Monday, January 22, 2018

From Ian:

Trump Dropped a Truth Bomb on the Middle East
The implications of unmasking Abbas are clear beyond any doubt. PLO never abandoned its goal of eradicating the Jewish state and rejects Jewish national independence within any borders. Israel and the international community have wasted 25 years and billions of dollars on a “peace process” with a corrupt and genocidal PLO leadership that refuses to let go of its fantasy of destroying Israel.

Since PLO, Hamas and UNWRA are obstacles to genuine peace between Arabs and Jews, they must be dismantled and replaced with a new Arab leadership committed to the welfare of its citizens and peace with Israel. PLO’s leadership are the pupils of Nazi, Communist and Islamist ideologies that are incompatible with genuine peace.

Time has come for Israel and the US to tell PLO that the game is up. With or without Abbas, PLO is a dead man walking and is in no position to demand anything from anyone. Only a mad megalomaniac despot living in fantasyland, issues threats to powerful nations like the US and Israel.

Just like peace in post-1945 Europe required the denazification of Germany, future Middle Eastern peace requires a denazification of the Arab world in general and the PLO-held territories in particular.

Humiliating defeat is never pleasant, especially for aggressors who got intoxicated with hubris and victories. Post-1945 Germany and Japan can attest to it. However, in the end, accepting defeat was the best thing that could have happened to the Germans and the Japanese. Their genocidal despotic regimes were replaced with genuine democracy and progress.

President Trump could become the Middle East’s nuclear Truth Bomb. Unlike the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, the truth bombs in the Middle East do not kill anyone, but force the Muslim Arab world finally to come to terms with reality and the permanency of the reborn Jewish state and its rebuilt ancestral capital Jerusalem.
Eric Shawn reports: Give the West Bank to Jordan
Amb. John Bolton says it’s time to 'stop playing charades'.



PMW: Song on PA radio encourages Martyrdom for Jerusalem
PMW has exposed the PA and Fatah's policy of promoting Martyrdom-death to Palestinians. (Jan. 21, 2018)

A song on official Palestinian Authority radio encouraged Palestinians to "redeem" Jerusalem "with your life and blood":
"O Palestinian, Jerusalem is your name, your land, your heartbeat, and your mother. Redeem it with your life and blood, O [you] who raises my head in pride... O pained Palestinian, your head is lifted high with pride, the entire world hears your voice, only your resolve strengthens me... We are united, Muslims and Christians. So that Palestine will live, we must remain united." [Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, Jan. 1, 2018]

This song joins the similar messages Palestinian Media Watch has documented have come from PA and Fatah officials calling for "rage" and promoting violence since US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6, 2017.

The same ideal - to die as a "Martyr" for Jerusalem - was expressed by students belonging to Fatah's Shabiba Student Movement at Birzeit University. At an event, several participants wore mock bomb belts - imitating suicide terrorists - while masked in keffiyehs (Arab headdresses) and wearing yellow Fatah headbands. The participants in white held a Quran in one hand and held up one finger with the other signifying Allah. Other masked participants wore military uniforms and held Fatah flags with the Fatah logo that includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas.
Song on official PA radio encourages Martyrdom: “Jerusalem… redeem it with your life and blood”




I’ve recently read So You’ve Been Publically Shamed by British journalist Jon Ronson which looks at a reemergence of public shaming, one where it is the Internet serves as the judge sentencing others to the stocks, the stocks themselves, and the mob throwing rotten fruit at the stocked defendant. 

One of the reasons such shaming has snuck up on us in today’s culture is that we’ve relegated shame to a collection of second-tier emotions whose burdens modernity is supposed to be freeing us from.  But, far from being trivial, shame is the mechanism by which cultures are formed and perpetuated. 

Philosopher Lee Harris, in his 2007 book The Suicide of Reason, points that that shame is the tool one generation uses to acculturate the next into a society by training children from a young age to feel shameful for believing certain things and acting in certain ways.  Religious communities that raise their kids to feel the hot rush of sweat and queasiness (both shaming symptoms) at sin or disbelief is an example of this phenomenon.  But, as Harris points out, even moderns raising our kids in a culture of reason do not use reason to get them accept cultural norms such as tolerance of minorities.  Rather, we work hard to ensure that our children will feel shame at the gut level for engaging in bigoted behavior, or even having intolerant thoughts.

Given the number of people recommending “naming and shaming” as a strategy within our own community of activists, it’s worth looking at the shame phenomenon and when it has proven effective (or not) a bit more closely. 

One pro-Israel organization that has utilizing shaming tactics with some success is NGO Monitor which has managed to get a number of European governments and organizations to stop funding Palestinian “human rights” NGOs that are actually involved with glorifying terror or spreading propaganda (often as part of BDS campaigns).  

While exposure of those organizations spending cash to celebrate violence is the tool NGO Monitor uses in its shaming strategy, their success derives from the fact that the entity being shamed (such as European governments) are provided the opportunity to claim that they have not misbehaved themselves but have instead been duped by the Palestinian groups they have funded.  This provides them the opening to take the right action (cut off funding) in order to preserve their self-image as tolerant and supportive of human rights, which helps them avoid the shame of knowing (and being seen) to have abandoned those principles.

