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Tuesday, February 28, 2017



The Telegraph reported last week:

Bristol University is investigating claims of anti-Semitism after an article by one of its lecturers emerged, in which she says Jews should stop “privileging” the Holocaust.

Dr Rebecca Gould, a reader in translation studies and comparative literature at the elite Russell Group university, has been accused of using the “language of Holocaust denial”.

 The university said they are “actively looking into this matter”, which first arose when an undergraduate penned an open letter to his lecturer last month, explaining his shock at coming across the article.

Sir Eric Pickles MP, who is the UK’s special envoy on post-Holocaust issues and a former Conservative Party chairman,​claimed it is “one of the worst cases of Holocaust denial" he has seen in recent years, adding that she should "consider her position" at the university.
Then came the backlash:

 But now three professors have rushed to her defence, saying they see "no evidence" of anti-Semitism in the article.

Professor Gene Feder, Professor Havi Hannah Carel and Dr Tom Sperlinger Reader have written a joint letter to say they are "dismayed" at the criticism.
So was her article, entitled "Beyond Anti-Semitism,"  antisemitic or not?

By the definition of antisemitism that is accepted by the EU, it is.

Beyond that, it a violation of any sort of professional ethics.

Gould's entire thesis is based on lies:

Elie Wiesel did the most to popularize the use of the Greek term holokaustos ("entirely consumed by fire") to translate the Hebrew shoah. Already 20 years ago, the historian Arno Mayer contested the use of the term "holocaust" in lieu of the shoah, because he recognized that this word had spawned "a collective prescriptive 'memory' unconducive to critical and contextual thinking about the Jewish calamity.' Unfortunately, Mayer's protests have gone unheeded.

When the most religiously freighted term imaginable is used to describe a purely human tragedy, memory becomes an instrument of ideology rather than a means of connecting with the past. This problem is only exacerbated by the way "holocaust" implies divine ordination. Defining the shoah vis-a.-vis the Greek (and, incidentally, Christian) term for a sacrifice to God has helped make it available to manipulation by governmental elites, aiming to promote the narrative most likely to underwrite their claims to sovereignty. Claiming the Holocaust as a holy event sanctifies the state of Israel and whitewashes its crimes. As Mayer feared. it also forestalls objective critique of any group associated with those who were brutally "sacrificed" half a century ago. 
Gould's first false assumption is that the religious etymology of the word "holocaust" limits how the word can be used in historical context.  She offers no proof for this. Since the 1960s, the word has been used almost exclusively for the Nazi genocide of Jews and the earlier meaning has been all but lost; the word now transcends its etymology. If the word "Shoah" had been the word that took root fifty years ago instead of "Holocaust," there would be no difference in how the word could be used today.

The claim that Israel claims the Holocaust as a "holy event" is simply not true, and Gould brings no evidence for her assertion. The Holocaust is a uniquely horrifying event but there is no religious connotation to it and there hasn't been one since the term was coined - except, of course, for the religious dimension of the Nazi attempt to destroy the Jewish people.

Gould's second false assumption follows from her first:
Just as it is necessary to separate the past from the present in contemporary Israel-Palestine, so, too, it is necessary to separate Jewish suffering from the Palestinian crisis. One tragedy does not license another. The Holocaust does not license the Israeli occupation. Nor does it license the bulldozing of Palestinian homes or the razing of Palestinian land. To refuse the moral calculus that transforms Jewish suffering into a justification of Israeli oppression does not imply insensitivity to or obliviousness of what the Jews have faced over the course of their long, often devastating, history. Even less does it earn one the label of anti-Semite. Rather, it opens a post-Holocaust present to an ethics that looks beyond the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" principle that has undergirded all three of the world's most influential monotheisms - regardless of how they toss this label at each other, all have subscribed to such ethics in practice - at various moments in their history. Two wrongs do not make a right. Jewish suffering will never be appeased by making Palestinians pay the price for the world community's silence half a century ago, when the Jews were being exterminated. 
When does Israel use the Holocaust to justify defending itself from Palestinian terror? You might hear analogies between the Holocaust and the stated genocidal aim of Israel's enemies, which are quite strong, but the basic assumption that Israel uses the Holocaust to forestall valid criticism is unfounded. No Israeli leader has ever said "we have the right to mistreat Arabs because of the Holocaust" and to claim that this is how Israelis think is simply slander. On the contrary, Israel's treatment of Palestinians is far more careful and tentative than one can find any country treating those whom it is at war with. It isn't Israel that puts Palestinians into concentration camps: it is Arab nations.

Gould's article is bookended by an anecdote of a pro-Palestinian friend of hers who is afraid to criticize Israel because he doesn't want to appear antisemitic. She takes that fear as fact and bases her thesis on it - but it is based on a false assumption to begin with. There are plenty of criticisms of Israel that are valid and that are not antisemitic.

Gould builds on her false assumptions:
The justification of silence regarding Israel's illegal expansion in Palestine on the grounds that protest against this injustice could be perceived as anti-Semitic merely extends the lifespan of anti-Jewish prejudice. 
Has there been silence regarding the "occupation?" I seem to remember that every nation on the planet has criticized it. Perhaps Gould missed that, plus the hundreds of UN and UNHRC resolutions, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty articles, and daily op-eds in Western media.

If her idea that there is "silence" on Israel's actions is completely wrong, then that means that her thesis that this imaginary silence adds to antisemitism. The idea that relentless criticism of Israel out of proportion to its supposed crimes may be engendering antisemitism obviously did not cross Gould's mind.

So far, it would be a stretch to call this article antisemitic. But her conclusion indeed reaches that level:

Israel must find a way of not passing on the crime the Nazis introduced into the world onto the next generation of its citizens. If Israel can find a way to stop the cycle of bloodletting released into the world over half a century ago, then, even in an era weary of nations and the states that underwrite them, it will merit the world's admiration. As the situation stands today, the Holocaust persists and its primary victims are the Palestinian people. 
This is antisemitism, despite the "if." This paragraph tells the reader, only slightly elliptically,  that Israel is guilty of doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews, and that Palestinians are victims of the Holocaust via the proxy of the modern Israeli Nazis. Israel is repeating the "bloodletting" that the Nazis started, just this time the victims are the new Jews and the Israelis are the new Nazis.

To call Israelis Nazis is antisemitic and outrageous, and that is exactly what Gould is doing despite her wording that tries to make her accusation appear theoretical.

I am not going to weigh in on whether Rebecca Gould should be fired for this. What should definitely happen is that she must be exposed both as a person who glibly throws around antisemitic accusations, as well as an academic fraud who builds her case on her own hateful fantasies instead of the facts that academics are supposed to base their arguments on.

(There are other counterfactual points she makes in her article that invalidate her as an honest academic, such as invoking "millennia of harmonious Jewish-Arabic coexistence prior to modernity.")



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From Ian:

David Collier: Apartheid Week watch – day one. The Jew hating fetish opens at UCL
It is Apartheid ‘Week’ again. Last night, 27 Feb 2017 I was at UCL (University College London) for the opening night of UCL’s very own ‘Apartheid Fortnight’ (we were informed that their ‘classy’ week has been ‘doubled’). This event was titled ‘Apartheid: Stories from the Ground‘
The evening was put together by the UCLU Friends of Palestine Society. Which means that the welcoming committee was led by Yahya Abu Seido. A few months ago, Yahya was one of the ringleaders when the protestors tried to ‘no platform’ an Israeli speaker on this campus. In fact, Yahya was caught on camera celebrating what he had believed was the successful closing down of the event. He was part of the group that left the Jewish students locked in a room. Those that left Jewish students needing a police escort to remove them safely. Just a few months later he is happily leading a Jew hating festival on the UCL campus. Another bitter pill that the Jewish UCL students are forced to swallow.
At this event, there were two speakers and a Chair. The Chair was Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia, the ‘co Director of the UCL institute of Human Rights’. Just in case anyone is foolish enough to believe that a Chair should at least maintain the veneer of impartiality, we can see that Meckled-Garcia has signed petitions against Israel, here, here, here and here. Just for good measure he signed one titled ‘Israel must lose’ in 2009. This ‘impartiality’ was visible throughout the evening, especially in the way the Q&A was handled.
The evening opened with the Chair announcing he wanted to make a political statement. Meckled-Garcia then proceeded to object to the use of the adopted definition of antisemitism for what he suggested was a way of silencing ‘free speech’. How anybody can address the thugs of the UCLU Friends of Palestine Society about free speech and keep a straight face is beyond me. At least we were left in no doubt as to which side the Chair was on from the very beginning.
Caroline Glick: Perez, Ellison and the meaning of antisemitism
This sad state of affairs has been on prominent display in the wake of the recent spate of antisemitic attacks against Jewish cemeteries in the US. Muslim Americans with records of antisemitism have been quick to condemn the attacks.
On the face of it, statements by Ellison, Hamas supporter Linda Sarsour and others condemning the attacks on Jewish cemeteries are welcome. Sarsour’s support for Palestinian mass murderers of Jews and open calls for Israel’s destruction have been ongoing for more than a decade. It’s nice that she is suddenly raising money to repair broken Jewish graves in St. Louis.
The problem is if Sarsour and her Jew hating comrades are viewed as legitimate partners in fighting antisemitism, when they themselves are abetting and popularizing antisemitism, then the notion of fighting antisemitism is destroyed.
If Sarsour, who wrote in 2012 that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” is a legitimate voice in the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence, then the fight against anti-Jewish discrimination and violence is reduced to farce.
Sarsour, like Ellison, is no fringe figure on the Left. She has become a major mover and shaker in the second party in America. Sarsour was one of the organizers of the anti-Trump women’s protests the day after the president was inaugurated.
Sarsour’s rising prominence in progressive and Democratic circles despite her open support for Hamas shows why it is important today to draw a line in the sand and reject the notion that antisemites can suddenly become defenders of Jews.
Douglas Murray: Europe: Laughing at the Messenger
How can one excavate the minds of so many European officials and the extraordinary mental gymnastics of denial to which they have become prone?
One of the finest demonstrations of this trend occurred in January 2015, after France was assailed by Islamist gunmen in the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then in a Jewish supermarket. In the days after those attacks, Fox News in the U.S. ran an interview with a guest who said that Paris, and France, as a whole, had "no-go zones" where the authorities -- including emergency services -- did not dare to go. In the wake of these comments, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, chose to make a stand. She announced that she was suing Fox News because the "honour of Paris" was at stake.
It appeared that Mayor Hidalgo was rightly concerned about the image of her city around the world, presumably worrying in particular about the potential effects on tourism.
Of course, Mayor Hidalgo's priorities were all wrong. The reason Paris's public relations suffered a dent was not because of what a pundit said on Fox News one evening, but because of the mass murder of journalists and Jews on the streets of the "City of Light." Any potential tourist would be much more concerned about getting caught up in a terrorist firefight than a war of words. Mayor Hidalgo's manoeuvre, however, turned out not to be a rarity, but a symptom of a wider problem.
Swedish Ambulance Union ‘We need military equipment to protect medics from hand grenades’
Det Goda Samhället (the good society) is a Swedish initiative that discusses the necessities of a good society, and is dedicated to reporting on issues in Sweden that they feel need to be addressed. To this end, it has also started up a series of interviews on YouTube and podcasts. This interview is by Paulina Neuding, with Gordon Grattidge, the President of the Swedish Ambulance Drivers Union, who makes it absolutely clear that Swedish no-go-zones are a fact of life that his personnel is faced with every day.
Some of the highlights:
“Let me ask you Gordon, I know that your union has called for military equipment in order to protect paramedics on emergency calls. What kind of equipment?”
-“That’s correct. (…) We work with lighter protection in the form of body armour and helmets.”
“In what situations does a paramedic need body armour and helmets?”
-“It’s when we enter hazardous areas and there’s a risk of putting our paramedics in danger. It’s often about these risk areas we have in Sweden. So-called ‘no-go zones’.”



