation of Pompeo. It described Pompeo as an "advocate for unnecessary wars" and predicted he would lead a State Department that "would do harm to American security, our international reputation, and the cause of peace."

On his national radio program, Levin read out Scher's report, which detailed Toosi's positive reports about J Street in contrast to her negative reporting on Pompeo.

"Nahal Toosi, the Politico foreign affairs correspondent, she's not a correspondent. She's a propagandist," Levin said.

Levin said Politico was hypocritical in its reporting on Sean Hannity, the pugnacious Fox News host and supporter of Donald Trump who was recently revealed to be a client of embattled lawyer Michael Cohen. A recent Politico headline read, "Cohen controersy tests Hannity's Teflon Sean reputation."

Dem Senator Calls on Liberals to Fight Anti-Semitism on Left
Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii) said Monday at the annual conference for J Street, a liberal Middle East lobbying group, that liberals need to condemn anti-semitism coming from the left.

Schatz argued in his speech, flagged by Tablet, that it is more difficult but necessary to call out bigotry coming from your side of the political aisle.

"In one year, anti-Semitic incidents have increased by nearly 60 percent. And frankly, it’s coming from all sides," Schatz said.

He then cited a professor of Holocaust and Genocide studies who documented how Nazis were able to build a movement based in anti-Semitism.

"It’s because the political parties never pushed back. Not the Social Democrats or the Communists in Germany, and not the resistance across the continent," Schatz said.

"We’ve got to remember this," Schatz said, "because the obscene call of anti-Semitism must be condemned every time it is heard."
Barnard College students vote to ask administration to divest from Israel
Nearly two-thirds of Barnard College’s student body voted to ask the administration to divest from eight companies doing business with Israel.

In the results of the vote announced Wednesday, 64 percent of students want the Student Government Association to write the administration a letter asking the college, which is affiliated with Columbia University, to divest from Israel, the Columbia Spectator reported.

The question was included on the ballot for the annual student government elections. Turnout was almost 50%, the Spectator reported, the highest ever for a vote. The vote does not bind the student government to write the letter.

The government will meet on April 23 to consider whether to write the letter.

Pro-Israel students on campus said the measure’s language was skewed and they were not given an opportunity to contribute to its wording. They said they were only given a day’s notice of the government meeting considering the ballot earlier this month and then were not able to make a formal presentation there.
German Fruit Juice Giant Pulls Music Awards Sponsorship Amid Continued Outcry Over Antisemitic Rap Duo
Germany’s largest fruit juice company on Thursday joined a growing assembly of musicians, artists and corporations expressing fury at the award of the country’s most prestigious music prize to an antisemitic rap duo.

Juice producer Voelkel announced that it would cut all ties to the “Echo Awards,” organized annually by the Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI), after the duo “Kollegah & Farid Bang” won the hip hop/urban category award at the ceremony in Berlin on Apr. 12 — Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

The company slammed the “shameful comparison with victims of the Holocaust” contained in one of the duo’s tracks, “O815.”

“My body is more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates,” the lyrics to the track say, before exhorting, “I’m doing another Holocaust, coming with a Molotov.”

The award to the duo caused an outcry in Germany, with newspaper Die Welt criticizing the “cowardly silence of the music industry” and car maker Skoda threatening to pull sponsorship.
VICE News Misses Important Facts and Context on Hamas, Fatah, and Jerusalem
In addition, the piece lacks important context. Although the piece does quote Emmanuel Nahshon, of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, saying that “Jerusalem has been our capital since 1948, that's almost 70 years,” it makes no mention of the 3000-year connection between Jews and Jerusalem, of the continuous Jewish presence in the city for almost all of that time, or of the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the city when Jordan captured it in 1948. While Tobani tells viewers that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is holy to Muslims because they believe that is where Muhammad ascended to heaven, and that the Church of Holy Sepulcher is where Jesus is believed to have been resurrected, she never explains why Jerusalem is holy to Jews. Instead, Toboni simplistically tells us, “For centuries, Jerusalem has been a holy city for three of the world's major religions,” and that “different religious communities have been coexisting here for centuries.” Palestinians, she also tells us, are “united in opposing Israeli control over Jerusalem.” The fact that Jerusalem has never been the capital of a Palestinian state, or of any Muslim state, is never mentioned.

While, as noted above, Toboni does a good job of showing how violent Hamas is, the segment portrays that violence, and Hamas's popularity, as a natural response to events. She interviews Hanan Ashrawi, whom she introduces as “instrumental in the peace process for more than 30 years,” without mentioning Palestinian rejection of peace and statehood offers in 2000, 2001, and 2008, without mentioning Palestinian failure to negotiate during the 2010 settlement freeze, and without mentioning Palestinian rejection of the Obama administration's 2014 proposed parameters. Instead, she airs, with no push-back, Ashrawi's claim that Hamas's popularity is due to the “failure of the peace process to deliver.”

A more thorough report might have noted the possibility that Fatah corruption contributes to Hamas's popularity. Hamas's 2006 parliamentary electoral victory over Fatah has been attributed in part to Palestinians “looking for new leaders after years of living under a corrupt regime.” Even one Fatah member said that “the electoral loss … was caused by ‘mismanagement and the corruption by the mafia that came from Tunis' when the PA was formed.” Such a report might also have mentioned that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was elected in 2005 to serve a four-year term, and has remained in office, without holding a new election, since then.

While ignoring these factors, Toboni makes much of Hamas's ostensible popularity – showing the huge crowds at their rallies, interviewing ordinary Gazans and asking why they support Hamas. What she never does show is what happens to those who oppose Hamas in Gaza. In addition to the 2007 violent coup, Hamas has been known to put Fatah members under house arrest or shoot them, and to extrajudicially execute those it claims “collaborate” with Israel.

Israeli actions, moreover, are portrayed as gratuitously violent. “You can hear Israeli gunshots coming over,” Toboni reports at one point. “A couple of kids have already been taken away in ambulances.” One young man is interviewed while in the hospital with a gunshot wound. “Can you explain what happened?” Toboni asks him. “I was burning tires to help the guys go in,” he responds. Go in where? That question, like so many others, isn't asked.
"The Presbyterian Church USA Is Obsessed With Israel"
Here’s a good rule of thumb. If someone from the Presbyterian Church (USA) tries to tell you their peacemaking agenda is not about the Jews, you can be sure it’s about the Jews.

The Presbyterian Church USA, a dying mainline church with a long history of attacking Israel, will convene its General Assembly in St. Louis Missouri in June 16-23, 2018.

As of this writing, there are nine resolutions before the committee charged with issues related to the Middle East.

Eight of those nine resolutions are related to Israel.

Only one is related to the ongoing civil war in Syria, which has cost half a million people their lives.

In the course of this war, the Assad regime has used chemical weapons to drive thousands of people from their homes. The regime has been accused of running extermination camps where its opponents are murdered and their bodies placed in mass graves.

The Assad regime has gassed its opponents, dropped barrel bombs on people lined up at bakeries to get bread. It has strafed, shot and starved half a million people, driven millions of Syrians into exile and displaced millions of its citizens internally.

Despite these manifest crimes against humanity, the denomination’s peace activists have gotten one — only one — overture on the agenda of the PCUSA’s upcoming General Assembly.
Haneen Zoabi comes to town.
In a perfect world, Israeli MK Haneen Zoabi would be held up as an example of Israel's pluralistic and democratic nature. An Arab woman, educated in Israeli universities and elected to the Kenneset is surely a testimony to Israel's vibrant pluralism and vigorous democracy.