In contrast, campaigns designed to directly shame individuals for their political activity (such as the profiles created by Canary Mission, or postering campaigns on campuses that expose Israel haters by name) are not designed to elicit self-reflection.  Rather, they are supposed to create a “price tag” for misbehavior, creating a mechanism whereby future employers, graduate school admissions officers or family members will have full access to an individual’s sordid behavior (often created from background material created by the shamed activist him or herself).

The nature of this form of “naming and shaming” explains the mixed response to and level of effectiveness of such campaigns.  True believers, for example (those who refuse to accept any self-characterization save unvarnished virtue) see inclusion in Canary Mission as a badge of honor.  And those whose inclusion might make them think twice about continuing their activity are making a practical choice based on their own self-interest, rather than engaging in moral reflection. (As an aside, this helps explain why those aforementioned postering campaigns have proven so ineffective, since their narrow audience means they do not create a price tag high enough to trigger a change in behavior).

So that’s shaming our enemies.  But what about shaming our allies?

Such a tactic is not as strange or unusual as you might think.  For, within the divided Jewish community, there are many times one group of activists might think another is not doing enough to deal with a particular outbreak of anti-Israel activity.  And one way to get others to do what you think they should is to try to shame them into doing so by alerting the world that supposed friends of Israel are either not living by their stated principles or – in some cases – actually doing wrong. 

In some cases, the shamer can get what they want from the shamee using such tactics.  But while the personal shame we feel when we stray from our principles or self-image is made up of emotions like regret and a desire to do better, public shaming usually drives those constructive feelings out in favor of the resentment we all feel at being humiliated.

Like shame itself, humiliation (or, more particularly, the need to avoid it) is a major driver of human activity since we will all go to great lengths to make it stop.  This can include doing what we’re told will make such humiliation go away.  But, more often than not, we respond to shaming with resentment which can lead to anything from passive aggressive “acceptance” to do the right thing once (but never again) to lashing out at those who have chosen to humiliate us (drowning out discussion of whatever issue triggered the original bout of shaming).

When supposed allies don’t step up (or worse, do the wrong thing) about an issue we feel passionately about, it’s easy to believe that shaming them serves a strategy purpose (or at least avoid considering the negative impact of a tactic that tends to breed more resentment than repentance).


But if we want to utilize powerful but potentially destructive human emotions as political weapons, it might be worth considering what options we have for making friends, neutrals or even wavering enemies feel good about themselves for supporting our cause, rather than hoping self-disgust will motivate others to do the right thing.  




We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From JTA:
The main umbrella group of British Jews accused their local branch of Amnesty International of  targeting the community following the abrupt cancellation of a joint event.

The accusation by the Jewish Leadership Council — a charity founded 15 years ago comprising 32 groups with different politics, including the Board of Governors of British Jews, the Jewish World Relief aid organization and several synagogues – came Monday following the cancellation of an event concerning Israel and the United Nations.

Amnesty had undertaken to host the event on Jan. 24 but withdrew the invite Friday, explaining: “are currently campaigning for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements. We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements.”

The panel session that Amnesty canceled is entitled “The UNHRC and Israel: How it works, what’s not working, and how it might be repaired.” It was to be chaired by Danny Friedman, a renowned Human Rights lawyer, with speakers including Fred Carver of the UN Association and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch.
Amnesty-UK is worried about the optics of hosting a group that includes some members that support Jews living in their ancestral homeland as being inconsistent with its human rights mandate.

That would be fine, if Amnesty-UK hasn't hosted actual antisemites, terror supporters and people who want to see Israel destroyed.

Wikipedia summarizes one such event:
Amnesty allowed a speaking event to take place in London in May 2011, organized by the magazine Middle East Monitor Online (MEMO) and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Much controversy surrounded this event since one of the speakers included Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. In the past, Atwan has said that "he would 'dance with delight' in Trafalgar Square if Iran attacked Israel, and that the terrorist attack on the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, in which eight students were killed, "was justified" as it was responsible for "hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists." Amnesty responded by saying that "while we did have concerns about the way the event had originally been organized, these have been resolved."
Amnesty-UK bent over backwards to allow an antisemite to speak at an anti-Israel event, but it pulled a Jewish event where the supremely offensive Jewish towns aren't even on the agenda.

Moreover, Amnesty has hosted Ben White, the author who tirelessly and falsely accuses Israel of "apartheid."

Amnesty's justification for hosting these past events in their space implied that Amnesty doesn't necessarily host events and people that completely align with its own positions.

Yet Amnesty's pretense of a moral stand to drop the Jewish event because of the political stances of some of the organizers  proves that, in retrospect, Amnesty's hosting of the previous events is not just in the position of a disinterested host renting out a space but of an organization that will only host events and speakers that are completely consistent with its own position.

Amnesty's justification of the ban says this explicitly: “A wide range of organisations hold their events at our London office, but we reserve the right to withhold permission for our building to be used by organisations whose work runs directly counter to our own."

Meaning that this banning of the Jewish group has proven that Amnesty International really is antisemitic. Not because the group is Jewish, but because Amnesty has hosted antisemites without any qualms of their work being in the least bit counter to Amnesty's own positions.

