Jonathan S. Tobin: What to make of this pro-Israel presidency
Some have argued that Trump’s “America First” beliefs will undermine America’s position in the world and ultimately weaken Israel. But while that was a reasonable argument to make in 2016, before we knew how he would govern, it no longer makes sense in light of Trump’s strong stance on Iran or his desire to persuade NATO allies to strengthen their defenses. Indeed, with France and Germany – whose leaders are supposedly the epitome of true Western values – bent on appeasing Iran, that argument now falls flat.
Nor has his inconsistent policy toward Russia – a combination of weak talk and strong policies that are much tougher than those of our European allies – endangered Israel, given that it was then-U.S. President Barack Obama who punted Syria to Moscow, not Trump.
Trump has done more than merely reverse Obama’s goal of creating more “daylight” between the United States and Israel. He has promoted policies that have discarded decades of foolish conventional wisdom about the Middle East and replaced it with stances on the conflict that are rooted in realpolitik and recognition of Israel’s rights and security needs.
That doesn’t mean Trump is perfect and, as whoever wins the April election in Israel may find out, his peace plan may cause more harm than good. But it’s past time that his critics acknowledge that what he’s done with respect to Israel places him above any other American president with respect to friendship for the Jewish state, including Harry Truman (whom many Jewish admirers also spoke of in religious terms), Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.
That doesn’t make Trump Queen Esther. But whether or not you intend to vote for him next year, it is past time to stop pretending that this administration’s policies toward Israel can be depicted as anything but a historic breakthrough that should be properly noted and applauded.
Again using the PA’s constant messaging and indoctrination that the terrorist prisoners are legitimate “freedom fighters”, Hamas also had to prove its bona fides as the protector of the terrorist prisoners.
Accordingly, here again, notwithstanding the “official” excuse the underlying motive for the launch of the rocket, has nothing to do with Israel, but rather the internal Palestinian power struggle to win the hearts of the Palestinians.
As if the internal Palestinian power struggle was insufficient, in the last few weeks the PA and Hamas received what they perceive to be additional, albeit expected support, from the international community, specifically the UN.
In the last few weeks, Hamas and the other Palestinian “factions” in Gaza have continued to launch rocket attacks against Israel, including two long range rockets (criticized by Qawasmi) that targeted Israel’s heavily civilian populated Dan region. While often quick to condemn Israel, the UN Secretary General’s Special representative to the Middle East, Nikkolay Mladenov, issued no condemnation of these attacks.
Last week, the UN Human Rights Council adopted several resolutions condemning Israel after adopting the PA and Hamas narrative that the violent clashes, organized and orchestrated by Hamas, on Israel’s border with Gaza since March 30th 2018, are nothing more than peaceful demonstrations and that the Israeli response to them was excessive.
The combination of the internal Palestinian power struggle with the “stamp of approval” of the UN that Palestinian terrorism will constantly be downplayed and even ignored in order to serve the goal of vilifying Israel made the launch of the rocket attack inevitable. Now, when Israel responds, the PA and Hamas will again play their all too successful “victim card”, in the hope of diverting attention from their own pugnacious policies in favor of condemning Israel.
Trump could well turn his attention now to recognising the legal right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.
The United Nations’
designation of Judea and Samaria as “The Occupied Palestinian Territories”and
retention of the term “West Bank” – first used in 1950 – rather than “Judea and Samaria” -used since biblical times
has similarly signalled the UN’s rejection of the Jewish peoples’ right to “close settlement” in Judea and Samaria – expressly recognised in article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and preserved until today by article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
Another Trump proclamation acknowledging the legal right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria could happen at any time – irrespective of whether Israel has passed any law similar to that passed on 14 December 1981 declaring that ”the law, jurisdiction and administration of the state shall apply to the Golan Heights.”
Such a Trump proclamation would blunt the rising tide of rabid Jew-hatred within the United Nations, UNESCO, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the European Union resulting from these institutions having failed to acknowledge such vested Jewish rights under international law.