We don't live in a perfect world.

Instead, Zoabi is crisscrossing the Bay area, spreading lies about the state she calls home, enabled by some of the most extremist groups in the Bay area.

A variety of vehemently anti-Israel groups have been sponsoring and promoting Zoabi's Bay area tour. "Jewish" Voice for Peace is a sponsor and has freely promoted this open supporter of Hamas.

Zoabi has appeared at the Ramallah Institute, at Stanford, at Berkeley City hall (invited by the equally extreme Cheryl Davila), at UC Berkeley and on KPFA, a local radio station.
J.K. Rowling is giving a master class in identifying anti-Semitism and it’s magical
There’s an unsettling debate underway in Britain about whether the right or the left is more anti-Semitic, and videos of Jewish members of Parliament reading out some of the anti-Semitic invective they’ve suffered have gone viral.

J.K. Rowling, the non-Jewish author of the Harry Potter series, decided to weigh in on Wednesday, defining anti-Semitism for her 14.4 million Twitter followers.

She posted a screen grab of a non-Jew gentile-splaining what Judaism is — “Judaism is a religion not a race” — and gently explained why this is hardly relevant to defining anti-Jewish bias.

“Most UK Jews in my timeline are currently having to field this kind of crap, so perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden,” she said. “Antisemites think this is a clever argument, so tell us, do: were atheist Jews exempted from wearing the yellow star? #antisemitism.”

Rowling’s head-smacking was almost audible as she sorted through responses to that tweet, including one that said arguing against anti-Semitism was “culturally insensitive” to Muslims.

“When you only understand bigotry in terms of ‘pick a team’ and get a mind-boggling response,” she said.

She also reacted with impatience — attaching a GIF of an exasperated Hugh Laurie — when someone argued that Arabs can’t be anti-Semitic because they are Semites. “The ‘Arabs are semitic too’ hot takes have arrived,” she said.

Canary Mission: SJP and "Intifada"
Since the 1980’s, the Arabic term “Intifada” has borne the connotation of violence and violent Palestinian uprising in Israel.

Israel experienced the First Intifada from 1987-1993 and the Second Intifada from 2000-2005. The so-called Knife Intifada took place from 2015-2016.

The violence that took place during these periods of uprising took the form of rock-throwings, stabbings, shootings, car-rammings and bombings of civilian targets. Such attacks were often orchestrated by terror organizations, in particular by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas.

Students across North America who seek a space to show their support for “Intifada” find their outlet in the notorious hate-group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

The violence that entails “Intifada” is terrorism. Nevertheless, declaring support for “Intifada” is acceptable speech amongst SJP and its activists.

54 SJP activists, officers and affiliates who have all expressed support for “Intifada” are listed below.

Louis Farrakhan Gives Insane Lecture Linking Star Of David To Sexual Immorality
A bizarre and disturbingly anti-Semitic lecture about the Star of David posted in 2016 has resurfaced online. Louis Farrakhan, the 84-year-old head of the Nation of Islam, links the Jewish symbol to the Biblical mark of the beast and sexual immorality.

Farrakhan presents the image of the Star of David on a screen and makes note of the six triangles. "Each angle in an equilateral triangle has how many degrees?" he asks, smiling. "60," reply audience members in unison, much to Farrakhan's delight. "So, the Bible says, count the number of a beast, for it is the number of a man," he notes.

After connecting the Star of David to the mark of the beast, the anti-Semitic minister gives a tutorial on how the Jewish symbol, when superimposed over the body, illustrates sexual immorality.

The top triangle, he says, relates to "spiritual wisdom," but the bottom triangle is another story.

"You notice where the point is, right?" he asks the audience, pointing to the bottom point of the Star of David superimposed over an image of the human body. He also linked the bottom of the triangle to women wearing v-neck shirts and tight pants to "expose the 'v'".

"It's the same with us men," he continued. "You got on these tight pants, with the outline of your penis; sisters walking; they lookin'; 'That brother's heavily endowed.'"

"When the white man wants to excite a man, what does he do? See, it's boobs and butt," Farrakhan said, pointing to the Star of David. "You're the boob and butt generation, and now, you really believe that booty is beauty."

PreOccupiedTerritory: Local Man Doesn’t Need Haaretz To Help Him See Worst In Everything Israel Does (satire)
The Jewish State celebrates its seventieth anniversary today, an occasion that the writers, editors, and publisher of the country’s most prestigious daily take as yet another impetus to find fault with anything they can about the society, but one area resident disdains those who rely on that publication for identifying shortcomings, problems, crimes, and other negative traits.

Nimrod Grinchman, 50, told reporters today that while he appreciates Haaretz for some of its reporting and commentary, anyone who cannot come up with the least charitable interpretation of events regarding Israeli government and society without reading the paper – whether its online or printed forms, Hebrew or English editions – remains an intellectual lightweight and not worth his time.

“I appreciate what Amos Schocken and company are trying to do,” he stated, referring to Haaretz’s publisher. “But it doesn’t take a genius to choose the worst possible characterization of Israel, its leadership, and its dominant religion without reading what this group pf writers has to say first. I, certainly, don’t need to read Gideon Levy before asserting that Jewish sovereignty in our ancient homeland is a mistake and a crime against Palestinians. Only losers, if you’ll pardon my frankness, who can’t think for themselves must depend on the likes of Rogel Alpher for regular doses of self-loathing, pessimist weltschmerz, and can’t generate it on their own.”

Grinchman nevertheless subscribes to the publication, as he has no other convenient avenue for remaining apprised of cultural or political events not couched in unacceptably patriotic terms. “The tabloids are for hoi polloi,” he sniffed, dismissing Yediot Aharonot, Maariv, and their online sister publications. “What Haaretz does have going for it is a market share under four percent, which is on the high side for my tastes, bordering on the mainstream, but still low enough to remain within the bounds of acceptability.”
Suspected Brussels Jewish museum killer to stand trial
Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche was ordered Thursday to stand trial in Brussels for allegedly killing four people at a Jewish museum four years ago in a jihadist attack, his lawyer said.

Judges decided there was enough evidence to try Nemmouche, 33, and alleged accomplice Nacer Bendrer, who is also French, in the Belgian capital for the attack in 2014, lawyer Henri Laquay told AFP.

He did not name a date but the trial is expected to begin later this year or early next year.

The judges decided there was not enough evidence to put Mounir Attalah, a third Frenchman linked to the attack, on trial.

On May 24, 2014 a gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire in the entrance hall of the museum in the center of the Belgian capital, killing two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer, and a Belgian museum receptionist.

Six days later Nemmouche was arrested in the southern French port city of Marseille when getting off a bus from Brussels.

Nemmouche had returned from Syria where he had been fighting with Islamist extremists.
IsraellyCool: Did You Know? Washington Bullets Were Renamed After Rabin Assassination
I’m filing this under Wow, Just Wow:

The crowd was still singing as Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin walked offstage at a Tel Aviv peace rally. His motorcade was parked around the corner, through a throng of supporters waving flags bearing the Star of David, hailing the first progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace in a generation.

The songs continued. Rabin shook supporters’ hands. Then three shots rang out from the gun of a Jewish ultranationalist. Two bullets struck Rabin in the arm and back. He died in surgery later that night.