And, it should be recalled, Amnesty members voted against a resolution condemning antisemitism. Amnesty has praised a group that posts literal antisemitic photos and supports violence against Jews. Amnesty has sponsored talks by Palestinians who promote a blood libel against Jews. Amnesty has done other things to indicate that they have a problem with Jews.

This incident shows that Amnesty is worried about optics - and it is not at all worried about the optics of supporting antisemites and banning Jewish groups.

That says it all.




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  • Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Uri Bar-Joseph is a professor in the international relations department of the University of Haifa and a Haaretz contributor.

He writes that Israel's security situation has never been worse.

Really. It is worse today that in 1948, worse than on the eve of the 1967 war, worse than 1973, worse than when Israel was forced to act like a sitting duck for Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War, worse than during daily bus bombings in the early 2000s.

The reason?

Hezbollah’s enormous rocket stores pose an unprecedented threat to Israel. Defense officials judge that in the first days of the next confrontation with Hezbollah, 3,000 to 4,000 rockets will be fired into Israel, some of them highly precise and with high payloads.
If the threat is realized, there be hundreds or thousands of casualties and significant damage to infrastructure: airports, seaports, power stations, desalination plants, transportation hubs and the like. Hezbollah’s missiles are capable of hitting not only has enough rockets to hit not only the Kirya military center in Tel Aviv but also the upscale neighborhoods around it. The military response to the threat is only partial, and it cannot prevent most of the damage.
While no one discounts the dangers of Hezbollah's arsenal, there is a reason it doesn't use it: because the damage to Lebanon in such a war would be incalculable. For all of Hezbollah's boasts that it won the 2006 war, it is not eager to start another one, where Israel's gloves would be off.

But Bar Joseph has a new piece of information, one that somehow nearly everyone in the world missed but him - Iran accepts a two state solution, if only Israel would accept the Arab peace initiative!
The solution to the growing dangers has long been on our doorstep, but our leaders will not even consider it. On December 13 the president of Iran, the state behind the ballistic threat to Israel, signed a document stating “we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Ash-Sharif as its capital. We support peace based on a two-state solution. The borders of Jerusalem will be determined in negotiations. ... we support, as a strategic choice, the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which was adopted in 2005 by an extraordinary Islamic summit conference.”

President Hassan Rohani signed this document at a session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul. Apart from one analysis by Akiva Eldar on the Al-Monitor website, there was no reference in the Israeli media to this change in Iran’s position. Iran had never before expressed support for the Arab Peace Initiative. This pivot is a game-changer, and also a reflection of slogans heard in the recent wave of demonstrations in Iran, calling on the state’s leaders to spend less on Hezbollah, Syria and the Gaza Strip and more on domestic needs.

Again, in the absence of the stick wielded by Hezbollah it wouldn’t be so terrible for Israel to ignore the new Iranian carrot, but the existence of this stick makes ignoring the Arab Peace Initiative irresponsible.
If only Israel would accept the demands of the Arab Peace Initiative without any negotiations, withdraw from all of its holy sites, uproot hundreds of thousands of people - we would have a peace that even Iran wants to see! And then Hezbollah's missile threat and Iran's nuclear threat will magically disappear! Iran would recognize Israel! the lamb will lie down with the lion! Why is Israel so intransigent? Can't they see this is a game changer?

And you can believe Bar Joseph, because he is an academic and must know what he is talking about! Akiva Eldar agrees as well!

What could be wrong with his analysis?

It took me less than two minutes to find that, sorry, Iran didn't change its position one bit:
Iran has expressed reservations about certain articles of the documents adopted at a recent emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jerusalem al-Quds, which suggest, somehow, the recognition of the occupying Israeli regime.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi reiterated the Islamic Republic’s support for the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

However, he said, Tehran’s backing for the two documents adopted at the Istanbul summit “does not at all amount to the recognition of the occupying and fake regime of Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Qassemi added that Iran’s reservations about its non-recognition of the Israeli entity was announced during the Istanbul forum, and officially submitted to the secretariat of the summit in a written form.
Iran signed the document - but publicly said it did not agree to the words  that Ben Joseph and Eldar insist it did.

But why would we expect a professor and a journalist to actually do some research when they are so sure  that Iran quietly did a 180-degree turn in its policy?

This is the purposeful of the so called pro-peace camp. They hang on to (and eagerly insist on) any shred of hope and ignore the massive amounts of easily discoverable information that contradicts their fantasies. The fact that they can think that Iran, which literally has an annual religious holiday dedicated to inciting Muslims across the world to call for Israel's destruction, suddenly changed its mind in Istanbul, is a special kind of stupidity.

(h/t Zvi)




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Sunday, January 21, 2018

  • Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Jameel al-Salhoot, a Palestinian novelist, has an op-ed in Ma'an where he insists that Muslims have never been antisemitic.

Putting aside that this is an out-and-out lie, what is hilarious is his conclusion which puts all the antisemitic canards onto "Zionists."