The Jewish people worldwide owe President Trump a huge debt of gratitude for championing and defending their right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in the Golan Heights – and hopefully soon – in Judea and Samaria.
While Hamas was launching missiles at Israel’s civilian population yesterday, Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV was broadcasting calls to murder Israelis. The following song calling to put on suicide belts and “scatter the enemies’ body parts, make the skulls fly in the sky,” is one example:
The music video includes many images of violence and actual terror attacks. Among the visuals, are 3 stabbings, 2 car rammings, explosions, and footage of the oldest Hamas female suicide bomber, 57-year-old Fatima Omar Mahmoud Al-Najjar, who in 2006 blew herself up near Israeli soldiers, injuring two. Other images show people holding big knives and guns, coinciding with the lyrics “stab, bomb, and make eyes weep.”
The song begins with two short interviews with released female prisoners, one of whom attempted to carry out a suicide attack. She explains that her goal was to “kill as many Jews as possible.”
Released female prisoner, Wafa Al-Bis, attempted to commit suicide attack: “My principle was to try and kill as many Jews as possible.”
Second released female prisoner: “I can’t live beside Israel. There are people who can live in peace beside Israel. I can’t live in peace because it occupied my land.”
While Hamas was launching missiles at Israelis yesterday, Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV was broadcasting calls to murder them. This song, calling to put on suicide belts and “scatter the enemies’ body parts, make the skulls fly in the sky,” is one example.
— Pal Media Watch (@palwatch) March 26, 2019
“Death to Israel” – song on Hamas TV
Visuals: Footage of terror attacks against Israelis Song lyrics: “Expel the thieving occupier from the enraged land of Jerusalem, Rid your house of that one, that Zionist in his humiliation, Write ‘death, death, death to Israel ’ with flowing blood, And with the bleeding body cause death, death, death to Israel.” Text onscreen in Hebrew: “Death to Israel” Hamas leader Nizar Rayan: “Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews The soldiers of Muhammad have started to return.” Visuals: Funeral of Israeli terror victims
Because international law, as understood since the Second World War in particular, denounces the situation where the aggressor occupies land in an armed conflict. There seems to be consensus that such situations violate our collective sense of decency and fairness. So, for example, the Iraqi attack on Kuwait was roundly abhorred by the international community. As was the Russian aggression vis-a-vis Crimea.
These situations have been raised recently as being somehow corollary to the Golan. Which they are not. The truth is that international law is focused on the more usual paradigm, where the aggressor keeps the land. Israel is a singular case and the facts challenge the rather brittle thinking and “logic” that the international community is determined to apply in this context.
Had Crimea attacked Russia and lost territory, that would be analogous to the Israel-Syria-Golan situation. Had Kuwait attacked Iraq and lost territory, that would be analogous to the Golan situation.
Israel did not attack Syria. Indisputable historical fact.
Often invoked to discredit Israeli claims to the Golan, United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, addressing the ceasefires of 1967 and 1973, respectively, do nothing of the sort.
As a matter of fact and law, neither resolution precludes the actions taken earlier this week by the United States and Israel. People can hate and vilify U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu all they want. This isn’t personal. It’s factual.
On Monday, during a ceremony at the White House, President Trump signed an Order proclaiming U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as being part of Israeli sovereign territory, and specifying: “Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Israel’s need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats.”
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a signed Proclamation on the Golan Heights while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, centre, applauds at the White House on March 25, 2019. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed the profound appreciation of a nation, noting that Israel won the Golan Heights in just wars of self-defence.
“Your proclamation comes at a time when the Golan is more important than ever for our security,” he said, addressing Trump, “when Iran is trying to establish bases in Syria to strike at Israel. From across the border in Syria, Iran has launched drones into our airspace, missiles into our territory.”
There should not be a different standard of compliance with international law for Israel. Based on the reactions of many states to the American recognition Monday, including Canada’s, there is.