Within hours of the attack, news reached Abe Pollin, a Washington developer, owner of Washington’s National Basketball Association and National Hockey League teams, and Rabin’s close friend.

Not even a week after the prime minister’s death on Nov. 4, 1995, and four days after his funeral, Pollin declared his basketball team would no longer bear the name “Bullets,” the moniker the team had had for 32 years. Washington had endured a rash of drug- and gang-fueled gun violence in the early 1990s that made it one of the most deadly cities in the country. Now, to Pollin, the shooting epidemic looked worldwide.

“My friend was shot in the back by bullets,” he said, announcing his decision. “The name ‘Bullets’ is no longer appropriate for a sports team.”
IsraellyCool: The Amazing Story of the Mossad-Run Holiday Resort
This is the first time I have ever read this story. It is quite simply amazing, and shows the Mossad at their ingenious best.

Arous was an idyllic holiday resort in the Sudanese desert, on the shores of the Red Sea. But this glamorous destination was a base for Israeli agents with a secret mission.

“Arous on the Red Sea, a wonderful world apart,” the glossy brochure says, pronouncing it “the diving and desert recreation centre of Sudan”

Illustrated with pictures of putty-coloured chalets on a Sun-drenched beach, a smiling couple in scuba gear, and varieties of exotic fish, the advertisement boasts of “some of the best, clearest water in the world”. As night falls – “after the landscape colours have paled” – there are, it says, “breathtaking views of the heavens, aflame with millions of stars”.

The pamphlets were printed in their thousands and distributed in specialist travel agents across Europe. Reservations were booked through an office in Geneva. And over time hundreds of guests went on holiday there.

The only thing was, unbeknown to the guests or the authorities, the Red Sea diving resort was entirely fake.

It was a front, set up and run for more than four years in the early 1980s by operatives from the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency.

They used it as a cover for an extraordinary humanitarian mission – to rescue thousands of beleaguered Ethiopian Jews stranded in refugee camps in Sudan and evacuate them to Israel. Sudan was an enemy Arab country, and it had to be done without anyone finding out, either there or at home.

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.

Hamas is instructing the media in Gaza on how ensure that coverage of the riots at the border aligns with the terror group's propaganda aims. This article was published on Sunday at  an Palestinian media outlet:

The Governmental Information Office of the Palestinian Ministry of Information has set specific restrictions on media coverage of the Great Return Movement, which comes in the context of ensuring the objective  national coverage of the events and exposing the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people.

The Information Office stressed the need to describe the terms of events in the eastern Gaza Strip accurately, and not to use the terms confrontations or clashes, but an attack by the occupation army and its snipers on peaceful and peaceful civil movement.

It called on journalists and the local media to focus on the scene as a whole in accordance with the principles and objectives of the march announced by the National Committee for the March, and to try not to highlight the individual actions that are incompatible with the objectives of the marches.
No photos of Molotov cocktails and placing IEDs.
It pointed to the need to focus on "humanizing" stories of martyrs and highlighting the different aspects of the character of the martyr, social and family, and also [highlight]  the injuries of children, girls and journalists.

It  stressed the importance of not publishing any information related to injuries or martyrs without relying on the official source of the Ministry of Health or its spokesman.
What more evidence do you need that the "official" casualty reports are lies?

While this memo is aimed at Palestinian Arab reporters, it also shows that Hamas is prepared to act against any Western reporters who violate these "guidelines" as well. Just as they did in previous conflicts.

And from the coverage we've seen so far, too many Western reporters have already internalized Hamas' propaganda goals before Hamas found the need to publicize them.

Hamas doesn't want you to see videos like this of Gazans cutting the fence:

See also Bassam Tawil at Gatestone, who discovered this story.

Here's the memo:

(h/t Daled Amos)

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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Independence Day in Israel is a lot like Independence day in America. There are barbecues, fireworks, weekend camping trips, street fairs, concerts of patriotic music and boring speeches by government officials. Both nations gained independence from the British Empire, and neither felt warm enough toward their former imperial rulers to join the Commonwealth. 

But there are significant differences. Possibly because the nation is young enough that there are still people around who remember when the state did not exist and who remember the price that was paid to create it, there is still a feeling – at least, in some quarters – that independence is not a normal condition. For thousands of years there was no sovereign Jewish state, and the Jewish people were the paradigm case of the outsiders living, with various degrees of toleration, in other people’s countries. That changed suddenly on May 14, 1948, the 5th of Iyar on the Jewish calendar. 

America had her Tories who would have preferred to remain colonies of Great Britain (including the son of Benjamin Franklin, who had been the Royal Governor of New Jersey), but I suspect that after some 242 years, very few Americans continue to believe that the US should return to colonial status. Israel had (and still has) her anti-Zionists: those who oppose a Jewish state for religious reasons, and those who oppose it for various political reasons. I doubt this will change even when the state reaches (with God’s help) its 242nd birthday.

Some Americans complain that many of their countrymen (and women) don’t appreciate the sacrifices required to create and maintain an independent nation. This is less of a problem in Israel, whose people are under constant threat, both individually and collectively, by the enemies of the state and the Jewish people. Israel’s memorial day for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism (yom hazikaron) takes place the day before Independence Day. When the siren sounds to mark the beginning of yom hazikaron, almost all Israelis stop what they are doing and stand at attention for the duration of the siren. Autos stop in the middle of the highways , and their drivers get out and stand beside them. I admit that no matter how many times I’ve experienced this, it’s always emotionally powerful. Except for the siren (and perhaps a few barking dogs) there is absolute silence; and it happens at the same precise moment all over the country.

I said “almost all Israelis” because there are some Arab citizens, some Haredim, and even a few extreme leftists who oppose the Jewish state and make a point of showing their contempt for it and for the soldiers who died for it. If I could afford to, I would happily buy them all one-way tickets to the Arab or Diaspora countries that they appear to yearn for.

When America gained independence, its population was composed of Europeans mostly of British descent, African slaves and Native Americans. It was some time before the “non-white” inhabitants achieved equal rights. Israel also had a minority population made up of Arabs who, while citizens from the start, were under military rule until 1966. Since independence, both countries absorbed immigrants from numerous cultures, although almost all of those absorbed by Israel were Jewish.

Some Arab citizens of Israel see themselves as Israelis, while others embrace their “Palestinian” identity and reject “Israeli-ness.” Most Jews feel that they are part of a Jewish people that encompasses Jews of different national origins. The divisions between Jews of European and Middle Eastern or North African origin are becoming less important as time and intermarriage blur them. Russians, Ethiopians and others are also blending into the Jewish population.

In America until recently the concept of the “melting pot” which would turn immigrants (but never African Americans!) into members of a homogeneous American People was popular, and immigrants aspired to assimilate into “American” culture. More recently, many immigrant groups strongly reject the melting pot, and insist on maintaining their original cultures. I don’t believe this tendency is strong among non-Haredi Israeli immigrants, who do appear to be assimilating to “Israeli” culture. There are various reasons for this: army service, shared stresses (terrorism, bureaucracy, etc.) and the comparative openness of Israeli society. In Israel, at least among the Jewish population, it seems that identity politics is declining; while in America, it is gaining importance.

American society seems – from my admittedly distant vantage point – to be more divided than ever in my memory. The delivery of health care and other social services appears to be worse than I can remember, the primary, secondary, and higher educational systems are failing in their purposes, and the long-term decrease in violent crime seems to be ending. There are many other troubling social indicators. Time will tell if the decline that I perceive is real, and if so, if it will be overcome.