We never differed with Judaism as a religion, and history shows that Arabs and Muslims in Andalusia  embraced the Jews who were persecuted in Europe and gave them protection. When the Muslims came out of Andalusia in 1492, the Jews came out with them and spread in North Africa. The Jews of the Levant, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Palestine, enjoyed full citizenship until the emergence of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century....

Zionism is a racist movement, believing that Jews are the "chosen people of God". In other words, it sees Jews as better than the rest of humanity. Not only did Zionism distinguish between Jews and "goyim" - non-Jews - but went beyond that to distinguish between Western Jews "Ashkenazim" and Eastern Jews.

Israel, described by President Trump as a "unique democratic state" and described by his predecessors in the United States and Europe as "the dawn of democracy in the Middle East," has two laws, one applied to its Arab citizens and the other to Jews. And in which institutions [Jews] are not allowed to work for non-Jews.

[The Zionists] controlled the entire world. It also controls international institutions and banks that have been able to mislead the world public opinion and exploit it for its benefit. Its power has reached the level of control of America's policy in the world and it convinced the US that it is the protector of American interests in the Middle East. In view of Israel's expansionist Zionist ambitions, it failed to bring peace and security to its people.
This part shows again that the Palestinians have started to give up on support from Arab states.

.... America has inherited the British and French role in controlling the Arab region. Through its influence and strength and strategic alliance with Israel it has worked to create an "Arab Zionist lobby" represented by Israeli security and trade alliances with Arab countries.  But it has not and will not be able to tame the Palestinian people struggling for their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. Will history record that the Palestinians have stood alone in the face of the Zionist threat whose ambitions transcend the historic borders of Palestine?
The romanticism of standing alone against the world seems to be more important to some Palestinians than to actually work for a state.




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  • Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Day after day, week after week,  people reading Haaretz are told about an Israel that is bigoted, anti-Arab, dominated by the religious, with the dwindling number of liberals under siege from the extreme right wing and Orthodox.

But today, Haaretz has a political reason to show the liberal side of Israel - to make fun of Mike Pence:

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s itinerary for his two-day visit in Israel may check all the diplomatic and political boxes, but frankly, it’s a bit boring.

But what might a more daring itinerary look like - one that challenged the arch-conservative American politician's long-held beliefs instead of reinforcing them, and one that introduced him to the Israel outside the Jerusalem bubble? Here are a few suggestions.


Visit the Caracal mixed gender IDF combat unit

Israel, of course, has never had the luxury of keeping women out of the army and has drafted both sexes since the state's establishment. As for combat, it has been integrating women into an increasing number of roles including units like the Caracal light infantry battalion that patrols the country’s border with Egypt.

Caracal was the first mixed-gender combat battalion in the Israeli army, begun as a pilot project 15 years ago, proven a success, and continuing to grow.


If, after his visit, Pence still doesn't believe women belong in combat, that’s OK.

Check out an Israeli health clinic

It would be educational for Pence to take a look at what a well-run universal health-care system looks like - the kind that he and his fellow conservative GOP members have been battling so hard to prevent. And if it isn’t too much for him to handle, it can be explained to the hardline pro-lifer that in Israel, abortions are not only legal, but largely paid for by the state as well.

True, married women of childbearing age are required to appear in front of an “abortion panel,” though permission for the procedure is granted for a vast majority of women - over 97 percent.

If Pence thinks that safe, affordable, easy access to abortion surely makes them are all too common - he should think again. Abortion rates in Israel have both dropped dramatically over the past quarter century and are significantly lower than in the United States...

Lay a wreath at Tel Aviv’s Pink Triangle

Yad Vashem is all well and good, but how about a ceremony at the Tel Aviv memorial to LGBT victims of Hitler, inaugurated in 2013? The memorial is in Gan Meir, a park in the heart of Tel Aviv, where the vice president could also notice the large, rainbow flag flying proudly from the roof of the local center for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, established and funded by the city's municipality.

Sit in on a session in sharia court

Pence might be interested in seeing that in Israel, of all places, sharia law is something practiced in a real court that does not condone any such practices. The Muslim religious courts date back to the Ottoman Empire, when they functioned as the official court of the state. Since the establishment of Israel, they have jurisdiction over marital matters for Muslims.

Last spring, for the first time in Israeli history, a woman, Hana Mansour-Khatib, was appointed as a sharia court judge (no woman has yet been named to an equivalent position in a Jewish religious court). President Rivlin has said Israel’s sharia courts represent “the recognition of the unparalleled importance of the vitality of communities, cultures and traditions to the fabric of the life in the modern state.”

The full article still has digs at Orthodox Jews, but it is interesting that Haaretz suddenly discovers a side of Israel that it strenuously denies exists in other contexts.




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From Ian:

Revlon Award Winner Has History of Anti-Semitism
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl—an online magazine where “Muslim women talk back” to combat “misconceptions surrounding Islam”—made headlines last week when she turned down an award from multinational beauty giant Revlon because of the company’s engagement with Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

“I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador,” Al-Khatahtbeh announced in a statement on Twitter. “Her vocal support of the Israel Defense Forces’ actions in Palestine goes against MuslimGirl’s morals and values.”