A Test for the Anti-Trump Movement
The political stupidity of embracing Odeh is plain. What better ammunition could there possibly be for a White House all too keen to dismiss a genuine grassroots movement as paid professional protestors and anti-American anarchists than the public participation of a bona fide terrorist? If the anti-Trump movement is going to stand for tolerance, genuine liberalism, civility, and decency—everything we disdain Trump for disdaining—Odeh and her ilk can have no place in it.
But there is a deeper, darker point here beyond strategy: It concerns the alarming cheapness of Jewish blood. A movement that has so much to say about the value of black lives, of transgender lives, of women’s lives, of Latino lives, of Muslim lives, of the lives of the disabled and the poor and the weak, but becomes mealy-mouthed and contingent about the lives of Jews when those Jews happen to live in the land of Israel should make any person of conscience question the sincerity of that movement.
Indeed, what’s perhaps even more disturbing is the increasing tendency on the part of Jews to silence themselves on these fundamental moral matters to fit in or to avoid accusations of being soft on Trump. On this, our leaders must do better, even though it will surely mean fewer likes and retweets from popular progressives. It’s incumbent upon those who assert themselves as representatives of the Jewish community not to paper over this disturbing hypocrisy—especially if what they are trying to do is convince amcha that it’s still in their best interest to be at the anti-Trump table.
Somehow it seems that Jews are always the ones being asked to check their identity at the door in movements driven by identity politics. We may assiduously follow the “two-thirds and 51 percent” rule, but our partners often do not. If asking for something so minimal—to disassociate and condemn a woman who murdered innocent Jews—seems impolite or greedy, then perhaps the compromise we have made is rotten.
Terrorist Behind March - Organizer Convicted In Deadly Israel Bombing - Fox & Friends


Anti- Semitism is masquerading as anti-Zionism: Marmur
What enemies used to say about Jews, they now say about Israel. Anti-Semites of old refused to regard Jews as human: they were either superhuman creatures bent on ruling the world — as the notorious forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” would have it — or they were subhuman: vermin in the vocabulary of the Nazis.
In our time, the version of the old canard often has it that Israel is ruling the United States and the rest of the world through its intelligence agencies and by other unspecified means, or that its actions against hapless Palestinians are beastly.
Under such circumstances, it has become difficult for a Jew to voice legitimate criticism of Israel without being labelled either as a religious fanatic echoing the Messianic fantasies of extremists or a traitor to his or her people mouthing the vilifications of foes.
Of course, Israel isn’t beyond criticism. Which country and which government is? But critical or not, I remain committed to the Jewish state and convinced that, after the Holocaust, Jews would have become a quaint sect on the margins of society, and Judaism a museum item, had there been no Israel that enabled many Jews to find a home and all Jews to gain dignity and self-confidence. Those who seek the destruction of Israel are, alas, bent on disenfranchising all Jews.
Israel must stand up against anti-Semitism in US, Rivlin says
Israel must speak up against rising anti-Semitism in America, President Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday, while calling on the US administration to continue denouncing the phenomenon.
“I think the issue of anti-Semitism is an issue that the State of Israel and its representatives must stand unequivocally against, shoulder to shoulder,” Rivlin told the heads of Israeli diplomatic missions to North America in his Jerusalem residence.
“I also want to express my appreciation to President [Donald] Trump for his clear words last week, and for his clear position. These things need to be repeated and reiterated without hesitation,” he added.
Since the beginning of 2017, 90 bomb threats have been called into Jewish community centers, in many cases forcing the total evacuation of the buildings. Dozens of tombstones have also recently been toppled in Jewish cemeteries in Missouri and Pennsylvania.
Big lies from the BDS movement: Oscar contenders and Israel
The BDS movement is run on a Big Lie technique pioneered by Goebbels during Hitler’s regime. The technique holds that if you tell a big enough lie long enough and keep repeating it, people will believe it’s true. This is the foundation of the BDS movement against Israel in America and around the world.
The BDS campaign has recently changed its name to the “U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.”
Anna Baltzer, the campaign head of the U.S. BDS Campaign, now the campaign for “Palestinian rights,” has been accused of using multiple aliases. She did a You Tube video in which she promoted BDS at San Diego State proclaiming she did this “as a proud Jewish woman.” She also ran an article on the ISM’s Electronic Intifada website where she met with an Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade terrorist and explained to him she was born to a Jewish mother but wasn’t raised Jewish, knew nothing about the religion and was opposed to Israel’s existence. From there she did a radio interview in Canada where she exclaimed, “Inshallah! One day we will bring down Zionism [the Jews}.”
After doing some research, I found that BDS claimed that since Oscar winner Leonardo DI Caprio hadn’t taken the free trip to Israel, he must be a BDS supporter. I was happy to see the article at this link. DiCaprio has visited Israel many times and even hopes to work with an Israeli director. Di Caprio is only one of the movie stars BDS wants people to think supports the Boycott. They run photos with others, but most have no intent to boycott Israel - they are in no rush, as the trip offers are good for one year. This is not mentioned on the BDS sites.
The idea that Oscar contenders not redeeming their trips just prior to the Oscars means they are anti-Israel is deceptive. Most wouldn’t want to be out of town during the Oscars and will, in all probability, visit Israel in the coming year.
Readers can take action themselves against BDS by researching the actors’ managements as I did and get the truth out about the misuse of their names. This is one way for individuals who love Israel to stop the Big Lie that is the BDS movement.
Bernie Sanders is 100% WRONG!
The State of Israel envisioned by Leftists both here and abroad is one that wouldn't survive in the real world. It encourages, strengthens and plays in the hands of our unabashed enemies. Bernie Sanders, J-Street and all those others are horrendously and tragically wrong!
Sanders: One can be pro-Israel and rap its government
It doesn't matter one single iota that they claim to love Israel and be pro-Israel. It just makes their stand more dangerous and more tragic.
Israel is a tiny country surrounded by dangerous enemies which unabashedly proclaim their aim to destroy and replace the only Jewish country in the world. It is impossible, totally unrealistic, illogical to make peace with enemies like that.
Speaking before a conference held by J Street, a liberal Jewish American organization that primarily lobbies for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, Sanders said that "those of us who support Israel have got to tell the truth about policies that hurt the chances of a peaceful resolution."
Neither Israel nor the so-called "occupation," sic, is the cause for the tension and terrorism between Israel and her neighbors. Blaming Israel is a totally facetious antisemitic lie, even when said by Jews.
Another deeply flawed report about IDF from “Breaking the Silence”
Breaking the Silence (BtS)—Shovrim Shtika in Hebrew—is a group of Israeli veterans who collect and disseminate ‘testimonies’ of alleged breaches of military ethics which they claim were witnessed and perpetrated by soldiers while they were serving in the West Bank and Gaza.
BtS activists present themselves as patriotic Zionists who love their country. They also defend their organization as a whistleblower that works to keep the state moral by speaking out against IDF atrocities committed against Palestinians.
But the reality is that BtS has long been discredited as a fringe group that acts to “fuel BDS.”
The group once garnered a fair share of admirers during its formative years. Today it’s rejected by most of the Israeli mainstream public.
That’s because BtS chooses to ignore the official systems in place for lodging complaints, preferring instead to make its case directly to foreigners.
Basically, the group’s spokespeople and activists spend much of their time slandering Israeli soldiers abroad, falsely painting Israel as an “inept and cruel occupier” to foreign audiences eager to hear about the Jewish state’s malevolence.
Palestinian student, 25, tweets 'I am so proud to be called a terrorist' sparking anti-Semitism investigation at the University of Exeter
A Palestinian student is being investigated after she allegedly tweeted she was 'proud to be a terrorist' amid claims she made anti-Semitic comments online.
The Students' Guild at the University of Exeter has launched a probe into allegations of anti-Semitism by its vice president for postgraduate students Malaka Shwaikh, 25.
Charity Campaign Against Antisemitism claimed the student wrote provocative tweets and produced an image of one allegedly from her account that said: 'If terrorism means protecting and defending my land, I am so proud to be called terrorist. What an honour for the Palestinians!'
CAA also alleged she wrote the 'ideology of Zionism is no different to that of Hitler's' and 'Hitler did his deed and the Palestinians had to pay for it'.
Miss Shwaikh's Twitter account appears to have since been taken down.
Columbia University Hosts ‘Zionists Are Racists’ Forum
Columbia University is facing criticism from pro-Israel groups for hosting an on-campus forum entitled, "Zionists are Racists."
The event, set to be held Monday evening in a university building, is being organized by Columbia University's "Apartheid Divest" groups, which is comprised of several anti-Israel organizations committed to boycotting Jewish goods and individuals.
The event will feature speeches by individuals critical of the Jewish state, according to information publicly posted on Facebook.
The event is just another salvo in the campus war over Israel, which has become bound up in accusations of anti-Semitism against Jewish students and, in some cases, violence.
Much of this is being spearheaded by virulently anti-Israel campus organizations, including Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, and Jewish Voice for Peace, both of which advocate boycotts of Israel. SJP has been banned on some college campuses for promoting anti-Semitic materials. Both organizations are backing the forum at Columbia.
Monday evening's event is being billed as an opportunity to "learn about Israel's racist and imperialist policies," according to event information.
B’Tselem Caught In Malicious (And Dumb) Lie
“Human rights” organization B’Tselem has disseminated the following sob story on social media.
Yara ‘Ashur, 18, a medical student in Gaza, studies by the light of a battery-powered lamp:
“We’ve been suffering from problems with the power for years. We get power for eight hours and then get cut off for eight. I get back from school at around 3:00 P.M., tired. I rest for two hours and then get up to study.