70 years after independence, Israeli society has overall never been better off economically, although the high price of housing is a problem. There are still pockets of deep poverty. The benefits of the success of the high-tech sector and the natural gas discoveries have not filtered down to the lower rungs of the ladder. Politically there is the ongoing struggle between the right-of-center majority and the left-of-center establishment that includes the Supreme Court, the media, academic class, the arts, and so forth. There is growing conflict between Haredi extremists and everyone else. But on balance it is a happy, optimistic society. One indication is the high birthrate, over three children per woman for the Jewish and Arab sectors.

Despite this, there is a cloud over our optimism, which is the almost certainty of war with Iran and its proxies in the near future. Israel is not expansionist and does not desire war. We have absolutely nothing against the Iranian people, but unfortunately their radical regime has an obsession with destroying our state and ourselves.

We’ll prevail. It will be terrible for us, but more terrible for our enemies. Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel was not reconstituted after thousands of years to be lost after only 70.

There are flags everywhere, hanging from windowsills, on cars, on both of the antennas on our roof. Our bank is giving out free flags, made in Israel by handicapped people.

Happy Independence Day!

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From Ian:

The Miracle at 70
Seventy years ago, on the 14th of May, David Ben-Gurion and his Zionist compatriots were poised to declare the first Jewish commonwealth in almost two millennia. Israel’s founders, however, were delayed, bogged down in a matter of textual minutiae. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon, rabbinic representative of the Religious Zionist movement, proclaimed himself unwilling to sign any Declaration of Independence that made no reference to the God of Israel. Aharon Zisling, the secular head of the socialist party Mapam, asserted that he could not affirm the existence of a God in Whom he did not believe. The British were departing, the Arab armies were descending, and the Jews were debating whether God existed.

It was Ben-Gurion himself who proposed a compromise: Israel’s Declaration of Independence would conclude by asserting that each signer placed his trust in the “Rock of Israel,” the Tzur Yisrael, a phrase from the Jewish liturgy inspired by the biblical reference to God as tzuri ve-go’ali, my Rock and my Redeemer.

By referring to the “Rock of Israel,” but refraining from any explicit mention of divine redemption, Israel’s declaration was one that both devout and atheistic Zionists could affirm. For believers in the Bible, the phrase could refer to the divine defender of the Jewish people; for the secular socialist signers of the document, the words could instead make reference to the flint-like resolution of the Israeli army. The compromise was accepted, and the modern Jewish state was born by eliding the issue of the existence of God.

For myself, a religious Zionist and American-history aficionado, the story is doubly painful. Thomas Jefferson, the deistic drafter of the Declaration in Philadelphia, produced a first version without any reference to the divine designs of history. The continental Congress, however, representing an America obsessed with the Bible, edited the dramatic closing of the original draft so that it made clear that the revolution was being launched with “a firm reliance on divine providence.”

John Podhoretz: The Septuagenarian
Israel is the 26th-richest country on Earth, according to the World Bank. Now, Israelis will tell you, not without reason, that the wealth numbers provide an improper view of everyday life in their country. The inequality gap is a Grand Canyon–like chasm there. It’s hard for the young to find good jobs and decent housing, in part because an overly intrusive government sector has made workplace mobility nearly impossible and an overregulated economy makes home construction prohibitively expensive. These difficulties are especially enraging to Israelis because they are self-inflicted wounds that result from what might be called “democratic-socialist entropy.”

But still, Israel is the 26th-richest country on Earth—and the fact that you’ve probably taken this in stride is the reason it’s so extraordinary. Israel’s emergence as a wealthy country is among the countless facts of 2018 that would have seemed unimaginable to the Jews of 1948. Seventy years ago, even poor American Jews like my grandparents would scrape together precious dollars to send to relatives in Palestine, so hardscrabble was their existence. And it remained an economic basket case for decades. In the 1960s, consumer goods of any kind were so scarce in part due to startlingly stupid tariffs imposed by the economically illiterate Labour government that any American traveling there would put out an APB and collect all manner of stuff to bring to family members who were studying in the Holy Land or had made Aliyah. In 1984, while Western nations saw renewed economic growth, Israel had an inflation rate of—get this—450 percent.

The nation broke the back of its inflationary spiral, and then in the early 1990s, something amazing happened: An entirely new economic sector kind of snuck into existence because the hidebound labor apparatchiks in control of communications had no idea what cellular telephony was or what it could do. They were still focused on controlling the landline monopoly called Bezek.

Gil Troy: The Continuing Promise of American Zionism
Sixty-nine years ago, a 28-year-old rabbi published an essay in Commentary entitled “American Zionism at an Impasse: A Movement in Search of a Program.” What, the young Arthur Hertzberg wondered in that October 1949 essay, will American Jews do now, after the great fight to establish Israel had ended so triumphantly a year earlier, in May 1948?
Hertzberg understood how helping the Jews over there in the Middle East had helped Jews over here in North America. After decades of American Jewish ambivalence about Jewish nationalism, the Holocaust had created an instant consensus for a Jewish state. The fight to create that state galvanized the community, rousing it from depression—and shielding it from guilt. By doing the right thing in the late 1940s, American Jews atoned for their failure to save more of their doomed brothers and sisters.

Hertzberg’s fear that Zionism was “a movement in search of a program” in 1949 proved wildly premature, because Israel would continue to call on and depend on the support of American Jews for its survival. The nation’s creation was followed by a host of new problems and opportunities that kept the global Jewish community engaged with Israel and kept alive the American Jewish connection to “peoplehood”—even as many American Jews abandoned religious practice entirely.

In 1959, Hertzberg published a seminal anthology, The Zionist Idea, for the purpose of establishing the movement’s intellectual and ideological roots. At the time, Israel was fragile and the Zionist conversation was robust. Today, Israel is robust and the Zionist conversation has turned fragile. Israel’s 70th anniversary offers an opportunity to reframe the Zionist conversation—asking not what American Jews can do for Israel, but what Zionism can do for American Jews. Hertzberg understood that Zionism wasn’t only about saving Jewish bodies but saving Jewish souls. As the celebrations of Israel’s 70th birthday begin, Zionism’s capacity to save our souls remains vital.

Many American Jews in the 1950s helped their fellow Jews settle in the new land. The fundraising short from 1954, “The Big Moment,” featuring Hollywood stars including Donna Reed and Robert Young, celebrated the secular miracle. “When you support the United Jewish Appeal, you make it possible for the United Israel Appeal to help the people of Israel,” the short told its viewers. They could help “rush completion of new settlements, new housing for the homeless, the irrigation of wasteland acres…. Israel’s people who stand for freedom must not stand alone.”

On 70th anniversary, Netanyahu says Israel’s light will beat enemies’ ‘darkness’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a fiery address at a torch-lighting ceremony marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day, declared that the Jewish state is becoming a “world power” and said its light will overcome its enemies’ “darkness.”

“We’re turning Israel into a rising world power,” Netanyahu said at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem before lighting a torch on behalf of all the governments of Israel since the founding of the state.

The prime minister thanked US President Donald Trump for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy to the holy city next month.

Calling Israel’s current relationship with the United States a “historic one,” Netanyahu said, “Thank you, President Trump! Thank you America!”