The rejection, of course, is well within Al-Khatahtbeh’s rights, but it’s also an invitation to examine precisely what MuslimGirl’s morals and values truly are. A good place to start may be a piece, published by MuslimGirl in 2016, entitled “Israel’s Organ Harvesting and the UK’s BDS Movement”.

Written by “Yelena,” a mysterious doula from San Francisco, the piece is mostly a rehash of professional anti-Semite Alison Weir’s riff on the blood-libel—a conspiracy theory in which Israel occupies Palestinian territory in order to murder the locals and loot their body parts. But like all knockoffs, the piece’s craftsmanship is poor, so Yelena’s version is helpful in that it sheds Weir’s usual scrupulosness and directly cites anti-Semites as sources. What sources does “Yelena” offer to document the ghoulish crimes of which she accuses the Jewish state? These include Iran’s PressTV and 9/11 Truther Michel Chussodovsky’s conspiracist web site, GlobalResearch. Both are classic “fake news” media, distributing anti-Jewish conspiracy theories by the shipping container throughout the Internet. Most troubling, however, is the article’s quotation of retired Cal State psychology professor Kevin MacDonald, a darling of far-Right anti-Semites, who couches standard white-supremacist teachings about Jewish “white genocide” in trappings of evolutionary psychology. Here’s what “Yelena” took from MacDonald: “Organized American Jewish lobbying groups and deeply committed Jews in the media are behind the pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy that is leading to war against virtually the entire Arab world.”

The Forward: Why MuslimGirl’s Rejection Of Gal Gadot Is A Good Thing
New York Times on Israel’s “Biological” Racism?!
In the pages of The New York Times, columnist Roger Cohen concludes that Israel is a racist country.

His logic?

Shuhada, a road within Hebron, a particularly violent area in the West Bank, is closed except to those passing through security checks, and sometimes closed to the public entirely.

In almost every country and language in the world, this type of security arrangement is referred to as a “sterile area,” meaning that it is kept free of potential security threats. In fact, the term “sterile area” is used around the globe in airport security, domestic crowd control, and military operations.

But Cohen has unilaterally decided that in Israel, and only in Israel, that word means racism:

The Israel Defense Forces refer to “tzir sterili,” or sterile roads, because no Palestinian is allowed on them, whether in a car or on foot…. Jews did not go to the Holy Land to deploy for another people the biological metaphors of classic racism that accompanied their persecution over centuries. But the exercise of overwhelming power is corrupting, to the point that “sterile” streets, presumably freed of disease-ridden natives, enter the lexicon.

Presumably?

By Cohen’s logic, governments around the world presumably consider all air travellers to be “disease-ridden natives,” as well as football fans, local residents in military towns, anyone who attends a presidential speech, and more.

But no, Cohen’s presumptions apply only to Israel. Even when Israel uses exactly the same terminology as…well, everyone.


An American Hijabi

as given to us by Madison Avenue (2017)
The sexy hijabi is new to American popular culture.

Due to the rise of contemporary political Islam, and mass Muslim immigration into the West, the hijab is now a highly-charged cultural symbol.

For many American and western Muslim women, it is simply a matter of ethnic identity and faith. In that way, it is not so different than a Jew wearing a kippa or a Shield of David pendant on a silver chain.

Among hip and hypocritical, white, western-progressives, such as Linda Sarsour, the hijab represents freedom, because it represents resistance to the wrong kind of white people.

For Iranian feminists, on the other hand - those who are facing true totalitarianism and who are putting their lives on the line in the face of actual oppression - the hijab represents the very misery that western-feminists see as benign inclusivity.

Jewish people - given our history under centuries of Arab and Muslim oppression - sometimes think of the hijab as a symbol of hatred toward us and the submission of women

But for Madison Avenue, it is just pure gold.

If you Google Image the word "hijab" - at least on my laptop, on this day - the first page is filled with pictures of beautiful women, such as the sexy American hijabi on the upper left of your screen.

{Now that is one hot hijabi mama.}

The Nike Hijabi
There is also the Nike Hijab... "a performance hijab for Muslim women athletes"... for when you want to go running in Central Park or the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.

The inspiration for the Nike Hijab came from US fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad who is the first Muslim American woman to wear the traditional patriarchal head-covering during Olympic tournament play and who earned a bronze medal for Team USA.

She is also the inspiration for the Hijabi Barbie doll as Christine Hauser informs us in the New York Times.

This is interesting from a human rights standpoint because the hijab, whatever else it may be, is a symbol of oppression to millions of women around the world.

The reason that women throughout Iran are waving their hijabs before western cameras is in the hope that European and American and Australian feminists will stand up with them against a sexist, theocratic regime.


Iranian women remove their hijabs in defiance
But the western-left simply does not see it that way because western-feminists do not care about non-western patriarchy.

What they seem to care about are "pussy hats" and safe spaces and trigger warnings and gender-neutral pronouns.

So, no such luck, Iranian women.

Western women, particularly western feminists, do not stand with you.


That is, western-feminism is no longer about feminism at all, nor about universal human rights.

In the 1990s, the feminist-left stood up against the Taliban in Afghanistan, but those days are long gone.

During the Women's March, from last year, directly after the election of Donald Trump, American women donned the hijab as a symbol of solidarity with their Muslim sisters throughout the world.