Let’s look at that photograph again.
So much for using a battery-powered LED lamp due to there being no electricity (hat tip: Yoel).
What American Universities Can Learn From the UK
Yesterday, I wrote about the outrageous decision by students at the University of London to deny Jewish students the right to define what constitutes hatred against their group — something that all other minority groups are allowed to do.
Last week, in a long overdue blow to the antisemitic BDS movement, the University of Central Lancashire cancelled an event for violating the government’s definition of antisemitism.
In December 2016, the British government adopted the definition of antisemitism advanced during a conference of the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The definition states:
Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
WATCH: Israeli Arab Student Who Attends University Across “Green Line”
Meet Amal Medlij, Coordinator for Minority Students at Ariel University.
She speaks openly and honestly about her experience attending Ariel University, which is over the “Green Line”, so-called occupied territories.
Imagine that. An Arab learning in a university among people we are being told are “racist, violent extremists.” And being accepted.
Because the truth has a way of finding its way out.


Fourth missile attack against Israel in three weeks ignored by BBC News
There was no coverage of the missile attack whatsoever on the BBC News English language website but – in line with the pattern of reporting seen regularly over the last two years – later on the afternoon of February 27th, Israel’s response was reported in an article titled “Israeli fighter jets bombed positions of the militants in the Gaza Strip” on the BBC Arabic website.
Since the beginning of the year – and this month – four missile attacks against Israel have taken place – two from Gaza and two from Sinai – none of which have been reported by the BBC’s English language services. Throughout 2016 just one of ten attacks received BBC coverage in English.
It is of course difficult to believe that had four separate missile attacks on British territory taken place in a three-week period, the BBC would have ignored the story.
The Washington Post Omits the Anti-Israel Record of Human Rights Watch
A Feb. 24, 2017 Washington Post report on the decision by Israeli authorities to block the entry of an anti-Israel Human Rights Watch (HRW) employee omitted key information (“Human Rights Watch worker barred by Israel”). The dispatch, by The Post’s Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth, failed to fully inform readers about HRW’s history of singling out the Jewish state for opprobrium and mischaracterized the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Post reported that Omar Shakir, HRW’s recently announced Israel and Palestine country, was denied entry into Israel. Booth briefly quoted Israeli concerns that HRW is “systemically anti-Israel,” but failed to elaborate.
In fact, Human Rights Watch, a self-appointed arbiter of human rights abuses around, has a long history of anti-Israeli bias.
HRW, as CAMERA has highlighted, has raised funds on the basis of its singling out Israel. HRW has even used the criticism that it receives from “pro-Israel pressure groups” to get funds from wealthy Saudi donors (“Minority Report,” New Republic, April 27, 2010). HRW’s own founder, Robert Bernstein, repudiated the group in a Oct. 19, 2009 New York Times Op-Ed that noted the non-profit organization was guilty of “helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state.”
Character Assassination: Israel Is Not North Korea
Paul McGeogh [a former flotidiot], writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, uses last week’s assassination of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as a way of comparing North Korea to… Israel.
In the article, “The poisoner’s handbook: What Israel and North Korea have in common”, he says that both Israeli PM Netanyahu and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un are members of “an oddball global fraternity… the messy assassins – either they botch the kill or they can’t make a clean getaway.”
Kim Jong-nam was supposedly killed by a poison being sprayed into his face. According to McGeogh, this
recalled Netanyahu’s humiliation in 1997 when, during his first stint as Israel’s prime minister, he approved a plan by the intelligence agency Mossad to assassinate Hamas leader Khalid Mishal – which was then spectacularly botched.
That assassination attempt involved spraying a poison into Meshaal’s ear, although the agents were caught and Israel forced to provide the antidote before it managed to kill Mashal.
The glaring difference between the two cases, that McGeogh doesn’t take into consideration, are the targets.
Store sells 'Yellow Star' necklaces
Internet store YNJEWELRY has begun selling necklaces whose yellow gold pendants are shaped like yellow stars - the same yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
"It's not a yellow star," store director Yechiel Piron insisted. "The yellow star is a piece of fabric, and we're selling a chain which comes in other colors such as silver and pink gold."
The stars are engraved with "Jude" or "Never again."
"We could be talking about Pharaoh and the exodus from Egypt," the site said. "We could have written pages about Kristallnacht, Hitler, and the Holocaust - but we didn't!! We live in Israel, and today there is no place in our country for enemies and anti-Semitism. We are the only ones who can right the wrongs and erase what has been done against us.
Somali hate preacher on European tour “Israel steals little girls and sells them as sex slaves”
In a somewhat tiresome case of projection, a video has emerged of the Somali-born, Saudi-educated Canadian Muslim preacher sheikh Said Rageah, once again revealing his true colours:
“Sex slaves. What do they do? They steal little girls. And you know who’s the number one in the world who does that? The number one country in the world? Israel. They are number 1 in sex slavery. Which means, they’re gonna steal little girls, and they’re gonna sell them.”
But, it’s not as if this is the first time some of his unsavoury quotes became public. See below for more of his infamous quotes.
The most honourable sheikh has been touring through Europe to further enlighten European Muslim minds, from 10 February onwards. He has been invited to speak on March 3 and 4 in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he was barred from speaking last year. Below is an overview of the (known) locations that he visited last month, and the parties you missed out on:
PreOccupiedTerritory: Chicago Cubs Hope Zionist Conspiracy Lets Them Win Again (satire)
Spring training for Major League Baseball kicked off two weeks ago, and the world champion Chicago Cubs are looking forward to another successful season, tempered by uncertainty over whether the International Zionist Conspiracy will allow them to repeat their achievement.
The Cubs won the World Series last year for the first time in more than a century. Players and managers expressed hope that the attainment proves lasting, and that the Zionist Conspiracy that controls world affairs has plans that do not involve another 108 years of futility for the storied franchise.
Either way, noted Manager Joe Maddon, the team is approaching Spring Training with the same vigor and enthusiasm. “We know we can do it – some things are just beyond our control,” he explained. “Our responsibility is to play our hearts out and use our heads. Whether the Conspiracy plans to rain out potential victories, engineer all sorts of injuries, or foment unrest in the clubhouse isn’t really up to us. We have a job to do.”
Former Cubs players, as well, have voiced optimism tempered with wistfulness. “I’m happy for these guys – they deserved to win, and I’ve no doubt they’ll earn another title this year,” acknowledged Ryne Sandberg, once an all-star second-baseman with the team. “But earning it and receiving it are two different things. My teammates in the eighties and nineties played as well as could be, but the Zionists decided it wasn’t our time. I have to admit I’m jealous, and a little bitter, that it had to wait until long after I retired. Would have been incredible.”
Investors bet on windfall gains for Israeli tech, defense under Trump
Investors are betting heavily that Israeli defense and cyber-security firms will reap a windfall from President Donald Trump's big US spending plans, although likely benefits for the wider economy remain like the man himself - hard to predict.
Israeli technology companies are likewise well placed to pick up contracts on other planned presidential projects, such as a hugely expensive wall along the US border with Mexico.
Economists, however, have yet to factor any positive "Trump effect" into their Israeli growth forecasts and analysts say some of his ideas, such as moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, could backfire with negative security and economic consequences.
After a month in office, some of Trump's Twitter commentary has caused bewilderment in a number of foreign capitals. But in Israel, hopes are high for stronger commercial and strategic ties with the United States, and that warmer political relations will encourage foreign investors.
Companies tipped to gain include defense contractor Elbit Systems, Magal Security Systems and Check Point Software Technologies. All have seen their share prices soar since Trump's election victory on Nov. 8.
Chinese Auto Giant to Open Development Center in Israel
A top Chinese automobile manufacturer is slated to open a research and development center in Israel, Globes reported Sunday.
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) said that it will establish an R&D center in Israel focusing on “electrical propulsion, data networks, car sharing, and smart automated propulsion.”
The company, which already has an advance team in Israel, is set to increase its presence to 50 employees. The R&D center is expected to be located at the new headquarters for the Lubinski Group in Rishon LeZion, just south of Tel Aviv. Lubinski has been the official importer SAIC vehicles to Israel, where it has sold several thousand units to date.
SAIC is one of China’s top four automotive manufacturers and sells an estimated 5 million vehicles annually. In a statement announcing the R&D center, SAIC praised Israeli culture and acknowledged the country’s tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship. It also lauded Israel for having one of the highest per capita concentrations of engineers and scientists.
Israeli tech helps ‘Jungle Book’ snatch Oscar
The live action remake of “The Jungle Book,” a 1967 Disney classic, won the Oscar for best visual effects at the 89th Annual Academy Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles.
The film, a huge success at the box office, relied on computer generated imagery, known as CGI, to recreate the tale of Mowgli, the orphaned human boy who is raised by animals.
It also used Mellanox Technologies, an Israeli supplier of data center server and storage system solutions, which offers the bandwidth necessary to stream and distribute films like “The Jungle Book” and previous blockbusters, such as “The Martian,” “Gone Girl,” “X-Men,” “Godzilla” and other films that grow in complexity and pixel density each year.
“Resolution and effects are getting more complicated,” said Eyal Waldman, founder, CEO and president of the NASDAQ-traded Yokne’am Illit company. “You need telecommunication that is faster; you need more bandwidth to watch movies.”
18 Israeli firms rocking financial technology
If it has been a long time since you’ve waited for a bank teller, called your stockbroker or mailed a check, you can thank financial technology (fintech). And much of that innovation in how we move and protect our money is coming from Israel.
According to The Floor fintech startup hub in Tel Aviv, at least 430 Israeli fintech companies are developing products for needs ranging from digital banking to fundraising.
Israel’s reputation in deep data science has lured some $650 million in venture capital for the fintech sector. Financial institutions including Citibank to Barclays have established innovation labs and accelerators in the startup nation.
Record $1.1 billion in Israel Bonds sold in US in 2016
US & Canada