Alluding to unprecedentedly bellicose rhetoric from Iran, the prime minister vowed that no one would “extinguish” Israel’s “light.”
ToI asks the experts: What are the most important finds of Israeli archaeology?
November 29, 1947. Even as the United Nations voted to end British Mandatory rule and establish two states — Jewish and Arab — in Palestine, the founder of Jewish archaeology in the Land of Israel held in his hands one of the greatest historical treasures of all time: the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In his journal that evening, Prof. Eleazar Sukenik wrote, “Today I have been shown a piece of a scroll. I do not dare to write down what I think of it.”

The next day, Jewish settlements throughout the land were attacked, but the Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor knew that, before the window of opportunity closed, he must travel to Bethlehem and purchase whatever fragments he could.

Quickly, Sukenik sought safe passage advice from his son, an underground Jewish defense officer named Yigael Yadin (later a general, then a politician, who eventually followed in his father’s archaeological footprints).

According to the transcript of a 1950s lecture, Yadin told his father, “As a military man, I answered that he ought not to make the journey; as an archaeologist that he ought to go; as his son — that my opinion had to be reserved.”
IDF Blog: Top 10 innovations from the past 70 years
The IDF has acquired groundbreaking technological innovations during its 70 years, so we compiled a short list to share some of our favorites.

1. The “Iron Dome” Air Defense System
For many years, rockets have been launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip. As a result, an air defense system called the "Iron Dome" was deployed in southern Israel in 2011. The objective: to protect Israeli civilians from this constant threat by intercepting the rockets.

Accuracy, speed, and capacity - 3 adjectives that describe the “Iron Dome.” With a range of up to 43.5 miles, it was able to intercept 692 rockets during Operation Protective Edge. In addition, in November 2012, during Operation Defensive Pillar, a record high of 421 interceptions were made in just 8 days.

As soon as a rocket is launched by the enemy, the radar station detects and tracks its course, and then immediately launches a missile to intercept and neutralize the enemy rocket before it causes damage to civilians or property .

2. The “Trophy” System
You may think that a tank is an all-powerful and invincible vehicle, but this is not the case. Anti-tank missiles are able to damage tanks beyond repair, so the “Trophy” System was established to counteract this threat.

The “Trophy” detection system creates a 360-degree protective shield around the tank. When an enemy launches a missile against a tank equipped with a “Trophy,” the system instantly detects and neutralizes the threat by firing a missile of its own to explode the enemy missile.
A Holocaust survivor recalls fighting in Israel’s War of Independence
Mordechai Schachter didn’t know he would soon be a soldier when he traveled from his native Romania to prestate Israel in 1948. He was a 17 year old with a passion for Zionism, leaving behind a country that was becoming increasingly anti-Semitic a few short years after at least 270,000 Romanian Jews died during the Holocaust.

At the end of 1947, Schachter had boarded one of two boats of 7,500 Jews each that were to take them to the promised land, despite a British ban on Jewish emigration there. Many of the passengers were lone children whose parents sent them on the boats to escape Romania. Schachter’s parents had meant to come, but his father fell ill before the trip, so they stayed behind.

The journey went as planned until the boats hit the Dardanelles, a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey. There they were met by seven British ships. Passengers decided not to fight back since a significant portion of them were children and elderly; their boats were rerouted to Cyprus. Three months later, the British agreed to allow the children, including Schachter, to go on to Palestine.

Schachter remembers arriving in Ranaana, and eating hamentaschen and oranges on his first week there. In Ranaana he also met one of his three brothers, who had arrived in prestate Israel four months earlier. Five weeks later he was ordered to join the army, where he was taught how to shoot a gun and given an Italian rifle from World War I and 25 bullets. Others got “whatever they could find,” Schachter recalled.

“Everybody had a different type [of weapon] at that time. They had very little ammunition,” he told JTA on Monday at his home in this northern New Jersey township about 11 miles from Manhattan.
With daffodils, Poland marks 75th anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
People in Warsaw pinned paper daffodils to their clothes as the Polish capital began a day of commemorations Thursday on the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Sirens will wail, church bells will toll and newscasters on TV, politicians and regular citizens are wearing the daffodils in what has become a symbol of mourning for the Jews who died fighting, as well as the millions of other Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

President Andrzej Duda is to preside over official commemorations and will pay homage to the hundreds of Jewish fighters who took up arms in the 1943 rebellion against the German forces that occupied Poland during World War II. The revolt ended in death for most of the fighters yet left behind an enduring symbol of resistance.

There is also to be an “independent” gathering by Poles furious at a government that sometimes seems to tolerate or even support anti-Semitic views despite its official denunciations of anti-Semitism. Open Republic, an association that fights anti-Semitism and xenophobia, said it was organizing its ceremony in opposition to what it called the “hollow nationalist pomp” of the government, recalling how the prime minister earlier this year paid tribute to a Polish wartime insurgency unit that had collaborated with the Nazis.

The Children’s Book That Introduced Young Americans to the New Jewish State
Were I a librarian specializing in Jewish children’s books, I would warmly recommend Habibi’s Adventures in the Land of Israel to young readers and their parents. Its clear, unadorned prose, ornamented by a series of equally straightforward black-and-white illustrations as well as a map, follows the exploits of a red-headed, blue-eyed, pre-bar mitzvah age American boy with the improbable name of Habibi. Together with his frisky dog, Yow, a little black spaniel who understands Hebrew, they travel the length and breadth of pre-state Israel, where generous, kindhearted people abound at every turn and “everything is wonderful.”

But then, I’m not a librarian. More to the point, Habibi’s Adventures in the Land of Israel is not readily available. First published in 1951 by Bloch Publishing Co., it is out of print. Still, the book is worth noting—and saluting—both on its own terms and as an indication, a proof-text, of Zionism’s allure among earlier generations of American Jews.

The volume’s sprightly content was based on the experiences of its author, Althea O. Silverman, who visited the yishuv in the late 1940s. “My young friends,” she wrote in a preface, “you may read this book simply as the tale of Habibi’s exciting adventures. But you will be interested to know that these stories are built around events that really did happen. What Habibi saw, and all the incidents, are true.”
Poll: 82% of Israelis proud of the country, half fear war is near
On the eve of Israel's Independence Day, 81% think that the country is a good place to live, while 73% believe that is is an established fact.

A special poll conducted this week for The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv by the research institute Panels Politics, headed by Menachem Lazar, for Israel's 70th Independence Day shows that the majority of citizens are proud to be Israeli, think Israel is a good place to live and are optimistic fo the country's future and their own. At the same time, though most of the public believes that Israel is an established fact, the security tensions in the north are having an effect and most fear the possibility of war.

The Internet poll, which reached 587 participants, of whom 484 were Jews and 103 Arabs, shows that 82% of the country's citizens are proud to be Israeli, of whom 56% are very proud and 26% mostly so. On the opposite side of the spectrum, 15% state that they are not proud to be Israeli, perhaps as a result of the similar statement made by radio anchor Kobi Meidan, who later apologized for his words.

Among those who are not proud of their Israeliness, 9% "are not very proud" and another 6% "are not proud at all." The analysis of the results indicates that 93% of right-wing and centrist voters are proud to be Israeli, while only 59% of those on the left feel pride.