Perhaps the foremost symbol of that march is an image of a young woman, possibly based on Linda Sarsour, in a hijab comprised of stars and stripes.

Women's March Poster (2017)
The basic, most sincere idea behind those who waved that USA hijabi symbol is that all Americans are Americans.

The hijab can easily be thought of us representing the American ideal of inclusivity.

The United States is a nation of nations.

And the most forward-thinking of us - the most progressive of us - want greater inclusivity because, unless we are indigenous to the Americas, all of our ancestors came from elsewhere.

This is Basic USA Thinking 101.

But what does it mean when, in the name of inclusivity and diversity, western-feminists embrace a symbol like the hijab which Iranian women are ridding themselves of as an act of defiance against an oppressive and patriarchal system?

How is it that the western-left - which tells the world that it stands for social justice and universal human rights - embraces a symbol that represents the opposite of those ideals?

In the United States many women who don the hijab, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, usually do so as a matter of choice. For many devout Muslim American women, the hijab is not so much about submitting to a decrepit theocratic-patriarchal system as it is about human modesty and respect for the deity. Some Jewish women, after all, wear headdresses and for much the same reasons.

Nonetheless, the hijab has now become a fashionable symbol that stands at a cultural crossroad between the American ethos of ethnic inclusivity and the illiberal ethos of female oppression as generated by the Islamic faith.

Thus the sexy hijabi has many faces.

She is simultaneously an image of western openness to people from other cultures while also representing, and thereby promoting, the oppression of women within an Islamic context.

Furthermore, of course, for many people, the hijab represents a symbol not only of oppression of Muslim women but also of the oppression of Jews under thirteen centuries of Arab and Muslim imperial rule in the Middle East from the time of Muhammad until the demise of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The hijab as a symbol of oppression is concretized for Jewish people when hijabis screech "Alahu Akbar!" at Jewish people visiting the Temple Mount for the purpose of driving us away.

But the hijab as a contradictory and even malicious symbol in western cultural politics is perhaps no more on display than it is in the current Revlon kerfuffle.

Revlon, of course, is a well-known western corporation that sells makeup and other beauty and skin-care products.

The company recently offered the semi-hip American blogger Amani Al-Khatahtbeh their "Changemaker Award" - whatever that is, exactly - but the hijabi hipster refused the honor due to the fact that Revlon also employs Israeli actress Gal Gadot, of Wonder Woman fame, as a corporate spokesmodel.

Gal Gadot, of course, is a Jewish Israeli who served in the IDF, as do almost all Jewish Israeli kids, because their Arab neighbors force them to do so. Unlike western college students, if young Jewish Israelis wish to see their future children survive they must defend themselves and their families and their country in national service... and that goes for Wonder Woman as much as it goes for any other Jewish Israeli girl.

Unlike their soft and spoiled and obnoxious college-aged western critics, Jewish Israeli kids have to put their necks on the line in defense of their families and friends.

When I was growing up among the pugnacious, skateboarding, late twentieth-century East Coast American middle-class kids in our Keds and Adidas, we called antisemitism racism and the American left hated it.

Now it's called cool and they love it.




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  • Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


The people supporting funding UNRWA say Arabs are naturally attracted to extremism.

Let's read between the lines of an op-ed in The Guardian by Mick Dumper, a Middle East politics professor at Exeter University, that castigates the (then rumored) idea of the US cutting UNRWA funds:

If UNRWA were defunded by the US in this dramatic, sudden, and unplanned way, it would be forced to suspend within a few months most of its services to nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees. Half a million children in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon would be without schools, consigning them to the already volatile streets at a time when extremists are in full recruitment mode.
The first question one must ask is, why can the existing governments of these areas accommodate Palestinian children in their schools? Why have they avoided doing that for decades, creating a different class of people in their borders, even as they took in refugees from Iraq after the Gulf War and from Syria more recently?

The second issue is the implication that Dumper is making - that the average child in "moderate" Jordan, and Lebanon is a potential target for ISIS or similar terrorist recruitment. What does that say about the host countries? Isn't that a much bigger problem than just for Palestinian children in those countries? Shouldn't the solution be more targeted to children altogether, and not just Palestinian children?

Furthermore, what does this say about Palestinian responsibility for their own children in areas under their own control? Dumper is saying that they are targets of jihadists. He is saying that gravitating towards terrorism a natural state for Arabs that UNRWA is heroically fighting against. 

Has the US, and Israel for that matter, thought this through? Do they really want 270,000 children in Gaza attending Hamas-run schools? Does Washington really know what it is doing?
Suddenly, people care about hundreds of thousands of children who might attend Hamas-run schools. Yet for the past decade, more than that amount already attended Hamas-run schools in Gaza, and no one has complained about it one bit.  

And UNRWA schools have been using the Hamas curriculum.

If you take Dumper's concern seriously, than he is saying that the average Palestinian child in Gaza has already been recruited to terrorism. Where are the studies about the impact of Hamas on students in Gaza? Where has this concern been for the past ten years?