A record $1.127 billion in State of Israel Bonds was sold in the United States in 2016.
The Development Corporation for Israel, also known as Israel Bonds, issues debt securities by the government of Israel. Israel Bonds also are sold to investors in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium.
Israel Bonds also announced this week that it has sold more than $40 billion globally since the corporation was launched in 1951.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said in a statement that Israel Bonds are “a cornerstone of Israel’s economy.”
“Crossing the $40 billion mark exemplifies the organization’s dedication to Israel, and the way in which its message of economic support has resonated on a global scale,” Kahlon said.
Israelis satisfied with their lives, new survey shows
Some 89% of Israelis are satisfied with their lives, a new Central Bureau of Statistics survey shows. According to the survey, titled "The Wellbeing, Sustainability and National Resilience Indicators -- 2015," 91% of Jewish respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives, as well as 82% of Arab respondents (non-Jews who are not Arab were surveyed together with Jews). The respondents for this survey were aged 20 and up.
The categories used to gauge the various indicators were: employment quality; personal security; health care; housing; education and skills; personal and social welfare; the environment; civic involvement; and material wealth.
The number of people who were satisfied with their employment rose from 81.5% in 2002 to 88.4% in 2015. Life expectancy increased between 2000 and 2015 by 3.4 years (from 76.7 to 80.1) among men and by 3.2 years (80.9 to 84.1) among women.
The survey found that 71% were satisfied with the health care they got, with 15% saying it was "very good" and 56% saying it was "good." Some 60% said the Israeli health care system would provide them with the best possible treatment in case of a severe illness: 18% said they believed this "strongly" and the rest (42%) said "somewhat."
Over 200 Israelis attend funeral of Holocaust survivor they did not know
More than 200 Israelis attended the funeral of a complete stranger — a Holocaust survivor from the Canary Islands who fulfilled a final wish, to be buried in Israel alongside her mother.
Hilde Nathan, who did not have a husband or children, died alone two weeks ago in the Canary Islands at 90. Knowing of her wishes, the Canary Island Jewish community in Spain, which numbers about 20, raised the money to fly her body to Israel for burial.
The community put out a call through the Israeli media for mourners at her funeral, which was held Monday morning.
“Nathan always lived alone, but today it seems that the entire People of Israel has come to say goodbye,” an Israeli Holocaust survivor, the only person at the funeral who knew her, told the United with Israel website. “She lived alone, but did not leave alone.”
Nathan, a native of Germany, was one of the few to survive the Theresienstadt concentration camp. She managed to avoid being sent to the Treblinka and Auschwitz extermination camps like many of the other Jews imprisoned at Theresienstadt by the Nazis.
She was freed from the camp after it was liberated by the Soviet army on May 8, 1945.



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Every winter, potholes and cracks appear around Israel because of the rains.

And every winter, the Arabs who live in Silwan blame their "landslides" on Israelis building multiple tunnels under their land.

Even if the archaeological sites are hundreds of meters away.

This year the accusation was reported as fact by Al Jazeera.

Here's the only photo I could find of supposed damage from this year.


The head of the "Islamic - Christian Commission in support of Al Quds" warned that the excavations can cause the Al Aqsa Mosque to collapse. 

The head of the Islamic Endowments ministry of the PA called on UNESCO to stop any Israeli actions that could possibly upset Muslims, because UNESCO has declared the Temple Mount and Western Wall to be exclusively Muslim.




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Clashes between gunmen in the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon killed a child on Tuesday, the latest casualty in several days of violence, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Witnesses said the boy was severely wounded in the head, apparently by a gunshot, before being taken to hospital.
The NNA said at least one other person was wounded by sniper fire on Tuesday.
The child was the son of a Fatah leader in the camp. The wounded person was an UNRWA employee.

Mahmoud Abbas visited Lebanon last week, but didn't bother to visit a single camp where some 200,000 Palestinians are stuck living in horrible conditions, barred by law to buy land anywhere else and who can never become citizens no matter how many generations removed they are from being refugees.

On the contrary, Abbas praised Lebanon for treating them as "guests" until they can "return" to Israel.





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From Ian:

The Politics of Anti-anti-Semitism
The reason, I would suggest, is that anti-Semitism has become politicized, and has become entwined in the widespread disdain for No. 45. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not help by eagerly endorsing the alleged pro-Semitic qualities of Donald Trump at one of the two news conferences in which Trump ducked questions about anti-Semitism. Those comments might help Bibi deal with the egomaniac in the Oval Office, but he antagonized Jewish Americans who have well-grounded concerns about Trump’s seeming indifference to anti-Semitism. Netanyahu also put defenders of Israel in an awkward position by embracing not just Trump but his coterie of right-wing advisers. He might have been well advised to adhere to the Hebrew school admonition, “sheket, bevakasha!” That brings me to the other reason I’m feeling uneasy. It’s the way people who make me feel uneasy are jumping on the anti-anti-Semitism bandwagon.
In a statement, the American Studies Association said that it “strongly reproves the recent wave of attacks on synagogues, mosques, and religious community centers in North America and on the Jewish and Islamic people using those institutions.” The ASA, of course, is widely known not for “reproving” anti-Semitism but quite the opposite, a widely condemned resolution boycotting Israeli academics—a singling out of the Jewish state as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been denounced as anti-Semitic. Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American activist who “makes no secret of her opposition to Israel and support of BDS,” has raised significant money for the St. Louis cemetery—and believe you me, she is not keeping it a secret.
Yes it’s possible that Sarsour and the ASA are just bubbling over with empathy for the Jewish community that they have never shown for the Jewish state. It’s also possible that they are cynically exploiting the wave of anti-Semitism as political cover for their BDS advocacy. I lean toward the latter theory. It’s a bit like “Jew-washing”—the use of Jewish supporters in anti-Israel agitation—except that in this instance the Jews are safely dead.
Hard-pressed cemeteries are not going to turn down thousands of bucks, regardless of the motives of the donors. One can’t fault the cemeteries targeted by tombstone-topplers for holding their noses and taking whatever donations are given. But I’m reasonably sure what my Uncle Irving would have said if his parents’ cemetery was the target of a propaganda ploy. He’d have told them to keep their money. And he’d have suggested what they could do with it.
Shmuley Boteach: Donald Trump and the smear of antisemitism
When accusing a man of being an antisemite, let’s be a bit factual lest we falsely libel friends and label allies as foes.
Let’s cut through all the clutter and get straight to the main issues surrounding US President Donald Trump and allegations of antisemitism.
Firstly, to suggest that President Trump dislikes Jews would have us believe that he despises his own daughter and grandchildren when precisely the opposite seems to be true. Ivanka seems to be the apple of his eye. Indeed, when his daughter was dating Jared Kushner, an Orthodox Jew from a famously observant family, her father could have easily dissuaded her from converting but instead publicly supported her and threw a kosher wedding. It would also suggest that his strong support for Israel is inauthentic when it’s something he has worn on his sleeve for his entire adult life.
Trump as antisemite is not implausible but absurd and libelous.
OK, so Trump is definitely not an antisemite. One would even suggest that he’s a philosemite. He has surrounded himself with Jews who are his business colleagues, employees and friends. I know Orthodox Jews who have long worked for Trump and say that his respect for the Jewish faith has been exemplary.
But is Trump sending dog whistles to white supremacist supporters who dislike Jews? Was his failure until last week to publicly decry antisemitism a result of fear of alienating racist backers?
Alan M. Dershowitz: Ellison Was Defeated by His Own Actions Not by Any Smear
Those who believe that Democrats can win by attracting the kind of hard left radicals who voted for Green Party candidates such as Jill stein or Ralph Nader are blinking reality. The Democrats could never nominate a winning candidate far left enough for those hard left ideologues to abandon their extremist candidates. Extremists like Susan Sarandon seem to believe that a vote for Trump will hasten the revolution. This is how she put it: "Some people feel that Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately if he gets in, things will really explode."
Nor can the Democrats win by emulating the tactics of the Republican Party. The Tea Party did move the Republicans to the right by their uncompromising and obstructionist approach. But the United States has more tolerance-- unfortunately in my view -- for rightward movement (as long as it's not too extreme) than the Democrats gave for leftward movement.
The current leadership of the Democratic Party is reacting short term to a long term problem. They are responding to the loudest, shrillest and most demanding voices-- voices that are hardly representative of the tens of millions of voters they will need to remain competitive in upcoming races.
The Democrats can win only by regaining their traditional base among working class rust belt voters they lost to trump. These voters will never support the kind of radical left wing candidates promoted by the Keith Ellison wing of the party.
Ellison's appointment as the deputy to Tom Perez the man who defeated him elevated unity over principle. His past history and current voting record should have disqualified him for any office within the Democratic Party. But despite that unfortunate appointment, I will remain in the Democratic Party and work from within to move it back to its vibrant liberal center and away from its radical fringe. I will also work to maintain bipartisan support for Israel and against efforts by the hard left to abandon the only democracy in the Middle East.
It will be a daunting task but it is worth the effort. We won the fight against Ellison, though it was close. We must continue to win if the Democratic Party is to remain competitive.



Keith Ellison’s Rise to Second-in-Command at DNC Worries Some Jewish Democrats
Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said he was “very troubled” that Ellison “could be treated as a legitimate candidate, and could do so well in the voting, despite his extremist positions and attitudes.” In an interview with JNS.org, Hikind said it is “scary” that polls show that “a large segment of the Democratic Party is more sympathetic to the Palestinian Arabs than to Israel.” Ellison’s role as the party’s second second-in-command could accelerate that trend, the Assemblyman fears.
Dr. Harold Brackman, a scholar of black-Jewish relations, and an expert on the Nation of Islam, said that Ellison’s “near-miss” should be “disconcerting, not only to friends of Israel, but to those concerned about indications of a rising tide of antisemitic incidents in this country, as well as worldwide.”
Jewish Republicans view the latest developments similarly. Fred Brown, the communications director for the Republican Jewish Coalition, called the choice of Ellison as deputy chairman “a horrifying development for our country, the Democratic Party and Jews everywhere.” Noting Ellison’s “longtime hostility to Israel” and the fact that he “renounced the Nation of Islam only when the political pressure became too great,” Brown said that the elevation of Ellison in the DNC’s hierarchy “has cemented the Democrat Party’s lurch into the extreme.”
Some Jewish political observers, however, are less alarmed. Former DNC spokeswoman and pro-Israel activist Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi pointed out that “the two main candidates in the DNC race each reached out significantly to the Jewish community, and each had some key Jewish supporters.”
New DNC Chair Perez Engaged Islamists, Ignored Reformers
Tom Perez has defeated Rep. Keith Ellison in the race to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee, but don’t rest easy: Perez also has a concerning record and chose Ellison as his deputy chairman.
When he was the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, he included Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups and their allies in discussions about counter-terrorism training and investigations and laws punishing alleged “hate speech” against the religion of Islam. Muslim and non-Muslim critics of such Islamist groups were not a part of Perez’ outreach on these issues.
Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor responsible for locking up the “Blind Sheikh” behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, rightly pointed out at the time that the result of excluding the Islamist groups’ rivals is that officials like Perez “are making these Islamist groups into the representatives of Muslims in the United States.”
In 2012, Perez wouldn't answer what should have been a very easy question posed by Rep. Trent Frank (R-AZ) while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution :
“Will you tell us here today that this Administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?"
His answer was a series of stammers and assertions that it was hard to answer.
7 more JCCs, ADL office evacuated in latest bomb scare
The Anti-Defamation League’s San Francisco office was evacuated, and an additional seven Jewish Community Centers were also cleared after receiving bomb threats on Monday evening, bringing to 29 the number of Jewish institutions targeted on Monday.
Secure Community Network, the security arm of the national Jewish community, reported evacuations in Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona; Orange County, Palo Alto, San Diego and Long Beach in California; and Mercer Island in suburban Seattle, Washington state.
The most recent evacuations bring to 28 the number of JCCs and Jewish schools evacuated on Monday, the fifth wave of threats since the beginning of the year.
Earlier evacuations on Monday were reported in JCCs in Asheville, North Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Tarrytown, Plainview and Staten Island, New York; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Davie, Florida; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Wilmington, Delaware.
With few safeguards, Jewish cemeteries make easy targets for vandals
Sometime between the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 17, and the following Monday morning, vandals damaged 170 gravestones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish cemetery outside St. Louis.
Beyond that, cemetery staffers aren’t sure when the attack happened. Groundskeepers leave at 4 p.m. Fridays, and the cemetery is open to the public, unstaffed, all day Sunday. An employee discovered the damaged headstones Monday morning.
Even less is known about Saturday night’s attack on the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia, which saw at least 100 gravestones toppled. Unlike the St. Louis-area cemetery, which is surrounded by a fence and employs groundskeepers, Mount Carmel is run by volunteers, with only a sidewalk separating it from the street.
“There was nothing,” said Steve Rosenberg, chief marketing officer for Philadelphia’s Jewish federation. “It’s wide open. Anyone can walk right in. They can’t find anything that’s closed off to anyone.”
White House: President Trump ‘Deeply Disappointed and Concerned’ by Ongoing Antisemitism Upsurge Across US