In a direct connection to the level of pride in the state, the poll shows that there is a consensus among 81% of the public that the State of Israeli is a good place to live. Among these respondents, 36% say that Israeli is a "very good" place to live and 45% think that Israeli is a "relatively good" place to lead one's life.
Gangsters for Zion
In 1945, the Jewish Agency, the pre-state Israeli government headed by David Ben-Gurion, created a vast clandestine arms-purchasing-and-smuggling network throughout the United States. The operation was placed under the aegis of the Haganah, the underground forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces, and involved hundreds of Americans from every walk of life. They included millionaires, rabbinical students, scrap-metal merchants, ex-GIs, college students, longshoremen, industrialists, chemists, engineers, Protestants and Catholics, as well as Jews. One group, who remained anonymous and rarely talked about, were men who were tough, streetwise, unafraid, and had access to ready cash: Jewish gangsters.

The arms-smuggling operation was centered in a rented two-room suite in the Hotel Fourteen, located at 14 East 60th Street in New York. Teddy Kollek, who later became the popular longtime mayor of Jerusalem, ran the day-to-day operations of the arms procurement efforts, kept tabs on everything and oversaw all the comings and goings. Kollek was careful that those who visited the office not be people who would attract the attention of law enforcement agencies, especially the FBI.

According to Leonard Slater in his book The Pledge, Dan Fliderblum, a young electronics engineer from the New York suburb of Yonkers, had been recruited to set up a network of secret radio transmitters in Palestine to link isolated settlements and forewarn them of British search parties seeking illegal arms. He recalled being in the Hotel Fourteen suite in 1947, when a group of Jewish gangsters from Brooklyn came to see Kollek. “The mobsters offered to help in any way they could. One of them said, ‘If you want anyone killed, just draw up a list and we’ll take care of it.’ Kollek politely thanked them, but declined their offer.” Fliderblum later immigrated to Israel, changed his name to David Avivi, and became a leader in the future Israeli electronics industry.

After the Holocaust, the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was seen by Zionists as a matter of life and death. Many Haganah people sent to the United States believed that anyone who could help should be approached regardless of who or what they were. Yehuda Arazi was one of those who held this view. Arazi, a close aide to Ben-Gurion had been a daring and resourceful Haganah underground agent in Romania, Hungary, and Italy during the war. Ben-Gurion sent him to America and authorized him to purchase the kinds of heavy armaments the Haganah had heretofore been unable to obtain. This included aircraft, artillery pieces, tanks, antiaircraft guns and other forms of heavy equipment.
New York Times Greets Israel’s 70th With Piece Claiming 1948 Was ‘Catastrophe’
The New York Times is marking Israel’s 70th birthday with an op-ed piece describing the Jewish state’s creation as a “catastrophe.”

The article also offers a historically false account of events in Haifa in 1948.

The Times article, by Ayman Odeh, who leads the vestiges of Israel’s Communist Party, begins:
HAIFA, Israel — Seventy years ago, the world changed around my family. The establishment of the state of Israel represented self-determination for Jews, but a catastrophe — “nakba” in Arabic — for Palestinians. In the area around the Mediterranean city of Haifa, where my family has lived for six generations, only 2,000 Palestinians of a population of 70,000 remained. My grandparents, A’bdel-Hai and A’dla, were among them. Their neighbors were expelled and dispossessed, and never allowed to return.

Luckily, the case of Haifa just so happens to have been the topic of extensive research by the eminent historian Efraim Karsh, who published his findings in 2000 in an authoritative and meticulously documented article in Commentary headlined, “Were The Palestinians Expelled?”

Professor Karsh wrote, “By early April 1948, according to Rashid Hajj Ibrahim, the head of the National Committee, the city’s Arab populace had dwindled to some 35,000-40,000.”

Professor Karsh reported that the town’s Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, “pleaded with the Arabs” to stay. Professor Karsh wrote:
Yaacov Salomon, a prominent Haifa lawyer and the Hagana’s chief liaison officer in the city, followed suit, assuring the Arab delegates that he “had the instructions of the commander of the zone . . . that if they stayed on they would enjoy equality and peace, and that we, the Jews, were interested in their staying on and the maintenance of harmonious relations.”
Polarization on Israel thrives at America's fringes
In January, one of the nation’s premier research centers published a poll that caused something of a tizzy. It had found, according to its press release, a wider gap between Democrats and Republicans on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict “than at any point since 1978.”

The Pew Research Center – which polls Americans on this question every year – discovered more Republicans sympathetic toward Israel in the context of the conflict than at any other moment in modern times. Democrats, on the other hand, were found increasingly divided, now equally likely to support the Palestinian cause, ostensibly at Israel’s expense.

Overall, Pew concluded that 79% of Republicans sympathize with Israel in its historic struggle with the Palestinians, compared with only 27% of Democrats. Americans more favorably inclined toward Israel are less likely to believe a two-state solution is possible than those inclined toward the Palestinians.

And belief in the possibility of peace is correlated with age: the younger you are, the more hopeful you are likely to be that an agreement can be reached.

The poll seemed to confirm long-held fears over increased politicization of Israel in the United States – a core national security concern for the Israeli government, which relies on bipartisan support in Congress for foreign assistance, defense aid and diplomatic support. The basis of the poll was called into question by Democrats who consider themselves fervent supporters of the Jewish state and also advocates of Palestinian statehood, including former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and the Brookings Institution’s Tamara Cofman Wittes.
Dozens protest for Palestinian right of return on Israel's Independence Day
Dozens participated in the "Procession of Return" near Atlit on Thursday, Israel's Independence Day, to protest for the right of return for Palestinian 'refugees'.

The "Procession of Return" has been taking place since 1998 and was organized by the Association for the Protection of the Rights of the Displaced, which unites local committees of dozens of villages from around Israel, a spokesperson for the organization said.

The association and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee called upon the Arab public and different Jewish groups to participate in the march in order to emphasize the rights of Palestinian 'refugees' in general and in particular their right of return.

According to spokesperson, an estimated 3 out of 10 Palestinians in Israel were displaced.

MK and Chairman of the Ta'al Party Ahmad Tibi, who participated in the march, stated that "This is the day marking the erasure of more than 500 Arab villages and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. This is the day when the Palestinians unite here with memory and grief over shattered families and brothers who have been separated in all directions."
JPost Editoiral: Signs of Change
As Israel turns 70, a bit of optimism is in order along with an open-eyed recognition of the many challenges that face us.

Tehran’s expansionism, which can be seen as the filling of the vacuum left by America’s retreat from the region under former president Barack Obama, has resulted in an Iranian military presence on Israel’s northern border.

Amir Eshel, former commander of the Israel Air Force, admitted recently that the number of sorties that Israel has carried out in Syria since 2012 to prevent Iran from smuggling arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon or for other goals is approaching triple digits.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s security services are poised to thwart an Iranian attempt to harm Israel’s diplomats abroad in response to Israel’s actions in Syria.

With Donald Trump signaling his intention to pull US troops out of Syria and with Russia’s Vladimir Putin unable or unwilling to restrain Iran, a clash seems nearly unavoidable between Israel and the Islamic Republic.

On the other hand, Iran’s meddling in the region has led to a dramatic realignment of interests.

In the not too distant past, serious people such as Secretary of Defense James Mattis – as head of US Central Command in 2013 – claimed that America’s perceived bias in favor of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians meant that the US “paid a military security price.” He argued that none of “the moderate Arabs” could come out publicly in support of Americans because they “don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians.”
Seth Mandel: The Palestinian Authority Loses Its Authority
Obama did two other things that backfired on the Palestinian Authority. One was the Iran nuclear deal, which gave tacit American support to Tehran’s expansionism in the Middle East, scaring Sunni regional powers like Saudi Arabia and Egypt into strategic alignment with Israel. The other was more subtle but just as consequential: He helped orchestrate the passage of a UN Security Council resolution that deemed East Jerusalem, home to Judaism’s holy sites, occupied Palestinian territory.