WATCH: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks upon departing Washington DC pic.twitter.com/fwjmEk2JgO
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) March 26, 2019
For Israeli skiers gliding down the snowy slopes in the Golan Heights, US President Donald Trump’s proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the territory it captured from Syria more than 50 years ago was long overdue.
At a ski resort on Mount Hermon, which at about 9,000 feet (2,700 meters) high towers over neighboring Syria and Lebanon, Israelis were thankful for Trump’s move.
“For the security reasons — everybody knows what’s going on in Syria — Israel should be the owner of this land,” said Amichai Lorenzi, 51.
Israel seized the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981 in a move that was not recognized internationally. Syria wants it back and tried to take the Heights in 1973 Yom Kippur War. Over the years, peace talks over its possible return have failed.
With Monday’s signing, Trump officially granted US recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory, a shift from decades of US policy that was welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and denounced by many countries. The move also angered some among the 22,000 Arab Druze residents there who still identify as Syrian.
For Moriel Segal, 29, Trump’s decree felt personal. Her father had fought on the Golan as an officer in the Israeli military, she said.
“He didn’t fight for nothing so, that’s nice to know.”
🇺🇸 Is Trump changing US policy in the Middle East? | Inside Story https://t.co/9KAIaaCXKI. Worth listening to @EVKontorovich in this programme although as always with someone not condemning Israel he’s outnumbered 2:1 on the panel. I was once 3:1 plus the presenter opposing me.
— Rɪᴄʜᴀʀᴅ Kᴇᴍᴘ ⋁ (@COLRICHARDKEMP) March 27, 2019
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) March 26, 2019
The UN Security Council is set to hold an urgent public meeting Wednesday on the US decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, the French ambassador has said.
Syria requested the meeting in a letter sent Tuesday to France, which holds the council presidency for the month of March.
The anger at the US recognition was dubbed on Wednesday “hypocrisy and lies” by Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon.
“For 19 years, Syria used the Golan as a forward outpost against Israel, and today it’s Iran that wants to put its soldiers on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,” Danon said in a statement.
“Israel won’t allow such a thing ever, and it’s time the international community recognize the fact that the Golan will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever. The United States and Israel will stand as a united front in the face of the hypocrisy and lies.”
A 3 p.m. (9 p.m. Israel time) closed-door meeting on the UNDOF peacekeeping force serving on the Golan was turned into an open session in response to Syria’s request.
The European Union said Wednesday that it was not altering its view on the status of the Golan Heights, despite this week’s US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the area, and that it was maintaining a stance in keeping with UN Security Council resolutions.
“The position of the European Union as regards the status of the Golan Heights has not changed,” the EU’s foreign affairs department said in a statement. “In line with the international law and UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 497, the European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.”
The statement required the support of all of the EU’s members, including countries seen as friendly to Israel, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic.
While the Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the statement, Israeli lawmakers chided the EU, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who said in a video posted to Twitter that the alliance of 28 European nations no longer deserved to be “defended” by Israel from radical Islam.
Noting that the EU also doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Bennett declared, “Shame on you.”
“The Golan Heights, Jerusalem and the Land of Israel have been the home of the Jewish people thousands of years before France was the home of the French and the UK the home of the British, so we will continue building our amazing country, and we’ll continue defending the free world from radical Islam even though you don’t deserve it,” he said.
Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, & the UK issue joint statement that Israel should cede some of its sovereign territory, the Golan Heights, to the Iranian proxy in control of Syria. pic.twitter.com/EhUjTLd5FU
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) March 27, 2019
Polls about attitudes toward Israel that the Foreign Ministry conducts worldwide indicate that on average, 75% of respondents believe that ties with Israel can be beneficial to their countries.
The ministry conducts these polls on a regular basis to determine Israel’s advantages and disadvantages in world opinion. They are carried out by professional pollsters in each country, and respondents are not informed that the polls were initiated by Israel.
Polls conducted in Arab countries at the end of 2018 checked to what extent respondents wanted their countries to have ties with Israel. It turned out that at a time when closer ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia are the subject of much discussion, only 23% of respondents supported the idea of increased ties between the two nations.