President Donald Trump is “deeply disappointed and concerned” by the ongoing upsurge in antisemitism across the US, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday.
At a White House press briefing, Spicer referred to the recent desecration of two Jewish cemeteries — in St. Louis and Philadelphia — and the spate of telephone bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions.
“The president continues to condemn these and any other form of antisemitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,” Spicer said. “No one in America should feel afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely and openly. The president is dedicated to preserving this originating principle of our nation.”
On Monday, bomb threats were called into Jewish community centers and schools in 11 states.
“Antisemitism of this nature should not and must not be allowed to endure in our communities,” David Posner — director of strategic performance at the JCC Association of North America — said in a statement.
Bipartisan Congressional Antisemitism Task Force Relaunches in Wake of Recent Incidents Across US
A bipartisan congressional task force for combating antisemitism has been relaunched following an uptick in anti-Jewish incidents across the US, the group announced Monday.
“At home and abroad, we continue to witness antisemitism that is both dangerous and complex,” the task force members said in a statement, citing the vandalization of Jewish graves and bomb threats targeting Jewish centers and schools in America, as well as the ongoing harassment and violence aimed at Jews around the world. “In light of recent events, it is more important than ever that Democrats and Republicans work together to root out hatred and racism in all its ugly forms. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress to find innovative solutions that match the 21st-century face of this ancient bigotry.”
According to the statement, the task force “serves as a forum for educating [House] members on this distinct form of intolerance and to engage with the Trump administration, foreign leaders and civil society organizations to share best practices and collaborate on solutions to rebuff this systemic problem.” The task force members will also work to promote Holocaust remembrance and explore innovative way for American politicians to confront and condemn hate worldwide.
The task force is comprised of more than 100 Republicans and Democrats, and headed by Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), Ted Deutch (D-Fla), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill).
‘Threat’ forces police evacuation of Sydney Jewish Museum
THE Jewish Museum in Sydney was evacuated on Tuesday following a reported bomb threat.
NSW Police has confirmed that they are in attendance at the scene and a threat was made against the museum.
Images from the scene show backed up traffic and sniffer dogs.
The Australian Jewish News reported occupants allowed to re-enter the building at 3pm.
In a statement, Police told news.com.au, “an operation is underway at a museum on Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, following a threat that has been made.
“A building is being evacuated by police as a precaution while the area is searched. No further information available at this time.”
Following the all-clear, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff said, “The NSW Police secured the area, the all-clear was subsequently given and we were assured that there is no risk to the facility or to the community.
“We wish to express our gratitude to the NSW Police for their swift response.”
Miami Beach residents find swastikas etched on their cars
Miami Beach detectives are investigating after several people came outside Sunday to find that their cars at swastikas etched on them.
“It's disgusting!” said Kim Rosenfeld, whose family’s Range Rover parked near 28th Street and Prairie Avenue had been vandalized. “I think it's a hate crime.”
Police said that there were several officers, detectives and crime scene units investigating in the area not far from Bayshore Municipal Golf Course.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many cars had the offensive symbol.
Doug Eaton said his wife was leaving for the gym when she discovered that there was a swastika drawn on the hood of their Range Rover.
“Obviously, it was to offend our neighbors,” said Eaton, who isn’t Jewish. “They didn't know we weren't Jewish, but a majority of the neighborhood is Jewish and it was designed to offend them. It's a very offensive sign.”
Earlier this month, a swastika was spray-painted on the side of a car parked across from a home in Boca Raton.
Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz: Animosity Towards a Sovereign Jewish State Is the Root Cause of the Conflict
True peace requires addressing the deep sources of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Those lay with the Arab and Muslim reaction to the return of the Jewish people to powerful sovereignty in their ancient homeland. As far as Muslim theology and Arab practice were concerned, the Jews were non-believers, only to be tolerated, never as equals. They should have never been allowed to undermine Muslim rule over the lands which the Jews claimed as their homeland but the Arabs viewed as exclusively theirs since conquering them in the seventh century.
The return of the Jewish people to restored sovereignty in their ancient homeland required Arabs and Muslims to accept that a people, whom they have for centuries treated as inferiors, worthy of contempt, were now claiming equality and exercising power in their midst. This unnatural historical development, in Arab eyes, led Arab governments to take revenge and forcefully expel hundreds of thousands of Jews living in their midst, often in communities predating the birth of Islam, just after the establishment of the State of Israel.
It is also the reason why Arab states kept the Arabs who were displaced during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and their millions of descendants as perpetual "refugees" - to deprive the Jewish state of legitimacy and peace.
It is the reason that even after losing repeated military wars against the State of Israel, Arab countries have continued their diplomatic and economic war against it to this day.
This attitude towards the Jewish state is an Arab - and Muslim - issue, and not only a Palestinian one. The Palestinians are the thin end of the wedge by which the Arab and Muslim world wages its war against a sovereign Jewish people.
If the word "peace" is ever to truly describe the situation between Israel and its neighbors, it requires the Arab and Muslim world to accept the Jews as their equals and as an indigenous people who have come home.
Anne Bayefsky U.N. Human Rights Council — Get Out of the Quicksand or Drown
The U.N. “Human Rights” Council starts its main annual session on Monday in Geneva with elected members and human-rights aficionados such as Saudi Arabia, China, and Qatar settling into their seats. The question hanging over the head of President Trump is whether his administration will take its place beside these other states and legitimize the most anti-Israel, twisted bastion of moral relativism in the U.N. system.
Barack Obama deliberately designed a quicksand trap before leaving office. He put the U.S. forward for Human Rights Council membership in a U.N. election that occurred just ten days before the American presidential election. Attempting to rule from the grave, Obama knew full well that the U.S. would be occupying a three-year spot that officially commenced on January 1, 2017. The Bush administration had refused to join the Council, or to pay for it, when the Council was first created as a faux renovation of the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission back in 2006. Joining the Council was one of Obama’s very first foreign-policy moves in 2009.
The only way out of the quagmire for the Trump administration, therefore, is to resign.
The State Department’s Obama holdovers are pushing hard for the status quo. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Politico, “Our delegation will be fully involved in the work of the HRC session which starts Monday.” This result would be the very opposite of draining the swamp.
Moreover, the only survivors in the U.N. Human Rights Council swamp are the crocodiles. There is a permanent agenda of ten items that governs proceedings at every Council session. One agenda item is devoted to human-rights violations by Israel, and one generic agenda item is for all other 192 U.N. member states that might be found to “require the Council’s attention.” In classic State Department double-talk, the Obama administration promised that by joining the Council, the U.S. could reform the Council agenda from the inside. The Obama administration tried and predictably failed. But it then justified staying on the Council — despite back-of-the-bus treatment for the Jewish state — as a price worth paying for other people’s human rights. Pitting minorities against each other was, after all, an Obama specialty.
Extending Israeli Sovereignty to the Golan Heights Can Check Iranian Expansion
At his meeting with Donald Trump earlier this month, Benjamin Netanyahu sought support for Israel’s formal annexation of the Golan, a territory it has held since 1967. Zvi Hauser argues that such a move would benefit both Israel and the U.S. (Free registration required.)
International recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, which makes up only 1 percent of what was until recently Syria, isn’t only in Israel’s interest, but above all in the interest of all those who wish to stabilize the region and block Iran’s growing influence in it. [Moreover], the moderate Sunni states won’t fight a move that means exacting a territorial price from the Shiite axis of evil.
[Ultimately], reality on the ground is stronger than past fixations. There is no horizon on the Golan Heights but the Israeli one. Neither [allowing] radical Sunni factions [in Syria to take the territory] nor [letting] the Iran-Hizballah-Assad alliance establish a foothold on the Sea of Galilee will contribute to stabilizing the region and rehabilitating it.
The international community must come to terms with the geostrategic implications of the Middle East’s collapse. The Middle East’s borders as we knew them in the last century are evaporating before our eyes. Recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan is a self-evident move in reshaping the region by the demarcation [of new borders]—especially in the Syrian-Iraqi area, which has irreversibly changed. . . .
Netanyahu: Still no agreement on settlements with Trump
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told MKs from his ruling Likud party on Monday that he still has not reached an agreement with US President Donald Trump regarding the construction of new homes in West Bank settlements.
Netanyahu said that although he is working with the White House to establish a “mechanism” for coordinating settlement construction, “things are not as simple as you think they are,” unnamed participants in the Likud faction meeting told the Haaretz daily.
Trump’s presidency “is a historic opportunity, but [we] need to know the limits of this opportunity,” Haaretz quoted Netanyahu as saying.
Netanyahu’s comments were reportedly made during a heated argument between Likud lawmakers who support annexing large swaths of the West Bank and those in favor of separating from the Palestinians while still maintaining security control over the area.
UN Watch: U.S. May Pull Out of U.N.'s Human Rights Council - Hillel Neuer on i24 News