The UN resolution at first seemed to be a clear gift to Abbas. But in reality, it was a ham-handed attempt to tie the hands of President-elect Donald Trump, who would be taking office just a month later. Trump wouldn’t have it. In the first year of his presidency, he publicly declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and announced that his administration would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (While a new embassy compound is being built, the White House plans to officially designate the existing consulate in Jerusalem as the embassy in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations on May 14.)

The Jerusalem moves have been an unmitigated humiliation for the PA. They undid the damage to the U.S.–Israel relationship inflicted by Obama. Worse for the PA, Trump called the Palestinian bluff. Contrary to the fears of Western observers, and the ill-disguised morbid hopes of some in the media, the region did not go up in flames. The “terrorist’s veto” did. And the coordination that such a move required between the United States and its Arab allies made crystal clear just how isolated the Palestinian Authority has become—how vulnerable it is to the politics of the Arab world, and how impervious to Palestinian politics the Arab world has become.

It took four decades, but the dog is once again wagging the tail.
What the thick tire smoke at the Gaza-Israel border means
Mr. Abbas and his Fatah political party and Hamas in Gaza, currently led by Mr. Al-Sinwar, are battling for control over the Palestinians. This conflict, essentially a civil war, began in 2007 when Palestinians in the Gaza Strip rejected the leadership of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah in favor of Hamas. The border riots have escalated the chess game, with each side trying to position itself as the more effective and legitimate leadership.

Mr. Al-Sinwar has succeeded in putting Gaza back on the international stage and Mr. Abbas is worried he may lose the political advantage if Hamas‘ border campaign bolsters its popularity with the Palestinian public.

In an attempt to gain international credibility for Hamas and to gather domestic support in its conflict with Mr. Abbas, one of Hamas‘ top leaders, Ismail Haniyeh, gave a speech in front of a billboard displaying pictures of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, implying that Hamas was engaged in a peaceful struggle for freedom.

A Palestinian Authorty (PA) government spokesman, speaking from Ramallah, said that Hamas‘ use of the pictures and quotes of the three famous pacifists was intended to cover up its crimes and insisted that Hamas is sabotaging efforts to achieve “national reconciliation” and continues to issue “hostile statements” against Fatah and the PA government. PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat criticized Hamas, saying that these icons would be “astonished” by Hamas‘ claim about the “peacefulness” of the demonstrations.

Unhappy with Hamas‘ massive press coverage and eager to show that it too is capable of mobilizing the masses, Fatah has launched a series of rallies in the territories in support of Mr. Abbas, jailed leader Marwan Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons.

The Palestinians’ leadership is bifurcated, each side bent on destroying the other. They willingly sacrifice their people on the altar of self-interest. We are witnessing an internecine war between a third-world Palestinian kleptocracy and a Palestinian terror group, neither capable of responsible governance. But the mainstream media is happy to ignore this reality to sell you a fiction about the peaceful Palestinian march for freedom at the Gaza border. “It is a tale told by [idiots], full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Independence Day terror attack said foiled as troops find hidden bomb
Officials said a large-scale terror attack planned for Independence Day had been averted after security officials arrested a Palestinian at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank on Wednesday with a “powerful explosive device” stashed in his truck.

The truck was stopped at the Reihan crossing by security inspectors, who found it also carried merchandise intended for use in Israeli settlements, with the bomb hidden “in its roof,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Police sappers were dispatched to defuse the bomb, the statement said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman praised the “vigilance and professionalism” of the Crossings Authority personnel, which “led to the exposure of an explosive device and to the thwarting of a large-scale terror attack on our 70th Independence Day.”
In ‘glitch,’ IDF accidentally calls up reservists on Independence Day
The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday morning, Israel’s Independence Day, accidentally sent out an automated emergency call-up of Israeli army reservists, before quickly canceling the summons.

The army clarified that the automated phone messages were sent in error, saying, “This was a glitch that will be investigated.”

The IDF stressed that there was no call-up of reservists.

“This is a notification of cancellation! This is a notification of cancellation!” the military said in its second message. “The message sent from the information center about your unit is incorrect. There is no need to show up.”

The IDF said it realized its mistake relatively quickly. The initial messages were received at about 8 a.m. and the retraction was sent out a few minutes later.
Presidential citations awarded to 120 outstanding IDF soldiers
President Reuven Rivlin hosted the annual Independence Day ceremony at his official residence on Thursday, to award the army’s annual citations for distinguished service to 120 Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

The Independence Day event began at 9:30 a.m. and was attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

“It is no secret, that during these celebratory moments, IDF soldiers and security forces are on high alert,” said Rivlin at the ceremony. “It is no secret that we are facing Iranian attempts to directly harm the State of Israel. Dear soldiers, we see the burden of responsibility placed on your young shoulders. Thank you.”

Ahead of Israel’s Independence Day, the military was preparing for the possibility of a direct attack by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ air force, in response to a strike on Iran’s air base in Syria earlier this month that was attributed to Israel.

Iranian officials have made increasingly bellicose remarks following the April 9 strike on the T-4 air base, near Palmyra in central Syria, which killed at least seven members of the IRGC, including the head of its drone program, Col. Mehdi Dehghan.

The annual musical event at the President’s Residence sees Israel’s leaders hand out commendations of excellence to troops, while reminiscing about their own military service.
IDF exposes Jenin weapons factory
Menashe Regional Brigade forces operated last night in the Jenin area during which they raided an illegal weapons factory.

The forces confiscated a large amount of equipment: welding machines, discs, lathes, and other tools used to manufacture weapons. The IDF Spokesman's Office said "the IDF will continue to act to eliminate terrorist equipment as part of the war against weaponry to protect the security of Israeli residents."

Additionally, during the night, an IDF force identified and shot five Arabs who approached the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip, at least one of whom was armed.
Abbas warmly welcomes terrorist released after 20 years in jail
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed a terrorist immediately upon his release from a 20-year sentence in Israel prison for murder, in an hour-long meeting that focused on Palestinian prisoners.

Rajaei Haddad was saluted by other Fatah members as “a leader, a hero, and a fighter.”

Palestinian Authority TV showed footage of the meeting between Abbas and Haddad, who spent two decades in prison for his role in the November 1997 murder of yeshiva student Gabriel Hirschberg in the Old City of Jerusalem, in an April 10 television report. The report stressed “that our leadership gives top priority to the issue of our prisoners.”

Haddad told viewers of Abbas’ concern for the well-being of all the jailed Palestinian terrorists.

“The president asked me about each and every one,” Haddad said. “We sat together for a full hour and he listened to me. He asked me about the prisoners, listened to me, and wrote down everything. The president sends his regards (to the prisoners).”

Haddad was released from jail on March 14. He was the lookout for the terror attack on Hagai Street, signalling to Ayman al-Sharbati when he saw two yeshiva students approaching. Al-Sharbati, who is still in prison, opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, killing Hirschberg and seriously wounding the other student.
Upcoming Vote Could Strengthen Hezbollah’s Hold over Lebanon
The upcoming Lebanese elections scheduled for next month could lead to the formation of a “Hezbollah government,” a political scientist told Agence France-Presse in a report published Wednesday.