However, 43% of Iraqis, 42% Emiratis, and 41% of Moroccans polled said they were in favor of ties between their nations and Israel. Over one-third of Iranians (34%) said they were in favor of ties with Israel, as did 32% of Tunisians and 21% of Algerians polled.
Respondents were also asked whether they saw the Palestinian Authority as the main obstacle to Middle East peace. In many of the countries polled, over half of respondents had no opinion.
Lebanese-American Analyst Tom Harb: Palestinians Have Been Refusing Peace
Tom Harb, the Co-Chair of the American Mideast Coalition for Democracy, said in a March 7, 2019 interview on Al-Alam TV (Iran) that the Palestinians began with their refusals to peace with Israel with the 1947 Partition Plan, and he explained that Arab countries are starting to think about their own interest since the Palestinians haven’t offered any solutions. He also said that Lebanon’s economy is weak and that foreign companies are unwilling to invest in it because of Hizbullah’s unchecked influence.
Moving Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem would be an “attack” on the Palestinian people, the Palestinian envoy to Brazil Ibrahim Alzeben said on Tuesday according to France 24, a state-owned French news service.
Alzeben also said that the embassy move would be breaking international law.
“Moving the embassy of any country… is a violation of international law and an attack on the Palestinian people,” Alzeben told AFP.
This statement comes right before Brazi’s President Jair Bolsonaro is set to visit Israel from Sunday to Thursday. Bolsonaro has previously pledged to move the embassy from Tel Aviv.
Bolsonaro’s visit, which would be the first since president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva became the first-ever Brazilian leader to visit in March 2010, is widely expected to be used by the Netanyahu campaign to underscore his diplomatic experience and successes in forging relations around the world.
Over much of the last two decades, Brazil has been unstintingly pro-Palestinian and often among the most critical of Israel in international forums – a pattern Bolsonaro said he will change.
Brazil will move its embassy to Jerusalem, the question is one of “when,” not “if,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said in late December in Rio de Janeiro.
Yemeni protesters held a mass rally in Sanaa on Tuesday to show support for the Houthi movement on the fourth anniversary of a war that has killed thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.
The Iran-aligned Houthis have controlled the capital Sanaa and Yemen’s largest populated areas since 2014 when they ousted the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The United Nations is pushing ahead with tough talks with the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government to find a political solution to the conflict.
Men, women and children marched waving the red, white and black national colors, and chanted slogans against Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against the Houthis, and the United States which backs it.
They also blamed US ally Israel for destroying the country.
Jordanian lawmakers are pushing for the government to cancel a $10 billion deal for the supply of natural gas from Israel, reportedly demanding that the 2016 agreement be canceled at any cost.
During a parliamentary session on Tuesday, lawmakers insisted that the kingdom seek alternative sources from other Arab states, the Jordan Times reported.
They said the deal, for 45 billion cubic meters of gas from Israel’s Leviathan offshore gas field, is a threat to Jordan’s energy security and helps support Israel’s control of the West Bank.
A US-Israeli consortium in September 2016 signed the deal with the Jordan Electric Power Company to supply the Hashemite Kingdom with natural gas for 15 years.
Indian intelligence services have warned of Islamist terror attacks on Jewish synagogues and residential apartments in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Goa, local media reports say.
Indian authorities are taking the threat very seriously by beefing up security around Israeli diplomatic missions, synagogues, and other Jewish institutions.
The intelligence agencies have pointed to al-Qaida affiliates and ISIS-inspired terror cells for carrying out such attacks. The terror alert comes some ten years after the deadly Mumbai attacks of 2008, which included the siege at the city’s Chabad Lubavitch Jewish center. The terrorist murdered six Jewish hostages, including a rabbi and his pregnant wife.
The newspaper Times of India reported the latest intelligence assessment:
Intelligence agencies have alerted police in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa about twin threats from Islamic State and al-Qaida, sources said. The two inputs, which warn of avenging the New Zealand incident and possible strike on Jewish establishments, have come in a span of four days.