U.N. Watch: Defund this lesson plan
A new report by a United Nations monitoring group documents 40 instances over the past year in which school teachers and staff with a U.N. agency in the Middle East not only spewed anti-Semitism on their Facebook pages but also called for acts of terrorism against Israel.
Such depravity that instills Israeli hatred among Palestinian children is inexcusable. Never mind that these cases, documented by U.N. Watch, follow dozens of similar cases in 2015 involving employees with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
And there's no mistaking the mindset behind the messages:
• In Lebanon, UNRWA teachers venerated Adolf Hitler and praised terrorists.
• In Jordan, UNRWA staffers celebrated the death of Israeli soldiers and the murder of civilians.
• In Gaza, UNRWA teachers glorified knife attacks and acts of terrorism.
• In Syria, UNRWA teachers denied the Holocaust and incited violence.
As the report points out, this unbridled hatred permeates “the very existence of (UNRWA), its structure and operations and core political mission.” A mission, by the way, that the U.S. funded to the tune of $380 million in 2015, according to U.N. Watch.
Even if the despicable Facebook posts are removed, the poisoned mindset remains. If indeed Team Trump is serious about cutting America's U.N. funding, it should start with the share that goes to the UNRWA.
Blistering Gaza war report scorches Netanyahu, Ya’alon and Gantz over tunnel failures
Israel’s state comptroller took military and political leaders to task for their failure to prepare adequately for the threat of attack tunnels ahead of the 2014 war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, in a pair of long-awaited, highly critical reports published on Tuesday.
The reports found significant gaps in the military’s intelligence in the lead-up to the war, as well as a lack of clearly defined operational plans for how to destroy the tunnels. Those failings may have led, the report said, to the unnecessary deaths of Israeli soldiers during the 50-day conflict.
But the Prime Minister’s Office bore the brunt of State Comptroller Yosef Shapira’s criticism, for its failure to sufficiently brief members of the security cabinet about the subterranean threat.
While the reports were only released to the public on Tuesday, most of the critiques they contain have been reported on widely for months, as versions of the scalding documents circulated among relevant politicians and defense officials — and were leaked by them — as early as May 2016.
One report deals with the performance of the government and military during the conflict, dubbed Operation Protective Edge in Israel, and in the lead-up to it in general, with special attention paid to Hamas tunnels and Israel’s lax preparations for dealing with their threat. A second, shorter report deals only with the tunnel threat, but in far greater detail.
Analysis: The Gaza conflict report and the paradox of Israel's wars
In addition to these four figures, two others were criticized by the Comptroller in his report. Former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yoram Cohen and then-National Security Council chief Yossi Cohen, who today heads the Mossad. However, the report does not recommend personal measures be taken against them either.
Even if the Comptroller would have recommended that they be held personally responsible, it is doubtful that this would actually happen. There is no culture of taking responsibility in Israel. To the contrary, there is an escape from responsibility and a tendency to pass the buck, as we saw in the last few days leading up to the publication of the report, when all of the senior military and political officials entrenched themselves in their positions and pointed the finger at each other.
There are few people who were given positive feedback in the report. One of them is OC Southern Command Sami Turgeman and the other is Yoav Mordechai, who at the end of June 2014, weeks before the war broke out, warned in defense establishment discussions that "the Gaza Strip is descending into crisis...which has reached an unprecedented point." In other words, it is possible that if the government of Israel understood the severity of the economic and humanitarian crisis in Gaza and acted accordingly, perhaps the war was preventable.
Despite the comptroller report, it is impossible to ignore the built in paradox in Israel's wars. The committees of inquiry and the various reports from the state comptroller or other bodies criticize and censure both the military and political echelons, as it is their job to do. However, some of the wars with which these critics found the most flaws and failures actually brought Israel the best results strategically.
Peace with Egypt was achieved after the Yom Kippur War. Quiet has been kept on the Lebanese border for eleven years following the Second Lebanon War with Hezbollah in 2006 and we are currently experiencing the longest period of quiet on the Gaza front since 1968 - and this quiet will continue, according to many estimates, because Hamas is deterred and has no interest in embarking on a fourth round of violence in a decade. This can be called deterrence, or it can be called the cunning of history.
Army accuses comptroller of tunnel vision in Gaza war report
The Israel Defense Forces pushed back against some of the criticisms leveled at it in a harsh state comptroller report on the 2014 Gaza war published Tuesday, and especially the assertion that its intelligence on tunnels in the Strip was lacking in the lead-up to the conflict.
“On the eve of Operation Protective Edge” — the Israeli name for the war — “the IDF had substantial information regarding the majority of Hamas’s terror tunnels and the nature of its underground terror network,” the military said in a statement.
“These intelligence efforts to address the attack tunnels enabled infantry forces to locate the majority of the tunnels and reveal their routes,” the army said.
The State Comptroller’s Office report criticized the prime minister, defense minister and military for failing to adequately prepare for the Hamas attack tunnels used during the conflict. The security cabinet was also said to have been poorly informed of the threat posed by this subterranean attack infrastructure.
With that point as well, the army took apparent umbrage.
Heads of ‘Gaza Envelope’ Regional Councils Express Hope That Israeli Political, Military Echelons Will Learn From, Implement Findings on Failures of Operation Protective Edge
The heads of local authorities in the “Gaza envelope” in southern Israel expressed hope on Monday — in the wake of a report that Hamas has 15 terror tunnels leading into the Jewish state, and ahead of the release of the State Comptroller’s Report on the failures of Operation Protective Edge — that the defense establishment is implementing lessons learned from the 2014 war, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
“We trust the political echelon and the army to learn from the report’s findings and recommendations, and to continue addressing the issue of the tunnels,” said Sdot Negev Regional Council head Tamir Idan. “I am not familiar with the information about the 15 tunnels in question, but I am certain that if they do exist, they are being tackled with the utmost seriousness by the relevant authorities… the tunnel threat created a new reality on the ground, which has taken a toll on the area’s civil resilience. We are aware of the threat and its major impact on our residents, which is why we are following and will continue to monitor how it is being handled.”
Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council head Alon Schuster said, “I would like to reiterate and reemphasize that the IDF acted and is still operating in the area to safeguard the security of the residents. The underground barrier currently under construction will not just prevent the digging of new tunnels, but will destroy existing ones…It appears that a solution to the problem is drawing near.”
Merhavim Regional Council head Shai Hajaj criticized what he called the “hysterical debate, full of political accusations, surrounding the release of the Comptroller’s report,” calling it “a waste of time and ineffective in fixing what was defective.”
Arab Israelis Are Joining the IDF in Growing Numbers: Officials
Israel — The Star of David is the best-known symbol of Jewish identity and of patriotism for the state of Israel.
So it may come as a surprise that a six-pointed star hangs around the neck of Sgt. Yossef Saluta, a Muslim Arab.
The 20-year-old poses proudly wearing the necklace and his Israeli army uniform, a rifle slung over his shoulder. He is among a tiny but growing number of Arab Israelis to defy tradition — and often their communities — to serve in the Israeli military.
"There is more openness among Arab Muslims that are not Bedouins to volunteer and join the army," according to Col. Wagdi Sarhan, the head of the minorities unit in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). "We're talking about recruitment of dozens of Arab Muslim youth and we are hopeful that the numbers will grow."
Four years ago, the number of Arab Israelis who volunteered for military service was under 10. Today it stands in the dozens, according to Sarhan.
Egypt deports top Palestinian official on arrival at Cairo airport
Egyptian airport security denied entry to a senior Palestinian official on Monday and deported him, sources at Cairo airport said.
Jibril al Rajoub, a confidant of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a high-ranking member of the central committee of Abbas's Fatah movement, was told he was on a no-entry list and put on a flight to Jordan, the sources said.
The sources gave no other reason for the deportation of Rajoub, a former security chief in the Palestinian Authority who now heads its Higher Council for Youth and Sports and the Palestinian Football Association.
Monir al Jaghoub, a Fatah official in the West Bank, said on his Facebook page that Rajoub had been invited by the Arab League to attend a conference in Cairo on terrorism.
After learning that Rajoub had been refused entry to the country on the orders of the Egyptian intelligence services, the Palestinian delegation withdrew from the event, Jaghoub wrote.
Neither Egypt's foreign ministry nor Rajoub could be reached for comment. (h/t Yenta Press)
Facebook shuts down Palestinian ruling party’s official account
Facebook on Monday closed the official page of the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party amid a crackdown by the social media giant on Palestinian incitement.
In a statement on its Twitter account, Fatah, which is headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, claimed that Facebook closed the account after it posted a historical picture of former Fatah leader Yasser Arafat holding a rifle, standing alongside Fatah leader Mahmoud al-Aloul.
The page, which had garnered over 70,000 likes, routinely posted material that glorified Palestinian terrorism and martyrdom.
On February 15, Aloul was elected the first-ever vice president of Fatah by the party’s central committee.
Munir al-Jaghoub, who heads Fatah’s Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, wrote on his personal Facebook page that this was actually the second time the social media giant had closed Fatah’s account, but he did not specify when the first time was. Jaghoub was not available for a comment. (h/t Yenta Press)
Palestinian Authority to hold municipal elections in West Bank only
The Palestinian Authority government announced on Tuesday that it will hold municipal elections set to take place on May 13 in the West Bank without the Gaza Strip, ending hopes that the Ramallah-based Palestinian governing body would be able to organize the first nationwide elections on the same day since 2006.
The PA, which dominates the West Bank, failed to convince Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, to hold elections in the small coastal enclave.
Over the past several weeks, the PA dispatched Hana Nasser, the chairman of the PA Central Election Commission, Husam Zomlot, an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and a number of other officials to Gaza to convince the Hamas leadership to participate in the planned municipal elections and facilitate their taking place in Gaza.
Tariq Rishmawi, a PA government spokesman, squarely placed the blame on Hamas for the elections not taking place in Gaza.
“Hamas is responsible,” Rishmawi said in a telephone call. “Hamas informed us that it will not allow for elections to take place in the Gaza Strip.”
Islamic State bolsters hold on north Sinai as army pulls back
In the past three days, Islamic State fighters in Egypt’s volatile northern Sinai region abducted four men accused of collaborating with the government, three of them during a brazen raid in the middle of a public market.
Two of the men have been found slain while the others remain missing; Egyptian officials say that one of the slain men had his eyes plucked out and was set on fire before being shot to death.
Women are being threatened with punishment if they don’t wear the niqab and farmers are being forced to pay financial tribute to IS under the guise of the “zakat” mandatory Islamic donation to charity.
The militants have set up their own checkpoints especially on the roads around the city of Rafah, which borders the Gaza Strip. Passengers are forced to recite from the Quran before being allowed to pass, according to area residents and tribal leaders.
This recent show-of-strength campaign by IS loyalists in northern Sinai comes on the heels of a recent easing of the military campaign against them and represents a move to reassert their control over the local civilian population, according to residents, tribal leaders and officials.
Hizbullah Efforts To Impose Religious Standards In Public Spark Anger Among South Lebanon Residents
In the last six months there have been increasing reports in the Lebanese media regarding Hizbullah's efforts to enforce compliance with Islamic standards in various towns in South Lebanon. This religious coercion is manifest in announcements issued by municipal and local councils that are controlled by Hizbullah representatives, ordering the closure of liquor stores or banning the free mixing of men and women in public places. These measures sparked protest among sectors in South Lebanon that support Hizbullah as a resistance organization but do not necessarily agree with its religious policy. In many cases the protest caused the local councils to rescind the orders. Criticism of the measures was also voiced in the Lebanese press, including even in the daily Al-Akhbar known for its support for Hizbullah.
This report reviews some of the coercive measures taken by Hizbullah and some of the critical responses to them.
Banning Gender Mixing In Public Places, Events
In July 2016 the Lebanese press reported that the city council in the town of Jebchit, in the Nabatiyah Governorate in South Lebanon, had banned women from internet cafes and entertainment venues and also ordered to close these venues during prayer times, in order to "preserve the residents' peace of mind and in consideration of the shari'a and moral [standards]." The owners of these businesses protested that the city council was not authorized to issue such an order. A report in the pro-Hizbullah Al-Akhbar daily noted that the residents of the town are religious but nevertheless oppose religious coercion. One of the residents quoted in the daily even likened the order to measures taken by ISIS.
New Hezbollah Sign Placed on Israel-Lebanon Border Threatens ‘Account Not Settled,’ Displays Potential Infiltration Routes Into Jewish State
Hezbollah recently placed a large sign on the Israel-Lebanon border bearing a threatening message to the Jewish state: “The account is not settled.”
On the sign, according to the Hebrew news site nrg, are images of Hezbollah leaders, including the late Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a February 2008 car bombing in Damascus that the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group and foreign media outlets attributed to Israel.
The sign also displays a map showing potential infiltration routes from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. Hezbollah has vowed that its fighters will seize parts of the Galilee region during a future war.
“We can see the sign very clearly…it’s hard to miss it,” a resident of the northern border kibbutz of Malkia was quoted by nrg as saying.
Last week, as reported by The Algemeiner, Israel’s military chief told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the IDF was “operating under the radar to prevent Hezbollah from getting stronger.”
Australian arrested on charges of helping ISIS develop missile tech
Australian counter-terrorism police arrested an unidentified man after a raid on a countryside property on Tuesday and accused him of seeking to help the Islamic State group by developing missile technology, the first arrest of its kind in Australia.
Dozens of police, including a dog squad and some officers with metal detectors, raided a property in Young, about 270 km (170 miles) southwest of Sydney, earlier on Tuesday, pictures on Australian media showed.
Ian McCartney, Assistant Commissioner of counter-terrorism for the Australian Federal Police, said police will allege the 42-year-old man had been advising the radical Islamist group on how to develop the technical capability to detect guided missiles and to build their own missiles.
"We will also allege that he has been researching, designing and modelling systems to assist ISIL's efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile capabilities," McCartney said, using another common term to describe Islamic State.
Other police alleged the man had been attempting to research and design a laser missile-warning device.
'Dress up like a Jew and make sure you have plenty of weapons under your coat': ISIS fanatics issue chilling call to 'terrorise' Jewish people in the West
ISIS fanatics have issued a chilling call for fellow extremists to 'terrorise' Jewish communities in the West.
Brainwashed supporters were advised to 'dress up like a Jew' and conceal weapons under their coats before 'unleashing the pain of the Muslims' on their victims.
The terrifying call to arms emerged on an ISIS-linked Telegram channel called Lone Mujahid - a chat room where aspiring terrorists are encourage to carry out 'lone-wolf'-style attacks.
In a recent post, jihadists were urged to carry out attacks on Jewish communities in the West.
The chat room post said: 'IF YOU'RE STILL IN THE WEST! Dress up like a Jew! Go to your nearest Jewish area! Make sure you have plenty of weapons under you coat!'
It then urges followers to 'unleash the pain of the Muslims'.
Islamic State looting uncovers ancient palace beneath Jonah’s Tomb
Archaeologists in Iraq say they have made an unexpected discovery under a site destroyed by Islamic State traditionally thought to hold the tomb of the biblical prophet Jonah.
Under a mound covering the ancient city of Nineveh, beneath a shrine destroyed by IS, they found a previously undiscovered palace built in the seventh century BCE for the Biblical Assyrian King Sennacherib and renovated by his son Esarhaddon.
The Nabi Younus shrine in Mosul — which was built on the reputed burial site of a prophet known in the Koran as Yunus and in the Bible as Jonah — was a popular pilgrimage site.
In July 2014, weeks after overrunning Mosul and much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland, IS militants rigged the shrine and blew it up, sparking global outrage.
In mid-January, Iraqi troops in Nineveh liberated the site.
“(It is) far more damaged than we expected,” Culture Minister Salim Khalaf said.
But IS also dug tunnels beneath the shrine searching for artifacts to plunder.