The elections would be the first since 2009 and would be held according to Lebanon’s new election law passed last year. The 128 members of parliament have had their terms extended three times over fears of spillover from Syria’s civil war and dissatisfaction with the previous voting law.

Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group, ended a deadlock that allowed the election of pro-Hezbollah president Michel Aoun in October 2016. This enabled the formation of government which passed the new election law.

The new law changes the method of voting, from voting for individual candidates to voting for lists of candidates. In addition, the new election scheme would replace a majoritarian system with a proportional one. The proportional apportionment of seats in parliament was a change insisted on by Hezbollah. It is believed that this will give Hezbollah an outright majority of seats in the next parliament.

Also, according to the new law, for the first time, Lebanese who live abroad will be allowed to vote.
Iranian-Backed ‘Sleeper Cell’ Militants Hibernating in U.S., Positioned for Attack
Iranian-backed militants are operating across the United States mostly unfettered, raising concerns in Congress and among regional experts that these "sleeper cell" agents are poised to launch a large-scale attack on the American homeland, according to testimony before lawmakers.

Iranian agents tied to the terror group Hezbollah have already been discovered in the United States plotting attacks, giving rise to fears that Tehran could order a strike inside America should tensions between the Trump administration and Islamic Republic reach a boiling point.

Intelligence officials and former White House officials confirmed to Congress on Tuesday that such an attack is not only plausible, but relatively easy for Iran to carry out at a time when the Trump administration is considering abandoning the landmark nuclear deal and reapplying sanctions on Tehran.

There is mounting evidence that Iran poses "a direct threat to the homeland," according to Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and chair of its subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence.

A chief concern is "Iranian support for Hezbollah, which is active in the Middle East, Latin America, and here in the U.S., where Hezbollah operatives have been arrested for activities conducted in our own country," King said, referring the recent arrest of two individuals plotting terror attacks in New York City and Michigan.

"Both individuals received significant weapons training from Hezbollah," King said. "It is clear Hezbollah has the will and capability."
Why Hasn’t the U.S. Cracked Down on Hizballah in Latin America?
The Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist organization Hizballah maintains an extensive network in South and Central America, where it plans attacks, engages in money laundering, and, most importantly, runs a major drug-smuggling operation that it uses to finance its military operations. During the Obama administration, a major American effort to unravel Hizballah’s illicit activities in the Western hemisphere was rolled back, most likely in pursuit of accommodation with Iran. Emanuele Ottolenghi argues that Washington must get tough with the jihadist group:

The White House has to show that it is prepared to take the lead by designating Hizballah . . . a Transnational Criminal Organization under U.S. law. . . . Although the Hizballah International Finance Prevention Act of 2015 required that the White House determine whether Hizballah meets the criteria for [this] designation, the Obama administration declined to do so. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed legislation seeking to spur the executive branch into action, while giving its agencies sharper tools to go after the terror group. Yet the administration has not acted. . . .

To date, no Latin American country has designated Hizballah as a terrorist organization. . . . However, the United States can achieve much of the same effect [merely] by persuading other countries to recognize Hizballah as a narco-trafficking threat under their own laws. Yet for that request to be credible, the U.S. must do so first. . . .

[Take, for example, the] Ayman Joumaa network in Colombia, which laundered drug proceeds through a complex scheme involving used-car businesses in the United States and customers in West Africa. The Eastern District of Virginia indicted Joumaa in 2011 based on Drug Enforcement Agency evidence, but he remains at large. Even after the Joumaa case uncovered the prominent role of used-car sales, they remain an important part of Hizballah’s money-laundering schemes through West Africa. . . .
Iran’s Blinding Hatred of Israel Lies at the Heart of Its Grand Strategy
Since 2011, the Islamic Republic has poured blood and treasure into Syria to prop up Bashar al-Assad, in the process prolonging the country’s civil war, increasing the bloodshed, and contributing to regional instability. What motivates Tehran’s commitment to this unpopular ruler? Karim Sadjapour argues that it is the desire to use Syria as a launching pad for attacks on Israel:

Distilled to its essence, Tehran’s steadfast support for Assad is not driven by the geopolitical or financial interests of the Iranian nation . . . but by a visceral and seemingly inextinguishable hatred for the state of Israel. As senior Iranian officials like Ali Akbar Velayati, a close adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have [repeatedly] said, “The chain of Resistance against Israel by Iran, Syria, Hizballah, the new Iraqi government, and Hamas passes through the Syrian highway.” . . . So long as the seventy-eight-year-old Khamenei remains in power, this hatred will justify Tehran’s continued commitment . . . to supporting Assad’s use of all means necessary—including chemical weapons—to preserve his rule.

Though Israel has virtually no direct impact on the daily lives of Iranians, opposition to the Jewish state has been the most enduring pillar of Iranian revolutionary ideology. Whether Khamenei is giving a speech about agriculture or education, he invariably returns to the evils of Zionism. . . .

The number of Syrian deaths since 2011 (an estimated 500,000, though the UN has stopped counting) is more than five times greater than the approximately 90,000 Arabs (roughly 20-30 percent of them Palestinian) killed in the last 70 years of the Arab-Israeli conflict. . . . Indeed since 2011 far more Palestinians have been killed by Assad (nearly 3,700) than by Israel, including by chemical weapons. . . .
Foreign Ministry produces Disney-quality video telling Israel's story… in Farsi
To mark the state’s 70th birthday, the Foreign Ministry produced a Disney-quality, 10-minute animated video that starts in ancient times with a shot of a child bringing the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem, and culminates with the wonder of modern Israel.

And the narrator is speaking Farsi.

“This is the story of the people of Israel in its land,” the narration begins. “King David made it his capital 3,000 years ago, and his son Solomon built the holy temple there.”

The story the proceeds through the ages,: The destruction of the Temple, the exile to Rome, the Age of the Talmud, Maimonides, the Spanish Inquisition, clinging to the hope to return, pogroms, the Balfour Declaration, the Holocaust, the State Israel – its wars and successes.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Media Covering Decades Of Arab-Israeli Conflict Already Tired Of Iran Protests (satire)
Several months into civil unrest in Iran, the protests and their violent suppression now attract little or no coverage in Western media, participants noted today, the same media that engages in breathless commentary on minor developments in the century-old struggle between Jews and Arabs in the Holy Land.

Protesters and security personnel alike noted today that as economic woes, religious coercion, and political dissent explode in episodic demonstrations that the mullahs in Tehran greets with deadly force and which may threaten the stability of the regime and region, outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, British Broadcasting Corporation, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, and the Associated Press no longer find these protests a fresh or compelling development to report, preferring to focus on abortive unrest in the Gaza Strip that has little potential to effect noticeable change in a conflict that has simmered since the late nineteenth century.

“We get a nod here and there in someone’s Twitter,” acknowledged Waddamai Chopdlivar, whose daughter has been jailed for removing her hijab in public. “But mostly, the big Western media folks have gotten bored of our campaign for freedom, since it’s already a few months old – maybe a few years, if you draw a direct line to the Green Movement of the previous decade. That must be old hat compared to the vial freshness of Jews and Arabs slugging it out over the course of a hundred-forty years or so. I can just feel the relevance and newness of yet another violent encounter between Arab rioters and Jews. No wonder they get all the attention.”

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