The inputs suggest that terrorists might try to use a vehicle or a knife in the attacks. The agencies have suggested an increase in vigil around the Israeli Embassy, Consulate General in Mumbai as well as synagogues and Chabad houses, sources said.
The first alert, dated March 20, talks of IS and connected cells planning to avenge the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 50 people died. A 29-year-old Australian citizen, Brenton Tarrant, had entered two mosques with automatic weapons and opened indiscriminate fire.
“When you arrive at the location that used to be your headquarters, look right, look left,” teased Avichay Adraee, who is in charge of the IDF’s social media in the Arab world, in a social media post to Hamas leader Ismail Abdel Salam Ahmed Haniyeh on Tuesday night.
“Is it right to endanger the lives of the residents of the Gaza Strip? Are Yehya Snowar and Mohammed Deif putting you in a place that neither you nor the residents of Gaza want to be,” Adraee continued. “Don’t forget to let us know where your new office is.”
The IDF on Tuesday attacked dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip, including a number of compounds belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in Shati, Beit Hanoun, Saja’iya and other locations throughout the strip. Weapons tunnels, military posts and rocket launching sites were all attacked. The Israeli military even struck Haniyeh’s office.
So far overnight, Israeli fighter jets struck several targets in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis, including a military compound and a weapons manufacturing site belonging to Hamas, the military said.
Pictures published Tuesday showed the offices of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reduced to rubble as Gazans took stock of the damage Tuesday after an estimated 80 Israeli air strikes leveled dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad installations in the territory.
The Israeli strikes came in response to a rocket attack on central Israel early Monday that wounded seven and subsequent overnight rocket barrages from the Strip.
The figure of 80 strikes was cited by a Hamas-linked Gazan security source. The group also said seven people were hurt in the strikes.
Witnesses said the coastal enclave was rocked by explosions while fireballs rose in the sky in Gaza City, with the largest explosion coming from the building housing the office of Hamas’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, which was completely destroyed, leaving nothing but a large pit in the ground after cleaning crews had removed the debris.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said his group taught a lesson to Israel with the current escalation of violence near the Gaza border, and “the occupation got the message.”
His comments on Wednesday were carried by the Associated Press. A senior Israeli political source carried in Israeli media said Haniyeh should “find a new office” before issuing threats.
“The resistance said its piece and Israel got the message. I congratulate everyone who helped end the Zionist arrogance in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “We will restore the leadership’s headquarters, which is a symbol of steadfastness and heroism. I call on all the Palestinian people… to go out on Land Day and participate in the marches.”
Incoming rocket sirens were activated Tuesday night shortly after Israeli Air Force struck targets in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Israeli fighter jets struck several targets in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis, including a military compound and a weapons manufacturing site belonging to Hamas, the military said.
Israel is in a bind. The missiles fired from Gaza into the Israeli heartland as an act of provocation expose the helplessness of its military and political echelons. Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short his visit to Washington and insisted that his timetable would not prevent Israel from taking necessary action against Hamas, it is hard to believe Israel would let itself be drawn into an all-out assault on Gaza two weeks prior to the April 9 elections.
Israel’s 2014 war with Gaza, known as Operation Protective Edge, lasted 50 days. It cost the lives of 2,200 Palestinians and dozens of Israelis, and it badly undermined support for Israel around the world due to the thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces was thus careful not to hit Hamas leaders or activists in the bombing raids it conducted in retaliation for the rocket on Mishmeret. The “target bank” it chose — mostly installations, buildings and warehouses — conveyed to Hamas’ leadership that the current round of violence could be stopped before it deteriorates into war. Indeed, several hours later Hams announced that a cease-fire was reached with Egyptian mediation. However, it turned out once again that the military wing was refusing to accept the political leadership’s authority, firing some 30 rockets into Gaza border communities.