If anyone would have said that the average Gaza child is being indoctrinated into terror under Hamas rule a month ago, they would be castigated as a right-wing, Zionist, anti-Arab bigot. But suddenly, when UNRWA funding is in crisis, now Hamas schools are problematic.

The implication of these arguments is that Arab parents, media, peer pressure, and governmental messages are tacitly or explicitly supportive of terror, and only UNRWA can save these children from Muslim extremism.

That is bigoted.

But if that's the case, then the UN should take over the entire educational system in the Middle East, right? Or is it only Palestinians who naturally gravitate toward terror?

The impact of all these cuts on the political stability in the Middle East is incalculable. Such a move would produce instability affecting some of the key strategic allies of the US, the EU and the UK in the Middle East. Jordan, for instance, has been touted as a beacon of stability in a region that is still reeling from the convulsions of the Arab spring, the Syrian civil war and the Saudi Arabian-Iranian proxy wars.
Yet Jordan is host to 2 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA. It would be unable to cope with replacing the services provided by UNRWA, with the result that its already high unemployment rate would rocket, poverty – already widespread – would accelerate and, with school-age children on the streets, protests would inevitably ensue, threatening the viability of the government. 
The vast majority of children in UNRWA schools in Jordan are Jordanian citizens. Jordan has had the option for nearly 70 years of mainstreaming them into its kingdom. Because of UNRWA, it has ignored basic responsibilities to its own citizens. It has promoted the idea in Jordan that Palestinians are not really Jordanian. The liberals of the West have never had a problem with this.

I agree that any cuts to UNRWA in Jordan (and elsewhere) should be managed intelligently, with the funds being redirected into the government and earmarked for services that would be lost, with the funds eventually reduced as the Palestinians of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria are treated equally with real refugees and with citizens alike. But to defend a system that treats Palestinians differently than their neighbors is to defend apartheid.

And this is what liberals like Dumper are really saying.
There are also long-term costs. Apart from such a decision further sidelining the US from resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and thus lessening its ability to influence the shape of the outcome, one lesson learned from the Middle East since 9/11 is that tearing down institutions is easy. Rebuilding them is exponentially more costly in terms of lives and money.
Once the human capital of teachers, doctors, accountants, administrators, social workers and lawyers accumulated over decades is dispersed or degraded, it will take years to marshal the skills and expertise again to run societies and communities.
He has a point. Yet the solution isn't to maintain UNRWA forever; it is to come up with a plan to eliminate it and allow Palestinian "refugees" to be treated equally with others (including in areas under PA control itself!)

After seventy years, there is absolutely no one who is seriously looking at reducing the need for UNRWA. Trump's move may be hastier than it needs to be, but it will start this conversation that is long, long overdue of forcing Arab leaders to take responsibility for all the people under their control, and treat them equally.

Continuing to support UNRWA indefinitely without a plan to reduce the need for its services is the real recipe for instability in the Middle East. It maintains an ever growing "refugee" population that is treated differently. It promotes discrimination by giving different levels of services to people depending on where their great-grandparents lived.

It is indeed apartheid.





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  • Sunday, January 21, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


The Palestinian leadership has made it clear that they will not accept any United States involvement in the peace process.

Obviously, Israel isn't going to accept any process that does not involve the United States.

Which means that the Palestinian Arab have given up on negotiations.

So what are they planning to do?

Mahmoud Aloul, Fatah Deputy President, gives an interview that is reproduced in the Fatah Facebook page and Al Quds. And while he didn't go into any specifics, it looks like the Palestinians are pretty much continuing with their strategy of the past few years.

Aloul says that the Palestinian leadership has reviewed the actions of all previous US administrations, and decided that all of them - Obama included - were really pro-Israel  and had no interest in helping the Palestinians get a state.

Delusion continues to be official Palestinian policy.

Aloul insists, however, that the two-state solution is the only one that is being considered. Even if the Palestinian Authority dissolves. 

"We have no illusions that the United States can work for peace," Aloul said. "We washed our hands  from the United States on this subject, and so today we are looking for a means to reach the freedom of our people and to end the occupation, that is the basis. We are fed up with the United States, and that is why we are heading today to the European Union and the United Nations. We are going to the world to build an alternative international reference and to work on the elaboration of an international conference."

This is the crux of Palestinian strategy - to use the EU and UN to pressure Israel to give them a state in 100% of the Green Line territories without any compromises or promises. Which is pretty much what they had been doing for the past few years anyway, because the idea of compromise is anathema.

What about Arab nations that are trying to get closer relations with Israel? Aloul's answer shows that the Palestinian leadership has almost given up on convincing the Arab leaders otherwise:

Q: If Egypt and Saudi Arabia are making a regional peace plan, what do you do?
A: We will not do anything. Our decision is clear. We never want to expand the front of our enemies. Our main enemy is the Israeli occupation and the American policy that advocates it. We have no other enemy. We seek to have positive relations with all, with our Arab nation and with the world. If the Arab nations have another position on our cause we leave it to their people and do not open a battle with them.
If I am reading this right, the Palestinians are now more convinced of support from the Europeans than from their fellow Arabs.