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“[Besides Egypt and Jordan,] many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are ISIS and Iran. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals.”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, in speech to UN General Assembly, September 22, 2016

Is The Enemy of My Enemy -- My Friend, or My Ally?


At a time when there are still some who insist that Israel is isolated in the international community, it is becoming increasingly clear that Israel is in fact building new friendships and alliances. In his speech at the end of December last year, criticizing Israel, Kerry described Israel's friends as United Kingdom, France and Russia. But Netanyahu's recent trip to Singapore and Australia extends Israel's circle beyond that. Meanwhile closer to home, Netanyahu has visited Africa, visiting Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

And then, even closer to home, are the Arab countries.

Israel has diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan.
It has no relations with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Israel has unofficial relations with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman.

map
Map of Israel and surrounding countries. Credit: Altapedia

Putting aside Egypt and Jordan and those Arab countries with which Israel has no diplomatic relations at all, where does Israel really stand with the countries which make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)?

The prevailing wisdom is that Obama has practically pushed Israel and these Gulf countries into each others arms by strengthening Iran through the Iran deal and giving them billions of dollars.

But does having a common enemy make Israel and these Arab countries friends or does it make them allies?

Is it the beginning of a growing bond of understanding and cooperation or is it a temporary marriage of convenience?


Saudi Arabia

Just last year, Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Anwar Eshki, chairman of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah, headed a Saudi delegation to Israel. He claimed that he was representing only himself and said all of the other right things to avoid putting his government into a corner. Naturally, the visit was still attacked as an attempt by the Saudi Arabian government to normalize relations with Israel.


photo
Anwar Eshki, standing in the middle with striped tie, with members of the Israeli Knesset. Credit: Haaretz

MEMRI describes how the Saudis took other steps to ease relations with Israel.

A Saudi columnist, Siham Al-Qahtani, wrote that descriptions in the Quran portraying Jews as infidels, warmongers, and usurers - were meant to apply only to a particular group of Jews that lived during that time. Contrary to the Arab traditional view that Jews were to be blamed for both Arab and world problems, blaming the Jews was merely a way for Arabs to use them as scapegoats, and had to stop.

Another Saudi Columnist, Yasser Hijazi, went a step further and wrote that Arabs had to take part in the fight against "Judophobia." In another article Hijazi suggested that fighting antisemitism would not only help in the fight against terrorism, but would also counter Western arguments against Islam.

"Netanyahu does not represent Judaism... any more than [ISIS leader] Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi represents Islam..."

But that does not mean that the Saudis and the Israelis are going to be friends.

In addition to the above quote, implying a comparison between Netanyahu and Al Baghdadi, Hijazi made it clear that there was a red line. Fighting antisemitism does not mean they are going to normalize relations with Israel:
The meaning [of this] is not normalization, softening [positions], or relinquishing negotiations to establish a Palestinian state within internationally-recognized borders... The two religions cannot resolve the conflict on the ground... The conflict is not between Islam and Judaism - even if our Israeli enemy seeks to present it as such - but rather between the [rightful] owners of the land and of the rights and occupiers and war criminals… [emphasis added]
The Saudi Writer Ibrahim Al-Matroudi put it a little less harshly, that there was a need for "overcoming the hostility towards the Jews and for benefiting from their experience and successes, even though they are enemies."

You can enlist your enemy as an ally in a fight against a common foe, but the message from some in the Saudi elite is that the alliance will end there -- and Israel remains an enemy.

Some do offer more.

Salman Al-Ansari, the Founder and President of the DC-based Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee offers being more than just allies against Iran:
In fact, there are some opinions suggesting that having a common enemy in Iran will help accelerate any sort of rapprochement between two of the Middle East’s most powerful nations. While that could be partially true, a more solid foundation for establishing deep-rooted ties between the two countries could manifest in the context of a mutually beneficial economic partnership.
The way Al-Ansari puts it, the potential exists for a partnership that goes beyond Iran to an economic bond and a true friendly relationship.

Except for one thing.

“The Palestinians are still the gatekeepers.”

Wherever a Saudi-Israeli alliance may go, the issue of the Palestinian Arabs remains the ball and chain that is never far behind.

Netanyahu is fond of saying there are 3 reasons that the Arabs are interested in Israel: "technology, technology and technology", which makes sense. Why should Israel make relations with a country dependent on a danger of the moment?

But the Saudis, let alone the rest of the Arab world, still insist that the path to a regional alliance requires a settlement of the Palestinian Arab issue.

That may explain why Trump and his aids are no longer talking about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Even a Saudi journalist like Muhammad Al-Sheikh, who writes that the  Middle East is in turmoil and the Palestinian Arabs can no longer consider themselves the center of attention in the Arab world -- only uses that fact to advise that they give up armed resistance and settle down to negotiating a two-state solution.

The result of this could be that while the US tries to assemble an Arab coalition to get Abbas to the negotiating table, the Palestinians could just as easily try to form their own coalition to get Israel to make concessions. As it is, the Palestinian Arabs are offering to form a confederation with Jordan with the backing of some of the same Arab states Israel is looking to forming alliances with.


Peace Without Normalization


This same uncertainty about whether to consider Israel a friend, an ally or an enemy, exists among other Arab states as well -- and no matter what the potential for future relations between Israel and the Arab world, those relations may progress no further than they have with Egypt.

The war with Egypt ended in 1973.
The peace treaty with Egypt was signed in 1979.

But what do Egypt and Israel have to show for all that after 38 years?

Egypt and Israel share a high level of security and intelligence cooperation in the face of the common security threats they face in Sinai, but without the common threat posed by ISIS in the Sinai and dealing with Hamas -- what would relations between the 2 countries be like?

Is that what Israel has to look forward to with the Arab Gulf states?

The difference may be that in Egypt both the education and the media encourage antisemitism and picture Jews in a negative light, while the Saudis seem to be making an effort to change that.

In addition, there are elements of Egyptian society among the elite, the bureaucrats and the military who feel they have an interest in discouraging normalization with Israel.
There exists a fear of Israel, of Western principles, a fear the military uses to consolidate its role.

Are things that different in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states?

---

Though these days Israel does not find itself in the midst of one of the major conflicts engulfing the world, its situation is no less complicated.

There is a potential for game-changing alliances, assuming that age-old hatreds can be truly be overcome. At the same time, it is unclear whether those alliances can help to finally help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- or whether the Palestinian Arabs will play the spoiler in preventing a new regional alliance.

Between Netanyahu's new penchant for making friends and the possibilities opened up by having a US president friendly towards Israel, things won't be boring.


cartoon
Cartoon by Moshe Gulst, The Israeli Cartoon Project



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