Another war with Gaza — the fourth since the group took control of the Strip in 2007 — has been averted for now. But Israel realizes more than ever that Hamas is under the control of its military arm, leaving the political leadership helpless with the attendant implications for any future arrangement or agreement with Israel.
While the headline may be chronologically correct, it’s misleading to let readers believe that there is any cause and effect between these two separate events. @ABCaustralia @abcnews please find a more appropriate headline. https://t.co/YDayCHrEjI pic.twitter.com/lX2iAshJ0a
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) March 26, 2019
15 years ago, on a bright, cold March afternoon, a Palestinian teenager approaches an Israeli checkpoint outside Nablus.
Alone in the middle of the road, is the slight figure of 15-year-old Hussam Abdo. He’s wearing a suicide vest. pic.twitter.com/xBQj4asFSZ
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) March 26, 2019
A street was named after the Ariel terrorist, Omar Abu Lila, in the village of Bruqin in the West Bank, Channel 13 reported on Wednesday.
In response to the sign, Btsalmo, a Jewish human rights organization, wrote to the Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to have the sign removed.
“Naming a street after a terrorist will cause many young people to follow him,” the organization claimed in their letter. “The street is named for the murderer of Gal Kaidan and Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, who were resident of the area, and there is no doubt that the street’s sign attests to the glorification of the name and the horrible act of murder.”
“Remember, these are war crimes.”
The IDF killed Abu Lila in late March, three days after he shot and murdered Kaidan and Ettinger in Ariel. Ettinger was wounded at the scene and succumbed to his injures and died 24 hours later.
A series of violent protests erupted throughout the West Bank on Wednesday.
Israeli media outlets are reporting that Palestinians are clashing with IDF forces in El Birah near Ramallah. According to Palestinian reports there are a number of injuries reported.
Israeli border police throws tear gas during clashes near Ramallah (REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)Israeli border police throws tear gas during clashes near Ramallah (REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
In the same area, Palestinian students are protesting on behalf of Arab prisoners, following two incidents at the Ketziot Prison earlier this week. On Sunday, two guards were stabbed by Hamas inmates. The next day, another security prisoner tried to stab a guard with a blade. The incidents led to 14 injuries, including 12 prisoners. Seven people remain hospitalized: the two prison guards and five inmates.
The students said they are likewise protesting because of the “unwarranted” arrest Tuesday of three university students. The IDF has not commented on the arrest. Pro-Hamas activists at the university stated that the students identified with Hamas, according to Reuters. Three Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and two were treated for tear gas inhalation.
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) March 27, 2019
Ayatollah Gholamali Naeimabadi Prompts Friday Sermon Crowd to Chant Death Slogans
Ayatollah Gholamali Naeimabadi, Khamenei’s representative in the Hormozgan District, said in a March 23, 2019 sermon in Bandar Abbas that aired on Khalijefars TV (Iran) that the animosity between Iran and the United States will remain as long as the capitalist regime exists in America. He criticized America for intervening everywhere, including Iran and Venezuela, and he referred to America as the Great Satan. He then encouraged the audience to cheer “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” “Death to England,” “Death to France,” and “Death to the Saud clan.”
Relatives and friends of a local father of three expressed admiration for him this week as the man continues not to let the lifesaving generosity of a Jew get in the way of a commitment to desiring the downfall and destruction of all Jews.
Hussein Maher, 29, faced liver failure in March, but received the liver of an Israeli Jew who perished in an automotive accident last month, thanks to the efforts of an international organization that aims to foster better relations among different peoples by facilitating organ donation across borders. Despite benefiting from those efforts, say Maher’s family, he remains steadfast in his animosity toward Jews, in particular the Jews of Israel.
“It’s awe-inspiring – there’s no other word for it,” gushed his brother Awad. “The emotional and mental fortitude necessary to maintain that level of antagonism toward Jews under such circumstances would be beyond many of us, but Hussein is special. His determination not to let the manifest goodness of a Jew get in the way of hating Jews makes me want to be a better Jew-hater myself.”
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