This is a "burn your bridges" strategy. Palestinians are betting that the demographic issue combined with BDS and political pressure from the EU will make Israel surrender without the Palestinians having to compromise at all. Of course they won't negotiate - they don't want to make concessions. 

The Arab states have woken up years ago to the fact that their investments in the Palestinian enterprise has been a waste of money. Their support since then has been vocal and symbolic, but not very concrete. 

America is reaching the same conclusion.

For the PA to bet that the EU will not do the same thing in the next few years is a hell of a gamble.




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Saturday, January 20, 2018

From Ian:

Mordechai Kedar: Why Arabs and Muslims Will Not Accept Israel as the Jewish State
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city dealt the Palestinian nationalist narrative a serious blow, and gave Israel a kind of insurance policy. This maddens the Arabs who flourished on the dream of destroying Israel during the Oslo years. It has now become clear that a very powerful nation, the US, does not see itself as a partner in that dream — and is even willing to act against it.

The Arabs in general, and particularly the Palestinians, can already see the dominos falling. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and other important states are considering moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition that that city is Israel’s capital. In April 2017, even Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his recognition of Western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. There was no outcry in response to Putin’s declaration for one simple reason: the Arabs are deathly afraid of Putin after he made crystal clear to what lengths he is willing to go during the war in Syria, and they carefully refrain from reacting to his statements or decisions.

For both religious and nationalist reasons, the Arabs and Muslims are incapable of accepting Israel as the Jewish state that it is.

The question that Israelis, both Jewish and Christian, are forced to ask themselves is whether they are going to recognize the Muslim and Arab problem but tell them in no uncertain terms that Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, and that they are going to have to learn to live with it — or whether they are going to give in to the Arab and Muslim dreamers who refuse to accept the reality that the Jewish religion is alive and well.
MEMRI: Kuwaiti Writer: Israel Is a Legitimate State, Not an Occupier; There Was No Palestine


The BDS Movement Doesn’t Want Peace, It Wants to Destroy Israel
The anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement pretends to be working toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but in reality, many of its supporters want to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. For this reason, BDS has attracted support from terrorists, convicted killers and antisemites in the US and abroad.

In fact, at many of BDS demonstrations — like ones filmed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism — demonstrators make no secret of their aims. “And the people of Palestine will wipe the Zionist entity (Israel) off all the world maps” one demonstration leader shouts on the IPT-recorded video.

On the same video demonstrators chant: “We don’t want no two-state, we want 48,” referring to 1948, before Israel was created. And for good measure, they chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” meaning a new Palestinian state will go from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and swallow up all of Israel. And yet other chants include: “Death to the peace accords,” “smash the settler Zionist state” and “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

Law enforcement officials in the US should keep a close eye on demonstrators like these, knowing that inflammatory antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric often leads to violence. The New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have investigated a number of plots directed specifically at Jewish citizens and institutions.

BDS seeks to isolate Israel from world, ostensibly to protest Israel’s presence in the West Bank and to call for the creation of a Palestinian state. BDS seeks a worldwide boycott against Israeli products, universities and cultural institutions; divestment from companies that provide equipment to the Israeli military; and international economic sanctions against Israel — among other things.

L’Oreal’s New Hijab Model Is Virulently Anti-Israel
The face of L’Oreal’s new hijab-friendly hair campaign is virulently anti-Israel.

Amena Khan, a blogger and model, was chosen by L’Oreal UK to model for the beauty company’s newest hair product campaign. The campaign features women in hijabs and argues that their products are still useful for people who do not show their hair in public.

“L’Oréal Paris UK are both proud and excited to be launching such a unique and disruptive campaign for the haircare market, a category which in previous years has been perceived as the cliché of beauty advertising,” Adrien Koskas, L’Oréal Paris UK general manager, said about the new campaign. (RELATED: L’Oreal’s New Hair Product Campaign Features Woman In Hijab)

However, a search of Khan’s Twitter account raises questions about the appropriateness of making her the face of the new campaign. Khan frequently espouses anti-Israel views, calling it a “terrorist” and “illegal” state.

“Remember: the brutal murder of Palestinians had been occurring MANY years before the formation of Hamas,” Khan wrote in July of 2014. “Israel’s excuses are blatant lies.”

“Well, under international law, Israel is an illegal state,” she wrote in the same month.

  • Saturday, January 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Arab media is showing this video an aerial view of the ruins of Khybar, the Jewish city that Mohammed defeated:


The text accompanying the story on some sites says "Do you think that the Jews forgot this humiliating exit? They do not have the ambition to return, but there is no fear on the lands ruled by the House of Saud."

Arabs naturally think that Jews obsess over their military defeats - because that is what Arabs do.

Arabs naturally think that Jews are pining to wreak vengeance and re-take the lands that were once theirs - because that's what Muslims are taught.

Jewish kids don't learn about Khybar in school. They aren't taught about their "humiliating" defeat. There are literally thousands of things that are more important to teach.

Arabs like to taunt Jews with the chant "Khybar, Khybar O Jews, the army of Mohammed will return." But the average Jew would not even get the reference. The battle is irrelevant in the scope of Jewish history.

And the Arabs simply cannot understand that.

There really is a difference between how Arabs think and how Jews think.




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

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